Goals or God? Pick a path…

As I wander about in my life, I am starting to realize that there are two different paths to take. One is to “follow God’s will or plan” and the other is to set a course for yourself.

They both have merit. The God’s plan is often referred to in Holy books such as the Bible, the Koran, etc. Setting your own course is more new age, affirmations, vision boards, etc.

Do they conflict? For sure. In my experience, I have kind of tried both, with a big leaning towards being God led. So, first some thoughts there.

I am not slagging the Bible or the Koran, but it all depends on how you read it. Essentially, we are told by various authors that we need to follow certain rules. If we do, we will be rewarded. If we don’t, bad things will happen, with an eternity of torture in Hell to boot. So…the bible/koran claims God gave us free will to choose and then this loving God will torture us eternally if we choose wrongly? That we must figure out the mind of God amid all of the conflicting teachings does not seem reasonable!

And, of course, the conflicting teachings were written and copied numerous times, and became “gospel truth” when, really, it should have been examined much more thoroughly.

For example. Paul, writing about “our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities…” Wow. Sure sounds to me like Paul was saying, don’t rise up against the Roman oppressors, or any kings for that matter, no matter how tyrannical, because they are not the real enemy anyway.”

Now I think Paul was right in the sense that those in power (even today) are being influenced by negative forces. But shouldn’t we be rising up against this influence, opposing the evil in the world? How else can we evolve? Who wins by not rising up?

In my last post, I said about a new yardstick to measure the teachings. Anything that brings more truth, more knowledge, and a growing closer to God is divine in inspiration. Anything that adds fear, doubt, anger, etc. is not.

It brought me peace. And now to apply it. For years and years I have been spinning my wheels, waiting for some kind of divine inspiration, guidance, for what to do. No real plan, vision board, etc. Now I think that was a mistake.

Make a plan, set goals, BUT with our Creator in mind. I think, in hindsight, it is far better to set goals, write them down, work at them, as long as the goals are aiming towards divinity and not the ego/self/evil.

Sounds obvious, but rarely done, in my opinion. I know far too many people who got rich by directly ripping people off, lying, manipulation. It seems that is the only way to get ahead in this evil world. If it is, I choose NOT to become rich, but…hopefully rich in spirit.

Thanks

Peter

A simple test of the Bible.

You know, many people often have objections to the Bible for some very good reasons.
“It is a jealous bloodthirsty God, a killer God. I cannot believe in something like that.”
And you know, they are right. Why is there so much evil in the bible? It is a test? Merely a different cultural bias/traditions? How can we accept as useful anything that might have been written for a different time/location? How can we know what to follow?

Well, on the weekend, the word I got was expansion vs contraction. It was suggested to me, to know if the path is right, is to ask, does this expand my love for God? Or does it want me to contract through fear? Does the teaching make me more peaceful, or more anxious?

So…let’s apply it. Should I believe out of fear or love? Which would God want? It brings a whole new way to test the teachings. It also helps to discern man made vs Godly teachings. To me, anything causing fear and contraction is likely a man made teaching. “Do this, do that or else you will be punished” sounds like a manipulative ego at play. However, “do this or that and you will be blessed” sounds Godly.

I suspect that a huge error in history was the concept that nothing should be added to or taken away from the Bible. Yet evolution seems Godly to me. Why else is there so much of it? And evolution applies to thoughts, attitudes, perspectives. So…when a literalist says “God stopped speaking to people after the bible was written” I personally say “Baloney. God is talking to us, all of us, all of the time.”

Let’s face it, people are prone to error, temptation, sin. So if something was written long ago that was evil in nature, then recopied as if it was “Gospel truth” we should really either edit or at least put in a caveat, a warning. Just because it is old does not make it right.

We should read the concept, test the concept (does it expand or contract?) and act on it.

I am going to give it a try, anyway. Because Jesus seems to me full of expansion, not the opposite.

Thank you

Peter

Goals vs Doing God’s Will…some perspectives

The older I get, the more I realize the mistakes that I have made. I often think that virtually everything I have done has been an error, whether small to huge. At the time, of course, it did not feel like an error at all. In fact, it felt normal, or like the proper way. It certainly did not feel like an error.

