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The Dislike of Catholicism: Understanding the Holy in the Catholic Tradition

Jesus le nazaréen by *Katch* via Flickr

Introduction

If you ask someone on the street about the difference between a Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical and Fundamentalist Christian, chances are they’ll smile and admit ignorance.

Back in the 1990s, a fellow student of Religious Studies raised an interesting point in one of those mandatory seminars that everyone attends but secretly wishes they didn’t have to. He said humanities researchers should state their personal biases at the outset of a study instead of presuming they’re objective observers.

These days, the whole idea of objectivity is under fire, and rightly so. Any academic or scientist worth their salt will admit we can’t escape bias. The sciences have emerging concepts like “confirmation bias” and “experimenter bias.” And spiritual persons believing they’ve had a divine revelation should step back and ask if their apparent truth belongs within a given context. Is their revelation merely one that is appropriate for a given moment? It may be powerful. But it is universal? The highest?

This much said, and in keeping with my classmate’s prescription, I’ll tell a bit about myself to illustrate where I’m coming from.

English: Catholic church in Tehran

Catholic church in Tehran (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Before converting to Catholicism in 2001, I had little interest in organized religion. Childhood summers were spent enjoying the natural environment of Georgian Bay’s eastern shores. In winters I downhill skied at a resort overlooking the south side of Georgian Bay. So, in a sense, the great outdoors was my religion.

As for religion, itself, I was baptized in the Anglican church but never attended regular services. Weddings and funerals, that was it.

Like many kids, I asked the big questions. Why are we here? What is infinity? I never really got any answers but I kept on asking.

Eventually, I went to university and had summer jobs to help defray the cost. By that time I’d gravitated toward Freud, Jung and sociologists like G. H. Mead and Emile Durkheim. Later, I studied East-West philosophy, New Age and non-Christian religions. In 2001 I became a bona fide Catholic. But a free thinking one.

Since then I’ve met many critics of Catholicism. Instead of ignoring their views, I’ve talked with those honest enough to say what they really think. And from this I have a pretty good picture as to why some folks dislike Catholicism.

yesterdays_6

High Rock Island, Georgian Bay

Before writing this article, I told a Catholic friend about my plan to do so. She suggested I call it “Why people like Catholicism.” But I feel that dislike is the better term, because I’m mostly responding to the critics. And I’m not trying to put a positive spin on the all-too-human side of the Church. God knows, there are many issues in the Catholic Church.

Despite its real and pressing problems, I continue to experience the holy within the Church. And it’s not just because I was brainwashed as a kid. As mentioned, I wasn’t even a Catholic, and as a Protestant, I never went to church. I skied. I swam. But church? Nahhh.

Copyright © Michael Clark, 2014.

Part – 2


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IF YOU DON’T LOVE IT, SHOVE IT!

English: Original design for Trellis wallpaper...

Original design for Trellis wallpaper by William Morris, 1862. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FENG SHUI BY FISHGIRL

William Morris, England’s most famous designer / craftsman who inspired the Arts & Crafts Movement in the mid 1800’s said “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” Whether he knew it or not, Willam Morris was practicing Feng Shui.

One of the first things we learn when studying Feng Shui is to get rid of anything that is broken or that isn’t working. A clock that sits on your mantelpiece that no longer tells time may be a beautiful antique, but, if it is in disrepair it is not helping your ch’i (energy). And if it isn’t helping, it is most likely hurting. It may be the reason why your romance has stalled. Or your business contacts have dried up. Or your diet isn’t working. The mischief it is causing for you would depend on exactly what area of your home that your broken clock is located in. I would recommend that you take your broken clocks to an horologist immediately (look in your yellow pages, not your bordello).

I love a good challenge, don’t you? So, let me give you The Feng Shui By Fishgirl Challenge…this is an exercise not for the weak of heart. You must be willing to go the distance. To evaluate with brutal honesty. To discard with ruthless abandon. To commit to paying for routine maintenance on anything broken that you have decided is worth keeping. I want to challenge you to go through your home room by room and make a list (or a pile) of everything in it that falls into the William Morris catagories of either [1] Not Useful, or, [2] Not Beautiful. Let me give you some examples of both.

