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When in doubt, Sit it Out! (I do, so I don’t!)

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In
&
Out
&….
“upside down”

Personally, Why i don’t play with piñata..s…

THE Christmas season is here. What does that mean to you, your family, and your associates? Is it a spiritual occasion, or is it only a festive and merry period? Is it a time to reflect on the birth of Jesus Christ or not to be concerned about Christian norms?

In considering those questions, bear in mind that Christmas traditions may differ according to where you live. For instance, in Mexico and other Latin-American countries, even the name is different. One encyclopedia points out that the English name Christmas “is derived from the medieval Christes Masse, the Mass of Christ.” However, La Navidad, or the Nativity, as it is called in these Latin-American lands, refers to the nativity, or birth, of Christ. Take a moment to consider some details from Mexico. This may help you to shape your own opinion about this holiday season.

The Posadas, “the Three Wise Men,” and the Nacimiento
The festivities begin on December 16 with the posadas. The book Mexico’s Feasts of Life comments: “It is the time of the posadas, nine magical days leading up to Christmas Eve, which commemorate the lonely wandering of Joseph and Mary in the city of Bethlehem and the moment when they at last found kindness and shelter. Families and friends gather together nightly to reenact the days preceding the birth of Christ.”

Traditionally, a group of people carries images of Mary and Joseph to a home and in song asks for shelter, or posada. Those in the house sing in reply until the visitors are finally given admittance. Then begins a party, where some—blindfolded and with a stick in hand—take turns trying to break the piñata, a large decorated earthenware pot that hangs from a cord. Once broken, its contents (candy, fruit, and the like) are gathered by the celebrants. This is followed by food, drinks, music, and dancing. Eight posada parties are held from December 16 through December 23. On the 24th, Nochebuena (Christmas Eve) is celebrated, and families make an effort to be together for a special dinner.

Before long comes New Year’s Day, celebrated with very noisy parties. On the evening of January 5, the Tres Reyes Magos (“three wise men”) are supposed to bring toys for the children. The climax is a party on January 6, when a rosca de Reyes (ring-shaped cake) is served. As this pastry is eaten, somebody will find in his piece a little doll representing the baby Jesus. The finder is obliged to organize and host a final party on February 2. (In some places there are three little dolls, representing “the three wise men.”) As you can see, the partying in connection with Christmas goes on and on.

Concerning the Christmas celebration as it is generally known all over the world, The Encyclopedia Americana says: “Most of the customs now associated with Christmas were not originally Christmas customs but rather were pre-Christian and non-Christian customs taken up by the Christian church. Saturnalia, a Roman feast celebrated in mid-December, provided the model for many of the merry-making customs of Christmas. From this celebration, for example, were derived the elaborate feasting, the giving of gifts, and the burning of candles.”

In Latin America, those basic Nativity customs may be followed, along with additional ones. ‘From what source,’ you might wonder. Frankly, many who want to adhere to the Bible recognize that some customs are nothing but Aztec rites. El Universal, a newspaper in Mexico City, commented: “Friars from different orders took advantage of the fact that festivities of the Indian ritual calendar coincided with the Catholic liturgical calendar, so they used this to support their evangelizing and missionary work. They replaced the commemorations to the pre-Hispanic divinities with festivities to Christian divinities, introduced European festivities and activities, and also took advantage of the Indian festivities, which resulted in a cultural syncretism from which authentically Mexican expressions have arisen.”

The Encyclopedia Americana explains: “Nativity plays early became a part of the Christmas celebration . . . The representation in church of the crèche [the manger scene] is said to have been begun by Saint Francis.” These plays featuring the birth of Christ were performed in the churches during the beginning of the colonization of Mexico. They were organized by Franciscan monks in order to teach the Indians about the Nativity. Later the posadas became more popular. Whatever the original intention behind them, the way the posadas are held today speaks for itself. If you are in Mexico during this season, you can see or sense something that a writer for El Universal highlighted in his comment: “The posadas, which were a way to remind us of the pilgrimage of Jesus’ parents looking for a shelter where the Child God could be born, are today only days of drunkenness, excesses, gluttony, vanities, and more and more crime.”

In Latin America, the three wise men replace the idea of Santa Claus. Still, as is done in other lands, many parents hide toys in the home. Then on the morning of January 6, the children look for them, as if the three wise men brought them. This is a money-making time for toy sellers, and some have made a fortune on what many honesthearted people recognize is just a fantasy. The myth of the three wise men is losing credibility among a goodly number, even among little children. Though some are displeased that this myth is losing believers, what can anyone expect of a fantasy maintained only for the sake of tradition and for commercial convenience?

