Monday, April 10, 2017

Losing sleep lately over politics?

          Are you a political animal? I have always watched political shenanigans from afar, voting when asked and then getting on with my life. But, I have to admit these political times are addictively fascinating – sort of like a train wreck.
          When I found myself checking CNN as it rehashes every detail and opinion possible, or even impossible about the ongoing hoo haa in Washington, I realized I was doing the same thing I needed to go to Alanon meetings for – I was obsessed with what the other guys were doing. And in my humble opinion they were doing it annoyingly and scarily bad, bad, bad.
          Doesn’t matter which political party you are devoted to, that obsession is probably sucking you in, just like it was doing to me.
          So I went back to my Alanon training and decided to start with the first step and admitted I was powerless for the moment over Washington. Take a look at what I wrote in ‘Side by Side – the Twelve Steps and A Course in Miracles’ and see if it helps you, too.

 Step One - We admitted we were powerless over alcohol (or in this case the idiots in Washington) —that our lives had become unmanageable ( with fussing, worrying and bouts of anger).”

“All of us eventually way “Enough!” We recognize that all the pathways we followed before, all the attempts to control our lives (or others!), all the manipulation of relationships, all the anger dumped and guilt accepted hasn’t brought us any real release. Eventually all of us say, “There’s got to be a better way.”
          Until this point is reached we will continue to try out methods based on pain, which promise relief. Not until the pain becomes too great to ignore, or too great to rationalize will we look for another way to lead our lives.
          At this point we are willing to gamble on anything that will help. Let there be one spark of hope that the old methods will still work, let there be one shred of doubt as to the efficacy of gambling on the new, and the bottom hasn’t been reached. For each of us that bottom is uniquely our own. No one can decide for you when you have had enough pain and no particular incident will be the motivator — we each choose our own limit. But the experience will be the same: We no longer feel we are able to control any aspect of our lives without disaster and so we desperately try ANYTHING else to find release.
          After all, we reason, what have we got to lose?”

This first step spoke eloquently to me once again. I had let my opinions get the best of me and now I must practice letting everyone do and be just the way they are without worrying about them. I do this by going to the second and third steps and give the whole mess to the Holy Spirit to sort out. If H.S. wants me to participate in some way, I will be told. 

So, with a deep breath I now watch the news with careful discrimination and take the attitude it is one huge comedy, have a really good laugh and get some solid shuteye.     

Monday, April 3, 2017

Which is the correct view of Jesus' life?

Last night I had the most interesting insight. Earlier I had ruminated on how many movies, TV shows, articles and books, even mine, were offered this time of the year about the life of Jesus. And though they all covered the same general info, they each depicted the times and the life of Jesus with their own peculiar flavor and color.

So I 'asked' which is the correct view? As soon as I asked, that  'interesting insight' floated into my mind: "Each one is correct from the viewpoint of the writer as well as the viewer/reader. We see the world, each other and especially the past through our own needs, desires, prejudices and predetermined beliefs. After all, the world is but a shimmering illusion of perceptions that are continually shifting and changing."

Huh! Well, as "A Course in Miracles" student that pretty much made sense. So, "Snapshots of Jesus though the Lens of History" offers my humble viewpoint from hours of researching 'history' and the 'experts' and then blending it liberally with my own beliefs. If you would like this ACIM student's perspectives just click on the book in the left column.

Monday, March 13, 2017

From the book "Snapshots. . ." lets look at "The Political Minefield Jesus Enters"

Promises must be kept, and I promised to share another excerpt from "Snapshots of Jesus through the Lens of History" as we get closer to Easter. So here it is. . .(you can find the book in the left column)

      " Most Christian upbringing, just like mine, tends to create a scenario of Jesus meandering through a pink hazed landscape inside a bubble of lovely stories that insulate the reader of the New Testament from reality. We have pictured a gentle man sitting on a grassy knoll quietly sharing stories with groups of avidly interested listeners. They lean forward toward him and smile sweetly to their neighbors, while perhaps singing a first century version of ‘kumbaya’.

       Not so! Jesus may have been inherently gentle and compassionate, but the people around him were noisy, argumentative, demanding and sometimes downright ornery. And they had reason to be that way. Let’s take a few snapshots of the upheavals and hostility that surrounded Jesus as he started his ministry. The camera view will help clarify the tensions and political/religious fractures that Jesus had to deal with constantly. And it wasn’t a pretty sight. The turmoil ultimately killed his cousin, forced Jesus to stay away from large cities for his own safety, and eventually led to his own crucifixion.

      Keeping the history lesson short and sweet, here are a few quick photos that show the political ‘mines’ being placed in the field.

1000 B.C. A small tribe begins a nation and Solomon, the first king builds the Temple - the holy place where ‘God can reach down and touch earth’.

600 B.C. Raiders crisscross the area and Babylonians outright destroy the Temple.

500 B.C. The Temple is rebuilt as well as the fledgling nation under Persian rule.

300 B.C Alexander the Great rides into town and wants to set up his statue inside the Temple – the Temple narrowly missed being destroyed again.

The Greeks remain, however and the Ptolomies and then the Seleucids rule. The rich Jews love the new culture and become copycats. The working class grumbles and wants a return to ‘old time religion and politics’. And then, horrors of horrors the Greeks outlaw circumcision, which marks Jews as Jews, and actually erect a statue of Zeus in the Temple. Chaos reigns. The Maccabeans eventually return the nation to the Jews, but they just can’t seem to stop the infighting.

63 B.C. The Romans enter the photo and create a form of stability through oppression. And guess who they name client king? The Roman pet who just loves to grovel. . . .wait for it! . . Herod the Great, now named ‘King of the Jews’!

O.K. Not to worry. I will make sure we have at least one more excerpt about Jesus before Easter.