Espirational Faith

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." –The Apostle Paul


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How to Find Your Blogging Muse

The Art of Blogging

A blank page.

There’s nothing more terrifying for a writer. Not an actual blank page, of course, but a Word Document with no words on it, that mysterious absence of words that is amplified by us staring at the white screen of death for so long that we feel our brains exploding.

You think and think and think, but nothing is happening, no matter how hard you try.

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A Maintenance Manuel for the Soul?

Ever hear someone say, “If I had known I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself”? Well, people are living longer than we ever have in historical records. Are you taking care of your body, your spirit, your soul?

I’ve spent my life trying to learn how to take care of my God given Earthly vehicle called the human body, mind and spirit — the human soul. This book is based on years of research into the spiritual teachings of the world’s religions like Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism and others as well as what our modern sciences has proven are ways to improve our health.

We are giving you this book free due to its importance to all of us. All we ask is that you give copies of it to your friends and relatives, without charge.

We hope you find this book helpful in your quest for health and a fulfilling life, I’m looking forward to reading your comments about it and our progress toward building a better world for us all after you have read it. Please leave your comments about the book on this blog post.

Today, June 12, 2018, at 1PM, Genie has scheduled me to talk on Facebook Live about this book and tell you all why I wrote it and why we’re just giving it away. We hope you’ll want to be there.


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Let’s Celebrate Our Creativity

So who’s creative? Have you ever heard anyone say that they just were not a creative person? Come on, I’ve even said it at times. . . that is until Genie hears me and reminds me how I was made. We are all creative. Every single one of us. Everyone. Some are just more fortunate to have people around them to encourage that fundamental aspect of our lives than others.

That’s why Genie and I have created All Things Espirational, the parent site to this blog you are reading right now even though it has gone online several years after the blog was created. We want it to be a place online where everyone can get together with other people who recognize their God likeness and celebrate our ability to create a more beautiful world.

If you read my article a couple of months ago I tried to answer the question of “So What IS The Creative Spiritual Lifestyle?” If you have not read that article yet, I am inviting you to do so now to help you comprehend better why we are celebrating the gift of creativity during this month of June.

Here’s the link to that article. Go ahead and read it now, I’ll wait here.

Now just take a few moments and think about the gift of Creativity.

It is a wonderfully powerful gift which makes it possible for any one of us to change what seems to the world to be absolute into something else which is otherwise only possible at its best.

Creativity makes it possible to take what one has, like an inventor does with their home full of “stuff” and be able to eventually find a way to create an electric light bulb using the scrapings from a skillet they were washing. Creativity is the ability to take a paint brush and place it to canvas and create a picture which not only represents life as it really is, but also motivates people to become involved with life enough to change those things which should not be.

Creativity can be the force behind these great things, yes. But it is more than that. It takes a creative person to raise a child to be healthy, happy and resourceful when the parent of that child is struggling with health, disappointment and finances themselves. Creative ways of dealing with these challenges appear through people every day. Unsung. Unnoticed. Oft times unmentioned.

Creativity is no respecter of persons. It appears in people with no regard to skin color, religious faith or lack of it, educational background or even economic status.

What it takes is a person who is willing to be open to seeing things in a new way, to having an open mind and heart, and to be accepting of the idea that “Yes, those who think they are not creative are right, I do think in strange ways at times. That’s why I’m creative.”

So who is creative? As I mentioned before, everyone is creative. For some, this very idea could be disheartening. Disgusting. Who wants to go through life always seeing things in possible ways different than they really are or as they have been accepted to be traditionally for centuries? Wouldn’t that be confusing?

Oh, but wait a moment. Is tradition necessarily good? Where would we be today if the leaders of the planet still believed that the planet, Earth, is flat instead of as Columbus proved as being round. Or what of those people 50 to 100 years ago who said that man could never sit foot on the moon?