Christmas, or the Nativity, was not celebrated by early Christians. One encyclopedia says about this: “The celebration was not observed in the first centuries of the Christian church, since the Christian usage in general was to celebrate the death of remarkable persons rather than their birth.” The Bible links the celebration of birthdays with pagans, not with God’s true worshipers.—Matthew 14:6-10.

This does not, of course, mean that it is not beneficial to learn and remember the actual events involved in the birth of the Son of God. The factual Bible account provides important insights and lessons for all those who want to do God’s will. [excerpted: Christian Customs: Are They Christian? w 00]

“RELIABLE” information… aka “accurate” (aka Truth)… is very useful in making sound aka wise decisions. What about the Gospel Accounts?… aka “good news” accounts of Jesus… aka Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John…

There are benefits to having these separate accounts of what Jesus said and did. To illustrate, imagine that four men are standing near a famous teacher. The man standing in front of the teacher has a tax office. The one on the right is a physician. The man listening from the left side is a fisherman and is the teacher’s very close friend. And the fourth man, located at the back, is an observer who is younger than the others. All four are honest men, and each has a distinct interest or focus. If each writes an account of the teacher’s sayings and activities, the four records would likely feature different details or events. By considering all four accounts, bearing in mind the varying perspectives or objectives, we could get a complete picture of what the teacher said and did. This illustrates how we can benefit from having four separate accounts of the life of the Great Teacher, Jesus.

Continuing the illustration, the tax man wants to appeal to people of a Jewish background, so he groups some teachings or events in a way to help that primary audience. The physician highlights the healing of the sick or crippled, so he omits some things that the tax man recorded or presents them in a different order. The close friend emphasizes the teacher’s feelings and qualities. The younger man’s account is briefer, more succinct. Still, each man’s account is accurate. This well illustrates how having all four accounts of Jesus’ life enriches our understanding of his activities, teachings, and personality.

People may speak of ‘the Gospel of Matthew’ or ‘John’s Gospel.’ That is not inaccurate, for each contains “good news about Jesus Christ.” (Mark 1:1) However, in a larger sense, there is but one overall gospel, or good news, about Jesus—available to us in the four records. [excerpted: Why Four Gospels, The Way, The Truth, and The Life]

The Astrologers…

Matthew’s account mentions that astrologers from the East came to Jerusalem looking for the place where the King of the Jews was born. King Herod was very interested in this—but not with good intentions. “Sending them to Bethlehem, he said: ‘Go make a careful search for the young child, and when you have found it report back to me, that I too may go and do it obeisance.’” The astrologers found the young child and “opened their treasures and presented it with gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.” But they did not go back to Herod. “They were given divine warning in a dream not to return to Herod.” God used an angel to warn Joseph of Herod’s intentions. Joseph and Mary then fled to Egypt with their son. Next, in an effort to eliminate the new King, cruel King Herod ordered the killing of boys in the Bethlehem area. Which boys? Those two years of age and under.— Matthew 2:1-16.

What Can We Learn From the Account?

The visiting astrologers—however many of them there were—did not worship the true God. The Bible version La Nueva Biblia Latinoamérica (1989 Edition) states in a footnote: “The Magi were not kings, but fortune-tellers and priests of a pagan religion.” They came in line with their knowledge of the stars to which they were devoted. Had God wanted to guide them to the young child, they would have been led to the exact place without needing to go first to Jerusalem and to Herod’s palace. Later on, God did intervene to alter their course to protect the child.

At Christmastime this account is often surrounded by a mythical and romantic atmosphere that obscures the most important thing: that this baby was born to be a magnificent King, as was announced to Mary and to the shepherds. No, Jesus Christ is not a baby anymore, or even a child. He is the ruling King of God’s Kingdom, which very soon will eliminate all rulerships opposed to God’s will, and he will solve all problems of mankind. That is the Kingdom we ask for in the Lord’s Prayer.—Daniel 2:44; Matthew 6:9, 10.

