Posts Tagged ‘charity’

For those who missed it, the above title is a sigh.  The Thanksgiving meal has become a recent memory and the turkey an ugly carcass and the next Holiday meal with all the trimmings will be fixed by my son-in-law and daughter while I spoil those terrific grandsons of our’s.

I have the Holiday gifts purchased wrapped and mailed, and I am down to charitable giving.  We purchased the car that we will be revisiting America in while we travel both Canada and the U.S.A. My husband is a tall man so it is always a challenge to find something that is tall enough to give him the head and leg room he needs, that is comfortable for me, and that I no longer have to use a running board to step on to pull myself into the vehicle.

Lucky me that the market is flooded with Japanese and Korean vehicles that are made for the 5 foot 8  or under people and the taller Americans appear to get the smaller American sedans appear to become, due to all the added technology.   We have never purchased a vehicle not made in the U.S.A., and probably never will.  The only vehicle that fit our qualifications was the Mercedes-Benz SUV.

The American-made pick ups,suv’s, and custom vans fit my husband’s size and we have had our share of them, but they require me to step on a footstool or to swing my leg up on the running board and then to pull myself up and I am  hurting before I even leave home, since my health problem is as compounded in the arms as it is the legs. We feel somewhat justified buying the Mercedes since it is made in Alabama, and you do what needs to be done.

Some people on the internet and Facebook, that seem to think it their job, have done their number on degrading the Chevy Volt, that was one vehicle that caught on fire when it was put through rigorous test results that would not happen with normal driving, and the Mercedes-Benz SUV because 8,700 vehicles had their floor mats recalled because of the potential of it sticking under the gas pedal.

I have no idea what drives people to downgrade others who have their best interests at heart, much less vehicles, but the Chevy Volt even got a dressing down by the Fox news panel even though it is the model other Countries are copying in order to catch up with its technology. It is almost impossible to get lost,killed, or bored in today’s fully loaded vehicles if we follow the speed limits, do not get caught in a pile up due to bad drivers and weather, or do not meet drunk drivers, regardless of where they are made.

I need to send out very few Christmas cards yet and the decorations and the lights were up and went on Thanksgiving night. We needed to stay at the Kids’ house as it was their turn for the other side of the Family for Thanksgiving, and we bought the SUV across the river from where they live but a distance from our own home.  My husband got sick from shell-fish and we were grateful that they extended us the offer.  Their cats were as well and they got a nice airing out of it.

It was a delight to see their tree up and lights strung as well.  I learned years ago that the weeks before Thanksgiving run as good of sales as the stores do after Thanksgiving,because often they need to attract buyers worse before Thanksgiving than they do after.  Any time I can get 40% off across the board and not fight the crowds or stand in line, it is worth shopping early. I understand that many wait for their bonus but since I pay my credit card off during the year I do not feel bad paying a little interests until the bonus is paid.

The Christmas Season or Holiday Season has always been my favorite time of year.  If I stay away from the grumpy or harassed Christmas shoppers who are shopping on Black Friday or the last-minute, I never have to see the dark side of the Holidays.  The generosity of the majority of Americans shown during the Holiday Season is always amazing and almost magical to me.  It is not an easy task to remember all those who we share our thoughts,prayers,cash, and gifts with during the Season.  When we add the meals and goodies anyone who can, do, and we see the best of mankind all around us, how can we not be inspired by the graciousness of the American people? Why anyone would resent or hate the Season is beyond me, but many do.

The complainers totally over look the generous spirit of the Christmas Season and instead complain that Christmas has become too commercial. Those who are members of a Religion, such as The 7th Day of Adventist, even refer to the mention of Santa as being sinful and deny all mention of his name in their home,totally disregarding the fact that Santa comes from the name of Saint Nickolas who was admired for his spirit of giving.  Children in these Religions are never able to celebrate beyond attending Church and being reminded of the Christ child. I do not criticize those who truly believe as they do or their right to do so.

My own personal experience with the complainers has not been so much that they  themselves resented giving as it was that they felt cheated on the Holidays when they were children,felt to give to children meant they would be spoiled and lose the meaning of Christmas, felt they should be receiving and not giving to their children,were too drunk on alcohol or drugged out to care, or felt giving to children left their bank accounts lower.

I understand the difficulty of the Season if we have lost a loved one since the memories of past Holidays can sadden all of us, if they are all alone, do not have a job, or cannot afford to buy the gift the children want from Santa, but often times these are not the people who chronically complain about the Holidays. Many of them learn to seek out others who share their pain or learn the healing power of bringing joy to others brings to them. Others are also the grateful ones, since they end up on the receiving line of American generosity just as our family members do, when they too will accept the love given at Christmas time. I grew up under the roof with one of the chronic complainers at Christmas time and I was determined to reverse the cycle by compensating for my loss by being generous instead.

