PART 3: The trouble with Christianity is… You have to believe the Bible

Am I really a Christian? Fighting my battle with myself Part 3
The trouble with Christianity is… You have to believe the Bible
NB NB NB – I have NO qualification whatsoever to write this piece, it is pure commentary and opinion.

Ok, so I made this talk in person. My nephew was out of hospital by this stage and even though I was exhausted because I was organising two teacher’s timetables, I went. Still following on with the Tim book, and his beer in his hand, the Speaker went on to validate and justify from three perspectives the reasons for the Bible being reliable and believable in the following contexts:

1) Historically. The Bible was written too close to the events to be a ‘legend’. The speaker said that because the Bible consists mostly of letters that were delivered and read whilst the people written about were still around, it is more of a ‘newspaper’, thus not a ‘legend’. Like a journalist reporting on the times, or Anne Frank and her letters, if the witnesses and main characters believed that the letters were ‘lies’ then the letters would never have been preserved or kept, never mind published. Secondly, if the Bible was not accurate then it would be ‘counter-productive’ to the objectives of Christianity. If it were filled with unacceptable lies then the Religion would have failed as the people would not have accepted it at the time.

2) Culturally. If the Bible offends you culturally, then the Speaker said that it is due to your upbringing, experience and culture. This links back to two blogs ago and the piece on “Christianity is the only right Religion”. He said that it must be remembered that the Bible has a cultural context of its own; for example the concept of: “Slavery”. ‘Slavery’ at the time of Jesus was “bonded employment”. Slaves were well paid, educated, housed and fed and had the option of buying themselves out of their slavery if they desired too, but many didn’t choose to because their life with their “master” was a good life. The suggestion was to have the approach of taking that which you are offended by and applying it to the truth of the first century in order to help one remove their own culture and experience from the Bible and see it within the culture from which the writers were writing at the time, which is nothing like today.

3) Personally. This point was linked to number 1). Luke 1v1-4 says that the Bible was written by “eye-witnesses”, people who personally experienced Jesus’ presence. Thus the eye-witnesses, having written the work within a few decades of the experience, could be questioned and challenged by the people of the time. In taking the Bible personally one can see its purpose as meant to challenge the reader and grow them on their soul journey and as human beings.

Ok, so what did my mind do with this?
1) My 1998 Psychology textbook: How reliable is eyewitness testimony? “It is not only memories recovered under hypnosis that may be inaccurate. Even memories recovered in response to ordinary questioning can be very unreliable.” In some cases “police witnesses deliberately lied to protect themselves.” “…remembering is not like looking through a photograph album and describing what is there. It is a reconstructive process. What we ‘remember’ is constructed from some information about the event we are trying to remember and general information about events of that sort contained in schemas” (organised frameworks for long-term memories). In an experiment by Loftus & Palmer (1974) “41% of the subjects altered their recollection of a photograph to match incorrect information. This is called the ‘misinformation effect’. What we remember is also altered by the process of telling what we remember.” Often when people give testimony it is a product of reconstruction and may not be very accurate. If I apply this to the Bible: Peter, it is published that he denied Jesus three times, so can it be trusted that his book in the Bible does not contain any human guilt for what he did? Was ‘Paul’, or was it ‘Saul’, over all the damage he did before the Road to Damascus event when he forged ahead? Yes, there is the individual’s truth in testimony, but it is not a ‘valid’ argument to justify belief in the Bible.
2) People of the time disputing writings of the time… the church was new and small, still finding its feet. Why would they disagree with the new leaders? I know VERY few Christians who will challenge their leaders, pastors, bishops, reverends and so on. The general populous of churches, in my experience, sit in their pews and nod, or nod off to sleep. Why would they argue with those who “know”? Isn’t that a definite trip to ‘hell’ because followers have to be ‘obedient’, isn’t disagreeing with the pastor a ‘sin’? Isn’t the pastor more ‘knowledgeable’ than his congregation? How could they argue when the whole deal of “Christianity” was new and there was no experience or comparative to argue about? If I look at my city alone today: our local municipal elections had the lowest turnout ever, if I’m not mistaken, so how interested are people in what is going on in their time anyway? The government has/is passing their secrecy bill at the moment where journalists/anyone will be charged and condemned with treason for publishing any information on how the government spends our tax money… no masses have stood up to argue this, so why would anyone have argued or disagreed with letters written by a little over 12 guys to a bunch of people who believed the same things they did?

Another point to throw in here: Just because no-one has disagreed with the ridiculously absurd policy’s being implemented in public schools over the last decade doesn’t make them any more or less valid or justifiable for the people who will read them in 2000 years time. It will only make them a part of history.

3) 2 and 3 contradict each other. First, make it contextual to 2000 years ago, oh and then, secondly, make it personal to you today. . . right…

From this point the talk got absurd for me… God forgive me for my inability to blindly accept what I’m fed, if it’s from You that is… The Speaker said we were made for relationship with God, not a job or other things, because other things will disappoint you, this I, personally, absolutely agree with. Further to this he said: The Bible is the link to God (yes, agreed), it is the ultimate authority (now I’m not convinced of this) and a personal link to God (battling with the contradiction of “context, context, context of 1 AD). I’m thinking – unreliable eyewitness accounts, contradictions and a small group of people writing what they needed and chose to at the time. . . How can I make this my ‘ultimate authority’? That’s madness. Surely God Himself needs to be the “Ultimate Authority”? The Speaker said that we as humans are bleak because, due to our sin, our relationship with God is broken, this was fixed by Jesus and so now we have a relationship with God. Pause… I’m thinking of my last blog and the whole God has unconditional love and Christians have conditional love as Christianity makes the Jesus’ ‘fix’ non-applicable unless you fulfill the ‘conditions’… grrrrrr… ugh… Then the Speaker said that the Bible is actually “one long story about one main character Jesus with the odd moral in it”… HOLD IT! I thought we were supposed to be worshipping God here? The Bible is only about Jesus? I must have interpreted that incorrectly… But that would make sense “Christianity” Christ… no God in that really… :-( Another CROSS for me not being a “Christian”, because my being belongs to God. I researched this to find out what on earth I was supposed to get from this… I found out that The Bible only ‘implies’ the “Trinity”. It isn’t written anywhere that “God, Jesus and Holy Spirit are One” it is only ‘implied’; BUT it is very definitely written: “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.”

