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Posts Tagged ‘spiritual’

Secular Philosophic presentation….with refutation by Rev. Bruce for the REAL World

Posted by tawodi on April 9, 2012


Here is a further presentation of a person’s,  “personal Philosophy”  based on modern “assertiveness theory.”

There was more presented than you see here,  but I have taken the liberty of editing it to eliminate those things that took away from his “basic assertions” to show why…In my opinion, as one human to another this can be a pzzz poor way to treat people if you’re not damned careful about it!

HAPPINESS IS GETTING WHAT YOU NEED.

EVERYONE NEEDS: Liberty, peace, health, sex, mind exercise, knowledge,
personal associations, art and creativity, character and a sense of
justice, and to be assertive (to be able to say “no” without feeling
guilty).

NO ONE NEEDS ARBITRARY POWER OVER OTHER PEOPLE – but it is normal to want it.
(I have added here a couple phrases to Mortimer Adler’s definition of happiness).

Also assertive behavior is associated with happiness

The Science of Assertiveness theory — aka folk knowledge (trial and error science)

Assertive (Leadership) behavior of humans: Builds relationships

Will the long-term affects be worse than any short-term discomfort I may feel if I am assertive in the first place?

The word “NO”, may have to be repeated over and over, as in a broken record.

An angry and loud communication can be assertive if one is expressing feelings (Using the word “I”, ( I am really god damn anger at you …)

vs. HOSTILE behavior-destroys a relationship: … You dumb ass, didn’t your mother teach you to report to work on time, etc. etc. Why, didn’t you do such and such….

If someone has a habit of saying, “Why, don’t you do such and such…” we all understand this to mean “I want you” to do such and such. There seems to be some kind of a minor taboo in our culture against people saying straight up, that they want.
On the use of the word YOU:

…the use of the word “you” is assertive when a person is acting in the role of boss, parent, or leader, for example, a law enforcer, a teacher, the chair of a meeting.

“You are expected to” (follow the rules, etc) , then every time the other person comes up with excuses, sob stories, etc, repeating this phase again and again (“You are expected to” (aka using the broken record shows the other person that you are not afraid to stand your ground and they need for them to rethink their poor behavior.

But remember being skeptically silent is assertive. Meaning if I try to get the last word.. will I get punched in the nose or some other bad result.

Speaking up in a group to speak is assertive because one is taking the “psychological space” of the whole group.

Hostile behavior: A person uses sarcasm and intimidation to get what they want. One may get what they want, but destroys the relationship afterwards.
It is easy to give up the benefits of hostile behavior when I value myself enough to avoid getting agitated over minor issues and when I am imperfect and incorrect.

Non-assertive behavior: (shy behavior) doing nothing about unpleasant situations and simply try to ignore ones feelings and desires. While it may prevent conflicts with others, one probably will wind up feeling helpless, exploited, angry, and disappointed with one’s self. Being “too shy” to do something.

For example, “I am sorry to bother you.” This is an example, of how being NICE sucks us into a non-assertive down-hill fall. vs. “I want to talk to you.” “ I need your help or I need or want to talk to you.”

or “It was nice talking to you.” (when it wasn’t and you didn’t enjoy talking to them).

Basic Assertive Rights:

1. The right to act in ways that promote my dignity and self-respect as long as others’ rights are not violated in the process.
2. The right to be treated with respect.
3. The right to say no and not feel guilty.
4. The right to experience and express feelings.
5. The right to take time to slow down and think.
6. The right to change my mind.
7. The right to ask for what I want.
8. The right to do less than I are humanly capable of doing.
9. The right to ask for information.
10. The right to make mistakes.
11. The right to feel good about myself.
Must I always assert my rights?
No, I am always free to choose not to assert myself, assuming that I am also willing to take the responsibility for whatever consequences may then occur.
” I don’t have to be assertive all the time”. Or “I don’t have to be perfect.. I have a right to make mistakes.”

Source: The Assertive Option by Patricia Jakubowski and Arthur J. Lange
and NO TRESPASSING by Barker and Barker.

REBUTTAL BY REVEREND BRUCE.

In the following I included the list of his “basic assertive rights,” again,   for clarity of presentation. If you re-read the upper portion though you will see that the whole premise is shot full of holes from the git go…..At the end of the presentation I explain how and why. ENJOY!….AND AS ALWAYS……..CHOOSE WISELY……………..TAWODI.

