I had a boss tell me this for 2 years … my first “corporate” job and I had no idea what I was doing. Perception Is Reality! Not a week goes by that I am reminded of this. Perceptions will always vary … you will always get different stories from different people about the same situation. To take that a step further, we as humans assign different meanings to what we perceive. There are usually two options when it comes to perception, depending on the situation someone might change their own perspective or simply make things mean something else … sometimes that happens the more you look at something. There is no fixed meaning to things, sure we have definitions – but isn’t it the exception that usually makes the rule? You can always change perspectives and change meanings depending on the situation you are in and what is on your agenda.
Perception is that word that makes people tons of money … the people that sit in a chair and listen to you talk for 50 mintues, and then bill you for one hour! I am finding more and more young kids try to aspire to meet the image society sets for them. To tall, to short, to skinny, to fat … clothes, language, behaviors, all building blocks of Your Perception! Think about it – how many times have you watched a commercial telling us in order to be happy, all we have to do is follow this program. Why must we be validated by others in order for US to feel better? I continue to tell my boys … figure out what you want and plan that journey. What is happiness to you … is it a car, big house, an RV, a Boat, airplane, own a company, lead a team, be the boss? Once we focus our attention on what our definition of success is … when we can stand up and quantify why we are happy. Perceptions will sometimes become strenght to your armor. Think about it – Most of our lives will be spent in the pursuit of goals, not the attainment. Therefore, it is far more important to enjoy the journey. When living in that mindset, outside perceptions will affect your path in a way that validates your decisions and proves you made the right or wrong ones (if they are wrong – regroup, discuss, fix, move on!). Sometimes they reinforce your motivation and drive to give you that extra push when you need focus.
If you change your story – you change your perception – you change your life!
The Book Of Vision Quest by Steven Foster talks about perceptions:
“You may wonder, ‘How can I leave it all behind if I am just coming back to it? How can I make a new beginning if I simply return to the old?’ The answer lies in the return. You will not come back to the ‘same old thing.’ What you return to has changed because you have changed. Your perceptions will be altered. You will not incorporate into the same body, status, or world you left behind. The river has been flowing while you were gone. Now it does not look like the same river.”
All this boils down to one thing – the ONLY thing you can control in life is how you react to situations. My boys, and sometimes Dawn, will ask me during stressfull times or heated discussions – Why do you seem so calm? More than once their perception of me has been that either I do not care what the topic is – or I am not that interested in it. While I am trying to process the information before I decide on the plan to fix the situation. What controls your perception is your history of decisions and experiences. Its all you got – Use It! My experience has been like none other – I would not ask anyone to take a ride in my shoes. It is all in how you handle reality … how you make your decisions after you process the information (and sometimes before you process – but that is another post).
Where do you find yourself stumbling with perceptions … where do you find yourself excelling? What are key indicators that trigger your perception of things? Volume? Attitude? Clothing? Language?
This could be a fun one to talk about – tell me one thing you would change about your story!
I started thinking about this topic last week. I do not have a church I belong too. What I do have is what I have learned through life and my friends and family to give guidance (and if you know my mom – she’ll guide me weather I want it or not)! It is interesting talking to friends and acquaintances when they ask “Do you go to Church?” My response is usually “No – I do not.” Simple and to the point … until they ask WHY? I take that question to mean “please tell me more – I am interested in your views” … and so I respond … I believe organized religion and “Church” is good for some people, but not for all. I have a hard time listening to someone tell me how to live my life … because 1. The Bible says so and 2. I am your pastor. In my experience … the sermons I have listened to were watered down religious vomit shoveled down onto the congregation by some guy who stands up and says “Listen to me – ‘cause I am a better Christian than you!”
So … would you classify me as bitter towards the church? I would say I am skeptical … and yes, bitter would be a good term to use. However, if a church wants to grow (and they should always want to grow) I am thinking they might want to think about reinventing themselves. I think about the Catholic Church … what are the largest obstacles this organization is facing? How are they reaching the young generation and attracting new families? Not only the Catholic faith – I am sure other religions are feeling it too. How are they going to reinvent themselves and their “brand” in order to get new butts in seats?
Bottom line … Church is a business. They have expenses and income … they have target goals and stretch goals … they need money to survive and in order to make money they need members. In order to attract, they need to change and in order to change – they need to think and behave differently.
