Mean Spiritness 2017-34

Mean Spirited   2017-34

 

I had a nonviolent run in with what I would call a “mean spirited” person the other day.  Some would have called him a bastard with mental problems, but I will not do so. The details are not that important, but the thought that there are people out there that are like that, is in-settling.

What exactly is mean spirited? One definition of mean-spirited is someone that is unkind, motivated by cruelty or intended to be hurtful. An example of a meanspirited person is someone who loves to see others fail. That is one definition, but there are many that can be used to describe this person.

I know of one that claimed to be a racist and in the way he told me, I could tell he was, somewhat, even proud of the fact he was one of “them”. How the H     can you be proud of being a racist with all the things that are known about the past ones and how they acted?

I think he was also a typical (if there is a typical) mean-spirited person.  He is, in my mind, a very unhappy person, has ills that make him look at life in a negative way, and his life might have been not what he wanted it to be.  Not sure of the last one, but he does not brag about how his life was in the past.

Mean-spirited people have their own agenda based on sometimes cowardly and petty actions they have done, timidness in nature, weak minded overall and just plain MEAN in nature.

At times, we have to put up with these people, due to a relationship of some sorts. This can be a short and if they are a large part of your life, it could be a long term and emotional pain of dealing with them.

I remember the racist one I know.  He would bait me and say things to see if I would argue with him, and I did NOT play into his power game of life.  I did not want to get into an attitude of being like him, mean-spirited in a negative way, because I would have been just like him.

I ended up not seeing this person again and do not try to contact him, go to breakfast or any other way of communicating with him.  I feel better in doing so.  I do not have to grit my teeth when listening to him spout off about subjects I feel are wrong.

It could be that he needs help in some way professionally, but I am not his keeper, and the distance is too long for me to get involved on a regular basis.  I would not be surprised he does not miss me, and is happy, in his way, with his life. Don’t know; don’t care; moving on!

We control our surroundings for the most part and happiness is up to each of us to attain. Taking personal responsibility for our actions IS the road to happiness.

Den Betts

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Is Religion Dying Out? 2017-33

Is Religion Dying Out? 2017-33

No, Not dining, dying.  I don’t know! Though, I do see signs of religion not being that important to people today. 

As we, in the more civilized world, have become more affluent and as we feel we are more secure in our environment, and even more educated perhaps, it is possible that people, in general, are becoming more rational and less in need of religion.  Many areas of the world, and in certain cultures, are divorced from the domination of religious affiliations, and influence. Religion, for many, is becoming less important in everyday life in the upper advanced cultures. I will not even mention anything like moral reasons at this time.

When I travel to my church on Sunday morning, I feel, that I am the only one up and the roads are NOT busy, not crowded, and not full of vehicles going to their church for services.  Since I live in an Amish community, I must say, there are horse and buggies on the road, so I must watch out for them.

I would think that, as improved living conditions occur, a decline in a religion also is the result. The feeling of need is lessened or unimportant.  I remember 911 and the uptick of religious feelings for a small period of time afterwards.  We were fearful of the unknown and church attendance had a surge of recurrence right afterwards.

The decline has occurred worldwide and I read that many modern secular democracies, more and more people are identifying themselves as non-affiliated with religion. I realize that it is “uncomfortable” to discuss this subject with people, because of many reasons. I do know some people that said it is convenient not to go to church for many reasons. Those that said this do not have a logical reason, but it could be said by some, their reasons are petty at best. Everyone is different, and I realize this as fact.

I do not believe that those that say they are non-affiliated, can be called atheists, but instead belong to the secularism group of people. When I looked at my notes from my teaching Sunday School at church, I could see that Christians made up about 31% in the world then, and declining, Muslims around 23% and growing, and the non-affiliated about 20%. So, religion is not dead, just not doing well today.

In addition, many people state they do NOT belong to an organized religion, but are spiritual, whatever that means to everyone stating this. Instead of dying out, religion may be, becoming dormant. I do not think atheism will take over, but those leaving religion will become members of a less defined religious belief or just simply unaffiliated overall.  I know, I consider myself, Spiritual and Religious, two different words meaning different things in my mind.

In a contradiction, I read that places like China, Christianity is growing the fastest, which is strange.  Some places, like Australia, where church attendance is about 10% is somewhat holding at that percentage, but they were always thought of as a predominantly secular country.

This discourse has many source references so I did not list any.  I do not know what Wikipedia has on this, which is weird, my not going there for data.

Anyhow, I believe that there is a God.  God is alive, God is active, God is aware, God is Present and around and in us always.  He, as the living God, loves us regardless.