Through the angels’ declaration to the shepherds, we learn that the opportunity for salvation is open to all who are willing to hear the message of the good news. Those who gain the favor of God become “men of goodwill.” There are marvelous prospects for peace in all the world under the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, but people must be willing to do God’s will. Is the Christmas season conducive to this, and does it reflect that desire? Many sincere people who want to follow the Bible feel that the answer is obvious.— Luke 2:10, 11, 14. [excerpted: Christian Customs: Are They Christian? w 00]

More reliable information about piñata…article:

The Piñata—An Ancient Tradition

BY AWAKE! WRITER IN MEXICO 2003

THE neighborhood children are having a fiesta. We can hear their excited voices crying out: “Dale! Dale! Dale!” (Hit it! Hit it! Hit it!) We peer over into the patio and observe a gaily decorated papier-mâché burro suspended between two trees. A blindfolded child is striking out at the burro with a stick, attempting to break it. The guests are shouting encouragement. At last, the burro bursts open, and candy, fruit, and toys spill out. Amid much laughter, all scramble to pick up the treats. It looks like fun. We are told that the burro is called a piñata and that breaking a piñata at fiestas is a tradition here in Mexico and some other Latin-American countries.

A widespread opinion is that the Chinese may have been the first to use something like a piñata as part of their New Year’s celebration, which also marked the beginning of spring. They made figures of cows, oxen, and buffalo, covering them with colored paper and filling them with five kinds of seeds. Colored sticks were used to break the figures open. The decorative paper that covered the figures was burned and the ashes gathered and kept for good luck during the coming year.

It is thought that in the 13th century, Venetian traveler Marco Polo took the “piñata” back with him from China to Italy. There, it acquired its present name from the Italian word pignatta, or fragile pot, and came to be filled with trinkets, jewelry, or candy instead of seeds. The tradition then spread to Spain. Breaking the piñata became a custom on the first Sunday of Lent.* It seems that at the beginning of the 16th century, Spanish missionaries brought the piñata to Mexico.

However, the missionaries may have been surprised (as we were) to find that the native people of Mexico already had a similar tradition. The Aztecs celebrated the birthday of Huitzilopochtli, their god of the sun and war, by placing a clay pot on a pole in his temple at the end of the year. The pot was adorned with colorful feathers and filled with tiny treasures. It was then broken with a stick, and the treasures that spilled out became an offering to the god’s image. The Maya also played a game in which blindfolded participants hit a clay pot suspended by a string.

As part of their strategy to evangelize the Indians, the Spanish missionaries ingeniously made use of the piñata to symbolize, among other things, the Christian’s struggle to conquer the Devil and sin. The traditional piñata was a clay pot covered with colored paper and given a star shape with seven tasseled points. These points were said to represent the seven deadly sins: greed, gluttony, sloth, pride, envy, wrath, and lust. Striking the piñata while blindfolded represented blind faith and willpower overcoming temptation or evil. The treats inside the piñata were the reward.

Later, the piñata became part of the festivities of the posadas* during the Christmas season and continues as such to this day. (A star-shaped piñata is used to represent the star that guided the astrologers to Bethlehem.) Breaking the piñata is also considered indispensable at birthday parties. Indeed, piñatas have become so traditionally Mexican that Mexico even exports them to other countries.

We found that for many people in Mexico, the piñata has lost its religious significance and is considered by most to be just harmless fun. In fact, piñatas are used in Mexico on many festive occasions, not just for the posadas or for birthdays. And piñatas can be purchased in many forms other than the traditional star shape. They are sometimes made to resemble animals, flowers, clowns.

When considering whether to include a piñata at a social gathering, Christians should be sensitive to the consciences of others. (1Corinthians 10:31-33) A main concern is, not what the practice meant hundreds of years ago, but how it is viewed today in your area. Understandably, opinions may vary from one place to another. Hence, it is wise to avoid turning such matters into big issues. The Bible says: “Let each one keep seeking, not his own advantage, but that of the other person.”—1Corinthians 10:24.

*In some religions, such as Catholicism, Lent is the 40-day period of penance that culminates in Holy Week celebrations at Easter time.

In Mexico the posadas is a nine-day celebration prior to Christmas, enacting Joseph and Mary’s search for posada, or lodging. A piñata is broken as the culmination of the festivities on each of the nine nights.

12/25/17 @ 11:52 a.m.

Breaking free… is an on-going-progressive-education… a spiritual lifestyle…

For me, i highly value “accuracy”… it provides protection/direction and “real” freedom!..🙂

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Warning, Warning

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Will Robinson…

“Danger, Danger!!”….Don’t Be a “Robot” Lost in Space!

Dude(s), don’t be duped!!… by “advertising” dupes (aka Big Business aka Big Religion; aka Big/Fake Media aka Big Fake Leadership/Government)… Please, check out this excerpted reading…[reference: December 2015…“What Is Wrong With Christmas Customs?”]