We, who love the Season, are all driven by some time or memory of our own or by our spiritual beliefs of Christ’s birth to do a little extra for those we sometimes spend too much time forgetting during the rest of the year.  I know people who will leave their Christmas lights up year around as a reminder to themselves to treat others the same during the year, as they do during the Holiday Season. Some people keep their decorations up until their loved ones return home from military duty. Others work in soup Kitchens while others deliver packages to those who have not fared as well during the year. The joy on the children’s faces are thanks enough to those of us who share our good fortune with others during the Holiday Season.  Neighbors often bring baked goodies to the shut ins or sing Christmas carols each year,while others send or bring good will and cheer to those they have not seen or heard from, for years.

Even though I have been through many other Christmases, I am still touched by the magic that changes each of us, just for a while at least, when we remember why we celebrate the Holidays. Since no one knows for certain the real date of Christmas,some how, I do not feel like Christ minds too much when or how we celebrate the spirit of giving in His memory, since He instructed all of us to love each other and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Sadly, to often we need the Holidays to remember that which we should know all year; Just as much as we need to be reminded to be grateful for what we have, for our lives, and our loved ones.  If it takes commercial means to remind some that it isn’t the things that we buy but instead the spirit of giving out of love that we pass on to others in the form of a gift to cheer them, that matters,or it takes the same reminder to donate to worthy causes, is that really so bad?

As much as I love the Season I can’t help but breathe a sigh of relief knowing that most of my work of the Season has been completed and now I can stay inside for a while and enjoy the snow from our recent storm, light a fire if I feel like it, and listen to my favorite Christmas music. AHHhhhh!

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My heart goes out to all the people in the world who find Christmas and the Holidays a particularly difficult time of year. Most have broken up with someone special, lost a mate, parent or child and as bad as the coping is, the Holidays and everyone else’s cheer or lack of understanding, sometimes leaves us cold. Most just want to pull their heads into their covers and let the Season pass. It is important that you do take the time necessary to grieve and to go through the necessary steps of grieving, so please know, you all are in the thoughts of many of us this Season, who do care. Grieving, does not need guilt attached to it, so if you are not yet ready to enter the World to participate, please know many of us as well as your true friends, do understand.

For those of you who are,” sick and tired” of being “sick and tired” and ready to move on but are at a lost as to how to do it, I recommend the art of giving. Nothing will brighten your own outlook in life more than to reach out to a family, friend’s or neighbor’s child and to play Santa Claus in their life. This does not mean you have to dress up as Santa. It only means that you are the unknown who blesses a child with a gift they would never have received unless you had been generous. The Canadians have a nice Holiday called “Box Day” where they leave food or gifts on the step of a needy person and get away unrecognized. Whichever way would be fun for you,and if you do not wish to see anyone yet, this is a splendid way to make yourself feel better and to honor your loved one, while renewing a child’s innocent need to believe in the goodness of mankind.

If you do not feel comfortable being part of a Holiday celebration,bake cookies and leave them in the mailbox of a needy family, write a check in the memory of your loved one and put it is the bucket of the Salvation Army where the bell ringers are collecting donations. If you prefer to keep it private, then slip in cash anonymously. If you have extra money, go to a Department store and have toys, shoes or coats delivered. You can have a meal, a ham and the trimmings, or a pizza delivered after going to the restaurant and paying for it. If they do not deliver then perhaps a friend or taxi cab driver would be glad to deliver it for you. If someone you know has lost their job or been laid off, a few dollars in a envelope placed in their mailbox or shoved under their door, might go a long way with the utilities. Even if funds are limited, as long as we have our health,we all have a talent we can share, we can offer to carry a heavy load or offer a ride, we can shovel a sidewalk, or work in a soup kitchen.The only thing that limits us, in our giving, is our lack of imagination and desire.

Nothing heals a broken heart faster than knowing we put a smile on the face of a child who believes Santa Claus only comes to the rich boys or girls. You may not see the smile on the child or the warmth of the food in their stomach, but you can bet your loved one will. If it is loss through divorce then wouldn’t you’d rather a child was fed or “shouted out in glee” than your Ex fight over it? Wishing you all a recovery, in your own time and at your own pace! The time clock does not run on grief nor can anyone else tell you when it is over. Grief is as individual as we all are different. God Bless each and everyone of you!

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We hear all the time, “unless we love ourselves, we cannot love others.” I do believe, in some cases, when we start out life we have love to give and, as such, we are capable of loving, without loving ourselves. I’ve heard people say,” that they are in love but they have not yet met the person that they are in love with.” In those cases I have always felt, probably due to their own behavior, that they were actually in love with themselves but did not recognize it as such. In my own case, I do know that I have loved everyone else, long before I recognized, that I loved myself. Some of us grow up confused as to what love really is as it has never been given to us unconditionally or we only felt love according to if our behavior met with approval or not.