Basic Assertive Rights:

1. The right to act in ways that promote my dignity and self-respect as long as others’ rights are not violated in the process.
2. The right to be treated with respect.
3. The right to say no and not feel guilty.
4. The right to experience and express feelings.
5. The right to take time to slow down and think.
6. The right to change my mind.
7. The right to ask for what I want.
8. The right to do less than I are humanly capable of doing.
9. The right to ask for information.
10. The right to make mistakes.
11. The right to feel good about myself.
Must I always assert my rights?
No, I am always free to choose not to assert myself, assuming that I am also willing to take the responsibility for whatever consequences may then occur.
” I don’t have to be assertive all the time”. Or “I don’t have to be perfect.. I have a right to make mistakes.”
Source: The Assertive Option by Patricia Jakubowski and Arthur J. Lange
and NO TRESPASSING by Barker and Barker.

While I find your treatise interesting it kinda falls short in several respects. As latter day Philosophical arguments are wont to do.

I must admit that most of it will stand a simple examination sort of only at the surface of it but I will outline my exceptions and give you the WHY at the end of my post.

Assertiveness training is largely a crock and here’s why.

Basic Assertive Rights:

1. The right to act in ways that promote my dignity and self-respect as long as others’ rights are not violated in the process. [Granted; Not bad on surface examination, but there are corollaries extent, for instance; who decides the “right” of the issue? ]

2. The right to be treated with respect. [ To be treated with respect in almost any surrounding isgranted by earning it Not simply because you demand it. What makes you special?]

3. The right to say no and not feel guilty. [granted; unless it comes from risk assessment to your self…. and not to others!]]

4. The right to experience and express feelings.[Granted; You should be aware though,  your assumption here…. is that anyone CARES how you feel about the issue at hand….. Sorry about that. ]

5. The right to take time to slow down and think.[ Granted;  if time permits…but remember…. it will NOT BE…. if you do not grant that same luxury to others under your charge.]

6. The right to change my mind.[ Granted;  Only someone with an ossified mind would refute this. As long as you are willing to bear the expense, and consequences, of doing so.]

7. The right to ask for what I want. [Granted]….just don’t expect to get it.

8. The right to do less than I are ( sic)…. (am)…. humanly capable of doing. [Granted;  reciprocity being an equal granting of “the right” by you…… When you are the one who is forced to make excuses for poor production performance]

9. The right to ask for information. [Granted;  one cannot proceed very well in any endeavor without accurate information……. Be ready to say you didn’t understand what you were told though.]

10. The right to make mistakes. [Granted;  Every body does…Are you ready to stand and say…. NO EXCUSE SIR!…. If so then…. Carry on!]

11. The right to feel good about myself. [Granted;  IF you deserve to! ]

Must I always assert my rights?

No, I am always free to choose not to assert myself,  assuming that I am also willing to take the responsibility for whatever consequences may then occur. [WHAT responsibility? You didn’t offer any thing to what ever develops, did you?] Ergo: cheap cop out!

” I don’t have to be assertive all the time”. [Granted;  Because that would be a little overbearing wouldn’t it?]

Or “I don’t have to be perfect”….” I have a right to make mistakes.” [Granted;…. Asked and answered.]

Sir; please understand that my issue is not with you, but, when a piece is delivered by some one else… even if attributed to them…. and then claimed as a personal philosophy,…. well then it AIN’T very damned personal then….. IS IT?

It BEGS,  literally BEGS,  to be defeated  seriatum,  ( or, in detail.)

But for modern day philosophy, being what that is….. I would rate it at about fifty per cent….. on the conscience scale.

Be well friends…………….Rev. Bruce……………………………Tawodi

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Contemporary Secular or Relativistic Morality

Posted by tawodi on April 5, 2012


This is from the Military,com forums, where I regularly contribute to the exchanges there between active service members and Veterans who participate.

When I started this thread I fully expected to meet with a storm of resistance. Well I haven’t really and those that disagree seem to be holding their fire so far, as perhaps they research their responses.

I applaud them for that, as it is, as it should be, for a discussion to proceed so as to approach a concensus. Not that there will ever really BE a concensus as too many variables exist to do so….we, none of us, myself included, can convince others we have an answer much less all the answers, to either side of the question.

Now I will proceed to perhaps the pre-eminent of those lauded by atheists and agnostics, and others, who attempt to refute the connections to humanity and the consideration of linkage between morals and conscience. Dr. Richard Dawkins.