IF IT AIN’T BROKEN…

Remember the old adage,’ if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it ‘? Well, I’m telling you if it IS broken: FIX IT! If it can’t be fixed, junk it or give it away to the Salvation Army. Some of the “Not Useful” things I have seen in client’s homes which you may also have in yours are:

*Clothing that doesn’t fit, or is stained or ripped.
*Stacks of old stereo equipment that doesn’t work anymore.
*Dead plants, or plants with just a sickly little stem poking out of a huge pot.
*The aforementioned broken clock, or watch, that no longer keeps time.
*Books…. ie: toss out the old computer manuals at the same time you upgrade your computer.
*Broken/cracked glass still in picture frames or mirrors.
*Newspaper bundles waiting to be read or recycled.
*Lamps needing light bulbs.
*Curtain rods dangling.
*Candles that are melted beyond use.
*Various electrical appliances that no longer work.
*Bath towels that are tattered beyond belief.
*Wallpaper peeling down.
*Faucets dripping.
*Doorbells that don’t ring.

IF YOU DON’T LOVE IT, SHOVE IT
There is always some example of something that is not beautiful, yet, it is cherished and we love it so we will keep it. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We love something, it becomes beautiful because we love it. So, do not think I am asking you to throw away anything that is not “good looking”. Or conversely, to keep things only because they are beautiful.

If you do not believe it to be beautiful, it doesn’t belong in your house. That means, if you don’t love it: shove it! We’ve spoken in past newsletters about how we imbue either positive or negative ch’i onto objects and spaces. Think about all the negative ch’i buildup being created by that Limoges nut dish your Aunt Bessie gave you last Christmas. Now, there’s nothing wrong with Limoges (and hopefully, there’s nothing wrong with your Aunt Bessie !). And chances are, she spent too much for it. This tends to add to the guilt we feel if we don’t really like it and don’t want it in our home. However, if your crib is furnished in 1950’s Modern, the fancy Limoges nut dish looks totally out of place; you probably do not like it but feel some obligation to keep it, right?

We all have a version of the nutdish. It’s time for all of us to let go of our attachment to keeping anything in our sacred home space that we aren’t absolutely in love with, or at the very least, anything that doesn’t please us. I hereby give you permission to remove those items from your home today!

Some examples of things that people hang on to that fall into this catagory:

*Gifts (especially given by family members).
*Inherited objects (furniture, paintings, etc) that aren’t your taste.
*Plants that aren’t flourishing.
*Expensive things (we have a harder time letting go of things we paid a lot of money for even if we hate the piece after we’ve bought it).
*Things that connect us to our past and who we once were, but that no longer represent who we are now and where we are going.

By the way, if you now have a pile of unwanted things in your space, be sure to donate them to charity or have a yard sale. If you have a pile of things you intend to repair, make sure you take care of it quickly. If you must leave the pile there for awhile, you want to be sure your pile is in a benign area of your home. The last thing you want to do is gather up all of your broken down items and stack them in your Health Area, your Love & Relationship Area or your Wealth Area until you get around to it. As always, if you are unsure of where these areas are located within your home, contact Feng Shui By Fishgirl for a professional assessment.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/feng-shui-articles/if-you-dont-love-it-shove-it-1333987.html

About the Author

KATY ALLGEYER (a.k.a. Fishgirl) has twenty years of Feng Shui expertise, which she blends with her highly developed intuitive ability, metaphysical shamanic healing methods, and formal art and design training that make her uniquely qualified to help people realign their environment to support their full potential.

Katy Allgeyer’s blog: Feng Shui By Fishgirl

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Elements of prophecy – reflections and new directions

The Sibyl (1891), Paul Ranson via Tumblr

Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi film Minority Report (2002) is soon to be re-imagined as a TV series by Fox.