“People who cannot invent and reinvent themselves must be content with borrowed postures, secondhand ideas, fitting in instead of standing out.” – Warren Bennis
If a Church takes the “well they (the masses) need to conform to our methods, ideals, doctrine” stance they will never grow. Growth happens when an organization takes complete advantage of the climate and resources available. It is in the best interest of the organization for them to stand out and become the “light” – but what does it take and what does it mean for those leading Churches?
I sent out an email to a few friends last week asking what their opinions were regarding Church and the Churches they attend. I limited my emails to those I know very well and those I know are involved in their Church in some capacity (meaning they don’t just go to church on Easter and Christmas). I had some expectations on what I would hear – but it was cool reading the concerns and issues of those I consider friends of mine. My question was “what would be the 3 things Churches are doing wrong and right these days?” I didn’t go into much detail regarding what answers I was looking for – I left it vague on purpose.
I had quite a few responses that talked about how churches need to develop a more welcoming environment for newcomers, spending more time discussing the theology topic and comparing various religions. There was also a lack of small group support, bible studies and the facilitation of intimate group discussions “where real sharing can happen.” Programs were also mentioned in some responses … “Programs don’t reach people for Jesus, people in love with Him do.” Seems like they need to lighten up on the meetings and management of programs and allow time for families in the church to invite their neighbors and friends over for dinner and fun and eventually maybe even Jesus.
Pam hit a strong nail on the head regarding what is wrong in some Churches – “Making church about building the pastor’s vision instead of the pastor finding out what his people’s vision is and coming along beside each one to support him/her.” Too many times the leader of the church has their own personal agenda and they use that agenda to drive their sermons and teachings.
My other friend Pam brought up a few things that I believe is part of the reason why I have a hard time lowering my guard with organized religion … Guilt, Shame and Judgment! HUGE issues for so many people … from not attending church every Sunday, Sinning, Wearing the “wrong clothes,” talking the wrong way, sexual orientation (homosexuals). Why would the leader of an organization that teaches forgiveness, acceptance, love and compassion – stand up and allow those in that organization to behave in a contradictory way? Is it Hypocritical? Are they acting on their own and “judging” others or are they following the teaching of the organization? I have no idea – what I do know, is no matter what the pastor preaches … how the “church” behaves outside of the building they worship in is what will or will not help grow the congregation.
My suggestion … If you want to grow and build … you gotta BE the growth! You MUST change every part of your organization if you want to grow.
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” — George Bernard Shaw
Now – some of the things Churches are doing right? I think most of the responses I received somehow had a mention of activities and volunteer opportunities. Making church more about “real people” and how the struggles going on today are not only happening to you. Everything from losing a parent, cheating spouse, gambling problem, fight with your kids, etc … God loves us all and it’s the real people in the church that take this ideal and help others.
Benevolence inside and outside of the church for the poor is also a tool used to spread the example of compassion and love. Reaching out and helping those who need help … that is what I mean when I say “Be” the example.
Another good way to attract new members is through music. My friend J.T. told me the move away from the traditional piano / organ / choir setup to the “praise band” model. I’ve been in some churches where it’s done poorly simply because of a lack of talent. And when a church band is lame, it’s REALLY lame, which is too bad. But when they have good musicians with decent chops, it’s a whole different thing and much more enjoyable. Music draws many people together for many different reasons, I think by looking at new music and understanding the art music is … some Churches know this and use this to offer an experience to its members, old and new.
I read about the good way to focus on the family – not the James Dobson group … the “family” that gets up, showers and dresses, packs the car and drives to the Church. It is about the families that support each other … the teen groups that meet and teaches young adults how to feel good about themselves and equip them to go into the world and be accepted for who they are. Sunday school and their mission of focusing on the spiritual growth of little kids by boiling the “word” down to the basics and establishing a foundation for these young kids … Who has heard the stories regarding how a Sunday school teacher affected someone’s life?
Finally – the foundation of all Churches and what they should strive for every day! Forgiveness and Love! The fact that God gave his son to die for us so that we are forgiven! Period. Done. There is nothing you can do that won’t be forgiven. HE loves you. There isn’t anything you can do to get to heaven. No works to be done. No hoops to jump through. No monies to be paid. Nothing. All you can do is believe! Easy? Not really … possible? Absolutely!
