Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Adam Was Slowered...

...Bear with me, my mind is going a hundred miles an hour.  I've been reading at several places lately. Among them are are Gary Sigler's site and his message board, (Heart to Heart), a site called Stones of Fire with the writings of the recently deceased Floyd Watson, a writing by Tony Salmon that I stumbled upon via google on a site called Koinonia and a bunch of other cyber hits here and there.  The sites are all written from a Christ in you, Christ as you, mistaken identity kind of perspective.  They are all from a "Christian" paradigm.  I really don't know where this is going or even how to begin to organize the thoughts and ideas whirling though my head.  Snippets here, snippets there...oh this would be cool to write about...and this...and this....oh and this too!!!! Yes...Keith told me about this a long time ago (was not ready to hear it then) Oh...I heard so and so preach about this...YES!!  That is what God said to me last night as I read the Bible.  Geeez.  Talk about sensory overload!!

So anyway...where to begin.  Well, one thing I saw mentioned on several of the sites was this energy slowed down thing. 

In his essay The Forbidden Tree, Tony Salmon talks about Adam being "slowered." That term is kind of catchy, don't ya' think? It deals with energy and vibrations...being slowed down enough to plunge our spiritual being into this physical realm.  Tony Salmon says it this way:

Adam was LOWERED into this dense world of time, space, and matter. Literally, he was SLOWERED into this realm. The spirit-energy of Adam's light being began vibrating on a lower frequency in order for Adam to appear in physical form. God tells Adam NOT to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and that in the day he did eat from it, he would die. God in essence is saying, "Adam, you have always been 'luciferic' in nature - you have always been a being of light - completely one with Me. Now I AM going to experience a new dimension, I AM going to lower Myself in you, as you, and become part of a strange and different environment known as time and space. This will be a journey into a far country, foreign to anything you have ever experienced. I will give you an inheritance for this journey, a terrestrial body that will be suited for this journey. This experience will be so different that you will imagine that I have abandoned you, but this I could never do, for you are Me, and I AM you. I will be hiding within your vessel until the memory returns of who it is that you are, and where you came from. And Adam, you must never view what you experience in that far country as good and evil because knowledge of good and evil will kill you." 

My friend annie talks about "the infinite individualized as us."  Okay.  Lynn Hiles, who is a bit more of a traditional finished work of the cross traveling ministry from West Virginia, envisions God "high five-ing" him and saying, "Boy did I ever have a hoot in your  body."  Or as Tony Salmon says above...

I AM going to lower Myself in you, as you, and become part of a strange and different environment known as time and space.

An article on the Stones of Fire website (written by

Allan Dinall

Albert Einstein saw this in his equation E=mc2. We are all energy slowed down to become visible but if sped up times the speed light, times the speed of light we become pure light or energy again. The Bible calls it the temporal realm, which is things that are seen are not eternal but the things that are not seen are eternal. James 1: 17 says, "He is the Father of LIGHTS."

And in another writing called, "A Letter To My Children" he says:

There was a time when man was pure, spiritual being, when he lived entirely from within himself, when his thoughts always remained at the center of his being, and life flowed out from within---ideas came from within, means of action came from within, and whenever there was an apparent need, all that he had to do was to close his eyes, go within, and let it come forth into expression.” Now we must find again our source of life…IT IS WITHIN where we find the garden of Life our peace, our joy, our strength, our happiness and out true life. It’s called the Kingdom of God.

Floyd Watson seems to think we were lowered into this realm to learn

..... we ALL are spirits having a human experience.

The thing that this life is about is the development of our consciousness….that’s why we are here. Earth is but a speck of dust cast on the wings on the Milky Way galaxy which is just one of millions of galaxies. So we see this earth life is but a school to learn.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Now go do the right thing....

OMG...Somebody please tell me I didn't just use one of Dr. Laura's catch phrases as the title to this post. I did, didn't I? 

As my friend Dena might say, EW, YUCK....Dog germs.....

I started this post last night...and this morning during my blissful, quiet, "even though my mind is going a thousand miles an hour" early morning web carousing, I was thinking about this post and Dr. Laura's quote came to mind. 

Now go do the right thing....

It occurs to me that sometimes we don't know the right thing to do because our "ears" are not attuned enough to our inner guidance system (the Christ in you, the hope of Glory) to hear.  The answers are within us, but sometimes we need to read them or hear them or see them with our physical senses...before the spiritual kicks into gear, gives us a high five and we know what we've read is truth.  It is that quickening thing. 

So yesterday I was click, click,clicking my mouse, merrily following links like clues in a treasure hunt. Who knows where you will end up when you embark upon a treasure hunt.  Well, I ended up at the Principle Driven Consulting Website.  It is the website of Guy Harrison, a recovering engineer.  I'm not sure what the recovering stuff is all about but for an overview of his insightful writings/services/views check out his  Lenses on Squiddo.  Although his official website has a slant toward business management, many of the writings offer advice that fits very well within the context of family and interpersonal relationships.  In fact, he has several "lenses" devoted to advice concerning family relationships and parenting.

One of his articles that I found really interesting dealt with listening.  We all think we do...listen....but most of us don't really.  Our minds are a hundred miles away.  We are oft times figuring out what our witty reply is going to be...or we may be going through a mental list of things we have to do today while we pretend to be paying attention.  Not surprisingly those are both no-no's when it comes to listening. 

Way back in May of 2006, Harrison wrote a short article called, "Listen More, Speak Less."  He lists and explains the following five principles

1. Listen to understand, not to respond

2. Be quiet

3. Let them finish their thoughts

4. Maintain eye contact

5. Ask questions to ensure that you understand

Check out the article for details about each of these points.

Two other articles that I want to mention deal with conflict resolution.  Along with just about everyone else who is breathing, there are pockets of conflict in my life...some more intense than others. I would like to learn how to respond in a way that de-escalates the conflict...rather than in a way that pours gasoline on an already roaring flame.  How To Keep Your Cool During a Conflict is a Squiddo Lense that offers suggestions on how to do just 

About halfway down this page there is short writing called How to Give A SOLID Response. I am copying and pasting part of it below

Stop everything. Do not say or do anything. Resist the urge to speak. Stop your internal dialogue that immediately labels the other person as "wrong."

What is the other person saying with their body language? What is their tone? Are they angry or are they hurt?

Listen carefully to their words. What is their intended meaning? Does what they say have merit? What is their perception? Even if you disagree with their interpretation of events, you will need to understand it before you respond.

Evaluate what you have learned from Stopping, Observing, and Listening. Make a thoughtful interpretation of their intended meaning. Give yourself the time to think about what you will say or do next.

Deliver your response. To resolve a conflict, they also need to know what you are thinking. Hopefully your conscious effort to listen to them before you speak will do two things: give you time to think clearly and show that you care about their concerns.

Another writing that I thought might help... is called  Seven Ways to Improve Your Communication During a Conflict. Among the points made in this article

1. Focus on behaviors and not on your interpretations

2. Avoid the use of “always” and “never”
3. Use “I” statements
4. Say what you want rather than what you don’t want
5. Beware of your non-verbal messages
6. Apologize for your contribution

7. Give them a chance to speak

If we stopped to ponder it, we could probably figure out most of these principals. but the author gives us this foolproof, bulleted list and offers his unique perspective in an interesting, engaging way. There are  a lot of other resources available on his site and on Squiddo that in a very clear, practical way just might help to start the leavening process that might someday lead to world peace.....

