Category Archives: Being and Feeling

Theism allows us to live within our humanity more comfortably


”Theism allows us to live within our humanity more comfortably.
We need not distrust our deepest intuitions—our intuitions of love, of reason, of beauty.
We can relax into them.
The fundamental feeling that this world—and our place within it—means something is not deceiving us. We are not “accidental collocations of atoms,” as Bertrand Russell put it — we are characters in the middle of the greatest story ever told.
We are not rolling a boulder up a hill with Sisyphus — we are progressing dramatically toward the final chapter. ”

20 Quotes from Gavin Ortlund on the Beauty of Christian Theism

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A Poem by Ksenia Rogozhnikova

 

The Alma Review

Translated by Nina Murray

loud pops we hear outside
in the new year
is no longer
the sound of crackers

light-and-sound grenades
traffic lights off
the crowd that walks
down the middle of the street
death 
in the streets of the city

we glean news in crumbs
over phone calls
the meager Almaty
allotment
of the internet service
never thought
we'd watch news
again on TV

my eight-year-old
writes in her journal: 
"We have a war here now
and must stay at home,
but the neighborhood store
is already restocked
with bread 
and potatoes"

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Dear 2021,

Whichever way we turn, in 2021 we were able to experience another year that tried to undermine mankind.

In the New Year, never forget to thank your past years because they enabled you to reach today! Without the stairs of the past, you cannot arrive at the future!
― Mehmet Murat ildan

It was already an understatement to say that 2020 swept us off our feet, 2021 gave us a run for our money. (Perhaps even literally as well figuratively)

100 years ago another virus had after that terrible Great War tried to reduce the population by large numbers as if that horrible 4 years of war was not sufficient. It had brought down mankind to its knees by a microscopic being. And as if it has to come back every century, we too could feel what it is when a dangerous disease spreads around like mad.

But like the previous 2 years, we could find lightbulbs burning in the darkness.
Set against a backdrop of human loss and misery, many could continue their journey that started off a year before. Several people found new opportunities in this time of malaise. We could see changes in people’s lifestyles, and it was as if man now, at last, gave some rest to nature, having lesser cars driving around. In any case, the Corona period proved beneficial to the environment, with pollution rates decreasing drastically.

Set against a backdrop of human loss and misery was a journey of discovery and realisation that many were just learning to undertake. It brought about a tremendous change in people’s lifestyles, perspectives and proved beneficial to the environment, with pollution rates decreasing drastically. Adoption of minimalistic living practices became the norm in view of the virus’ indefinite tenure. As death tolls rose in a staggering manner, people dwelled in a constant state of apprehension of what the future would bring….. {Dear 2020}

For many, 2021 was a difficult ride, but we all have grown and gotten through it, hopefully learning lessons and making memories in the process. And as you say, we also think, that’s something to be grateful for.

Random Specific Thoughts

In the New Year, never forget to thank your past years because they enabled you to reach today! Without the stairs of the past, you cannot arrive at the future!
―Mehmet Murat ildan

Gosh, I’m almost certainly sure I’m going blind from all the screens. I keep wanting to say it is your fault. Is it?

I’m sorry – where are my manners?

Dear 2021,

I hope you’re well and the packing is going great. You have but mere minutes before you turn into yet another history chapter. Unlike your predecessor, you weren’t cruel or a fan of surprises but you were clever and cunning. This has been quite the rollercoaster of a year and well, to be honest – I’m not going to blame you for it. I was rather harsh towards 2020 now that I think about i,t and I feel terrible about it.

You see, as humans…

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Let’s count…

Now that we have closed the curtains of the year 2021, when we open the blinds for 2022, let us consider how lucky we are to have the light of 2022 coming to us.

On

Imagine what a life it has been for all of us… You tell me, is it worth it, all these plans, new year resolutions etc ? Shut inside our holes, masked up faces, sanitizing any human presence… simply praying to see just another day; unscathed. God managed to puncture the great human Ego. So it’s time to start with counting our blessings in reflection:

The lockdown proved it beyond doubt that we could all cook, or at least potter around the kitchen with productive results. God and government kept our food supplies running, thank God. {This Year…}

So many people found so much to complain, about being limited in their freedom, about not being able to do what they wanted to do, etc.. Many could be at home for more hours than they would have been able when normal work times would have gone on. Instead of enjoying the extra free time at home they looked for reasons to complain and moan.