I sat in the biggest conundrum of all from this talk: if we are supposed to take the Bible as historically correct, keep it in context and see it as the ‘ultimate authority’, then how can we create our own translation of ‘implied’ meanings? What else are we then at liberty to ‘imply’? Should the Bible be seen as Jesus’ story or as God arranging the whole Universe and all of time and existence to serve His purpose? So much for my little brain…

The end of the talk was: “God will contradict you and it is good and healthy for your relationship with God in love”! What the? Where does it say in 1 Corinthians 13, The chapter on Love, that love will make sure it contradicts you? I sat there… thinking my God holds me and loves me especially when I make mistakes and fall. He lifts me up and understands what I went through and guides me to a better path if I ask Him to. Maybe the Speaker meant that the Bible will contradict you if you are not being the best you can be and are choosing selfishness, hate, anger, war, raping each other, raping their earth, killing each other, stealing, keeping, breaking, pornography, drugs, alcohol, hurting each other and physical, psychological and emotional manipulation and reduction of each other, but then it can’t because the Bible does not advocate any of that. . . Maybe all of the talks are just put across in words that have a different meaning between me, the Speaker and the other Christians…

Giving myself a definite cross on this one too :-( I don’t see the Bible as a single history book. I see it as a dictionary, a poetry book, a book of letters, a book of trials, tragedies and successes, but MOST of all I see and feel it as a channel through which God can speak to me for the message He needs me to hear and know for every moment I need Him in relation to where I am at in that moment. I don’t see it as a Book that requires me sitting in a room and complacently accepting what a group leader / pastor pre-prepared in his own time for himself. I see it as a guide from God in the here and now as to how he wants me to handle situations. I see it as a history book of other people’s experiences and consequences as humans being, which serve as an example for me to use as to how I should make my decisions now. I believe I need to read the Bible AND be in this world, listening to music, to others and nature with my “God-coloured” glasses on so He can give me the messages He wants to give me in order for me to move higher and closer to the ultimate destination of Unconditional Love, and the Ultimate Authority of My God.

Interestingly for me, whilst pondering over this topic, the idea came to me that the Bible is also a metaphor for our lives. Old Testament: born of the Mother’s womb, yanked out of paradise into the OId Testament, separated from paradise and God, following Kings and Speakers, until we are born again, New Testament: into God’s Spirit, like Jesus, and follow God directly on a far more difficult long life journey, like the disciples and co, which leads to a Soul journey of rising above earth, above pettiness, fickleness and human neediness, taking us higher and higher and higher to sit at the right hand of our Father, then to return again to help others find the light and move out of their own gory Old Testament lusts, power struggles, wars, years of wandering and lack of faith to join us in living in LOVE… but then, ja, I’m not indoctrinated into Christianity and I’m no authority… don’t even think I fit the criteria of a “Christian” anymore…

I’m just going to keep clinging to My Awesome Father in Heaven and pray that as He is a God of Love who sees my soul trying to elevate itself and become something My God can be proud of… even if she doesn’t see the Bible as a prescriptive, authoritarian book of history, but a real metaphor for life in all its contradictions, changes, emotions, possibilities and underlying message of: HAVE NO OTHER GOD’S BEFORE ME (not even a Book… or a man?) & LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.

PART 2: The trouble with Christianity is… There’s too much suffering in the world…

Am I really a Christian? Fighting my battle with myself Part 2
The trouble with Christianity is… There’s too much suffering in the world…

NB NB NB – I have NO qualification whatsoever to write this piece, it is pure commentary and opinion.

Ok, in all honesty, I missed this talk. As I typed two blogs ago – my nephew was in hospital. I have no idea what Tim something-or-other’s take is on this one, nor the guy presenting the series of talks, but I have my own ideas on the matter…

NUMBER ONE: Of course there’s too much suffering in the world, it’s full of HUMANS!

This point is so obvious to me it’s not even something that should have to be typed about. Relating this to God, I’m putting my head on a block and typing: it isn’t God allowing suffering, it’s humans choosing suffering. I had this image appear in my mind whilst I was thinking about this. God and Adam and Eve in this big garden and it’s too perfect and too boring and nothing is being accomplished, there is really no point to the whole deal of sitting around and being perfect. So everyone wanted something to happen to stop them from going INSANE in the perfect-ness, so they fabricated this story about ‘evil’ entering and pushing them out of the garden so it wouldn’t look like they were ungrateful for all this perfection when generations read about it later on. What actually happened was the beings present decided to enter into a game of HIDE AND SEEK. God went off to hide, and being in and of everything He was everywhere, thus it was a bit of an easy game. So they put a blindfold onto the seekers, pushed them out of the garden and threw in some challenges to make the game more interesting. Now the purpose was for the seekers to remember to take off their blindfolds, remember that they were part of a game and had to conquer the challenges whilst along the way they had to find and collect little treasures until they reached the end of all their challenges and had a HUGE party with the ULTIMATE treasure, the ULTIMATE FIND, God the Father, Maker of Heaven and Earth, Unconditional Love :-)

Once the souls had found Him, they could chose to come back to earth and repeat the game facing different challenges, or come back as an angel to help others on their treasure hunt and getting rid of their blindfold, or they could just stay in heaven as a perfect soul hanging out with God until they got bored again.

It was odd that I was sitting down to type out all about man not taking God’s advice and not choosing Love, hence all the suffering, and bam that little story appeared about the game, the hide and seek treasure hunt of life arose from nowhere. I like it though, I think it’s a cool image and I’m loving the fact that the prize is SO INCREDIBLE and that we can get bits of it along the way. NICE!

Ugh, it’s a bit difficult to go back to the boring old: Too much suffering story now… sigh… oh well, here goes.
HUMANS CREATE SUFFERING.
1) They don’t follow God’s advice and LOVE above all else. Instead they choose to murder – that creates suffering for the murderer and the victim’s family. They choose adultery – results in suffering for individuals, families and friends. They choose to lie – hectic suffering when someone lies so you don’t know what’s really going on, hence you can’t fix the problem and you have to suffer with it, knowing that you should and could be doing something to heal and fix, but you can’t because all you have are lies. Worshipping idols other than God/ Love – such as: money / work / humans, all faulty faulty faulty. They come and go, they win and lose, they are inconsistent, unreliable and hurt-inducing. Worship all that and guess what? You’re gonna suffer.

This is not rocket science in my opinion. Disrespect your parents – a generational curse indeed, your great great great grandparent / or someone along the way decided to cause hell (separation from love) in the family which caused anger and pain and hurt and that got passed down to the next generation, and the next, and the next, and the next, and surprise, surprise (sarcasm!) no forgiveness, only hurt and pain and SUFFERING, caused by HUMANS, NOT God.

God put us on earth and said “Go for it, choose me, find me, live in love… or don’t, but if you don’t it’s gonna hurt, I’m just warning you on that one.” And guess what, many humans haven’t chosen love, faith, hope, joy, forgiveness, kindness and all the other “God” traits… instead they have chosen selfishness, hate, anger, war, raping each other, raping their earth, killing each other, stealing, keeping, breaking, pornography, drugs, alcohol, hurting each other and physical, psychological and emotional manipulation and reduction of each other. Humans have chosen to desire power, control and self-worship. Humans have chosen the opposite of God in every respect and then turn around and ask: “Why is there suffering?” Then have the audacity to say it’s “God’s Fault”, what crap!