In 2006 he published a treatise that purported to present the “scientific argument” against free will and personal responsibility.

In his treatise he surmised that mankind was strictly a product of our environmental conditions in which we were raised by our parents and the place, family framework, social structure and surrounding social environment.

Now this weighty tome was quite the read,  if you lack a brain,  because the whole thing is flawed by positing the argument that it did.  I for one,  being living proof of that flaw and so, damned near, is most of humanity in the modern world especially here in America.

Why? Well since the entire theory posits that we will be so heavily influenced by our prior experiences we are incapable of changing ourselves or our surroundings by an exercise of free will.

In point of fact this publication also went so far as to proclaim with great fanfare among the intelligentsia of the liberal elite, that free will not only didn’t exist, but that it was impossible….FOR…… IT TO EXIST!

Now when you begin to examine the flaws and failures of this modern society we live in
You MUST consider,  that the modern liberal Psychiatric community and that of the Psychological associations agree almost to a person that this is so. Beginning with good old Sigmund Freud,  Jungian theories and so many others,  if you want to know who go look it up yourself, I ’haven’t the time ! In fact Dawkins even made these following statements in this tome of intelligent comments, which I quote for your edification. Don’t thank me, too many people take this man seriously!

1. “Doesn’t a truly scientific, mechanistic view of the human nervous system make nonsense of the very idea of responsibility?”

2. Any crime, however heinous, is in principle to be blamed on antecedent conditions acting through the accused’s physiology, heredity and environment.”

3. Dawkins even made the statement that…and I quote once again, “ Isn’t the murderer or rapist just a machine with a defective part?”

Now how to put this in perspective? First you must understand I may be guilty of condensing it just a smidgeon! Trust me,  there was a whole lot more verbiage and bluster and quite frankly, bloviating,  to cover any apparent errors in judgement or need I say….reasoning?

How can I get you to grasp my meaning but by anology. You know I love them!

You are driving your car to somewhere….it breaks down…..you step from the vehicle with an iron bar and begin beating the car with it!!

This what Dawkins and others are suggesting! There is no point to punishing people for their crimes…THEY HAD NO CHOICE!! They’ve got a bad transmission…or something!

Now so you can understand further,  let us go back in time to the Menedez Brother’s trial for the double murder of their mother and father. If the memory is fuzzy I will clear it for you,  then you can remember your disbelief and rage at the verdict.

ENTER; The frizzy headed blond ( blond….?  is there a joke here?) no, unfortunately there is not. I certainly wish I could be more emphatic, but you can only do so much with italics!

She was the one hold out on the Jury, which caused the Judge to declare a mistrial. In front of the cameras she Quite emotionally stated……” I could NOT vote for conviction!” “They are ORPHANS!”

I saw it,  most of you saw it,  it was all over television for days, remember? Well I certainly do. How about the O.J. trial? There has never been a trial presented with so much clear and damning evidence presented in modern America as that one…..the verdict? Not guilty.

Do you now begin to see what happens when everybodies looking for a pass! This is the world we live in now.

Now are there humans with little or even NO…. conscience? You bet the pants hanger behind you there are!  BUT, do they get a pass to continue to prey on humanity because they’ve got “bad parts” Or do we lock them up and throw away the ROOM if we have to…. to protect others…. never MIND punishment…Or even worse….. correction.

No Prison ever corrected anyone ever! It only “educated them that if they did that or some thing worse there would be a penalty for it…WHY? Because WE as a society SAID SO…….THAT”S….. WHY!! Some things are right…. somethings are wrong….CHOOSE WISELY…….sound familiar? It should.

So…to surmise what does all this mean. Well they mean on the serious side that the denial of free will is neither scientific nor sensible. One may say with all seriousness that science is,  that science that depends on cause and effect to be understood….. as science!

The study of conscience is far more difficult, in that it consists of minutia so small, over so long a time, as to be virtually indecipherable even with a computer. We can study the squiggles on an E.E.G. chart but to decipher what they mean, except in the physical aspects of them, is impossible! We cannot read the squiggles with out the patient telling us what they were thinking! This is also irrefutable.