For one thing, there is the myth of Santa Claus. The modern-day jolly, white-bearded, rosy-cheeked, red-suited Santa is known to have been a successful Christmas advertisement created for a North American beverage company in 1931. During the 1950’s, some Brazilians tried to replace Santa Claus with a native legendary figure—Grandpa Indian. The result? Santa Claus not only defeated Grandpa Indian but even “defeated the child Jesus and became the official representative of the feast of December 25,” says Professor Carlos E. Fantinati. But are myths such as Santa Claus the only problem with Christmas? For the answer, let us go back to early Christianity.

Veneers… old ways…

In the fourth century C.E., despite the stand taken by the early Christians against the custom of celebrating birthdays, the Catholic Church instituted Christmas. The church wanted to strengthen its position by removing one of the main obstacles in its way—the popularity of the pagan Roman religions and their winter solstice festivals. Each year, from December 17 through January 1, “most Romans feasted, gamed, reveled, paraded, and joined in other festivities as they paid homage to their deities,” says Christmas in America, by Penne L. Restad. And on December 25, the Romans celebrated the birth of the Invincible Sun. Instituting Christmas on that day, the church cajoled many Romans into celebrating the birth of Jesus instead of the birth of the sun. Romans “were still able to enjoy the trappings of these midwinter festivals,” says Santa Claus, a Biography, by Gerry Bowler. In reality, they “continued to mark the new days with old ways.”

To walk well/safely… function optimally/healthy/(compassionately)… physically, (mentally, emotionally, and spiritually)…(simple logic) takes what?…a spine? a crooked spine? a straight spine?!

Clearly, then, the main problem with Christmas celebrations lies in their unsavory origins. In his book The Battle for Christmas, Stephen Nissenbaum refers to Christmas as “nothing but a pagan festival covered with a Christian veneer.” “There is no biblical or historical reason to place the birth of Jesus on December 25.”

Christmas, therefore, dishonors God and his Son, Jesus Christ. Is this just a trivial matter? The Bible asks: “What fellowship do righteousness and lawlessness have? Or what sharing does light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14) Like the trunk of a tree that has grown crooked, Christmas is so twisted that it “cannot be made straight.”—Ecclesiastes 1:15.

i am not spineless!..i am “courageous”…being guided by “truth”… (aka sound Bible principles)…accurate knowledge keeps me safe, alive, and well in any space (in time)!:)

(stumbling/fumbling around in the dark (inaccuracies, etc.) can get You hurt!… taken advantage of; robbed; enslaved; programmed; controlled; or worse–premature death most likely!:(

{BTW: as a kid, loved the TV show Lost in Space;} (also, of note, young-inexperienced explorers… can easily become prey!)

Around the world, nearly two billion people celebrate Christmas each December 25, while at least 200 million others celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ on January 7. However, there are also millions who choose not to celebrate Christmas at all. Why?

For one thing, they may belong to a religion that is not part of Christendom. They may be of the Jewish, Hindu, or Shinto faith, to name a few. Others, such as atheists, agnostics, freethinkers, or secular humanists, view the Christmas story as a myth.

First, they do not believe that Jesus was born in either December or January. The Bible does not give a specific date. It simply states: “There were also in that same country shepherds living out of doors and keeping watches in the night over their flocks. And suddenly Jehovah’s angel stood by them, and . . . the angel said to them: ‘. . . There was born to you today a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.’”— Luke 2:8-11.

Facts point to Jesus’ birth at approximately the beginning of October when shepherds with their flocks would still spend the night in the fields. The countryside around Bethlehem experiences the coldest weather during the months of December and January. Hence, to keep them warm at night, flocks are herded into protective shelters.

A second reason: The only event Jesus specifically instructed his followers to commemorate was his death, not his birth, and this was to be done as a simple communion meal. (Luke 22:19, 20) Note, too, that the Gospels of Mark and John are silent about Jesus’ birth.

A third reason: There is no historical evidence that the early Christians celebrated the birth of the Christ. But they did memorialize his death. (1 Corinthians 11:23-26) It was not until more than 300 years after Jesus’ birth that Christendom officially began to observe Christmas on December 25. Interestingly, in the mid-17th century, an act of parliament banned Christmas celebrations in England. In the United States, the Massachusetts General Court did the same. [excerpted reading: Why Do Some People Not Celebrate Christmas? w 2012]

As a mature-adult-woman…i choose “real” life… and “real” freedom. Real, refreshing recreation, etc.

i am not gonna be “knowingly” controlled…like the “unknowing” masses of mankind… duped into spending time/money/etc….and more on fake, enslaving, popular practices; enslaving rituals of mind/body on demand… by fake religion/fake media… for big business to profit off me!!