Saturday, December 27, 2008

One of the best presents is absolutely free...

I came upon the following article on Gary Sigler's message board.  Someone posted it there.  It made me cry...but being the cyber cynic that I am, I check most things out before I buy into it hook, line and sinker.  I typed the names of the two football teams mentioned in this column by Rick Reilly.  One of the first links took me to the original article on the ESPN web site.  Okay...that's enough proof for me.  And as a for sure true story, it is all the more touching.  I am copying and pasting it in its entirety below.


They played the oddest game in high school football history last month down in Grapevine, Texas.

It was Grapevine Faith vs. Gainesville State School and everything about it was upside down. For instance, when Gainesville came out to take the field, the Faith fans made a 40-yard spirit line for them to run through.

Did you hear that? The other team's fans?

They even made a banner for players to crash through at the end. It said, "Go Tornadoes!" Which is also weird, because Faith is the Lions.

It was rivers running uphill and cats petting dogs. More than 200 Faith fans sat on the Gainesville side and kept cheering the Gainesville players on—by name.

"I never in my life thought I'd hear people cheering for us to hit their kids," recalls Gainesville's QB and middle linebacker, Isaiah. "I wouldn't expect another parent to tell somebody to hit their kids. But they wanted us to!"

And even though Faith walloped them 33-14, the Gainesville kids were so happy that after the game they gave head coach Mark Williams a sideline squirt-bottle shower like he'd just won state. Gotta be the first Gatorade bath in history for an 0-9 coach.

But then you saw the 12 uniformed officers escorting the 14 Gainesville players off the field and two and two started to make four. They lined the players up in groups of five—handcuffs ready in their back pockets—and marched them to the team bus. That's because Gainesville is a maximum-security correctional facility 75 miles north of Dallas. Every game it plays is on the road.

This all started when Faith's head coach, Kris Hogan, wanted to do something kind for the Gainesville team. Faith had never played Gainesville, but he already knew the score. After all, Faith was 7-2 going into the game, Gainesville 0-8 with 2 TDs all year. Faith has 70 kids, 11 coaches, the latest equipment and involved parents. Gainesville has a lot of kids with convictions for drugs, assault and robbery—many of whose families had disowned them—wearing seven-year-old shoulder pads and ancient helmets.

So Hogan had this idea. What if half of our fans—for one night only—cheered for the other team? He sent out an email asking the Faithful to do just that. "Here's the message I want you to send:" Hogan wrote. "You are just as valuable as any other person on planet Earth."

Some people were naturally confused. One Faith player walked into Hogan's office and asked, "Coach, why are we doing this?"

And Hogan said, "Imagine if you didn't have a home life. Imagine if everybody had pretty much given up on you. Now imagine what it would mean for hundreds of people to suddenly believe in you."

Next thing you know, the Gainesville Tornadoes were turning around on their bench to see something they never had before. Hundreds of fans. And actual cheerleaders!

"I thought maybe they were confused," said Alex, a Gainesville lineman (only first names are released by the prison). "They started yelling 'DEE-fense!' when their team had the ball. I said, 'What? Why they cheerin' for us?'"

It was a strange experience for boys who most people cross the street to avoid. "We can tell people are a little afraid of us when we come to the games," says Gerald, a lineman who will wind up doing more than three years. "You can see it in their eyes. They're lookin' at us like we're criminals. But these people, they were yellin' for us! By our names!"

Maybe it figures that Gainesville played better than it had all season, scoring the game's last two touchdowns. Of course, this might be because Hogan put his third-string nose guard at safety and his third-string cornerback at defensive end. Still.

After the game, both teams gathered in the middle of the field to pray and that's when Isaiah surprised everybody by asking to lead. "We had no idea what the kid was going to say," remembers Coach Hogan. But Isaiah said this: "Lord, I don't know how this happened, so I don't know how to say thank You, but I never would've known there was so many people in the world that cared about us."

And it was a good thing everybody's heads were bowed because they might've seen Hogan wiping away tears.

As the Tornadoes walked back to their bus under guard, they each were handed a bag for the ride home—a burger, some fries, a soda, some candy, a Bible and an encouraging letter from a Faith player.

The Gainesville coach saw Hogan, grabbed him hard by the shoulders and said, "You'll never know what your people did for these kids tonight. You'll never, ever know."

And as the bus pulled away, all the Gainesville players crammed to one side and pressed their hands to the window, staring at these people they'd never met before, watching their waves and smiles disappearing into the night.

Anyway, with the economy six feet under and Christmas running on about three and a half reindeer, it's nice to know that one of the best presents you can give is still absolutely free.


Arbinger Institute...a forerunner of change...

In my inbox on Christmas Day, I found an invitation to join an online group called the Arbinger Community - a path to peace both individually and globally. It was sent via a yahoo group called Lifestream Journey.  I was intrigued enough to visit the Community's website.  I joined...and poked around for a while. 

The Community mainly revolves around the discussion and philosophy of two books put out by the Arbinger Institute. 

Leadership and Self Deception: Getting Out of the Box

The Anatomy of Peace

My "welcome to the group" message included the following description of the books:

They are stories, really, short novels, if you will, where a main character (or many) are gradually introduced to the Arbinger philosophy and "language" for describing the root of conflict, and are given tools to change their skewed "Way of Being."

An excerpt from both books is available at the Arbinger home page.  I read the first chapter of The Anatomy of Peace...and I was intrigued by the storyline. The book is about two Arab Israeli and and a Jewish Israeli, both men lost their father in the Yom Kippur War of 1973. Somehow these two devout enemies managed to find their way to peace and friendship.

They operate a wilderness program for troubled teens called Camp Moriah. The excerpt describes the arrival of the families in conflict and begins to hint at some of the issues and areas of "violence" between the parents and the teen..and between the parents themselves.  I definitely felt a kinship with the parents because of what my family has been through the past several years with our troubled teen.  In fact, we even looked into wilderness programs when we were in desperation phase.

Somewhere else in my cyber journey yesterday, I came across some quotes from the book.  I will post them below.  They seem to fit in with my focus of late on peacekeeping.  I may order the book this weekend. 

"Most wars between individuals are of the 'cold' rather than the 'hot' variety---lingering resentment, for example, grudges long held, resources clutched rather than shared, help not offered. These are the acts of war that most threaten our homes and workplaces." 

"But like many who are lonely, I was more preoccupied with others than were those who lived to socialize...Everyone I hated was always with me, even when I was alone. They had to be, for I had to remember what and why I hated in order to remind myself to stay away from them."


"As painful as it is to receive contempt from another, it is more debilitating by far to be filled with contempt for another."


"So if we are going to find lasting solutions to difficult conflicts or external wars we find ourselves in, we first need to find our way out of the internal wars that are poisoning our thoughts, feelings, and attitudes toward others. If we can't put an end to the violence within us, there is no hope for putting an end to the violence without."


"In every moment...we choose to see others either as people like ourselves or as objects. They either count like we do or they don't."


"There is a question I have learned to ask myself when I am feeling bothered about others: am I holding myself to the same standard I am demanding of them?"


" conflict can be solved so long as all parties are convinced they are right. Solution is possible only when at least one party begins to consider how he might be wrong."

Photo by Stephen James By Stephen James

Friday, December 26, 2008

Violence in Aisle 5.....

