1minion invites God in – Listen Carefully to Find the Way

Reminder – other posts in this series are under the tag: Inviting God In

Today’s devotional (no.4 on page 23) begins with this Bible verse:

Your Teacher will not hide…but your eyes shall see your Teacher…your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:20-21

Everyone needs a little guidance in their life once in a while, whether it’s a work mentor, a fitness or nutritional expert, or even the IT guy who knows it’s not just a case of turning it off and on again. For Joyce Rapp, author of this Inviting God In book, God’s the Teacher who matters the most.

We need to trust that God will be with us in our searching and our decision-making. If we long ot follow God’s ways, Holy Wisdom will surely guide us and teach us what is best for us.

Well…

Let’s think about that a little.

First, is this a case of someone who feels God speaks to them and (amazingly!) tells them exactly what they want to hear in order to justify whatever it is they feel like doing?

Or, are we talking about a person who’s looking through the Bible and finding passages that they can self-interpret in order to justify whatever they feel like doing?

Is this a regular day-to-day Joe who hopes for some “sign” as to whether or not he should switch jobs, or is this a pastor who’s manipulating the Word of God in order to make himself wealthy at the expense of his flock? God says I need a jet because I’m closer to God if I’m high up and going fast…

Isaiah also implies that we need to listen. Rarely will we hear the words of God as clearly as those in Isaiah 30, but if we daily attune to God through prayer…we can trust that we can make good decisions.

I’ll just note here that Rupp’s verses are being pulled from a 1989 edition of the New Revised Standard Version and the New International Version runs it this way:

20 Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. 21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

That’s the “fun” thing about the Bible. The verses are going to change and be reinterpreted depending on which version you’re exposed to. In this one, t seems God’s throwing the crap at you and the implication with the word “teachers” seems to me to mean you may find help from anyone to help you with the Job job God’s gone and done to you.

And, I’d say that terms of good decisions, the best ones are the ones made with the most thought put into the them. That’s not always the case, I know, but I don’t tend to be an impulse thinker. I like to weigh my options and proceed with caution – at least in cases when the decision is a big one. I don’t really care about where we eat supper, but I will care about where we live or what car we buy or whether or not to get the basic or premium health plan. I’m sure I’m not alone in that.

Next time – remembering our gifted ancestors

Advertisements
Posted in religiosity | Tagged | Leave a comment

People can absorb energy from others? NO!

Via Facebook and the Idealist page, I find this link to Earth We Are One. They don’t like people copy/pasting which means I have to type it out. No big.

First they claim “science confirms that people can absorb energy from others” as the headline. When you start the first paragraph you can likely agree with the author that it’s a bit of a mood booster to walk into a room with happy people in it. And then comes the science:

…research from the Unviersity of Bielefeld in Germany now provides, even more, concrete proof of energy transformations; more specifically, plants have demonstrated the ability to absorb energy from neighboring plants.

In the case of this study mentioned, some kind of algae was found to be able to transfer and absorb energy. Next comes a definition of bioenergetics, which is the mechanism by which this works:

the branch of science which specializes in the behavior of energy in living things

This is a real thing I’ve never heard of. Other explanations elsewhere specify its effects at a cellular level and others get mildly wooish from psychotherapy applications to naturopathy.

According to Olivia Bader-Lee (physician and therapist)

I break in now to Google her name because I’ve already noted the wootastic applications of this.

First link that pops up is Snopes.com and a big old red FALSE label on this story.

I guess I could quit now.

The end point I was going to bring up here is another one (or more) of the logical fallacies inherent in these kinds of stories. The science is legit. From Snopes’ look at a similar article that:

distorts the findings of an actual scientific study about a species of green algae called Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. That research, published in the journal Nature Communications on 20 November 2012, demonstrated that — in addition to photosynthesis — this species of green algae, under sub-optimal growing conditions, can derive energy by breaking down and consuming the cellulose (the main molecule of a green plant’s cell walls) of other nearby plants, too.

So energy transfer within a plant. Cool and interesting. Wish I cared more about biology and chemistry to look into this further than my arm chair. What does a plant have to do with a person’s energy though? Where’s that coming from?

Bader-Lee suggests that the field of bioenergy is now ever evolving and that studies on the plant and animal world will soon translate and demonstrate what energy metaphysicians have known all along — that humans can heal each other simply through energy transfer just as plants do.

