From Despair to Victory

Lots of people do want to accuse God for what goes wrong in their life. They easily say “It is the Wrath of God” when something goes wrong by others.

All people deserve punishment from God. All people received a very Big Act of Grace. God provided a solution so that each of us can avoid the endless death. It is up to each individual to recognise the Most High Sovereign Supreme Divine Being. To be able to make use of the provision He has given the world we should be aware that we can not continue our way of life we had before we really came to know the Most High God. As soon as we have chosen the Way of Christ we should come to follow Christ and do like him, trying to do the Will of the heavenly Father.
Being reborn demands work from us, namely to adapt our lifestyle and to try to live according that Will of God, following His commandments, also confessing our wrongdoings and repenting for them. Without Teshuvah repentance we shall not be able to be partakers of the Grace given to humankind.

Victory can only come over us, when we are willing to die for sin and to live for justification and righteousness, sharing the love and peace of Christ with those around us.

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Find also to read:

  1. Together tasting a great promisse
  2. When discouraged facing opposition
  3. God should be your hope
  4. He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
  5. Creator and Blogger God 4 Expounding voice
  6. Words to push and pull
  7. Missional hermeneutics 4/5
  8. Atonement And Fellowship 4/8
  9. God showing how far He is willing to go to save His children
  10. God receives us on the basis of our faith
  11. Doest thou well to be Angry?
  12. Repentance and conversion are not milestones which we pass on the way of life and never see again
  13. Breathing and growing with no heir
  14. Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:1-6 – A Wilderness Baptist Prepares the Way
  15. Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:7-12 – Opposition and Two Baptisms
  16. Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:3-6 – John Preaches Baptism of Repentance
  17. Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:7-9 – Vipers, Repent!
  18. Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:10-14 – “What Shall We Do?”
  19. Victory in rebirth
  20. A man who cannot forgive others

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  • A Change of Garments (tricklesoftruth.wordpress.com)
    So much our faith and the way that we walk in it has to do with a new mindset and way that we view our purpose and being. Before we knew Christ in a personal relationship we were given over to our own unbridled passions and will. We allowed our desires, our passion and flesh to have dominion over us. We lived for the moment and fulfilled the desires of our unregulated and undisciplined body.
    When we came into Christ we were still in this same body with all of its same needs and wants, but inwardly something had changed and been transformed. As we came into Christ, we came into the revelation that life was no longer about us, but about Him. We became identified with Him, both in His death and in His resurrection. We realized that the old man of the flesh isn’t to rule and have its way any longer and so we identified it with Christ on the Cross and we crucified the flesh with its inordinate affections and lust. On the other hand we beheld the new creation that we had become in Christ and we identified with His resurrection in a new and incorruptible life.
  • Adhere (A Word From The Lord) (lovelyladylesh.wordpress.com)
    Some people only want to swim in the shallow end of the “spiritual pool.” The Lord is calling Many of you to step into the deep end because More is required of you.
  • Blessed With Every Spiritual Blessing (burningfireshutinmybones.wordpress.com)
    As I searched out the blessings, I felt joy and peace settle on me. How great the love of God is for His people!
  • Ferguson Faith Files: The Story of Terrence Williams (video) (grumpyelder.com)
    A Marine, a Christian, a man of honor making a difference.
  • We Pray According to Jesus’ Victory (sharingloveandtruth.org)
    Faith releases God’s favor, because faith pleases God. So, let’s pray the scriptures and recognize that all of God’s promises are yes and amen in Jesus Christ. Because the Lamb of God was slain and rose again, we know that God will not deny us. We are heirs of God and coheirs with Christ; therefore, the Bible’s promises are for us. So, we wrap our scriptural prayers in thanksgiving, not in words of wishful pleas.
  • Nice Thanksgiving Prayer (tomfaranda.typepad.com)
    We pray for health and strength
    To carry on and try to live as You would have us.
    This we ask in the name of Christ,
  • Thanksgiving Prayer (griffinsandgingersnaps.wordpress.com)
    may G-d rest our hearts and minds. May He bless us and our families and continue to extend His blessings to everyone who touch our lives. May He grant patience and perseverance, expressed with courage and wisdom, as we meet the changes of life here on earth.

johnnysstudies

The psalmist comes to God knowing the Holiness and Justice of God, knowing his own sin and its’ seriousness before God. He does not make excuses other than his own weakness as a man with s sin nature. Today in society and sadly in the in the church also sin is excused and given other names to make it sound better homosexuals are now gays, sex outside of marriage is not fornication and adultery but sleeping together. The absolute holiness and justice of God is downplayed. The psalmist as we should come to God admitting his sin knowing that according to Gods’ rules he only deserves punishment. But then he pleas only for mercy to the Holy, Just and Loving God. Sin has taken its’ toll mentally and physically he is weakened as the results. He ask as we do when in need Lord how long before help comes. Grave…

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Not holding back and getting out of darkness

Even when times are tough, it’s always important to keep things in perspective. We may be thrown from one side to the other, hearing much thunder and seeing lots of lightning, trying to meet the ends and finding solutions for the many problems which may arise.

Italian Family Wedding 1927 1928 20s NYC

Italian Family Wedding 1927 1928 20s NYC (Photo credit: Whiskeygonebad)

Lots of people  just take it that they are in this world and have to take it as it is. But is it so? Do we just have to let the world pass and leave it like it comes upon us?

These days it looks like many people are not satisfied or are angry with those around them and with themselves. some might find

… the majority of people you talk to on a daily basis are dicks. People push through you on the walk to work with no regard for anyone but themselves, they ash their cigarettes completely oblivious to the fact that you are walking behind them and don’t bother apologising. Get out da way! {The majority of the people you interact with are douchebags: 20 Things No One Tells You About Your 20s}

Lots of people had dreams which are chattered into thousand pieces. Many found that where they thought would end up has become a vastly different place where they did end up after lots of struggles or interferences by others.