Last year many people could enjoy more time for themselves. Like the year before:

Snatched moments of fresh air on the terrace, walking in solitude on deserted garden paths became the most beautiful experience. Alps can wait forever. {This Year…}

2021 had started with so many wishes and what did we finally get?

The virus marauded us… taking away our loved ones. {and it’s December}

All the year through, we heard cyphers and numbers, see lots of statistics and heard lots of predictions.

Two years of confinement, new words in our lexicon and the undying spirit! With such optimism, we tread on, specially we the 1.39 billion! …. it’s all up to the media… They are capable of pushing things out of collective memory! …. {and it’s December}

No end to woes, it seems Covid likes reruns…race for cure began, vaccine came, but new strains came in stronger. {This and that}

The Indian traveller still went from the extreme South to the East in all PPE and social distancing that an economy class ticket of a budget airline could vouch for, whilst she hoped she and her fellow Indians can resist this virus as well. She like we came to see that

A virus can change the fabric of a society; this has been proved beyond doubt, as human survival takes over all social gimmickry. Weddings and funerals being binding factors in the Indian context, have been eye openers in the recent times. The virus has successfully imparted a life-lesson at what all can you manage without. When attendees numbers were compulsorily reduced, it was about making do with barest minimum people and paraphernalia. Covid reduced expenses, alright, but also reduced the need for bonding between neighbours, relatives and friends… {This and that}

For this New Year we should try to open our eyes again with the positive colours of life, being grateful for all the things we still have.

Heartfelt

Remember what I said at the start of this year? No? Read it here👇 http://sushmitasahay.com/2021/01/08/this-year/

Although it was an emotional watershed year…we still have lots to be thankful for if we begin to count our blessings one by one. Just for starts, here I go…

1. We are still here, me writing you reading.

2. Hopefully, not all our loved ones are gone, some still are waiting with enough warmth in their embrace to hug our miseries away.

3. Then there is this immense blue sky, filling us up with thoughts of immense infinity.

4. A child/ your child smiled back at you, just like that! No reason( Its a wonderful Kodak moment, I tell you 🥰)

5. You were able to help someone in dire monetary need without expecting a return because God has been kind to you.

6. Like me, you didn’t have to visit the doctor this…

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Being on the road in my dreams or with a Tin Can Traveler

In 2009 I was placed in retirement and had to find an end to my artistic dreams and (to be honest) also to my dreams to become someone. In the previous years, like I still do, I had worked under several names.  There was the choreographer, the teacher and the writer, plus the one who had many dreams, not having the money but in those dreams going to many places.

Like some American blogwriter

I used to inspire my students by giving them what I considered to be the ten most important two letter words for having a dream life. {About Annie How It All Started #1}

that blogger had decided it was time she granted herself permission to take on the power of the words:

“If it is to be, it is up to me” in living my own dream life. {About Annie How It All Started #1}

Would that be not marvellous if we all could do that, just going our own way, free in the world.

Limited by my health and by finances, I just seem to keep it to dreams only. Luckily on the net, we may find people who are able to travel a lot and do not mind sharing those lovely experiences they might have while going from one place to another.

For Annie who lives in a home on wheels (the Tin Can Cottage), a Winnebago Mini Motorhome, her dream life is:

living in a motor home aka recreational vehicle (RV), working at jobs around the country, and experiencing a never-ending journey of adventure and discovery via the open road. It entailed selling my house and furniture, walking away from my career, and in short, learning a brand new way of life..

Would that not be the dream of many:

having and learning to have a brand new life?

I would say, even if Omicron wants to waltz with us, let us keep far away from it, and though we might then be a bit isolated, let us enjoy the beauties of nature. That nature which has so much to offer, but is also, like us, in danger of a terrible disease, the “greed of man”, the bodies who do not mind destroying their own planet. But when we and each other individual making his ow bit to safeguard that nature, for sure we must be able to get some candle burning, shedding some light onto the necessity to do something against global warming.

We do not have to sell a home, sell all our belongings like Annie did, but we perhaps could use some similar mindset as she has.

The most unsettling list was the one with all the things I wanted to keep. I was delirious with materialistic greed, thinking I could still harbor all the flotsam and jetsam from 40+ years of pack rat proclivity.

Mentally, I had attached the stuff to me as so many outer coats that now had to be peeled away one by one. The only way to do it was to adopt a spirit of philanthropy. I saw most of my possessions off to good homes; only keeping what I thought I needed or would be useful.