(Healthy recreation is refreshing… not endangering escapism.)

(insert snarky tone)…Oh, and this stance/stand makes me quite popular!;)

(Coercive-compulsory giving… is it really gracious generosity?!)

Attempting to live… using (not abusing) my free-will wisely… according to “accurate” knowledge and heartfelt-compassion…is a daily intention…unconditional!…whether rain or shine; hot or cold; winter or spring… on “every day” of the so-called calendar year.

Happiness has been described as a state of well-being that is characterized by relative permanence, by emotions ranging from mere contentment to deep and intense joy in living, and by a natural desire for it to continue.

Further, as an ongoing state of well-being, happiness has been described, not as a destination or goal, but as a journey. To say, “I’ll be happy when . . .” is, in effect, postponing happiness.

To illustrate, compare happiness with good health. How do we enjoy that state of physical well-being? We follow a wise path in regard to diet, exercise, and overall lifestyle. Likewise, happiness results from following a good path in life, living in harmony with sound principles.

[excerpted: Finding the Way…Way to Happiness AWAKE! No. 1 2018]

On-going well-being… is a journey/path of sound/helpful-healthful principles by which to walk happily!:)

12/19/17 @ 7:07 p.m.

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My Micro & My Macro

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My micro reveals my macro…

Unless I am able to make micro changes… for the better… compassionate/unselfish/agape choices… my macro is adversely affected.

(my micro impacts/influences others’ micro and my macro impacts/influences others’ macro)

A “stumbling block” refers to an action or circumstance that leads a person to follow an improper course, to stumble or fall morally, or to fall into sin. [excerpted Treasures from God’s Word… “Carefully Avoid Stumbling Yourself and Others.”]

Honestly, never would want to be a negative/non-compassionate influence on Anyone. Or cause intentionally or unintentionally someone to fall from a compassion course of action.

All of us can make little tweaks that will/can change things for the better now & later… we can choose kind words, helpful deeds, recycling, using just what we need to eat and not wasting or killing!… stopping the unnecessary shopping and unnecessary consumption and production of countless products/items… depleting resources, wasting clean water…cutting down trees and destroying ecosystems.

We can stop polluting our minds, our bodies, our planet, our reality… selfishness is ruining the earth–it’s ruining the human family. When we hurt each Other, we are hurting ourselves. Lies hurt! Yeah, I am REJECTING aka talking back, and spitting/yaking out…the lies being force-fed me today!… and on every other fake holiday… no! I refuse to gobble up the bologna being served!.. by non-reliable-fake-information, big-FAKE-religion, and big-cut-throat-business…I am not participating in the slaughter of turkeys or trees or human dignity!! Sorry, but there is so much hurtful ignorance & idiocy circulating in media & over the internet… Careful Research & Deep Study help me take out the trash and keep the treasure!

The one walking with the wise will become wise, But the one who has dealings with the stupid will fare badly. Proverb 13:20

I practice gratitude-year-round-attitude 

Personally, I don’t elevate one ethnicity over another…living impartiality and loving my global-brotherhood of fellow-fragile-life!:)… the topic of the Pilgrims & the Indians is interesting to me… growing up/living in Massachusetts, and for other reasons…my Dad’s Grandmother was 100% Cherokee (and spoke no English)…His Grandfather was not…(He was English as far as i know)…they married and had a bunch of kids possibly 9?!… Plus, am interested in spiritual TRUTH… thus, i don’t celebrate “the Thanksgiving Holiday”…I “live” gratitude and Thank the Creator everyday by my compassion course! (my Mom’s Grandparents (on her Dad’s side) 100% Lithuanian and they emigrated from Vilna, Lithuania. Her Mom’s side: Irish/Scottish/Welsh: may be? That’s why i have sooo many freckles;)… Anyway, enough of my family tree… various cultures are of interest to me… oh, and the yummy food, too.

Some past stuff read on Pilgrims/Puritans topic:  Excerpted article: Pilgrims and Puritans—Who Were They? (my highlights) AWAKE! 06

ON THE North American seashore at Plymouth, Massachusetts, lies a large granite stone with the number 1620 carved on its surface. Called Plymouth Rock, it is widely believed to be close to the place where a group of Europeans landed almost 400 years ago. You may know them as the Pilgrims or the Pilgrim Fathers.