I have been sort of haphazardly researching "peace" for the past few weeks. Pondering the way peace might fit into the grand scheme of things and how peace might fit into my own little corner of the world.  In a way, Google has set the pace by coming up with an eclectic mix of results gleaned from various search queries relating to peace.  The focus has been both far reaching, as in global, and up close and personal, as in our homes and our interactions with our families, at work with our coworkers...even at the grocery store.  I use the grocery store as a specific example because I found myself at the grocery store on December 24th at about 1:30....along with the rest of the population of Williamsport!! Only an idiot goes to the grocery store on the afternoon of Christmas Eve.

My intention was to get there early to buy some last minute things for Christmas brunch.  An overnight ice storm changed those plans.  At 7 am everything was covered with ice.  It was really nasty out so I postponed my trip.  So did everyone else. 

The store was a zoo.  There were carts and people everywhere...loitering (or so it seemed) in the aisles blocking the flow of traffic.  People going this way and that way.  Some were scurrying at breakneck speed.  Others were moving painstakingly slow.  Others were actually stopping to chat in the aisles.  Oh, come on now, get a move on.  It was amidst that confusion and congestion that the lady behind me clipped the back of my ankle  with her grocery cart...pulling  off my shoe!!  My reaction was not peaceful.  I was quite annoyed and appropriately sucked my teeth and shook my head. 

"Oh, did I hit you?" she asked in a matter of fact, I really don't give a crap way.  I didn't reply...didn't even look back at her.  Just continued on my mission to get to the next item on my list....shaking my head, sighling deeply  She, and all the other shoppers there yesterday, were simply an annoyance to me.GroceryShopping I looked at all of them as adversaries.

It occurs to me that I often do that in the grocery store.  My attitude is sort of, "get the hell out of my way and let me get this over with." Like why I'm there is more important than why they are there, my time is more valuable than theirs and that they simply owe me the courtesy of clearing the way as I head down the aisles.  Sort of road rage with a grocery cart :) 

So where does all this come from, I wonder?  From my ever constant preoccupation with time passing too quickly and my ever present awareness of all I want to accomplish? Not dwelling in the now for sure.  Not a peaceful (or practical) way to live either.  Peace on earth, goodwill to men?  How about just a little peace at Wegmans'? 

I came upon a quote in my Christmas Day web journeys...

If we can't put an end to the violence within us, there is no hope for putting an end to the violence without."

Here's a thought...perhaps world peace starts in places as mundane and ordinary as the grocery store? Sort of like leaven?

“The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.”

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry X-mas

I came upon this picture last year.  Somewhere, somehow.  I don't remembermerry Christmas.  Heck, I can't even remember how I came upon the treasures I found online this morning...let alone a year ago!!!!
I am posting it here today, in this years blog post because I think it captures a "different perspective" of the familiar lament of many Christians this time of year. 
"Christ is being taken out of Christmas." 
"It has become nothing more than a secular holiday." 
I agree, in many way it has. Preston Eby, a favorite author of my husband Keith, thinks "the sons of God" should shun Christmas altogether.  His views are expressed in his writing entitled "Five Reasons Why The Sons of God Should Not Celebrate Christmas"
Among his reasons?
1) Jesus was not born on December 25th!
2) Nowhere in the scripture or by the spirit of revelation has God commanded us to commemorate the birthday of our Lord!
3) Christmas is a Pagan, and not a Christian festival!
4) The Spirit of God has commanded us not to observe the ways or customs of the heathen!
5) "The "Christmas Story" is a lie!
Brian, a cyber friend of mine who has been on several on line groups with me over the past few years has written a post on his blog, The Beautiful Heresy that expresses a different view.  His post is called "Is Christmas Only For Christians?"
During the past few Christmas seasons, an email circulated around the internet, birthed, perhaps, in response to the controversial, much publicized policy of a few national chain stores that decided to eliminate "Merry Christmas" from the vocabularies of their employees...substituting the more generic "Happy Holidays" instead.  Many, many Christians got their panties all in a wad over that...boycotted some of the stores and in general made a big to do about nothing.  Anyway, I am posting the email below because I think it makes some really good points and gives some really good advice to those Christians who were so offended.
Dear Children,
It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My Son's name out of the season. Maybe you've forgotten that I didn't send my Son in December, it was some of your ancestors who decided to celebrate My Son's birthday at what was, in ancient times, a pagan festival; although, I do appreciate Jesus being remembered...anytime.
How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don't care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate Jesus' birth just,

If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting My Son's birth, then make room on your lawn for the nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all my followers did that there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.
Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all the trees. You can remember me anytime you see a tree.
Instead of fusing over trimmings and traditions, consider giving My Son one of the gifts below this Christmas…

1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.

2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don't have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.

3. Instead of writing George complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don't you write and tell him that you'll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up. It will be nice hearing from you again.

4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford and they don't need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.

5. Pick someone who's hurt you in the past, forgive them, and give them the gift of a future-free from the pain, shame, and guilt of yesterday's yuck.

6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don't know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile, it could make the difference. Also, you might consider supporting the local Hot-Line: they talk with people like that every day.

7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren't allowed to wish you a "Merry Christmas" that doesn't keep you from wishing them one.

8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary, especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard My name. You may already know someone like that.

9. Here's a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no "Christmas" tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. Be sensitive to the needs of others. A few cans of food or a simple gift can go along way towards good will on earth.

10. Finally if you want to make a statement about your belief in Me, then behave like a Christian. Don't do things in secret that you wouldn't do in My presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine.
Don't forget; I am God and can take care of Myself. Please, if you love me, love my children-all of them, especially the ones that challenge your traditions. I'll take care of all the rest.
Invite others to a Christmas festival that has more to do with eternity than all the trimmings and traditions of December 25th.
"Merry Christmas!" means: "I love you." - God

Wise men still seek him...Merry Christmas.....

I Say Thank You....

I came across the following writing on Gil Bailie's blog

He found it on a website called the Rhode Island Catholic 

I posted it on EU and several people were very touched so I thought I would post it here in its entirety.  I have a few comments that follow the writing.....


The boy who changed my life forever

Posted Nov 27, 2008


I was 19; Douglas was 13. Far more than six years seemed to separate us. I had just taken my first vows as a religious sister and was attending a small college in New York City.

I grew up in a large, happy family, had a good education, many friends and seemingly endless opportunities for choices in life. Douglas was in a large state institution, also in New York City, abandoned at birth, severely physically disabled, paralyzed from the neck down, and had spent his entire life in the same institution with little hope that anything would change in the future.

We met and my life was changed forever.

One day while walking to college with a few other equally young sisters, a car pulled over. A priest opened his window and asked, “How many of you are there?” I answered, “27,” knowing exactly what he meant by his question. There was a string of black-and-white garbed nuns walking to the same college. “I need religion teachers for people in the state institution,” he said hopefully.

A few days later the deal was set. Any who wanted could teach on Sunday morning at the largest state institution in New York. Two buses and an hour of travel got us to the site where 6,000 patients lived, many of them Catholic. I volunteered for the boys who couldn’t walk. A consequence of that fact was that while everyone else taught for 20 minutes and then took their class to Mass, I was left in Building 21 with 12 children in 12 wheelchairs for an hour and a half.

It didn’t take me long to arrange for the old men on walkers to leave their walkers and push a chair over to Building 3 for Mass. Life was good and God was better! I never had to teach, since it took me 20 minutes to get the boys to Mass and another 20 to get them back. We went all year, no matter the weather, until a brutal fall rainstorm hit one Sunday. The boys were sad; I was desperate. What could I possibly teach them?