I think if you are involved in an organized church and you feel it is time to reinvent the mission, ask yourself – “if I were creating this church today, given what I know and given current technology, what would it look like?” If you were charged with designing and creating a new denomination – what would you change about the current one you are in? What if I were to guarantee success … with failure not in the picture what would you change in your churches organization?
I am afraid there are two obstacles that are very hard to overcome. 1. Churches and the leadership being threatened by its “members” trying to bring on change and 2. Members of a church being so heavily indoctrinated their own imagination is crippled beyond their own realization.
How are you bringing in change … what change does your organization need and how are you working towards that change?
Have you heard about “Spread the word, to end the word” campaign? You might have if you were reading headlines a couple weeks ago. If you don’t know, the short version is – the White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, used “The Word” in a meeting …what word – “RETARDED!” I have had this discussion with other friends of mine also regarding this word. I could understand if Mr Emanuel was pointing at a mentally challenged person while saying the word “Retarded” … and how that might be construed as “insensitive” but when using the word to describe a situation or action … aren’t we just taking it a bit to far?
The definition of Retard is “to make slow; delay the development or progress of (an action, process, etc.); hinder or impede.” Is the statement “Refrigeration can be used to retard the growth of the bacterial culture” defensive … or discriminatory? Why then, if someone says “That is Retarded,” am I suppose to instantly think about special needs kids? I don’t get it … and what kills me is the people who are coming under attack for using this word, are using it in a manner that does not point towards mentally disabled people … however, you show me a human that would use the word Retarded as a derogatory statement towards a group of other humans … and I will show you someone who really does NOT care what you or the rest of society thinks about the language they chose to use. The only thing we are doing as a society is putting the “sensitive” and respectable people on edge and getting them to self censor themselves when they speak – and most of the time the underlying message gets lost in the “Political Correctness.”
Where does it end? What is acceptable now? What words do we use today in every day conversation that will be derogatory in 5, 10, 15 years … Fat? Skinny? Blonde? Lazy?
When we stop trying to manage others actions, we free up a lot of time to invest into our own life … we can then become the example for people to follow. Be the change in society … do not armchair quarterback what is happening around you.
Man – I have fallen behind in my writing lately. 6 weeks into the new year too … UGH! OK, I am going to need each one of you who read this to keep me writing. If I have not posted anything after 2 or 3 days – email me and let me know how disappointed you are! K – Thanks! I have not written in 10 days … I have a lot to say … so, enjoy this post and PLEASE, leave a comment – I think this is going to stir up some feelings! *grin*
I read an article the other day titled “Stop Teaching Our Kids To Kill” by David Marsh. This article talks about Lt. Col. Dave Grossman and how he has “laid siege to the entertainment industry” through his theory of Killology. Grossman’s theory is that “violence in TV, movies and video games is teaching our kids to kill.” Ummmm – WHAT??? My first reaction was dismissal – “Oh No, here is another crazy ass giving parents another excuse why NOT to raise their own kids!” Then after about .0034 seconds … I realized one thing – This guy, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, is a 24 year veteran with the US Military! He is not some whacked out nut case (my assumption, since most Lt. Col.’s need to be pretty with it if they are going to make it 24 years) … anyway … Here is a man who has made a career from an industry of killing. Does that make him an expert on what the Entertainment industry is doing? NOPE … does it make him an expert on the psychology of kids and what makes them do things? NOPE (for the record – that person does not exists – you can not tell me why kids do things – its impossible!)
So – what is Grossman’s stand? He wants to “stop an industry that’s selling death and horror and destruction to children as entertainment.” Now – I would like YOU (the reader) to take a minute and think about that statement. What is the first word or name that comes to mind when you think about “an industry that is selling death and horror and destruction.” The first “industry” I think about when the topic of death and destruction is discussed is MEDIA. Our NEWS in America is no longer about News … it is over-sensationalized garbage where explosions and affairs take top billing over issues that can actually ruin our society. I am taken back to a time when Anna Nicole Smith was found dead in South Florida … CNN and FOX and MSNBC aired this information for 9 straight days! Michael Jackson’s death … 3 weeks … NOT NEWS!