Many know the stories of the hospitable Pilgrims inviting their Native American friends to rich harvest meals. But who were the Pilgrims, and why did they come to North America? For answers, let us go back to the time of the English King Henry VIII.

Less than 100 years before the Pilgrims set sail, England was a Roman Catholic land and King Henry VIII held the papal title Defender of the Faith. But a breach developed when Pope Clement VII refused to annul Henry’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon, the first of the king’s six wives.

While Henry pondered his domestic problems, the Protestant Reformation was causing upheaval in the Roman Catholic Church throughout much of Europe. Reluctant to lose the prestige that the church gave him, Henry at first kept the Reformers out of England. Then he changed his mind. The Catholic Church would not annul his marriage, so Henry would, in effect, annul the church. In 1534 he severed the pope’s control over English Catholics and had himself declared supreme head of the Church of England. Soon he was closing monasteries and selling their vast properties. When Henry died in 1547, England was becoming a Protestant nation.

Henry’s son Edward VI maintained the break with Rome. After Edward’s death in 1553, Mary, Henry’s Roman Catholic daughter by Catherine of Aragon, became queen and thereafter tried to make the nation submit to papal authority. She forced many Protestants into exile and had over 300 people burned at the stake, earning herself the name Bloody Mary. But she could not hold back the tide of change. Mary died in 1558, and her successor and half sister, Elizabeth I, made sure that henceforth the pope would have little say in English religious life.

Some Protestants, however, felt that mere separation from the Church of Rome was not enough—all vestiges of Roman Catholicism had to be removed. They wanted to purify the worship of the church, so they were called Puritans. Some Puritans saw no need for bishops and felt that each congregation should govern itself, separate from the national church. They were called Separatists.

The contentious Puritans came into the open during Elizabeth’s reign. The relaxed dress of some clergymen irked the queen, and in 1564 she commanded the Archbishop of Canterbury to hold them to a dress code. Foreseeing a return to the vestments of Catholic priests, the Puritans refused to obey. More controversy arose over the old hierarchy of bishops and archbishops. Elizabeth retained the bishops and required that they swear allegiance to her as head of the church.

James I succeeded Elizabeth in 1603, and he put great pressure on the Separatists to submit to his authority. In 1608 a Separatist congregation in the town of Scrooby fled to Holland for the freedom offered in that country. In time, however, Dutch tolerance of other religions and loose morals made the Separatists less at ease there than they had been in England. They decided to leave Europe and take up life in North America. The willingness of this group of Separatists to travel far from home for the sake of their beliefs led in time to their being known as the Pilgrims.

The Pilgrims, which included many Separatists, obtained permission to settle in the British colony of Virginia and embarked for North America in September 1620 on a ship called the Mayflower. Approximately 100 adults and children spent two stormy months on the North Atlantic Ocean before arriving at Cape Cod, hundreds of miles north of Virginia. There they wrote the Mayflower Compact, a document that stated their desire to establish a community and submit to its laws. They settled at nearby Plymouth on December 21, 1620.

The refugees arrived in North America unprepared for winter. Within months, half the group died. With spring, though, came relief. The survivors built adequate houses and learned from the Native Americans how to grow indigenous food crops. By the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims were so prosperous that they set aside time to thank God for his blessing. From that occasion developed the Thanksgiving holiday now celebrated in the United States and other places. More immigrants arrived, so that in less than 15 years, the population at Plymouth surpassed 2,000.

Meanwhile, in England some Puritans also decided, as the Separatists had, that their “Promised Land” lay across the Atlantic. In 1630 a group of them arrived at a point north of Plymouth and established the Massachusetts Bay Colony. By 1640 about 20,000 English immigrants were living in New England. After the Massachusetts Bay Colony absorbed Plymouth in 1691, the Separatist Pilgrims were no longer so separate. Boston became the spiritual hub for the region, as the Puritans now dominated New England religious life. How did they carry out their worship?

Puritanical Worship…

The Puritans in the New World first built wooden meetinghouses in which they gathered on Sunday mornings. Conditions inside were endurable in good weather, but winter services tested the forbearance of even the flintiest of the Puritans. The meetinghouses were not heated, and the shivering faithful were soon freezing. The preachers often wore mittens to protect their gesticulating hands from the frigid inside air.