So no proof of a truth here, just a hopeful speculation that others have taken on board as the reality of our new bonding abilities. Snopes calls this the “bait and switch” approach.

It’s a nice idea, I agree, that we could connect with humans on another level and take some advantage from it – but this is already an idea in terms of the opposite – emotional vampires. I don’t think there’s anything scientific to it, but the idea there is that some people just suck the joy out of everybody they come across like they’re vampires. Most anyone can think of an example of someone they know who’d qualify. But anecdotal evidence is not scientific measuring of validity.

I guess that’s it.

Posted in science, skepticism | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Sounds of Sunday – Invisible Minds

Found entirely by accident. I was actually thinking of “A Criminal Mind” by Styx in my brain as I was humming, but looked up Invisible Minds instead. Happy accidents, I must say. This is really awesome.

Posted in Sounds of Sunday | Tagged , | Leave a comment

1minion invites God in – what healing do I need?

Look for more of these daily devotionals under the tag: “Inviting God In”

This is #3 on p.22 (The book’s called Inviting God In by Joyce Rapp — you can kindle it if you want it)

Great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the maimed, the blind, the mute, and many others. They put them at his feet, and he cured them. Matthew 15:30

I did Catholic school for the first 8 years. I’ve always assumed I was sent because my cousins were already attending so at least I’d know people there. I was never baptized. All I really recall out of the religion classes were the parables and stories we’d read. Usually there’d be something regarding the miracles of healing but I think I was already an atheist by the age of 8 and never put much credence to the tales being non-fiction.

(There used to be this show on TV called Circle Square — I knew their mailing address better than I knew my own. It was a religious themed Saturday morning show and they had cute cartoons for the parables, too. But I digress.)

So while the stories promote Jesus as being this major miracle man bringing back the dead, making the lame walk and the blind see, what’s Rapp’s thoughts on what He can do for us today?

Advent…is a good time to pause and ask: What is there within my life that I need to bring to the feet of Jesus for healing? Has part of my life gone lame? Has my enthusiasm waned?

My interest wanes in terms of quoting more of that, but you get the idea. Rather than look at herself and her ability to solve her own problems, she wants someone else to do it. Pretty lame, Milhouse. Gravity can move a slinky down a slope, but you still have to start the slinky. Also, the examples she uses aren’t dismemberment or disease level. It’s more like, “I’m bored, Jesus. Fix it.”

Hardly the most satisfying solution to a problem, if you ask me.

Next up – Listen carefully to find the way

Posted in atheism, religiosity | Tagged | Leave a comment

And I balk at paying $14.95 for a calendar that has 12 pictures in it

CBC reports on a high priced buy from an art auction – Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi sells for more than $450M US

Wowsers.

Dating from the 1500s, the work is billed as the final Leonardo work held in private hands, one of fewer than 20 attributed works by the artist and valued by Christie’s auction house at $100 million US.

Bidding was expected to start at around $100 million, but opened at $75 million. Christie’s said the painting drew bids from at least 45 clients, with the field narrowing as bids soared.

As they would. Jesus, lots of money for a Jesus. It’s a Jesus with some history, though, that not everyone agrees upon.

Since its unveiling in 2011, controversy has swirled around the painting, which was known to exist through copies and inclusion in inventories. The question of whether it truly is a work by the masterful Leonardo is debated to this day. Others wonder if the painted over and over-cleaned panel might actually be a piece on which da Vinci collaborated with a pupil.

Still others remain dubious because of the “incorrect” depiction of the orb in Christ’s hand: the science-obsessed Leonardo would have surely depicted the object’s light-refraction accurately, they argue.

Part of me wishes I’d thrown borrowed cash at the Art History courses in university. I probably would have enjoyed them. Sadly, I’m one of the people who just likes what she likes and can’t go much beyond that on what makes it good.

What I like: pretty much anything by Salvador Dali and Heironymous Bosch, frankly. There are others, but those two would be tops.

Posted in culture | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

We came very close to crashing our car last night so thank the maker…

Of Kia auto parts, especially the brakes and steering system, and whichever company provided the snow tires. Apologies for forgetting your name…I must also thank the Hubs for his calm but urgent “Stop now, stop now, stop now” approach to warning me that the car in front of me stopped moving forward on account of backed up traffic. It is by luck alone on that piece of road that I had clear space beside and behind me to jig to the right and change lanes before smashing somebody in the back end. Thanks also to my parents who wound up teaching me to drive after I avoided every appointment with the instructor in high school. They done good.