I started, “God is not only in Building 3; God is right here in our Building 21 and in our hearts.” Douglas perked up and in his very halting, slow, measured voice said, “I already know that. I talk to God every day.”

I stopped mid-sentence and looked at this child, who was abandoned at birth, whose only home had been this institution, whose earthly possessions consisted of a few trinkets in a bag hanging on the back of his wheelchair, who needed help for every action in his life, who had neither family nor friends to visit him, who never had a birthday party or a trip outside Building 21 except for the hospital and Mass. I looked at this child and wondered. Hesitatingly, I asked Douglas, “When do you talk to God?”

Again the halting, struggling attempt to speak, “I talk to God every night before I go to sleep.”

I looked beyond Douglas and the other boys and stared out at the dormitory where bed after bed was lined up, all with identical white sheets and bedspreads, about 40 of them in rows. This was where Douglas slept; this was where Douglas talked to God.

“Douglas, if you want, will you tell us what you say to God every night?” The boys and I waited.

Douglas gave me his most radiant smile, tried to hold straight his unsteady head, and then spoke in a clear, steady voice for the first time I had ever heard. Douglas simply said, “I say, ‘Thank you.’”

Wow.  Really makes one stop and think.  And I am thinking that Douglas has found his oneness with God.  A distinct, clear, unmistakable revelation of the christ within, the hope of glory, his true essence.  The confines, the prisons, the disability and pain vanished in the light of his communion with God...and what was left to say but....thank you?

As a disclaimer, I should add that I am not nearly there yet.  Although my mind can barely...just barely....grasp what might have been so deep and so profound as to swallow up the bleakness of Douglas' life with the joy of the Lord, I am not ready to give up what I might have to give up to experience that.  The egoic mind clings tightly to what it perceives as its reality and its illusion of control. 

The scripture from 1 Peter comes to mind....

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time; casting all your anxiety upon him, because he careth for you.

Douglas must have had that all figured out....

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Not Only Does God Hate Obama...He Hates YOU, too. least according to an article on the James Russell Publishing web site.  Well, only if you are an unbeliever, a lukewarm believer, a hypocrite...or anyone who does not live up to the stringent standards God demands of us. 

For a warm and fuzzy read, written in a style reminiscent of Jonathan Edwards, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God....check out "God Hates You."  Wow, if that doesn't put you in the Christmas spirit nothing will.  It is an article that depth...the tortures of hell.  Talk about fire and brimstone.  Talk about the worm that dieth not. Talk about an author who has perverted the truth of our loving heavenly Father into a monster a million times worse than in the worst horror flicks you can remember. 

The sinner in hell will scream, wail and gnash his teeth in awful agonizing pain.  He will beg for water, just a tiny drop of water to ease his misery, but God will never extend mercy to this sinner.  No water will be forthcoming.  His thirst will remain unquenched.  This is punishment, not the humane society for poor sinners.  That is why it is called hell, it will be a living hell of torment, pain and suffering. It will be like holding your feet to the fire but you can't pull away.  The pain will deeply persist as the flames do its work.  This awful pain will not go away.  There will be no time of healing.  It will make you sick. 

The sinner will cry out for mercy and beg to repent from his sins so he can escape from hell, but God hates him so much He will keep him in hell for ever and ever.  Jesus said it would be a place of eternal punishment and the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever.

So much for "his mercy endureth forever."  Psalm 136 declares 26 times that God's mercy endures forever.  Yet this article declares that this torture goes on for 750 billion years goes on for 675 trillion years...and, of course that is only the beginning....because it is endless.  And God laughs and mocks the wicked in hell.  Give me a break.  Gag me with a spoon.  Give your head a shake.  This article gives Jonathan Edwards a run for his money.  And it is sad and obscene and absolutely ludicrous.   

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Human Nature in the Bible

I came upon another interest piquing book on the Sacred Texts website...written in 1922 by William Lyon Phelps. It is called Human Nature in the Bible. In the Introduction it explains about the Bible....

It is a revelation of divinity and of humanity; it contains the loftiest religious aspiration along with a candid representation of all that is earthly, sensual and devilish. I thoroughly believe in a university education for both men and women; but I believe a knowledge of the Bible without a college course is more valuable than a college course without the Bible. For in the Bible we have profound thought beautifully expressed; we have the nature of boys and girls, of men and women, more accurately charted than in the works of any modern novelist or playwright. You can learn more about human nature by reading the Bible than by living in New York.

I haven't read the book cover to cover...of should I say first cyber page to last cyber page...but I've "leafed" through it.  I remember once quite a while ago, Keith and I read through a lot of the Old Testament together.  When we read about Sampson I was incredulous that he played such an important part when he was such a jerk.  Keith pointed out that God uses imperfect people.  Duh.  Of course he does.  And isn't that good news for us?  It means he can also use us!!!! 

I imagine every nuance of human nature is portrayed in scripture. Every sin represented....every dastardly act, every sneaky, mean spirited personality, every act of selfish carnality.  There is much good there too, of course...yet the Bible does not sugarcoat human nature. 

Girard's teachings on mimesis and mimetic rivalry, reveal something even more sinister exposed in Scripture.  He claims the Bible is the only holy book/writing that reveals the scapegoating mechanism in humans.  It lays bares our propensity to sacrifice. (always another...very rarely ourselves) From subtle undertones in the OT to the full fledged revelation of Jesus as an innocent victim scapegoated by the crowd and the powers that be. 

This book also has a chapter on the Apocrypha...which looks interesting. 

In the intro he sums up the method of his writing and ultimate purpose for writing the book:

In this book I shall consider the Old Testament as a work of literature, revealing the grandeur, the folly, the nobility, the baseness of human nature. I shall not consider it primarily as "the history of the Hebrew people," for the Hebrew people are much like other people, having the same passions, impulses, purity, filth, selfishness and self-sacrifice that dwell side by side in the heart of every man and woman in the world. I shall consider it as I would a play, an essay, a novel, a poem. The characters in the Bible are just as real to me as Theodore Roosevelt. I shall therefore point out and try to interpret interesting and significant episodes and passages, with one hope in the back of my mind all the time--that those who read these pages will re-read the Bible with renewed zest.

Friday, December 19, 2008

In Other Words....

I have always liked the following quote by Tennyson -- even using part of it occasionally as a sort of mantra in my haphazard, fumbling version of centering prayer.

Speak to him, thou, for he hears

And spirit with spirit can meet....

Closer is he than breathing

And nearer than hands and feet.

Yesterday when I was looking through some of the categories on the World Scriptures – A Comparative Anthology of World Scriptures site, in the section labeled “Immanent and Near at Hand” I came across a scripture from the Quran that sums up that same sentiment, worded just a little differently.

We indeed created man; and We know what his soul whispers within him, and We are nearer to him than the jugular vein. 1. Islam. Qur'an 50.16

Perhaps not as poetic, but it certainly gets the same idea him we live and move and have our being. Nearer than the jugular vein...nearer than hands and feet. Closer than breath.

Bryon Katie speaks of the realization that she was “being breathed” rather than the way we usually look at it...that we are breathing. Are we really? It seems to me that it is not a conscious act (unless, of course, you have a stuffy nose...then we are oh so aware of each diminished breath!!!)

In Genesis it declares that God breathed the breath of life into man and he became a living soul.

In Job there are several references to our dependence upon God for our very breath....

Job 33:4 "The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

Job 12:10 speaks of God: In whose hand is the life of every living thing, And the breath of all mankind.