Genie showed just how valuable in daily living creativity can be when she discovered that she definitely had a food intolerance to gluten (wheat, rye and barley). At first she went through several grief symptoms like loosing an old friend. But soon she started allowing her personal creativity take control and she began discovering creative ways to substitute foods with new products she discovered by her reading and other studies. Now we eat a wider variety of foods than we did before with a larger selection of flavors and textures than we otherwise would have known existed. You can read about this story in Genie’s cookbook, The Gluten-Free Good Life, available on the Espirational Book Shelf.

Everyone has experiences like this, though possibly perhaps not so dramatic. You find yourself in a challenging situation and know things must change. You’re not sure how to do it, but you come up with a solution to your problem and eventually the problem is resolved. Perhaps in a commonly acceptable way to society, but perhaps in totally unexpected ways. However it occurs, your previously not thought of resolution to your challenge is your creativity.

The ability and freedom to be creative deserves to be celebrated.

That brings us back to the idea that the month of June here at Espirational. June is the month to celebrate creativity. Come on, everyone, it’s time to CELEBRATE!!!

Some of you may wonder why we call our Web presence “Espirational.” It’s simply a play on words, but one we hope you all will catch on to and help us develop into a fun concept to pass on to your friends and families.

We are wanting the Espirational family of Websites to be where everyone comes to be inspired. The formula looks like this:

Inspiration + Electronic Web Communication = Espirational Communications

People surf the Web daily to find people, places and things. Much of this is to help them be inspired to do something creative with their time, efforts or money. We are hoping All Things Espirational can be an online gathering place for everyone to come and share how the creative lifestyle has changed and improved their lives.

We are hoping people will share their creative experiences, whether that be as an artist or as a parent. Whatever you find is inspiring to you could most likely be inspiring to others. We want this site to be a place where you can feel free to tell your stories. To encourage others. To allow your creative light to shine.

To emphasize just how important Genie and I believe such service to our fellow Earth spiritual citizens is, we have decided to give you, and everyone else, free copies of our newest book in hopes of it helping you find your true self and help you learn how to care for yourself and others better. You can get your free copy of A Maintenance Manual for the Soul by clicking the title here. There is no charge for this book, in keeping of the command of Jesus, The Christ, who said, “Freely you have received, freely give.” All we ask is that if you get a copy of this book or read it online that you tell your friends about it also or give them a book of their own to read at no cost to them.

We want your ideas. We need your suggestions on how to improve this site and make it more inviting and fun for you and others to spend some time here and be encouraged to be creative in everything you do in life. Please leave your comments, ideas, suggestions, and stories in the “Comment” area below.

Now go on to All Things Espirational and LET’s CELEBRATE!

IT’s ESPIRATIONAL!!!

 

 

 


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Forever Middle Aged

Hi. Ever ask yourself, “What is aging?”

No, really. What is this concept of a person growing “older”?

Most educated people know that time, the thing we measure with clocks and calendars, is not a “real” substance. It is a measurement we humans find useful when trying to get things done Time is really just something which maintains us, organizes us, greets us, haunts us and controls us.

“Control us.” Ahhhh, now there’s an interesting concept, to say the least. How can anything which is but an explanation of something which does not have physical substance and is described by mankind as if it were a supra-dimension, control sentient beings like ourselves  proven to be the highest form of physical life on this planet? But that is exactly what this concept we call time does with mankind.

We awaken in the mornings, usually according to when we tell our clocks (our miniature robots) to awaken us. We routinely take showers, fix faces, dress and prepare ourselves for the day to come. After eating whatever we call our morning meal, we rush off to face our daily duties. This must be done at this time, that must be done at that time. A meeting at 10am, lunch at noon, another meeting at 2:00pm. The days roll on quite normally usually with many people being adept at entering things needed to be done for either business or personal purposes in their personal calendars, rather that be a pocket notebook or on a computer.

