Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Quit Smoking with the Spiritual Treatment
If you are among the fortunate few who have never smoked tobacco, smoking still concerns you. Statistics about second-hand smoke (inhaling a smokers residue smoke from surrounding environment) are as alarming as the dire warnings about smoking itself. Many buildings and establishments have banned smoking for this very reason. Many people will not allow smoking in their houses. Unpleasant smoke smell gets into the fabrics and materials of the house and lingers.
In the days when my children were little, I asked my own mother to go outside to smoke when she was visiting my home. She understood and complied. She was one of the people who took up smoking as an adult, was able to quit smoking later in life with no difficulty. Others are not so fortunate; many begin smoking in childhood–used to be in the teen years, now statistics state it’s even earlier–and have a great deal of difficulty stopping. Some find it impossible to quit no matter how much they would like to.
Besides being hard on the body, smoking is also hard on the wallet. The cost of cigarettes has jumped, as has the cost of “remedies” to help people stop smoking. Other costs include medical bills for health problems such as bronchitis, allergies, asthma and more serious ailments such as emphysema, lung cancer, and heart disease. Other costs may include unexpected accidents a person has when smoking while they do other tasks that demand more focused attention. An example would be driving at freeway speeds while lighting up, driving with one hand, or even dropping a cigarette; and something such as falling asleep in a chair with a lighted cigarette and starting a fire.
The American Council of Science and Health has declared that cigarette smoking is now the leading cause of preventable death in the United States–attributing a half a million deaths a year to smoking or one in every five deaths
Statistics on smokers obtained from Quit Smoking Hub (www.quitsmokinghub.com) indicate that in the United States alone, 26 million men and about 23 million women smoke cigarettes. When broken down into ethnic groups, a little over a fourth of all men in each ethnic group smoke (24 to 25%) while slightly fewer women in ethnic groups smoke (21% to 24%) with Asian women and Hispanic women smoking less (7% and 12% respectively.) American Indian and Alaskan Natives smoking nearly twice as much (both men and women at 41%.)
Statistics also reveal that once a person begins smoking the chances of ever quitting completely are not good and indicate a high rate of relapse; in fact, a third of the half-million American smokers in this country attempt to quit each year. Only an estimated 10% of those are successful.
While there is still uncertainty if smoking is an addiction, a habit or a compulsion, the major way of quitting has been to depend on an individual’s motivation and willpower. Those who tried quitting smoking and experienced debilitating withdrawal symptoms are more inclined to believe it is a physical addiction. Others find that the emotional pull is impossible to deal with. Compulsive smokers are often resigned to continue smoking for life.
The products, remedies and techniques to aid smokers who wish to quit are not strictly scientifically developed and tested. Few studies and statistics are known on the effectiveness of these tools and aids since, in the majority of cases, the success of their use relies on the individual and his strength of will in applying the chosen method.
Statistics and warnings of health risks may or may not have any bearing on whether a person starts smoking, tries to quit smoking, or actually quits. There are people who enjoy smoking and see nothing dangerous or “wrong” with it. There are occasional smokers who may have a cigar, for instance, on special occasions. There are those who smoke mindlessly in reaction to mental and emotional pressures. There are smokers who couldn’t care less about statistics and health issues, and smokers who feel terribly pressured by the statistics. Some feel pressured by other people or their own inner consciousness about smoking. Nonetheless, they remain smokers.
I, like many others, experimented with smoking as a youngster before the statistics of health issues were know and publicized. I can still recall my first puff. My friend Sherri and I swiped a cigarette from one of my Mom’s packs and snuck down to the basement to light it up. We each took a few puffs and began to feel nauseated and dizzy. Sherri decided to go home and go to bed. I was so sick I couldn’t get out of bed the next day to attend school. However, this didn’t stop me from trying cigarettes again later in my teen years. I smoked because the other kids smoked, I wanted to fit in, “look cool” and feel “grown-up” (in those days most kids observed at least one parent who smoked and sometimes grandparents who were smokers.) In those days the cost of a pack of cigarettes was only 35cents and cigarette machines were everywhere accessible. Most teens that experimented with smoking didn’t smoke openly, we snuck cigarettes in private, sharing the cost of a pack, and even sharing an individual cigarette. It was the days, too, before designated smoking areas outside the high schools. One could be expelled for smoking at school.
