Monday, May 31, 2010

The Same but Different, Respecting our Unity & Diversity

“But you don’t understand.  You have no idea what I’m going through!”  Ever hear that or say it yourself?

There are times in which we feel utterly alone with our thoughts, feelings, and experiences, especially if it is grief, deep sorrow, or extreme emotional pain.  At such times, while others try to console us, we are thinking or may even say outright, “You have no idea!  You haven’t got a clue!  You haven’t seen what I’ve seen.  You don’t know what I know.  You can’t possibly understand!”  Then we put up a wall, close down and shut out, thinking no one can relate, that it’s useless to even begin to explain how we feel.

Are we so different, so unique, or so unusual that literally no one could possibly “get us”?  Probably not, though at times it may certainly seem that way.  When someone says, “I feel your pain,” is this possible?  It’s called “empathy,” which is more than mere sympathy.  In our adolescence we commonly assume that our very own personal and private experiences, feelings, and viewpoints, are totally and absolutely unique to ourselves, often resulting in that confused mixture of feeling somewhat special in our uniqueness yet lonely and somewhat out of step with others.  Beyond adolescence, thank goodness, we soon discover that yes there are others, indeed many, who have had similar thoughts, ideas, experiences, and sentiments as we’ve had.  We’re not as strange or unusual as we once thought we were.  What a relief!

Part of maturing is realizing that, as members of the human race, we indeed have much in common.  We are connected and we are more alike as human beings than appearances would have us think, especially given language and cultural differences.  There is nothing new under the sun.  There is no pain or heart-ache, grief or sorrow, no test or trial, no hardship or struggle, no challenge or failure that you have experienced or will ever experience in your life that someone else has not already faced or experienced beforehand.  This is a veritable truth.

Strange then how we so often greatly fear being considered odd or weird for having certain kinds of thoughts or feelings or ideas that may run counter to mainstream opinion.  We so often fear letting people know how we really feel, what we really think about certain issues or beliefs.  The risk is too great.  The potential negative reaction from others and our possible rejection as a result is too much for us to chance.  In other words, it can be downright dangerous to be vulnerable, open, and transparent.  So we conform and submit to group-think or peer pressure, call it what you will, or die of embarrassment, if not shame and/or cold rejection from others.  However, a few bold ones do take the risk.  And when they do, they are quite often delightfully surprised to discover that others were thinking the same thing, having the same feelings, considering the same ideas.  “I’m not alone after all!  I’m not as strange as I thought I was!” is the relieved feeling.

Of course we like the idea of being one of a kind, unique.  I certainly don’t relish the thought of there being another “me” roaming about on the face of this planet.  One of me is quite enough, thank you very much.  And I’m sure there are many who would heartily agree with that sentiment as well.  Nevertheless, we don’t want to be SO unique that absolutely no one can relate to us.  To be too different is to become a freak of society.  We certainly don’t want that as a badge of honor.  We want connection, common ground, common experiences, and shared sentiments.

So, whether we feel like the “odd one out,” or like so many peas in a pod, in truth we are unique AND common.  We are of one race, the human race.  And so, like it or not, we have more in common with each other than we may be willing to admit.  We too easily lose sight of this truth especially when we are fighting over territory, rights and privileges, or control over ways, means, and ends.  This is why it is important that we consider how we engage, dialogue, and interact with each other while negotiating our way through our differences and our future as a society/nation.  I have the following suggestions for helping us in the process:

(1)  Let us create a safe environment for people to share their personal thoughts and feelings without feeling as if they will be ridiculed, condemned, or chastised for it.  People have a right to their ideas, feelings, sentiments, beliefs and opinions without feeling as if they will be cast out as inhuman, seen as vermin, or treated as animals for having them.

(2)  Let us respect one another by really listening and trying to understand.  To listen and to understand does not mean automatic agreement.  One could hear and understand and still disagree; thus, we need not be threatened by attempting to really understand our opponent’s point of view.  We owe each other a certain amount of honor and respect simply because we are human.  Disagreement need not be the cause of a fall-out or rift in a relationship, causing a mini civil war.

(3)  Let us boldly own our opinions without limiting our friendships and relationships to only those who agree with us.  Let us accept and even welcome the fact that there are other good, intelligent, and respectable people who may see things quite differently than we do and yet may still be an excellent friend and neighbor.

(4)  Let us recognize one another’s value, worth, and dignity even in the face of our pluralistic differences.  Let us not vilify, demean, or especially dehumanize our opponents, whoever they may be, just because they are not like us.