Your first job will be an eye-opening experience that will really show you what you want to do for the rest of your life. In college, you always dreamed about having your first job, but when you finally get that job, it’s probably nada like you imagined. {20 Things No One Tells You About Your 20s}

Having found work persons may already be pleased they could get the money not feel miserable or to end up in the gutter.

Maybe it (the money) doesn’t necessarily bring you happiness, but it does surely prevent you from being miserable. If you want to move out of your parents’ house and experience what freedom truly is, well you better believe that money is your ticket out of there. {20 Things No One Tells You About Your 20s}

English: VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (Oct. 24, 2007) -...

Virginea Beach, Va. (Oct. 24, 2007) – Rear Adm. Moira Flanders salutes as she walks through the side boys during the change of command ceremony for the Center for Personal and Professional Development on board Dam Neck Annex in Virginia Beach, Va. Capt. William Dewes relieved Capt. Jonathan Picker as commanding officer. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Seth Scarlett  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Soon, after they left school and their parents,  people learn nothing comes cheap in the post grad world.

You are going to be faced with expenses you didn’t even know existed. Guess who’s responsible for paying for these things? If you think it’s your parents, you guessed wrong, it’s you! Remember how badly you wanted to grow up? Well this is what you had to look forward to — bills, bills and more bills, bitches. {20 Things No One Tells You About Your 20s}

Many people are realising how miserable the typical 9-5 career can be and are leaving for the world of entrepreneurship. Hopefully your family knows you well enough to realise your potential is better suited elsewhere. {20 Things No One Tells You About Your 20s}

Once in the world of business, it seems that economical world is been taking us in or has sup. Many do have to work to pay for the bills. They often dream of house of their own and engage to early on the mortgage market, making them live on the cutting edge. No time for personal development any more. Not time any more for spiritual issues.

When we face this life we sometimes need to build up the the courage to claim our spiritual identity in the midst of a world full of darkness. Some people even may be afraid to face the light which others might bring in front of them. It is like they are afraid of light.Lots of people are not sure for whom or what they have to live. They keep wondering why certain things are happening to them and not to others.  Lots of people we find concentrating on those bad things that happen onto them, instead of concentrating on the good things they let pass and do not enjoy enough.

Worlds Apart

Worlds Apart (Photo credit: Sony200boy)

Lots of people are so taken by the materialism of this world and hope that will bring them luck. The spiritual is something which frightens them. They know they have to live day in day out, and look to reach a goal, which they call success. They measure it in finances and in things the world can see. But they forget to see the richness of the things unseen. They run past all the beauty nature has to offer humankind, that many do not mind destroying.

How many people are not trying to use most of their time to convince anyone else of their good reason to exist and to see their success. So many people get caught up and get lost on the path of convincing … when in reality they would be better off, by just trying to be their own.

So many people got chained by their desire to have success, they loose track of the beautiful site of the world. They work and work and forget to live, until they feel pushed in the corner and wonder what they are doing and for what.

Only when they begin to attempt to simplify their lives they realize that they are not exactly sure what it is they really want. Many even do not come to see what might be important for them and for the others around them. They want to let go of this absorbing world, but do not know how. They lost the clear view to see or understand what’s important to us,. They know that something is not working and that they or that we need to change.

And yes we all need to change before it is to late. This world is ‘going bonkers’ if we are not careful. The global warming may for many be a fairy tale, but than they would be surprised how serious it really is.

It is important that we all know that every single thing we’ve gone through in life, every high, every low, and everything in between, has led us to this moment right now. Everything that we allowed to go through or let pass, shall be of influence on our environment, on the world we live in. Too many people still think it would not make any difference when a small fish somewhere in the ocean changes something.  But when all those little sardines would come together and join forces they would be seen from far away and not only be noticed but also heard.

Everybody has his mouthful of “freedom” but often only thinks about his own self, not being worried how the freedom of the other person can be guaranteed. Some might also say

One of the greatest freedoms is simply not caring what everyone else thinks of you.

There is truth in it for the own self-development. To feel at ease with yourself you need to be able to step aside now and then. You should be able to look at yourself. Sometimes it also may be taken literally, leaving the office, stepping outside, getting some air, looking at the grass and the trees. Taking time to see around you and to remind yourself of who you are and what you want to be.

The best thing you can do is follow your heart.  Take risks.  Don’t just accept the safe and easy choices because you’re afraid of what others will think, or afraid of what might happen.  If you do, nothing will ever happen.  Don’t let small minds convince you that your dreams are too big.  They aren’t. {20 Things to Stop Letting People Do to You}

Lots of people got blinded by their own mistakes and can not see that others also make the same terrible mistakes. We should all keep in mind that we’ve all made mistakes, but we should all also allow ourselves and others to make mistakes.  it is all to easy to do nothing. If you think by doing nothing you can not do anything wrong, you are mistaken. We all have a reason to be here on this earth and we all have our responsibility, not only for ourselves and our beloved ones, but also for those who come after us.

Lots of us let people take advantage of us, and we’ve accepted way less than we deserve.

And sometimes, we too have given others way less than they deserve.  Sometimes we let our priorities and our boundaries get ravished by the chaos of the day.  But if you think about it, we’ve learned a lot from our bad choices, and even though there are some things we can never recover, and people who will never be sorry, we now know better for next time.  We now have more power to shape our future. {4 Good Reminders When You’ve Had a Bad Day}

When life gets stressful, we often forget the things we should remember, and remember the things we should forget.  Then we loose track. Danger is also that we loose not only control over ourselves but also the believe in ourselves.