It all works quite well, unless there comes an unexpected event which causes an interruption in the flow of what has been scheduled on one’s calendar. Then suddenly, without warning, time is interrupted and a person feels distress when thinking of what they shall do with all this stuff on their calendar. Most people seem to get through it well enough by sliding things scheduled into new spots. But some, however, panic and become disorganized and confused to the point of sometimes all we can think to do is to run home, slam the door behind us (locking it) and going to bed to hide.

Soon, however, the reality of time catches up with us and we realize that we cannot hide from our responsibilities because the clock keeps ticking. And, well, we keep getting hungry and the bill collectors keep calling.

While time is not able to be touched, seen nor in any other physiological way “observed,” it is quite real. Like distance takes one from one point to another. Time influences physical objects by its existence and its passage. A house can set empty, with no one living in it, for 20 years with no one caring for it> By the end of that 20 years that house will be in very poor condition. However if that same house is lived in, cared for and properly respected it will appear better and possibly larger than it was when first built. Either way time has shown an effect upon the building. Simple evidence that time is real.

All things are effected by time in this way. Even people – us. It’s inevitable. Its most likely part of the reason why we humans decided time is important enough to need to develop a way to measure it.

One of the fun aspects of counting time for the human lifespan is a period of time, at least here in the U.S. called “middle age.” That period of time from about 45 to 65 years of age which marks a transition from younger adulthood and “old age.” It’s a time when we hear the jokes about middle-aged men who buy themselves fancy sport cars, create elaborate lifestyles and oft-times getting remarried to “dreams.” And middle-aged women often find their way, finally, into the workplace, and doing things they had only dreamed of while a youth and while raising their families. But the fun cliché’s are not as innocent as we might want to believe.

At this age we become painfully aware of our inability to be immortal. We begin to realize that we don’t have the same physical abilities of when we were youths. Many of us do not have the ability to be accepting of these proofs of the reality of time and its effects upon us, so we try to fight it –to hide it, at least from ourselves But wigs, mascara and beautiful cloths are usually just not enough.

It takes more than physical images to fight the march of time. It takes real thinking. It takes real faith.

I am to be 70 years of age toward the end of this year. Over what the Oxford Dictionary says is considered “middle-age.” But before my middle-aged years began I started joking that I would be perpetually “middle aged.” I mean, why not? These have been some of the best years of my life.

“Oh, so you’re now an old man,” you declare. Am I? Statistics show that on a worldwide basis the number of octogenarians and those older have increased on a worldwide basis tremendously over the past century. It is now predicted that the number of people reaching and going beyond age 100 will be commonplace within the next 30 years. The researchers like to claim that it’s our modern lifestyle and medical research which has made this longevity possible, but if we truly believe the ancient scriptures then we know there were people who lived much older than we of modern day. That is recorded in the  scriptures (See book of Genesis: Holy Bible). No there are other factors involved here than knowledge.

Now I’ve not been a worldly success in my life. I’m not a superstar. I don’t have a million dollars plus in the bank. I’m not recognized as a leader in any certain field and I currently am struggling with physical limitations which cause nightmares for most people to think of. But I am reminded of the many people I have cared for in my personal care duties as a “professional” care giver in the medical/social field who had medical problems much more severe than do I who were much younger then than I am now. Age has nothing to do with medical challenges. They just occur. But, because of my loving wife, and faith in a universal, creative God, I AM happy, fairly active and still somewhat independent of a great need for much care..

The difference is that when I was younger, I was trying to build a lifestyle which was given to me by parents, teachers and other counselors as being the type of lifestyle they thought I should have. I did not realize, until I was much older and had tried to live that lifestyle, that it was not my ideal lifestyle. Now the life which Genie and I live could be improved. That should not be denied. But we live in circumstances caused by my near blindness and deafness which we otherwise would not have experienced simply because we would not have felt the necessity nor wanted to take the risk to make the extreme life-style changes we made when faced with these challenges.