If “Might makes Right,” then using any means to gain control and seize power is good: such as manipulating, undercutting, oppressing, and demonizing our opponents.  But we don’t believe this.  In a democracy HOW we proceed and engage in negotiating our aims and desired ends is as is important as the results themselves.  Angry, defensive, belligerent and combative posturing is always detrimental to the democratic process.  Hate begets hate, and hateful and disrespectful means will only result in hated and disrespected results even if those results are for the good.  We honor our unity by respecting our differences.  We are stronger when we remember that we are both the same and different, and respect one another accordingly.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Voting for TRUTH

It’s been said that the first casualty of war is Truth.  I think that it’s the first casualty of a political campaign.  Spin, twisting words, quoting out of context, even reversing a speaker’s intended meaning is far too easy with today’s audio/video splicing, cutting, and editing technology.  The technology is so good these days that it’s next to impossible to tell whether the actual audio/video footage has been tampered with.

Voters beware!  Too often voters are led to believe one thing during a campaign, only to find out, after the election of course, that they had been fed a load of half truths, misquotes, subtle inferences, misleading veiled allusions— lies!  Incomplete and/or deliberately withheld information is tantamount to a lie.  The intent is to mislead and redirect a person’s thinking.  The desire is to render ineffective the actual or whole truth for fear of its impact on the minds and hearts of voters.

Voters, we need to unite on one thing.  Whatever our party, affiliation, political persuasion, or leanings, we should at least unite in our demand and expectation of the TRUTH from all sides.  We must not allow ourselves to be hoodwinked; nor should we condone the duping of our opponents even by our favorite political players or party.

It’s for our own good.  Truth is always better than half-truths and lies.  Even if we don’t like what we hear when we hear the truth.  Only Dictators and Totalitarian governments believe in controlling information and “bending” people’s minds, by manipulating accounts, facts, figures, and other data in order to re-direct people’s thinking toward a predetermined conclusion.  Such methods are like cancer to a true democratic process.

If we continue to tolerate such methods by candidates we support (let alone oppose), we are saying that “the ends DO justify the means” and are sanctioning deception as an appropriate means to gain power and control.  This is a very dangerous and self-destructive path for a democratic society.

Do we really believe that lying is more helpful in gaining our desired ends, than speaking plain ole truth?  Are we that afraid of the truth?  Of course, the truth can sting.  It can hurt.  But whereas truth may hurt, a lie can kill.  Truth is Reality.  We need to be in touch with Reality if we are going to make intelligent and wise decisions affecting our society and its government.  Inaccurate, false, and misleading information only leads to inadequate, ill-conceived, and misapplied judgments and incorrect conclusions with bad results.

The more information we have, the better.  Who is backing-up a cause, providing money, time, and other resources, and why?  We need to know.  The truth is also very much about intent—motive and purpose.  Follow the money: what’s at stake; who are the stakeholders, and why?  These are some of the questions we should have answers to, before voting.  Too many times there are organizations and supporters of a cause that hide behind great American themes like “Citizens for the Good!”  Well, who could be against citizens that are for the good?  Right?  Later we discover that “Citizens for the Good” are a small but powerful minority with lots and lots of money whose only concern is their own good, rights and privileges, over against the rest of us, that is, you and I, the average voter on the street!  But they wanted us to think that they were/are one of us so that we’d vote in their favor.

Let us unite as voters and commit ourselves to the following:

1.  We will not allow the ends to justify the means.  We will not accept the manipulation of information—truth content and substance—just so that our cause (party, special interest) may win.

2.  We demand the whole Truth as something that is always better than half-truth and/or lies, even if the truth should hurt our own particular cause or interest.  That is, we believe that Truth will always make a democracy stronger, healthier, wiser, and overall more effective, which is what we want more than just winning any one particular election.

3.  We expect transparency.  We need to know who, what, where, when, how, and why?  If a group or cause is not willing to let us know who is backing them, where the money is coming from, that is to say, if there is no transparency, we suspect foul play and will not allow ourselves to be duped by those hiding behind a cloak of secrecy.

4.  We will not trust at face value any “damaging information” provided by an opposing party, cause, etc., without determining the whole and complete truth/story/account on the matter.  We will ask: is this the whole Truth, the big picture, or is it taken out of context?  What is NOT being said here?  Are we being emotionally manipulated?  Is this ad trying to get me to assume or believe something without first doing some serious thinking about it or without obtaining further information on the matter, and if so, why?

5.  We are committed to an open and transparent political process.  We believe that the best ends also deserve the right means to that end.  We want, expect, and demand TRUTH from all sides at all times.  We are not to be used, manipulated, or toyed with.  We are intelligent and thoughtful voters and expect to be respected as such from our politicians and political players.

