Personal Journey: – Charity

‘Charity begins at home.’ – was just another phrase I heard from my parents.  It did not really register in my mind.  Of course you do what your parent’s tell you. That is giving isn’t it?  But what about doing something they don’t tell you to do?

Over the years there have been many simple, direct comments made that seem to light a bulb in my head. That didn’t happen with charity until  I heard Glenn Beck say “When I reach the Pearly Gates of Heaven I will not be called “Glenn Beck and party of ten”.  I will be alone.  God will want to know what I have done – individually, not collectively. Now, oddly that tied in with my parents telling me ‘Charity begins at home.’ The pearly gates

At that moment, I realized that giving to others – was not the money I gave to abstract charities, it was not the amount of taxes I paid for a government to distribute ‘my charity’ for me.  It was and always has been what I do myself.  I am not in any way advocating not giving to charity.  I just believe some research should be done to ensure that actual charity is involved. Anyone can say anything they want and we all know there are many scams and cons happening that always seem to play on our guilt – by calling us, especially in North America, selfish and therefore greedy.

I’m sure that propaganda being perpetuated is having an impact on us, just as surely as any propaganda does. We are being brainwashed into believing we are selfish, yet North America gives more money to charity than anywhere else in the world.  Even knowing our governments are not efficient we pay hefty taxes all in the name of helping others. But it always seems those that need, never improve while their governments prosper and become ‘fat cats’ we all condemn.  Yet we continue letting this happen.

Beck went on to say – it starts with you.  Help your family, friends and neighbors – they in turn help their friends, family and neighbors and it begins to spread – until it spreads all over the world.

So now, instead of worrying about everyone in the world (being as I’m not rich and it only increases my feelings of helplessness) I decided to try that simple plan.  I am so pleased to know it is working.  By concentrating on helping or showing kindness to those I meet and know, I am much more at peace with myself and I see the results immediately.  There is less stress and pressure in my life now and people in turn show me kindness.  It works!!

I am now more aware that for those who have urges to help in under-developed countries there are ways to do that as well.  From Habitat for Living to various religious organizations you can volunteer your services.  You don’t need money, just your time to get involved with whatever your Holy Spirit guides you to.

Good luck in your own personal journey and don’t be upset if you are guided in a direction you didn’t think of going.  Follow the teachings of Jesus in your own personal life and you will be much happier.

Paul - with God

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Personal Journeys: – Peace

I am discovering it might be impossible to separate religion from politics. It is our Christian values/principles that have created a peaceful society we all enjoy in North America. If these values/principles are no longer taught – will we remain at peace? (and specifically with the hostility/anger floating around by changing this – can we?)  Some countries are not fighting – but are ruled by fear and force,(dictators and laws)/not freedom. Do the people feel at peace?  It is a dilemma I’m trying to work through. Can anyone help me and explain the way?

Here in North America I have only known peace from the time I was born until now.  I do not go to sleep at night worrying about being bombed in my sleep; I do not wake up to scrounge around for food so I don’t starve.  I do not go outside worrying about whether I will be assaulted or killed.  I am not wearing rags and searching for something to heat my home. I enjoy all the things a prosperous, industrious country can provide.   Every day I thank God for my life.  I also thank our Christian ancestors as well.  Those people who had the knowledge and ability to give us this opportunity – to live in Peace.

A wish for you

As I grow older, I am seeing a ‘Great Divide’ happening that makes me sad. Without teaching our children our values and principles, one of the things we are denying them is this peace we have enjoyed.  As we allow others to change our laws we are also changing our core beliefs as well.  For some reason tolerance, reason and respect are values that no longer apply. The more we try ‘new things’ the worse it appears to be.  It’s all lopsided and topsy-turvy.   If changes create chaos and uncertainty – then why are we changing?

Yes, we have fought in wars – we have lost many good men and women throughout the decades.  But we also knew what we were fighting for in the past – to maintain our freedom and peace.  Is the great society we managed to create crumbling? Why do we fight now?  I understand Afghanistan after 9/11 and most people who understand freedom and peace should.  After 9/11 our belief we were safe was lost.  Way back in Roman times – Rome spread their armies thin and fought skirmishes (but not wars) and as history reveals – people resist when someone tries to force their beliefs them. Meanwhile back in Rome – decadence, ignorance, corrupt governing and the belief their way of life would go on forever went rampant.  We all know what happened in Rome.  Why repeat it?