Stop being a bunch of morons! HELP each other, LOVE each other, ACCEPT each other, TALK to each other, LISTEN to each other, HOLD each other, and SERVE each other without ulterior motives, without desire for personal gain and without malicious intent, but, instead with and in LOVE, FAITH, JOY and HOPE.

DO NOT blame God for the suffering on this planet, blame yourself. As long as we are living separately, judging others, criticising others, holding grudges, wanting to “be better than” and/or “more powerful than” and/or “richer than” and and and … then we have to suffer, because at the end of the day we are focusing on the temporal and the temporal means exactly that – unreliable, inconstant and unbalanced, which equals suffering. Ask anyone who has suffered a recession, job loss, divorce, crime, starvation, illness, fatigue etc etc etc, what the cause was, and I’m pretty sure it was all something they couldn’t control… control is an illusion, having power is an illusion, and when you base your life on illusions, you have to suffer, that’s the choice you make. NOT God’s choice, YOUR choice.

I’m guessing some people will be up in arms, “but it’s others not me!” Ok, I get that, but what are you productively doing about that? Chasing more money, more insurance, more stress and worry, or are you creating a rehab centre, a school, a charity, gathering people to work together? How about feeding the homeless, I’ll bet you have at least 364 friends on Facebook or 500 plus ‘connections’ on LinkedIn, if each one of ‘your group’ took ONE NIGHT A YEAR, to make soup and buy bread, then dozens of homeless people would have a meal every night. “But I have children!” TAKE THEM WITH YOU, TEACH THEM, SHOW THEM. “But the security!” Go to your local police station and ask them to help you by carrying the food in their vans each night. “But the expense!” Save a R2.00 (1 Pound) coin each night and then you’ll have 364×2 = R728! (364 Pounds) To spend on the food, electricity and petrol needed…See? Still your choice… God does not create suffering, we do.

Am I really a Christian? Second time round: Cross, no. I create suffering too.

PART 1: The trouble with Christianity is… it thinks it’s the only ‘right’ religion…

Am I really a Christian? Fighting my battle with myself Part 1:
The trouble with Christianity is… it thinks it’s the only ‘right’ religion…

NB NB NB – I have NO qualification whatsoever to write this piece, it is pure commentary and opinion.

The series of talks that I went to were based on a book by a guy called Tim Mellar/Callo or something like that; we weren’t given the spelling of his surname. The Speaker began this one by saying that Religion is dividing the world. Religion causes conflict and division. He presented Tim’s book by saying that the problem is: intrinsic to every religion is their belief that their religion is the truth. The followers of that Religion believe that their Religion is the only one accepted by God, and by performing the truths of that Religion you become ‘good’ in the eyes of God and ‘better’ than those who are not in your Religious circle in the eyes of your fellow practioners.

Apparently, the way to view Religion is by imagining four blind people touching a different part of an animal, and each describing what they are touching. None of them actually see the whole picture 1) because they are blind, 2) because the animal is bigger than they are so it’s not possible to and 3) they can only, physically touch one part of the animal, e.g. ear, paw, tail etc from their standing point. Ergo, God is only to us as to what we have experienced in our lives (i.e. an earthly father who rejects you may equate to a Godly Father who must reject you too, because that is your experience; an angry abusive father, creates an angry abusive God belief, and so on). Yet, God is bigger than we can comprehend and greater than our experience and limited sight, so we can’t really say what the whole picture of God looks like, because we cannot see it all, the Universe is WAY bigger than ant-sized human beings and their smaller sized brains. Hence one’s nature, upbringing and experience will create thier relationship with God and feed into which Religion they choose to be their truth. Problem being, your Religion tells you yours is the ‘only truth’.

The Tim book reckons that the world is handling this Religious conflict by:
1) Trying to kill it off and ignore it, i.e. South Africa’s last census did not have a question for “What Religion do you practice?”. Statistically, however, in the whole of Africa in the last 100 years Christianity has grown from 4% to 50%, and Asia has gone from 1% to 50% Christian too {according to the speaker, I have no idea on the source of information}. So that says something.
2) Keeping Religion private, saying all Religions are equally valid and people must respect that. Yet, if we look at Israel, Northern Ireland, Middle East and the like, Religion is not being kept private and lives are being taken. Hence, the world is not handling the Religious divide in an ‘equal’ or helpful or life-generating manner.

The speaker went on to then explain why one could see Christianity as the most positive choice.
1) Christianity is the only Religion that purports praying for its enemies and wishing them well. Ultimately, this means praying that your worst enemies find love and wonder in his/her/their life/lives. The image of everyone wishing their enemies and friends goodwill is a rather beautiful one. Here I paused for thought – Northern Ireland… Isn’t that Catholic Christian against Protestant Christian? It doesn’t appear that they are praying for each other, as it would be claimed their Religion calls them to do. Other Religions claim Jihad and the like and are called to ‘destroy’ / ‘isolate’ themselves from the ‘enemy’.

2) GRACE. This is uniquely Christian too. Grace is THE BIG deal. It is forgiveness without punishment. Tell Jesus you are genuinely sorry, mean it and change your ways to those that are good. Voila, you’re saved and going about getting into ‘heaven’. The deal is that Grace cannot be obtained by anyone of their own doing; it is purely and absolutely God’s gift to you. Now the contradiction comes in for me here… Grace is God’s gift to us, unconditional love, by His decision… now in my mind “UNCONDITIONAL” means: no conditions… yet, in reading the line above, Christianity says: Ask for forgiveness and once you have fulfilled that CONDITION, and changed your ways, then you will know God’s Love. So receiving God’s unconditional love is only possible, by Christianity’s rules, if you carry on and fulfill the ‘conditions’…Interestingly: The Good News Bible: Galations 2v21 “I refuse to reject the grace of God. But if a person is put right through the Law, it means that Christ died for nothing!” Galations 3: Law or Faith verse 7: “You should realise then, that the real descendents of Abraham are the people who have faith.”

Further to this, Grace is a “gift from God” no rules or action required, God gives it, but Christians say you “have to follow the commandments”. So I have to follow the rules, but Grace comes with no rules or actions required of me… Now the problem arises for me in applying these points because all I see are rather large, definite contradictions, but that’s just me…

So Christianity is a Religion. Religion divides the world. Christians purport the conditional-unconditional gift of Grace that needs to have commandments followed, but if you don’t keep the commandments it’s ok, because you have forgiveness by asking for it and believing in Jesus… Eish!