To suggest that conscience is from the physical is ludicrous in the extreme….Wanna know why….not even you some times know why you “did” something! So explain to me how is THAT possible if it’s all physical. And yes I know about the lizard brain…..and it’s no frigging excuse for your actions except in times of almost fatal stress and reaction!
Times of passion don’t cut it in my book I ALWAYS knew what I was doing no matter how Pzzzd I was!!  What stopped me from acting,  was the knowledge of the consequences, to me, the focus of the anger, (which isn’t always another person) or to my family. Threaten them or me physically then it didn’t matter to me, you’re going down and then we might discuss further developments! My conscience was engaged every second of the confrontation and you’d better believe I knew it! So I refuse to buy the cheap crap excuses we hear every day from these fools that have brought this upon us and insist in forcing us to swallow it .

Free will A modest scientist would immediately concede that science says nothing at all about free will as a spirituality, anymore than it can deny the existence of God.
A materialistic or mechanistic view of the universe that leaves no room for the possibility of spiritual realities, is not a scientific one at all but a philosophical one. There is nothing scientific about denying that possibility.

Now we come to the chicken or the egg part of the discussion. Which came first…conscience or free will.

Well Theologically you MUST have conscience….. to HAVE free will! That is what your conscience is…. FOR! To allow you to choose. The right from the wrong…simple ain’t it…till you use it to solve real life problems THAT presents the difficulties I mentioned before and need not be restated here. Why do you NEED to be able to choose? Well if you have no choice then you DON’T have free will do you? Again Theologically speaking The first commandment (per Jesus) IS…”Love the Lord God with all your heart, all your spirit, all your mind and all your strength”

Without free will there is no love.  There can not be with no choice in the matter. In the case of no choice why would you even need a mind! You would not, everything would be rote repetition of previous experience. I have seen all the arguments about birds build nests and yes they do and according to their species they all build them somewhat differently don’t they…..Why don’t doves all build different KINDS of nests to support that argument. Why don’t beavers build condominiums….. instead of dams with sticks and mud…yeah they’er pretty good dams….. but not much good for anything else are they? That is NOT creation of the new is it? It is rote learned repetition as that is all they are capable of.

And so it is with free will and conscience with out one there is no need of the other.

So here’s the deal folks! You can continue to live with your scientific theories as your sole form of accepting you existence….I will live with my spirituality as mine.

You can NOT prove quite a bit of what you present most times, neither can I at least to you who have never experienced the spiritual in a believable, to you, way.

Be well friends…………..Rev Bruce………………….Tawodi

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A SIMPLE QUESTION ASKED…….What did early Christian meetings look like..?

Posted by tawodi on March 22, 2012


As most of you know I spend time on the Military. com site. While there I and others are asked many questions about religion and the duties of Clergy in general. I took this opportunity to answer one and thought to bring it here for you to ponder and consider…. those very early days before we had sects and divisions, there was only one WAY to follow. that of Jesus the Massiach.

[QUOTE] Early Christian meetings were primarily centered around a shared meal. [UNQUOTE] CPL BUCKLEY.

That was one thing that would stand out. It was called a love feast in those times, something that still exists as Lay ministers and others can do this instead of consecrating the elements of the Eucharist, which they cannot. If the host is blessed by someone in the Apostolic line of succession, (something rather hazy today) then the laity can hold Communion services, which of course is considered a Sacrament.

Baptism is also a Sacrament and there are only two such in most protestant churches, unlike the Catholic Church which considers many rituals Sacraments….such as marriage for instance. In protestant churches the oath, between the woman and the man, is the Sacrament, not the ceremony.

Of course that is not true in some of them!

After the feast, they would discuss Scripture and since they had only what is now known as the Old Testament that was the Holy book under discussion. Most of these discussion centered around prophesy, as one can understand.

As Peter, Silas, Paul, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, (Saul of Tarsus) Ananias, Phillip, Mathias, and Matthew, travelled a bit and some of course on missionary journeys of many miles and great lengths of time, they exchanged ideas, letters and word of mouth communications with one congregation or another. They became known as “Followers of The Way” The symbol, as most know, was the fish…as per Jesus telling the first disciples, “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men”

The Chrysanthamum and the Rose were also early symbols of Christianity as well. It was somewhere around 60 to 75 A.D. that the Cross started to be used as the Christian symbol of the sect. The Chrysanthemum was used on funerary things like Ossuaries and tomb markings, to symbolize the return of life with resurrection.

Three of these are still used today. The Cross of course the fish and the Rose. When some thing is to be kept secret for instance, a rose is placed in a tall vase on the table and then the conversation takes place. After the conversation the rose is burned and the vase is destroyed marking the end of the secret session. From this comes the phrase, “Under the Rose”, to imply the utmost secrecy of the subject at hand. Also the red of the Rose is used to designate the red color and sacrifice of the Sacred heart, as well as it being said that apparitions of Mary, are always accompanied by the scent of roses.