I study history extensively.  I see very clearly – peace (with happiness)  is obtained through – individual (not collective) rights.  Peace is obtained through tolerance, reason and respect in all – to accept the individual, the differences.  Peace cannot be forced upon others.  Peace is a lesson which Christianity teaches very effectively.  By taking away freedom and individual rights we only create chaos and suppression and unending fighting.  This is something we fought so hard to avoid – yet many today are trying to create.  Why?

Are there people really so arrogant as to believe they can succeed where all others have failed? If you compare Karl Marx to Grimm’s fairy-tales can you see a connection?  On paper Karl Marx created an idealist world and the Grimm brothers created fairy-tales. Neither is the truth or real, yet many believe it’s possible.  Once anyone (don’t forget we are individuals so it’s only a fairy-tale being pursued) creates Marx perfect world what is next – how will we keep everyone thinking the same?  Brainwashing?  Medication? A robot society?  I personally don’t believe God will let us do that.

Jesus on the other hand –  taught (not forced) us a way to obtain peace and harmony. Jesus teaches individual, peace, harmony, faith, hope, tolerance and compassion.  Why is it considered wrong or ignorant to follow him by some? What threat is Jesus in some people’s mind?

Here in North America. so long as He existed in our societies we knew and saw it work.  Are we about to lose that?Judgement

Personal Journeys: – Respect

There is such an obvious lack of respect happening in our society.  Is it because we are pushing away from faith and hope?  My own personal thoughts say it is so.  One needs only to read headlines on a daily basis to see it’s happening. This lack of respect cannot be comprehended by many and I certainly can’t comprehend it.  Why?  What is happening?   I gathered these incidents in just a few days – without even searching.

An elderly woman’s nose is cut off

…Teens kill a man ‘for the fun of it – because they were bored’. 

…A man is left brain-dead, shot because someone hates whites

There is no respect left inside for many people it seems.  I would think it might be self-respect as well.  If you are pursuing the pleasures society is offering abundantly and condoning it – there has to come a time when you feel degraded and disgusted – even if you only admit it to yourself. Believing – like you are being taught now – that there will be no punishment is a scenario many love to think will be – until you realise – your punishment may well be happening right now.A letter from Heaven

Again, it’s never too late to repent.  It’s never too late to change.  I am not a believer of ‘doom and gloom’.  I do not believe God is so cruel He will deny you if you don’t attend a church or belong to a group.  I do believe God sees and hears everything and only you and God can truly know whether you are living/saying things that are lies or the truth.  He knows. That belief helps me to respect others – including those who don’t believe in God.  It is your choice and not up to me to judge either way.  I just ponder over the possibility that by taking God from our society – we might just be teaching lack of respect and a selfish attitude to our children.

Just watching society behavior is showing me that there are too many ‘followers of something evil and degrading’ who just need to be taught what is right and wrong. Give our children a chance to see both sides so they are able to make choices as adults.Have faith

Personal Journeys: – Tolerance

Don’t compromise your beliefs and principles.

In North America we have created the best society that the world has ever seen. Or as former President Bush once said ‘…it isn’t perfect but it’s the best we’ve come up with so far.’

In today’s politically correct society we have very much allowed ourselves to stray from what was intended in our countries. It is always easier to claim the majority are intolerant even though that majority gave everyone freedom that few other countries have experienced. Anger Management

 

Bikers arrive in Washington to mourn 9/11 and are not allowed a permit. Read how the bikers got around this ‘politically correct’ – but wrong decision.

Sometimes not tolerating is only the need to control other people’s thoughts and beliefs. Sometimes it can be cured by taking a deep breath and realizing it does not matter what other people’s opinions are so long as they aren’t hurting anyone.  Thoughts and opinions are free. Thoughts and opinions do not harm others.  Although if some get their way – those too will be taken away from us even though it’s impossible.  Such intolerance is scary.