In a later talk, after this talk on Grace, when discussing hell, I was told that humans “want justice, that’s why we need hell, to show God loves us”. So tagging that on to Love and Grace are unconditional, surely that’s another condition? ‘Don’t behave in the dictated way and you’ll get punished’… Punishment is “hell” which is the “opposite of love: indifference”, and your Soul will be separate from God and alone in torment forever. Those read like freaking HUGE conditions to me. The Bible, apparently, has 365 “FEAR NOT’s” in it… yet “eternal torment” is another MOTHER HUGE “fear factor”! Can you truly be practicing unconditional love in your heart if you are purely trying “make yourself” not end up in hell because you’re scared? If you are “making yourself” then you are practicing that Grace is your own creation and not a gift that you cannot earn… it just makes so little sense to me. I sat back and I thought I DO NOT want that God, I do not want a Human god who “shows love by eternally tormenting souls!” That is NOT unconditional love! That is human ego and self-righteousness being hateful. My God is a God of Love and love has no room for hate or human ego… so I sat there thinking, I guess I’m not a Christian then…

This first talk ended with: Christianity involves not being arrogant, but being humble because you know that God has accepted you therefore you work for God, and not: I work to be accepted by God, like other Religions require. Overall, the setup of Pray for your enemies, Grace and acceptance by God regardless of what you do, makes Christianity the better choice.

What clashed within me: 1) I see following God as faith, a leap of trust that He is in me, of me and expressing Himself through me. I believe that God loves EVERYONE and has UNCONDITIONAL LOVE for EVERYONE, because they are HIS CREATIONS. I do not see following God as a Religion or Book of Rules. I see it as a gut choice for what is good and what makes me feel loved, joyful and like I’m serving a higher, more beautiful and rewarding purpose than any book or human being could ever offer.

2) By choosing my step 1 above, God is within me, thus it follows that the most natural thing LOVE would do is pray for the enemy to overcome their fears, step away from fears and find LOVE and joy like I am experiencing. Literally the more the merrier. I am not praying for them to leave a Religion, I am praying for them to find FAITH and LOVE. My only role model for this being Jesus Christ.

3) God’s love is UNCONDTIONAL. Grace is a MIRACLE and it is there for EVERYONE who wishes to live in Joy and Love. The conditions are human necessities, not God’s. God doesn’t command us, only humans command, God gives us choice. God gives us recommendations with consequences. God says it’s a REALLY bad idea to kill, why? Because if you do, you will have to live with that nightmare for the rest of your existence, you will NEVER have peace. Stay away from sex with your friend’s wife, why? Because if you fornicate with her you will lose that friend, you will feel guilt for eternity and you will take yourself away from genuine LOVE within your soul, because you have replaced LOVE with lust and instant gratification, so the moment it is done your thoughts will be “What have I done?” … “Now what?” … “This is hell”… and indeed it is. God’s love is not based on HIS forgiving us, it’s US forgiving OURSELVES enough to stand in His presence with the truth in our hearts that we hate ourselves and we need someone to love us. We need God’s love and grace. If we fall again, it is our shame we hold, and all God can say is: “I warned you, I told you this would happen if you did what your selfishness, ego and pride wanted, but dust yourself off and come back to me, I love you so much that it doesn’t matter, together we’ll make it better. The sooner you learn to just CHOOSE ME every time, the less miserable you’ll feel. Come on little one, choose Me first, choose unconditional LOVE and then you won’t feel so bad all the time…” God doesn’t have conditions, He doesn’t need them, He is LOVE. He IS the Almighty and ALL POWERFUL. Why would the ALL-POWERFUL be bothered by the little mistakes humans make in their ignorance and self-hate? Love does not condemn or belittle or hurt, LOVE gives and helps and heals. Humans are so far removed from UNCONDITIONAL LOVE that I’m not sure it’s possible for us to comprehend it at all.

Christianity says that receiving Grace takes no work from us, but I don’t believe that, receiving Grace takes A LOT of work from us; we have to humble ourselves and remove our egos, forgive ourselves, stop being selfish, stop desiring power and control over others… I’m of the humble opinion that all Religions echo power hierarchies, control mechanisms and conditions, and God, My Father, My Source of Love, My JOY and Strength has no need whatsoever to ‘prove His power’, or ‘prove to Himself that He is in control’. He KNOWS He is LOVE, He HAS the power, He has the CONTROLS in HIS hands already. He does not need anyone to boost His ego, He has no ego, He is NOT human. He has already forgiven all, He has THAT much LOVE, He KNOWS that we “do not know what we are doing”. He doesn’t have to prove a thing to anyone or anything. He knows we need to forgive ourselves, be kind to ourselves, love ourselves, accept ourselves and then move from applying this to ourselves to applying it to every other human being on the planet. No judgment, just love. No desire for power, just love. No desire to feed an ego, just love. No desire to control, just Love. He gave us free-choice, and His only desire that we choose LOVE, that we choose Him, purely because it makes sense! Unconditional LOVE. . . and all is good…

In listening to the criteria of the Religion of Christianity, I got a cross (no pun intended ;-) at the end of this talk, i.e. I’m not a Christian. My soul consoles me with the words: “Jesus Christ wasn’t a Christian either…” … He was a man who lived his passion, listened to His Father of Love with ALL HIS HEART AND ALL HIS SOUL and followed His Father God’s Will so that he could prove how wonderful LOVE is when it is the chosen path. . .

Later in the series on the talk on Hell… the speaker said that when Jesus said his closing line “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” He was probably only referring to “the people in front of him”… I couldn’t believe I got that response… On a crucifix, hanging there knowing and feeling all the blindness, fear, separation from God of all of HUMANITY within and on top of his entire being… No, I can’t believe that with the weight of the sadness, self-hate, misery and self-loathing of the world on His shoulders that Jesus would only be concerned with the men standing “in front of him”, that is so small and insignificant and so much less than the SON OF GOD is worth, SO MUCH LESS than His power, than what he knew and could see and feel, so much less than what Jesus accomplished. Unconditional Love forgives humanity, because humanity truly does not know what it is doing… Humanity, after all, created every Religion, and not God. God created Adam and Eve, humans did the rest to separate themselves from God, and they choose to keep on separating themselves… I cannot understand why?

P.S. … Still, what put me off, to be honest, was that the speaker was presenting the talks with a beer in his hand… I know that it was a chilled environment, but I completely disagreed with what I was seeing. Is there another contradiction there too? Between the body being a temple of GOD, and the consummation of a variant of poison…? I shake my head… Maybe these talks are meant to show me I’m not a real Christian… so where do I fit then?

“With Me Shannan, right here in My Hug, and in My Love, and in My Joy at your truly precious Soul.
I LOVE YOU. Fit with me.”
… and I broke down in tears…

Help us Lord, WAKE PEOPLE UP!!! Please help them Choose LOVE Lord. Help them forgive themselves, accept themselves and each other and CHOOSE YOU, Please Lord. I pray with all I am Lord; Help people to love each other Lord, really love each other. Please, Lord, in Your Name and Grace I pray. Amen.

