Religion & Philosophy

Your Words Have Power

I believe that all of life is made by love; therefore, we are alive to simply love one another.

Problems in our lives and in our world have a spiritual root-cause. Depression, greed, anger, fear, and hatred, are all aspects of the spiritual nature, that when allowed into our hearts and minds produce that which is the cause of problems in our life and in our relationship to the world.

I believe in the power of words to either create or destroy life. When we speak words of love, peace, joy, and acceptance to one another, grace is imparted, and in grace is the power and encouragement to believe in the truth of life, possibilities, and hope.

My first priority in my exploration to end poverty, is to simply be a friend to all who need a friend. To listen, ask questions, and simply share genuinely love and friendship with others. Love, I believe, is the source of all solutions for every problem we ma face in life.

If you would like to be my friend, please send me a message below, and I would be honored to talk or discuss anything with you.

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Christian Personal Finance Advice

“One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” – Jesus

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The Church Is Not A Building – But It Does Own Many Of Them.

Many have come to the realization that “the church” is not a building – but it does own many of them. A building is merely materials constructed together to form a shelter for people from the elements. The Church, being committed to serving the poor, has HUGE spaces with which could be used for homelessness to end. I understand that many churches do provide shelter to those in need. But with the modern church moving toward a culture of marketing and performance, bigger spaces are being built to hold thousands of people for a Sunday morning, and are left empty, and guarded by security at night. What if that space were used for more than merely hosting a performance event? What if that space were used to do what I believe would actually make the church appealing to the world – service.

If a building is not being used to give people shelter from the elements for a night, feed those hungry, give water, and give clothing; it’s pointless and worthless having the building at all. Why are we afraid of opening our doors to those without shelter? Why are we afraid of each other?

We are not called to fear people but only God. When you fear God, all fear of people vanishes and all you can do is open your heart to others. My definition of a “spirit-filled church” has greatly changed. Much of the church views being “spirit-filled” as a feeling of atmosphere or lack of restriction in how people praise during the concert portion of the production. If I had the Goo Goo Dolls and Tony Robbins and I could create the biggest spirit filled church in the country based on those factors.

God doesn’t care how nice your facility is and whether or not the people feel comfortable there. However, much of the church has concerned themselves with tailoring their service for the new comer to feel comfortable – fear of man. This is born from a business mentality where we want new customers to buy our product. God wants you to be uncomfortable because that’s the only way this world has ever changed, and God’s will is that our world become like heaven.

Open your doors to those in need and you will really see the Spirit of God move. When did music become classified as “worship”? Sure, people worship with music, but somehow in our culture that has become the primary thing we call “time of worship.” When I walk into a building and see hands raised, people on the floor, dancing, singing, etc., I don’t think to myself “people are really worshiping here.” I don’t make an opinion at all, because that is not for me to judge. When I walk into a church where people are feeding the hungry, providing clothing, and a place to sleep, all out of a heart to simply love people with equal value to ourselves; there I know the people understand worship & love.

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The Property of Ownership, Africa Land Grabs, and Injustic

I would like, for a moment, to write about the property of ownership. Is the belief that we have ownership over a section of land, building(s), automobiles, and other items, man-made or not, a healthy thing for humanity?

The danger with ownership is that we believe we possess something, but that some-thing also possesses us, many times to our demise. One of the contributing factors to the depletion of many African resources and land, came when the white men discovered they had no law which said they owned their land. They simply lived on the land, farmed for food, and lived a quite communal lifestyle, free of laws. Well, because they had no law, the English decided to make their own, stating that where law did not exist, that land was under the law of Britain, and was free-game for the whites to conquer and claim as their own.

This process of “land grabbing” is continuing to this day. Here is some information about the issue from www.stopafricalandgrab.com:

“Land grabbing is the contentious issue of large-scale land acquisitions; the buying or leasing of large pieces of land in developing countries, by domestic and transnational companies, governments, and individuals. While used broadly throughout history, land grabbing as used today primarily refers to large-scale land acquisitions following the 2007-2008 world food price crisis. By prompting food security fears within the developed world and newfound economic opportunities for agricultural investors and speculators, the food price crisis caused a dramatic spike in large-scale agricultural investments, primarily foreign, in the Global South for the purposes of food and biofuels production. Initially hailed by investors and some developing countries as a new pathway towards agricultural development, investment in land has recently been criticized by a number of civil society, governmental, and multinational actors for the various negative impacts that it has had on local communities.
The target locations of most land grabs are in the Global South, with 70% of land grabs concentrated in Sub-Saharan Africa. Other primary areas of note are in Southeast Asia and Latin America.”

I will write more on this subject at a later time… stay tuned and please feel free to comment leaving your thoughts below.

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If God Can’t Protect You, Buy A Gun!

With the recent surge in gun sales, mainstream media coverage, social discussions on gun rights, and legislation soon to come to address the issue of gun control; I would like to write about something I have observed regarding this matter.

I find it ironic, to say the least, that the initiating contributor of a surge in gun sales, is an act of catastrophic gun violence. Many people offer claims like “guns don’t kill people, people with guns kill people”, while making their purchase of a gun.

I understand that it was not the shooting at Sandy Hook which inspired people to purchase guns in droves. The event at Sandy Hook Elementary was merely a catalyst toward a widespread fear of coming legislation which will cause greater difficulty in future gun purchases for ordinary citizens. Citizens who wish to arm themselves for their own protection. And who is the main group of people who seem to be in such fear of tyrannical government that they should seek the gun to be their defense? Christianity, at least in my observations.

From researching articles, meeting with people, church groups, and social media research, I have found that the driving force behind the pro-gun, NRA, seems to be largely based in Christianity, at least the professed form of the religion.