In Daniel 5:23 it refers to the God in whose hand are your life-breath and your ways

Take a breath. Pay attention to the sensation. Mind boggling that he could be closer than that!!! How could he be closer than breath? Closer than the jugular vein?

Psalm 139 says:

6Your knowledge of me is too deep; it is beyond my understanding. GNT

You can say that again!!

Okay, I will. This time from the NRS

6  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;  it is so high that I cannot attain it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

This Was My Lesson This Day....

Every now and then, I visit the Heart to Heart Message Board at Gary Sigler's site.  Yesterday there was a snippet of a post that stuck with me.  I found myself thinking about it several times throughout the day.  The post said, in part:

tell me child, what did you learn today from your heavenly Father's teaching in the wee small voice.....??????
what a great idea...
i saw this written and knew; this was my lesson this day.....

What struck me was the "this was my lesson this day...."

Sometimes when something is worded just a certain way, it grabs your attention.  Like quotes.  I've always been drawn to quotes because of the succinct way they encapsulate so many human emotions and situations and beliefs.  They bring a certain clarity to so many topics.   I have a notebook from 30 years ago where I've handwritten quotes that appealed to me.  I remember one really awkward, chunky book from the library that had all kinds of quotes...for all occasions, seasons and topics.  I didn't have the internet then (nor did anybody)...or google...or the hundreds (thousands?) of quote sites available on the world wide web.  Now, quotes about any topic I can think up are literally at my fingertips via the keyboard.  And copy and paste is so much less tedious than handwritten.

This might be a big "no brainer" for many people...but as I read the snippet it simply clarified that each day includes a lesson to be learned.  At least one...and possibly many.  And we simply need to look for the lesson.  At least one...every day.  Be it hum drum and mundane...or potentially life changing, there is a lesson to be learned each and every day.  Still, at 52 I am learning new lessons...some mundane lessons....that I probably should have learned years and years ago.

When I was trimming the Christmas tree the other day, it occurred to me that if I put the crystal icicles on the tree before the balls and keepsake trimmings (but after the lights and garland) it might be easier to get them spaced evenly.  The spacing of the icicles has bothered me for many Christmases.  After all these years and all those Christmas trees it finally dawned on me.


When my kids were younger, I would often ask them about their day...what is the best thing that happened to you today?  What is the worst thing that happened to you today?  I should have asked them about their lesson for the day...and helped them figure it out...whether the lesson had been something profound or mundane.  Perhaps I can still ask them...although I have a feeling they might roll their eyes at me at this point in the game.  But I fully intend to ask myself, as the day draws to a close....what was my lesson this day?  I am sure the answer might surprise me. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Complete Sayings of Jesus...

While cruising here and there on the WWW, a week or so ago...I came upon a nifty little book written back in 1927 by Arthur Hinds.  It's description follows.....



Assembled and Arranged in Sequence by


The Compiler's Purpose

THE shelves of the libraries and of the bookstores bend beneath the tomes of the sayings, the bare sayings, of all the other great men; but one will not find in library or bookstore, in any published book, the complete sayings of Jesus, the bare sayings in simple sequence, Christ's own words, separate.

¶This compiler's purpose has been to enable any reader, whether confirmed Christian or inquiring pagan, or a frankly detached, to get him a book of CHRIST'S OWN WORDS, "divested," so runs the title page, "of the context, excepting those brief portions of the gospel narratives retained to establish the place, the time, or occasion, or a question the reply to which is the Master's own answer."

Forward by Norman Vincent Peale

This book gives a panoramic concept of the thoughts and teachings of Jesus. And so grand and noble is the impression made upon the mind that the reader has an enhanced understanding of the purpose of this the greatest life ever lived. For mental stimulation, heartfelt comfort, and soul satisfaction, The Complete Sayings of Jesus is unique.


Quite a while ago, I remember a discussion we had on EU about the need for a compilation of the saying of Jesus.  How better to become a "red letter" Christian than to have the words of Jesus at our fingertips.  We mused what a good idea it would be to actually "author" such a book.  Well, little did we know it, but someone beat us to it years ago....

Check out The Complete Sayings of Jesus on a site with infinite potential for spiritual reading and wondering and pondering and learning called The Internet Sacred Text Archive

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Season for Nonviolence

This morning I found an email from UnityFM in my inbox.  From there, and again...don't ask me to remember my cyber path...I ended up at this great site called "Association for New Global Thought".  It is a peace site.  They sponsor something called A Season for Nonviolence...complete with lots of info, articles, resources...and a free CD for organizations, groups and individuals who want to get more involved in the initiative.  This appears to be the third year. 

A Season for Nonviolence, January 30 - April 4, is a national 64-day educational, media, and grassroots campaign dedicated to demonstrating that nonviolence is a powerful way to heal, transform, and empower our lives and our communities. Inspired by the 50th and 30th memorial anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., this international event honors their vision for an empowered, nonviolent world.

Included in the resources is a list called 64 Ways in 64 Days

Some of the suggestions are:

Today, I will turn off anything that portrays or supports violence whether on television, in the movies, or on the Internet.

Today, I will take time to appreciate the people who provide me with challenges in my life, especially those who make me angry or frustrated.

Today, I will listen without defending and speak without judgment.

There is another list of Public Service Announcements.  There are for each day of the "Season of Nonviolence.  Following are a few. 

We learn to practice nonviolence one step at a time, one choice at a time, one day at a time. This is how each of us, in our own way, move the world in the direction of peace. This is the Season for Nonviolence. This message is brought to you by The Association for Global New Thought.

The thought for today is MINDFULNESS. If we just act in each moment, with composure and mindfulness, each minute of our life is a work of art. Be aware of the motivation behind your action, the intention behind your words and the needs and experiences of other people. By doing so, you are making life more beautiful for others. This message is brought to you by The Association for Global New Thought.

and another:

The thought for today is COMPASSION. Mother Teresa implored us to “find someone who thinks he is alone and let him know that he is not.” Allow compassion to lead your life, your words and actions. This message is brought to you by The Association for Global New Thought  

And one more....

The thought for today is LOVE. Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “nonviolence is based on the assumption that human nature ... unfailingly responds to the advances of love."” Today focus on what you appreciate most about the person you like the least.

Oh that's a tough one...

Check out the site...lots of resources for "peacekeepers"

Monday, December 15, 2008

Martin Luther King - His "Night In The Garden"

I was reading about Martin Luther King for a long time last night...and then again this morning. This stuff is all new to me.  Did I snooze through History class?  I was reading from his autobiography last night.  I was struck by the parallels between the following excerpt from his autobiography and the night Jesus spent in the Garden of Gesthemene...

The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.: The Violence of Desperate Men

One night toward the end of January I settled into bed late, after a strenuous day. Coretta had already fallen asleep and just as I was about to doze off the telephone rang. An angry voice said, "Listen, nigger, we've taken all we want from you; before next week you'll be sorry you ever came to Montgomery." I hung up, but I couldn't sleep. It seemed that all of my fears had come down on me at once. I had reached the saturation point.