Don’t settle to simply be someone’s downtime, spare time, part time, or sometime.  If they can’t reliably be there for you when you need them most, they’re not worth your time. {20 Things to Stop Letting People Do to You}

This moment is priceless, and it’s the only moment guaranteed to you.  This moment is your ‘life.’  Don’t miss it.  (Read The Power of Now.)

The tendency here is to let our emotional attachments to things, people, places, etc. overwhelm us and prevent us from making real, meaningful and lasting changes. Instead of taking hold of those who love us we endanger and isolate ourselves by taking distance or going into our own little cell or cocoon. Than is the time to take the outstretched hand of others. Than you should be not taken by those who bully you or want to get you down.

Don’t let the people who refuse to love you keep you from the people who do love you.  Spend time with those who make your world a little brighter simply by being in it.

As Gandhi once said, “An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.”  Regardless of how despicable another has acted, never let hate build in your heart.  Fighting hatred with hatred only hurts you more.  When you decide to hate someone you automatically begin digging two graves: one for your enemy and one for yourself.  (Read The Four Agreements.) {20 Things to Stop Letting People Do to You}

health care

health care (Photo credit: lu4unity)

Life is too short to tirelessly struggle with those who bring negative forces into live. We better get rid of all those negative influences and concentrate more on positive thoughts. to bring positive news into the world is not as easy as it may look at first sight. From Guestwriters would love to bring more writers together bringing good news and concentrating on the love and peace we should try to build up together. But like on this platform there are not many writers presenting them to share their thoughts and, with their writings, to help others

Life will test you to see how serious you are about pursuing a particular path.  And sooner or later you may face negative feedback from others.  When this happens, remember not to let anyone crush your spirit.  If you are passionate about something, pursue it, no matter what anyone else thinks.  That’s how dreams are achieved.

Those who love life and love the ones around them can spread that love by showing it to others, without wanting something in return. It are those who want to dream and share their dreams, who can bring some light in this world.

Anything worth achieving takes time and dedicated effort.  Period.  Honestly, I used to believe that making wishes and saying prayers changed things, but now I know that wishes and prayers change us, and We change things.  (Angel and Marc Chernoff discuss this in detail in the “Goals and Success” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.) {20 Things to Stop Letting People Do to You}

We know that many people will laugh at those with ideals and dreams. We are aware and you too should know that some people cannot stand that you’re moving on with your life and so they will try to drag your past to catch up with you.

Do not help them by acknowledging their behaviour.  Keep moving forward.  Practice acceptance and forgiveness.  Letting go of the past is your first step . {20 Things to Stop Letting People Do to You}

Things which happened in the past can be told, so that others can learn from it. The things happened in the past should be a lesson for us. We have to learn from history and therefore it is important that people tell about that history. But we do have to direct our eyes to the future and to look forward.
We do not have to go through the darkness alone. If everybody carries a tiny candle, the many little points of light will give a bigger light. Getting more lights together will make a brighter light.

On From Guestwriters as on this site, we do invite those who have something to share, to join us to bring positive news on From Guestwriters and to bring important things to be aware of or to think about, even when they may be shocking, or upsetting others, on this site, which for that reason is also called “Stepping Toes‘ because sometimes we do need to step on someone’s toes, before he comes to notice something.

We don’t need to flaunt our spirituality, argue about it, or attack anyone who does not see or agree with it; we just need to live it. The path of mastery does not require us to convince anyone else of anything; it simply asks us to remember who we are and be it. {Alan Cohen, Dare To Be Yourself}

May we look forward to meeting you as a regular reader or as a contributor or guest-author on one of the two sites?

You may join us on this site or on From Guestwriters
and become one of the Bloggers for peace

bloggers-for-piece-badge

Click on the picture to get to know more about the Bloggers for piece

Kozo & Cheri also ask that you join Bloggers For Peace

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Find also to read:

  1. Live …
  2. Luck
  3. Choices
  4. See the conquest and believe that we can gain the victory
  5. If we view the whole world through a lens that is bright
  6. Don’t Envy the World
  7. Right to be in the surroundings
  8. To be chained by love for another one
  9. No man is free who is not master of himself
  10. Looking to the East and the West for Truth
  11. World Agenda for Sustainability
  12. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #3 Right to Human dignity
  13. Men as God
  14. A risk taking society
  15. Some one or something to fear #2 Attitude and Reactions
  16. Science, scepticism, doubts and beliefs
  17. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #1 Prosperity
  18. The Spirit of God brings love, hope and freedom
  19. Peace Takes You
  20. Happy International Happiness Day!
  21. By counting our blessings we not only feel good, but we multiply our good
  22. Never making mistakes because never doing anything

Find the sites and articles:

  1. Marc and Angel Hack Life
  2. 30 things to start doing for yourself – #6 is vital.
  3. 20 Things No One Tells You About Your 20s