Now in terms of spirituality, I have prayed and begged for some spiritual guidance. Are we supposed to do God’s will? Sure. I would have no problem with that. So, lay it on me, God. What is your will?
(silence)
“Come on God, what do you want me to do? Here I am, Lord. Just tell me.”
(silence.)
For years I have followed this pattern. And you know, it was an error. You see, the Bible does not give much guidance there, in my layman’s opinion. As a man, I like “to-do” lists. I want a set of instructions. Do ABC, and get the results. But it does not work that way. And the parable of the talents seems to suggest that it does not really matter WHAT you do, as long as you do your best, reach your potential.

Which sound elemental, right? Wrong. How many people actually create a goal and write it down? 1% or so? How many kind of slide from job to job, or take the path of least resistance? 75% or so? I must tell you, I am in that 75%. And it has not worked out.

I should add that as a young man, I swore to God that I would not cheat people in my business dealings. I was self employed for many years. But the problem is, this world is evil, directed by greed, envy, and fear. Not love, peace, altruism and kindness. So, be warned, while I am NOT advocating cheating, do realize that the path of not cheating your fellow man is not one that will lead to riches. So, you will need to ask yourself, is it worth it? Because, friend, it has been my experience that the non aggressive, non cheating life, for the most part, is a modest one.

Which can be fine, of course. But it requires a shift in thinking. You will probably be much more peaceful, tranquil even, if you realize you will NOT achieve fortunes and greatness along that path. Happiness…probably, as long as its not tied to materialism.

The second error in my thinking, as mentioned, was goal setting. I think what God really wants from us is to say “Atta boy. Atta girl. You used your talents well.”
Which means, you will need to take he reins of the horse and steer it. The first good step is to make a goal.

Tough to do. I don’t have one. Now I think, why not start small? Instead of great big huge goals (my purpose in life is ____) why not a little one? I will clean up a closet. I will fix the sink. Whatever. Work my way up.

Or another is to picture and write down what a 80% perfect day would be. Expand it to week, then month, then year. Write down a subgoal as well. Would you like to go to Florida in the Jan Feb? Write that in. Then monitor the goals, revise.

Another suggestion is your obituary. Write it down now. “I want to be remembered as the man who_____” And then live it. Its not morbid, its focus.

You know, there are many methods. But one warning that I would suggest to you. As soon as you write anything, it is likely a little voice will IMMEDIATELY counter it. “I want to write a book” will be immediately followed by a demon saying “Who do you think you are? You? Write a book? Get real. You can barely read, much less write.”

Don’t listen to the voices. I sure did. Usually they were subtle, always negative, never taken captive.

Learn from my mistakes.

Thank you

Storehouses in heaven

I was inspired today to write some observations about “storehouses in Heaven.”

Yeshua was admonishing his disciples and others about essentially putting priorities on the wrong things. Instead of what we would call today hoarding, or consumerism, instead of putting our emphasis on things, He was suggesting we adjust our attitudes and develop our character.

I attended and studied for about 10 years the religion of Spiritualism. It speaks directly to this as well. You see, one thing that is proven, over and over, is that it is our character, our attitudes, that survive death. Which makes sense to me. Afterall, our souls, our spirits are energy. An the “dead” that come through to mediums always can be identified, usually by their shapes and attitudes.

Now this applies to Yeshua’s teaching. For many people, I suspect, expect that after death there is a sudden “enlightenment” and evolution of consciousness. But what if there isn’t? What if the point of being here is to learn and develop–not to see who has the most “toys” at the end?

This has recently been brought home by my (earth) father. He is a hoarder. Selfish, miserly, unconsciously (I hope!) manipulative. Amassed about $100,000 of photography gear. Does not have room to store it, so he has rented storage lockers at about $500/month for 20+ years. And you know, the rust has come (the equipment is completely out of date, unusable) and the thieves broke in (took the better stuff anyway.) So What does he have? Merely his miserly attitude. So sad.