There is no such thing as a mommy gene universally in all mothers. Many children grow up hearing,”we were an accident,the day we were born was the worse day of our mother’s life, or the only reason we were even born was because our mothers thought that they would go to hell if they used birth control”. Complicate that with parents who never tell us that we are loved, that are remote and cold while we are growing up, parents who profess to love us as we live in fear of being beaten on a daily basis, or have parents beating each other up and the whole ideal of love becomes totally misconstrued to the point that many are fearful to love or commit if that is what love really is. Often it takes years and years, before children growing up in these environments can even dare trust what we are feeling, is really love or if someone else that professes to love us, is sincere.

Every human being’s survival depends on being born selfish. If a baby didn’t cry until their needs were meant they would end up malnourished or ill. Most of us would sleep through, sometimes every hour and half feedings, because as all new parents can attest many times during a baby’s life we are so tired we are not always certain if we did wake up or if we slept through a feeding. It is a time of total and complete exhaustion, especially if one parent is doing it all alone. In many ways we never lose the need to be selfish. Some are just better at recognizing it than others. Every action we take from seeking friendship,to marriage, to what brings us joy is intertwined with our own needs being met, if we are honest with ourselves in acknowledging it.

What separates a selfish person from a giving person is innate to their character, if I was to hazard a guess. It explains why one twin can be selfish while another generous, even when raised identically to each other, including the same punishment being meted our to both simultaneously, regardless who is to blame. If it is not genetic then the genetic make-up that drives perception,in my opinion, has to play a role. Where one saw injustice for the punishment they did not cause, another accepted the same as being normal or had the capacity to block pain or go into denial whereas the other didn’t or maintained reality.

Many children will block out their childhood if it was too bad or separate from it emotionally while others never forget and relive the nightmare for life. Abuse alters and changes a person’s personality, entirely, from who or whom they would have been, otherwise. That includes people who tell their children they were not wanted and verbally abuse their children. I’ve heard parents tell their children that they were an accident, in jest, and watched the child’s facial expression crumble. I think sometimes we adults are immune to teasing and lose sight of what effect it has on our children. Many times that same teasing can send our children off to bully others, if they take it literally, as many do. Some children will totally overlook or block abuse where as others can be haunted all their lives and I’m not sure anyone understands for certain,why?

I have absolutely no regrets that I came late to the table, as far as loving everyone else, before I recognized my love of myself, because it is the reason I now gather so much pleasure and enjoyment out of my life. If every action I ever did was as a conscious reaction on my part to do or give because I would get something back as a result of it, I’m sure I would feel much more guilt or discomfort with what damage I occurred to myself, now that I am limited in what I can do for others.

I am a sincere believer in the reality that everything that we do for others without expectation or return or without telling the world about our charity is returned to us here on earth. If we use it to improve our own image or to get an, “atta girl/boy” or to fulfill some need of our own we can sometimes end up in anger,hurt or mistrust because we assumed and when our assumptions do not prove out then we get angry or hurt about it. On the other hand, those of us that give without expectations, quickly learn the value of doing so brings with it, its own reward, even miracles. I don’t even have to explain that to those of you who do know, what I mean when I say it.

If we never know or understand ourself and the reasoning behind why we did what we did or do what we do, we can become really bitter with life and mistreat others. Once we know the true damage, we do to both ourselves and others, exist is because of our own assumptions then we can learn better ways to give of our self and time or choose not to. Except of course when it comes to paying taxes and I would hope we all appreciate the fact that Democracy gives us enough, so we can at least do that much. When gifting is a choice and we are constantly resenting doing anything for someones else, all of us would much rather you did nothing instead of listen to your constant bitching or sign carrying protest.

The significance of self is, to know ourselves, well enough so we bring both hope and joy to others or we take blame so we don’t make the rest of our family,work staff, group, or America in general, miserable right along with us. Listen to the way people and media are talking. We have to ask ourselves why children bully? Give us a break! As the old cliché goes,”If you have nothing good to say then say nothing, at all.”

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The problem that exists, as I see it, when it comes to subjects that are considered taboo like sex education and abortion, is, it becomes very easy to become smug and arrogant in our little Christian world. Ask Doctors, Cops,Those living in poverty, and District Attorneys, just what the human race is capable of doing to each other, and most of us would faint away in the telling of the cruelty. That is why we need laws that are not always definable in black and white.

