Archives For About Life

Things I have learned through my sixty odd years of life..

Anxiety is tough, isn’t it? Not just for the people that have it, but for you – the people that stick with them – while they’re going through it. It’s emotionally taxing on both ends, it’s physically demanding at times, and of course mentally demanding most of the time.

Plans have to be changed to accommodate the anxiety. Situations have to be avoided at times. Planning has to be just that bit more thorough. Emotional needs can change daily. It’s a lot to work through, and it can be hard to get in their head to understand on top of that.

SOURCE: 13 Things to Remember If You Love A Person With Anxiety.

This is another LifeHack post that drew me in. No, I am not the anxious one but I am married to one. In our twenty-nine years of marriage she has gotten sick before every vacation we have taken. She just doesn’t want to be away from her nest.  Most of the time she will eventually overcome her anxiety and we manage to take some time away from home. But several times we have had to cut the trip short due to an illness that almost always gets better once she is home.

Loving a person with anxiety is hard. The thirteen things to remember in the article above will be helpful to all those others out there that love a person with anxiety.

I am bringing over a series of posts for my Sunday entries from my now inactive blog over at RedLetterLiving. This is the last of a six-part series from about a year ago about the importance of the Bible in my spiritual life. After a ten-year study I finally understand what millions of other have discovered before me…. It’s about Jesus, not the Bible…

Religious Diversity…

April 12, 2015

I am bringing over a series of posts for my Sunday entries from my now inactive blog over at RedLetterLiving. This is the fifth of a six-part series from about a year ago about the importance of the Bible in my spiritual life. After a ten-year study I finally understand what millions of other have discovered before me…. It’s about Jesus, not the Bible…

What About The Bible… ? (Chapter 5)

Cell PhoneI used to mourn the fact that there are almost 40,000 different versions of Christianity around today. But, in reality maybe I should celebrate that statistic. At least it shows that we are all trying to find the heart of God. But the problem with this is that we end up picking the type of God we want. I don’t think that is really how God wants it to be but it seems that is the way it is for most of us. Some choose to try to discover God on our own. Some take the lazy way of just latching onto a version that is close enough to their reality or maybe they choose the “easiest” God that doesn’t interfere with their current lifestyle.  Some take it to a deeper and more personal journey.

Diversity seems to be the best we can do right now. For whatever reason God has chosen not to make his presence unquestionably known to us. But it sure would be nice to get a signal from him as to who among us has it at least a little right.  He doesn’t have to turn off the sun as he supposedly did in the Old Testament. How about just sending a text message to every cell phone in the world all at the same time? That sure would be helpful in knowing what he wants us to do on this earth.

Yeah, I know there are some out there that are screaming “JUST READ THE BIBLE!!!” But what version of the Bible do I read? Do I read about the God who demands constant blood sacrifices. Do I read about the God who allows, some say even commanded, genocide?   Do I read about the God who told us to pick up snakes as proof that we are true believers? Or do I believe the God of Love as personified in my interpretation of the Bible. Just reading the Bible is what got us in all these 40,000 versions in the first place so forgive me if I don’t think that is a real answer.

What it means to be a Christian is presently an open book with thousands of different paths.  It seems the best we can do is to passionately search for God on a very personal level and live out our lives with that  personal epiphany if we do find it. I personally choose to pick those words of Jesus about being our brother’s keeper and about loving God and loving each other as his message to me.  To me all the other stuff around today is just smoke and mirrors that just blur my vision of him.

Others may choose a vengeful god who is looking for any reason to condemn us to hell. Others may choose a god who asks them to just say the right words and then get a fire insurance policy to redeem when they eventually die. Other may choose the god of infinite rules and regulations. But for me, I choose the God of Love….

But it sure would be nice to get a text message from God himself letting me know if I kinda got it at least a little right…..

An Audience of One….

April 8, 2015

2015-03-25_16-49-25Those of us who blog have many tools at our disposal to see just how many people are reading what we write. Those statistics are always lurking on the edges of the page we use to generate our daily posts. They seem to be whispering “look at me”. How can we not do push the buttons?

There are also hundreds of books out there telling you what you need to do to increase your post visits. They tell you to blog about niches where others don’t and you will be toward the top of the search engine listing in that category. They tell you how to add tags and such to increase your site’s chances of being found. I admit that I do pay some, probably too much,  attention to these things. After all we all want to know that someone is taking the time to read what we write. For those so inclined there is a lot of emphasis about getting your post counts up so you can make more money via advertisements on your site.

It all comes down to why we blog.

Do we do it for money?

Do we do it for fame?

Do we do it to get a point across?

Do we do it for fun?

Do we do it for ourselves?

I believe I do blog to a degree for the last three reasons.  I want to convince as many as possible that looking at things from different angles will allow us to make better choices.  For that reason I do become somewhat discouraged when some posts that I think is awesome in that regard gets less views than one I simply jotted down in a minute. Sometimes I just fall in love with my own words a little too much.

But I also blog just because I like to play around with “words”. Saying things just the “right” way is a challenge to me and I enjoy when I think I get it just right. So in that regard I do it for myself and post count shouldn’t matter…

2015-03-25_16-21-53I admit that I do get discouraged when only a few visit my page on a given day. That is especially true when I see some of the blogs I visit have many times more viewers than I do.

