The title may be misleading, so let me explain. This is not about Spirituality for Judeo-Christians alone, but about Spirituality for all, EXPLAINED using a Judeo-Christian basis. I have a deep respect for the spirituality of quite a few people of other faiths, or belief systems, but I am inept at using those systems to explain what I have to say. I do not wish to exclude anyone, but I will not hide from you the source of what I understand so far.
I am not committed to supporting any organized religion. I am more interested in what the Hebrew Bible (Torah) has to say about God and my personal relationship with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Don't take that as a negative statement about organized religion, it just means that the first commandment does not allow me, as I understand it, to put anything or anyone as more important to me than my relationship to my God.
I believe that when the pendulum swings too far off to one side, it is only natural for it to start back towards a more balanced position. I believe that this is the way God, the Creator views us, His children. Whenever the body of believers needs reminding that they are going too far off track in one direction, God finds those who are willing to help it swing back the other way. Sometimes God finds them within the organized 'church', sometimes God finds them outside the organized 'church'. This happened to ancient Israel years ago and happens to the modern church and synagogue today.
If we focus too much on compassion, God reminds us of accountability and responsibility. If we focus too much on predestination, then God reminds us of our free will. If we focus too much on the mistakes people made in the Old Testament, God reminds us of the power and purpose of forgiveness. If we focus too much on what we'll inherit, God reminds us of what we haven't left behind. If we focus on the mistakes, or sins of others, God finds a way to hit us with our own mistakes and sins. If we focus too much on what we get from God personally, He reminds us of our responsibility to 'be the light of the world'. If we focus too much on the evil that is active in this world, He reminds us of the 'final score' at the end of the game. If we focus too much on how good we are, He reminds us of our flaws. If we focus too much on what we think we are entitled to, He reminds us of the frailty of life and all we have to be grateful for. If we focus on Him, He smile is wider.
In such light do I present the articles and analogies listed below. This is not to point out who is wrong and who is right, or even who is more important. Those arguments are exercises for which I am losing taste. To get an even better idea of how I look at spirituality, and on what I can learn from others, EVEN IF I DON'T FULLY AGREE WITH THEM, read the article on the "Supermarket Approach" to life. I prefer to take the following view:
Imagine that when God said that we are the body, it was at least partially meant in the figurative sense. I can easily imagine the organs of my body arguing with each other. Especially since my recent surgery and somewhat difficult post-operative recovery. My organs, see little or no value in each other because they don't relate in either function nor appearance. My eyes would have no idea what those fingers do that is worthwhile, or even the ... kidneys. My hair would wonder what those blood vessels think, and certainly my lungs would not understand my toes. (In this analogy, my organs have not viewed my web page on Understanding Others. They actually have the viewpoint of the six people standing around the fire in the web page entitled The Cold Within.) Oh, sure, the stomach may have some respect for the intestines, because they share a common function that they each can respect in the other, but how much like some religious people we all know! I also know how to be arrogant towards those that I understand less than is best, so I come to you from the school of experience, not of superiority. If what I have learned helps you, let us both be grateful. I will add articles as I can get them onto the web site.
By the way, if you are looking for a religion that matches what you believe, or if want to know what religion matches what you believe, you may want to try the survey at www.selectsmart.com/religion/. It is certainly interesting, and may help you in your search! But before you decide to find a group of people that totally agree with you on everything you already believe, you may want to read the article on Spiritual Incest.