Pathetically, much of this behavior has been going on for a 100 years and we are no better off today when it comes to finding prevention than we were then. What gains that we made in equal rights and civil rights is being undermined by denying rights to gays. The argument goes that since Christ was not involved in social problems then neither should the churches be, at the same time they try to prevent both women and gays their State and Federal rights.

It is rare to find either male or female prostitutes, in any city in America, that were not first a victim of incest, but if we do not know it, then it is easy to believe only 1% of the abortions are as a result of incest, or that there are only a hand full of victims,even when there is no basis for truth on that estimate. People do not report abuse when done by a family member, many times, so it is impossible to get any conclusive percentage of incest. We want to believe that the Catholic priests that molested these young boys did it in secrecy, one victim at a time, until we watch Oprah and hear the twins discuss the gang rape and torture that involved 33 Catholic priest, together at the same time, and happened years ago. The details are just now seeing the light of day. We may have acknowledgement and apology but pay off in cash, is not justice, for a crime of pedophilia.

Certainly they are lying about Bishop Long, we say, because we like him so. The worse our children ever face, most certainly we tell ourselves, has to be drugs that we prefer to ignore, and starvation and even that is rare because of free school lunches and Church ran free meals for the homeless, we like to believe. Certainly we the taxpayers, who are paying less in taxes than anyone since the 1950’s, are entitled to a break from all our struggles, we are convinced of, in our own self-congratulatory manner, because we are generously giving out free school lunches. Never mind we are closer everyday to needing them,ourselves, not because our taxes have increased due to government spending(YET) but because of our own spending habits. It is always easier to blame the liberals, who new key hate word is progressive, for the mess we are in. God forbid if we were able to take blame, ourselves.

We, simply, do not want to believe that parents can do to their children what they do and have done for decades, so we pat ourselves on the back, while we plant the white crosses in the fields and believe it, when we are told that most abortions occur because women want to look good in their bikinis. It is easier to feel Christian, when we believe that these terrible things never happened and it is all lies. Parents would never prostitute out their own children or give babies drugs, so they sleep around the clock, or put Coke in their baby bottles because it cost less than milk. Would they?

We do need to think about the denial, that we Christians, are in and why we do not listen to our Religious leaders when it comes to beating up on our mates, fraud, cheating on our taxes, failing to pay our bills, secret liaisons, adultery, birth control,greed or all the other things we do and feel justified in doing without our Religious leaders knowing. Why is it then that we all vote like a herd of sheep in order to prevent women freedom of choice granted to us by the Constitution and the equal rights amendment as well as law? Isn’t that social interference? How we vote is one thing that our Church Leaders cannot influence or tell us what to do, without breaking the law of Man or God or our Constitution.

Those of us that no longer attend Churches are not atheist, nor are we out to close the doors on religion, as you are being told. We just simply refuse to break any law whether it is Man’s law or God’s law, because we have developed our own responsiblity and conscious to do the right thing, in many cases. It is difficult for many of us to accept Church law as being God’s law due to the behavior of the Church leadership in most cases. Many of us still hold a deep and abiding faith in both God and Jesus and would like to see religion get out of politics as it is stated in the Constitution and in the separation of Church and State law.

No one person or group or organization should ever be given the power to be above the law of the Land, in my opinion as well as many other voters, even though the Churches have chosen to break the law by doing so. The agreement made in the 1940’s was to give all religion tax-free privileges and they would remain separate from state and not influence the vote. There is some conversation going on to take away their tax-free privileges since they have broken the law.

It always has been in the hands of “we the people” as to if they should or should not receive the same. Many Christians see the hypocrisy that apparently others don’t see, because of denial. It becomes impossible to put much stock in a Spiritual advisor that preaches,”do as we say not as we do.” Many of us grew up, a half of century or so ago, with that in our homes and saw the injustices in the thinking then as well.

It is no wonder, then, there is so much hate going on as a result of the self-righteous spreading the hate and lies. After all, if I was blind to what was going on, right under my own nose, I might too, be confused and angry. Whatever the decisions are, that are being made in Washington, we cannot elect politicians that can clean up a mess like the one we are in, without expecting some mistakes being made along the way in their efforts. This is and has been brand new ground that needs to be broken through trial and error. We admit that there have been some mistakes made, but not as nearly colossal, as the years prior to these last two years, but not because OBama is out to create Socialism as you claim.

We are taking things out on OBama, that should have been taken out on Bush and Cheney and those of us who voted for them,(However,even that would be somewhat immature and a waste in futility, as we should have known that they were a few short of a six-pack when we voted for them) but we do owe the Office of the Presidency and the man in it better than what we have given OBama. Anyone doing the job that he has had to do with a say “No” Republican party holding him back on every attempt, was and is going to make mistakes.