I got out of bed and began to walk the floor. I had heard these things before, but for some reason that night it got to me. I turned over and I tried to go to sleep, but I couldn't sleep. I was frustrated, bewildered, and then I got up. Finally I went to the kitchen and heated a pot of coffee. I was ready to give up. With my cup of coffee sitting untouched before me I tried to think of a way to move out of the picture without appearing a coward. I sat there and thought about a beautiful little daughter who had just been born. I'd come in night after night and see that little gentle smile. I started thinking about a dedicated and loyal wife, who was over there asleep. And she could be taken from me, or I could be taken from her. And I got to the point that I couldn't take it any longer. I was weak. Something said to me, "You can't call on Daddy now, you can't even call on Mama. You've got to call on that something in that person that your Daddy used to tell you about, that power that can make a way out of no way." With my head in my hands, I bowed over the kitchen table and prayed aloud. The words I spoke to God that midnight are still vivid in my memory: "Lord, I'm down here trying to do what's right. I think I'm right. I am here taking a stand for what I believe is right. But Lord, I must confess that I'm weak now, I'm faltering. I'm losing my courage. Now, I am afraid. And I can't let the people see me like this because if they see me weak and losing my courage, they will begin to get weak. The people are looking to me for leadership, and if I stand before them without strength and courage, they too will falter. I am at the end of my powers. I have nothing left. I've come to the point where I can't face it alone."

It seemed as though I could hear the quiet assurance of an inner voice saying: "Martin Luther, stand up for righteousness. Stand up for justice. Stand up for truth. And lo, I will be with you. Even until the end of the world."

I tell you I've seen the lightning flash. I've heard the thunder roar. I've felt sin breakers dashing trying to conquer my soul. But I heard the voice of Jesus saying still to fight on. He promised never to leave me alone. At that moment I experienced the presence of the Divine as I had never experienced Him before. Almost at once my fears began to go. My uncertainty disappeared. I was ready to face anything.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Not The Whole Puzzle II

When Keith and I used to talk about Girard....back when EU was doing the book study on "I See Satan Fall Like Lightening" and on the list we were all very caught up in the implications of Girard's theory...past, present and future--Keith used to say that he didn't doubt the theory played out in terms of human behavior but that Girard was missing something.  Those may not have been his exact words, but they convey the gist of his meaning.  And what was missing was more of a spiritual thing....although there definitely are spiritual elements involved in Girard's theory.  The Paraclete (holy spirit/spirit of truth) plays a huge role. 

 In an article with excerpts from Rene Girard's essay "Satan" the Girardian Lectionary points out that....

....... he (Jesus) is called the first Paraclete. After he is gone, a second Paraclete will continue his work.


From Wikipedia

Rene Girard, a Christian anthropologist / philosopher, argues that Paraclete ought to be translated as the Defense Attorney who is defending human beings against the assaults of Satan (the Prosecuting Attorney, the Accuser, the fomenter of violence). See Girard's book, I See Satan Fall Like Lightning, pages 189-90, for his argument.


And an excerpt from the Girardian interpretation of the Lectionary reading for John 14:15-21, Preaching Peace says:

Jesus commands positive mimesis, the mimesis of love.

How? By coming to us, each of us and all of us, as our model, our teacher, our guide. He does this in the sending of another just like himself, a counselor, a defense attorney, an advisor, a friend, a mentor. We not were not left bereft, nor forlorn and abandoned, we were given the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, the Spirit of the Father, the Spirit of Jesus. We hear his voice, he is our good shepherd. We ‘see’ him, we factor Jesus and the Spirit into our ‘theories’ (our seeing, our perspectives).

So there is definitely a pronounced spiritual aspect in Girard's teachings.  Girard also claims that the Bible is the only holy writing that reveals mimetic rivalry and the resulting scapegoating mechanism at work.  It illuminates and reveals more and more from Old Testament to New Testament...but with revelations and hints included from the earliest writings in Genesis right on through.  There are Girardian aspects to the story of the fall in the Garden, Cain and Abel, Cain's founding of the first city etc. etc. etc.  But sometimes there is a "two steps forward, one step back" progression.

But still......Girard is only a piece of the puzzle..a very big piece...but not the entirety of the puzzle.  I was reminded of this in my early morning web findings (at about 6 am) in the preface to an unpublished series of articles from 1995 called "You Have It Coming: Good Punishment. The Legitimate Social Function of Punitive Behavior" by John Howard Yoder. 

As the reader will soon see, much of the learning process to which these pages testify was sparked by the work of Rene Girard. I am grateful for Girard's most creative contribution to the field of study, and for his impetus to my own search, although I have had to conclude that the effort of some of his admirers to make of his analyses something like an einsteinian "general field theory," capable of explaining everything, has done a disservice to Girard by overreaching.(6) I have therefore felt free to liberate some of the sections of what follows from needing always to dialogue with the Girardians, as some of the paragraphs drafted earlier did.

And in the foot notes Yoder writes:

6. He (Girard) himself denies that claim. He disavows the intention to provide "a reductive notion" or "a rigid mold into which to fit the diversity of forms." Cf. Hamerton Kelly pp. 106-111. Girard uses his own tools very freely and confidently over a wide variety of themes, but he disavows the claim, which some of his devotees seem to assume, that they explain everything.

I will provide links below to the articles in this series.  Very scholarly writing....but just in case anyone is interested....
















You can find more of John Yoder's writings at his page on the Notre Dame website

Saturday, December 13, 2008

6 Principles of Nonviolence Martin Luther King.

I've been reading various resources on nonviolence recently.  I will probably be posting some gleanings and musings.  Not surprisingly, Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr are two names that I've come across often. I was young when King was assassinated.  Perhaps sixth grade???  Most of what I've learned about him I learned from what I've been reading.  I came across the following 6 principles of nonviolence credited to King.   

1.  Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people.

2.  Nonviolence is an effort to achieve a reconciled world by raising the level of relationships among all people to a height where justice prevails and persons attain full human potential.

3.  Nonviolence attacks forces of evil and acts of evil, but never persons as evil. Nonviolence believes in the ultimate  good of every person and seeks reconciliation.

4.  Nonviolence accepts suffering without retaliation for its moral power toward achieving a goal.

5.  Nonviolence avoids internal violence of the spirit as well as external physical violence.

6.  Nonviolence believes that the moral arc of the universe bends toward justice.

Martin Luther King

And a quote from King....

    You may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. You may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate, nor establish love. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
    Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

    Martin Luther King, Jr.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Manifestation of the Sons of God

A while back...a month or so.. Keith read an excerpt to me from one of the recent studies in Preston Eby's series on Revelation.  (Volume 79) It described a vision by Pastor John Hinkle which seemed to be about the beginning of the manifestation of the Sons of God.  In the vision it was happening all at the same time, all over the world.  Suddenly, simultaneously.  All flesh was seeing the Glory of the Lord....together.  Although it would be nice to have it happen that way, I am thinking it might not be so easy.  My friend Byron (who frequents several of the same cyber hangouts as me) said it this way:

I have never held to a belief in the rapture or eternal torment but I must say it is VERY VERY difficult to let go of a belief in a future 'second coming'. One reason may be because for us there was NEVER any downside to His return - just an obliteration of all the bad stuff and the establishment of the kingdom of peace (no tears pain ect.). Going from that to an understanding that we are to trudge further down this path of gradual change while still full of literal pain and anguish is very, I can't say enough to express - VERY disappointing. I'm inclined to adjust my vision now to the reality that this may be the way to see the vision fulfilled - one heart at a time, one life at a time, the drying of all tears - one tear at a time (damn - this is a lot more work that the other way!!!)
  - Byron

Indeed it is....Gradual change.  Wiping away one tear at a time....

Someone posted a link today on a writing in the New York Times about the miracle of iodine.  The article discussed how wiping out iodine deficiencies has the potential to raise the world's IQ by a billion points.  On a smaller scale, prenatally, an iodine deficiency in the mom is thought to lower her child's IQ by 10 to 15 points. 