Good Advice

And sometimes there are people who really believe they and people like themselves have the answers for everyone.  Those people will use any methods from sweetness to threats to make others think their way.  It’s impossible – and the danger lies in their ability to gain power.  Evil does reign when good people do nothing to stop it.  History has repeated that simple fact over and over.

You can’t please everyone – and not everyone is going to like you.  That is a fact and not even forcing everyone into one collective belief/thought will change it. (Unless you are obsessed with Star Trek and believe it’s a portrayal of society in the future I guess). We can all live in peace and harmony.  We were created as individuals – and to create a more perfect society – tolerance on ALL sides will be needed, not laws, forcing and changing. Education won’t work (or what a free-spirited person like myself might classify ‘brain-washing’ – forcing me to think your beliefs/principles are right’).

Against all odds, be yourself.  Don’t compromise your principles/beliefs for anyone.

All you need to learn tolerance is to  rejoice in differences.  It really is that simple.

Forgiving


Personal Journeys: – Faith and Hope

Fear makes everything seem impossible.
Faith makes everything seem possible.
“With man it is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

 Is it just me – or does anyone else see the correlation between the deterioration of our western countries is directly parallel to our attempts to push God out of our societies?

Mary had a Little Lamb

Writing Seraphim, my latest novel,5. Seraphim - cover I have succumbed to many blocks.  I have my heroine Delaney, lose faith and then regain it.  It wasn’t as simple as I thought.  There has to be a reason.  She can’t just blindly change for no reason.  So, in frustration, I started researching my own journey into faith.  I feel I am ready to write, with authority, Delaney’s journey as well.

It is a sad day to see faith being taken out of our society and with it signs of hope seem to be disappearing as well. Jesus teaches giving, forgiving, helping others and treating people with respect and tolerance. There is nothing Jesus taught that will harm anyone and much to gain by following Him.  Yet many, including many religious people, keep quoting the old testament.

I believe and was taught I vaguely remember – that one of the reasons God sent Jesus down is to show us THE RIGHT WAY to interpret His words. Regardless of whether you believe Jesus was the son of God or not, I cannot understand the hostility against Him and all He taught.

Jesus (as a man or as son of God) – influenced the whole western world and in return they prospered and were given such good lives. (It’s here many will quote the atrocities committed supposedly in the name of Jesus – but those atrocities were committed by men who set themselves up as gods, definitely not Jesus’ teachings).  This cannot be denied if history is taught using the truth.

Now as it’s more popular to bash and deny Him, the results are coming in.  Anger, hostility, unwanted collective laws and omissions from the truth are running side-by-side with bad economies, people struggling to live and downgrading in our lifestyles. Those with faith are sad and a helpless feeling creeps inside,we are wondering what we can do to change this modern trend and mostly think there is nothing.  It is visible harming our society if one looks.

I realize it’s easier to believe there is no God and in turn there will be no punishment. But to me there is visible punishment happening, just too many people ignoring the signs.   And one day you wake up and you are old if you are fortunate.  Death will visit – regardless of what you believe.  Fear will probably run rampant throughout and you will wish you had at least considered those teachings of Jesus. But why worry about anything today besides your own selfish pleasures which oddly will not bring you happiness?  Why worry those very selfish pleasures that will ruin the lifestyle in North America – all built through faith and hope?