Den Betts

Ashamed to be a Christian! 2017-32

                                                                                          Ashamed to be a Christian? 2017-32        

WHAT!?   How can anyone be ashamed to be a Christian?

I am not talking about those that abhor the Christian faith or how some people that claim to be Christian that do things, say things, and promote things that are NOT in keeping with the teachings of Jesus Christ. 

Those that do so, as Christians, are INDIVIDUALS doing the things they feel are right in their minds, good or bad. They use the word Christian as a rallying cry to perhaps “prove” their point in some way, perhaps based on Scripture, where the Bible is then used as a weapon to make a point.

What I would like to suggest is this. Using the story of Paul as an example, I feel that Paul was an ambassador or apostle of Jesus.  He would travel and proclaim that Jesus was the Messiah and he DID travel far and wide to do so. He did it without worrying about being ashamed to spread the word.

Paul, then, was also a preacher, who was bringing the good news of a man, who was God’s Son, that promised salvation due to His dying on the cross.  Paul was not ashamed to do so, even though he spent about 25% of his ministry time in jail, due to his words about Jesus.

He was by default a teacher evangelist by bringing individuals to the point of committing themselves to Christ. It was his duty to teach them how to live a life of a Christian, to discipline them, and have them grow in their faith.  He did so without being ashamed for his actions.

I therefore make a claim that we, I, you, should NOT be ashamed to state your faith in Jesus Christ as a Christian and most importantly, LIVE a life that the teacher Jesus taught us, living the life of and how a Christian would do. And NOT BE ashamed to do so. Do NOT be ashamed to be a witness for Christ in the process. If we suffer for Him, be willing to embrace suffering with Him.

The old saying, shit or get off the pot is saying, make a decision! Stand up for what you claim to be. If you are a Christian, say you are one, show that you are not one by name, but one by the actions you do. If someone states they are doing something as a Christian, question them on their intent and remind them that Jesus taught certain things, and ask, are their actions per His teachings?

Christianity is not just about going to church. It is, again, living the word of Jesus. The one word that stands out to me is L O V E.  That word is one that Jesus taught more than anything.  We need more love in the world. Maybe WE can start loving our fellow man more, and that will make a change. 

Peace,  Den Betts

Confederate Flag and Statues 2017-31

 Confederate Flag and Statues   2017-31

 I have been thinking about the flag and statue issue in the U.S. lately.

The confederate flag is a symbol. A symbol of a lost cause. It has other meanings as well, for many people in this great land of the United States…     

“The Confederate battle flag was never adopted by the Confederate Congress, never flew over any state capitols during the Confederacy, and was never officially used by Confederate veterans’ groups. The flag probably would have been relegated to Civil War museums if it had not been resurrected by the resurgent KKK. Supporters have labeled attempts to display the flag as an exercise of free speech, which it is, although a bad one.

On May 19, 2016, the United States House of Representatives voted to ban the display of Confederate flags on flagpoles at Veterans Administration cemeteries, by a 265-159 vote. The ban was contained in an amendment (House Amendment 592, 114th Congress) to House bill 2822, an appropriations bill. The author of the amendment was California congressman Jared Huffman, who stated that the flag represented “racism, slavery and division. Per Wikipedia”

You can show it, but it also shows something about YOU. What? Don’t really know what, because you might be a very nice person and to suggest you are not is not for me to state. It is, today, an archaic symbol, used by some for many reasons.

I lived in the south for many years and found out some interesting things about the people of the south.

Most are decent, law-abiding, and gracious people. Many would do anything for me when I asked or even if I did not ask. Many went to church regularly and believed in God, Jesus Christ and the Holly Spirit and showed this by doing Christian things as an everyday thing to do.

I do know that by showing this flag is telling me you have beliefs of some sorts. For a lost cause of the past or a challenge of the now or future, that is up to you to say. I do know it is offensive to many because of the past and the Civil War. My great-great grandfather fought and was wounded in the Civil War for the North, and in a way, your showing the flag is telling me you don’t care about what he did or what happened.

That is a shame in a general way, but you can continue to fly this symbol because you have a right entitled to you by the U.S. Constitution to do so, even though it is a disgrace to do so in my mind.

As such, the statues that have been erected during the Jim Crow era that was enforcing racial segregation and in the 1950’s were done so in retaliation to the things happening then. They are a symbol of slavery not heroes for a lost cause. Itis probably time for them to end up in a museum or a junk yard. If any have a problem with this, that is your problem not mine. 

Den Betts

God’s Glory Shown 2017-30

God’s Glory Shown 2017-30
WOW!!!!
So, I was outside, with ISO glasses, looking up at the Sun and Moon. Of course, the Moon was showing its dominance by blotting out the Sun, or at least partially, here in the Cleveland area.