The war in Iraq (support it or not) and the coverage we are showing on the 57 NEWS channels that air NEWS 24 hours a day / 7 days a week … wouldn’t you say that might be a cause for the desensitization of our kids to death and gore? Not Lt. Col. Grossman … he wants you to believe that playing Call Of Duty – Modern Warfare 2 is going to “teach youngsters the skill of killing.” So – if I understand Grossman correctly – do away with the video games, movies, radio and TV industry and all our problems will be solved! HA HA HA … I disagree … Circle Gets The Square!
I have a very good friend in the video game industry, he has worked for over 10 years and is currently lead designer at a successful gaming company – I sent him the link to this article and this was his response:
Ultimately, all of the studies have not proven this to be the case. We, as a culture, aren’t any more violent than we used to be (I’m looking at you Coliseum)….we’re simply more desperate, more selfish and better connected so the flow of information happens much faster, creating the illusion. We are definitely more desensitized, but we’re desensitized to everything. Stand in the aisle at a Walmart and you’ll see children shouldered up to magazines telling women how to satisfy their men better. Covers with mostly naked women all over them. You’ve got thongs in child sizes, children brands like “apple bottom” which refers to the shape of a woman’s ass. Violence isn’t really the biggest threat to our existence, it’s always going to be a part of it, it’s actually the sexualization of children, and especially girls.
You want to know what’s going to destroy the world? Unwanted children and the death of class and self-respect. Not to mention the fact that it’s impossible for the world to manage the flow of entertainment to children. Entertainment is built for a specific audience and rated as such. It’s up to parents to be the filter between their kids and the music, movies, games, books and pictures of the world. It doesn’t matter what kind of regulations we impose, without that filter it’s all for nothing … and the filter is what is gone because so many people are having children that have no business doing so. I’m not worried about my kids playing Halo, though I wouldn’t let anyone under 12 play it, I’m worried about what they see every day in the culture around them.
You want to save the world? Don’t regulate entertainment or media, regulate breeding.
What drives me absolutely NUTS is when I read about government, leaders, groups, pastors, anyone – try to tell ME how to raise MY CHILD! Tyler and Bryan are both amazing kids … Smart, Witty, Successful and Polite – they play video games, they watch movies (sometimes movies I wont even watch – *SHOCK*), they read magazines … yet, somehow they do not fit into the mold these idiots are trying to stuff them into. Their argument does NOT hold water … because when you boil it down – it is still the parents responsibility to raise the kids! All these guys want to do is point blame away from adults who have unruly kids, adults who need a reason to blame for their own failures. Grossman points out in his presentation “young shooters in school massacres in Colorado and Kentucky, among others, were avid video game players.” WAIT … I am an “avid” video game player … I play my Xbox AT LEAST 3 – 4 times a week … and have been known to play “shooter games” 4 – 6 hours at a time … does that mean I am going to go crazy and start killing? How about looking at other “factors” with the school shooters … loners, picked on, rebellious, small group of friends, absent parents – I wouldn’t even put Video Games in the top 20 reasons these kids did what they did … blaming video games for violence is easy … but does that make it right? It’s like saying “Guns Kill People” … noooooo, its the little tiny bullets that kill people … the gun is just a tool … like a hammer, or saw … both of those tools kill people too if used for that purpose – are we now going to raise up against Hammers and Saws???
OK – lets look at this from another angle … and the reason why my post is titled “Ohhhh the Hypocrisy!” Lt. Col Grossman wants us to believe video games and the entertainment industry is BAD … if this is true – then why does the US Military make it look sooooo exciting in their ad campaigns? Forgive me – but doesn’t this commercial make being in the Military look and feel like playing a real life video game – only thing they leave out is you get ONE CHANCE – there is no spawn point on these maps:
How can a man with 24 years of Military service stand up and say how horrible an industry is when the same Military uses that industry to attract recruits? After all … wouldn’t the Military want to attract someone other than an unstable, video gamer that could snap and kill people anytime? Desensitization happens everywhere – its not one industry/person/company’s fault. If you try to point the finger at one and ignore other factors affecting the end result you end up being foolish and self-sabotage your mission.
What do you think – when you read this post (and the article on Lt Col Grossman) what is your experience? What goes through your mind when you think about “desensitizing our youth” … I look forward to any comments you all leave!
