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The Devil Made Me do it?!!

16 Sep

The Struggle of the Two Natures in Man

George Grey Barnard  (American, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania 1863–1938 New York City)The Struggle of the Two Natures in Man George Grey Barnard  (American, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania 1863–1938 New York City)

Normally I enjoy every service at New Jerusalem Baptist Church. I didn’t think today would be any different. I love Rev. Dr. Calvin Rice preaching. He is excellent, however I know from time to time he has guest ministers who are usually good. But not today. I actually left the sanctuary before the guest minister finished.

The visiting minister went into an entire dissertation on the devil, how he’s after you, his influence & so-called power. He’s whispering in your ear, he’s following you around. Why the devil is a stalker, never mind that there are six billion people in the world that he has to keep track of minus GPS! I was sure at some point Flip Wilson’s Geraldine character was going to come back to life with his famous saying, “The Devil Made Me Do it.”

Now I’m not an ordained minister but I do know that the devil, satan, slewfoot or whatever you want to call him is a created being. The devil was one of the Arch Angels, his name was Lucifer. Lucifer sought to be like God and convinced 1/3rd of the angels to go along with him. He rebelled against the most high. Lucifer’s sin was pride. His punishment was to be thrown down to earth along with the rebellious angels who became demons.

Since the devil/satan is a created being like us, he cannot be all powerful or all knowing nor can he be in all places at one time. This guest preacher gave satan/devil way too much power. Satan’s time on this earth is short, yes he is roaming the earth seeking who he can deceive by sending his henchmen the fallen angels to encourage the evil thoughts already in most human beings. However satan and his minions know that on Judgement Day they will be thrown into Hell or the Lake of Fire specifically created for them.

 As for sin or evil James 1:14 & 15 says we are taken by our own wicked thoughts, lusts & desires. Whether or not we give in is our choice and the devil/satan has nothing to do with it. Whenever we make the decision or choice to do something we know is immoral, illegal or just plain unethical it’s on us and we suffer the resulting consequences.

 Man is a dichotomy composed of constantly struggling dual natures. Your fight, your battle is with your dark side within not any outside evil force. This is why the Bible tells us to submit to God by carefully studying the Word so we can rightly discerning what is going on around us and make correct choices or if we do miss the mark run to his name which is a sanctuary and a strong tower of defense.

Donations and Freewill offerings can be made directly to my PayPal account deborah.palmer280@gmail.com

The Struggle of the Two Natures in Man George Grey Barnard  (American, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania 1863–1938 New York City)

The Struggle of the Two Natures in Man

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Seeker and Savior

3 Sep

Seeker and Savior

Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha and Jesus the Christ

“When I know the glass goblet is already broken every moment with it becomes precious.”Paraphrased from documentary film The Buddha”

2 Corinthians 4:7 (New King James Version)

7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, which the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.

Deval Premal

http://youtu.be/o4jx3sukfLM        

Live your life by Spirit

Live your life by Spirit

Siddhārtha Gautama was a seeker on the pathway to self-enlightenment.  He sought to reclaim the peace inside himself when said peace was disturbed when he saw poverty, sickness and evil. Siddhartha left the comforts of his palace, his wife and his newborn baby to seek out spiritual answers to life’s challenges.   Siddhartha Gautama’s journey is a Vision Quest of self-actualization.

Jesus was the fulfillment of the law and the gateway to abundance and eternal life for all people.  Jesus in his mission on Earth was and is the answer.  Both were the sons of Kings but each was on a different mission. Jesus knew his destiny; however Siddhartha had to discover his.

Both men once they started their ministry were interested in the everyday life trials and tribulations of the common people. In the ages when they were called Siddhartha Gautama Buddha and Jesus represented the Heroic Voice and the Noble Quest through the dark enchanted forest. They were Divine Nomads on a Divine Journey. Both sought oneness with the Beloved.

No matter what faith system we follow we are all called to be in the world but not to be part of the world systems. We are here as a light, a beacon of hope, a lighthouse for fellow seekers and travelers.  Many times during our journey the test comes and we wonder where I can be weak and wear my heartbreak on my sleeve.