Since experiencing these limitations, along with a joint problem with my hip, we have moved into our own mobile home in a senior community on a large lake. Would that be inviting to anyone? This was done both because we wanted outside of large city life and to protect some cash we had inherited. It also helped us manage our money while learning to cope with my limitations. We have started this Web outreach set of blogs and Web site to try to help others be inspired to trust God and to use their creative abilities. This is something we both wanted to do most of our lives as we had both felt a call to Christian ministry when we were in our 20’s. . It’s been only through the passage of time, and the changes which came with it, that we have found the way to do this.

Most certainly, this all happened toward the end of my time in what the world considered to be my “Middle Age” years. But if you’ve known me very long, or if you’ve read much of my writing, you know I do not necessarily think as the world thinks about these things.

I decided, many years ago, that in my own mind I would forever be “middle aged.”

Say what? How can one do that. By stepping into the spiritual understanding of the Holy Bible scriptures and reading the words factually a person can then step outside of time even as is our Creator.

According to Christian thought Jesus, the Christ, atoned us from our sins when he was approximately 32-35 years of age. At that time, in the Hebrew culture of the age, that age of Jesus’ death would have been considered middle aged.

Spiritually, since Christians claim that Christ died in our stead, then our worldly lives ended at middle age with Jesus on the cross at that time. Simple as that.

Okay, so the theology of this idea may be lacking. But it’s fun. And it helps me cope with “aging.” And remember, Jesus did strongly promote the idea that if we but believe in him we could have “eternal life.” What better way to experience eternal life, or to explain it, than to state simply that I will be perpetually middle-aged. Every birthdate I have can add as many birthdays to expect in the future as I’ve had in the past. So, on my 70th birthday in November, if I’m truly in middle age, I can expect 70 more in the future.

Yes, I say this is a fun thing that I do. But deep down in my heart I really believe it’s possible if we simply have faith.

Do you?

Let’s chat about it here in my blog’s comment area. Are you in “middle age”?


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So What IS The Creative Spiritual Lifestyle?

The first thing we learn when reading the Holy Bible’s Pentateuch written by Moses is that Jehovah, God, is a creator. Common knowledge, you may say. And the first thing this creator did was to set forth universal, interdimensional, time-limitless instructions to create certain things: like light, stars, planets, plants, animals, birds, insects, and countless other things – including humans. Most everyone has at some time asked, or at least wondered within their own minds, how any being could create all these things and people we see around us if nothing existed before such creation. The answer to such a question can only be answered through a circular response: The creation of all existence was possible because God was and is creative. And he wants us to be also.

“Say what?”

God commanded to his angels that he wanted to make people into his or their image. One of the first things this should then bring to mind is that he desires us to be wonderfully creative beings expressing his love of knowledge, wisdom, beauty and mystery in all that we do. This is to be a celebration of helping the Creator bring light into darkness, order out of chaos and love over fear.

But how does one live creatively?

First one must look at the natural state of things, as they were before people became involved with them, and not only recognize the beauty and order of such existence but also realize its natural order. It is only when we can look at an untouched wilderness that we can realize the fact that the most creative thing we can do sometimes is to leave it alone.

Then, after truly experiencing the original creation perhaps for the first time, we should feel the urge to merge with it. Now this does not mean becoming naked and leaving the city to live like a hermit in the back woods and hunting or gathering your food from the natural resources there. No, instead it is a recognition that even as God created what we see and experience around us, including ourselves, it was essentially created out of His own essence. Creativity within ourselves is much the same.

Being creative is more than setting at a hung canvas with paint pallet in one hand and a brush in another to replicate what one might see before them which has already existed. While a tremendous skill, creativity only enters the picture when the artist steps outside the rheum of duplication and into the dimension of possibilities. A dimension of unnoticed beauty, unrecognized emotional messages and unpredictable outcomes.