I didn’t continue smoking in high school. I came home from school one afternoon and found a newspaper article on the table about teenage smoking which my Mom had circled in red. Not a word was ever mentioned aloud, but it was powerful feedback that I took to heart. Fortunately, I became active in a youth group at our community church and surrounded myself with non-smoking friends.
However, I started smoking again in college and into my twenties when I became a wife and mother. I was a compulsive smoker so my husband left me a pile of ten loose cigarettes in the morning which I would chain-smoke before I got busy with housework. I saved one cigarette to smoke just before he arrived home from work. I’d greet him at the door enthusiastically while I’d reach for the pack of cigarettes he always carried in his front shirt pocket.
I quit several times over the years, but I always picked up the smoking habit again. Maybe not as a compulsive smoker, I became more open about it, especially around other smoking adults.
During my mid-twenties, I began to attend Bible Study groups in my neighborhood. These were people who found organized religion lacking for various reasons. Our self-ordained minister, Bob Devilbus, lead a Bible study and prayer group in our neighborhood on a weekly basis. During one group meeting, I attended a prayer group in which Rev. Bob helped a young woman named Nancy quit smoking.
As was Rev. Bob’s custom when he prayed for someone, he and Nancy stood in the middle of a circle of seated friends. Nancy had requested the prayer to help her quit smoking because she had been unable to do so on her own.
Bob took Nancy through a series of imaginative steps to bring her to a place where she could put down cigarettes and not have to pick them up again. He asked her to close her eyes and reach back in her memory to the moment she picked up her very first cigarette. He then asked her to describe what had been going on in her life and her feelings at the time she lit that first cigarette. Nancy remembered she had just been dumped by a boyfriend and felt that “the rug had been pulled out from under her”, in other words, she felt betrayed and heartbroken.
Bob then encouraged Nancy to actually feel these emotions in present day, the feelings she had avoided by turning to smoking. Through sobbing and tears, Nancy expressed and then came to the end of her feelings of abandonment, disappointment, and disillusionment.
Bob then had Nancy imagine that Jesus was standing with her, holding her hand, healing the hurt. When the prayer session was over Nancy was over the old, hidden hurt, and no longer desired a cigarette. She was able to stop smoking without any difficulty or withdrawal symptoms.
Years later when I started smoking again and came to the point when I was ready to stop I wanted to stop again, I remembered this process I’d witnessed Rev. Bob leading Nancy through.
I decided to try prayer therapy for myself by working this technique alone. I sat quietly alone in my home, searched my memory for the time I had picked up smoking again. I determined it had to do with some feelings of sadness that I felt I couldn’t cope with. * I smoked instead of crying. I was pacifying my sadness by not allowing myself to experience these feelings. When I was ready, I allowed myself to cry and feel the deep sadness and talked my way through the feelings in prayer. The emotions began to disperse and I was left with a refreshed feeling of hope and power. I expressed my gratitude in prayer. I stopped smoking in that moment and did not experience any withdrawal symptoms or cravings. I was free from smoking for good. It has been over 30 years now, and I have not turned to cigarettes again.
I would like to share with you the steps you can use with the prayer approach to quitting smoking just as Bob had done with Nancy, and I had done through my own prayer work.
• Sit quietly and pray silently or offer an affirmation for the success of your endeavor.
• Reach back in your memory (I found that a meditative state is almost like self-hypnotism.) If you are unable to recall the first incident of smoking, ask in prayer it be revealed to you. If nothing comes, wait until you have an indication to attempt this process again, perhaps at a time when you feel spiritually inspired and especially grateful and full of love. Love is a great healer. I also found that journaling about my life often leads me to revelations about myself that I hadn’t consciously been aware of previously, so you may have luck refreshing your memory with journaling.
• When you have recalled the first time you picked up the cigarette, you will recognize the feelings that caused you to pacify or energize yourself with a cigarette, so go into that memory with all your senses and open your heart and mind to the emotions of that memory. Then, asking in prayer for guidance, help or protection, go right ahead and feel those feelings. They may crying, or anger, or fear, but remind yourself that these feelings are in the past, that you have moved on, and nothing in this session can really hurt you. As you continue, describe the feelings and thoughts behind them to yourself. You may address them to your Higher Power, voice them to yourself aloud, or write on a sheet of paper they pass through you. At some point, you will reach a blank in which nothing more will come.