In the original Minority Report three clairvoyants called Precogs (precognitives) spend their days in deep meditation, afloat in water. Their job is to predict murders that could take place in the future. Tom Cruise, a good and honest cop, relies on the Precogs to arrest would-be criminals just before they commit a homicide.

Minority Report puts an interesting twist on the idea of precognition because, in real life, individuals claiming to possess this ability are often treated with suspicion, even derision. But the Precogs’ abilities are highly valued and they are given a kind of eerie reverence.

True and False

As the administrator of Earthpages.org, I’ve met many complex and fascinating seekers, on and offline. Some claim that spirit beings appear or speak to them. Others believe they have seen objects, places or souls during their astral travels. Several allegedly read minds; and some say they’ve had a vision of Christ or the Holy Trinity. And like the PreCogs, others claim to foresee the future.

Dealing with alleged psychics and mind-readers is both rewarding and challenging. If psychic abilities are real, it seems there’s no guarantee they’ll be applied ethically. For instance, those who haven’t dealt with personal pain could take a compensatory turn toward self-aggrandizement.¹

Clearly, some folks do take a wrong turn in the spiritual life, and a few might be repeatedly deceived and paranoid. Interior perception is an exacting process and not everyone does it well.

Leading writers on mysticism like Evelyn Underhill say that sincere mystics strive to be humble and analytical in order to avoid deception by the imagination or by negative spiritual influences (traditionally viewed as “demons,” “tramp souls” and “ghosts”).

St. Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225-1274), the eponym ...

St. Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225-1274), the eponym of Thomism. Picture by Fra Angelico (c. 1395-1455). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But this is the ideal. In reality, many alleged psychics and prophets seem pretty out to lunch. They speak in such roundabout terms that their predictions could mean a thousand different things. And when flat wrong, some of them just fudge it. False prophecies are quickly swept under the rug or recast as “symbolic” predictions.

Philosophers call this the ad hoc hypothesis or possibly ex post facto reasoning. Rather than openly admitting mistakes (as an honest researcher would) sham mystics do their best to cover them up.

Christian Response

Christian theologians say that genuine prophecy is revealed or infused from a supernatural source. They also tend to believe that God is omnipotent. This means God could use weak and sinful personalities for genuine prophecy, even for a short while. According to this view, one doesn’t have to be a holy guru to be a prophet. For Christians, no one is perfect. And to claim otherwise is misguided.

In Catholicism, personal revelations are called private revelations. Private revelations occurring after the time of Christ are said to add nothing to the faith as defined by the Church. But private revelations declared authentic may have inspirational or cultural value.

Throughout the ages, there have been so-called “private” revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ’s definitive revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history. Guided by the magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church. Christian faith cannot accept “revelations” that claim to surpass or correct the revelation of which Christ is the fulfillment, as is the case in certain non-Christian religions and also in certain recent sects which base themselves on such “revelations”²

New Directions

Of course, many modern people question the authority of a traditional religious body that, in he past, has proved to be just as susceptible to temptation and error as anyone else. Historically, the Catholic Church has made gruesome mistakes, only to apologize hundreds of years later.

It’s also entirely possible that even the best of prophets distort their revelations through their unique personalities. That is, they interpret according to who they are at a given moment in history. According to the view, much of the Bible is laced with cultural bias and political infighting. That hardly sounds like the “Word” of God.

Guercino, The Persian Sibyl, 1647-48 via Tumblr

So where does this leave us? And by what standard do sincere seekers judge interior perceptions?

I think the answer might be found in a cross fertilization of psychology and spirituality. Einstein once said “science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”³  Perhaps we could adapt that to something like, “psychology without spirituality is superficial, spirituality without psychology is questionable.”

Only then can we move forward to a spirituality suitable for the 21st century and beyond.


¹ Many saints say that vanity and jealousy figure prominently in the spiritual life. The more we open to spiritual realities, the more vulnerable we are to temptation and deception.

² Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 67. Catholic theology looks at prophecy in its own unique way. St. Thomas Aquinas is often cited in Catholic discussions about prophecy. But we’d do well to remember that after having a direct encounter with God, toward the end of his life, Aquinas apparently said his writings were like a “house of straw.”

³ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_views_of_Albert_Einstein

Copyright © Michael W. Clark 2014


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The Devil’s Portrait

Originally posted on Blog of Natalie Gorna:

A scene in “A Night on Bald Mountain” in the animated musical feature “Fantasia” (1940) by Walt Disney Studios

Most fairy tales and folk tales introduce a reader to an assortment of magical creatures and beings, from fairies and nymphs and unicorns to dragons and queer beasts and mermaids.  However, of all places, Eastern Europe often ignores fantasy in pursuit of a closer enemy: the Devil and his consorts.  Throughout almost all of these stories, demons and devils disguise themselves as ordinary humans in order to create mischief among mortals.  But more often than not, a paradoxical question arises.  In some tales, the Devil is almost sympathetic about his “job,” punishing sinful humans with a sense of righteousness and wicked pleasure in achieving justice.

Who is this figure, then?  Personified evil?  A symbol of evil?  A fallen angel?  An instrument of God?  An immortal “hired” to keep humans in check?…

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Spiritual Growth: a Paradigm of Modern Times

Paradise: Ascent of the Blessed

Paradise: Ascent of the Blessed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Kaz Domagalski

We are all spirits inside a body. To enable us to realize this great truth is to believe in the opposite that has been taught for years, specifically that we are bodies with a soul. Explained in a different way, we are all souls, being of spirit that have utilized bodies so that we may grow.  To grow spiritually is to recognize these interconnections. The difficult part is to understand that to grow spiritually in a world enveloped by power, money, and influence is a mammoth task. Modern amenities such as electronic apparatus, gadgets, and tools as well as entertainment media through television, magazines, and the web have cultivated us all to confine our attention mostly to physical needs and desires. As a result, our perception of self-worth and self-meaning are at best confused. How can we even begin to strike a balance between the material and spiritual aspects of our lives?

To grow spiritually we need to look within ourselves.

Soul-searching goes beyond recalling the events that happened in a day, week, or month. You need to review intimately and reflect on your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and motivations. Periodically examining your experiences, the choices you made, the relationships you encourage, and the events you engage in provide useful insights on your life goals, on the good habits you sustain and the bad habits you need to abandon. Furthermore, it gives you suggestions on how you should act, react, and conduct yourself in the midst of any given situation. Like any skill, self-examination can be learned. It does take a degree of courage and willingness to seek the truths that lie within. Strive to be objective, forgiving of yourself, and focus on  areas for improvement.

To grow spiritually is to evolve.

Our understanding of spirituality change as we come to see others as potential teachers. Religion and science have conflicting views on matters of the human spirit. Religion regards people as spiritual beings temporarily living on Earth, while science views the spirit as just one dimension of an individual. Mastery of the inner self is a recurring theme in both Christian (Western) and Islamic (Eastern) teachings. The requirements of the body are recognized but positioned under the needs of the spirit. Values, morality, rules, beliefs, experiences, and good works provide the master plan to ensure the growth of the spiritual being. When you have fulfilled the basic physical and emotional needs, spiritual or existential needs emerge next. Achieving each need leads to the complete development of the individual. Perhaps the difference between these two religions and psychology is in the meaning of self-development. Christianity and Islam believe that self-development is a means toward serving God, while the psychologists view is that self-development is an end by itself.

To grow spiritually is to search for interpretation.