I will share them with you, on what I was thinking.

God’s Glory was evident to me, totally and not partially. He was there for me, showing me His power and might. As Moses asked, “Please show me your glory”, so God did so with millions of people today, as he does always each day in different ways.

When I pray, I tell God, “Thank you, for your Glory, God!” That is one part of my prayer to God, when I pray to the only God of the Universe; my God, your God, our God.

I also, pray other things each time also, but firstly, the thanking of God for his Glory is foremost. He shows His Glory in ways that we experience with, besides sight, by hearing Him, touching Him, tasting things, He creates, smelling the goodness of His creations, and other ways such as feelings of closeness that He shares with us. All part of the senses of life that we enjoy daily.
God is alive, He is active, He is aware, He is Present with us always. We only have to take the time to realize His Glory is given to us for us to appreciate, to love, to give thanks for to Him.

God is good, God is great, Thanks be to God.

Den Betts

Evangelical’s and Trump 2017-29

Evangelical’s and Trump 2017-29

I do NOT claim to be an Evangelical Christian; have heard of them, think I may know a few, do not hate or really love any for any reason, but think I should describe what I believe they are to me. In that way, I can compare myself and POTUS Trump to them.

 A check at Wikipedia states it is a worldwide trans denominational movement within Protestant Christianity that maintains the belief that the essence of the gospel consists of the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ’s atonement.  Well, that sums it up well, but is hard to get my mind around this explanation. It further states that they believe in the centrality of the conversion or the “born again” experience in receiving salvation, and the authority of the Bible as God’s revelation to humanity and spreading the Christian message. Whew!

I understand, the Methodist Church, the Baptist communities of churches and perhaps some Anglicans are good representatives of this movement.  Evangelicals are among the most dynamic religious group movements in the contemporary world. Since I do NOT want to make this a religious critique, I will leave it at this and allow any to look up the word Evangelical at your leisure and learn more about it.

The main thing, in my mind, is this.   Evangelicals are religious. They are mainstream in many ways, sometimes fundamental in belief in many cases, and basically conservative in nature.  Those are not bad things at all, but does put them in a slot of identifying how they feel to a degree. They have a good bit of history about them and I think of The Reverend Billy Graham is a prime example of an evangelist, promoting this faith. As a total, they represent about 28 percent of the U.S. religious groups in the U.S. or about 91 million total.

POTUS Trump is identified as a Presbyterian, which is not actually listed as being an evangelical religion. In a book he wrote, “The Art of the Deal”, which he highly touts, there is no mention of religion and he stated, “I don’t like to analyze myself, because I might not like what I see” he told biographer D’Antonio. He has stated he does attend church occasionally, on Christmas, Easter and “special occasions” (weddings?), but is too busy on most Sundays. I used to do this myself, I admit, and many do so. 

OK, he does not sit in church waiting for the voice of God or sitting through a service or confessing his sins, or other religious doings and that is fine with me. I don’t care, that is his life, not mine!

But, it does bother me that the religious leaders or those in power at the Evangelical church feel he is Evangelical enough to promote him, endorse him and follow him as they do.  He, in my mind, does not follow the tenants of any Evangelical religion, any fundamentalist actions, or even Christian beliefs. I am not being judgmental about this, but more of stating factual thoughts of how he acts in life.

To say they are Evangelical, fundamental in religious thought, religious in general and promote him as being “one of their own” is Bullcrap to me.  It is hypocritical and not realistic. If they, The everyday practicing Evangelical’s, are part of Trump’s “BASE” that he loves so much and if they still support him, then they are lying to themselves in the process, and Trump loves this and them.

Den Betts

Coward 2017-28

I thought of this one I wrote when I watched the Charlottesville, Va. murder by car on TV the weekend of 7-12-17. The young man that mowed down innocent people during a rally by the evil people that belong to the KKK, White Nationalists and White Supremacists groups showed how much of a coward he was by doing his thing with a car.  This is NOT what decent people do here in America or across the world.

 

Coward   2017-28

A person who cowers when others do their duty,

afraid with fright to continue.

One who refuses to participate in a common goal

as the whole pitches in

Who stands alone while others continue in the quest

to accomplish the stated objectives.

Those that look out for selves at all times and

forget their fellow man when needed.

Whose direction or travel is opposite to the

flow of others in an emergency.

Who hide behind a mask or darkness of night

to state their warped beliefs against fellow man.

Who feel the need to degrade with words; to slur

instead of address their own hidden fears.

An individual or group that bullies the few or one,

by intimidation or physical violence.

Whose greatest fear is the fear that they will

be found out to be cowards that they are….

 

Den Betts