I would hope the new Congress coming in would try a little honey instead of announcing their main goal is to get OBama out of office. We are all going through withdrawals while waiting for co-operation amongst the elected officials and perhaps that is partially responsible for both “the dry drunk behavior” and the meanness that is going wild. Can’t we all agree a little honey might be the better of two evils? It still has to get past the Senate and the Dem.s are still in control of that,as well. After all, respect and courtesy, use to be the Christian way. Can’t we give it a try and all just try to get along, and see if together we can correct some problems without being afraid of who will get the credit or blame in 2012?

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The two areas in our lives that are becoming more blurred all the time, in my opinion, are what and exactly are we owed and who and what exactly has the right to our free will and intellect. I will try to keep it short and sweet and to the point, as the answers are nothing and no one, once we become of age.

When we are children, our parents owe us an education,protection,one set of clothes on our back and shoes on our feet,food in our stomachs,medical care, and a roof over our heads. Once we become adults, no matter how many times we announce,”that we did not ask to be born,” it is our responsibility to do all and the same for ourselves. Anything we get as both children and adults beyond that, is strictly based on the good will or charity of our parents. Without charity at home most of us would never have the head start in life that most of our parents give willingly and cheerfully. For those of us to think that somehow Uncle Sam or Corporate America owes us the same, is where the lines start becoming less clear.

Since it is easy to answer the question:” as to who do we owe our free will and intellect?” that we all own, regardless of gender, race,creed or color, I will answer it first. Once we become adults and are no longer living under the roof or having our needs met or provided for us by our parents and their guidance;No one on earth, not our parents, boy/girl friend, spouse,Church,employer,government or corporate have a right to infringe on or usurp our own right to think for ourself and to choose.

That includes what we think,what we believe in, on all levels of our life,who we marry, where we work and how we vote. Absolutely everything that makes us the person that we are and become, is in our hands to determine for ourselves, once we move out of the homes provided for us by our parents. Along with the awesome freedom, when we live in America, comes the responsibility to obey ALL the laws of our land and to provide for our own mental,physical and spiritual needs on what level we choose or are capable of providing.

When we work at Corporate America we are owed an honest days pay for an honest days work along with the benefits that many of us pay into or are guaranteed to us before they hire us. Corporate does not owe us a job even when it feels we are qualified for the same. That is why education beyond highschool along with the willingness to travel or move, is so important to the well-being of our livelihood. Government at the same token, owes us nothing more than what “we the people” have paid into. If the voters of the land chose to take away even those entitlements, that we have paid into, tomorrow, we would be entitled to nothing. That is why giving away our vote to anyone person or group,regardless of what function they play in our lives, has paramount importance to it.

One of the biggest divides between the Republican Party as vs. the Democratic Party, in their philosophy is ,to what effect, we as a civilized Nation, do morally owe our less fortunate brothers and sisters that are often hit with hardship, amongst us. Many times ,in my opinion, common sense along with our experience tells many of us, that when people refuse to give, they often times are the first to need the benefits of the more generous amongst us, and many times become the loudest with their complaints, when they do not receive.

It does, many times, depend on how important it is to a Democracy to become the people we wish to be, that does make us the person that many of us wish to become. Giving back, for a great many of us, becomes a necessity for peace of mind and joy of living. In short, our own well-being and happiness, often times depends on remaining the great Democracy that others have fought and died for, regardless of what walk of life we start from, as that is what keeps us United, even while living in opposite parts of our Nation.

So much of what makes both family and America great, is as a result of the good will and charity of both, “we the people” as well as our family. When they both lend a hand to our own well-being it should earn both gratitude and appreciation. We all would be well advised to remember just how important our current Democracy is to all of us, and to understand and remember, to what extent we owe both it as well as family, instead of feeling entitlement as to what they owe us.

Nothing is more precious that living in an American society and that is the reason so many have sacrificed their life to maintain our Democracy,as it is. Again, all well bodied healthy adults are responsible for their own success or failure as well as peace of mind. Use the gifts that each of us are fortunate enough to receive through the genetics of our ancestors, or if we are a believer,God, and make it count.

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We hear all the time about the leftists or the liberals being on the attack against Christianity,Christianity in crises, and various degrees of fault and blame being passed around in the community, as to why Christian Religion is losing it’s connection to the people. Never do we hear much of anything about the failure of the Religious leaders,taking responsibility for creating the problems within the Churches,themselves.

This is part of the reason that Churches are not fulfilling the need of its parishioners. People should never be afraid to question their Church, for fear they will be excommunicated or attacked for doing so. The more we question, the deeper our faith does become. Without questioning our own religion, we can not really develop faith. Giving or receiving answers that have been written,told,brow beaten, or brainwashed into us by somone else, does not mean we have faith. Faith is a deep abiding belief that lies deeply in our souls, that we know individually, to be the truth. It is our own private relationship then, with God and or Jesus, if we are Christian.