Holy music is a sanctuary and a type of refuge.  The Sanctuary is freedom from the unrighteous bigots who cannot or will not accept the message of the prophet. Then there is the sanctuary of the suffering and suffering was not hidden from Jesus. Growing up as a simple Carpenter he would have seen and encounter all manner of suffering people.

  • “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (John 15:19)
  • “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” (John 17:14)
  • “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” (James 1:27)
  • Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:15)

Siddhartha Gautama Buddha disillusioned by the hollowness and spiritual emptiness found within the safety and splendor of his royal kingdom sought to find the cause for suffering.  Siddhartha Gautama though that by joining with other ascetics or renouncers he would become closer to God or rather receives answers to questions that were troubling his mind. The only accomplishment from this course in life was continually being hungry and thirsty and mostly trying to outdo your fellow ascetics.  The only revelation able to come through this holiness competition was the sin of pride.

Such harsh methods focus only on what and individual is missing, not getting any closer to God but in total concentration of the absence of comfort or pleasure.  The more we try to mortify the flesh the more we see we cannot transcend the body while existing in this earthly realm.  Deprivation as practiced by some ascetics or mystics and prophets is not necessarily the best spiritual path for the average seeker.  Some austerity is necessary so that we are not consumed by the material world but to isolate and deny our very human bodies the daily necessities can open the door wider to a sense of failure or discouragement.  We must try to find balance in our lives.  At one end is the ascetic, at the other end the hedonist/sensualist.  Most of us flow best in the middle ground with occasional visits to the polar ends.  Separated from our source we yearn to return.

As prophets and/or enlightened beings both the Buddha and Jesus had similar universal themes of overcoming temptation, a wilderness experience with the tempter, both mystics emerged triumphant.  Realization that the Kingdom of God is within us enabled these two very different men, who lived in different time periods, from different cultures, in different parts of the world to have similar spiritual revelations which now have millions of adherents worldwide.

Bliss or self-actualization comes with accepting our interconnectedness with the world, yet not being of the world.  Subconsciously we are all craving with a burning desire to become one with the Beloved.  This craving may lead us down several spiritual and secular pathways during our lifetimes before we achieve our own individual enlightenment.  As a Christian I take refuge in the scriptural jewels offered to me within the Biblical scriptures, yet not discounting other belief systems or spiritual pathways.  As I explore many different faiths side by side with my own I find more similarities than differences.  Like my Buddhist sisters and brothers I find sanctuary in the Love of God, the teachings of Jesus, and various pastors, evangelists, or teachers who have a more extensive knowledge of the Bible than me, who can help me increase my understanding of scripture.  With that said as believers in any denomination we must study the scriptures for ourselves rightly dividing the word of truth so we are not carried away with doctrines of false prophets.  Beware those who misuse and misconstrue God’s Divine Word for their own personal profit and gain.

I can truly say the Bible speaks to me.  What does your holy scriptures say to you?  Like many of the faithful I find comfort in rites, rituals, ceremonies and sacraments of my church.  It’s familiar.  It’s comforting.  If suddenly I attended church one Sunday and everything was out of sequence I would definitely be uncomfortable, wonder what was going on and if I was in the right church.  However too much restrictive structure and adherence to doctrine and dogma can inhibit the spiritual growth of the congregation for this reason many people turn to secular and social organizations that offer morals, values and intellectual growth without the mythology.  Churches, social organizations and clubs also satisfy the need for companionship and fellowship.  As human beings we need to belong to a body of people with similar interests, goals and desires.  We desire a place to fit in and be accepted for who we are as individuals.  Churches, social organizations, clubs, guilds and professional organizations offer a type of safe space or sanctuary where we receive positive reinforcement that enables us to cope with the not so positive chapters in our lives.

Traveling other Wisdom Pathways

Recently I attended Hindu church service for followers of Sri Sathya Sai Baba at the Manhattan Center located at 30 East 31st Street in New York City. At first I was hesitant when my girlfriend asked me to accompany her to her service because those old voices of narrow mindedness assailed me causing doubt to creep into my mind as to whether it would be the right thing to do. Also I wondered if it would just be other Indian people and I would be the outsider. Not so, on both accounts. Initially I had only intended to stay five or ten minutes but I was drawn in by the praise and worship music and the words of the guest speaker who had journeyed all the way from India to share wisdom as given by the late Sai Baba. After his presentation there was a ritual very similar to communion in which I shared. I was very glad to have attended this service and look forward to worshipping again with the congregation. My girlfriend did her best to explain what was going on and to share literature with me. As we walked to Penn Station together discussing religion in general and the things of God in particular I felt a peace, calm, and centeredness that I had not felt in a long time.