A bit of googling took me to the Canadian organization mentioned in the article. They are working to wipe out deficiencies of micro nutrients....hidden hunger.  One statistic on the site really floored me. Four cents worth of Vitamin A a YEAR can save a child from going blind. FOUR CENTS worth.  That is mind so little can do so much.  Many of us would not even stoop to pick up a nickel on the street...

So I am wondering if my friend Byron is right...about the way the kingdom will come?  Is this group and others like them helping to usher in the kingdom bit by bit...tear by tear..slowly, painstakingly, baby step by baby step.  One life at a time.   It seems a mere pittance of relief in the vast, seemingly endless ocean of suffering but could it gain momentum and have a cumulative effect? 

I think I like the first way the best...but I've got this feeling that it is not going to be as easy as that.  In the beginning, God told us to tend the Garden and subdue the earth.  Do you think he really meant it?


I posted last night's post in draft version.  Fortunately, it only had a few notes...and not all the zibberzab I usually have in my draft versions.  Sorry....

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Non Violence in Day To Day Life

I came upon a quote I thought I might comment on. Don't ask me where or how I came upon it. Once in a while I can retrace my cyber steps but more often than not I have no recollection of how I happened upon something. When I stumble on something, I often times get that spiritual tug that makes me take notice and the realization that perhaps it is something I should write about. I know this blog has a modest following but the counter continues to slowly inch its way up. I am thoroughly enjoying writing down my thoughts, questions, cyber discoveries, ponderings, meanderings and rants. To those who read here...thank you....

So the quote follows:

Nonviolence belongs to a continuum from the personal to the global, and from the global to the personal. One of the most significant Buddhist interpretations of nonviolence concerns the application of this ideal to daily life. Nonviolence is not some exalted regimen that can be practiced only by a monk or a master; it also pertains to the way one interacts with a child, vacuums a carpet, or waits in line. Besides the more obvious forms of violence, whenever we separate ourselves from a given situation (for example, through inattentiveness, negative judgments, or impatience), we "kill" something valuable. However subtle it may be, such violence actually leaves victims in its wake: people, things, one's own composure, the moment itself. According to the Buddhist reckoning, these small-scale incidences of violence accumulate relentlessly, are multiplied on a social level, and become a source of the large-scale violence that can sweep down upon us so suddenly. . . . One need not wait until war is declared and bullets are flying to work for peace, Buddhism teaches. A more constant and equally urgent battle must be waged each day against the forces of one's own anger, carelessness, and self-absorption.
- Kenneth Kraft, Inner Peace, World Peace

Oh my goodness, isn't that the truth?? Non violence does not start with our anti war starts when someone cuts you off in line...or takes your turn at an intersection....or snaps at you....gossips about you...etc. etc. etc. You get the picture. That is where nonviolence starts. In our everyday, everyway lives. And that is the hard part. Much easier to spout off about the war and the violence in the "hood" or half way around the world. Much harder to react nonviolently in our own living rooms and offices...the grocery store we frequent, the highways we drive on. In our relationships, in our jobs. I wonder what, overall, would make the most impact towards achieving peace on earth...goodwill to men.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Girardian Widgets....

Note - 3/15/10 The links in this post are "broken." I've googled the articles and can't find them on the internet. I am leaving the post however because of the quotes I took from one of the articles. I guess that is the nature of blogging. People "up and move" on you...taking their stuff with them. *****

Yesterday I mentioned Phillip Hunt's site. Following are a few of his writings that pertain to mimesis/mimetic rivalry. Did I mention he lives in Australia? That explains the focus on topics like...oh, a cricket match or how Girardian theory applies to the founding of Australia. Following is a list of some of his writings....

Why Cricket's Stumped

Applying the Girardian Hypothesis to crowd misbehaviour at One Day Cricket Matches. Written for 'The Age' in January 2002

Zadok: Violence & The Scapegoat

A summary of the Girardian hypothesis, commissioned by Zadok magazine after I spoke along these lines at the Prophet's Pulpit in Fitzroy, Melbourne. Written in October 2001. This is the longer, unedited version which I think is a bit easier to follow.

Borrowed Desire and Blame In The Office

Applying the Girardian hypothesis to blame in the office. Written in October 2001 for the Spirituality, Leadership and Management Conference.

Cultural Blindness

Applying the Girardian hypothesis to our responses to the September 11 events. Written in September 2001

We Can't We Leave Our Racism At The Door?

Applying the Girardian hypothesis to Australia's treatment of asylum seekers and the issue of racism. Written in August 2001

Israel & Palestine

Applying trhe Girardian hypothesis to the Middle East tensions, and proposing the way of revolutionary forgiveness and peace making as a way forward. Written in August 2001

Something Strange About Refugees

Applying the Girardian hypothesis to the scapegoating of refugees in Australia. Written in July 2001

The Scapegoater's Fate

Applying the Girardian Hypothesis to Milosevic and the Balkans conflict. Written for 'The Age' in July 2001

Myth and the Media

Applying the Girardian hypothesis to media reporting of international events, spin doctors and myth. Written in June 2001 for the MEDIAting Globalisation conference

The Meaning of Football

Applying the Girardian hypothesis to Australian Rules Football and its machinations. Written for 'The Age' in May 2001

Which Day Makes Australia Truly Great?

Applying the Girardian hypothesis to the founding of Australia. Published in 'The Age' in May 2001

The Myth of Violence

Applying the Girardian hypothesis to "religious" murders in Indonesia. Published in 'The Age' in Jan 2001

I gleaned a lot of insights from the article about mimesis in the office. How about this snippet of insight:

The ultimate office tool for scapegoating is blame. This is also an ancient ritual. God discovers a missing apple and asks Adam. Adam blames Eve. Eve blames the Serpent.

Following is a paragraph that I thought captured the gist of mimetic rivalry brilliantly...

If I have a nice shiny and unique widget and my desire for it awakes a similar desire in you, we have a problem. Two desires. One widget. In fact, of course, you have the bigger problem than me, since I have the widget and you don't. I am flattered by your desire for my widget, and indeed it increases my own desire for it, since I borrow some of your desire. But I am also going to be more protective of my widget now, because your desire for it has increased my desire to keep it. But what if your desire is very strong. Soon there is going to be a fight.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Bar Room Song...

Keith called to me from the living room this morning...hey, do you like this song?  He received the link in an email from Elwin Roach.  For some reason it brought tears to my eyes.  It is an old recording...sung in an Emily Lou Harris twang times ten style...but I loved the words...and the story behind the song.  And to be honest, I have always liked "twang."  If you go to the link click the Blackslider's Waltz link at the very top of the page (not lower left) to open it up in Windows Media Player or Real Player. 

I asked a preacher if he would come down to the barroom and talk to my friends...

They were ashamed to go into the church and they wondered if he'd come to them.

But he said that Christians don't go to those places full of darkness and sin

I guess he'd forgotten it said in the Bible that Jesus made sinners his friends...

Chorus: Cause I've seen Jesus come walking in places that only a sinner would go....

And he walked right thorough all the sin and the darkness, found me and made me his own.

I thought I could run from the Lord, if I hid in the darkness of sin

Well you can't imagine the look on my face when I turned and saw him  walking in

Well, I've known his love in the midst of my sin and in the darkness his light has still shown

Why I've even seen his face now and then in the eyes of some sinners I've known


If Christians would only begin to see Jesus walking and living as them

They wouldn't limit his power to save in the middle of darkness and sin

But if they keep thinking that they are too holy to go out among sinful men

Well, they're like the cup  Jesus said was clean on the outside but dirty within....