• Instead of reaching for a cigarette to quiet the emotion that you’ve uncovered, imagine that your spiritual guide–your guardian angel or the Christ, Holy Spirit, or Divine Mother as you prefer--is with you, holding your hand and know that you are not facing the challenge of quitting alone.
• Pray in your own style: short or long, personal or general. I find that thanking God is a way to release something, in this way I can accept my highest good from any situation even seemingly “bad” ones. You may have some favorite Bible quotations that apply, “...in all things give thanks” or “all things work together for good.” Accept your healing by believing that what you have asked in prayer is done, feeling the thanks and gratitude that it is the truth for you now.
• Release is the final step of prayer. Release sets you free from the temptation to pick up the “fight” again. If the process is not complete and you find yourself in a struggle with craving, smoking or withdrawal, feel free to repeat this process until it feels complete. You may find there was more than one reason you turned to smoking, so a series of releases for each set of emotions may be beneficial.
*My critiquer said I should tell why I was so sad and started smoking again. I will here, I had just found out my ex-husband had been fooling around on me. I was crushed. However, it was a long time ago, and the poor man died a few years ago--at 57!!! He started smoking when he was 7 years old. Sad but true. I'm happily married to a never-smoker now for 18 years. YAY. And I haven't had a smoke since the time I used this method. Over 30 years ago. Whoa. So it works! Sandy
Monday, March 13, 2006
In September 1945, Kisarasu, in war-torn Japan, an 11-year old girl named Natstu was ready to start school. At a local store, she eyed the only two yellow pencils the store had left. She needed the pencils badly, but due to post war inflation, the price was just too high. Then two American service members walk into the store. She had never seen G.I.s before, let alone African-American G.I.s. Out of the goodness of their hearts, they purchased the two yellow pencils for Natsu. She was so happy and never ever forgot the generosity of those Americans. Now, over 60-years later in Las Vegas, Nevada Natsu, shares that same experience with her 11-year old grand daughter.
It is my turn to return that good deed. I am MSgt Douglas L. Webster and along with my Commander, Lt Col Kathryn Kolbe and our entire Military Transition Team, we are appealing to all those who are able to help. The schools in Nasiriyah, Iraq are war torn and poorly furnished. The students need simple, basic school supplies such as: notebooks, folders, crayons, rulers, round-end scissors, erasers, glue sticks, soccer balls, jump ropes, and of course, pencils and pencil sharpeners. Please do not send food or money.
We appreciate your assistance. Thank you and Semper Fidelis. Please send packages to the following address NO LATER THAN -- 31 Mar 06.
Military Transition Team
c/o “Operation School Supplies”
CMATT Base Support Unit
APO AE 09331
Saturday, March 11, 2006
Gerard Butler, Scottish actor, who has starred in several movies and been either supporting or bit actor in NUMEROUS other movies and British TV movies, as well as appearing on the stage in his early acting career... has a name that Americans are murdering.
His name is NOT Gah-RARD.
He hates that, and his fans hate to hear that.
He is GER-ahh-rd with a very slight sound on the 'r', almost like Jarod in America.
Like Gerald, except it Gerard. Say it JARE-ahhh(r)d
Please, if you blankety-blank tv announcers and talk show hosts can't say Gerard with the proper Scottish pronunciation, call him Gerry. Please.
You don't call Ralph Fiennes: Ralll-FFFFFFF. He is Raef. Not Fee-N-iss. It Fines. Raef Fines.
So it GER-ahd Butler. Like Gerald without the L.
Please learn to say it right because you and all of us around the world are going to see more and more of him on the big screen. He has graduated from supporting and bit parts (playing murder victims, for gosh sakes, who bite the dust in the first reel.) NO, he is the Title Role Star.
Dracula 2000, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA for godsakes. He has a HUGE fan following. Millions of women and girls and a few boys and men are madly in love with this star.
For their sakes, say his name right.
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Extremely Short Stories for Busy People ABC 123
by Sandy Schairer
Anthology of humorous flash fiction--26 stories each starting with a different letter of the alphabet, plus a bonus of five stories each starting with numbers 1 through 5.
NOW ON SALE
$10.00 plus $2.00 shipping and handling (includes tax)
Easy to read. G-rated
You will LOVE this book !