Update leading to bigger questions on Christianity

What a set of weeks! I’m looking at “being drained” on a new level. All I can draw hope from is that TS Eliot and CS Lewis, according to their published personal letters, also spent their lives exhausted and doing too much, and look where they ended up, world renown ;-)

Quick sum up on where things are at: The PASS-IT-ON Books, 83 out and making their way around the world. 17 left to make. I’m no longer tracking where they are going as it isn’t possible to know.

My Photographs did not sell at the Home Industry Store. It is heartbreaking to see my work sitting there and not being attractive to anyone. Still, it was 2 weeks ago that I checked on them, maybe they did sell, but I don’t really have the heart to go and see them still sitting there. On the flip side, I left them there after 2 weeks of non-movement because they just looked so beautiful. Sunrises sitting there in this store full of bric-a-brac and cakes. It’s like they’re this light of hope and joy in a consumerist haven. Food and trinkets next to God’s Glorious Sunrises. No comparison really. I decided not to give up at the time I popped into the store; so two weeks ago I bought a stall space at what was sold to me as a “great opportunity”. Lies. I got a float, sorted out all the stock, even purchased packets to pass them on to buyers in, woke up early on my precious Saturday and headed to the ‘market’. What a joke. 2 food stands, two light food stands and kippy me with photos of sunrises, all sitting quite a far way away from the girls playing soccer. I was expecting so much more as it was the third year the ‘event’ had happened, silly me. I left very very angry and not a picture of a sunrise sold.

My books and plays: Eish! is sitting on the Kindle shelf gathering redundancy. “Choices” was published by “Off The Wall” Publishing last month. They turned down my play “Race on Race” though saying that although they found it very funny, international audiences would be offended by the openness of talking about racism. After Kindle being difficult on the third play, a couple of weeks later “Who I Am” was published on their site. Sales between the 3 items work out to about one a month between them all, so this has been a completely time-consuming and non-money generating activity. Good thing I LOVE writing, so I’d do it all again anyway, even if I knew sales would flop. I drew the cash I’d made from sales last month, R300, which was cool, not quite the R3000 odd I put into the exercise, but I’m getting used to monetary failure. I lost a couple of grand in creating South African badges back in 2007, and I’ve lost over a grand with the sunrise photograph story too. Weird thing is that I have given the photos out as gifts and people have put them on their desks, in their homes and on their walls… I have put two up in our ladies room at work and I’ve heard people complimenting them and loving them, yet people won’t pay for a sunrise because it’s given for free, even if they don’t wake up early enough to see it, everyday anyway. “April Fool” is sitting VERY neglected at the moment, and it’s continuously bothering me immensely, but I just can’t seem to force myself to sit and carry on typing it… :-(

Health: Chronic Fatigue has definitely lessened. YAY! Thanks Lord. I tried 3 sessions with a Body Talk Consultant and it was not a great experience. God is good and He led me there to learn things about my past that clarified a lot of things for me. Yet, as the sessions continued and the consultant showed that she was only interested in the “body talk” and not my holistic healing, I was not happy. She believes that the Self is shaped like a funnel with the Body being the most important, then the organs, then cells, then the “nothingness”. The “nothingness” being what she literally equated with the human soul! I see the Self as a pyramid, starting with the body as the base and the soul as the highest peak and most important part, the reason for existing, the goal, the top-most point a life can get to (Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs idea). The consultant views situations as random and happening all the time to the body, so you have to “balance out” regularly to counter the random effects of the world. I believe nothing on this earth is random, that everything is planned to open opportunities to evolve the soul to a higher level, and that pandering to the whims of a body made to age and deteriorate is absurd, whereas living to enlighten and grow an eternal soul is a far more productive and joyful approach to life. Her views and beliefs clashed with mine at such a fundamental level that I had to get out of there. Still, what was interesting in my third and final session was that she told me, like a lady a year or so ago told me, that I am highly intuitive and have a genuine knowing within my being. To have this confirmed has left me in a bit of a conundrum… If I am highly intuitive and I “GET” things, then why am I at such a continuous clash with so many things so often? Why do so many people view me as the odd “anomaly”? Why does it happen that when I speak my thoughts and ideas people get so offended?

This leads to my Faith Journey: I went to another set of talks over 4 Wednesdays. The talks were entitled: The Talks Upstairs – THE TROUBLE WITH CHRISTIANITY IS… 1) It thinks it’s the only right religion 2) There’s too much suffering in the world 3) You have to believe the Bible and 4) The God who sends people to hell… Interestingly my last post on choosing my role model slotted in EXACTLY with night 1). I missed night 2) because I was with my sister and nephew in the hospital as my nephew had Swine Flu (H1N1 Virus… my Mom’s friend passed away with it a couple of weeks before, but my sister reckons my nephew got it at the Dept of Home Affairs 3 days earlier as H1N1 has 3 days incubation… Ebola is in the papers at the moment, but I’m not sure why H1N1 isn’t…?…) … Still, I ended up doing my own write up on why God ‘allows’ suffering. 3) I had issues with and 4) I had issues with… so, with being intuitive, and perpetually living in gratitude, continuously acknowledging God and living and breathing in His light, it would appear that I cannot call myself a Christian. Sigh. So once again I find myself on the outside looking in and only able to accept what my soul is YELLING at me is my truth: GOD IS ALL, GOD IS UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, GOD’S STORY DOES NOT END OR BEGIN IN ONE BOOK, GOD IS NOT AS SMALL AS HUMANS MAKE HIM OUT TO BE… That yells at me, screams at me as being my truth, a truth that does not fit into any religion. That’s why in my previous blog I noted how I chose Jesus Christ as my Role Model, the human I want to be like, the closest example we have of being like God… yet this is not being Christian… and what is the aside comment in my brain as I type that: “Jesus wasn’t a ‘Christian’ either”.