It took me most of the summer and multiple parings but my home finally took on a cavernous look. {About Annie How It All Started #1}

This Annie is now living in an RV and travelling the country is her dream life, which is lovely she can build up such a dream life. We can enjoy her travels with a 26′ Winnebago, Class C which has been her home since 2007.  It’s 25 feet long with one slide-out.  Her tow car is a Subaru Impreza Outback with manual drive.

 It’s also my “toy hauler”  and totes my 10 foot kayak on the roof and my bicycle, Big Blue inside with the back seat down. {RV Living / Work Camping}

For 2022 I would advise you to have great days full of inspiration

enjoying the day and the road, autumn colors, beyond blue skies. {Bald Eagle’s Message (#755)}

let us have our eyes on the plants and animals around us, and yes … let us be carried away by a Bald Eagle who takes off into the air, flying off into the beckoning blue skies.

Many happy and pleasant dreams for 2022

feeling transported to another realm; spirit time; a time to walk with those on the other side of the veil.

 

Like this Annie Tin Can Traveler writes:

There is magic in immersing oneself in a personal reality without and within. It super-charges the soul, brings forth creative forces and that forever feeling of joy.

When I open myself to it, that is when I find the most incredible gifts only imagined in my mind’s eye. {Imagine Hearts… (#786)}

Hearts from Cape Cod

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Sunshine for a New Year

Even when so many celebrate the birth of Jesus not on his real date of birth (October 17) but on the birthday of the goddess of light (December 25), at the end of the civic year we, before going into a new year, can bring our thoughts to him and his heavenly Father, the Divine Creator and giver of all good things around us. Let us in these darker days remember and be thankful for the light given to the world.

praise2worshipdotnet

Milk Eggs and Worry in the New Year by Peter Caligiuri

That is why I say to you, don’t worry about living—wondering what you are going to eat or drink, or what you are going to wear. Surely life is more important than food, and the body more important than the clothes you wear. Look at the birds in the sky. They never sow nor reap nor store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Matthew 6:25- 26 Phillips

I must confess that we New Englanders brag a lot about how tough we are when it comes to winter. We laugh uproariously at stories of school districts in the South shutting down because of a couple of inches of snow. But no matter how many New England snowstorms we have lived through, often our conversation at home when it starts falling, begins with the words, “Honey, can…

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Seeing the glass half-empty or half-full

In these darker days, normally many people look at this world and their days in a groovy mood.

A non-Orthodox Jewish Young(-ish) Professional JYP, (aka “Judgy Young Pessimist”) who does like latkes (fried potato pancakes), and seems to enjoy parties featuring lots of people, food, dancing, and drinking which comes on his way with the Chanukah Parties.

But when he looks at the glasses, we have the impression he looks them from the wrong site of the picture. He writes:

It should come as no surprise that I, JYP, (aka “Judgy Young Pessimist”) see the glass as half-empty. {I Can’t Think of a Witty Title for This Post}

And that is what lots of people have done this last year. In this Corona-period they have taken on the coat of negativity.

Does it really matter if the glass is half-full or half-empty? Photo by Manki Kim on Unsplash

In the past year, several young people have taken on the mantle of the dark side of life. Many have lost positive thoughts towards the future. They see it all in such a gloomy light, while at the end of that dark tunnel there is a beautiful light in sight.

In these darker days let us decorate our homes with fine ornaments, colourful and luminous things, so that the darkness is somewhat hidden by our smiling light.

We may not forget that it really matters how we look at the glass in front of us.

In case we do not take it up to drink from the glass, someone else will do it. He or she might drink the contents and then we’ll see the glass completely empty.

He might think the glass will be left untouched, but in that instance, we shall have to doubt the nicety of the gathering, or perhaps the misjudgement of the host who hoped for more attendees than actually came. JYP would then see the beverage eventually attracting bugs and becoming gross. (What a waste.)

Were the invited people not in time because they were not sure to come by train or plane, or did they take so much time discussing what to wear, that they forgot the appointed time?

In any case, the glass still standing there might still be half full or half empty. When you look at it take it to be half full, and enjoy the rest of the evening sipping what is still leftover.

Don’t let Covid messages and lockdowns spoil your days, but make the most of these times of isolation and enjoy every moment you can.

Happy end of year celebrations!