Published by InstantPublisher 2005
Contact SandyLiz@juno.com now to order
I do believe we can affect our bodily condition with our thoughts. Our thoughts are always our choice because they are based on our perception and that is also choice. We can choose to see things as terrible, or see them as okay. We can talk ourselves into feeling angry or sad as well as happy and contented depending on what we elect to "see."
A clinical RN told me once that emotions are triggered by a certain thought and they run through your mind for about three minutes. If you do not think another triggering thought, the bout of emotion is over like a little thunderstorm. However, if you sit there and allow the bad feelings to conjure up more thoughts of sad circumstances, you can string a lot of sad "3-mintes" together.
Not withstanding, I do not believe that we entirely create our own reality with our thinking. Truth be told, there is only one Reality and it is God. Our understanding, thoughts, feelings, experiences, education and choices determine our comprehension of that one reality. We can perhaps determine if we go through a sudden downpour of rain, that it's perfectly fine to run and get wet but your positive or negative thoughts don't control whether rain is wet and if it gets on you, you become wet.
One is viewpoint and related to truth--higher or lower truth, and the other is just a fact of nature or physical science (in other words the body level or material part of existence.)
We can cuss about getting wet or we can accept it and not create a bad feeling about the rain. Just deal with it.
The same holds true for illness, sickness or even injury. If we truly believe that our thoughts and feelings create our situation--even the physical--it doesn't necessarily mean that we are spiritually off base and need a psychic tune-up or a prayer for cleansing.
For instance, falling and breaking your arm may not have anything to do with your thoughts about God and the nature of reality, it might just mean that you THOUGHT that you could run on a wet surface without falling. If you get a cold, it might mean that you THOUGHT you could be in the same space and time with germs (who, by the way, are living entities and part of the same Wholeness of the Universe that we are.) It doesn't mean that we have been blasphemous or lax in our devotions or other such nonsense that went out of style after the Inquisition.
Germs and microbes evolved on this planet (or plane of existence, if you will) the same time mankind was developing into a higher sentient beings. They definitely have their job to do. They were given the mission to eat dead or dying tissue, basically, so we wouldn't be up to our knees in decaying matter. They eat the dead leaves, the birds that fall out of the
sky from heart failure. AND, since our tissues are continually sloughing off and dying so to speak as new tissue is generated and grown in its place, it might just be that germs get a little confused now and then and bite into adjoining tissue.
The symptoms of so-called illness are really the by-products of the miraculous body's attempt to toss out the invaders and reclaim the territory for us.
And since "all things work together for good, for those that believe..." then perhaps we ought to take a more gleeful approach to illness.Consider the fact it gets you out of school or work so you can get a much-needed rest (that you have perhaps been avoiding taking in your busy schedule.)
If the body is the temple of God, and Christ lives within as our piece of God and personal spirit, that part of us is always okay. Our soul can even be okay most of the time if we just declare it to be. I would like to propose that we declare catching something and feeling sick for a while is also okay for our little temples of God. Trust the body's wisdom. Declare that all is well.
Jesus Christ did that when he went to Lazarus's tomb and COMMANDED that Lazarus come forth after he was dead four days. If Lazarus was allowed to be resting completely dead for four days, I am sure Jesus would cut us some slack and let us rest and nurse our colds for a few days.
I am suffering from a nasal and throat infection (back in Nov.) and I, me, myself that lives in my body are all fine.
In fact, inside my body I am a thin, youthful, energetic, & sexy woman,regardless of what the mirror tells me.
The truth is, dear reader, that in the physical world anything and everything can happen--we are never safe. And in the spiritual world, where our souls live and move and have our being inside of God, nothing can possibly happen to us that isn't good from Good, we are always safe.
Now I am going to go rest my 60-year-old temple of God since I am at least one or two of the seven dwarfs today: Sneezy and Dopey and probably Grumpy.
Sandy Schairer, Ph.D., D.D., Metaphysician
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Extremely Short Stories for Busy People ABC 123
by Sandy Schairer
NOW ON SALE
$10.00 plus $2.00 shipping and handling (includes tax)
Contact SandyLiz@juno.com NOW to order
Once Upon a Blue Moon e-anthology of short short stories available at e-bookstore www.fearofwriting.com
A Thousand Years Ago my story in The Devil's Darning Needle collected works by Santa Fe Writing Group--FREE E-Book at www.fearofwriting.com e-bookstore
I studied Carl Jung rather what someone wrote about Jung, and the theory that we are either intellectual with an emotional back, or emotional with a intellectual back. (In drinking terms, “back” means second or secondary, like washing down a jigger of whiskey with a glass of water.)