But then I look at all this from a different angle. Thomas Jefferson was perhaps our most prolific founding father. His library was the foundation for our current library in congress. He spent his post-presidency years reading, studying, and writing. I have several books on my bookshelf behind me and on my Kindle reader to attest to the fact that he wrote thousands of letters and personal journals that were never read by more than a handful of people during his life.  Was he discouraged that more people did not read what he wrote? I don’t think so.  He wrote because he had to, it was just part of his nature.  I like to think I do the same thing so I have to get over my sometimes obsession with post views and to appreciate the fact that, unlike Jefferson, I always have more than an audience of one…

I am bringing over a series of posts for my Sunday entries from my now inactive blog over at RedLetterLiving. This is the four of a six-part series from about a year ago about the importance of the Bible in my spiritual life. After a ten-year study I finally understand what millions of other have discovered before me…. It’s about Jesus, not the Bible…

 

The Bible — History Book Or Idol???

CB064037When we treat the Bible as a history book we come to more thoroughly understand the varied opinions put forth. But I very much understand that a significant portion of those who call themselves Christians believe that every word, every punctuation mark came directly from God and therefore is literally true and without the possibility of any error.

It seems to me that this group of Christians actually put the Bible itself above Jesus’ messages and therefore have made it into an idol to be worshiped in and for its own sake.  The inerrants, as they are often called, put forth an argument that if there is absolutely anything in the Bible that is not absolutely true then the Bible as a whole is worthless. This logic totally confuses me. I have never seen its application anywhere else in the world. Is there anything logic that even comes close to this type of belief?

There have been hundreds of different books written about Abraham Lincoln. It is absolutely certain that not everything in them is factual. Each book is for the most part one person’s opinions about this or that aspect piled onto the history of his life. Each book adds a little more insight, and probably a little more myth, into the nature of that famous person.

The U.S. Constitution written more than two hundred years ago is a very unique document in human history. It has allowed our country to flourish while many others wither and die.  It is a very wise and amazing document. But even that document has somethings that are shameful by 21st century eyes. The establishment that some of its citizens are only worth 3/5 of others is an embarrassing part. Should we throw the whole think out and start over again because it contains some things that are just flat wrong by today’s standards? Of course not. We instead add amendments to correct previous wrongs.

The other part that some put on the Bible is that it is God’s total word for all time.  That it answers all our questions and nothing else is required. In some ways that shows to me that these believers think that God is no longer necessary in today’s world. That he has been replaced by the Bible. That he has nothing else to teach us!  He has nothing more to say to the 21st century follower than he did to the 1st century follower.  That he is somehow now an absentee landlord replaced by a book!

Thank God (pun intended) there are also many others outside this inerrant belief system that think that God has given us revelation throughout human history. He give us scientific knowledge when He knows we can handle it. He gave us the key to DNA so that we can now start to solve health crises throughout the world. He has been giving us new revelations and discoveries for the last two thousand years and will continue to give us more in the future. God was not done giving out pieces of his omnipotent knowledge twenty centuries ago. Far from it!

Scriptures does not give us all the answers to life, reality, or the universe. But, it is the major source of the stories and fables around the times that Jesus walked this earth. We all gain valuable glimpses into the life and teachings of Jesus from those stories. For that reason the Bible is revered text but it should never never be idolized.

2015-03-20_19-39-57In the 17th century, the French philosopher René Descartes came up with the “explanation for it all”: I think, therefore I am. Descartes is considered the Father of Modern Day philosophy but being a relative novice in this area I kind of put that label on Plato or Socrates. Philosophy is something that I have always been peripherally interested in but never delved much into.  I have to put that on my bucket list I guess. I bet very few people have it there. :)  But this is not the real topic of this post. It is more about the phrase than the inventor.

Two things that I have always gushed with in my life is dreaming and thinking. I never seem to be capable of just shutting down my brain in those two areas. During my ten-year study of things theological I became fascinated with the Quaker religion. They just seem to have it for the most right among all the religious sects I studied. A big part of their church services is “centering down”. That is sitting quietly opening your mind to private messages from God. This proved to be very difficult for me but I do on occasion accomplish it. But for the most part I can’t quit thinking about things of life.

I can’t imagine what it would be like for someone who would get all their news of the world from one cable media source and to take all the propraganda  by that channel as truth. It boggles my mind that there are millions of such people in the U.S. They don’t look for alternatives to what they are told. They simply don’t think that thinking for themselves is of any value I guess. By the same token I can’t imagine going through life without dreaming of other possibilities. To be dreaming that things can be better than they are now or have been in the past is simply something I am constantly doing.

So, I very much align with my own personal definition of “I think, therefore I am”.  I don’t know if I am really weird about this or just one of the few who will admit that I am constantly thinking and dreaming.  If I weren’t doing that I would question if I am really living? A  big part of the thinking and dreaming show up on this blog and I hope some at least get a little insight into life from my words. I always try to be respectful of everyone I come across and I hope that shows up here also. But a big part of my thinking is how we can improve the human condition of man. I have no illusions of grandeur. I don’t expect to be able to do more than very minutely nudge anyone from their set of beliefs but I hope I at least get some to think outside of the boxes they have built around themselves.  Maybe I think about too much stuff that really doesn’t matter to many but that is who I am.

I think, therefore I am…..