Sanket k

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  • Keeping the Darkness Out (arturo57.wordpress.com)
    I was struck immediately by how angry everyone on the channel seemed. And how it seemed to permeate every word said. They sneered as they read the news. I guess they were sneering at Democrats in general and the president in particular. But I think they also were sneering at the audience.
    What they were really doing, of course, was sneering at the truth as they fanned the flames of racism, homophobia, and every other form of hate they could think of. That’s what they really preach on that channel – unabashed hatred. Hatred for what you don’t have. Hatred for what you don’t want. Hatred for everyone and everything that doesn’t fit a narrowly defined agenda.
  • [Classic RPG Realms] What Do You Keep Coming Back To? (classicrpgrealms.blogspot.com)
    Always coming back to something. He said that was a sure sign that something was really a part of you, something you couldn’t put down. Your life would be incomplete without it. He felt that way about horses. Obviously I didn’t, and neither did my daughters–we own no horses now.
  • Ready to Fly (sincerelyamie.wordpress.com)
    I remained there, in the dark silence. I stayed there and almost drowned myself in all my tears. I hid there and let sadness strip me down. And in staying there, I slowly began to drift down the wrong path.
    But then, He spoke to me. [He never fails.] He told me I was going to live. He told me I could do more than just survive. He told me to dream again. He told me to give my life for His, and I would know peace. And the darkness fell away, and my heart began to beat again, and I knew that I would really be okay.
  • Are You Afraid of the Dark? (writetolive7.wordpress.com)
    So many of us hide the things that most need to be shared. Regrets. Mistakes. Shame. I’ve kept many of my memories, experiences that I fear to relive, hidden beneath a blanket of shadows. Over the months and years, they’ve gathered dust. Like a dark basement, I’ve been terrified to venture back there, afraid that they’d jump out at me when I wasn’t ready to see them again. I’ve always been afraid of the dark, afraid of being blind to what’s coming my way.
  • Who’s Afraid of Identity Access Management? (cloudentr.com)
    IT managers, do you ever feel like you’re the Big Bad Wolf? When you try to rein in your users, even just to enforce good password policies, they sometimes act like you’re trying to blow their house down. When in fact you’re the one trying to convince them to move into a house made out of bricks.

    You don’t have to be the bad guy. Using some gentle persuasion — and the right technology for Identity Access Management (IAM) — you can steer your users in a better direction. The key is to make it easy for them to do the right thing, even when their instincts tell them to huddle in their houses made out of straw and sticks.

  • ‘The ocean captured us and allowed us to dream…’ (bigknickersandnursing.wordpress.com)
    ou’ve never hidden the fact that life’s hurdles have been somewhat challenging over the last year or so… Getting to grips with life as an independent women… Managing your own finances (ensuring there is still enough cash left in the bank account after payday shopping spree which always leads to buying of essential new outfits for forthcoming social events, to pay for basic food items such as wine, milk and bread)…
  • Do Not Be Afraid From “Life’s Darkness” (globalpoets.wordpress.com)
    Don’t be afraid about recent life’s dark / You are the one who govern your fate / As long you understand the “Law” / Marvelous times always will come in life / if you will act wisely as a creator God….
  • Don’t Let Growth Hacking Ruin the Customer Experience (helpscout.net)
    tunnel vision can occur when this happens. Cops forget about big busts and focus on the arrests they can get, if the required metric becomes “X arrests per quarter.”
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    If you’re going to be aggressive with your growth, you should know this: growth hacking can end up being marketing on steroids—that is, it can create artificial growth that has disastrous effects for the long term health of your business.
  • Think BigG & Live The Life You Deserve! (thinkbrilliantly.com)
    So many of us never manage to reach the level of accomplishments we could simply because we let thinking small define our lives.
    We hold back on trying to realize our dreams because we are afraid of what others will think or say.
    Still, if we´re serious about living the life we feel we´re meant to live, doing those great things we´re convinced we are capable of, then we need to step up to the challenge and learn to ignore the nay-sayers.
  • Faith Over Fear (cherilynclough.com)
    When you decide to take the road less traveled, it often means voting against the family party line. Basically if you are dealing with a narcissist, you are playing a game you can never win, so you might as well give up and go home. Fear and rejection are the bottom lines for most ACONs—Adult Children of Narcissists. I was invited to join such a group this week and my mind is still reeling from the humanity.

 

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Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious

Today lots of youngsters their understanding of their faith is the faith that was “once for all entrusted.” This makes that often the “spiritual but not religious” group can be the most difficult to work with, primarily because they believe they have found a personalized expression of faith. But their faith was not placed in a seed that could grow in fertilized ground.

This painting is on display at the Kunsthistor...

Religious men and their actions because of their faith- Painting is on display at the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Art History) in Vienna, Austria (site). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Church should bring in the fertilisation for its members to grow, be it slow but strong.

Much has been made about the growth of “nones” in the past few years, the group who consistently checks “none” on surveys about religious faith. As with all surveys, how questions are shaped determines how good the data is. If a question is multiple choice, the answers must fit within the parameters of the possible responses. For example: What is your faith? a. Christian b. Buddhism c. Islam d. Judaism e. Hindu f. none.

Clearly, that’s a poor question. It assumes the five major faiths are the primary conduits for the transmission of religious frameworks. While I believe that is largely true, there are other factors at work culturally right now. What does none or spiritual but not religious really mean?

writes a teacher of a Teaching World Religions summer term. {Spiritual but not Religious, or A Disconnect on the Faith Divide}

In such courses about world religions or religion tous-court, you can see that lots of people want to restrict their idea about their god on others. They may say

I just believe in God

But then we should ask which God? Most people do take only a story from the four Gospels, one that is canonized by Church Councils, propagated by ministers and missionaries, and communicated to them through Christian denominational speakers. They are brought up with the religious concepts of their family idea and than they believe that their story is just one wherein they simply believe in God.

Vermeer The Allegory of the Faith

Vermeer The Allegory of the Faith (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The radical individualism and consumerism in our culture makes a personalized faith seem perfectly normal. In Belgium, which is considered to be a Roman Catholic Country (though only 6% of the population still go sometimes to mass whilst 25% of the population visits the mosque very regularly), when you would ask what they believe and whom they think Jesus or God is, you would find very individual interpretations of the person Jesus, which some Catholics say is the son of God and do not believe he is God, though the godhead of Jesus is part of the Trinitarian dogma of the Catholic Church. But most Belgians want to believe their own thing and do not bother what the church may say. Lots call themselves Catholic or Christian (meaning the same for them) but do not follow the rules of the Pope and their church, not bothering to use preservatives or having abortions, having sexual relations than the own ‘regular’ partner, etc. Their religious life is standing far away from a spiritual life and from church life. The church is mostly only used to have a child baptism, a first and second communion, a wedding service and a funeral. That is what church stands for in Belgium, when they are not talking about all the abuses in that church.