My attention had been diverted by a dope in a turning lane clearly marked “Left Turn Buses Only” trying to turn left into non stop traffic. Saskatoon has this event every winter called The Enchanted Forest where they light up the Forestry Farm trees and put up other LED decorations that run the gamut from penguins playing hockey to Noah’s Ark. It’s incredibly popular and last night I suspect a lot of the traffic we were stuck in was heading there. On opening and closing night they have a “no car” event and let people walk the circuit and stop for snacks at a house halfway into the park.

It was our aim last night to do that, so after we narrowly avoided destruction and missed the turn-off in the process, I drove an extra block around and again, thank you to brakes, tires and steering, avoided sliding through a slick 4-way stop. Once we’d finally made it to a safe place to park, we had a bit of a hike to get to the front gate…only to realize just how many other people had gotten there before us. There had to be something close to a hundred waiting to get in and the end of the line looked to be nearly back to the road I’d almost crashed on.

We turned around and went back to the car. Overall, I wasn’t disappointed; I was just happy I hadn’t killed the car getting over there. Last year when we went we must have gotten there close to opening time at 5:30 because I don’t remember there being any kind of a crush of people like that. We could have waited in line but there was no telling how long it would have taken us. The Young One was severely let down, though. We promised him we’ll do a “very slow” drive through one night when we get a chance and try to do the walk on closing night whenever that is in January. Poor kid.

I was lucky to avoid collisions last night; others less so. Saw one truck hung up on the way over with police and tow truck at the ready, and saw police lights on their way elsewhere later, and then on the way home police were blocking a Circle Drive exit west-bound. Flashing lights beyond the Warman Road overpass indicated one or more vehicles had collided with something over there and ground traffic to a halt.

Saskatchewan in Winter… Be careful out there, wherever you are.

Posted in Awareness Issues | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

November is the month for soulmates, apparently

I’m thinking the only reason to follow the Idealist page on Facebook (notice me not linking to it) is for the wacky junk they’re posting. This is another from the “don’t quote me!” website Earth We Are One. Once again it’s the universe telling us something. Here’s me paraphrasing.

This month of November is all about soulmates, synchronicity and Scorpio. Did you know that Scorpio is the sign of soulmates? I didn’t…care. But, you know, since the universe can’t actually speak to anyone (because it’s inanimate as a concept) it has to use signs, signs, everywhere a sign — where have we heard that? Oh right, Five Man Electrical Band. “Do this, don’t do that…”

I like how the article explains that signs are everywhere if you just know what to look for and how to read them. And it looks like anything you want to be a sign in your favour can become one:

…they come in various forms such as quotes, meetings, numbers, clocks, and so on. In fact, seeing numbers is one of the most common ways the universe is sending us a message and we muse be more vigilant to spot the next sign that comes our way.

Then there’s this:

There’s still no explanation for why two particular individuals or souls are drawn to each other. But if you step out of the bubble of skepticism you will open your mind to a universe of possibilities and reasons to explain what events and occurrences lead you to your soul mate.

Oh, I’m sorry that gif has no stop function. Very sorry..

I’d argue that far too many people have not only stepped out of the skepticism bubble but tried to pop everyone else’s like it’s the bloody Matrix. Except reality does not contain a conscious universe that tells people anything. At least, scientists haven’t found evidence of that, thus far, and it’s unlikely they ever will. And so, I shall continue to keep the woo out of my personal skeptical space and encourage more readers to do the same.

But be careful what you’re questioning. Is there real evidence to back up the claims made by all sides of the debate? Or are some sides throwing pretty confetti in your face to obfuscate your chances of seeing just how flimsy and poorly built their arguments are?

I do love the notion of “things happen for a reason!” but usually that reason winds up being utterly random chance. The rest of the time, it’s purposeful machinations that pretend to be random chance — like nearly every scripted romantic comedy.

(“Gloria? Is that you?” “Bryan? I didn’t know you liked scream yoga!” Meanwhile, Bryan’s been following Gloria for weeks after work and now has to pretend he knows what he’s doing in a fitness regime he never knew existed… ha ha, laugh, love, happy ending. Gloria will be played by some perky blonde with a nice butt from all that yoga and Bryan will be Ryan Reynolds reprising his role from Two Guys A Girl and a Pizza Place.)

Posted in just for fun, skepticism | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment