My sad heart is feeling a little happier… was able to salvage (with my Son’s help) two large, round, magnificent tree trunks from a nearby tree graveyard I drove by today… and along with another longer piece of wood.
IDK what kind of tree, need to research. Surviving keepsakes for my surviving plants or for my bottom to seat on and reflect.
I have been clearing wood, branch debris from my backyard, etc… and finding odd pieces for may be ??healing art projects …guess, i could use a heart walking stick?!
Whether we realize or not…climates change..(not just talking) –Weather watches…& warnings…
The Bible predicts/prophesies/foretells the fall/destruction of:
the World-Empire of False Religion
Bible Scholars relate/say this and historians…
and history–records MUCH bloodshed in the name of so-called religion…
please check out these excerpts (my highlights)…readings…[Lasting Peace & Happiness: “Can Religion Satisfy Mankind’s Needs?” ]
THE major religions in the world have vast numbers of followers and many magnificent churches, cathedrals, synagogues, and temples. Despite all of this, have these religions taught the truth about God? Have they helped people to lead happier and more meaningful lives? Do their leaders practice what they preach?
History clearly shows that the Western religions have proved disappointing in these areas. For example, some of the most horrible conflicts and massacres in history took place in lands professing to be Christian. The Crusades, for example, were launched by the churches of Christendom from the 11th to the 13th century. The wars during this period took innocent lives by the thousands.
In the early 19th century, the churches openly supported many Western powers in the expansion of their empires in less-developed lands and the wanton exploitation of the resources of their colonial territories. Church and State acted in collusion. Hand in hand, they brought distress and misery to people in many lands.
In the two world wars of the 20th century, most of the belligerent powers on the opposing sides were Catholic or Protestant nations. Thus, with the approval of their religious leaders, Catholics killed Catholics and Protestants killed Protestants. In more recent times, the conflict between Roman Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland resulted in heavy casualties. Leaders of these religions love to talk about peace and brotherhood, and all of them profess to serve the same God. But in view of the facts, we must ask: Do they really have a genuine love for peace? Do they truly love their neighbors as themselves?
Additionally, are the religious leaders and their flocks known for their adherence to high moral standards? Has not the media repeatedly exposed and reported on cases of child molestation and other corrupt practices among the clergy of Christendom?[…]
As regards helping people to gain an accurate knowledge of God, all major religions of the West have failed miserably. Their doctrines are mainly based on traditional beliefs rather than on the teachings of the Bible. For example, they believe that humans have an immortal soul and that those who do not serve God will be tormented in a fiery hell forever. Just think! If God were really so cruel and hardhearted, would you want to worship him?
Clearly, the religions of the West have not brought lasting peace and happiness for mankind, nor have they provided the right spiritual guidance. What, then, about the religions of the East? In China, for example, the three major religions are Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. Have these religions brought lasting peace and happiness for the Chinese?
In its early stages, Taoism was more a philosophy than a religion. Its founder, Lao-tzu, was dissatisfied with the chaos and turmoil of the times and sought relief by shunning society and returning to nature. However, as time wore on, Taoism became a system of worship venerating a pantheon of many gods and goddesses. Taoists practice divination. They attach great importance to omens and feng shui (the reading of the forces of wind and water) as well as to sundry other rituals. It is clear that Taoism falls short in providing satisfactory answers regarding the meaning of life or in fulfilling the people’s spiritual needs.
At the outset, Confucianism was a school of ethics and morality based on the teachings of its founder, Confucius. Through the centuries, Confucian concepts have wielded a strong hold on Chinese culture and way of thinking. Still, being a philosophy of life, Confucianism has neither helped the Chinese to learn about the Creator nor encouraged them to cultivate a close relationship with him. Although adopting its precepts as rules of conduct brings certain benefits, Confucianism does not fully satisfy one’s spiritual needs; nor has it brought lasting peace and happiness.
1 Buddhism first came into China from India. This religion advocates compassion and tolerance, and it has fascinated many by its complicated philosophy. But has Buddhism helped people to learn about the Sovereign of the universe? Have the teachings of the Buddha satisfied the spiritual needs of mankind? The book Basics to Buddhism says: “Buddhists do not believe in an all-powerful divine being in the universe”; “Everyone is capable of becoming a Buddha”; “Everyone has to work on his own to become a Buddha and be liberated from suffering.” Buddhism has inspired, not faith in God, but reliance on self.
To be spiritually satisfied, what questions must we consider?
If a person’s faith is misplaced, how could he ever find the truth that brings real satisfaction? Down through the ages, the Chinese have followed the tradition of worshipping their ancestors, idols, and the spirits in nature, engrossed in the multitudes of rites and rituals connected with them. As a result, the concept of a personal God, or Creator, is something foreign to most Chinese. Yet, as discussed earlier, to satisfy our spiritual needs, we must come to know not only who the Most High God is but also what his purpose for mankind is. By so doing, we will be able to act in harmony with that purpose and gain lasting happiness. We therefore invite you to investigate and find for yourself the reasonable, objective, and satisfying answers to these questions: Is there a Creator? Does he care about mankind? Can he really bring lasting peace and happiness to mankind, who are so beset with problems and difficulties? Can religions based on myths and superstitions really satisfy people’s spiritual needs?
Further readings…[Lasting Peace & Happiness How to Find Them: Is There Really a Most High Creator?]
“His invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship, so that they are inexcusable.” (Romans 1:20) Even though we cannot see God, our belief in his existence is no mere superstition. Daily, we deal with many things we cannot see, such as wind, electricity, magnetism, and the force of gravity. We know that they exist because we can observe the effects they produce. Similarly, the intricate design and the superb order in the universe distinctly testify to the existence of a Grand Creator.
God is invisible, so how can we come to know him as a Person and establish a personal relationship with him? God has made it possible for us to know him, primarily by two means. Through his creation, God gives a clear indication of his wisdom, power, and love. In addition, he has inspired men to write a book, providing further information about himself. That book is the Bible.
One of the first Chinese words i’ve learned… 上帝 Shang-di (literally “Emperor above”)…
Shang-di…Emperor Above who Rules with Boundless Love aka God of Agape Love & Compassion!:)
What human ruler/emperor on Earth rules with endless/unselfish love??!
These are not ordinary times in which we live/breathe/exist…
to put one’s own whims, agendas, preferences, and “so-called” personal happinesses..comforts
ahead and above everything/everyone else…
is to naively
miss out on
the big picture! (issues of sovereignty)
some of us…mature ones aka spiritually discerning ones…realize/appreciate…there are make it and/or break it…important times in life/history/reality when one’s own (personal/individual) desires, wants, gratification, immediacy…need and have to be put aside for the much greater good…
how deep is your love?
how deep is your compassion?
extraordinary love & compassion required!:)
(Let True Compassion Reign/Rule You aka True God of Compassion and Agape Love…it’s the only pathway to peace/the only way to survive the pelting/harsh rain/reign of cruelty aka man’s selfish-self-rule…
hurting humanity and the planet!:(
excerpted readings…[and past article highlights: Three Things That Money Cannot Buy AWAKE! October 2013]
“On average,” says The Narcissism Epidemic, “materialistic people are less happy and more depressed. Even people who simply aspire to have more money suffer from poor mental health; they also report more physical health problems such as sore throats, backaches, and headaches and were more likely to drink too much alcohol and use illegal drugs. Striving for financial success, apparently, makes people miserable.”
There is more to a secure future than stockpiling money. After all, money can be stolen—and it cannot cure disease or prevent death. (Ecclesiastes 7:12) The Bible teaches that genuine security comes from knowing God and his purpose.—John 17:3.
There is more to life than money and the things it can buy. After all, it is as the Bible says: “Even when a person has an abundance his life does not result from the things he possesses.” (Luke 12:15)
The Bible predicts a time when money is worthless and people will be throwing it in streets…(potential topic for another post?)
The Bible exposes the folly of what it calls “the showy display of one’s means of life.” (1 John 2:16) The fact is, an obsession with possessions distracts us from the very things that matter most in life—the things that money cannot buy.
The love of money causes all kinds of trouble. Some people want money so much that they have . . . caused themselves a lot of pain.”—1 Timothy 6:10, Contemporary English Version.
“Better to eat vegetables with people you love than to eat the finest meat where there is hate.”—Proverbs 15:17, Good News Translation.
The bottom line: Money cannot buy family unity. That only comes from spending time with your family and giving them adequate love and attention.—Colossians 3:18-21.
“Stop storing up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break in and steal.”—Matthew 6:19.
“You do not know what your life will be tomorrow.”—James 4:14.
“Having sustenance and covering, we shall be content with these things.”—1 Timothy 6:8.
“Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need.”—Matthew 5:3.
Stockpiling spiritual treasure(s)…a compassionate/healthy intention/lifestyle IF YOU:) ask me…oh, You didn’t? ask…OOPS!;)
The Dalai Lama, said: “I believe that the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness.” He then explained that he believed that happiness can be achieved by training, or disciplining, the mind and the heart. “A mind,” he said, “is all the basic equipment we need to achieve complete happiness.” Belief in God is unnecessary, he maintains.
Another peaceful man/brilliant mind, Jesus, however, believed belief in God “necessary” because: (my highlights)
Jesus was interested in human happiness. He began his well-known Sermon on the Mount with nine beatitudes—nine expressions that begin: “Happy are . . .” (Matthew 5:1-12) In that same sermon, he taught his listeners to examine, purify, and discipline their minds and hearts—replacing violent, immoral, and selfish thoughts with peaceful, clean, and loving thoughts. (Matthew 5:21, 22, 27, 28; 6:19-21)
Jesus knew that true happiness involves relationships with others. We humans are gregarious by nature, so we cannot be truly happy if we isolate ourselves or if we are constantly in conflict with those around us. We can be happy only if we feel loved and if we love others. Fundamental to such love, Jesus taught, is our relationship with God. Here especially, Jesus’ teaching departs from that of the Dalai Lama, for Jesus taught that humans cannot be truly happy independent of God—Matthew 4:4; 22:37-39.
[…]we have spiritual needs. Created in God’s image, we can to a degree cultivate divine attributes, such as love, justice, mercy, and wisdom. (Genesis 1:27; Micah 6:8; 1 John 4:8) Our spiritual needs include the need to have meaning in our life.
How can we satisfy such spiritual needs? Not through transcendental meditation or mere introspection. Rather, Jesus said: “Man must live, not on bread alone, but on every utterance coming forth through Jehovah’s mouth.” (Matthew 4:4) Notice, Jesus said that God is the source of “every utterance” vital to our life. Some questions only God can help us to answer.
Seriously, some minds are messed up…(sadly, for whatever reason)…So, is my mind enough?! i acknowledge/accept: i don’t know it all, obvious to You–IF You regularly read my blogs, huh?;)…so, relying on just “my own” understanding/thoughts on things/solutions/theories/introspection/my mind alone…could be dangerous/limiting.
[…]human thinking […] is often misguided. It tends to play to selfish desires or to the ego. It is based on limited knowledge and experience, and quite often it rests on false premises.
Jehovah God (designer/creator) knows our makeup and what will make us truly happy. He knows why he put man on the earth and what the future holds, and he shares that information with us in the Bible. What he reveals in that inspired book strikes a responsive chord in rightly disposed individuals and inspires happiness. (Luke 10:21; John 8:32)
Such joy intensifies when we allow Bible truth to guide our life. In this regard, happiness can be likened to a rainbow. It appears when conditions are favorable, but it becomes more brilliant—even becoming a double rainbow—when conditions are perfect.
[…] “If, then, your eye is simple, your whole body will be bright.” (Matthew 6:19-22) Essentially, he said that if we avidly pursue wealth, power, or any of the other goals people set for themselves, we will lose out on more important things. After all, as Jesus said on another occasion, “even when a person has an abundance his life does not result from the things he possesses.” (Luke 12:15) If we put first the things that are really important, such as our relationship with God, family concerns, and other related matters, then our “eye” will be “simple,” uncluttered.
Notice, Jesus was not advocating asceticism or extreme self-denial. After all, Jesus himself was not an ascetic. (Matthew 11:19; John 2:1-11) Rather, he taught that those who view life as little more than an opportunity to amass wealth essentially miss out on life.
Commenting on some who became very wealthy early in life, a psychotherapist in San Francisco, U.S.A., said that for them money is “the root of stress and confusion.” These people, he added, “buy two or three houses, a car, spend money on stuff. And when that hasn’t done it for them [that is, made them happy], they become depressed, empty and uncertain about what to do with their lives.” In contrast, those who heed Jesus’ advice to lead a simpler life materially and toleave room for spiritual things are far more likely to find real happiness.
For me, a positive attitude helps happiness…Is optimism enough, though??
A […] promoted concept dubbed positive psychology holds that optimism, cultivated by positive thinking and by focusing on one’s personal strengths, can lead to happiness. Few would deny that an optimistic view of life and of the future adds to our happiness. However, such optimism has to be based on fact, not just on wishful thinking. Besides, no amount of optimism or positive thinking will eliminate war, starvation, disease, pollution, old age, sickness, or death—things that rob so many of their happiness. Nonetheless, optimism does have its place.