Jung was speaking of the soul, not bourbon. But…
His theory was that we spend most of our time in our primary state—either intellectual or emotional—and draw on our secondary state of being as needed. But, he also felt that we use our secondary state of mind to contact the Divine and God. For instance we might understand the concept of God in intellect but make a connection to Spirit or the Higher Consciousness or Divine Cosmos (God) within our emotions. Or vice versa.
Since I read that I have been trying to figure out if I am an emotion based being with intellectual tendencies, or an intellectural being with emotions. I’m stumped. I think I am both—they say women can draw upon both “hemispheres” of the brain at the same time more easily than men—and the theory is that the left-side of the brain is the seat of reason and logic and intellect, while the right side of the brain is for emotions, inspiration, feeling, creativity, etc.
Of course “real” psychologists don’t believe that. It’s a "new age" theory.
Anyway, I prefer my intellect, I like staying in mind—language, thinking, reasoning, logic…and that leads to suspect I am avoiding emotions and feelings because they are my secondary mental state—tho why I am avoiding them, I don’t know. Life hurts sometimes. SIGH. But if Carl Jung was right, This is where I will be actually contacting the Divine Beingness and spirituality, in my feelings on the emotional level.
Anyway, I ran across a word recently that intrigues me. Panentheism. Now pantheism is something I had heard of. It’s when the divine is considered to be inside of everything—like in nature—God’s spirit dwells in trees and even rocks. Very ancient, maybe even caveman roots to this theory—but I didn’t realize that it also means, God is ONLY inside of things. So Panentheism is a word that describes God as within and without. Sort of like: The Divine is within me, but I am also within the Divine. God is out there somewhere, but also inside my own mind or soul or spirit (as you will.)
I can buy that. I do not subscribe to the theory that God is only out there somewhere, up in Heaven or someplace else. That is dualism and a whole other topic.
In my church we address God at the beginning of prayers as “Mother-Father God” acknowledging that God is not just Daddy but also Mommy. Or rather not strictly male or female. That the Creator is combined masculine and feminine divinity.
It is interesting to note that the Bible names God at the beginning of time (Judeo-Christian history) as Jehovah which is translated as YAHWEH in Hebrew. (I am not sure of the spelling since ancient Hebrew didn’t have vowels.) YAHWEH means male/female. The creator is male/female combined or Mother/Father God.
The symbol of the Hebrew religion is a six pointed star, two triangles overlapping--one pointing up, one pointing down. It is interesting to note that separately the triangle pointing up is the ancient symbol for male, and the triangle pointing down is the ancient symbol for female. So the symbol is YAHWEH—Mother/Father God.
This was a revelation to me. I am having difficulty thinking of God as Mother and Father both and still being ONE GOD. But today I related that to the inner God and outer God concept. God outside of me is the Father, and God within me is Mother. I like that. For other people, it might be the opposite, just as some may relate to God more in the masculine or intellectual “Father,” and some with feminine or emotional “Mother.”
I have never had trouble believing God as a Trinity. Since I have the two “persons” of God now…Father and Mother (CREATOR and HOLY SPIRIT?) … I have not come to a revelation about the Third part of God yet. I have a lot of intellectual ideas about that—but nothing has been revealed to me on my emotional side yet—the place where I don’t just think I know God, but where I feel the Presence of God. ~~~
Monday, March 06, 2006
- "The Vatican's chief exorcist yesterday claimed the Harry Potter stories could lead children into Satanism."
- "Last week a catholic priest [who will remain unnamed here] urged Catholics to boycott the movie Da Vinci Code."
First it was the idea that movies are too sexual, then they’re too violent. That is, of course a matter of opinion and many cases it’s true. A movie-goer can plunk their movie down for anything on celluloid and sit through some pretty awful stuff out there. But a thinking person knows better and can decide what is offensive and what is just plain “not good” in the matter of script, plot, premise, and acting.
Neither warning about sex and violence has changed the movie industry much. (In fact, now we have violent and sexual video games and escalating sexuality and violence on television.)
In America, at least, people are allowed to think for themselves and decide what they want to watch and have the right to avoid watching what they don’t want to watch. YAY Democracy.