And so, the Followers of the way progressed to ever more formally conducted meetings of prayer, sermonizing, (teaching or “preaching” which means the same thing) and ritual. Which at first consisted of telling the sayings that the disciples and others who remembered Jesus as having said…. and then, finally, about 40 A.D. they began to be written down.

Before you jump my “stuff”. Let me explain that fragments from this period are still in hand with-in the Vatican library/museum, but are virtually useless for any purpose. They DO have over nine hundred fragments from those times but the earliest useful tracts, that exist today, are from about one fifty to two hundred A.D. as most already know.

About eighty years ago it was thought that one of the first copies of “Revelations” of St. John of Patmos had been found, but carbon dating left it in doubt as samples of enough size failed to be obtained, and so it goes.

So, as you can see…. those early meetings were much like today’s house gatherings of worshippers to feast, discuss, worship and share in the experience, of forming a relationship of a personal nature with God, and Jesus The Christ…to enrich their lives in understanding and fellowship.

Be well friends….Rev. Bruce……………………..Tawodi

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A conversation in progress with a Chaplain friend

Posted by tawodi on April 2, 2009


I made a post on another forum and thought it might make for interesting reading here;  The beginning premise of the questions are,   prevenient grace from God.

O.K.

The accusation of not being able to be objective wears a little thin with me and here’s why. For most of my life you could have called me an agnostic at best.

I studied, compared, analysed, debated, argued, fussed, fumed and finally said, the hell with it all, at about the age of thirty two.

Then came Jan 8th 1983….ah crap!!! talked to my counsellor I was seeing at the time, told him what happened and finally said to myself, O.K. fool, now you know what a nervous breakdown feels like!! And got on with it….that’s the way I am, for a whole host of reasons, quit B***chin and GET ON WITH IT!!!

I Kept reading though, checkin’ things out, still wouldn’t fully commit to ministry, though I did attend church sporadically from 1991 on and did work as a lay speaker and things.

2002 June, Bang!!! Slam!!! Dunk!!! Alright why me, and moreover, why NOT me?? Started REALLY checking things out and found out something….there have been literally hundreds of times when things that I did, made no sense what-so-ever for the person I was at the time, but they all each and every one of them turned out good and sometimes with totally unforseen outcomes that were NEVER seen that way before by me till I sought the answers.

And man, did I get some flipping answers!!!

Now, I don’t ask a single person to accept, or believe, the reality that I have found, because they have to find it on their own….but it is real, it is proven, and I live it every day and will till I die!!

AND!!! It was REASON that brought me here!!

So make of it what you will, I will not argue it, I will not defend it, it needs no defense, I’m not selling it to you, if you want it, it’s free!! Take it or leave it…your choice…..

Choose wisely….T

And, immediately followed that with this for others who participated.

Alright fellas I needed to say the forgoing first, because there’s more!!

The above is about me, and me alone. Others have had similar experiences and feel as I do. Some are not as erudite as I, so be it. Some are much more so….so be it.

There are others though, that have NOT done the work I and others have done. They listen to others tell them things and parrot those things as gospel and fall into large dark places and bring others with them. I don’t argue that point with you, or anybody else, because it is true.

Extremeism is ugly, destructive and deadly, as we all know and it is destructive in ways that are not violent but destroy the person, not the place, on personal levels not seen with the eye, in families, in society and in the world in general.

All of you also know I’m not afraid to call a spade a spade and point out along with you, those times when it needs doing, and I do more than just point fingers, as you all know as well.

But to stop the destruction, stop the violence, and stop the devision, you guys of no religious systems and I, are in my mind, allies and brothers in arms, as we once were, for real, in the world. I take pride in seeking justice with you in those times when it is hard to find, or simply overlooked because of biases that some possess and can not see beyond.

So, stick that in your hooka and smoke it!!

Angel/Devil T

And then my friend asked the following question;

Bruce…

Did you ever wonder why we only see the real prevenience when looking back. Sometimes over many years and in many situations, but always when looking back. Just some thoughts…
Be well…
CJ

And, the answer was………

Yeah C.J., I have wondered that, and don’t any longer.

What has to transpire, is the loss of surity of, “self”.

Some thing, or series of some things, must occur to rattle you down to your very core and force you to ask questions of your self, that are too frightening to ask under normal circumstances, or the need simply never arises within you to ask them.