Monday, May 17, 2010

What’s to Die for?

I’m going to die. And…, well, so are you. No, I have no terminal illness. I’m just musing. We’re mortal. It happens to the best of us. Young or old, ready or not, able bodied or ill, some with advanced warning, many with little or no warning at all, our time ends and we’re taken out of the game. Walt Whitman says it best:

In the day, in the night, to all, to each,
Sooner or later delicate death.

It’s not like we don’t know that it’s coming. It’s just we don’t think it should be now. We’re not ready. We never are. But can we ever be? And like so many other unpleasant things in life, death’s timing is always so inconvenient. (Though, as if intent on being totally disagreeable, Death also tends to deliberately linger before it takes those who are quite ready, longing for relief, whose only desire is to escape their wretched condition here on earth.) What to do?

I wonder. Does this truth—the inevitable certainty of our demise—affect how we live now? Perhaps we are too busy merely surviving, trying to make the best of living, to worry about such incidentals as our dying.

But there’s the rub, isn’t it, if we don’t think about, plan for, understand the place of, and meaning of DEATH, can we really LIVE?

Might the following questions help us face our ending with as much interest as we face our beginnings, that is, our growth and development years?

1. Am I living intentionally? Is my life/time well spent? To what end or purpose am I living for? What is my ultimate pursuit in life and is this pursuit worth dying for? That is, on my deathbed will I be pleased with its outcome?

2. Am I able to accept death when it does come? If not, what’s my greatest fear, doubt, or hesitation? That is, what might I need to complete, take care of, or set in order before I may have peace of mind and be able to leave with dignity and grace? Are there relationships that need mending, unspoken words that need expressing, or evaded duties that need completing? Can I take care of these now?

3. Am I ready to give an account? Will I be pleased with what I’ve left behind or will I be ashamed? Do I need to make amends, makes things right, correct past mistakes, repent of a hardened heart, bitter spirit, or ill will? In short, do I need a cleansing of the soul, a renewing of the heart, an enlightening of the spirit before I expire?

4. And finally, am I passing on the Hope to the next generation? Being able to die well is a gift of Faith. “Die well”? Sounds weird doesn’t it? But yes, dying well allows one to say goodbye, to demonstrate peace and courage in the face of death and pass on faith and hope to surviving loved ones. Even children understand when they are privileged to see Living Faith in the face of Death.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Respecting FAITH and its Practice

Faith is dynamic, personal, emotional, and empowering. Faith not only shapes a person’s ideas about Life, Reality, the nature of the world, good, bad, evil, and justice, it also informs a person’s conduct, lifestyle and behavior. You name it, and Faith has something to say about it.

Whether waxing strong as a blazing fire, or waning weak like a smoldering matchstick, Faith moves people, changes, develops, and grows people. Strong or weak, forward moving or stagnant, Faith affects everything and everyone—even those without Faith.

Indeed, I would argue that there is no one without a faith in something. We all exercise and apply faith in people, things, ideals, causes, and/or hoped-for results. A kind of implicit faith is behind most of our choices, actions, and chosen lifestyles in one form or another.

But Faith can be dangerous too. It can be volatile, explosive. Faith ignites and inspires and also consumes. It can be all demanding and merciless in its expectations, self-righteous, judgmental, even condemning.

Because of this, FAITH should be handled with great care, humility, and respect. How so? Given the pluralistic, multicultural society we live in, I suggest we encourage the following attitudinal approach to FAITH:

First, FAITH should be invitational. No one should be forced to believe in, follow, trust, submit to, or live by a prescribed FAITH. Faith must be freely applied and embraced or it is not real faith.

Secondly, FAITH should be reasonable. For example, it is not unreasonable to believe in miracles. The belief in miracles actually makes good sense, when one begins with the premise, “God IS.” Though God, the object of many a Faith, may be above and beyond human reason as such, our limited and finite understanding of God is still not without reason, rationality, or common sense. In fact, no Faith, no teaching or doctrine is totally disconnected from some form of logic and rationality. Faith must make sense to the Believer. And one’s FAITH should help the Believer make sense of his/her world, moving towards a greater appreciation of Reality, not less. Indeed, many people of Faith will say that their faith enlightens their understanding and their understanding deepens their FAITH.