I don’t like graphic violence in movies; I think if it is integral to the plot it can be done with less gross, icky images. Yuk. On the other hand, I love CSI and remind myself when they show icky stuff having to do with insides of dead bodies—it’s FAKE. Also, I always have the right to close my eyes, turn off the tube, or walk out of the theater, if I haven’t decided to stay home and not go into a theater in the first place. No one is forcing me to go. So why do I need someone to force me not to go?
After attacking violence and sex, now we have the moral-watchdogs of the world telling us what movies not to see because they contain differing viewpoints of spirituality, religion, and thought provoking philosophical theory.
The most important thing to realize is that these movies are FICTION. They are based on made-up things out of the imagination. They aren’t real and they aren’t true!!!!
Where is the threat there? That movies will encourage people to imagine the “wrong things?” Are we to believe God doesn’t want us to use our brains for thinking and imagining? Must everything be work, work, repent, repent, close your mind, don’t think, don’t feel, and avoid entertainment, don’t escape reality for a couple hours, and turn your back on merriment?
Harry Potter uses the venue of MAGIC—such as the guy that gets up on the stage with a pointed hat, waves a “magic” wand, says abracadabra, and makes a rabbit appear out of a hat! There is absolutely NOTHING in Harry Potter series that shows him and his friends doing evil or worshiping Satan. In fact, they spend 3- or 4- hundred page fighting evil. It’s FICTION. DUH.
Da Vinci code is a suspense thriller and murder mystery. Again, the good guy goes around fighting the bad guys. It’s FICTION. DUH.
As a point of fact, almost ALL fiction portrays the fight between good and evil, and the development and growth of the character’s souls, to either a higher level or to a failure (which can teach people something, too.) There is just nothing else worth writing about except maybe wildlife—and even that is a constant struggle of survival over difficult and harsh circumstances of nature. Animals eat each other and eat plants that are alive, too. SO? Didn’t God want everthing to survive by eating?
Why are these two movies being singled out as evil influences? What about movies like What the Bleep Do We Know? This movie is obviously not Catholic. It attempts align spirituality with science--showing that both topics can be examined with open-minds. It brings up more questions than answers. It obviously aims to make the audience THINK about things. That’s all. It doesn’t pretend to teach universal truth written in stone that you’d better believe OR ELSE!!
What about the Bible? The stories in there contain violence and sexuality as well as people that dare to think and act for themselves. If Moses hadn’t killed someone and run off into the desert and married a woman from another race, the Jews might still be wandering around in the wilderness. (Oh, yeah, I forgot—the Catholic Church would rather their members NOT read the Bible but let the clergy interpret God for them. Have to have that go-between at all costs…can’t connect with Spirit directly. The Gnostics tried that and the church ran them out of business in the Year One.)
Thank God democracy hasn’t condemned thinking and spirituality along with pretend sexuality, enactments of violence, and discussion of alternative religions/viewpoints. Not yet any way. (I can see it coming if the so-called conservatives stay in power—they want to take the country back into the good old days—like the period when we burned people at the stake or their political and religious views? But that’s another topic for another blog. I ought to get to that before the government starts reading every single word put on the Internet. Wow, that’s going to create more government jobs than the building of Hoover Dam!)
You can still find all kinds of movies and TV shows that twist your mind into knots—but the freedom comes from being a discerning viewer, deciding for yourself what’s thought-provoking and inspirational and what’s evil and trash. Theoretically, watching portrayals of opposite beliefs can strengthen a person’s belief system and make them turn to it in a new and powerful way.
Letting good church members see what’s available out there in the world, can potentially teach them how to weed out the influences they don’t want to expose themselves (and their children) to. If the church tells people not to expose themselves to a variety of entertainment, it is any different than telling them NOT to think and decide for themselves? In that case, wouldn’t their actual “decision” for church rather suspect? What is it based on if not thought and choice?
I'm just wondering what gives religious groups the audacity to claim exclusive rights to everyone’s mind and soul? And to decide that certain individuals have a monopoly on what is true or not?
When aliens finally land on Earth, are all the various churches going to rush out and SAVE them? Does Christianity have an exclusive right to every being in the Universe? What if alien people (if they exist) know more about God and Heaven and spirituality than we do or have a greater awareness that we could learn from—such as peace and harmony and love?