That something does NOT have to be life threatening, destructive, or simply uncomfortable. It must motivate you, to do the work, to see who you REALLY are though.

You must be willing to stand naked in front of the mirror of your mind, SEEING the scars and how you got them, the pimples, the warts, ALL of it, and take each answer as it comes, honestly, no matter how disparageing to your self image it may be, no matter how painful the truth is, and incorporating it into who, and WHAT, you truly are.

I have learned, that very damned few of us will do that.

I learned it by the time I was twenty, I never could stand the illusions that people try to foist off on me, and could not stand excuse making on my part either. This has caused untold misery for me in my life, because if you have no illusions about yourself, others see that, and they understand that you will not tolerate theirs, about themselves. This is enemy making 101 in the social hierarchy that we have created in the world today. Perhaps it always was, I don’t know.

I mostly kept to myself, even when participating in so many different things, throughout my life.

The short answer to your question is, we always credit ourselves with too much, when citing our accomplishments, forgetting family, friends, co-workers, and too many others, that are forgotten along the way, that we learned from, took advantage of, or simply observed and copied, to achieve whatever it was, we have achieved.

Never mind giving credit to God, for the very life we enjoy!!!

I sincerely believe, that when people see how little it is, that they truly “control”, it is of a power to drop most to their knees!!! It scares the average person to their core, to realise the helplessness that each of us truly labors under, when we tout ourselves so highly, unthinkingly!!

Then when you see, as I have, the indomitable courage of the aged to face life on it’s own terms as the end come rushing toward them, it is the most humbling thing to endure as you witness it.

The posturing of the politicians, and the power that people ascribe to them, to control their existence is laughable. When you KNOW the truth about life. The atheists have, by and large, bestowed the fealty that you and I feel toward God, to men, politics, and themselves. It would be sad, if it wasn’t so futile and empty, becuase of it’s predictable futility.

Politics is the new religion of the twenty first century. It’s too bad that it is already showing itself threadbare and worn, as the politics through the ages, have shown them selves to be.

CLUE; the oldest continuous writings we have, are found in the Bible and almost EVERYBODY misses the point!!!

This is the story of human kind!! NOT how it was formed. NOT who God is. NOT what God wants!! BUT, the stories of HUMAN BEINGS and how they interacted with each other, and the things they SHOULD have learned about God, and didn’t, along the way. The stories always have a human protagonist don’t they? There’s a reason for that, the POINT, is how the HUMAN responded, NOT God!! God is consistant, even predictable, while through out the Bible man is not!! All the variables, the foibles, the frailty, the dishonesty, the thieving, murderous nature of us all, is exposed for all to see, and people concentrate on God when they ought to be examining themselves!! THAT is the point!! Self examinination and THEN, apply the lessons learned in the BOOK!

So, all in all, that is why we don’t see it, till we look back!!

T

As you can see there is some stuff here to think about that is of a personal nature for us all, as I said choose wisely!!

Rev. Bruce…………………………………….Tawodi

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Old things, New things, Different things

Posted by tawodi on February 17, 2009


I have been ill for the last three months on and off,  that is why,  with apologies,  I have not written much at all. Quite frankly I wasn’t sure if I would be able to keep going at all but things are,  for now,  improving.

As most of you, we are also girding our loins for the future,  which is any thing but clear for all of us. In as much as the financial institutions of the country and much of the world have been gutted, by the people and politicians who were in charge of,  and also supposed to protect them,  and us. 

So,  like everybody else,  I have been watching carefully the turn of events and praying for a good outcome….we will see.

O.K. now for something new. For some time I have been in touch with a man who is in India conducting a ministry of support for 15 local villages and their people.  Most of what he has been doing is teaching people how to create small truck gardens to help feed their families by growing vegatables and such. In that area,  a small patch the size of the average living room here in the U.S. can provide almost all the needs of a small family,  year-round with careful tending. Also,  his helpers and he,  have been teaching reading and simple math skills and other things to the children, as the government is almost totally absent from this area and does not provide these vital steps up for it’s people.

They are located in Andrha Pradesh in Orissa state and some of you may be aware that,  that area of India has been the victim of outbreaks of anti Christian violence over the last few years. There is a great deal of inter-religious strife, ignorance and violence because the local shamans see Christianity as a threat to the social structure, such as it is.

This man,  Pastor Cornelius Sikala by name,  has helpers who conduct with him this life saving and enriching work in 15 villages in the local area. And they need,  rather desparately,  the help that some may be able to give.