According to some

All the new Christian categories — Christ follower, Jesus follower, follower of the Way (hell, just pick one)—are all concepts that are used intentionally to avoid the unhappy conclusion that the follower is really a Christian, but a Christian who doesn’t like the Christian tradition or church or some doctrine. Better to own the word Christian than have me interrogate you only to discover that you are actually a Christian. At that point, I think you’re dishonest, disingenuous, ignorant, narcissistic, or confused. None of those are good. {Spiritual but not Religious, or A Disconnect on the Faith Divide}

Wherever you may look you shall see that many of your spiritual but not religious acquaintances have no genuine framework for their faith. Lots of the people who say they are religious or spiritual, are mostly enjoying some trend which is popular at the moment, and go from one fling into the other, but never stick to one ‘faith‘ for a long time.

The writer of The Parish believes that it’s a completely self-serving construct that allows them to believe, in the words of Christian Smith,

“God loves me and wants me to be happy.”

What that requires is no commitment to a larger tradition, and a radical internalizing of metaphysical assumptions, all of which are exempt from criticism.

Do you pray? Yes. Do you attend worship services? No. Do you have a sacred text? No. Will you go to heaven? Yes. What will it be like? It will be what I make it. How do you know there is a God? I just do. What’s he or she like? He loves me. He’s kind and forgiving and gracious. Why should he be those things and not angry, vengeful and capricious? He’s not. How can you know this? What tradition taught you this? I have no tradition. I just know this. I’m not a religious person, just spiritual.

Faith

Faith (Photo credit: sspantherss)

Often when you will present students of religion or people on the street and you

talk about all the Saturnalia and pagan syncretism you like, talk about substituting one pagan holiday for a Christian one, talk about borrowed symbols and commercialism, talk all you want about it; at its core, theologically (for Christians), Christmas is the coming of Messiah, and therefore, a religious high, holy day. It’s a celebration day, much like Easter (another holiday about which I’m weary of hearing stories of syncretism. One thing is clear, however it started, the Christian narrative won.), not a fast day like Good Friday. It is, by my estimation, the second most important day on the church calendar, following Easter, of course. {Christian Identity, or Can Baby Jesus Get Some Love?}

The great church institutions by the years have mixed their theology with philosophical and pagan teachings so that that more became  “great pagan institutions” which allegedly “pickle” children’s brains by pouring “paganism” into them. We can see a society in decline where parents do not to set any more good religious examples for their children. It is time they will concern themselves with their offspring’s spiritual state, and again “plead God’s promises” to their children. We should long to do well by our children and grandchildren, striving to raise them well and encouraging other parents to do the same.  Parents should come to teach their children spirituality again. That spirituality must also include empathy, humanity, and critical thinking. Piety without these elements can devolve into fanaticism, with unsettling results.

Lots of people may know that lots of elements in their celebrations are from pagan celebrations, but they do not want to change their similar manner of celebrating what they want to place on that day the heathen use for their celebration. It does not matter for them that Jesus was a Jew who is not born on the 25th of December (Christmas-day); It is just a lovely time for them to be together and have everybody having a good time, giving each other presents and enjoying some nice food. Why should they change the tradition of their forefathers? And why should churches abandon such a festivals when those are the few occasions that they can get some people in their churches and get some more money in the till?

Almost all American and European forms of Christianity are first cultural, traditional and secondly theological. In the capitalist countries the people are more concerned with their material wealth than their spiritual wealth. Europeans like

Americans are largely shaped by consumerism, individualism, and materialism, the three idols of the market that serve to make all of us mini-narcissists. {Christian Identity, or Can Baby Jesus Get Some Love?}

They want to enjoy their life with good food and lovely goods for their enjoyment. Fairy tales and mythical stories, ‘little lies for fun’ seem to be harmless for them and to create the mysterious atmosphere which attracts them and their children. The unknown and mysterious has always been an attraction.

The Knights of Columbus exhibiting their group identity in American society

In the United States some Christians do not want to know about the ‘unknown’ and do think the bible has to be take literally on all fronts. Their creationist and revisionist education might leave children ill-prepared to integrate into American society, and failed to grasp that some children might reject their fundamentalist upbringing altogether. For this reason it is important that God-loving people make it clear how we do have to interpret and follow the Bible. God loving people should be challenging historical revisionism. By remembering that history encompasses many narratives, not just one. By demanding accuracy in home school curricula. By reaching out to current and former home-schoolers and making accurate information available to them. And finally, by educating ourselves on the past and recognizing its impact on the present. Home-schooling and schooling at the church (Sunday school, Bible Study or Children’s Bible class) are powerful, useful tools. It represents a democratic approach to educational progress, innovation, and creativity. It allows a child’s learning environment to be tailored to individual and personal needs. When home-schooling or Sunday-school is done responsibly, it can be amazing. We should oppose irresponsible home-schooling or church training, where the educational method is used to create or hide abuse, isolation, and neglect, and where the child is not educated to go and search, to explore the world and to explore the Bible. They should train the children to read and study the Bible thoroughly and to go deeper into their own soul, learning them to meditate about everything they learn, be it in their daily school or at the church. The trainees at the church should make sure that social contact outside of church, family, and the home-school umbrella group is provided so that children do get to know the outside world and are aware of the world its ideas and way of living. Only by growing up in a church which is open to what is happening in the world the children would not become what we can call socially retarded to use the pedagogical technical term.