As mankind learns more about itself, churches can no longer cling to sin. If what was once considered sin, has been proven to exist due to birth, to mental illness, or a long-lost instinct in mankind, that dates back to the survival of cavemen, then the Churches can not simply change the history books or deny science its rightful place in society, as it has done in the past.

Christ was not so much about preaching against sin, nor pointing out sinners, as He was about charity and forgiveness. As long as Christians preach hell and damnation over charity and forgiveness they will chase off their own followers. One religion stands out in my mind,especially, when it comes to its’ ministers preaching against attendees who will go to hell or are evil, at the same time a family is grieving and burying their dead. Can we deny that this is the fault of anyone, other than the Church itself, if it’s members choose to leave it? They cannot blame the fact that it is because people no longer will sacrifice for their faith, or it is the influence of the left, or society in general has done it. As Free citizens, who have been granted equality by our Constitution, religion cannot deny us the same.

The days of blind faith being brought back by brainwashing children in summer camps, may work temporarily but long-term, it too will fail. The Churches own involvement in politics, business and its own infighting amongst the different and variable Christian beliefs, has robbed it of credibility. When Christians unite, in one Church with its splinter groups of both Evangelicals and Fundamentalist, as other religions have, then the Christian faith will be empowered to lead again.

It is impossible to watch Christians fight over who will go to hell and who will not, according to the different Churches’ belief systems, and not come away disillusioned by the idea,when we all believe in the same God and Jesus. We all decide to what extent we will make personal sacrifices for Him, according to whether the Church we belong to dictates it or not. We have developed independence and refined the ability to think for ourselves over that of our ancestors. If we are not granted our rights to free will and knowledge, granted to us both by God and our constitution we will pick and choose another faith that allows the same. That does not make us atheist,liberal or sinners. It only deepens our own resolve in our relationship with God as well as gives each of us the choice to choose how we will worship Our Redeemer.

Churches quickly learned that by forcing tithing and by loading up their followers’ farm animals or collateral against the tithing they would lose more followers than they kept. How can mankind decide who will burn in hell and who will not. As we advance in knowledge, we become more aware of our own sense of right and wrong. Communications have opened up a much broader realization of the world around us and whereas parishioners use to see the priest or minister as being infallible and a spokes person for God we now recognise that they are people learned in theology, struggling just as we are, and are teachers rather than God’s replacement. I repeat, it is when we learn the courage to question our own Religion through our own convictions, is when we find a lasting faith, in our relationship with God and Jesus.

The Churches of America, made a serious mistake, when they decided to throw out man’s law for God’s law and entered into politics and business, in my opinion. The days of pulpit worship have left us and will no longer allow for religion being above the law. It is through our own example that we lead and the example sit by the Churches do not and will not inspire Faith until they do realize that the real need of religion, is to forgive and offer comfort,without sitting in judgement, as Christ taught.

We have a greater need than ever to want our religious leaders to counsel us in ways of compassion and practicing what they preach. We see way too much hypocrisy in our own families,fellow workers,politicians and daily lives to want to see it in our Churches as well. When the Churches understand that our need for Truth of our spiritual peace and therefore religion is at an all time high, then religion will return to its’ own rightful place of respect, by hearing our needs first.

No One, and I do mean no one, gets a free ride any longer. Every few centuries the Churches have had to revamp themselves to fit the needs of their followers more effectively. That is not always a bad thing, as it does force all of us to earn our rightful place in Society and brings balance without passing the buck, judging, or pointing the finger at the next religion or person. Religion still has and aways will have, a great need to fullfill in our lives as well as to serve, as long as it is willing to humble itself enough to get back to serving the needs and equalities of All of God’s children.

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Although none of us who have compassion or empathy for our fellow-man would want or wish hardship on anyone else, sometimes it can teach us more about our own value or character than anything else in life will. It is very easy to live in a circle or group of people competing with the Joneses and lose sight of our own core values. In some cases, to even form any core values to begin with, does not always occur.

Hardships can teach us to either be grateful for what we have or turn us bitter towards what we lose. People with a positive outlook on life, tend to always be able to see others who have it much worse than they do, where as, a person that feels entitled to live a difficult free life, never seems to think that anyone has it worse than they do, even when their life is much easier than most.

To put a child to work in a soup kitchen, animal rescue, or homeless shelter often times will teach them to understand that without Mom’s and Dad’s help they would be in the same circumstances. Many people are just a paycheck away from being homeless themselves. Often times people do not understand that some of the homeless are working but it still is not paying for the expenses it takes to pay for a home or to come up with the deposits that are required to set up utilities or to leave a deposit to rent. The cost of living is escalating, especially in food, over the last few years in many areas.