I have a friend, a devout Christian who works in a role connected to faith every day. She organised a fundraiser to raise funds for a Non-Profit-Christian organisation. She did all the ‘right’ things, dedicated herself in the preparation and the financial contribution needed to make the event happen, she even found a great big venue for free. What happened? Of the 40 people minimum she had expected and prepared for, 9 attended. She was bleak beyond belief, seeing it as a personal failure… I listened to the story. I pictured my financial layout for the photos that I believe God wanted me to pursue. The Badges. The Writing. Nothing. How do I deal with it? Simple, God called me to it for His reason, not mine. I gave it all that I could in time and money, I tried my best, it flopped. BUT, here’s the catch, it flopped in my opinion because I didn’t even recover the expenses, but I don’t believe the efforts flopped and/or failed in God’s opinion. You see 1) the photos and being at that stand, instead of showing anger, I showed appreciation to the person of different faith to me who organised the event; he has now befriended me on Facebook and is reading all my praise-passion-positivity-God-filled posts, every share I make on Facebook. 2) The badges were useless stock, so I took them overseas and gave them to outstanding learners. At a difficult all boys school where I supply taught at, the one class was so well behaved I gave each one a badge telling them it was because they were awesome. By God’s turn I ended up at that same school again at a later date and one of those same boys was in another lesson I was covering. When he saw me at the door he moved to the front of the line and said, “Miss I have something to show you.” I thought it odd, but said, “Sure.” He opened his blazer and pinned on the pocket inside was the same badge I’d given him weeks before, “Thanks Miss.” His smile was shy and his eyes were shining in appreciation, his soul had been touched. 3) At least 2 people have messaged me to tell me that my publishing Eish! has inspired them to get on with achieving their dreams… So do I feel like my efforts have flopped? Yes, because my view is limited and selfish. Does God think it was a flop? Probably not, because in the MUCH bigger picture of those 4 lives, things may just be changing with regards to their eternity. God can put however much He likes into our bank accounts, whenever He likes, but I believe that the invaluable moments of human connection and souls being loved are far more important to Him.

OK, by internet standards, this blog is already WAY too long… I’ll do different posts for my “Non-Christian” responses to the course. Stay as gorgeous as you are in God’s Mirror! HUGS xx

How I chose my Role Model – the process…

My process for choosing my role model unfolded like this (to write it out bluntly!):

In my mind it works like this: There are 6 possible categories that humans can choose from as their belief system, the thing in which they place their trust, meaning, purpose, faith etc – Nothing, Myself, Others, Money, Nature or God. Breaking each one down:

1) Nothing? Then what’s the point of being on the planet? What’s the point in anything? How do you get up out of bed each day? How do you survive each day? Why do you survive each day if it’s for nothing? I cannot answer these questions in any way at all; so I crossed out this option as worth its title.

2) Myself? Ha ha ha ha! Now that is funny! I am THE most challengingly complex human being I have ever come across! I make no sense to myself, emotions all over the show, ups and downs, highs and depressions, put on weight, lose weight, insecurities, constant changes in thoughts, opinions and the information I have. Change my career here and there, never have all the information, occasional procrastinator, boat-rocker etc etc etc… Believe in myself? That would just be daft! Seriously.

3) Others? Ha ha ha ha! A weird-strange lot others are. They are as insecure as I am, some have less brain power than I do, they fluctuate in so many ways it’s scary. Drinkers, smokers, abusers and manipulators. Many others are orientated around power and “being in control”, which is the biggest farce and delusional practice on the planet! One earth quake, one tidal-wave, one volcanic eruption, snake bite, heart attack, aneurism, spot of cancer, HIV, H1N1 and BAM! Guess what? You’re not in control. How can I put my trust in human beings when they are so messed up? Nah, I’ll pass on that one thanks.

4) Money. Whatever! You make it, you die and someone else gets it or spends months fighting over it. You invest it and there’s a recession. You have lots of it and get stuff and the stuff clutters your life and/or adds to your stress levels because you have to maintain it, keep it, insure it and/or worry about it. You travel with it and see this church, the next church and another church, or this hotel, then the next and the next, this beach and the next and the next, this meal and the next and the next… so what? What’s the meaning or purpose in that? Then you get home, the place that’s supposed to be your most favourite place in the world and it’s an anti-climax. Money is metal and paper. I can’t put faith in metal and paper. I prefer to collect it. Pass.

5) Nature. Now this is a better option than the others I reckon, but Nature can’t speak to me. Nature lives and dies, it has nothing eternal about it. That flower is BEAUTIFUL, but dead in a short while. Animals are enchanting, loving, violent, exquisite, unique and many many other adjectives, but they live and die in a short space of time without having done much. Sure, the sun and moon rise and set and there is a fair amount of consistency, but what’s the purpose? The earth is a volatile shape-shifter with its own agenda and unknown reasoning, leaving little to trust in. Nature is created by something more. I’d rather choose to follow the Creator and not the Creation, thanks.

6) God. Creator. Consistent. Permanent. Purposeful. LOVE. God is Love. BINGO! I choose this one. I choose God/Love, to trust in, to believe in and to have my purpose in. He sets a higher bar. He opens up the door to eternal and purpose beyond this messed up cruel world. He is HOPE. Hope for something better, hope for something good. HOPE and LOVE. Choosing God is thus a no-brainer for me. Nothing else offers the peace, hope, consistency and joy that God does. Nothing else makes sense, logical sense like God does. He is so constant and reliable He has been the same for Millenia!
Having worked through the 6 options, I thus had to break down the options of which ‘god’ to choose. This also ended up being a set of 6 representatives as Role Models towards approaching God: Buddha, Allah, Satan, range of Hindi gods, Other (Scientology, Confucius etc) and Jesus; all of whom served a higher purpose, a higher being.

1) Buddah? I went to Taiwan and lived there for 6 months. I spoke to the locals, I went to the temples and I tried to find out what it was all about. I was told they believed in this way because their parents did and their parents did and theirs and so on. The ‘ghost’ worship was a necessity, and that’s why they burnt ghost money… I didn’t get it. I didn’t feel it and my rational mind needed reason and information as to why I would place food on an alter for an invisible ‘god’ to ‘eat’. I was never settled or comfortable in any temple. Not the option for me.

2) Allah? I journeyed to Dubai for this. I listened to the Friday calling. I went into a mosque and saw a faith that makes old people have to bow down on their haunches to pray, a religion that separates men and women to prevent them from worshipping together, and a religion that practices Jihad: Killing other human beings ‘for god’. It also forces death on any who would leave the ‘faith’. I call that “Rule by Fear” and I don’t do Fear. I couldn’t accept it. In my quiet time, in my meditation time, I asked the Universe about it. The reply: “Religion is a power tool. A construct created by men, for men, in order to enforce control. God did not create religion, man did. NO MAN SHOULD KILL ANOTHER. Killing another is an act that takes power from God. It helps man feel superior to God. It takes away God’s right and power to work in that person’s life; His right to heal them and use them to promote His glory! Killing another human being is the same as killing hope. It is the antithesis of faith. It is the same as saying God is weak and cannot help the person. Only God decides when and how every life begins with His miracle of life: “creation”, and ONLY God should decide when and how that life should end, man is not part of that equation. Killing another shows a lack of trust in God.” That response confirmed that Islam was not for me.