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Knowledge That Matters



We live in a world of knowledge.
This knowledge is so varied and our understanding so limited that we can never grasp more than a very small part of it all. So how do we choose the knowledge that matters? What is the knowledge that grows my usefulness, my hope and peace, my love and care for others and that is always available?
I believe the core knowledge is the fact that we are loved.
Loved freely, deeply, unreservedly and eternally.
Knowing this I am able to live, share and find peace in all situations.
We can also return the love.

Thank you Lord. I love you too.

 ~ Alan Hermann

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My perspective: Virtual v Physical church attendance

After several months having the churches being closed, people now allowed again to meet in small circles (with the Covid Safe Ticket or Pass) every individual should check for himself or herself and should examine for the family if it would already be safe to go to gatherings, be it for relaxation, Bible study or church service.

Going to “the grocery store, the restaurants, the beauty shop, the office, the classroom, the gym, and the doctor” is something totally different than going to a church, where people are sitting close together and normally also would sing and say prayers together in an enclosed space making it very easy for a virus to spread.

When people go to the supermarket, they are only limited by the amount of people allowed per square metre, and as such have to follow the red and green light indications or the stewards allowing only the right amount of people entering the wide space. To enter the shops only a regulated amount of people per square metre is allowed and often only two at a time, plus always with a mouth mask.

To go to a café, snackbar or restaurant a person has to have the Covid Safe Ticket or Pass and the same regulation is there for other places (as churches) and events.

For going to a gp or doctor one must make an appointment and maximum two people are allowed in the waiting room, which should be ventilated and normally is spacey enough to receive much more people than two.

For going to church there is in many cases no controlling system, though there should be someone at the door asking and checking your CST.

Worship and Bible class are not simply about our being fed spiritually and matters that can be done on our own or via online meetings. Such online meetings can never take in the place of an actual real-life meeting. But we must be fully aware of the present conditions and dangers for each other when coming together in real life.
For every follower of Christ and every lover of God the gathering between all members of the faith community should be very important and not negligible. But, and a great But, we should be fully aware of the situation.

We must consider one another to stimulate unto love and good deeds (Heb. 10:24), and that the best way to do that would be in connection with assembling together (Heb. 10:25), but this also can be done by going in conversation online by the present technical progress. There are Zoom, Jitsi a.o. to have interaction when meeting online.

That people would stay away from the assembly in present times does not mean that they would be less religious or would have abandoned their faith. It is essential to protect the own health as well as the health of others. This can mean that we still have to wait sometime before coming together in real-time and/or real life.

Our relationship with God and with His beloved son shall not be less or of less value. It is from the depth of our heart that the love for God should rise above all our present limitations.

 

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Preceding

Ideas about Religiosity

May we have doubts

Religious Resistance against vaccination

Covid-19 update | Covid Safe Ticket

New rules in Belgium to stop the spread of coronavirus

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Additional reading

  1. Christian in Christendom or in Christianity
  2. Daily thought for July the 8th and the Summer months
  3. Not created to be on our own
  4. No time yet to relax the CoViD-19 restriction measures
  5. Fourth wave of COVID-19 a pandemic of the unvaccinated
  6. According to Pew Most White Evangelicals Don’t Think COVID-19 is a Medical Crisis
  7. Did the first followers of Jesus have ‘church’
  8. Priorities for our Christadelphian community and for the spreading of Good News
  9. Worship

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Related

  1. Get Back to Church
  2. Is church attendance linked to higher rates of coronavirus?
  3. Enjoying Christian Fellowship
  4. Church attendance is often a distraction from biblical Christianity
  5. Normal Christian Doctrine Explained: Church Attendance
  6. Three good reasons to come back to church
  7. Millions skipped church during pandemic; will they return?
  8. No Family Is Too Busy for Church by Desiring God
  9. Why are people attending church less frequently?
  10. Why We’re Not Going Back to Church

OMT's Digest

This post is dedicated to all the virtual churchgoers like myself and those who are still unsure about whether it is best to worship virtually or physically in a church every Sunday. If this is the first time reading any of my blog posts and you want a straight answer, then please don’t proceed because this post is meant to get you thinking to find the answer within yourself.

Prior to COVID, I wouldn’t say I was a consistent church goer. If there was an attendance register, I am sure I would be called to ask why I get in late or why I have been absenting myself from church. COVID however resulted in a lot of churches going online because of physical safety restrictions so I guess I found it very convenient to wake up and have church right in the comfort of my living room.

Afterall, we learn…

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It stops germs!

 

Protiguous

Saw an anti-masker holding up a sign that read, “Masks trap germs!”

Um, yah dude. That’s kinda the whole point..

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