(click on title to read article)
- Online Bible, courtesy of Bible Gateway (February, 2007)
- Living Word of God (March, 2006)
- Section on Human Doctrine (February, 2004)
- Sermon on the Mount, 2004 (February, 2004)
- Saved or Chosen? (February, 2004)
- The Apostle's Doctrine (March, 2003)
- The Origin of Santa Claus, a 1,723 year-long journey (March, 2003)
- John 8:47 (March, 2003)
- A Christmas Manger (February, 2003)
- Messianic Prophecies Fulfilled! (February, 2003)
- The Battle Between Good and Evil (January, 2003)
- American Indian Mythos and Genesis (January, 2003)
- The Pyramids: Descendents of the Tower of Babel? (January, 2003)
- Are the Ten Commandments in order of importance? (January, 2003)
- Hard for the rich to enter heaven? (January, 2003)
- Cancer Cell's of the Body (January, 2003)
- Heaven's Boot Camp (January, 2003)
- God is Speaking, are you listening? (January, 2003)
- My Witness Statement (November, 2002)
- A Spiritual Survey of beliefs! (November, 2002)
- Immortality is Eternal Life, and it is a Party! (November, 2002)
- If Life is a Game, these are the Rules! (October, 2002)
- Anyway: The Paradoxical Commandments (October, 2002)
- Dictionary of important words used on this web site (October, 2002)
- Harmony in the Orchestra (10/2002)
- Quarrel of the Colors (9/2002)
- Section on "Personal Relationship with God" (08/2002)
- Involved or Committed? (June, 2002)
- Listen to your coach when running the bases! (April, 2002)
- Personal Relationship with Jesus? Hah! (April, 2002)
- Are there any babies in heaven? My response to that question! (March, 2002)
- How the Power Team ignited my children and their cousins! (March, 2002)
- The Winter Olympics and The Church What do they know that we forget?
- The Fall of Freddie the Leaf! A spiritually powerful story by the wonderful Leo Buscaglia.
- The Desiderata (added by request!)
- How can spiritual people enjoy the Harry Potter series? (December, 2001)
- Breaking Eggs to make Omelets? No way! (November, 2001)
- Telephone: How much static do you have? (November, 2001)
- Vampires. Have you killed yours yet? (November, 2001)
- Discipline versus Punishment. What is the difference, and is it really all that important? (November, 2001)
- Getting Out the Wrinkles Irons use pressure, heat and moisture to straighten out our clothes. What about us? (April, 2001)
- Child of God: Is it a 'right', or 'privilege' or something else? (September, 2001)
- Witnesses! Are you called to testify? Do you have something about which to testify? (July, 2001)
- Why are these Unhealthy? f God designed the world, and wants our success, why are these things 'bad' for us, even if we want them?
- Law or Grace: Follow your religion's rules or follow God's will.
- Dependent or Addicted? Which one is correct? Are you either one?
- Phases of Life: While you grow older, you could grow better! (September, 2001)
- My Retirement Speech Hear me say good-bye to the Navy!
- My Day in Court: Will you also be found guilty?
- Pokemon: From Heaven, Hell or just from our imagination?
- I was knighted in time for battle! Yes, Jesus personally knighted me, not because I deserved it, but because I would soon need the armor!
- The Red Lenses of Eternal Life! Now what could that possibly mean?
- The Special Ring I wear a ring with a long story behind it, and here it is.
- Needs versus Wants versus Ready-For What do you want to tell people?
- Be Still, And Know That I Am God The most powerful spiritual experience I have ever had. This is not for everyone to read, it is not what you expect!
- I didn't die, twice! I was actually saved from my death, by my friend's death!
- The Graveside Vision: What did God reveal to me as I was getting ready to conduct the family-only funeral service at my niece's grave?
- Complete Serenity Prayer. You may know it all, you may just know part of it!
- NAPSV Complete Serenity Prayer This is getting personal in a positive way!
- But the Coach says... We want to tell the coach what we should do, but when we listen to the coach, we will find out how GREAT He is!
- What Makes a Quality Carpenter? Is it the tools? Or is it the dedication to the vocation? So, what then makes a quality Missionary or spiritual person?
- The Hunchback and Jesus Is the story about the Hunchback nothing more than "The Gospel according to Victor Hugo?
- The Doughnut and the Hole Ever been really humbled by a darling little child? Here my seven year old daughter taught me something I should never forget!