The Puritans based their beliefs on the teachings of the French Protestant Reformer John Calvin. They embraced predestination and held that God had foreordained which humans he would save and which he would damn to eternal hellfire. No matter what people did, they could not change their standing before God. A person did not know if at death he would enjoy heaven’s gentle breezes or burn like a lampwick forever.

In time, Puritan ministers began preaching repentance. They warned that although God was merciful, those who disobeyed his laws were going straight to hell. Those preachers stoked the inferno’s fires, keeping them hot, in order to hold the people in line. An 18th-century preacher named Jonathan Edwards once spoke on the subject “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” His descriptions of the abyss were so frightening that other clergymen had to give emotional help to the distraught congregation who heard that sermon.

Evangelizers from outside Massachusetts who preached there did so at their peril. The authorities banished a Quaker preacher named Mary Dyer three times; but each time, she returned and kept voicing her views. They hanged her in Boston on June 1, 1660. Phillip Ratcliffe apparently forgot the zeal with which the Puritan leaders handled opposers. For his speeches against the government and against the church of Salem, they had him whipped and fined. Then, to help him not to forget, they cut his ears off before sending him away. Puritan intolerance drove people out of Massachusetts and contributed to the growth of other colonies.

Arrogance breeds violence:

Considering themselves to be the “elect” of God, many Puritans viewed the native peoples as subhuman squatters on the land. This attitude created resentment, and some natives began making attacks. So the Puritan leaders relaxed laws involving the Sabbath enough to allow men to carry guns on the way to worship. Then, in 1675, things got worse.

Seeing the loss of his people’s territory, Metacomet, also known as King Philip, of the Wampanoag American Indians started raiding Puritan settlements, burning down houses, and massacring settlers. The Puritans retaliated, and the fighting went on for months. In August 1676, the Puritans captured Philip in Rhode Island. They beheaded him and had his body drawn and quartered. Thus ended King Philip’s War and independent life for the native peoples of New England.

During the 18th century, Puritan zeal found a new outlet. Some ministers in Massachusetts decried English rule and helped to kindle a desire for independence. They mixed politics and religion into their discussions of revolution.

The Puritans were often hardworking, courageous, and devoted to their religion. People still speak of “Puritan character” and “Puritan honesty.” But sincerity alone does not purify someone of wrong teachings. The mixing of politics and religion is something that Jesus Christ avoided. (John 6:15 “Then Jesus, knowing that they were about to come and seize him to make him king, withdrew again to the mountain all alone.”; 18:36 ) And brutality is a contradiction of this vital truth: “He that does not love has not come to know God, because God is love.”—1 John 4:8

 Brutality in any form is a contradiction to Love! So, today, like most days…am sharing some food (with any and all Fellow-Fragile-Life stopping by here)… spiritual truth and encouraging the adoption of a Compassion Culture that transcends all cultures… including hurtful-fake-religious-holidays.

Courage to Adopt a Compassion Culture!

Compassion Culture: SPEAK it, Baby!

Compassion Culture: TEACH it, Baby!

By preaching hellfire, the Puritans contradicted God’s Word. The Bible teaches that the dead are unconscious, unable to feel pain or pleasure. (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10: “5 For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing at all, nor do they have any more reward, because all memory of them is forgotten. 10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do with all your might, for there is no work nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom in the Grave,* where you are going.) Moreover, the true God never had ideas of torture ‘come up into his heart.’ (Jeremiah 19:5 “They built the high places of Baʹal in order to burn their sons in the fire as whole burnt offerings to Baʹal, something that I had not commanded or spoken of and that had never even come into my heart.”’; 1 John 4:8) He entreats people to change their lives, and he deals with unrepentant wrongdoers in a humane way. (Ezekiel 33:10, 11“And you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, ‘You have said: “Our revolts and our sins weigh heavily upon us, causing us to waste away; so how will we keep living?”’ 11 Tell them, ‘“As surely as I am alive,” declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah, “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that someone wicked changes his way and keeps living. Turn back, turn back from your bad ways, for why should you die, O house of Israel?”’)

Contrary to these Scriptural truths, Puritan preachers often painted God as cruel and vindictive. They also promoted a heartless view of life that included the use of force to silence opposers. [excerpted: Puritans and Hellfire Awake!06]

11/23/17 @ 4:23 p.m.

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July 4th, 2017: a FREE day??

choice compassion fake "holy" days Freedom insights Joan Winifred prisoners

Heard a ridiculous stat (on news) about hotdog consumption…(on 4th & Memorial Day BBQ’s) 118 hot dogs per second! Of concern to me–how pets and people (those suffering from PTSD, etc.) adversely affected by the noise/big booms of fireworks…(also, firework safety/accidents, etc.)