Often times they were working at High management jobs or were super-intendants, so the fact that some dress well is simply a carry over from the days that they did have a home and could maintain a wardrobe. People that are not willing to give of their own time and effort are many times eager to judge others. It is when we actually expose our children to the homeless, we do become more understanding ourselves of the circumstances that ended them up in the position that they are now in.

If our child’s only concern is which night club they are going to get in to, or what they are going to wear or buy, or if they can go to the spa then we as parents need to expose them to reality of life and living and the sooner the better.

Just as we would not leave our pets exposed to the elements and helpless we should have the common sense to understand, we do just that, every time we fail to ask anything of our child or children when it comes to them being responsible to themselves. We, in truth, are leaving them both helpless and indifferent towards their own survival as well as to the elements that surround them, when we teach them nothing other than material values.

A helpless or judgemental teenager is not what any rational parents should be striving for, regardless of their economical level in society. Sometimes if we the parents do not take the time to teach compassion or empathy in our child through our own actions or words, then nature or reality will force them into training through hardship.

It is our job to prepare our children for the reality that sometimes life does “suck” and to make them ready to deal with it when it does. Many times, bad things do happen to good people, and our own ability to survive will be based on the core of our own character as well as our own ability to appreciate and understand those whose own circumstances are different from our own.

If you, yourself, have not yet learned that lesson, then I would urge you too, to volunteer at the same or a burn center, or a child’s hospital, or any rescue centers where people deal with and live in trauma everyday of their lives. It will be amazing to you as to just how shallow the drama in your own life has become. It is true some times ,when we fail to appreciate, that we do lose everything that does matter to us. Have a good weekend everybody, knowing that you haven’t tried everything yet. Sometimes nothing teaches us better than reality.

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Everything about who we are begins in the brain. The body is nothing more than the shell, no different from the shell the turtle carries around. We decorate ourselves, spend a small fortune on our wardrobe,diets and make-up but if we put nothing of beauty into the mind it will be empty of character as well as nothing more than an empty shell. Our real beauty lies under the skin and many times it only takes thinking positively of others and giving generously of both our time and efforts, because we feel good about ourselves and treating people equally, for the beauty of our character to shine through.

Anytime we hear a person speaking bitter against another person or group of people on a regular basis we can almost certainly bet that this person has a low threshold when it comes to liking themselves. Many times they are using words that describe their feelings towards themselves when they speak of others. Quite often when we do not like ourselves we will take our contempt for ourself out on the child that most resembles us in both looks, thought and character, or the one that most reminds us of ourself. It rarely is a conscious act on our part but non-the-less it is a regular occurrence in families. Our children do repeat what we say and treat others accordingly.

The lower the opinion we have of ourself the lower our opinion of others and life in general becomes. When we are genuinely positive and compassionate about ourselves while charitable to others, it becomes impossible, or out of our realm of thinking, to treat others poorly. People that brag about themselves and their belongings are simply covering for a deep insecurity in themselves. There are no secure snobs. People that are appreciative and grateful for what they have and celebrate it are altogether different from those that have gained it from no effort or are charged up to the point of drowning in credit debt. It is not uncommon that they will still look for more to fill the emptiness that they are not filling through their own efforts and still carry on about what they are yet to get.

To demean or belittle another makes these ungrateful individuals justified for getting what they have or feel entitled to have it. Unlike other people, many times they grow up as children, learning that they do not have to work for or earn it, in order to have it. By putting others down while promoting themselves they develop a sense of entitlement that releases them from what the rest of the world views as character. For us to think that this type of person struggles to be the best that they can be because we do, is almost always our first mistake.

They learn to parrot us both in the use of words as well as actions if it is to their advantage. Typically though, when left on their own to perform or operate they are the bitches or the jerks that have little to no conscious when it comes to spreading rumors, words they use to describe others, or the lies they tell.

People with low self-esteem sometimes feel a narcistic need, to wear a mask and to protect their disguise. Many times they will profess an empathy or compassion that is neither real or sincere. They simply learn over the years that honey attracts more bees than vinegar.

These people are never truly happy as life is all about the fear of their being discovered as the fake they are. It is hard to disguise a negative opinion of life forever so when their veneer starts revealing itself or running thin they throw out the people who are getting too close to them and move onto the next person to live out their scam.

They’re truly are others with low self-esteem that are genuinely kind and withdrawn so do not confuse low self-esteem with low character as to do so would be an injustice. I am only trying to explain the person that fools a great many of us while trying to pretend to have the character that they do not own or use for any reason other than to attract us to them.