Interestingly, the Bible does not use the word optimism; it uses a more powerful word—hope. Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary defines “hope” as used in the Bible as “favorable and confident expectation, . . . the happy anticipation of good.” In Bible usage, hope is more than an optimistic view of a situation. It also refers to the thing upon which one’s hope is fixed. (Ephesians 4:4; 1 Peter 1:3) The Christian hope, for instance, is that all the undesirable things mentioned in the preceding paragraph will soon be done away with. (Psalm 37:9-11, 29) […] And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:3,4) (All excerpts in post from article: How to Find Real Happiness W01)
When You consider scientific evidence found, on this beautiful planet, of the essential/necessary interdependent relationships of all beautiful-breathing-fragile-life/all interdependent ecosystems on this amazing/living planet…it makes sense to me–that “true” living spirituality (complete happiness) is/would be wrapped up in a living/vibrant “relationship”…(i.e. with God).
AH:)…the life of Wife, Mother, Partner, Friend, Fragile-Life, Freckle-Face labeled joanie, etc., etc., etc., and the many hats she must wear…at any given moment in time…and all in the same day, eh?! (even when sick??)…uh-huh.
What (goofy or serious) hats do You wear? when? why? & why not…LOL!
Some of us are: looking for someone or something…(What are You looking for?!)…
something…misplaced/misinterpreted or lost; forgotten.
Oh, i forgot…what “exactly” am i striving/searching for??…
my brain? -lol…(immortality, right? right. limitless endlessness)
Eden: my first daughter’s middle name…her first name..a Greek name meaning “thunder” and Eden: meaning: “delight and/or pleasure”…(doesn’t every parent hope for a kind/delightful kid?)
Our 2nd child: 1 big pain, 1 big push, 1 percipitous birth, 1 month early…BOOM! and there she was..just like thunder…the funny thing, we picked her name long before her arrival. No doctor…a nurse barely put a glove on and caught her head as she bungee jumped!…Turns out: She is a delightful kid aka Sweet Pea!
Don’t we all need some thunderous “delight”…anytime of day, eh?
Imagine an endless Eden.
Writers began spinning tales of “perfect” societies—a welcome contrast to the corrupt societies in which they lived. None of these fanciful schemes, however, were truly Edenlike. Rather than imagining a life of freedom in a boundless park, these visionaries dreamed of a highly organized urban paradise. In the 16th century, for example, British statesman Sir Thomas More related an imaginary trip to a land he called Utopia. This word means “nowhere.”
Subsequent writers built on More’s ideas by adding a few of their own. “Utopias” were imagined by dozens of European writers during the following centuries. Again, these imaginary “ideal” societies were anything but gardens of pleasure. The Utopias tried to organize happiness by enforcing rigid order. But in doing so, they stifled originality and human freedom. Nevertheless, as history professor Henri Baudet observed, dreams of Utopian societies revealed a “never-slackening desire for a better life . . . and a more righteous society.” ~excerpted Tahiti and the Search for Paradise
Genesis 1:29 Then God said: “Here I have given to you every seed-bearing plant that is on the entire earth and every tree with seed-bearing fruit. Let them serve as food for you.
Most fruit is SWEET!…so, the Biblical account reveals God (aka Heavenly Father/Yahweh)…provided plenty of nutritious fruit trees to sustain the first man and woman endlessly and yet, they were warned NOT to eat from 1 particular tree or they would die! They chose to eat…from the “wrong” tree and lost endless life. Thus triggering suffering/death for their offspring…including us.
● WhatisGod’spurposefortheearth? In the garden of Eden, Jehovah (Yahweh/Creator/Organizer of Life) set a standard of beauty for the earth. He commissioned Adam and Eve to fill the earth with their offspring and “subdue it,” in order to bring the same measure of beauty and harmony to the whole planet. (Genesis 1:28) So God’s purpose for the earth is that it be a paradise inhabited by a perfect, united family of the offspring of Adam and Eve. Much of the Bible is about God’s means of fulfilling that original purpose.
[…]God’s purpose is not vague, nor is it some abstract theological concept. It is real. Just as the garden of Eden was a real place on this earth with real animals and real people, so God’s promise for the future is a certainty, a reality soon to come.~excerpted Why Eden Matters to You
Science & Spirituality: *It’s interesting how researchers are just now seeing the connection of “sweet tastes had positive effects” on longevity/lifespan of flies. …When the ancient book of wisdom, the Bible, said all along: The primary food source God originally provided for humans (who God wanted to live forever) fruit trees. Sweet stuff…
God offered and still offers all that mankind can possibly desire—everlasting life, freedom, satisfaction, happiness, health, peace, prosperity, and discovery of new things. Our enjoyment of all of this, however, requires recognition of our total dependence upon our heavenly Father, Jehovah/Yahweh.~ excerpted We Can Learn From the First Human Couple