Random Thoughts 7-24-2011

The heat wave this week has interfered with getting yard work done. Even at 9 am it’s been too hot to work outside. Fortunately, I haven’t had anything that needed to get done right away.

The International Community of Christ is making a trip to South Africa in October to do some lectures and, hopefully, get some new members.

I hope the end of the space shuttle won’t mean the end of U. S. leadership in space exploration. NASA says it won’t, but that’s based on the assumption that private companies will be able to take over for the next several years until NASA is ready for more long distance space travel.

I’ve noticed while walking my dogs recently, an example of how nature strives to keep balance. Thanks to global warming, poison ivy is growing faster and spreading everywhere around where I live. It’s getting as bad as kudzu. I found some climbing a tree in my yard that went up about ten feet. But now I’m seeing some in the woodsy areas that has wilted leaves with pink zits on them. It looks like nature is giving at least some of the poison ivy some type of blight.

Love is the only freedom in the world because it so elevates the spirit that the laws of humanity and the phenomena of nature do not alter its course.” ~Kahlil Gibran

Another shot of lake Sebec in Maine.

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Scripture: Psalm 98 4-9

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise:
Sing unto the lord with the harp; with the harp and the voice of a psalm.
With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the Lord, the King.

Before the Lord; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity.

This psalm doesn’t advise us to simply be very noisy, but to make joyful noise, happy sounds, songs with voice and musical instruments. It also tells us that, when judgment day arrives, all people will be judged with equity. They will be judged according to how they live and how they serve God, not on which church they go to or which faith they follow.

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Being Charitable Without Expectation

    A lot of corporations and wealthy individuals today make donations to charities based not upon need, or the preferences of the corporate leaders, but on which charities will do the best job of publicizing the donation. These corporations, and sometimes individuals, often don’t even care what good is being done by the donation, they just want the publicity. This attitude is becoming so common that even the average person is becoming guilty of it to some extent. If a charity is going to list us as a donor in some publication, or post something on our Facebook profile, we are more likely to donate to them than to a charity that may actual do a better job of helping the needy, but does nothing to publicize donors.

    Another variation of this is the charities who promise to give us something for our donations. Donate $20 or more to this one and get a tote bag. Donate $25 or more to another one and get a t-shirt. Donate $100 and get a free DVD. This is really just the same thing which is the idea that if we give, we should get something back.

    While it is true that those of us who are generous and help others in need will be rewarded and helped when we need it, doing good with the expectation of getting a reward for it is the wrong attitude and, to some degree, nullifies the good karma of helping others. It’s kind of like a shotgun wedding which really isn’t a wedding at all because someone is being forced into it. A person with the proper spiritual attitude gives to those in need with no expectation of any kind or reward or publicity to boost his ego. The spiritual person helps others because she knows that we are all one and it is the right thing to do. Likewise, the spiritual person serves God because he knows it is the right thing to do and not because of an expectation of a reward or a fear of punishment. It’s not like a job where you get a wage based on how long you work or how much work you do. If God rewards you, it is His choice, and you should do His work anyway.

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Using Anger for Good

    We all know that anger is a negative emotion, yet it is one that we cannot always avoid. The most advanced spiritual people may be able too, but most of us, even if we are spiritual, can’t help but get angry sometimes. It is because we have a duel nature, divide and animal, that we cannot completely avoid anger and other negative emotions. Since we can’t avoid it entirely, how we use anger, how we channel it into something positive, becomes important.

    A materialistic person tends to use negative emotions to stimulate negative actions. Anger is likely to result in violence. A punch in the nose to the person who has angered you. Declaring war against the people who have angered you. Or perhaps destroying the persons property, setting his house on fire, poisoning his crops, etc. Basically, the “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” response. The result of this type of response is, naturally, to make the other person or group angry with you thereby spreading anger like a plague. This is neither desirable or sensible. In addition to the harm you are doing to others, you also harm yourself with such behavior.

    There are times when this materialistic, animalistic approach seems justified. When you see an adult abusing a small child. When you see terrorists indiscriminately killing. When you see soldiers killing civilians who were unfortunate enough to be in the way. When a company continues to market products that are killing people by the thousands, but it’s just too profitable to stop selling. But there is a better approach.

    The more spiritual person will channel his anger into positive rather than negative action. She will boycott the company selling deadly products and encourage others to do the same. He will educate others on ways to deal with people you disagree with other than violence. She will organize peaceful demonstrations. He will try to make peace with those who anger him and, if peace is not possible, at least let the other person know that he objects to his behavior. You would be surprised how many people respond and improve after being told by several other people that there behavior is unacceptable. And most of all, the spiritual person will pray for others and send them thoughts of peace, love, tolerance and understanding. When enough of us do that, we can have a peaceful, loving world.

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