In society today, the consumerism is rampant. Our entire economy is dependent on it. More more more.
And yet what will we end up with? What are we leaving our kids? Rampant pollution, huge debt, shallow attitudes. Most kids today, I suspect, do not believe they have a soul, much less God. Our societal character is behaving badly.

So…take stock in your own life. Try to get it under control. Self control is a virtue. Is that greedy little voice saying, “I need that” really you? Or something else? Question it. Things bring a temporary pleasure, but not happiness, or peach.

Let’s all start to display self control. Let the development of our characters be the focus, not toys. Who knows? Maybe we will make this place a better one for our successors.

Thanks

Peter

Yeshua…a bridge, or a God?

I have been thinking lately that many people have missed an important point about Jesus. I mean, Christians have, in my observation, tended to mostly view Jesus (Yeshua) as God, part of the Trinity.

“But of course!” you might say. He was God incarnated as man, to guide us.” True enough. But, my feeling is that Yeshua was also a bridge. And this is kind of important. Because many Christians seem to stop at the doorstep of Yeshua, and not push on towards the Father ie God.

If Yeshua was a bridge, then maybe much of our emphasis has been wrong. As I read, it seems Jesus was always saying “Look, no one is good but the Father. Pray to the Father. Try to develop a relationship with the Father.” Which is a different emphasis than how Christianity has played out. I would even go so far as to say, if Yeshua was right here, He would say “Its sweet that you worship me, but really, worship the Father. Build your own relationship with the Father. Do His will. Which is to love one another.”

Now my eyes are somewhat open to the evil of this world. Fear and greed, both (metaphorically and I suspect literally) are demons, and have taken hold. So, I think if we truly love Jesus, and want to do the will of the Father, we need to step out of this world of fear and greed, and behave in a loving, compassionate, merciful way.

Is it merciful to pass by a homeless person without a word or charity? Is it compassionate to speak harshly to coworkers for mistakes? Are you loving at home, or are you hard to get along with?

What dismayed me for a looong time is the way I would see “christians” sing songs of praise to Jesus at church…then milk the same church for money. When Jesus spoke of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” I would like to add…not just for our fellow neighbors, but the world at large. Nature, and all of humanity. We should treat each other and the world with respect.

So let us push past the Jesus doorframe and enter the Father’s world. I think Jesus wants to hold our hands and cross that threshold together. At least consider it.

ThanksPeter

Short term gain, long term pain?

I have recently worked in direct sales, which means that you go door to door, trying to sell a product and/or service (home alarm systems.) In case you have not tried it, direct sales is a difficult way to earn money. The cultural bias, where I live, means that people resent being interrupted by a “salesman” and the first reaction is “no.” To get around this, we had a powerful “script” that we were supposed to follow, word for word.

I was miserable at it, and quit after 3 days. Why?

Well, the premise is to essentially trick people. First, we said that we were sent out because of “recent criminal activities.” Then, the customer would be given a “free system.” Now everyone knows that it is a trick, merely to peak interest. So, we would then activate a fear in a prospect. usually of loss, or an exaggeration of risk.

This really bothered me. It was manipulation. I can see WHY it was done…I just could not stomach it, so I left.

Now the interesting part. The team leader was extremely good at this. Some people are born salesmen, and see it as a “game” as fun. And he went through a recent near death experience, where he “died” 3 times on an operating table. So, I asked what it was like.

Interestingly, he described it as being frightening. It was black. It was noisy. He was hearing voices, garbled, kind of like a buzz in his ear. He was fighting off dying with all of his strength. It was a completely unpleasant experience for the first two times. The third “death” was more of the white light kind of experience that is so often talked about.

It kind of makes me wonder…were the first two experiences a warning? To stop manipulating people, perhaps?

It got me thinking. I mean, really, is it worth it? Yes, you can make lot in that type of sales. But you know, I am just too honest to do it. I cannot lie easily. I tried to change the “script” so that it would “work” for me, but did not get far. I could see that to get in the door, past the defenses, a need must be created…but it is all just manipulation.

The need is there. I can see that, but the methods to instill that need, was questionable.