Creativity is more, also, than just sitting at a keyboard or with pencil or pen in hand and placing a mass of words on a page as I am doing now. Words that simply describe reality or attempt to explain possibilities usually are written mechanically and show very little true creativity with unique solutions to life challenges for even just one of us if not us all.

Creativity is the ability to look at something and to see beyond the obvious to the grand possibilities which that something contains if limited thinking is dismissed. To do this one must first put away childish toys but keep the ability to have childhood dreams and the imaginations which go with them. We must push away from us the negativity of the dark and fearful world which encroaches upon us from the moment of birth and recognize the spiritual light, joy and love which can help us create, through the power of faith, a wonderful life now filled with health, friendships, beauty and basic needs without extreme struggle. In short, we can create Heaven on Earth if we but just believe and live the creative spiritual lifestyle as if we believed it is truly possible – because it is.

So draw, paint, carve or sew that picture. Write those words so incessantly haunting you. Live in service to your fellow human. Enjoy purity and possibilities. Create a vision in any way you can of of how life could be and how we can make it better. We are the children of God, sons and daughters of the Almighty Creator. Even as a dog reproduces a puppy after its own kind even so has God created we, his children, like himself. Thus since God is a Creator and we are his offspring, even so are we creators. Let’s all go out and purpose to create a better place for us all to live.

 

 

(Ad innum: To help those of us desiring to live a creative spiritual lifestyle, Genie and I are in the process of setting up a new Web-site which we call: “All Things Espirational.” It will be open in May with a Grand Opening Celebration planned for the whole month of June. Lots of fun, prizes, discounts and a new free e-zine called “Espirational Happenings” is planned. You are invited to follow Genie’s blog at espirational.com to get more details on this celebration of creativity as they develop. Or you can go right to espirational.net in May to see our preview.)  


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New Year – Old Wars

This article was written as an answer to a post made by a person in a discussion forum several weeks ago. I am reposting this today, New Year’s Day of 2018, as my response to her and anyone else’s fearful statements to the way terrorism seems to have a goal of annihilating everyone who are not Islamic and how it appears the only thing that can be done is to oppose such a religious faith violently. There is another way.

 

 