Religions that believe in the existence of God such as Christianity, Judaism, and Islam presume that the purpose of human life is to serve the Creator of all things. Several  psychological theories submit that we ultimately give meaning to our lives. Whether we believe that life\’s meaning is pre-determined or self-directed, to grow in spirit is to recognize that we do not merely exist. We do not know the meaning of our lives at birth, but we gain knowledge and wisdom from our relationships with people and from our actions and reactions to the situations we find ourselves in. As we discover this meaning, there are certain beliefs and values that we reject and some we affirm.  Our lives have purpose. This purpose puts all our physical, emotional, and intellectual capabilities into use. It sustains us during trying times giving us something to look forward to, perhaps a goal to achieve or a destination to reach. A person without purpose or substance is like a rudderless ship drifting out at sea.

To grow spiritually is to recognize relevance.

Religions stress the concept of our significance to all creation and as a result we call other people ‘brothers and sisters’ even if there are no direct blood relations. Likewise, divinity centred religions such as Christianity and Islam speak of the relationship between humans and a higher being. On the other hand, science clarifies our link to other living things through the evolution theory. This relevancy is clearly seen in the concept of ecology, the interaction between living and non-living things. In psychology, connectivity is a characteristic of self-perfection, the highest human aspiration. Recognizing this paradigm makes you more humble and respectful of people, animals, plants, and things in nature. These beliefs and attitudes towards a particular dimension in your life makes you appreciate everything around you. It moves you to go beyond your comfort zone and reach out to other people, a necessary shift before you can grow spiritually and succeed at whatever you are trying to accomplish.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/meditation-articles/spiritual-growth-a-paradigm-of-modern-times-7068763.html

About the Author

Kaz Domagalski has been involved with internet business development since 1998 and resides in the UK. He is passionately aware of the need to coach and help people who are ready to discover their internet path to abundance and prosperity, helping to solve the obstacles to your success. Get more free reports at http://www.cloudnineprofits.com


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Researcher claims ‘Sasquatch’ are advanced human-type beings with UFO connections

Photo of an unidentified animal the Bigfoot Re...

Photo of an unidentified animal the Bigfoot Research Organization claims is a “juvenile Sasquatch” “Jacobs Photos” . . Retrieved 2009-09-16 . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Steve Hammons (originally posted 9/21/14 at Transcendent TV & Media)

Activities on Earth related to extraterrestrial and/or multidimensional intelligent beings are real, and they include a surprising connection – an active and ongoing relationship with the human-type beings commonly known as “Sasquatch,” according to Jack “Kewaunee” Lapseririts, MS.

Lapseririts was the guest speaker at the Phoenix, Arizona, chapter of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) Saturday, Sept., 20, at the Arizona Historical Society Museum’s Steele Auditorium in Tempe near Arizona State University.

Lapseritis is a social scientist, holistic health consultant and researcher in anthropology. He describes himself as an outdoorsman with a strong interest in Nature and natural resources conservation. Lapseritis has lived and traveled around the world exploring different environments and conducting various types of anthropological research.

In his presentation to the Phoenix MUFON audience, Lapseritis said that for several decades, a main focus of his research and interest has been on the Sasquatch, which he claims is a real race of beings living in various regions of the world and in many areas of the US, including Arizona. Like humans, there are different types of Sasquatch, he said.

Lasperitis has written two books on this subject, “The Psychic Sasquatch and Their UFO Connection” and “The Sasquatch People and Their Interdimensional Connection.”

The foreword to “The Psychic Sasquatch” is written by Dick Robinson, cinematographer and originator of the concept of the TV series “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams.” The TV series, which aired on NBC in 1977-78, was based on a 1972 novel and 1974 movie about a woodsman during the frontier era in the western US.

Lapseritis told the Phoenix MUFON audience that, not surprisingly, one of his favorite movies is “Harry and the Hendersons.” That heart-warming 1987 family film starred John Lithgow, Melinda Dillon and Don Ameche. In the movie, a Seattle family has a very close, and eventually loving, encounter with a Sasquatch. Steven Spielberg was an executive producer.

CARING AND CONCERNED CULTURE

Lapseritis explained that there is also another type of being similar to the Sasquatch, which he referred to as the “Ancient Ones.” He says one way they differ from Sasquatch is the lack of facial hair. The Ancient Ones’ faces appear quite human, Lapseritis stated. In contrast, the Sasquatch face is covered with hair, he said.