If we learn nothing else from this type of person we need to know that this same shallow individual has potential of being our own child if we never teach them responsibility towards both their positive as well as negative reactions towards life. Good behavior rewarded while bad behavior is punished, must be a rule of thumb, rather than a some time happening. Teaching them to earn what they have and that playing games or scams will be punished along with the surly words that come out of their mouths should also remain consistent.

Keeping a child busy doing the things that keep them out of our hair will also be seen through by the child as a way to get rid of them. So for those of you that do get tired of parents always being blamed, this is a reason why parents do get blamed for the disturbed adult and all of the above is only a partial explanation as to why they do.

I agree with you all, that by the time they do become adults, it is time to quit blaming their parents and start changing themselves. The question at that time becomes, “how much responsibility are we the parents turning over to them, so that they can and do take charge of their lives?” As long as we allow them to manipulate us or we make their decisions for them, then we are still responsible for them, and still have no one to blame but ourselves. Nothing will ever teach them character quite as well as allowing them to develop it through their own handling of hardship and our letting go of them so that they do.

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Charity is the one ingredient in life that is missing in the efforts being reported by the media, the right-wing and within our Churches today and that is why ultimately all their efforts will fail.

Too many people see charity as something that we do for others and fail to recognize that it is also what we feel, think and say about others. How can we find credibility in any organization like the Tea Party when they spew so much hatred towards OBama? Or in our Churches when they express such a lack of charity towards Gays? Then there is the media that sensationalizes everything to the point that we lose total sight of, if there was any charitable thought behind the message, or if it was just about the dirt gathered or the lies told.

Since I would rather keep this to what the importance of charity is to us, as an individual, instead of going into the lack of it being shown in our Country today, I will leave it at that and hope somehow the message gets through to the people involved that action without charity is bound to fail.

When I was going through one personal crises on top of the other I found that it was the acts of charity that kept me busy on other people’s problems that would ultimately be the greatest act of kindness towards my own well-being of all. Medicine can only do so much and then it is up to us to do the rest.”Patient heal thyself” is never so evident as when we feel that we need to find someone or something to lean on the most.

In my own efforts I found it difficult to explain to people why I would knowingly be helping someone who would ultimately betray me. They found it necessary to warn me that while I was giving of my time and charity by painting her apartment for her she was out partying and apparently felt it odd that I would be helping someone who would feel comfortable enough to have me doing her work free for her while she played. I tried to explain to them without little success that it wasn’t so much about what she was doing or needed as it was about what I needed at the time.

No this was not the type of charity without strings attached but I mention it because most charity that we do for others comes with strings attached. Most people do charity to fulfill a need in them. It can be with the mentality of their own image or an act to obligate others or because doing so makes them feel better about their own lives. Charity in its purest form is neither self-serving or hate filled and certainly not something that we say or do for others and then resent the fact that we did them the favor in the first place or is it filled with lies.

To find a true act of pure charity then we must look at people who do and say what they do and say without expectation of the same. It needs to be said or done for the clear purpose of the need of the person and many times without the person, themselves, knowing where the charity came. When we find remorse because we said something kind about a person or did a deed that went both unappreciated or unacknowledged then we have given charity for the purpose of our own self-esteem or need rather than for the person it was intended to help.

When the “hat gets passed” in the office for another’s birthday and we contribute because if we didn’t we are concerned of what others would think we are not giving out of a charitable attitude. The same is true when we pay our taxes and then try to remove Social Security when we know that over the years it has been the only thing that has kept a roof over the head of many of our elderly. We complain about welfare even when we are collecting much more in unemployment that what we paid into the program.

The truth is that none of us will ever live our lives without having a pure act of charity done for us or to us whether it be that person that makes our stay pleasant, talks well about us when others speak poorly even though they hardly know us, finds our pet and returns it without accepting a reward, babysits for us free of charge when Mom or Dad need to run an errand or leave town on an emmergency, drops off food at a time of loss, gives through any and all charitable organizations or group anonymously and the list goes on. Even then it is still extremely difficult to do an act of random kindness for another without feeling that the real reward goes to ourselves because of the way we feel when we do contribute without strings attached.

Long story short, if you are between solutions in your life, suffering pain as a result of trauma, or just in a malaise of some sort do something for someone else without need to be repaid and see how much better it makes you feel. Nothing gets our minds off of our own problems faster than helping someone who we recognize of having far greater of a problem than what we have.

It may be difficult right now because of how you are feeling, but there is always someone else that is experiencing worse problems than we are. In many cases, it might even be our own caregivers. Remember then the most important of all gifts is charity as it will give us both the healing power of Faith and the inspiring gift of hope. Enjoy your Sunday as it was intended to enjoy and that is with charity in your heart towards others, and I will guarantee you will have a good day.

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