3) Satan? The purest form of evil? What’s the point? Who would want to live in hate when they can live in love? Who would choose darkness over light? Angst and anger over peace and calm? Not me… I’m VERY happy to leave this one to the Satanists who worship eternal torture and a sick, twisted view of pain, hurt and harm as being the way to go. Madness, pure insanity in my opinion. Cross that one off the list with some blood.

4) Hindi? The elephant with all the arms scares me. The monkey-shaped god makes me very uncomfortable. The whole concept of worshipping ‘this god for this and the other for that’ I find most unsettling. Praying to this one and then that one and then the other one completely confuses me. It’s too scattered and disjointed for me and my logical one-stop-for-everything preference. I walked away from choosing a seemingly ‘multiple personality/being’ faith.

5) Scientology, Confucius etc? Just didn’t grab my soul and say: “YES!” This is the way the truth and the life. They are so iffy, and seem contrived and not so well established or grounded in something solid to believe, trust and put my faith in. Too based in ‘men’, so I couldn’t rationally choose any of these because that would contradict my decision in my first step not to believe in men. Tom Cruise and John Travolta can keep the hero worship, thanks.

6) Jesus? (I couldn’t go with the Pharisee-type, “law or else” approach of Judaism) I have only one conclusion: Wow! What a man! Reading about this man’s life, how he put the Pharisees in their place and how he loved those in need and helped those less fortunate. How he mentored weak people like me. How he understood suffering and how he held no anger, no hate, no judgment. How intelligent he was, how gracious and humble. How he said that LOVE is the most important thing in the world. How he confirmed and showed that humans should not kill, and he didn’t. This man’s actions matched his words. How he didn’t sit around writing or getting wives, he went out and taught, and shared, and loved. He acted, he did, he contributed, he helped. He offered people love, forgiveness, mercy and joy wherever he went. He aimed for a higher, greater, more wonderful development of self than any other person I have come across in history. He gave, and gave and gave, he never took, he never demanded and he never belittled or degraded. He adored children and helped and appreciated women. He worshipped a constant God, a true God, a God of LOVE. He was awesome. The thought of him and the stories around him create peace and joy in me like none of the others. I LOVE peace and joy and contentment. I love knowing that there is a purpose beyond this screwed up world of lost souls. I love that lost, unhappy people can be found. I love that those who are drowning in whatever it may be (fears, insecurities, hopelessness, debt, pain, ill-health, sadness, depression, whatever) can be completely saved and lifted up. All of this fuel to feed a fire ignited in my soul!

Through Jesus to God had to be my choice. Goodness, mercy, love, patience, peace, hope, why would anyone not want all that? It’s an instantaneous package deal of purpose and reason to get up in the morning. Most especially, it is for free. It is ‘Ruled by GRACE’. This is what has sold and signed the deal of my choice to follow the Role Model of Jesus Christ. There are no criteria, no jackets required, nothing but saying “I’m not happy with what I’ve done, who I’ve hurt and how I’m living, I’m sorry that I’ve chosen such unhappiness, but I know I don’t want the dark sadness anymore, I want light, love and joy, and I know I can get it through God the Father, be with me Lord, we will be awesome together” :-) WHAM! GRACE. It is done. You are loved. Full Stop. SO MUCH OF AWESOME!!! How could I not choose AWESOME Grace and being loved even though I’m so flawed?

Yes, so others ‘admire those who have faith’, and I’m like: Why on earth wouldn’t you choose AWESOMENESS over the crappiness of what this temporal, flawed, drugged, consumerist, nasty, violent, insecure and lonely world offers?

Ha! Not a chance I’m going to believe in anything but God and be guided by the ways of an AMAZING man, a true Son of God, whose life has been transcribed for MILLIONS, whose birth changed the time of Humanity from B.C. to A.D. ! Rock on! Yes folks, I made my logical choice … still, I’m the most complex person I’ve ever come across, so maybe it’s only logical to me… Still, there’s no way on planet earth I’d EVER give up knowing that I’m loved beyond comprehension, provided for beyond understanding and walking in the glory of unconditional love and grace. AMEN!

To those of you who have chosen something else, I take my hat off to you. I have NO IDEA how you get through each day without Love, Faith and/or Hope. Not a clue. Blessings to you.

New Knowledge, Future Idea merging… Who’s going to be able to?

Where is the new knowledge going to come from?

According to a 2006 article: “Today’s academic and professional workforce is more diverse than at any [other] time in history. For the first time, four generations function together in the work environment.” Weick & Landrum. The writers connect this to increased stress, conflicting values and a need to build resilience in the workplace. It was frightening to read just how different the four generations are in their work ethic, approach to life and the ways in which they handle things; no wonder the stress is so high when people naturally see challenges and solutions so differently.

I’m a “Gen X” myself, and we apparently seek “balance and perspective” along with career mobility and dynamic work and learning environments. We take courses and enjoy “just-in-time learning”. With this stance on work, the write up on the “Millennials” scared me: They are more “laidback”. They are more interested in doing than “knowing” because knowledge has a half-life with the pace of information-technology today. “Therefore reading copious chapters about a topic is a total waste of time to them”. “Because their learning more closely resembles Nintendo than logic, with a focus on trial and error, they need close supervision in a clinical setting {the article focused on training nurses in the medical field}. They are accustomed to spell-check, so they do not waste time on learning how to spell correctly. They have zero-tolerance for delays, and because the Internet is available 24/7, they have an expectation of instant attention from faculty and peers.”

Where are the future brain-surgeons, nurses, lawyers and the like going to come from? Where will the researchers and academics appear from? How will society function if it is run by a bunch of Millennials who are interested in ‘trial and error’? I’m totally drained by the learners in my class this year who have taken the notion of “sapping me of all I have, whilst doing the bare minimum for themselves and giving no thanks to anyone for anything”, to a whole new, exhausting level. They want attention all the time and throw tantrums if they don’t get it, at 18 years of age!

I approached a colleague with the article and she said to me that knowledge is created when two different ideas merge. You learn and get idea one, and then learn some more and get idea two, then a light-bulb turns on as you put the ideas together and new information, theories, ideas and developments are created. If there is no learning of the former or the latter, then what? How can new knowledge be created if there is nothing there to start with?

Point in example: in my learning I have combined sources of knowledge to create my own theories. I.e. Knowledge 1: In 1998 I studied psychology and was introduced to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: the lower base of the pyramid hosting the ‘Physiological’ (immediate survival and comfort; shelter, food, sleep, sex). Second tier: Safety. Third: Love and Belonging (acceptance). Fourth: Esteem (achievement). Fifth: Self-Actualisation and finally, right at the top: Transcendence (finding an identity beyond the self and experiencing the world in awe).

Then I throw in Knowledge 2: In teaching Dramatic Arts and Medieval Theatre I was reminded of my school learning of the Feudal System and the hierarchy consisting of the lowest, biggest part of the triangle belonging to Peasants, then up to Knights, then Nobles and the peak of the pyramid hosts the King.