If something can afford us a closer walk with the bliss that a relationship with the Creator can give us, what would be wrong with that? Finding joy and love and peace and unity and all those qualities spirituality aims to give human beings would be wrong HOW?
Next time you go to a movie, remember, “It’s just a MOVIE. It’s FAKE. And it designed to be FUN.” Think for yourself. Examine your beliefs. Exercise your discernment and discretion. There is plenty of choice out there for everyone in the movie world. Pick your favorite but let your neighbor pick his favorite.
What was it Augustine, the Christian Mystic said, “Love God and do as you will?”
I say that, too. Amen.
Saturday, March 04, 2006
3721 Morris, NE, Albuquerque NM 87111 (505) 265-9485 FAX: (505) 265-9483
Open to adults and students. Annual contest (entry fee). Established 1982.
Purpose of contest: To encourage writers of all genres, writing fiction and non-fiction for adults and children, including poetry and screenplays.
SWW organization cost: $60/year and offers two monthly programs (first Sat. and 3rd Tues.) plus 3 to 4 all day conferences per year (fee), numerous 2-3 hour workshops (fee) and an awards banquet. The critique service is open to members and non-members. See website for contest information and organization/event info.
E-Mail: SWWriters@juno.com Website: www.southwestwriters.org
Friday, March 03, 2006
It’s my opinion that people come into their adult mind and awareness when they are 10-years-old. I met by best friend when we were ten years old the fist day of 5th grade. That’s 50 years ago now.
I distinctly remember being aware of everything in the world, myself, and others from a grown-up point of view that is not much different than my adult mind now. I wasn’t as knowledgeable then as I am now, but that’s a matter of education and knowledge. A person can still be uneducated and unknowing at a much older age and have an expanding awareness at a much younger age.
It’s also my opinion that people are fully grown at age 15. They know this instinctively. Our forefathers were starting new countries in their teen years, protesting tea taxes and fighting red-coated armies.
Unfortunately, our society tries to keep these teen-agers as children until they are 18 or 21, which is the cause of much of their rebellion and acting-out in institutions and at home. People want to claim their independence, make their own decisions, learn from their own mistakes and embark on a voyage of doing and learning—even if trial and error is difficult and painful.
We used to send kids into the army involuntarily (even during peace time) which gave them time to grow up and toughen up and make them realize the rat race begins with survival instincts. Now, we don’t draft kids into the military. As a result, they are not having their lives placed in danger by outside forces. As a result, I think they are setting up their own life-and-death struggles to “prove” themselves and make a right of passage into adulthood. Unfortunately, it’s by using drugs, drinking and driving, speeding on freeways, getting into gangs, creating domestic violence situations.
I don’t have any solutions to suggest. Are people only grown-up when they face a life or death situation? Are they grown up when they start to think and reason, or realize that they are a thinking entity? Or come to a realization that they have an immortal soul? Are they grown up when they say they are? Or when their parents say they are? Or the schools, the military, the employers? Are they only grown-up when the government legislates that they are? I really don't know.
Care to comment? Please post a comment on my blog. Thanks, Sandy Schairer
I'm a writer and a published author. I have been a member of SouthWest Writers organization for about 13 years. I have served on the board of directors of this non-profit organization from 2003 through the present and am currently the secretary.
I am also a member of Romance Writers of America and it's local chapter Land of Enchantment Romance Authors: LERA.
I am also a current member of Association for Research and Enlightenment, the org. that is based on the Edger Cayce teachings. (I may renew, maybe not.)
I received my PhD in Metaphysics from American Institute of Holistic Theology in April of 2005. So -- I am a metaphysician who understands and offers support in the areas of holistic health and spirituality.
I am also an ordained minister from Universal Life Church with an honorary Doctor of Divinity with that organization (website.) I am a member of Unity Church in Edgewood NM. after 40 years of studying & trying nearly all relgions and all forms of spirituality.
I am the author of an e-book Once Upon a Blue Moon on fearofwriting.com. I'm the author of Extremely Short Stories for Busy People ABC 123, which is for sale for $10 plus $2 shipping and handling from email@example.com. Please consider sending for your copy today so you can see a sample of my writing. It is humorous flash fiction.
I am so glad to meet everyone and to be accessible on the internet. I promise to respect everyone's privacy and to practice common internet etiquette, and expect the same loving and fair treatment from everyone else.
Hello to my friends and family!
Love and Light, Sandy Schairer in New Mexico