The Sasquatch and Ancient Ones are very human, Lapseritis stated. They are not primitive beasts, but are evolved beings with knowledge and abilities that in many ways are more advanced than our own, he claimed. He likened their culture to that of Native Americans. They were on Earth before modern humans, Lasperitis said.

Sasquatch can communicate using a verbal language and also have the ability to communicate telepathically, according to Lapseritis. (The ability to perceive information and communication using consciousness is consistent with other modern scientific research about extrasensory perception and telepathy.)

Lapseritis said Sasquatch are generally not hostile, but are secretive and learned long ago that humans are dangerous. As a result, they tend to avoid or be very cautious around humans.

However, Sasquatch are loving and caring, and if approached appropriately, will be very friendly with humans, he said. On certain subjects, they are very serious. They can also be tricksters and have fun, Lapseritis stated.

But, like humans, there are individual Sasquatch who may behave in ways that are problematic, according to Lapseritis. Their culture, including a “council of elders,” has ways of implementing severe consequences on individuals of their kind who commit serious offenses, he said.

Frame 352 from the film, alleged to depict a f...

Frame 352 from the film, alleged to depict a female “Bigfoot” mid-stride. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Sasquatch and Ancient Ones treasure the Earth and Nature. They are very concerned about ongoing damage to Earth’s ecosystem including our planet’s lands, rivers, lakes, oceans and atmosphere from pollution and abuse by our species of humans, Lapseritis claimed.

In fact, he warned that what the Sasquatch call a “sacred purification” is coming. Lapseririts said this is the same prediction or expectation of what the Hopi Native Americans of Arizona call the “great purification.” This may include various types of global geologic upheavals such as widespread severe earthquakes, huge tsunamis and other very significant Earth changes, he said.

Lapseririts says that the Sasquatch are now reaching out to our human species because of the need to halt the pollution and abuse of the planet and to heal the damage that has been done.

They are also warning us of the impending danger of traumatic Earth changes as well as the risk of the outbreak of global and nuclear war among human governments and groups, he said.

Parallel with these dangers, there is an ongoing and available path of transcendence and ascension for those humans who choose it, according to Lapseririts. The Sasquatch want us to take this path, he said, which includes valuing the beauty and gift of this Earth, seeking advanced human development and consciousness, and achieving a stronger connection with Nature and the Higher Intelligence.

Part of this expanded understanding is related to the surprising factor that the Sasquatch and Ancient Ones also have ongoing cooperative interactions and relationships with other species of advanced beings who are extraterrestrial and interdimensional, and are active on Earth, according to Lapseritis.

Frame 352 from the Patterson-Gimlin film, alleged by Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin to show a Bigfoot – via Wikipedia

HUMAN LEARNING AND SURVIVAL

Through his decades of research, his personal evolution and his dedication to learning more about Nature, Lapseritis says that the Sasquatch have reached out to him personally, and to many other people.

He stated he has had multiple face-to-face encounters with Sasquatch that are ongoing. The Sasquatch are asking Lapseritis to communicate with his fellow humans about the dangers and opportunities that face us, he said.

As a result, he is speaking at various conferences and venues, informing audiences about his two books (and a pending third one), and trying to inform and educate people about the intriguing realities that he has learned about.

Lapseritis seems to realize it is a stretch to convince even open-minded people about some of the elements that he has written and spoken about. Yet, he claims “the truth is the truth,” and his job is to put the information out there for those who can hear it and intelligently consider it.

He also says that some of the additional anomalous phenomena that have been well-documented by other researchers are real and part of the holistic situation. These include multidimensional portals and star gates as well as several kinds of intelligent extraterrestrial cultures visiting Earth.

These “star people” are involved in discreet activities on Earth and have been for a very, very long time, Lapseritis said.