Knowledge 3: Various interactions with Body-Mind-Soul writings and practicings, mainly “Conversations with God” in this example of merging knowledge and ideas together… so I put these “Knowledges” alongside each other and get the following concept…

It’s living a life of action, knowledge-retention and experience-gathering that moves one up Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. I’m currently sitting in the Self-actualisation and Transcendence tiers for the most part. When I attend a Body-Mind practice, I am feeding into the lower, first base, foundational tier. This lower tier is the biggest segment in the pyramid and it holds everything else up, so it is vitally important. When I parallel that to the Feudal System, My Soul and Transcendence pairs with the “King” tier, and my Body with the “Peasant” tier. Thus “getting in tune and healthy with my Body” is not so much about “balance” as the King/Soul can never be at the same level as the Peasant/Body, but instead it is more about understanding and compromise between each tier.

Like the Feudal System Hierarchy (this analogy possibly being the only useful thing for the ‘System’) where the Peasants are the foundation of the well-being of a kingdom, the Body is the foundation of the well-being of each human being. Yet, even though the King/Soul appears to be in the minority, it is the source of peace, or lack thereof. The King has to work with Peasants who live by the minimum, doing only the work they have to, so that it is not too ‘difficult’ for them; and the eternal Soul has to fight against a Body that has to degenerate and doesn’t want to reach Transcendence because that is too ‘difficult’ and it prefers focusing on food and sex. The easiest tier for the bottom to forget is the top, so the Soul is neglected; and the King is kept at a distance.

Now, this is where my example ties in all three ideas… Yet, like the King, the Soul holds the power. The Soul will make the final decision of: life or death. The Soul will decide on the direction of the Body’s journey. If the Body doesn’t like the Soul’s decision, then the lower forces will respond. The Body will adopt depression; the ego will choose vanity, gossip, propaganda, nastiness and manipulation. Thus the Soul becomes despondent because the Body, which is made to follow in the carefully chosen and created way, doesn’t. There is no cohesion, no compromise. There is discontent. It could also be that the Body knows the Soul has made an unhealthy decision, but the Soul is not listening in the System either.

The only way for the hierarchy to be a well-functioning system, as every tier exists, is for all levels to receive: attention, help and appreciation from all other levels. Body, must be looked after, Mind must be fed, and Soul must be allowed to move into Transcendence without the Body refusing the movement. The instruments, lyrics and voice must come together for a human being to achieve all s/he was created to achieve in harmony.

I realise this is a totally random example, but, if I had forgotten the Maslow I learnt in 1998, the Feudal System imparted to me around 1995 and again in 2006, along with the Body-Mind-Soul information 2005-2014, then I would never have come up with any ideas or understandings at all. The Soul must Transcend, the Body will degenerate and the Mind is the bridge between the two fighting forces; it’s the arbitrator that needs information to keep the peace and reconcile the polar opposites. What happens when it stops storing information? What happens when the Mind gives up? Sodom? Is that when humanity officially hands itself over to artificial intelligence? Is that when we have to trust computers because humans chose apathy and disinterest instead of learning? Lord, Help Us!

Beginning August

2 August 2014
I must admit that my blogging has decreased to a bare minimum on this site. I’ve been trying my hand at posting on LinkedIn because it provides a greater audience than here, where I have no marketing at all. I have the odd soul checking in here once-in-awhile, but I haven’t had any viewing : ‘April’s Fool’ for I have no idea how long, but I haven’t posted anything on there in that long so it’s no surprise. All my great ideas to write the novel for Angel appear to have dissipated into the brick-work of working life and keeping my stress-levels as low as possible. I’m slowly starting to feel myself coming out of the chronic fatigue and I don’t want to go and mess up the healing progress so that I end up back where I was. I do not EVER want to end up back as tired and sore as I was, ever. It was horrific!

Updates on my random postings over my time on here… the appeal to the Commissioner over the car that was sold to me fraudulently appears to have been thrown out as a waste of their time with no valid reason, evidence or correspondence with me to tell me why. I replied to one email I received over a month ago, but I didn’t receive a “receipt” reply, so God is the only being that knows what’s going on there; crooks getting away with fraud and under-handed dealings as I see it. Sadly, that verdict is nothing new in our ‘modern’ society.

My photograph ‘exhibition’. The lady sent me an email telling me to collect the samples I’d glued and created according to her criteria. Turns out her ‘pop-up’ shop has been ‘popped down’. Their premises were taken away from them, so they were getting rid of stock. She’s operating from a ‘stall’ in the mall now, until they have finished renovations. THANK THE LORD I did not rip up and glue every single picture frame, and I waited with samples first. Amen to that. Otherwise I would’ve been stuck with useless picture frames. Glad I listened to my instinct on the matter. I have now ventured into a Home Industries store and the owner took 5 photos into the store on consignment, so that’s in God’s Hands (not a sale in the 48 hours they’ve been there…); His sunrises in frames waiting to be taken up and inspire someone. God’s Will be done, because I don’t have a clue what He is up to! I was just BLEAK the opportunity was taken away… sigh…

The Pass-It-On Books, I found one that was supposed to have been taken overseas sitting in the staffroom being unused… nice one, not! Oh well. Looks like the second one has been lost in the mail too, but the card that was with the book was received… I think… I haven’t had a reply to my text message to England on that one. The one’s that went to Asia were passed on to a guy from Thailand, a tour operator and a representative who was going to the Common Wealth Games. My three that were headed for Ireland: one got to Ireland, the other ended up in Scotland and the third, strangely enough, was also handed to a different representative going to the Common Wealth Games. How amazing. I wonder if the two people with the different books will run into each other? That would probably be quite a conversation point for them. I received no feedback on the Greece and Turkey headed books, so who knows? God alone! I’m currently covering 2 for Arab Emirates and 4 for England. Friends are visiting, so I’m cashing in on the free international distribution. Next FREAKY thing with regards to this project was that last week I went to the Durban Film Festival and watched a movie called “Swim Little Fish Swim” and in the film the lead male had a PASS IT ON BOOK! He says in the film that the book started its rounds in the 1970s and it was for people to fill in the best way to live life / be inspired / life lessons and the like. I was in absolute AWE! This confirms that my Maslow Hierarchy of Needs status is sitting at the level of Transcendence :-) which is fabulous! Apparently that’s what the media waves around us do: Bring to us what we are thinking of and feeling, our Selves amplified on radio, TV and movies!

Ahhh, and the crowning moment I have forgotten: One of my plays has been published online by ‘Off The Wall’ Publishers; and the same play on Booksie (now deleted) has received over 3200 views! Amen to that :) Have a Blessed week! Keep taking a step a day to turn your dreams into a reality.
Shannan