Nourishing the Spiritual Future

The Qur’an versus the Torah and the Gospels

I can only imagine what my childhood diaries contained [I burned them YEARS ago to HIDE THE EVIDENCE LOL!] and how very different my outlook is now.I have been ignorant, biased, and at times self-centered. Through God’s abundant grace, I live and I have triumphed.

Where does this all go? What has a childhood diary got to do with the video?

Allow me to explain…

By it’s very nature – religious faith grows. No matter what ‘books’ I read to locate answers to my life’s meaning, I will never ‘know and comprehend it all’. I submit to the Holy Spirit now…but I haven’t always done so… My soul has grown.

What I mean is [as far as this particular video is concerned] as the ‘apostles [including Muhammad]’ expanded their spiritual and multinational knowledge and relations, their perceptions changed, but people CLUNG to the Torah language because they feared what they did not understand; we fear and become blind to a greater expansion of knowledge, and thus greater responsibility [the old ‘ignorance is bliss’].

I admit, I admire how the Muslim faith require young boys to study the Qur’an – although they do not ‘require’ the same studiousness of females or the equal study of the Torah [this REEKS of closed-mindedness]. I admire their familial closeness and protectiveness, perhaps because I longed for (and still long for) it in my own CHRISTIAN life. If Christian parents epitomized and taught their sons and daughters to be the ‘spiritual leaders of the home’ at a young age, I wonder what American family relations would look like these days? I can only dream …

Recall how American feathers are ‘ruffled’ when civil and educational administrators tolerate ‘religious’ sentiments other than Christianity (recently, thwarting Christian values, which is only the FRUITS of America’s multicultural expansion). Have Christians not noticed the rise of ‘home-schooling’ and ‘private school’ attendance, yet ‘church attendance’ has plummeted? There is way too much ‘casting lots’ (half-hazard enlistment of others to teach our young) of responsibility on to someone else because parents are too busy, too ignorant, and too self-absorbed to accept the responsibility of becoming the ‘spiritual guide’ of their offspring. What kind of world are we leaving behind? I will say, it is refreshing to see so very many youth personifying, carrying, and defending their faith. It is as if these young, courageous youth (and, weren’t we ALL courageous in our youthful ignorance) figured out what the older generation did not have the tenacity to attempt , saying, “Hey, look, ya’ll ! The world did not collapse because I stood up for my faith and moral beliefs!”

I think we spend too much energy looking for answers outside ourselves [God will send me an answer, heal me, etc.] instead of ‘doing the work [personal study, reflection, reaching out to spiritual leaders, opening up dialogue with other faiths]’ and acting. The Holy Spirit requires a step of clouded faith – led by the Holy Spirit; not acting on gut or animistic instinct. The Holy Spirit reside within not without; humans create the existence of the Holy Spirit through our manifested human actions.

If our ‘works‘ do not ‘build up‘ [FRUITS] then by natural law of opposites, our empty works ‘destroy‘.

There is no ‘in-between’ – although, it may take time [sometimes centuries] for human works to outwardly manifest as ‘Godly work’ – and THIS is what we, as humans, have difficulty accepting…we may never see the fruits of our labor OR the internal rotting we cause; and we need to accept this. We need to TRUST in our belief that what the Creator touches through the Holy Spirit GROWS – otherwise it is never manifested – it whither and dies. Is this, perhaps, the reason the Islamic faith has, indeed, grown and the Christian faith has withered and fragmented? I am beginning to believe Christians have ‘gotten too big for their britches’. We have turned our ‘houses of worship’ into social centers, castles of abundance, and the assumption that church membership equates possession of a character of good standing. The hypocritical count continues to rise.

Perhaps some Christians NEED to take off the ‘greater than thou’ glasses and commit to heavy contemplation of a few pages from the Islamic Qur’an. If, for no other reason, to at least TRY to understand another’s point of view. Perhaps we need to revert backward to a moment in our evolution when personal character, familial love and responsibility, and spiritual pride reigned over pride, pampered egos, and material reward.

AGAIN, What do my thoughts have to do with the video?

If I do not ATTEMPT to understand the mentality and beliefs of the enemy of my faith, I will not recognize my own misguided intentions. The mirror never lies, although my sight [and therefore, my understanding and belief] may be distorted. I am beginning to consider the Qur’an as part of the ‘growth’ of the Holy Spirit through humanity. Maybe, just maybe, the Islamic faith grew out of the disgust the ancients had regarding the ‘politicization of Judaism’. Maybe some people grew weary of the Sadducees and Pharisees’ political, economic power (sound familiar?)

Of course, people have used the Torah, Gospels, and Qur’an to justify self-centered motives [the Crusades, jihad, military force, harsh discipline of children, ‘civility’ of death penalty, abortion, adultery, etc.]. Many have retorted: ‘You can find anything in scriptures to justify an evil act.’ My answer to this is… ‘Humans can mentally justify anything they do… It does not mean it is JUSTIFIED or CONDONED by the Holy Spirit’.