Thirdly, FAITH should be practiced with great humility for two major reasons:
(A) Because it is impossible for ALL FAITH claims to be true. The core content of their contradictory tenets will not allow it. For example, “Universal” or “Absolute” TRUTH is something that is true for all people at all times in all places, whether it is believed in or not. The various FAITHS of our world are in the business of teaching, claiming, and promoting what they believe to be Universal and Absolute Truth. Obviously not all FAITHS agree with each other on key and essential doctrines. Though it is true that most FAITHS agree on many moral and ethical teachings, as for example “Thou shall not steal or kill,” we cannot ignore their absolutely contradictory dogmas. Take my own FAITH as an example: either the essential nature of God is Triune, as mainstream historical Christianity teaches, or it is not. We know that there are FAITHS that categorically disavow and repudiate the very concept of a Triune God (NOT three gods, mind you! Christians do affirm that God is ONE, though Triune in nature). Point being: someone is mistaken and is in error or is confused. In this light, adherents to any FAITH should hold their Faith with great humility, sharing it, promoting it, and teaching it with humble respect toward others and their own preciously held beliefs.
(B) Because our reasoning capacity for understanding God is quite limited. GOD is all knowing, all powerful, etc., WE are NOT. We humans make mistakes in our thinking, in our judgments, our logic and in the drawing of conclusions, not to mention in our application of principles and values, and in our perceptions and interpretations of things. We’ve all misunderstood, misapplied, misjudged, and reasoned incorrectly. By definition God is far too complex a BEING for any normal human to claim he/she perfectly understands and knows God and all that God does and is about. Thus, it behooves us to be humble with our assertions and our convictions about God. Doesn’t it? We should let God be the arbiter of TRUTH, not us.

How than can we show practical respect to one another while faithfully holding to our own Faith’s assertions that contradict that of others? I suggest the following:

1. We allow for and respect the free exchange of ideas, beliefs, values, and convictions. While respecting the boundaries of our individual FAITH Communities we recognize that we are a Community of communities. There are many FAITH communities living under this One Nation. Each has a voice and contributes to the collective knowledge, influence, action, and direction that this nation takes. Living and working side by side as we do, let’s choose to respectfully negotiate our way through our values, as distinctive but united communities under this one nation, and do so with mutual respect and integrity.

2. We allow for and respect people’s freedom to move toward or away from FAITH, of their own accord. Freedom assumes mobility, a flux of intake and outtake, people moving in and out, from one FAITH community to another. In short, people should be free to convert as they choose. From a Faith standpoint, it presumes that we are all on a journey and so must grant each other the freedom to move accordingly, allowing for progression, change, and development. “Be patient with me, God is not finished with me yet,” says a bumper sticker. Well said. We are “a work in progress.” In this light people should feel free to invite others to join them along the path they have chosen, but the invitees must also feel free to say, “Thanks, but no thanks!” No one should be cajoled, forced, browbeaten or coerced into joining a FAITH group, no matter how right that FAITH group may think itself to be. By the same token, no one should be prevented from inviting others to join their FAITH group either. It works both ways.

3. We avoid imposing our particular Faith practices upon all others while all others should also refrain from forbidding us from the practices of our own Faith, generally speaking. We should not fear unnecessary or especially unjust reprisal for simply expressing and living by the tenets of our own FAITH. It is this freedom to choose not only what we believe but whether we shall believe and whether and how we shall practice our beliefs that has made this nation strong.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My Oil Based Lifestyle: Motorcycles and More!

I love oil. My car loves oil too, not to mention my motorcycle, my wife’s van, uh, and the truck. I also love how oil cozily heats up a cold wintery house. I love the form and shape it gives to plastic—oil based product that it is. In short, I love the lifestyle oil gives me. Don’t you? Perhaps that’s why we refuse to acknowledge its darker side. Consider this: “The use, or more appropriately, over-use of petroleum has resulted in the chemical pollution of our atmosphere, soil, water, and even our bodies. By-products of oil, coal, and natural gas, such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides, contribute to lung cancer, asthma, acid rain, and species die-offs, among a great wealth of other negative consequences.”[1] And then consider our most recent oil disaster, BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico.

Do we really know what we’re doing? The consequences of BP’s oil rig’s explosion are yet to be felt. At this point we are ignorant of the following:

 We do not yet know what caused the explosion in the first place. What went wrong? Can we prevent this sort of thing from happening again?

 We have no idea how much oil will ultimately have been let loose upon the waters of the Gulf. When will they succeed in stopping the flow? They are on top of it, working 24/7 to get the thing plugged. Meanwhile, the oil spreads and spreads and spreads.

 We have no idea of the extended business and financial impact. Who and how many will suffer severe economic setbacks because of this disaster: hotels, recreation and tourism industries, fishing industries, municipalities, and Mississippi River transport businesses: just how many private property owners in the Gulf region and small business owners will suffer for this?