Within my social network I have recently read about a few people having to deal with forgiveness … the ability to forgive and if someone is “worthy” of forgiveness. It all started when I read a blog post about the pain of re-living past events … it was hard to read and I am sure, even harder to post! I commented on this “friends” (used loosely as “one who writes a blog I read” kinda way) post regarding my thoughts on forgiveness and I was surprised to read the comments from other readers. They ranged from “I am sorry” to “Screw the bastard” … I began to realize many people do not understand what forgiveness is, how to forgive and what is the next step after forgiving.
Forgiveness has roots in many religions – Buddhism talks about it as a practice to prevent harmful thoughts from causing havoc on one’s mental well-being. Christianity is largely based on forgiveness and Jesus often speaks to Christians about forgiving or showing mercy towards others. Asking for forgiveness is very much a part of the practice of Hinduism. Islam teaches that God (Allah) is ‘the most forgiving’, and is the original source of all forgiveness, along with that the Qur’an makes it clear that, whenever possible, it is better to forgive another than to attack another and in Judaism if a person causes harm, but then sincerely and honestly apologizes to the wronged individual and tries to rectify the wrong, the wronged individual is religiously required to grant forgiveness … religiously required, Seriously!?!?
Back in 1988 the Gallup Organization took a “large representative sampling of American people” on various religious topics and found that 94% said it was “Important to forgive” however, 85% said they needed “Outside help to be able to forgive.” Nobody understands … Forgiveness is NOT for the recipient … it is “FOR” the “GIVER” … the person who is able to forgive those who have wronged them – is no longer wronged. Do not read that as “I’ll let you do whatever you want to me and it’s OK” – but more like “Understand there are consequences for your actions, however, YOUR actions do not control me!”
Henri Nouwen said:
“When we become aware that we do not have to escape our pains, but that we can mobilize them into a common search for life, those very pains are transformed from expressions of despair into signs of hope”
This is a great quote … a “common search for life” is a perfect phrase because it’s what we are all doing on Earth. Living, learning, searching … when we understand that our pains are experiences that shape us into who we are and we can actually live in the pain and survive, we become empowered! For me, when I forgive someone, I am able to feel the pain – learn the lesson (trust me, there is one!) – So I can live my life as an example to others. My forgiveness is not for the person who acted against me. Honestly, I do not care how that person “feels” or if they are able to live with themselves. My act of forgiveness is my ability to let go of the action, understand that I do not control anyone other than myself. Learn the lesson by seeing the warning signs and not allow the same thing to happen over and over.
Being able to forgive takes practice, it is an art in ways. Forgiveness takes focus, determination, drive, passion and vision … forgiving is not something that “comes easy” … forgiveness HURTS … forgiving sucks most of the time. Just like any transition in life, changing one’s self is uncomfortable – however, the end result is so sweet.
What is your struggle with forgiveness? What do you find yourself agonizing over – when faced with having to practice forgiving those who do you wrong?
I read, mostly to learn, sometimes for entertainment … but always for answers. I was remembering this morning, something I read a while back (could be a month, could be 2 years ago – its what happens when you are about to turn 40). I look at living life (how I live) not as a predetermined path of existence bouncing from one episode to the next, but as a multi-level directional path. I believe everyone on earth has their own path (or life) to journey.
What I do with my life is up to me – I chose the path, the direction, the meaning. I chose to live my life helping people become better, building people up when they need it, listening to people when they need to talk, guiding people when they ask for help. This is my choice in what I want to leave behind. I continue adding to my life, so I may give to others. What got me thinking about this was what I read a while ago. We all know there is “Dark” and “Light” … “Hot” and “Cold” … but what if someone were to tell you there is no such thing as “Dark” or “Cold” – what would you say? What is the first feeling you felt inside your heart or mind when you read those words … think about the concept before reading further.
Welcome Back! So – what did you feel, what was your reaction?
If you think about it … what is Dark? Dark = Nothing. So how can “nothing” be something? Once something is dark … can we make it darker? Can we add darkness to that? We are surrounded by “darkness” or space – the vacuum our whole universe exists in. So consider this, Dark = the absence of light!
Just like Cold … how do we make something cold? We remove the heat. In order to cool the air we have air conditioners that chug alog pumping freon from a gas, through the coils condensing it into a liquid which removes the heat from the air and the result is “cold air.”
But what if there is no such thing as Cold? -459.67 degrees … Absolute Zero! You cant get any colder than that – Scientists said so! So, if Absolute Zero is as low as it goes, how can “Cold” be? You cant make something colder that Absolute Zero – right? Along the same lines of Dark … I will say Cold = the absence of heat!