PLEASE! think about it? these “fake” so-called “holy” (sacred?!) days (in America and Elsewhere)..are hurting people!…and trees and turkeys and planet!…all the over-consumption, tree-chopping, turkey-killing, over-drinking, over-eating, etc. going on and over-spending and lack of healthy moderation…from drunk driving to operating under the strong influence of something/some drug of choice…say like too much candy on Halloween; You name it. (All the combined, various, exhaustive/time-consuming/(life-consuming) rituals performed…year after year!) Or say the other “unbalanced” extreme…excessive dietary and Other restrictions imposed on adherents.

Come on, there is no denying the commercialism attached to these specific days and the robotic manipulation and enslavement of the masses to perform, buy, eat, drink…oh, yeah…BE FREE!??…uh-huh…no! (No Thank You from me!) not “true” freedom…people are programmed, coerced through culture, family, peer pressure to participate in one way or another!

Some may think these holidays, etc. enrich our lives somehow…but, they do the opposite…you cannot fill a deep void or a spiritual need with surface materialism. (The hunger remains.) And You cannot fill a true/healthy spiritual hunger/need (say for veggies) with pseudo-spirituality (unhealthy junk food) either!

“Material wealth is inferior to spiritual riches.” [Excerpted article reading: Seeking Riches That Are True–July 2017]

i invite any Reader:) today, July 4th, or any day YOU so Choose…to take a “tiny”  independent step toward real freedom…and read the following excerpt and reflect on Your choices/Your options to NOT participate in certain rituals.

TODAY’S economic system is harsh and unfair. Young people search in vain for employment. Many risk their lives to move to more prosperous lands. Poverty is widespread, even in affluent lands. And the gap between rich and poor is widening. According to recent estimates, the richest 1 percent of the earth’s population have as much wealth as the rest of its inhabitants combined. While such a figure is difficult to confirm, no one disputes that billions of people are desperately poor, while others have enough wealth to last for many lifetimes. Jesus recognized this harsh reality with the words: “You always have the poor with you.” (Mark 14:7) Why such inequality?

  Jesus understood that the current economic system would not change until God’s Kingdom comes. Along with the political and religious elements, the greedy commercial system, represented by “the merchants” of Revelation 18:3, constitutes part of *Satan’s world. [*God of this world/System of Things aka Arch-enemy of True God of Compassion Yahweh (Hebrew) Jehovah (English). Satan and cohorts fight/oppose Compassionate Rulership of Yahweh/Jehovah.]

 [a woman relates]“By being materially generous, I have experienced an unusual phenomenon within myself over the years. I find that the more generous I am materially, the more generous my disposition toward others has become. I am more generous in being forgiving, in being patient with others, and in being able to accept disappointments and counsel.” Many have learned that generosity is spiritually enriching.—

Ps. 112:5

It goes well for the man who generously* (graciously) lends.

He conducts his affairs with justice.

Prov. 22:9

The generous person* (he with a good eye) will be blessed,

For he shares his food with the poor.

How Can I minimize involvement with the commercial world?

Resisting the pressures of advertising and the world around them, they remember the principle: “The borrower is a slave to the lender.” (Prov. 22:7) Satan would like nothing better than to have us spend all our time and energy as slaves to his commercial world. Some decisions could keep us in financial bondage for years. Huge home mortgages, lingering student loans, expensive car payments, even extravagant weddings can result in great financial pressure. We demonstrate practical wisdom when we simplify our life and reduce debt and expenses, setting ourselves free […]

When God’s Kingdom* (*Spiritual (actual) Government rulership based on Compassion) does come, rent and mortgages will cease, food will be free and plentiful, health-care costs will disappear. Jehovah’s earthly family will enjoy the best that the earth has to offer. Gold, silver, and gems will be for adornment, not for investment or hoarding. High-quality materials of wood, stone, and metal will be freely available to build beautiful homes. Friends will assist us for sheer satisfaction, not for money. A new system of sharing earth’s bounties will be a way of life. [excerpted reading : Seeking Riches That Are True–July 2017]

True Freedom a “new system of sharing earth’s bounties” a way of life…not under robotic compulsion, but generously/willingly with a heart full of unselfish love for fellow-fragile-life every day of the year!:)

7/4/17 @ 6:42 p.m.

 

 

 

 

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