I have checked very carefully and these are ligitimate people and activities, so I am throwing whatever I can for support their way and reaching out to all everywhere for help for them.

You can reach them at the following e-mail address  graceministries177@gmail.com  once you have contacted him he will give you all his bank particulars so you can check him out and then send whatever help you can.

This is the first time I have done this and is a new thing for Tree of The Mustard Seed Ministries, as we also operate solely on a no fee and no compensation basis ourselves, to provide the care we do.

I am going to up load a few pictures of their work at Grace Ministries for you to see here. Pastor Sikala has sent me dozens of pictures.

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Immediatly above is Pastor Sikala,  above that are pictures of his congregants gathering clothes,   food and tools for the villages they serve. Please help these people all you can,  ANYTHING you send will help.

Blessings on you all,  here’s hoping I can continue……Rev. Bruce………………………Tawodi

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From The Pastor’s Page, Tree of The Mustard Seed Ministries

Posted by tawodi on July 10, 2008


 

Today, after listening to the archived version of my show, a very important thing occurred to me. Prayer, yes I know it is second nature to me,  but is it to you?
 
While I was listening, I decided to create a segment for the show and flashed on this new site and thought, WOW  what a way to introduce the page, and people, to just what it is we do here at The Tree of The Mustard Seed! After all, we don’t sell anything, why are we here!! We are here to bring to people a little something they don’t get anywhere else. Themselves and their relation to God, most that we serve can not go to church, for health reasons, or debility due to age. One of the nursing homes I serve, down loads my show and plays it on M.P.3. players for their residents and  it is enjoyed by them. It is free this way and they can make as many copies as they want by loading it into their computer and downloading to all their M.P.3’s!!
 
                     So,  here is the first installment of The Pastors Page
Have you ever heard of active listening? In relation to prayer? What it entails is learning to find that still small voice you may have heard so much about, but don’t know how to hear. Remember God speaks to us in the stillness, or the quiet places. His voice is often lost among the hurly burly sounds of life as we struggle through our daily existence, you are not alone in this maelstrom of noise and confusion. Even the people who are homebound, feel the pressures of life, just in a different way.
   I myself, must actively create a quiet time for prayer, usually in the early morning when my wife and daughter are still asleep. First you must compose yourself as best you are able, it will take some time to learn to do this. Then you simply pray as you normally do. The difference comes now, still yourself, listen.Allow at least fifteen minutes to do this.  People usually ask at this point, “what am I listening for! This is the question! What you are literally trying to hear is, God!  Will you?  Eventually yes. How?  By feeling mostly, it is a hard thing to accept that God would talk to you isn’t it?  But ask yourself, why wouldn’t He? After all,  your Bible, your preachers and pastors,  have been telling you all of your life, you are a child of God haven’t they? Well, then why wouldn’t He talk to you!!
   Maybe this is the problem,you don’t really, deep down, believe that do you? Your not worth talking to, at least by God are you?  WRONG!!!
You certainly are worth it!!  How do you know this Rev. Bruce? ? How…..it’s simple…..Jesus gave up his life for you didn’t He!  Why.  WHY,  Would He do that,  if you weren’t worth it!!!  By your lack of faith in your own worth, you have been crippled in your prayer, probably all of your life! If your prayers are crippled by this lack of faith in you. How can your faith in anything He told you be believed? This is really terrible to think about isn’t it? Well don’t give up, faith takes time, time well spent in listening. You WILL hear that still small voice. When?  When you are ready, it can not be forced,  it can not be willed,  it can not be wished into existence,  it simply must be accepted. That is terribly difficult to believe I know, but if you have the faith of a grain of mustard seed you will be rewarded! It is written! And, it is true. I have seen so many times, when people are ready to give up,  when their hearts are broken when they think not even God can love them He shows them that He does indeed love them. You see God didn’t go away….You did! Come back to His unlimited love, it is waiting for you still, in the silence of compassion and love that God is, in the stillness, that He will share with you, God is still there, always was, always will be.
   May his blessings sustain you,  may His peace fill you,  may this coming week be full of God’s enveloping grace, Selah,  AMEN.
 

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YOU ARE A VERB!!!

Posted by tawodi on April 3, 2008


One of the nursing homes that I visit and preach at is going through a bout with a tummy bug and they don’t want me there to catch it so YOU LOSE!! I’m home today!! (just kiddin’)Look into your hearts for your own answers. Some one above said,  I don’t know what angers the militant Muslims,  so I won’t even go there.NEWS FLASH!! TAWODI DOES!! So really, do you.