In certain developed countries we see a growing tendency to protect church life and to get the children away from what is really happening in the world. The religious sheltering of such a childhood in recent years has come more extreme and miserable by greater institutions and international homeschool conglomerate cults. Those groups not only present childish stories in which all do have to believe and activities everybody has to follow with the right dress-code, otherwise they are considered to be against the group. More attention is given to the outside appearance of the persons gathering than on the inner spirit. Often it is all about the creationist teaching and opposing scientists, not willing to see archaeologist their findings, which are all considered as contra-actions of the evil world.

They often try to drive home to their ‘trainees’ (typically 16-18 years old) that no matter what adversity or difficulty they are facing, either physical, mental, or spiritual, all they need to do is cry out to God and He will get them through it. But they forget that we did have received the responsibility to become resourceful fellows who should try to grow from the understanding of the Scriptural knowledge and use it in their daily life. To be able to stand strong in that daily life there should be a good relationship with the Supreme Being.

Most people are not interested in a good relation with their god, but with themselves. It has become already very difficult to build up a good relationship with one partner in this world which can be seen and touched. So who would try to have a good relationship with somebody who can not be seen nor touched, and who nobody has ever seen, or when it is Jesus who is already long ‘dead and forgotten’?

Dr. Tom Kennedy does find that correct religion, like bones, provides the proper structure for spirituality.  Spirituality grows in distorted ways without religion.

Imagine reaching over and grabbing the child’s head.  Then imagine lifting up the skeleton out of the imaginary child.  What would happen?  Spirituality would collapse to the floor. {Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious?}

Religion, like bones, also provides much of the immune system for spirituality.

It helps to fight toxic influences that may corrupt one’s spirituality.  Two of the most toxic influences are the individual’s own selfishness and the willingness to let other people control one’s spirituality.  Of course, if religion itself becomes corrupt, one’s spirituality also becomes corrupt. {Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious?}

Like the religion can be corrupted we should know that spirituality is not always so ‘clean’ as it may seem.

Many people think of spirituality as perfect and incorruptible.  Unfortunately, that is not true.  Non-religious spirituality emphasizes special experiences, something you feel.  If there are no feelings to this kind of spirituality, people would not pursue it. I have heard of many strange experiences that were labeled ‘spiritual’ just because there was a burst of pleasant feeling involved. {Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious?}

03.365 (02.08.2009) Faith

Faith in words from a Book of books (Photo credit: hannahclark)

Religion in the Bible is a catalyst for our relationship with God, to Whom we have to bring a spirit which is pure and not hiding things for God Who sees everything, so that would be useless to hide something for Him. Our state of mind we do have to build ourselves. Others may help us but they can not do it for us or make it work for us. We ourselves our responsible for the way we want to think and the way we want to use the knowledge we receive by the years.

Jesus died on the wooden stake to make God’s religion and spirituality alive, dynamic and interactive with each other. He opened the way for humankind to come directly to the Creator God. Today Jesus sits at the right hand of God to be the mediator between God and man. by the brothers and sisters in the church we should be exhorted therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings, be made not only for ourselves but for all men. We should know we live in a world where there are kings, presidents and members of parliament who have to make decisions for the community. So we better also pray for them that they may make the right decisions. Yes we should have our thoughts also at all that are in high place and pray for them and for that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and gravity.
Each of us should look to find in himself or herself the way to become acceptable in the eyes of God. He that provided the human Saviour, who could understand his fellow man, who wanted that all men should be saved, and will come to the knowledge of the truth.  For there is one God, one mediator also between God and men, himself man, Christ Jesus,  who gave himself a ransom for all; the testimony to be borne in its own times;  where-unto several people like the apostles and religious men were and are appointed a preacher and a teacher of the Gentiles or those who are not in the faith in Christ Jesus, in faith and truth.

” I Beseech you, therefore, first of all to offer to God, petitions, prayers, supplications, and thanksgiving for all men,  (2)  For kings and for all in authority; that we may live a quiet and peaceable life, in all purity and Godliness.  (3)  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour:  (4)  Who desires all men to be saved and to return to the knowledge of the truth.  (5)  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;  (6)  Who gave himself a ransom for all, a testimony which came in due time.  (7)  For that testimony I was appointed a preacher and an apostle; I tell the truth and I lie not; and I became the teacher of the Gentiles in a true faith.  (8)  I wish, therefore, that men pray everywhere, lifting up their holy hands, without anger and doubting thoughts.” (1Ti 2:1-8 Lamsa NT)

Religion, Catholic Community

Religion, Catholic Community having prayers and meditation together at a meeting (Photo credit: Parker Knight)

Lifting up the hands or going in prayer can be done on our own. But to come to a good prayer we better also do come close to ourselves. Be it also becoming in a more concrete relationship the world can offer. Away from the materialisation of things we can come in a transcendent form.

Where Transcendentalists assert their natural right to an individual relationship with God, defined only by one’s own will and a communing with nature, Puritans “sought both individual and corporate conformity to the teaching of the Bible, with moral purity pursued both down to the smallest detail, as well as ecclesiastical purity to the highest level. They believed that man existed for the glory of God, that his first concern in life was to do God’s Will and so to receive future happiness”. Puritans were largely responsible for amendments that mandated public education inspired by their belief that children could only conform properly to biblical and legal tenants if they could read them for themselves.

To come to the Truth, each person has to make the free choice to study the matter. Without reading the Bible and without the will to think about what is written a person shall not come to the Truth. No matter how he may be active in doing things for his church, how religious he  or she may look for the outsiders, when their is no burning spirit in the soul of that person, no willingness to go deep in him or herself, there shall not come an opening to the real faith Jesus had in front of his eyes.

Jesus was also brought up in a world full of traditions. He was a boy living in a Jewish cult and learned from the Torah, which was his guide. He looked at the different religious groups and dared to question them. He looked at the way they interpreted the Holy Scriptures, how they lived their faith and how they were are were not prepared to go into the mystics of faith.

