Happiness & Church

Oops! I said that nasty word!
(You know . . . church)


book rainbow


Listen with your heart, you will understand. . .

 

When did the words "religious, church, God, Christ, devout, prayer, Lord, Christian" become bad words? Somehow, somewhere along the way, these words became distasteful, repugnant, and shameful to many who hear them. Just say the words "Christ" or "God" (in their proper context, of course) in a conversation and watch as eyes and heads turn away in embarrassment or avoidance.

Amazing.


We live in a world reeking of hate, prejudice, and bitterness. "Fear" prowls hungrily around our porches and rattles against the eaves, biding its time until it finds even the smallest crack in our foundation. It enters so slowly we're not aware of anything amiss, even when we get to the point of closing ourselves away from the world, or lashing in hatred against it. By then, "fear". . .and the devil himself. . .are delighting themselves by dancing on our withered hearts.

And what have we done? In our demand for completely free, open avenues of expression, we’ve discarded imagined shackles to further our progress . . . only to realize that those "shackles" were, indeed, wispy hallucinations. We only now understand that those abandoned restraints were actually standards of support and protection we foolishly threw away.

Are you still with me? (Oh, you brave, brave person!) What I’m trying to say is that many people have tossed religion aside because they don’t want to be "limited" by someone else's rules.

I find this most interesting.  Everything I am and the happiness and health I currently enjoy are because I followed rules. (laws, commandments, whatever you want to call them). This has come easily for me because I know. . . .not believe, folks, I know. . . .these rules come from an eternal Father in Heaven who knows more than me, has more experience, wants me to be more happy than I can possibly imagine, and who can see through Satan's many shaded smoke-screens, something I cannot always do. (Listen with your heart. . .)

For instance, my religion wisely prohibits the use of alcohol, drugs, or tobacco. Some people may see this as restrictive. But in my case, these "restrictions" have greatly blessed me, possibly even saving my life.

As a youth, when the opportunity to sneak any of these substances came my way, I was able to quickly decline, without hesitation. Occasionally, I took some ribbing, but I had been taught to avoid these things, and that was that. When asked why, my answer simply was, "That was the way I was raised."  I had no other reason.  However. . . .many years have gone by and several things have become apparent.

First: alcoholism runs in my family. Thirty years ago, it was not so visible. The thought has crossed my mind that there could be an alcoholic lurking inside me. But because drinking never became part of my life, the alcoholic never had the chance to come out and wreck havoc with my world. 

Maybe there’s no alcoholic inside me.  But I’m glad I never had to find out.

Second:  A few years ago, I was diagnosed with a minor lung condition. It’s more of an annoyance when it flares up (I can't take deep breaths, so I cannot yell at me kids. My daughter told me that when I’m having problems, she would be happy to yell at her brother for me.), but a problem, nevertheless. It has recently come to my attention that my maternal side of the family has weak lungs. If I had started smoking, who knows how this would have affected my lungs? I could be having major, instead of minor, problems with my breathing. The ravages of tobacco, combined with the weakness of my lungs, could have made a slight health problem become something far more serious and life threatening. But . . . since I never puffed that first cigarette, the biggest thing I have to worry about is not being able to yell at my kids!

GEE, THOSE ARE PRETTY NICE CONSEQUENCES FOR FOLLOWING SOMEONE ELSE'S RULES!

As I look around at family, neighbors, friends, and others, the biggest difference I notice between those who seem happy and those who seem to constantly battle the heartaches of life are their spiritual outlooks and commitment. Maybe that’s what scares people . . . commitment. I suppose it can be looked at the same way as marriage. It can be either a ball and chain or, as is usually the case, the most pleasant, rewarding, gratifying, joyful union you will ever know.

I'm not saying that people who have church in their lives never have problems. If you live on this earth, problems will plague you. But many of life's more painful, hurtful heartaches can be avoided when spiritual advice is heeded. Besides, when life deals you a devastating blow, those who have comfort from a "heavenly" source find their wounds heal quicker and more whole.

I hear people say, "Prove there is a God."  My goodness!  Do they realize how vast the universe is? Or how complex, yet simple, a molecule is?  What about DNA?  How does a tiny, little egg, which starts out as just a blob, develop into animals and people?  I was looking at the hair on my German Shepherd the other day. . . how each color is very specific to the spot it grows from, but all the hair blends perfectly to give her the beautiful coloring she has.  How did her DNA do that?

The human body and brain . . . how could it have been an "accident" that we came together as we did?  How do we learn, remember, calculate, communicate, create, discover, engineer, invent, work, live, and love?  How does our body heal?  Put a band-aid on a cut finger, wait a few days, and viola!  The cut disappears! This was all an accident?

Whenever I read accounts of astronauts who have had the rare opportunity to view Earth from above, from the void of space, there is always a comment made about God.  Always.  Prove there is a God?  To an open-minded person, (I’ve heard it said religious people are close-minded. In my experience, it is quite the opposite) there is ample proof all around, in outer and inner space, within and without us.

Perhaps you have heard how coon hunters trapped raccoons when they needed to train a young bloodhound. (Maybe they still use this method) I can't remember if they used an old bottle or log. (If anyone out there knows exactly, let me know!) But they put something shiny down in the opening of the container. Something like tin foil or jewelry. Then they put the container on a well-used raccoon trail and wait. Eventually, a raccoon wanders down the path and spies the shiny object. We all know raccoons are partial to shiny things. So, of course, the raccoon tries to retrieve the pretty item for his stash pile. He puts his paw down into the bottle or log and picks up the object. As he does, his paw makes a fist. When he tries to pull his arm out, he finds he can’t get loose because his fist is too big to go through the opening. That’s when the hunter shows up.

All the raccoon had to do was let go of the item and he would have been able to pull his limb out and escape. But he was so fixated on his prize, the hunter was able to catch him easily.

Satan works the same way. If he can get us interested in something shiny or dazzling, he knows he has a chance to catch us. If he can distract us from our true path, dangle a "prize" before our eyes, get us to grab it with our fists, then get us to believe that the shiny thing is so important we’ll refuse to let go of it, he has us. One of the "shiny" things he uses to attract us is "There is no god, never was, never will be. Do whatever you like, whenever you like. There are no consequences. You're your own person!"

Oops, I can see the hunter coming now!

Are you holding onto a shiny thing in your life? Do you feel the hunter breathing down your neck? The answer is so simple. Let go. . .

There is a god. There is a Heavenly Father (our Heavenly Father) and we have a savior. Believe me, it all makes more sense than you think.


angel talk >>>>> MORE TO COME <<<<< devil talk



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