In other words, if I do not get up off my lazy buttocks and water/feed my garden, it will not nourish me, my children, or humanity at large.

Thus, why I write. Why I lay bare my mental ponderings…

Selah~

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The Assertive Side of Love

sufferinsilenceI’ve learned a lot about my self via my academic career, thus far. Some of my awareness has come tenderly; joyfully, but most times I am ‘put through the wine press’ of Yahweh’s loving discipline to become the person He intends me to be.

The latest addition to my readings and psychological malingerings is Hillman’s ’Soul’s Code: In Search of Character and Calling’. Without me going into poetic detail, Hillman’s book describes the divide between what is ‘holy’ and what is ‘worldly’. He describes different high-profile individuals and the ’pressing’ of his or her daimon for expression. To Hillman, behavior is neither good nor bad, right or wrong; it is in fact indifferent – it just is. It is the expression of the fully alert, fully realized, fully capable daimon bursting forth through the biological behavior of an inept but malleable human. In our politically correct world the daimon is further hampered by the uneducated, primitive human from which it burst forth, flawed through genetics. Most play the blame game through psychoanalysis, addiction, and promiscuous perversions of the procreation act.

But I digress.

I suppress anger, to the detriment of my sanity. I suppress disappointment, bereavement, longings, and anger. Now Freud would attribute this to my childhood. Perhaps I did not feel like anyone listen to me in my youth, therefore I have learned to ignore and stifle these festering psychic cancers. There is a bit of truth in this. It was a conditioning of behavior through omission and neglect.  I saw anger all around me, heard it through bedroom walls. I felt anger upon my backside from the lashing of my father’s belt and saw it in his steel blue eyes.

Yet it was never discussed. It was never acted upon or even recognized for existing at all. I do not ever recall anyone in my childhood giving me permission, let alone teaching me how to express blows to my ego in a Christian way. Instead, I would question my emotion, ‘Why am I angry? How did it hurt me?’ ‘What could I have done differently?’ Preachers high in the pulpit (including my father) I grew accustomed to in childhood never once explained to the congregation why on earth he could slam the Holy Bible on the pulpit, angry at someone falling asleep during his sermon or everyone’s sinfulness, but I could never say the word ‘shit’- even when Daddy closed my thumb in the car door!

So, I am learning to assert this gurgling force that occasionally rises from within: the rush of hot, molten black misery that oozes from my core and consumes my reptilian brain, scolding me to ‘run, hide, survive’! And I am learning it is an action potential made by God, or perhaps my daimon rising up to protect me from misery and further separation from WHO I am to be. I must learn to recognize loss, rejection, indifference, bitterness, and abandonment as an opportunity for growth. I need to see it less as fear and more as the educational twists of Yahweh’s winepress; blending me into aged perfection.

May I be a worthy student and learn my lessons well…Selah

Matthew 7:1-6

“Judge not, [so] that you [will] be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce [point out regarding others; gossip about] you will be judged, and with the measure you use [to measure another person’s iniquity] it will be measured to you. Why do you see [and declare publicly] the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice[or admit to]the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take [or, tell you what to do to remove] the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log[or, iniquity] in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take [or, attend to] the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

Ephesians 4

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths [stereotype, perception, mental consideration of], but only what is helpful for building others up [structuring; use of foundational principles to guide actions by] according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve [cause sorrow; sadness] the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed [preserved] for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice [depravity; maliciousness]. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

1 Thessalonians 5:14

“And we urge you, brothers, admonish [scold; chide; give warning to] the idle, encourage [support; promote] the fainthearted[the timid; fearful; nervous], help the weak [fragile, defenseless; vulnerable], be patient [long-suffering; tolerant] with them all.”

Titus 3:10

“As for a person who stirs up [insights, proclaims] division [rejection of religious laws], after twice admonishment [mild reprimand], have nothing [elude; take avoiding action] more to do with him [he did it to himself].”

Mommas Teach your Children

Loss of MannersLack of manners in millennials is a particular pet peeve of mine. Young people no longer portray civil manners because they are not taught these social graces in the home. A person would be lucky to sit across from a millennial for 2 minutes without the techno-maniac having a seizure from withdrawal.

And then, we wonder why there is such a high incidence of Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosed these days?

How often do humans need to be told ‘if you do not USE a muscle, you LOSE that muscle’? The brain is a muscle, whether you want to admit this fact or not. All manner of life as we know it derives from what we use to exercise the muscle between our shoulders. Without it, we are but a lump of clay molded by the will of whomever dolls out enough time to validate our existence.

And my children wonder why I hold on to them so very tightly when I am in their presence…One day they will get it.