In most spiritual traditions, mysticism lies at the heart of spirituality. ‘‘Mysticism’’ refers to transcendent, contemplative experiences that enhance spiritual understanding. Mystical experiences can occur during intentional practices designed to create openings for transcendent experiences, such as Christian contemplative prayer, Zen meditation, movement or dance meditation or Sufi dance; or they can occur in the process of living a lifestyle that is conducive to transcendent experiences, as in contemplative gardening. In either case, contemplative or transcendent knowing is associated with spiritual experience.

‘‘Transcendence’’ refers to contemplative knowing that occurs outside the boundaries of verbal thought (Wilber). Although transcendence can refer to increasingly abstract thought, contemplative transcendence involves transcending thought itself. Mystical experiences of transcendence can be brought into thought, but they do not originate in thought or sensory perception.

The spiritual person can become a transcendental person, going into mystical contemplative experiences. He either may become religious with it or stay out of religion. But this kind of spirituality, set apart from religion would be weak and might be directionless, or worse, narcissistic.  Jesus wanted us to have a vibrant faith that focuses on his Father and he wants us to use the teachings of the Bible to shape both our religion and our spiritual interactions with him and God. Our spirit has to become connected intimately with Jesus, God but also with our brethren and sisters in the community, plus feeling a love for the full creation of the Supreme Being, Jehovah God. This includes a good relationship with the animals, plants and all sorts of people, no matter which religion they may belong to. A good Christian should be a good follower of Christ, sharing the same love Jesus had for all people, no matter what they had done or how they felt about him. Jesus loved also his enemies, so we should do likewise.

Our religious and spiritual practices should focus on that relationship with creation. The spiritual practices should not merely be productive in a narrow sense but should be disciplined, creative and committed. The regularity of a spiritual discipline like meditation may give shape to what may otherwise be a fragmented life. as such it can enrich the religious life. Over time meditation may facilitate a growing freedom from destructive energies that inhibit healthy relationships. Such a growth in inner freedom makes us more available and effective as compassionate presences in the world.

As the great traditions emphasise, spirituality is actually concerned with cultivating a “spiritual life” rather than simply with undertaking practices isolated from commitment. It offers a “value-added” factor to personal and professional lives. So, for example, in a variety of social contexts spirituality is believed to add two vital things.

  • First, it saves us from being purely results-orientated. Thus, in health care it offers more than a medicalised, cure-focused model and in education it suggests that a holistic approach to intellectual, moral and social development is as vital as acquiring employable skills.
  • Second, spirituality expands ethical behaviour by moving it beyond right or wrong actions to a question of identity – we are to be ethical people rather than simply to “do” ethical things. Character formation and the cultivation of virtue then become central concerns.

Current evidence suggests a growing diversity of new forms of spirituality as well as creative reinventions of the great traditions. The language of spirituality continues to expand into ever more professional and social worlds – for example urban planning and architecture, the corporate world, sport and law. Most strikingly there are recent signs of its emergence in two contexts that have been especially open to public criticism – commerce and politics. Equally, the Internet is increasingly used to expand access to spiritual wisdom. So, on current evidence, spirituality appears to be less of a fad than an instinctive desire to find a deeper level of values to live by. As such, it seems likely not only to survive but to develop further into many new forms. {Is spirituality a passing trend?}

Church HDR

Church HDR (Photo credit: I_am_Allan)

The church community should not be afraid of those people who also want to be spiritual people. Every religious person in a way should be a spiritual person. Faith without works is dead. Each person believing in Jesus should know he should undertake efforts to understand those teachings, knowing the Torah and following the commandments of Christ and the commandments of God. Each follower of Christ should not only go out in the world on his own, no he should make efforts to meet regularly with other like minded people, considering them as his brothers and sisters in Christ. Gathering together they should ‘make church‘ and be united in the religion of the Body of Christ. In that Body or Church they should undertake actions, like reading the Bible, exhorting each other and Breaking bread with each other. This would mean they are have do do religious actions and to be religious in the tradition of the faith of Christ Jesus. But without their pure heart they would not be honest to the others in that community. So first of all each individual has to purify himself or herself, to which she or he can use meditation or spiritual exercise.

Religion and spirituality are complementary and should go together, uniting each of us in the name of Christ.

Bible School, USA

Christadelphian Bible school meeting.
United brethren and sisters in Christ.

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Preceding articles:

Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience

Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life

Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual

Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people

Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences

Being Religious and Spiritual 6 Romantici, utopists and transcendentalists

Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one

Next: Points to remember of philosophy versus spirituality and religion

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Find also to read:

  1. Human nature
  2. “Who is The Most High” ? Who is thee Eternal? Who is Yehovah? Who is God?
  3. Only One God
  4. God’s design in the creation of theworld
  5. God Helper and Deliverer
  6. Gods hope and our hope
  7. God’s Will for Us – Gods Wil voor ons 
  8. Gods hope and our hope
  9. God’s measure not our measure
  10. God’s promises
  11. Gods Salvation
  12. Full authority belongs to God
  13. Preexistence in the Divine purpose and Trinity
  14. Jesus Messiah
  15. Servant of his Father
  16. Incomplete without the mind of God
  17. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  18. Faith
  19. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  20. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  21. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  22. Faith antithesis of rationality
  23. Faith is a pipeline
  24. Faith is knowing there is an ocean because you have seen a brook.
  25. Are religious and secular ethicists climbing the same mountain
  26. Caricaturing and disapproving sceptics, religious critics and figured out ethics
  27. Theology without spirituality sterile academic exercise
  28. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  29. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  30. Fellowship
  31. United people under Christ
  32. Parts of the body of Christ
  33. What part of the Body am I?
  34. Communion and day of worship
  35. Church sent into the world
  36. Pulpit reserved for the pastor
  37. Teach children the Bible
  38. Everything that is done in the world is done by hope
  39. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  40. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  41. Peter Cottontail and a Bunny laying Eastereggs
  42. Fr Paddy Byrne finds First communions and confirmations should be delayed
  43. Are Science and the Bible Compatible?
  44. The Soul confronted with Death
  45. Is there an Immortal soul
  46. The Soul not a ghost
  47. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  48. Dying or not
  49. What happens when we die?
  50. Dead and after
  51. Destination of righteous