It is far removed from my Baptist upbringing and Bible teachings but at the same time there are many similarities between Sri Sathya Sai Baba and the teachings of Jesus. After the service my girlfriend presented me with two of the roses that had lain upon the altar, which I duly took home and placed into a vase with water. Several hours later it struck me that one of the redemptive names of Jesus is the “Rose of Sharon”. Wow! My mind immediately went to “The Song of Solomon” the Bible’s romance book. The Song of Solomon explicitly expresses the desire between two lovers but on a deeper level the love of Jesus for his bride, the church.

Hindu, Buddhist, Hebrew, Christian, Sufi Muslim all have their mystical sages who are calling us closer to God. Are you listening?

God is sending other Angels with voices who invite thought amongst the congregation.  Come Let us Reason Together.  No matter how many hungry people fed, naked clothed or lessons trained still our only desire is to become one united with the Beloved.

Beloved Transcended

Divine fragrant Lotus Rose petals fell upon the body of the ascended one and the veil was rent from top to bottom.  We his followers make pilgrimage to the Holy City in remembrance of Him.

Excerpt from the poem “One Whisper of the Beloved” by Rumi

In truth, everyone is a shadow of the Beloved –
Our seeking is His seeking,
Our words are His words.

At times we flow toward the Beloved
like a dancing stream.
At times we are still water
held in His pitcher.
At times we boil in a pot
turning to vapor –
that is the job of the Beloved.

He breathes into my ear
until my soul
takes on His fragrance.
He is the soul of my soul –
How can I escape?
But why would any soul in this world
want to escape from the Beloved?

Donations can also be made via Paypal using my email: deborah.palmer280@gmail.com. Thank you for supporting the ministry and God Bless.

Bitter Pills Are Hard to Swallow

20 Apr

Titus 2:3-5
New International Version (NIV)

3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

Bitterness & Jealousy are poisoned arrows that pierce the heart with contamination that destroy spirit, soul & body. Older women who allow these twin demons to take root & grow, then lash out at our younger sisters are living proof that maturity does not necessarily come with age.

Going to church on Sunday and spitting venom Monday – Saturday are signs of immaturity & a definite lack of wisdom, understanding & grace. Jealousy is the root of bitterness. It only serves to put barriers between older and younger women that should not ever be in place. Elder Ladies remember there are no do-overs in life. Be that example our younger sisters can and wish to emulate.  Those of us who have passed the half century mark should live the next fifty years as Seasoned Sisters of Grace, Wisdom, Honor & Understanding.  We are not called to dishonor but honor and integrity. Why the senseless expressions of vitriol? Does not the Word tell us,

Proverbs 4:7

King James Version (KJV)

 7Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

Part of Wisdom involves mercy and compassion. Perhaps the very thing you’re envious of in that younger woman’s life is responsibility that you as someone older with limitations are not equipped to handle.  Instead of condemnation and slander lift up that younger Sister in the role God has given to her.

When the temptation comes to hurl hurtful words at someone I see as an enemy because of a misunderstanding, I remember the wisdom of my wonderful mother Mable Elizabeth Palmer. Growing up two of her favorite sayings were, “If you can’t say something nice to someone don’t say anything at all and You Never Know Who You May have to Call on.” The very person you insult today may be the same person you’ll have to call on for help tomorrow. No we can’t like everyone we come in contact with but we can be polite, disciplined, kind, loving and professional. Respect should be the very basis of our professional and personal lives.

Donations to this Thought Provoking Ministry for the Housing Fund can be sent directly to Paypal using my email: deborah.palmer280@gmail.com.

Thank you and God Bless.