I think that there is far too much of this type of manipulation going on. Instead of offering a good service or product, we are far too often manipulated by a fear, typically of loss. In Christianity, the emphasis seems to be on how you are going to “catch hell” if you stray, and less focused on why you should seek in the first place.

When Yeshua (Jesus) told of a house built on rock, I think He meant His teachings, and the will of the Father. The house built on sand is the churches built through manipulations of guilt, fear, etc. Perhaps that is why we are seeing these houses falling, in recent times.

So, reader, are you being manipulated? Are you manipulating? Are you being fair? I know that fear is what makes this world work, but how far do you personally participate?

Short term gain…or long term pain?

Seeing the essence of intention

The power of intention. Very New Age, right? (Boo! Hiss!) Set your intention, and you draw to yourself the experiences required to achieve that intention. Do I believe it? Yes. And it is very Biblical. When Yeshua said, “Seek and ye shall find” and to pray with the belief of receiving, He was talking about this.

But you know, one thing that I have noticed is a duality to virtually everything. You see, for every good thing, there is an opposite. For every angel there is a demon. Perhaps God created it this way so we can exercise our power of choice (for good and for ill.) This duality is not really noticed anymore, and this, frankly, has been very bad for humanity.

How does this relate to Christianity?

Well, nobody really questions anymore. We have become apathetic sponges. Which has huge ramifications. All churches have persecuted people for their varying beliefs about Jesus for thousands of years. The Spanish Inquisition, the Cathars…the list is huge. And the doctrines that emerged has shaped society.

But nobody really questions the premise, the intentions behind the doctrines. And we should. Many years ago, when the protestant church I was attending was running into “financial difficulty” the minister proposed changing a bequest given to the church (ie an inheritance that was supposed to be used for a specific purpose) from a certain charity into general revenues. “It would be more efficient” we were told. “It would streamline banking charges so the church could save some money.” Now some were angry at this, because the bequest was pretty specific, but eventually the minister and congregation voted to make the changes. And shamefully this included me. Why?

Well at the time, it seemed a reasonable justification. It would save money, therefore “freeing up” money for the charity.

Now I think differently. Now I think a spirit of greed was on this minister. And I don’t think he really considered what he was doing. He looked past the intent of the will, and changed it to (indirectly) favor himself. It all seemed reasonable at the time..but…would Jesus have wanted that? I think not.

Why did this happen?

Well, I truly believe that there are angels, and demons of varying degrees. And as you develop, you are going to be assigned stronger ones, on both sides. The greater the development, the leadership role, the greater the temptation. Why? Perhaps to demoralize others around you, when you fall? To test you with greater challenges? Greater entertainment? I don’t know. But I think it is observable, as it was in this minister. He should have been rebuked, but we liked him, he was a “nice” guy.

And I also think that as you grow spiritually, you risk losing the “child like” devotion/connection with God. Your ego “Edges God Out” and the Deceiver uses this against you, typically through justification. You feel justified by this action or that—without looking at your intention.

Looking at the Inquisition, I am sure that the torturers, the priests, etc. were absolutely sure that they were following the instructions of Jesus, and probably felt personally inspired. But inspired by what? Perhaps if they (the priests) stepped back and asked, “What is the intention here? Would Jesus have intended, in His love, for us to murder, torture in His name? Or…is this the course of action more likely to be the intention of the Adversary?” Nobody really questioned the whispers they heard, and millions died.

But that’s old history, right? We have evolved, right? Well, in my opinion, not really. I attended a baptism about a year ago. In front of the alter, the priest forced the parents to swear an oath to raise their child away from any occult type stuff. Which sounds great, except when you consider what is considered “occult.” I have no doubt that if Jesus were here today, He would be considered an occultist. “Talking to the spirits of the wind and seas? Raising people from the dead? Talking to the dead? Heretical!”

So, as you read a scripture, or consider an action, I ask that you ask yourself… what was the intention back then? What is my intention now? Does this intention get me closer to God, does it support man doctrines, or support something else? Think for yourself… because, I must tell you, I don’t think this current brand of Christianity is what Jesus intended, and is coming back for.

Thank you