Espirational Faith

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


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Music in Our Souls

 

Music in Our Souls

 

Music is a wonderfully expressive means of universal power which can and does help a person experience within themselves emotions which would otherwise be hidden to us. Be that emotion one of love, peace, hope or any of a multitude of uplifting spirits, or more negative oriented spirits like fear, anger and bitterness, the emotional statement is more easily expressed when it is put to music.

According to the Christian/Hebraic Bible sound, which is of course the most essential element of music, was the very first indication of how this whole “Universe” thing began. In Moses’ book of Genesis he said that God was a Spirit, but he did not explain or define what was meant by the word “spirit.” Immediately after that he said that the Spirit, God, spoke. Well, by simple logic we know that speaking means sound and with this sound the rest of creation was spoken into existence.

Sound is at the heart of our very existence. We, as humans, seek it out. We are curious about it. Enjoy it. Study it. Many of us even spend hours doing nothing else than listening to it.

The intricate and beautiful compositions of instrumental and vocal musicians by those who study and perform the musical arrangements of today become things which enter our ears, vibrates our bodies and resonates in our souls throughout our lives, and beyond. This vibration of sound is an essential element in our minds and becomes a basis of our thoughts. Music, even without words, can give us stability, harmony, motivation and consistency. It can be, and in most instances is, the most basic life element to help us mold our souls into the type of being we want to be.

Recently there has been much research into how by listening to music, people with Alzheimer’s Disease can be helped to reduce their symptoms and reduce their prescribed medications, as reported by Alzheimers.net (cited: 8/24/2018). Music is also used to quiet the untamed beast within people in cases of anxiety, depression, anger and rage. It has been known by the people of eastern religions to be a source of peace and direction in life. And the Christian believers; Catholics, Protestants and New Thought believers alike, enjoy music of many types to express their faith in the Creator and the spirit within us.

Music, even without the vocalists, can send messages to others who can hear it even if the people listening to it or performing it do not speak the same language. The sound of a military band playing an austere march of patriotism as unto battle gives a totally different emotional message to those hearing it than does the sound heard from an orchestra playing Brahms’s lullaby.

We are made up of sound patterns which are ingrained from before birth which helps set a pattern for our lives. I recently experienced a wonderful, yet somewhat frustrating, incident in my life of having a major hearing problem. A medical doctor was able to fix the problem with my right ear somewhat simply, but the period of time I was almost deaf gave me the opportunity to realize just how basic sound is in my who spiritual makeup.

You see, during the whole time that I experienced not being able to hear people speak in a normal way, could not hear the radio, television or people on the phone, could not hear a dog bark nor birds sing, there was one thing I was hearing — though not with my ears. I had experienced this type of phenomena before, periodically ever since being a child. Most people have. But we learn to sublimate it; to ignore it. This phenomena of which I speak is that while I could not hear anything with my ears, I could hear music in my head. Constantly. Somewhat like on a radio with one musical piece being played after another. Usually these pieces were instrumental only, but if there were vocalists they were very seldom singing in English. The music seemed to be largely from my past. Things like many Christmas pieces, religious music I’ve heard all my life and major musical show tunes and some patriotic music. But there were some pieces which were unfamiliar to me, sung by voices which I could explain only as angelic. This music was beautiful, constant, and strangely comforting.

Now that I can hear more normally with my physical ears once again, the internal music which I experience is no longer as “distracting” as it was when it was the center of my “audio” life. But it’s still there. It lets me know, whenever I need to know, that I was created in a wonderful way and that God’s guidance and help never is but a song away.

What has been your experience with sound? Do you enjoy music, or is it an annoyance to you? I’d enjoy seeing your comments below. Please share your thoughts.

 

Namaste’

Happy Note

 


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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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Are You Caring for Our Garden?

“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden

to work it and take care of it.”

Genesis 2:15-NIV

Ahh! The Earth. Our beautiful planet which, if observed with pure eyes, is truly a remarkably diversified beautiful garden which we, its attendants, have only begun to conceive of the remarkable ways in which it war created. The rolling hills, the luscious forests and jungles, the majestic mountains and the bottomless oceans are the home of the remarkable creatures we all know and love of the mammals, birds and reptiles, including ourselves. Why then, with all this beauty surrounding us on a daily basis must we be reminded that it is our responsibility, our duty to take care of this planet? Yet, until recently with the advent of a few people starting what we call Earth Day, we seemed to think that what this scripture meant was that we could do with this planet whatever we wanted which has lead us to causing the extinction of many species of both plants and animals and, if not gotten under control, could lead to our own extinction as well. So what do we do?

Well, first we must recognize the fact that we are to find our place as part of this creation, and not masters of it, as many of the American Indians have believed and taught. While we are ultimately responsible to feed the billions of people on this planet, we must not place that responsibility above the care of the planet itself. To do so would simply mean to fast run out of or destroy the very source which we need to care for the humans we want to care for.

We must use a different type of logic than that which has been prevalent in the past where if something exists and the human governments gives me the right to claim it, or I am strong enough to take that right, then I can do whatever I want with it.  To do so may be the very human way of existence as it has been for thousands of years, but it ignores the rights of other creatures, including other people, on being able to have access to those same elements. It further ignores the fact that we were placed on this planet to “work it and take care of it,” not to take all that is valuable from it and then leave it as useless and ugly.