Holmesian Psychology Behind the Rabbit Hole

30 Mar

Holmesian Psychology Behind the Rabbit Hole

Mental Orgasms

Alice Down the Rabbit Hole

Alice Down the Rabbit Hole

Matrix – The Red pill/Blue pill

http://youtu.be/te6qG4yn-Ps

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arcJksDgCOU&feature=colike

Addiction – some habit usually unhealthy that takes over your life, an activity over which you have no control.  For those lost in the throes of prescription addiction there is no escape from the horrors of the mind except via medications freely doled out by more than willing physicians and pharmacists. Drug induced hallucinations for those possessed by insecurities, depression, psychosis and various types of mental illness open previously closed doors in the mind.  The addict seeking to escape earthly pain often unwisely even unknowingly opens portals to new cerebral dimensions, portals that eventually lead to the gateway to Hades.

I find myself walking through Bedlam calmly and quietly observing the poor wretches imprisoned within the only separation of safety between me and they glass with reinforced steel bars.  Until I come to a long hallway on either side a series of rooms each secured with double bolt thick steel doors the only openings a slot in which to slide a plastic meal tray and a small window used by roaming psychotherapists who occasionally looked in upon the inmates deciding which mental miracle drug to dispense to these unsuspecting unfortunates.  Compelled to stop in front of one particular door I peer through the small grimy window only to be shocked yet not too surprised to find my gaze met by my doppelganger.  There I stand frozen to the spot my extremities taking root and branching out seeking crevices with which to penetrate the unyielding door that separates me from myself.

Jesus explained the dilemma of mind altering drugs the best in Luke 11:24-26

New International Version (NIV)

   24 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ 25 When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. 26 Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.”

Sherlock Holmes is one of the most celebrated fictional drug addicts known to most Americans. As played by the late Jeremy Brett, Brett’s Holmes captures the true brilliance of a man possessed by a troubled mind. He is the quintessential eccentric elitist, misanthrope and misogynist. In between cases Holmes uses cocaine to escape from the commonplaces of existence. Subject to long bouts of depression his drugs of choice morphine and cocaine, hence the 7% solution in his reasoning clarified and stimulated the mind. Often this is the case with talented, gifted genius level individuals. They abhor boredom and stagnation; craving constant mental exultation whether through industry, work, artistic, musical or literary projects. When the normal stimulants’ of challenging work are unavailable the well respected and recognized addict resorts to any number of remedies to recreate and/or achieve the same high gotten from recreational pursuits.

Holmes is the atypical functional drug addict. This is not to glorify or elevate prescription drug use above the use of common street drugs; the results from both are about the same. Both types of addicts experience dependence, cravings, reliance, and slavery to substances that destroy mind, body and spirit, eventually leading to death.

Like many possessed of a tortured brilliance only known by members of the “Talented Tenth” Holmes is an insecure elitist. The luster and sparkle of genius seeks to be delivered from the mundane, the trivial and from the insecurities that threaten to destroy a superior intellect.  The trick is to elevate and expand the thought processes and at the same time hoping to eliminate present daily realities of pain and suffering.

Drug addiction is a false cure, a fake hope, phony sanctuary, ever failing to grant rest or repose to its seekers. If the Sherlock Holmes character was updated to these modern times his drug of choice might be Ambien the sleep aid that bridges the gap between conscious and subconscious mind.

Ambien transports ones soul to that place between wakefulness and sleep. It appears to enhance ones innate natural creative abilities.  Users of cocaine and speed often make the same claims. These drugs both legal and illegal offer a false escape from the mundane.  Substance abusers even leave the natural human sexual relationships in order to experience the multiple mental orgasms they cannot achieve through physical sex with a partner. Reality becomes the bad dream. The user finds her/himself caught up in an almost inescapable quagmire.

In one episode Holmes states that, “There’s no escape from the terrors of the mind.”  Many times I secretly wished that life was like Etch A Sketch, that famously popular toy we children of the 60s played with for hours on end. If only life were like that little plastic Neanderthal laptop where with a few vigorous shakes you once again had a clean slate and the ability to start over.