- Open Letter to Satan If you could write Satan a letter, what would you write? Here's mine, admittedly after many re-writes.
- A Candle A skit I wrote and performed years ago.
- The One True Shape What is really the Truth, and who knows it?
- Donkey Apple Seed The best way to be a jack-ass! (I needed to know!)
- A Day in May on the Bay If you won't take God's hints, take His help!
- Science vs. Theory of Evolution Science is more consistent than the theory!
- Math vs. Theory of Evolution Evolution can't win when you look at it closely!
- Confusion & Christians If Jesus brings inner peace, why don't some have it if they have Him? This may clear that up! (Long and growing!)
- It is Silly. It is silly to be religious OR spiritual. At least to some people.
- Ministry to the Divorced Written when I was attacked by Christians for my view, and they demanded that I back up what I was trying to say.
- Satan's Offer What did Satan offer Jesus in the desert? Do you really know or are you repeating what someone else told you?
- The Repeated Proverb Is it a deadly end, or merely a dead end? Can we recover?
- The Word of God Is it the Bible? How does our answer affect us?
- The Unforgivable Sin Here it is, identified at last! Don't do it!
- Did you see Him there? When You stand before Him, will you be able to stand for long? Will You have done 'good' things when He had called you to do much better than just merely 'good'?
- The Third Commandment Is it about what we say or about how we live? And why is there an extra warning with this one?
- Wrestling Are we called to wrestle with Evil, or with God? Which one are we doing?
- For the Sake of the Elect: This article is about a tape set that will truly challenge what you think you know about God and God's plan for us here on earth. I strongly recommend visiting his website as well!
- The Hordes of Hell This was a three-part email, published a few years back. It made a strong impact on me, and so I offer it to you. It takes about twice as long to load each page as normal, because I left it intact as per the author's wishes. I took me a long time to read it!
- The Bible Timeline I did this as a personal Bible study a while back, and learned some interesting things from it. Not a thrilling read, but revealing!
- The Media! How important is this to what our country will do in the future?
- Why Did John Baptize? What was happening that day in the river? It was NOT a Christian event!
- The 12 Steps For many people, participating in a 12 step program is one of the most spiritual things!
- Christian Spiritual Disciplines compared to the 12 steps! This is very revealing!
(click on title for more information @ Amazon.com)
The Return of the Prodigal Son So powerful and deep that I could only read a few pages at a time!
Classic Christianity Lost centuries ago, can it be resurrected before it's too late? I think so!
Celebration of the Disciplines The attitude to take if you want to reduce your self-centered focus. It helped me greatly over the years.
Spirit of the Disciplines Great companion to the above book, they were a one-two punch to my gut!
Experiencing God I can tell why so many have sold! This non-traditional view of being with God is right up my alley!
The Ten Commandments By popular (2nd only to Rush Limbaugh in audience) talk-show host, Dr. Laura Schlessinger. This is a very practical guide to why it is important to have a standard to live up to.
God's Greatest Secrets This daily devotional kicked me in the teeth in a very pleasant way. I owe this author very much, and pay him back by letting you in on the secrets!
My Utmost for His Highest This daily devotional, especially when combined with the one above, really helps me to see things very differently, and better!
Serenity This 12-step companion New Testament is powerful, and available for free through this link!
Celebrate the Feasts. This wonderful book covers the Jewish "High Holy Days" or "Feasts". It explains their significance in history, the materials you need to celebrate them and all the details. Some say that an understanding of these feasts is the key to the Messiah's return. He fulfilled the spring feasts on His first visit, TO THE DAY, and may be set to fulfill the autumn feasts in the same fashion.
Black Elk Speaks No, this is NOT Judeo-Christian. But look closely at some of his statements, and see the relationship!
The Pursuit of God by A. W. Tozer If you want to find God in your daily life, start pursuing Him!
A Violent Grace by Michael Card. Don't think the grace of God is cheap, or this book will blow you away!