So where am I going with this … LIFE … how do you live your life? Your life starts at birth (or conception – but we are not discussing that today!) … when your life starts you begin learning. Learn how to chose, learn how to adapt, learn how to BE who you are. What you ADD to your life is the path and direction you take. So, by thinking along this logic path … Is there such thing as BAD (Evil) or could we define “Bad” as an absence of Good?
Every person is born the same – as a baby, with ZERO knowledge of anything else. We are taught by life, the environment, parents, friends, teachers, strangers, animals, everything! From the first day – we begin learning. When we say “That person is Evil” or “That person is Bad!” … I think that is a misstatement. People who do Bad or Evil things are just lacking the “Good” in their life.
I want to challenge your way of thinking – instead of defining those around you as “Bad” … look to see the level of good they have. I am going to bet … 99% of the time you will find they are just low in that category. There is no Dark, its just the absence of light … there is no Cold, just the absence of hot … and there is no Evil, it is just the absence of Good!
If you live to do good, be good and show others how to be good … what would happen?
How many drug commercials do you see a day? One of the drawbacks I face due to working at home is I either have to sit at my dining room table (or office as I call it) in silence and work, or have the TV on as back ground noise. When did the networks start selling every second of daytime advertising to the drug companies? I can not turn around without hearing how horrible my life is and how much better it would be if I just took their pill. I often find myself wishing I could sit in lawn chairs with my buddies and watch a football game on a small TV plugged into an extension cord on my front lawn! MAN – how HAPPY would I be? Oh, and who doesn’t wish they could kayak with their dog … seriously, there are three people making BANK off of this movement. The networks that are charging the drug companies, the agencies the drug companies hire to make those horrible and painful commercials and THE DRUG COMPANIES! Lets not forget folks, drug companies are not in the business of helping people or healing people – they are in the business of making shareholders richer.
Did you know … Bristol-Myers Squibb (one of the top ten largest pharmaceutical companies) reported 2008 revenues of $20.8 Billion and 81% of that is net sales from pharmaceuticals!
My buddy Eric at SpaghettiOh.com wrote a post about antidepressants and how its easier to take one than actually deal with life issues. The story from Reuters talks about how antidepressant usage has doubled between 1996 and 2005 – NINE years friends! How on earth does a product that can not be purchased without the consent of a 12 year trained professional we call “Doctor” happen? Maybe this quote will shed some light:
“Although there was little change in total promotional spending for antidepressants between 1999 ($0.98 billion) and 2005 ($1.02 billion), there was a marked increase in the percentage of this spending that was devoted to direct-to consumer advertising, from 3.3 percent ($32 million) to 12 percent ($122.00 million)”
Lets do the math … that is a 381% increase between ’96 and ’05 … drug companies increased spending NOT in Research and Development … not in Studies to further advance the medical field in cures to cancer, aids, *insert whatever disease here* … they increased spending 381% in “direct-to consumer advertising” … $122 Million dollars was spent by a company that can not sell their product to you … on advertising their product to you!
But wait … in case you thought they cared … their products are known to cause – Aggression, Agitation, Anxiety, Confusion, Depression, Hallucinations, Hostile, Hyperactive, Impulsive, Irritable, Panicky, Personality disorder, Overly excited, Severely restless, Sleeplessness, Suicide, Weakness, Abdominal pain, Bone pain, Breast pain, Chest pain, Headache, Heartburn, Joint pain, Leg cramps, Painful menstruation, Diabetes mellitus, Hair loss, Frequent urination, Hyperglycemia, Ketoacidosis, Loss of appetite, Pancreatitis, Urinary tract infection, Weight gain, Weight loss, Amnesia, Dizziness, Seizures, Speech disorder, Stroke, Transient ischemic atychosis, Worsening of epilepsy …
… but seriously, ask your doctor if you want to ride a bicycle through your neighborhood and laugh at the kid jumping through the sprinkler while your wife chuckles quietly at you because you can now hold your pee.
I watched a movie the other day with Tyler and was surprised at the end to be thrown into such a deep self discussion about life (both in general and my own personal journey). The movie was The Book Of Eli … if you have not seen it – I highly recommend it. In this movie Denzel Washington is walking around a post apocalyptic world. I wont spoil the movie, but he walks around reading a book, a big book. As the movie progresses you see the importance of this book. At some point, Denzel (and the movie goers) come to a realization that he has only been ingesting what was written in the book and not sharing what he knows.