It was a secret desire born out of stress, depression, and hard times to return to a time of innocence and being care free.  However I realized that there was no turning back the clock.  I had to face my inner demons.  I had to ask myself did I want to live the rest of my life in the Twilight Zone when everyone around me constantly telling me I have a gift, a gift that needs to be shared with the world. Also what about my family? What about my beloved autistic brother?  Where would he be if I suddenly was not on the planet anymore?  In addition how could I ignore the calling I knew God had on my life?  The answer is I couldn’t.  Never at any time did God give up on me.  That in and of itself amazed me.  God kept sending people my way to set me back on the path of life.  Even when I wanted to let go of this earthly life and move onto another plane, God said not yet.  I’m not ready for you yet.  You have more work to do on this earth.

No God did not immediately take away all the problems and challenges I’ve been experiencing but He did reveal to me better ways to cope.  Through my gift of writing He has opened doors for me that never would have opened had I allowed myself to sink into the substance abuse quicksand.  Of course there will continue to be bumps and potholes along the roadway but isn’t life somewhat like an obstacle course where the prize for those of us who esteem intellect the ability to successfully negotiate those obstructions by being quick thinkers and thrill in the victory of being an Overcomer?  Enjoy the Treasure Hunt!  Enjoy the excitement of the chase while in your right mind because you’ve been given everything that pertains to life and godliness and you are Empowered to Succeed!

Donations and Love Offerings can be sent via money order or bank checks made payable to Deborah A. Palmer. Donations can also be made via Paypal using my email: deborah.palmer280@gmail.com.

Thank you and God Bless.


Limits on Human Forgiveness

10 Sep

 

The Rape of Tamar by LeSueur
The Rape of Tamar by LeSueur (2 Samuel 13)

Limits on Human Forgiveness

Can a pedophile be Forgiven?

My cousin Michael was a child molester. There I said it and there is no easy way to say something like this but his actions cannot be sugarcoated or made palatable in any way, shape or form. Michael sexually molested his niece when she was a little girl. How long the sexual abuse went on I don’t know since I did not find out any of this information until a few years ago. Michael’s behavior towards his children and his mother had always disgusted me but this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Once I found this out I no longer had any contact with him for any reason. Thank goodness he lived in another state so that made it easier to take him off my radar.

Just that piece of knowledge keep hidden within the victim for years, then suddenly coming to light served to reinforce my perceptions of my cousin and the discomfort I felt even as a child then young woman in his presence.

How do you forgive a sociopath? A man with all the characteristics of a Ted Bundy who has sown his seed with women of various races, so much so that at his death earlier this summer the niece whom he raped as a little girl, now charged with contacting said children, could not find them all.

A man so evil who in life created so much discord within the family that his grown children had abandoned him, as he did them; and no one outside of his immediate family saw cause to attend his funeral.

But what disturbed me more? The fact that his mother, my aunt praised him to the hills and constantly sent him money from her meager fixed income or that in recent years he had taken up with some addled white woman with whom he had two more children, one a little girl. Did he take up his sexual perversions with this girl child or as he used to tell us, was he so ill that sex was no longer an issue or a capability. One of Michael’s favorite lies he told his mother was that he had cancer or some other life threatening illness that had him knocking on deaths door. He told this lie for so long that he became like the boy who cried wolf so that when he did pass this year we were like well guess he really was sick after all.

Sickness. We all like to believe that illness does not come from God. God is merciful, kind, compassionate and loving. However God is also a God of wrath and justice. He exacts vengeance upon child abusers and child molesters. “It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.” Luke 17:2, Matthew 18:6 & Mark 9:42.

I would estimate that Michael became seriously ill not too long after his last daughter was born. Final justice. God said no, not this little girl. He gave Mephistopheles leave to lay claim to Michael’s evil soul. As in the story Faust, Mephistopheles made good on that claim with another sexual deviant consigned to the levels of Dante’s Inferno.

When informed of his death I felt nothing but a sense of relief and justice had been done. There was no mourning on my part. Yes I do admit my forgiveness is limited. I can forgive crimes against property, hurt feelings, money disagreements, break-ups etc… but I have to draw the line with crimes against children. Pedophiles don’t just harm these children physically but mentally, emotionally and spiritually. A child’s soul has been stolen perhaps never to be returned. In my book those who commit assault against children will never be absolved.

Mark 10:14

New International Version (NIV)

When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

 

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