Yea,,, I know that God can go walking in places that only a sinner would go

Cause he sent his son through the sin and the darkness to find them and make them his own.....

Sandy Fallis

Our dear friend of many years died August 16, 2006 after battling cancer. We love all of Sandy's songs, but one in particular, The Backslider's Waltz, or as we always called it, The Barroom Song, it always stood out to Margit and myself. She wrote  it perhaps 20 years ago, when she and her husband, Jack, were in very dire financial straits. Sandy entered a music contest at a night club where they lived in Artesia, New Mexico. $100 went to the winner, and you guessed it, she won the contest which put food on the table for her kids, plus a couple of other bills that needed immediate attention.

Moreover, she said that there were tears flooding down just about everyone's cheeks, especially that of the drunks. They told her that they had never heard anything like that in their lives, that she sang a song about a Lord that they could believe in and embrace. 

Girard For Dummies...

I am on a "Girardian" list on I came across the rather scholarly list when Girard's teachings were a major focus for me and the group I hang out with in cyberspace. We even did a book study together on one of Rene' Girard's books. Brian, a friend from cyberspace, hosted the study on his message board, The Beautiful Heresy. You can find the thread, I See Satan Fall clear at the bottom of the page under Book Studies.

I am not sure how mimesis/mimetic rivalry fits together with "awakening" kind of teachings. Clearly, mimetic rivalry seems to be part of the egoic mind. Yet, it seems that mimesis is deeply ingrained in our beings for a it the fleshly, the soulish or the spiritual part of us....I don't know for sure. Could mimesis be a path to awakening? Perhaps. I don't have it all figured out yet (and probably never will) but I will continue to ponder.

So anyway...the link on the scholarly Girardian list, led to the web site of an interesting guy from Australia...with many interests....all of which seem to be represented on his site. He has quite a few articles that he's written about mimesis/mimetic rivalry. Girard For Dummies was the article recommended on the list. (Note 3-7-10) The above link leads nowhere...but here is another link to a place called the Raven Foundation and a really good...concise, yet thorough..explanaiton of mimesis.

It is a bulleted list of one or two sentence facts, in a sequence, about mimesis which leads to rivalry. Some of the points he makes are:

  • Humans are fundamentally imitating creatures. We imitate others. Girard argues that imitation (mimesis) is the most significant fundamental. It is how we learn and grow.

  • We imitate the desires of other humans. We learn to desire (things, values etc) by imitating the desire of others. It is not merely that we desire the same things, it is that we imitate the desire. This is called mimetic desire.
  • Mimetic Desire leads to rivalry (for the thing desired).
  • Rivalry leads to conflict.
  • Conflict leads to violence.
  • Since we are essentially imitative creatures, we must ask whom we shall imitate? Whose desires shall we imitate? We are creatures who are constructed-by-another. Who will that other be?
  • Is it the Father of Jesus Christ who makes us anew with peaceful and loving desire? Or is it the other of distorted desire which continues to enmesh us in pride, rivalry and scapegoating?

1 Corinthians 11:1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

Joshua 24:15 Choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

  • This is what the phrase in our mission statement – to follow Jesus – truly means. To allow our desires to be shaped through living in Him.

There's more to the list...check it out and check out his site. I think I have one more post in the queue about his writing.....

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Apparently God Hates Obama too!!!

......and it must be true because (surprise, surprise) the infamous Westboro Baptist Church aka the family of Fred Phelps says it's true.  A while back, Fred Phelps' antics had me all riled much so that I wrote a blog post about it called, God Is Your least according to Fred Phelps.  Apparently Fred continues to spread his hate filled message but this time he is focusing his attention on Obama.  Imagine...Fred didn't vote Democrat???

I've recently started to follow a blog called Blue Christian On a Red Background. Please note the new link in the left hand column.  I wrote a post about his blog not too long ago.  It seems that the Westboro Baptist Church had plans to protest all over the place in Chicago.  The itinerary was announced in a recent "church" flier.  Some people from Project 12, a program that Blue Christian is associated with, were going to protest their protest and hand out fliers of their own...proclaiming that God does indeed love Obama...and gays and that, in fact, God loves Fred Phelps and family, too. I don't think He is probably very pleased with his hate filled antics but he loves him none the less. Project 12 is described on their web site as:

.....a ten month discipleship training program. P12's desire is to help you clarify your gifts and calling in Christ. The program includes in-depth biblical studies, prayer, meditation, lectio divina, inner city work with homeless families and children, concert outreaches, and a two week mission trip. Project 12 takes place in the context of a full-time intentional community, Jesus People USA, and is an offshoot of JPUSA.

But Fred and clan never showed.  Although a group called S.I.N. did...

In case you're wondering...that stands for "Sodomite Insurgency Network."  Hmmmm....Okay.....think I'll just leave that one alone. 

Check out the posts on Blue Christian. 

NO SHOW!! Fred Phelps' "God Hates Fags" Fails to Appear in Chicago After All...

Project 12 Response to "God Hates Fags" Chicago-area Protests

Women Who Think Too Much

A couple of weeks ago, I checked a stack of interesting looking books out of the library.  I have a thing with library books...and usually end up with the big stack of books (all nonfiction) every time I go there.  Like mother, like daughters.   Unfortunately, they also share the predisposition to rack up huge library fines because of over due (and occasionally lost) books. We're working on that.  I rarely read any of the books all the way through.  I usually just leaf through them.  But I find all kinds of tidbits and food for thought. 

One of the books I checked out on this last trip was a book called Women Who Think Too Much by By Susan Nolen-Hoeksema. 

Eckhart says, "the compulsion to think is just a deep seated habit." And if it is indeed a habit, it is a deeply engrained one. 

The book describes some of the angst caused by overthinking:

…..when there is any pause in our daily activities, many of us are flooded with worries, thoughts, and emotions that swirl out of control, sucking our emotions and energy down, down, down. We are suffering from an epidemic of overthinking—getting caught in torrents of negative thoughts and emotions that overwhelm us and interfere with our functioning and well being. Our concerns are about fundamental issues: Who am I? What am I doing with my life? What do others think of me? Why am I not happy and content?

The author goes on to list other compulsive thoughts that we are afflicted with…kids on drugs, fights with our mother, disinterested spouse, dead end jobs.

These thoughts ebb and flow with our rapidly shifting moods, but we seldom reach any conclusions.

Eckhart gives an interesting description of the egoic mind when he says:

If you observe your own mind, you will see that thinking very rarely ceases. It is as if some demon built a radio into everyone's head and removed the "off" switch. Most of our thinking is like those radio stations where there is constant chatter.

A correct answer to our question “who am I” might provide some relief…since it would identify who we are not. We are not our egoic minds…but that’s who we think we are and soon our whole sense of identity comes from the constant chatter in our heads.

This book looks at all aspects of "over thinking"...but not in a spiritual way. It seems to give concrete, "from real life" examples of overthinking...and the problems it causes in our jobs, our our lives. 

Some of the chapters in the book include:

  • An Epidemic of Overthinking
  • Strategies for Overcoming Overthinking
  • Triggers for Overthinking
  • Overthinking Work and Careers
  • Overthinking Health Problems
  • Overthinking Loss and Trauma
  • Moving Our Society to Higher Ground

A preview is available on google books....