An excerpt taken from Mike Helton‘s photo: –    

‘…..I went to visit the new World War II Memorial in Washington, DC. I got an unexpected history lesson. Because I’m a baby boomer, I was one of the youngest in the crowd. Most were the age of my parents, Veterans of ‘the greatest war,’ with their families. It was a beautiful day, and people were smiling and happy to be there. Hundreds of us milled around the memorial, reading the inspiring words of Eisenhower and Truman that are engraved there. On the Pacific side of the memorial, a group of us gathered to read the words President Roosevelt used to announce the attack on Pearl Harbor:  ‘Yesterday, December 7, 1941–a date which will live in infamy–the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked.’  One elderly woman read the words aloud:’With confidence in our armed forces, with the abounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph.’  But as she read, she was suddenly turned angry. ‘Wait a minute,’ she said, ‘they left out the end of the quote. They left out the most important part… Roosevelt ended the message with ‘…so help us God.’  Her husband said, ‘You are probably right. We’re not supposed to say things like that now.’  ‘I know I’m right,’ she insisted. ‘I remember the speech.’ The two looked dismayed, shook their heads sadly and walked away.  Listening to their conversation, I thought to myself, ‘Well, it has been over 50 years; she’s probably forgotten.’  But she had not forgotten. She was right…  I went home and pulled out the book my book club is reading — ‘Flags of Our Fathers’ by James Bradley. It’s all about the battle at Iwo Jima . I haven’t gotten too far in the book. It’s tough to read because it’s a graphic description of the WWII battles in the Pacific. But right there it was on page 58. Roosevelt’s speech to the nation ends in ‘…so help us God.’ The people who edited out that part of the speech when they engraved it on the memorial could have fooled me. I was born after the war! But they couldn’t fool the people who were there. Roosevelt’s words are engraved on their hearts.Now I ask: ‘WHO GAVE THEM THE RIGHT TO CHANGE THE WORDS OF HISTORY’ People today are trying to change the history of America by leaving God out of it, but the truth is, God has been a part of this nation, since the beginning.

He still wants to be…and He always will be! 

Stereotypes

In today’s world we all know stereotyping is wrong and often met with hostility.  I – as a blonde, Roman Catholic, woman, German ancestry, old, a farmer’s daughter, from Saskatchewan  – have met with being stereotyped my whole life.

In my pursuit of examining this phenomena I was surprised to see – some stereotyping is actually promoted and mostly accepted in today’s society.  It is only some types that are wrong and unacceptable.

I watch many shows, which mostly involve stereotyping.  For example there is nothing wrong making a German into the ‘bad guy’.  And they aren’t even Hitler.  They are however, very rigid and cruel in their demeanor. They are mostly intelligent (and they aren’t even Einstein), conniving and intent on ruling others.

Then there are those awful priests (pedophiles/politically  controlling, out to make money for themselves and not the poor people they pretend to help.)  Followed by a stereotyped blonde who is often selfish, dumb and just downright greedy (and someone who will do anything for money).  Then there are the abused, suppressed women, mostly shown as white with a mean abusive husband.  It’s somewhat like watching Tom Hanks Philadelphia – where all the people with aids were white – why? – politically correct on steroids? Then I see the mistrusting, stubborn, hick farmer. He really needs to be educated and join the real world of the academic. (Burt Reynolds – Smokey and the Banditit depends on where you are whether you’re considered smart or not...)   Just like the elderly who are always computer illiterate and really don’t have a clue or understand what the modern world is all about.  So silly of me.  Of course you have advanced so far – you are of course superior. Society is so much better now with your opinions.  Lately I have seen this pushed further – especially in commercials – where the young parents are pathetically ignorant – while the kids are so smart.  Whatever happened to the wisdom of the elderly?  Can you really know everything as a child?

I watched the movie  – The Help.  I really enjoyed this show and hope people can see how far we have advanced in North America from that period of history.  I was happy to see there were even a few ‘good’ white guys.  But then I analysed in-depth – and I wondered – are all ‘plantation belle’ types really so cruel and horrible.  Do all rich people hire nannies and expect those nannies to raise their children.  Again – stereotypes.

I often watch shows or hear about the drunken Irish; the frugal Scottish; the stiff-upper lip Brit; the playboy Frenchman; the mean Russian; the dumb redneck and the list goes on. Unfortunately I also noticed it is still acceptable to many – and used often in movies as well.  But I also noticed it is merely acceptable when a person is Caucasian. So there you go – another stereotype – whites are mean and want to deny/suppress everyone else?

Well, as those people – who are not farmer’s daughters like me – in their wisdom try to correct every word we speak (although we have freedom of speech in our constitutions) – they are making matters worse.  I think it’s time to remember that little nursery rhyme I was taught as a child – and stop making a mountain out of a molehill.  I think it’s time to instill laughter and humor back into our societies.  There was a time when a person could laugh with others and not be afraid to speak for fear of offending someone. There was really a time we could joke and make sarcastic remarks.  I know – because I lived in those times.