I am not going to belabor the negative, uh, stupidity of mankind’s activity of creating oil wells in areas which have undermined the land to the point that it is now causing major earthquakes under vast territories like in Oklahoma. Yet, as intelligent as man thinks we are, we are still debating rather to do the same thing in land set aside as a national park in Alaska. Where is the logic in that? While there is much research and evidence concerning the fact that there is more than enough energy available through wind, solar and thermal resources it remains essentially untapped because the ones who have become rich with oil and other more potentially dangerous and destructive sources of energy refuse to invest in these alternative energy systems.

The same is true with numerous other topics which concern the Earth’s health. Things like air pollution, over-farming with chemical substitution of fertilizers and never allowing the ground to rest, and rampant deforestation in areas like Brazil where once lush jungles which had numerous medicinal plants are being replaced by deforested fields for farmers to produce “human needs” crops. A wealth of possible biochemical cures lost to mankind and a much needed source of clean oxygen lost to the planet.

Sadly enough, we have in the past, as a species given the assignment to tend this beautiful garden we call Earth, failed; but it is not yet too late to change the error of our ways and to try to heal the wounds we have caused our “Mother Earth.” The one person in the United States political past which I think did more  toward bringing the issue of American disrespect for the planet was not actually a politician at all. She was the wife of President Lyndon B. Johnson. Lady Bird Johnson took on as her cause to get Americans to stop using this country’s landscape as a trash can, and to quite hiding the view of our beautiful country with billboards. Her ideas caught on and from that time on we have started to understand better, and to try to do something about  our personal and our planet’s environment.

There is much that needs to be done, there is much which can be done, to turn the tide of planetary destruction which has been so prevalent for the past several centuries. Take action against those who disrespect the land by joining environmental groups. Use environmentally friendly products and services whenever possible, like solar or wind energy. And speak up for the Earth whenever possible. That way, by tending the Earth as we were asked to do, she will be able to take care of us.

Happy Earth Day.


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Why Be Positive?

Hi, everyone. I just thought that perhaps some of you may be wondering why Rogene and I have created our positive lifestyle blogs and insist on the importance of a positive attitude. I mean, many of you who may know us well realize that this type of thinking does not come easily or naturally for us, and sometimes we flat out fail. But we insist that we retain this attitude as a central theme for our lives not only because it creates a more pleasant atmosphere for us and others to live, it also causes us to feel better.

The Christian/Hebraic scriptures gives us our basic teaching on this subject where Solomon recorded being told:  “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22) But now scientists are catching up to the wisdom of old.

I just read an article from the National Institute of Health (NIH) which, for some, may be an astonishing announcement from a governmentally sponsored research institute, but it simply shows that the sages of old most certainly had more than just hunches when they gave their advice. One of the researchers that was interviewed by the NIH, Dr. Fredrickson, reportedly said,

“The results suggest that taking time to learn the skills to self-generate positive emotions can help us become healthier, more social, more resilient versions of ourselves.”

The report goes on to say that the results of positive thinking affected not only one’s spiritual and psychological health, but also our physical health and recommends positive lifestyle training through meditation, affirmations and thought control methods to help one learn how to feel better by thinking differently.

Below I have quoted the first few sentences of the NIH article to get you started reading this article about this exciting research, but don’t stop here. Please follow the link and read the whole article. It takes a few minutes, but the information is invaluable. . . .

Positive Emotions and Your Health Developing a Brighter Outlook
Illustration of a woman watching a sunset from atop a mountain.
Do you tend to look on the sunny side, or do you see a future filled with dark, stormy skies? A growing body of research suggests that having a positive outlook can benefit your physical health. NIH-funded scientists are working to better understand the links between your attitude and your body. They’re finding some evidence that emotional wellness can be improved by developing certain skills.
Having a positive outlook doesn’t mean you never feel negative emotions, such as sadness or anger, says Dr. Barbara L. Fredrickson, a psychologist and expert on emotional wellness at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. “All emotions—whether positive or negative—are adaptive in the right circumstances. The key seems to be finding a balance between the two,” she says.
“Positive emotions expand our awareness and open us up to new ideas, so we can grow and add to our toolkit for survival,” Fredrickson explains. “But people need negative emotions to move through difficult situations and respond to them appropriately in the short term. Negative emotions can get us into trouble, though, if they’re based on too much rumination about the past or excessive worry about the future, and they’re not really related to what’s happening in the here and now.”
People who are emotionally well, experts say, have fewer negative emotions and are able to bounce back from difficulties faster. This quality is called resilience. Another sign of emotional wellness is being able to hold onto positive emotions longer and appreciate the good times. Developing a sense of meaning and purpose in life—and focusing on what’s important to you—also contributes to emotional wellness.
Research has found a link between an upbeat mental state and improved health, including lower blood pressure, reduced risk for heart disease, healthier weight, better blood sugar levels, and longer life. But many studies can’t determine whether positive emotions lead to better health, if being healthy causes positive emotions, or if other factors are involved. . . . (complete article here)