Winning and loosing and the word,  enough,  is what is wrong, and it can be fixed.

Change your thinking,  change your heart,  yeah it is that simple and yes,  so terribly difficult. Do you know why,  because you’re afraid if you choose to think this way,  you MAY lose, and that would suck wouldn’t it, bear with me here this is NOT some pie in the sky “liberal rant” just a slightly different way of maybe seeing your own life.

HUNGER; It is a fact, there is enough food in the world to feed everybody NOW. Why do almost thirty thousand a DAY starve to death somewhere in the world?? Is this what you would term just natural? As most do. Or is it a CHOICE?

When you insist on attacking some one, because they don’t believe as you, are you afraid of losing YOUR salvation as you have been told you will, so become even more militant in your approach? This is a CHOICE.

When you attack someone of faith because they don’t agree with some of the provable immorality of some life choices that you don’t have a problem with, note, I say here you don’t practice them but, have a real problem with people that call them wrong? This is a CHOICE.

I DO NOT MEAN HOMOSEXUALITY don’t even go there people!!

I mean destructive to themselves and their families ALCOHOL, DRUGS, TOBBACO, and other destructive things, there are hundreds.

LOOSING, is the reason you think by limiting the choice of some, they think to limit yours, so you will lose, thats why you do it (attack the religious)

Now to the meat of it.

Hunger would go away tomorrow if we CHOOSE for it to, yes it would, all we need do is gather together and say to our “great leaders”… THIS STOPS NOW!!!… Why don’t we?…………Well T some body would have to “give up ” something!!!

Who?? What would they have to “give up” or “lose”??

Example; when I was working I would stop every morning on the way to the job site (I had my own little business) buy a cup of coffee a doughnut and a couple of packs of butts, cost? $12.56 This was at least 5 days a week and usually we stop and grab coffe after church on the weekends and I used to be running all the time so would get one or two more cups a day, as well. One day I was watching an ad for the Christian childrens fund and SHAZZAM burst of clarity!! The next morning I went to Dunkin Doughnuts bought two 1 qt. thermos jugs, two lbs. of coffee and went home. From then, till now, my wife and I drink ONLY D.D. coffee (the best!!) Don’t smoke near as much, (we’ve almost quit) and supoort three of the kids somewhere in the world.Cost of coffee not quite 5.00 a week for us now, cost of thermos jugs 14.00 dollars (still got em, and use em,) 71.oo a month to the Christian childrens fund voila!! three little kids that get enough to eat a smattering of education the knowledge that somebody gives a crap about them, who will probably never meet them and, the chance……….just the chance, that they may be the ones to choose to save the world. WE LOST NOTHING!! We have gained the knowledge of hope for them, and for us, in what they may become!!

We helped them to CHOOSE to reach for the best vision of themselves that they can be and BECOME IT!! Was it in the doing, we got this sense of good? No it is in the BEING. this is where the change of heart will begin…….

YOU ARE A VERB, not a NOUN!!

YOU are a human……BEING……that word BEING is the secret to who you are!! And, WHAT you are. Sounds too simple doesn’t it? here it comes!!

At any given moment you are being “someone” and “something” aren’t you? Come on, give it up, you know this is TRUE!! You are “Being” even as you read this aren’t you? Of course you are, if you aren’t “being” you’re NOT HERE!!!

Now what are you “doing” as you are “Being” ? Well, right now, you’re reading this aren’t you, that is doing, why not take your highest vision of what you are “being” and then “doing” something with it!!

You CAN’T LOSE, THERE IS NO LOSE!!! As you would be ….DO…and you will become as you see YOU, there is NO loss in this course of action.None!

I know in my guts you’re probably thinking, oh well another one over the edge, but stop, THINK, what have you got to “lose” Did we “lose our morning coffee? No, we have MORE and any time we want it, the best there IS!! We have become that we never thought we could be, simply by “being it’!!! Find some small inconsequential thing, do as we have for a short while, look for the change that your choice brings in your perception of your self, as a self defining developing…BEING OF CHOICE… then sit, cogitate, think, how does it feel?? You will be yearning for the next step in learning who YOU are and, we will take it together, you are not doing this for anyone, you are doing it for you!!!

Be a verb, start BEING that which YOU choose.

Be well all…………….Tawodi

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