Believe me I understand how you feel about how Islam seems as violent as to want everyone who is not of their religion dead. But it is a religion, now hundreds of years old, regardless what we or others call it. My intent in replying to your comment is not to argue with you, but to give another point of view.
Let me ask this, in reality, are any other religions truly much different? We know that the Islamic faith sprung from the tribes’ ancestors by two brothers’ conflict. Most people of faith have read the Old Testament and wondered about the Hebrews being told to perform one battle after another, slaughtering whoever stood in their way, to take over the land promised to Abraham. And the Christians? From the time that believers in Jesus, the Christ, were forced out of Jerusalem in 66 A.D. Christians have stood at attention ready for military battle to defend our faith; believing that if they did not, then who would? This can be seen in international conflicts like the Christian Crusades, and more localized conflicts like the enduring war between Catholics and Protestants in Ireland.
But have those armed military conflicts really settled anything? Oh, certainly you can point at the United States and proclaim that had it not been for the armed revolution against the British that the Freedom of Religion would not be known in that country, or anywhere else. Freedom of religion? Defined how? While the whole purpose of this clause in American government was to sever the relationship between religion and government, it seems that today certain extremists Christian believers are proclaiming that instead the clause means freedom only for those who believe in Christianity. This, therefore, is an action toward establishing Christianity as the state religion, and to make things worse, those who are shouting this should be done are also declaring that anyone who does not believe in Jesus as the Christ should have no rights or possibly be killed. Now tell me, how different is that than what you found in the Quran?
Let’s take just a few moments and reason this whole mess out. WWJD?
Most certainly it is not a pleasant experience to suddenly realize that there are major, and I mean extremely major groups and forces who may feel it is their duty and responsibility to the God they worship to annihilate the rest of us. But, not to make excuses for these peoples’ actions nor to imply they are right, the Islamic/Mohammedan people have, in the past, experienced the same treatment at the hands of the Jews and Christians. The immutable conflict between the two brothers has been on an international, interreligious battleground for millennial ages now and has spread worldwide with no foreseeable end in sight.
So just what is this battle? Is it really who owns a piece of land in the Mid-East? Is our battle really who has been given the true access to the Creator, God of this physical universe?
I can tell you through my years of experience in the study of people, societies and human religions that the people who claim and try to live the Islamic religion are, in their hearts, no more naturally violent than anyone else – Christian or not. Now this can be offensive speech when heard by many Christian believers; but how many true believers have you ever known who would not explain away the words of Christ when it came to explaining their reasons for having a right, a duty, to defend themselves and their families? Yet is this the Christ message they are declaring, or is it something each one of us learn from the time we are born that is our “sacred” duty to do – or be shamed? This radical declaration of possible violent defense of the Christian belief systems is actually no different than what I have heard from the few radical Muslims I have had discussions with. The teaching of ones right and responsibility to defend their religious roots and existence is universal, though the roots may be on different religious plants.
But there is a different group of people in every religion, every country, and every group of well-meaning individuals who are less than benevolent, less than pure, less than holy. While there are people in every religion in the world who try to live a pure, clean and holy life, Christian, Jewish, Islamic and other religions alike, there are others who would prefer to disrupt the balance and claim such spiritual riches as being theirs and their groups’ alone. These extremists are the ones who declare that everyone who does not believe as they do and/or serve their purpose should die. They are the political activists who consider no compromise. They are, in short, the terrorists.
Fear is a terrible taskmaster. But, instead of the popular t-shirts with the slogan printed on them stating, “No Fear,” we, as Christians, should be holding up a banner proclaiming “Pure Love.” We are in a spiritual battle during this age, as stated in one of the “Lost Gospels” where the conflict is over good vs. evil, light vs. darkness and truth vs. lies. The truth which Jesus proclaimed is to not fear those who proclaim that darkness and defeat is inevitable, because if we believe that then our actions will become such as to cause that fear to become reality. No our instructions given by Christ was to “occupy” until he returns. Notice there is no mention of doing battle or slaughtering everyone who refuses to believe in Christ. We are to simply occupy. (LUK 19:13)
Strange, isn’t it? If we were all to simply occupy and serve God, as we know him, in our own ways without attempting to say, as would little children, “My God is better, bigger, more powerful than your God,” then go about our daily lives serving God as best we know how, it seems that could be a taste of heaven on Earth?
What do you think?


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The Emerging Church

“Returning to Essentials”
Thursday, November 30, 2017

Hospitality is the practice that keeps the church from becoming a club, a members-only society. —Diana Butler Bass [1]

Practical, practice-based Christianity has been avoided, denied, minimized, ignored, delayed, and sidelined for too many centuries, by too many Christians who were never told Christianity was anything more than a belonging or belief system. Now we know that there is no Methodist or Catholic way of loving. There is no Orthodox or Presbyterian way of living a simple and nonviolent life. There is no Lutheran or Evangelical way of showing mercy. There is no Baptist or Episcopalian way of visiting the imprisoned. If there is, we are invariably emphasizing the accidentals, which distract us from the very “marrow of the Gospel,” as St. Francis called it. We have made this mistake for too long. We cannot keep avoiding what Jesus actually emphasized and mandated. In this most urgent time, “it is the very love of Christ that now urges us” (2 Corinthians 5:14).

Quaker pastor Philip Gulley superbly summarizes how we must rebuild spirituality from the bottom up in his book, If the Church Were Christian. [2] Here I take the liberty of using my own words to restate his message, which offers a rather excellent description of Emerging Christianity: . . . .

(Please click here to read rest of this article by Richard Rohr, from his Daily Meditations in The Center for Action and Contemplation Blog called “The Emerging Church,” dated November 30, 2017.)