Amazing Grace

Sticks and stones may break my bones,

But names can never hurt me…. 

This little rhyme has helped me since I was young and I enjoy a wonderful, free life and I appreciate and thank God every day I can.  I really don’t care what people want to call me.  I just consider the source.  Those that swear or insult are those not proficient enough in the English language to communicate properly.

My little granddaughter throws the most horrific temper-tantrums.  Instead of trying to ‘calm’ her I laugh.  First she looks stunned – then she too starts laughing.  So the temper-tantrum is done and she is happy.

“Always see the humor – even in bad situations” 

Where are we going?

Three horses at sunset in foothillsBoth my parents and grandparents often predicted a well-known quote – ‘idle hands are the devil’s work’.  They worried about the impact leisure time would have on our society and people.  Their predictions are coming to fruit. We, with our modern society, have copious amounts of time to concentrate on what to do with that time. Many are intent on themselves and their own pleasure.  If that means ignoring the teaching of the bible, so be it.  In order to justify the pleasures of leisure time or so as not to justify their behavior, some scoff at the bible and don’t care what they are doing.  There will be no punishment or judging so there is no need to worry either.  

Some, believe we need to go back to a simpler time in history and there are many who will and do play on this with false information –  most intent on gaining power and especially that much coveted money. Some followers truly believe it.  Downsize, don’t leave your carbon footprint, eat organic, go green or we are a selfish, greedy society, especially in North America where we have too much. But that simple life means working from sunup to sundown without conveniences. There is little time to pursue leisurely activities.  Truth be told – very few people I meet or know could actually survive in this simple/stress free world my grandparents lived in. I lived that stress free/simple life in the middle of nowhere as a child.  It wasn’t simple and it certainly wasn’t stress free.

Since I was a child, North American people have been giving generously to third-world countries and anyone who needs help. Those countries who have little and those countries that live the so called ‘simple life’.  With generous, giving hearts we continue to pour money – through our governments and ourselves we give and give.  But does anyone see an improvement?  I don’t.  I only see some people conning us – setting  themselves above God – getting rich, feeding on our guilt, fear and our desire to help others.  How many people today pay taxes and leave it to the government to do our charity work?  What exactly are governments doing to improve third world countries?   

But what is too much?  Who will decide this?  What is the ruler being used to decide this?  Are you going to have any say in what is too much?   Our ancestors worked so hard to create what we have today. Should we feel guilty because others didn’t?  My ancestors did live a more simple life – supposedly – hard physical labor with no conveniences.  The romanticizing of this simple life is just more false information people are being told and believing.  It was not a more simple life, without conveniences like hydro, vehicles and sprays to grow crops, enough to feed the world population. There was very little leisure time except Sunday (which still involved work like feeding the livestock or cooking on a wood/coal stove).  Sunday was set aside for a day of rest – family and friends gathering and playing.  There was still no time to think of yourself or how hard-done you were.  You had little time to question your life – you just did what you had to in order to survive.  

So, I believe today we must all ‘look-back’ – yes – but not to a time when we had nothing but to a time when people helped others and weren’t so self-centered, creating this ‘me’ society.  Discover the time when our principles and morals were in place.  It may surprise some that it was this time when children were taught Christian values and beliefs we prospered beyond our wildest imagination.  That was the time we in North America were building the greatest society ever experienced on this earth.  Rejoice and enjoy what our ancestors have built for us.  

Fort Whoop Up - wagon wheels propped against fort wall

Religious Ponderings

Why do some think that being a good person is religion trying to put the ‘fear’ of God into them?  – Mary M. Forbes, author.

When I think of what the bible is trying to teach us, I try to use my own reasoning and logic. I do not necessarily blindly agree or disagree with the experts.  I use my own God given power of reasoning and try to make sense of it – in my mind.  I respect and tolerate all others – provided they are thinking for themselves, not quoting someone just because it’s what they like to think might create an ‘ideal’ world.