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Additional reading:

  1. Spiritual but not Religious, or A Disconnect on the Faith Divide
  2. Is spirituality a passing trend?
  3. Christian Identity, or Can Baby Jesus Get Some Love?
  4. Rewriting History — The History of America Mega-Conference: Part Three, “Religious Liberalism” And Those Magnificent Mathers
  5. Rewriting History — History of America Mega-Conference: Part Eight, Closing Thoughts
  6. Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious?
  7. Let The Children Come ~ Teach Them About God
  8. Let The Children Come ~ Teach Them God’s Word « An Imperfect Life
  9. Let The Children Come ~ Be An Example « An Imperfect Life
  10. Let The Children Come ~ Pray for Them

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  • I am Spiritual but not Religious (passionistpartners.com)
    “I am spiritual but not religious.” This is the mantra voiced by a number of people, Catholics included. It means that such people savor the inner qualities of their faith in Jesus Christ but not the outer framework in which those qualities are contained.

    They respond warmly to the Christmas scene of Mary and Joseph kneeling close to Jesus as a newborn infant. They may resonate with the teaching of Jesus on the beatitudes, describing the poor in spirit, the meek, the merciful, the peacemakers. They may treasure His words on loving one another as he has loved us.

    But when it comes to graphically depicting these sentiments in ritual, music, art, architecture, vestments, ceremonies, processions, incense—this is a different story. They find such a discrepancy between thoughts and feelings, and the attempt at giving tangible expression to them fails miserably in the opinion of some people. The sermons are boring, the collection is scandalous, the singing is outdated, the prayers formulaic and out of touch with people’s needs and desires.

  • The one religion that’s not part of my spiritual quest (roguepriest.net)
    Jesus is central in one out of 16 or five out of 43 major religions practiced in the world today. (In the first list I’m excluding “no religion,” “new religions” and “other” for my count, and in the second list I’m pointing to Christianity, Christian Science, Jehova’s Witnesses, Mormonism, and Rastafari.) By that count less than 6 – 11% of religions consider Christ important. With nods from Baha’i, Islam and Unitarianism, the figure rises to a max of 25%.
    Likewise, the majority of people in the world today do not follow any branch of Christianity.
    Yet the teachings of Christ loom large.
  • Religions and Spirituality (allowinglove.wordpress.com)
    diverse ethnicities and faiths from Passaic County gathered for one hour at Pa… SPARTA, NJ
  • Picking fights over religion and the separation of church and state (santamariatimes.com)
    how this kind of free-floating rage differs from Bible-beating preachers who blame earthquakes and tornadoes on other people’s sexual sins escapes me. The main characteristic of the fundamentalist mind is an inability to refrain from expressing contempt for beliefs different from one’s own — whether one’s spiritual example is Pat Robertson or Christopher Hitchens.
  • Spiritual Well-Being (casapalmera.com)
    piritual well-being is an integral part of mental, emotional and physical health. It is considered to be a primary coping resource on the journey of recovery and healing. This healing takes place in drug treatment centers, eating disorder residential programs and at trauma recovery. Spiritual well-being can be associated with a specific religion but does not have to be. This practice is merely one’s own journey to discover things of importance in life as well as one’s place among them. It can be practiced in numerous ways, with its main purpose being to find purpose and meaning in life. Spirituality and faith provide an opportunity to detach from circumstances and observe life with clarity and integrity. Spirituality can either be positive or negative. Spiritual well-being is a state is which the positive aspects of spirituality are shown. How the effects of spiritual well-being impact you is greatly determined by each individual.
  • My journey of faith (brynsthoughtsonfaith.wordpress.com)
    What might have happened if I was baptized into the Church of England, for instance? Would my faith have been stronger as a teenager? Would I have still gone down the route to the Catholic Church, given the opportunity?My early upbringing was, as such, not massively religious one way or the other. We did not go to Church (Anglican or Catholic) on Sunday, so as not to sway me one way or the other.
    From what I remember, my Primary School was Church of England in all but name, we had Assembly every morning, sang hymns and when Christmas and Easter came, we would sing in the local Anglican Church, St. Nicholas.
  • Obama Spiritual Advisor: President Very Religious (peacemoonbeam.typepad.com)
    President Obama’s spiritual adviser says the leader of the free world is more religious than most people think.
  • Enriching Your Spirituality: Famous Christian Quotes (quotes.answers.com)
    A poignant quote can have a profound effect. The simple truths contained in only a few lines have the power to inspire, calm, and encourage someone in need. This is especially true for Christian quotes. Whether you are struggling to find God’s purpose in your life or seeking comfort in a time a duress, these famous Christian quotes offer great help in times of need.
  • 10 Religious Quotes to Make You Think (quotes.answers.com)
    It seems that no matter what breakthroughs science makes in explaining the world, people will always have a need for spirituality and religion. Indeed, it seems that the only area with satisfying answers for many tough questions is religion. These religious quotes are collected from thinkers, writers, and lay people from a wide range of religious faiths and creeds. What they all have in common is that they are guaranteed to make you think.
  • Religious Rites: An Overview of Christian Funeral Services (christianity.answers.com)
    Regardless of your religious persuasion, a funeral service is one of the more somber rites that you might attend. In the Christian faith, even though death is seen as a passage to eternal life, saying goodbye to a loved one is very sad. This article details the common elements of most Christian burial services.