The background of the origins and development of our species of human is also more interesting than many of us know, he said. There has been intervention in the evolution of the human race by advanced beings, he claimed. In fact, Lapseritis stated that advanced beings are still very involved in helping our species survive our self-destructive behavior and our damage to this beautiful planet Earth.

There are many unconventional and mysterious moving parts involved in the current development of the human race, he explained. Many elements are secretive, some are just not widely known or understood, and others are quite obvious.

It’s up to us to become more informed about these unconventional developments and to make appropriate decisions to move forward, survive and develop into more advanced beings ourselves, Lapseritis indicated.

For more information, visit Lapseritis’ website The Sasquatch People.

About the Author

Steve Hammons is the author of two novels about a U.S. Government and military joint-service research team investigating unusual phenomena. MISSION INTO LIGHT and the sequel LIGHT’S HAND introduce readers to the ten women and men of the “Joint Reconnaissance Study Group” and their exciting adventures exploring the unknown.


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Failure Changes Us, But Sometimes We Fail to Change

Image via Blogger

By PK Christian Writer

I am a slow learner. All the basic things in life that a boy my age is supposed to know, I learned them quiet late.

Basic bathroom rules, tying shoes laces, drinking milk in a glass instead of a baby bottle, and so on.

I was not the physically proficient as well, as far as sports were concerned.

Why am I talking about all this today? Because I feel the need to put some things in perspective. The mind can process only so much information, and hence it is better to write it down.

Life is not going smooth. As time passes, I am realizing that it isn’t supposed to go smooth. And yet we are expected to stay calm and keep moving forward.

I still remember the day when I woke up during the school holidays and sat at the breakfast table. As I was eating, my parents broke the news that they collected my result from school, and that I had failed the 9th grade.

I didn’t know to how respond. Neither did my parents. This mutual numbness (for a lack of a better term) continues to this day whenever we are faced with bad news.

It was sad to have flunked, but even worse was the fact that I couldn’t bring myself to understand the situation. Was I supposed to apologize, grieve, or hurt myself? I couldn’t  bring myself to open up emotionally, and hurting yourself physically requires courage, which I obviously lack.

But then the best thing happened to me. I was born again.

To cut the long story short, I was experiencing a change in life as started my personal journey in the Christian faith.

I found something that gave direction to my life and I was able to push myself through school, while also managing to get couple of other personal issues resolved .All the while, I engaged in worship, research, debate, and fellowship.

Things went on like this for another 5 years, and then I woke up one day to realize that we are going through a financial crisis. Once again, I did not how to react. The numbness returned.

Anger and frustration started boiling inside, and eventually it all burst out. My emotions got the better of me, and this changed my relationship with the people closest to me.

Today, I have put on more weight than I had when I started my life in Christ, even though the Bible calls gluttony a sin. I also experience occasional bouts of anger and depression. I am also exhausted, both mentally and physically, which is why you may notice some typos despite the fact I did proof-read the article.

It as if failure once changed me for the better, but now I have failed to change myself.

But there are other things that happened in this same period:

  • I developed a personal collection of books on topics like evolution, astro-physics, comparative religion, history, poetry, psychology, and of course, Christian theology. Currently I am reading Jacobo Timerman’s The Longest War and The Greek Myths by Robert Graves.
  • Still an undergraduate, I am earning more than $400 per month in a country marred by unemployment, and where the minimum wage is around $120.

What is the moral of the story? At 22, I am too young to make a learned comment on what pattern a person’s life takes. But what I do know is that as my faith changes me for the better, I have not grown immune to failing. New challenges will influence me, but God will continue to make his presence known.

Thanks for reading.

P.S. I also started this blog around the same period, and today is it’s 2nd anniversary. In the coming weeks, I will not only post new articles, but also translate some selected posts into Urdu.Click here to subscribe.

About the Author

Suleman, M. John – I am a writer who creates content for clients (and myself as well). I think, read, and surf a lot, but my strong areas of research and writing include religion, history, literature, and online content creation (especially ghostwriting).

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