I was then skimming around my Facebook news feed and one of my friends (Dan Tocchini) posted a quote by Kierkegaard. The quote spoke about the difference between a spiritual man and a religious man … here is the quote:
The spiritual man differs from us men in being able to endure isolation, His rank as a spiritual man is proportionate to his strength for enduring isolation, whereas we men are constantly in need of “the others,” the herd. We die, or despair, if we are not reassured by being in the herd, of the same opinion as the herd.
Christianity of the Spiritual Man – Soren Kierkegaard. (page 163)
From this quote I find myself looking back into my life and finding examples of those afraid to be alone … me at many times, insecure in my own thought, afraid of my “lack of friends” and having an attitude of “screw every one, I only have ME to protect me.” I remember pastors in the church I was raised who would demand their “flock” to do and obey. Pastors who would constantly need the “you are good, you are ok” affirmation from the flock of the church. I hold those memories close as to keep a very clear understanding of what a “Spiritual” person is not and how a religious person carries a very different viewpoint. Dan Tocchini, to me, is a very spiritual person – and I do not thank him enough for his Facebook status updates that challenge my thinking and keep me focused on what I despise and how to avoid the trap.
Another friend of mine, John Terry, commented on an earlier post of mine “Religiosity – The Quality of Being Religious” and asked me in his comment “But where do you stand spiritually?” I gave some thought into my response and posted those … but felt like my underlying message was not really being explained well. You know when you have that “Ah-Ha” moment … I had it when I read the quote Dan posted and watched The Book of Eli at the movies. There is a huge difference between a religious man and a spiritual man … which are you?
According to Pat Robertson, the reason Haiti was hit by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake is because a long time ago they made a “deal with the devil” … WHAT???? I read this article and almost fell out of my chair. How does this guy’s brain work? How can he be so stupid, yet still have the mental capacity to remember to breath in and breath out to stay alive? I think I’ll pay the royalty fees to my buddy Mike and use his word “IGNORANT” for Pat Roberson! I read the quotes below in a Huffington Post article from Wednesday! What is even better is they included a video to watch his say this on TV. Robertson says:
“They were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III, or whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, we will serve you if you’ll get us free from the French. True story. And so, the devil said, okay it’s a deal.”
“That island of Hispaniola is one island. It is cut down the middle; on the one side is Haiti on the other is the Dominican Republic,” he said. “Dominican Republic is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, etc. Haiti is in desperate poverty. Same island. They need to have and we need to pray for them a great turning to god and out of this tragedy I’m optimistic something good may come. But right now we are helping the suffering people and the suffering is unimaginable.”
“TRUE STORY???” – Color me confused – but how in the world can this ignorant ass sit there and say this without being challenged? Really Pat – and when was this “meeting with the devil” … and how did you come into this knowledge? Did “God” tell you this? Where are your facts … Why is this now coming out … Why haven’t you talked about Haiti’s deal with the devil before today … or is this another attempt at getting your face back into the media again? Isnt this the same guy who “predicted” the END OF THE WORLD in “November or October 1982?” … FAIL! How about the Tsunami that would hit the American coastline sometime in 2006 … FAIL! Then we have the “mass killings” to come during 2007, due to a terrorist attack on the United States … FAIL! What made the whole “Terrorist Attack on the United States” a fan favorite of mine was in January 2008 Robertson said “All I can think is that somehow the people of God prayed and God in his mercy spared us.” HA HA HA … EPIC FAIL!!! Your ever seeing … all knowing God told you what he would do … and after “changed his mind” ’cause his people prayed??? No Pat … you are WRONG!
I guess after his numerous failed attempts at delivering Gods word to the world … he has now changed his tactic and is God’s Color Commentator … now its only After The Fact!!! It saddens me to know there are many many people who hear Pat’s comments and say “You know – he is right!” In my eyes – Pat Robertson is just another blow hard looking for his own personal gain … ’cause when we boil it all down to basics … he is just like me … someone on a podium preaching his interpretation of what is right in his eyes! Only difference between he and I … is the amount of HATE in his heart.
I ran across this blog post regarding the Devil’s response to Pat Robertson’s unfounded accusation! WIN!