Whoever said life is easy or fair?   If that were the case and possible – wouldn’t we all be healthy like some are; as intelligent as some are; as physically strong and agile as some are; as capable as some are at putting things together – and the list goes on into infinity. I believe that living creatures are going to have suffering in their lives and there is nothing any man or woman can do to change that.  All our attempts to create ‘equality’ will not work.  In the end – we have to accept/tolerate/respect others – not create equality.  If we are all supposed to be equal then why aren’t our ‘gifts’ equal?  The opportunity to be equal is a right we should all have, but it can’t be confused with all being equal.

I believe God doesn’t want us to consider the world the same.  I think the Tower of Babel says otherwise.  I do believe God wants us to live in harmony – all individuals and different.  And when an evil country decides to destroy a good country – I believe that God creates men and women who can ‘fight’ and hold onto their beliefs and principles – not that God comes down and ‘smites’ our enemies.  I believe God works through people and has given us all ‘free-will’.  I also believe that a person/people (our soldiers as examples) are aware of the Holy Spirit inside and are following where He is leading them.

I do not believe God means for us to give up ‘all our worldly goods’ and wander around in poverty or have nothing. How can you give or share if you have nothing?  We would just all become those ‘poor’ who have nothing and need to be given everything, while those who have cravings of power and material possessions would have everything and their nature says they wouldn’t share.  I believe God expects us to help others as we see their need.  I do believe you might be punished if you set up governments (abstract) or charities to help others and not do things yourself.  I do believe God intended us to give ourselves to help others around.  It starts with you – give and you help your own neighbors/friends/family/people you see and are in contact with – it will work from you – not an abstract company/organization.  I think giving to companies/organizations – who in turn give to the needy – is a cop-out and doesn’t say anything about you to God. You are expecting others to do the right thing and give so you don’t have to think about it.  Expecting others to do the right thing is not you doing the right thing. Then when you discover they aren’t  doing the right thing– they are probably those greedy people who only want for themselves instead – you are disappointed.   God helps those who help themselves – a quote from my ancestors.

Never in all history have so many had so much as we do in North America today.  We set up our country’s laws and beliefs on Christian/Judah principles. Yet many today would emulate the European, Russian and other countries that are failing.  Europe (all socialist) – is history unfolding right before our eyes – It is failing; Russia (communist) is failing; and we all understand (or should) that dictatorships are doomed to fail just as they have throughout history.  But it never seems to fail before there are endless amounts of horror and suffering for many people. ‘Our ancestors will be rolling over in their graves.’ They worked and fought so hard to get away from something we are trying to go back to.  They left all those countries which persecuted and suppressed them.

Do many even realize that the powerful USA is the only country in the world that helps the oppressed, the poor, the wretched, then leaves that country to rule and govern themselves?  Does anyone realize that they are the first country to ever do so?  So before you bash the USA for its power and strength – try to think of whether these feelings come from other people’s opinions or from the sin of jealousy and envy.

When we consider our poor in North America have so much more than some considered wealthy in other countries, shouldn’t we celebrate and praise our people’s ability to work together to create this wonderful society?  It’s not perfect but it’s the closest history has come so far – let’s get together and go deeper into our ways,not try and change what is failing.  Instead of calling us greedy and having so much – shouldn’t others be emulating our beliefs and actions?

So in North America our ancestors set up ‘Individual’ rights instead of the ‘Collective’ rights countries are attempting now and failing at.  Could it be our ancestors were on the right track and we have taken a turn for the wrong – and mainly relied on others to do the right thing for us?  And it’s obvious all over the world they aren’t.  It starts with you!

Chapter Eight – Jacques, the Modern Explorer

Dolphins in The Pacific Ocean

The end of the Journey

The sun was shining.  The waters were blue. The waves were high. The whales were playing…

Jacques couldn’t believe it.  He was here at the Big Waters.  He was laughing with pleasure.  He took Little Flower’s hand (his girlfriend decided to come with him) and felt wonderful.  He took a deep breath of air – it wasn’t stale.  He looked to the skies and thanked God – aloud.

Then he looked at Spotted Eagle, who nodded his approval.  And he felt the anticipation and excitement for their journey back to the flat lands.  So this was what life was about?  He had conquered his doubts and fears – and his reward was the journey – Jacques was indeed a modern Explorer.