It seems incredibly odd to me how the evangelical Christian force in America, seems so starkly different than the one whom they claim to follow and believe – Jesus Christ. The Prince of Peace, whose USA followers are most often the most fervent supporters of war and military engagement, also cling to their guns citing causes of liberty. However, what about the many other causes of liberty, which seem to either be ignored or unknown?

To believe in Christ, God, and the Holy Spirit, is to believe that they are the sources of all Truth and power. But to believe that in order to protect yourself from the evils of this world; tyrannical government, intruders of your property, etc., you would have to believe that you yourself is the one with power to defend yourselves; thus impugning God of all power. We either believe that love has power over hate, peace has power over violence, and compassion has power over greed; or, we believe that we ourselves can take that power into our own hands, forsaking our belief in the power of God.

So, If God can’t protect you, buy a gun!

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The Real Church

The real church is not found within a building, or even the people who gather within a building. The real church, if we’re really looking, is found on the streets, in the world, and wherever love is being shared with compassion for one another.

“Church” is simply a word. And we can interpret a meaning of that word in ways which get to the heart of what it should mean. For many, including myself, the initial images which come to mind when hearing the word “church” is of pastors, Christians, and everything I was taught through my religious upbringing to believe that church indeed was. It was the place I would go to on Sunday’s and Wednesday evening to see friends, play games, play music, speak or listen to a message, go to eat afterward, and then go home – that was church.

We could say that “church” itself was simply the gathering with friends, who shared the same belief I had been trained to uphold. But this, I believe lacks in truth of what church actually is. I believe that church should not be as separate from the world. What I mean is, Christians have interpreted a scripture stating “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” (2 Corinthians 6:17) to mean that we should be separate, in all aspects. Relationships have divided over beliefs, both within the church and with the world. The people whom people within the church spend their time are most often those who attend the same group. Yet Jesus himself did not conduct relationships in this way. Certainly, he spent a large portion of his time with his disciples and followers, but he also spent his time dining with those considered to be “sinners”, drunkards, and the like. I do not believe he spent his time with them with an agenda to convert them to his religion, but he simply loved them for who they were. Because with that genuine humanity, filled with simple love, dwells the power and grace for people to actually change.

The real church is seen when people share friendship with compassion for one another. When a person who may be judged negatively by society, is treated with tremendous value and honor. The real church does not look to grow their numbers, attract new visitors, or create a better Sunday performance, it possesses no performance at all. There is no show, no marketing, no media, and no strategy. It is simple love being shared between human beings. That is the church I wish to see come alive and thrive in our world. The church of compassion.

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5 Solutions to Change the World

I’ve discovered five key solutions to share with the world to eliminate our problems of violence, fear, poverty, slavery, and hate.

1. Peace: Human history has always known war and violence toward one another. Because of this history we have accepted as fact that humanity will always be at war. However, I believe that peace will one day be known by our species, and I will work to that end, whether it be one or one-thoiuand years from now to be realized. I believe our faith can ony be realized as truth if we place it in that which has not yet been seen. And the truth of a world at peace, is the only truth befitting a God who is love.

2. Hope: It is often that I hear “hope” spoken of in a depresding manner. We hear people say “I hope so” commonly with a tone of belief that what we hope for likely will not happen. But I would offer that the only things we should have hope for are those things which there is no doubt we will achieve. I hope in peace, and a world filled with people who simply love one another, share resources, and bring freedom to all of life. These are dreams of mine which I believe to based in promises from a being who cannot lie – God.

3. Resourceful Giving: Poverty is a product of greed. Greed is humanity’s pursuit of power over another, as opposed to service to one another. As we learn the joy of giving we learn that giving is actually one of the most selfish acts we can do. Because giving not only improves the well being of another in need, but improves the well being of our world. When poverty is eliminated by a gift of fortune, the incentive for thousands of other problems is also eliminated, and we create a safer, more connected in relationship world.

4. Freedom: Liberty is one of life’s most badic rights. Freedom is at war with greed & humanity’s desire to rule others. For freedom to be realized we must stand against those who would seek to oppress and enslave others. We stand against oppresdion with weapons not of violence nor words of anger; but with a heart of love and justice.

5. Love: I believe every solution listed above is rooted on simple love for one another. As we, together in unity, learn more about what “loving one another” means, the world will know peace, hope, generosity, and freedom.

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Are We Killing Kids’ Dreams?

I firmly believe that within the heart of every child is pure, true, dream that is at the core of who that person was made to be. As kids we had things we enjoyed and were naturally adept to accomplish – and still not take it too seriously. But somewhere along the way we are given the understanding that we need to “grow up” and our lives from that point become about achieving a measure of security (I would call it false security) found in a good paying job that will provide for a comfortable life. A life that our parents can rest easy with knowing their child lives in a neighborhood with a low crime rate, “good” schools for their 2.6 children and is at least mildly successful according to the measures of success we are given by the business culture society which dominated the earthly mindset.

But what happened to that child’s dream? What happened to the time when all things were truly possible, albeit not without taking a chance and a risk. Taking chances doesn’t always workout, and can lead to being in less than what some would call “safe” places. But every chance we take has a tremendous value within in and even if taking that chance goes south, we learn so much about who we are and grow out of that with stories and experience to pass on to others.

I don’t remember exploring being a conscious goal of mine as a child, but I do remember being an explorer riding my bicycle with training wheels all over town, wishing to go beyond the confines of the city limits (“limits” is a word I don’t do well with).There have certainly been times in my life when “The American Dream” has attempted and nearly succeeded in restricting me from realizing that dream I held as a child. But all things work as they should. I encourage you to continue seeking your dreams no matter what the cost. You may be in a body right now but it is your spirit that is the real you. It is your spirit that is naturally bent toward the dreams placed within your heart. Follow that heart. Follow the spirit. Follow your dreams.

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