 We have no idea as to the extended environmental impact of this accident. How will this affect land, sea, air and its animal, plant life? How long will it take Mother Nature to recover from this particular “oil spill”? What will be the ultimate cost to the Gulf’s eco system?

 Finally, we have no idea when, where, and how the next tragic accident will occur. Who has the power to prevent these kinds of unfortunate accidents from ever happening again? I can answer that one: no one! That’s who. After all, we are only human.

But what’s the alternative? I wonder. Why aren’t we able to support a common vision toward moving beyond oil dependency? In the early ‘60’s, then President John F. Kennedy gave this nation a seemingly unrealistic and costly goal: Reach the moon before the decade ends! What a vision. And we did it! This nation has proven itself to be capable of doing awesome and far reaching feats when ignited and united by a common vision and a meaningful purpose. Can’t we have such a goal respecting our need and use of energy? Find, develop, and begin to use safer, healthier, renewable sources of energy by 2020! What a vision.

I suspect that the answer is NO. And I can guess at three possible simple reasons for this: (1) Big Oil Corporations, oil traders and providers, along with related supporting businesses that benefit from our dependency on oil, will do all they can and then some to keep us from moving away from their precious Cash Cow (2) we, the average American consumer, refuse to pay higher costs for anything, especially for energy consumption—it’s too directly connected to our lifestyle—I love my car, motorcycle, and truck! We thrive on cheap oil; and thus, (3) it’s political suicide to look too green and/or to move in the direction of actually taking difficult, concrete, perhaps even painful steps toward weaning us off our national addiction to oil, considering the lifestyle it provides us. We get what we want, and we want abundant, cheap oil. WE are our worst enemy. As to oil’s dark side, and the mess it makes from time to time, it’s tolerable. We’re willing to deal with it. Why? Because we believe that oil’s benefits far outweigh its cost and its negative side effects.

We ARE aware of the fact that oil is a non-renewable energy resource? One day we shall certainly run out of it. But from one generation to the next, at least we can say, “Thank goodness, not in OUR life-time!” We hope. Lack of oil will be the next generation’s problem; thus, we, this generation, can rest content. Hopefully, we will be long gone by the time the “next generation” has to deal with a lack of oil. Right?

Why then can’t we unite as a people with a concerted effort to move toward a non oil-based economy? All we need is the Vision and the Will to do so: the vision to believe that it can and should be done, and the will to pay the cost for doing it.

Indeed, knowing that oil is a non renewable, limited natural resource, there is no question that in the very near future, as generations come and go, humanity will be forced to deal with the lack of oil. Why not take the lead and be the first nation to deal with that prospect now? Why can’t we be one step ahead of the game instead of three steps behind?

What can we do?

Might we not support investing more money on seeking and developing new and alternative energy sources, including accepting higher taxes on oil consumption? (I know, “Heaven forbid such a thing!!” And, pardon me for even suggesting it, but I ain’t no Commie or Socialist either.) But might we not stand up to the powerful special (Oil) interest groups and stick to a national people’s vision for moving above and beyond oil dependency? Can we give united support to leaders in all fields, who are willing to develop an Energy Vision, and give it shape, keeping it before us, and helping us stay on track until we “get there”?

Okay, I’m dreaming. Call me naïve. But, hey, it never hurts to dream a little. But, now it’s time for me to wake up and take a ride on my motorcycle. Ahhh! Love that revving sound as it gurgles up that oil!

1see: [Return]

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Time is Money? Maybe Not!

An unusual traffic incident took place years ago in a small city in Kansas. The local news reported that an elderly lady driving a big, new expensive car was preparing to back into a parallel parking space when a young man in a small sports car suddenly zoomed into her space ahead of her.

The lady angrily asked why he had done this when he could see that she was trying to park there. His response was simply: “Because I’m young and I’m quick.”

The young man then entered the store. A few minutes later as he came back out, he found the elderly lady using her big new car as a battering ram, backing up and then ramming it into his car. He very angrily asked her why she was wrecking his car. Her response was: “Because I’m old and I’m rich!”

“There is a harassed, knife-edged quality to daily life,” says the author of THE THIRD WAVE, Alvin Toffler, about our society. I would add, especially when it comes to living in a bad economy and facing difficult financial problems. Few of us, regardless of age, can use our cars as battering rams and nonchalantly claim, “No matter, I’m rich!” Financial woes hurt, evoking extreme frustration, anger, and resentment. We’d like to lash out and hit someone; but who is that someone? Whether we call it Big Business, Wall Street, The Government, how do we strike back at such an entity as THAT?

Time is money. So it is said. And MONEY, what is money? Money is the new god of our lives, the almighty Taskmaster of the day. We need it, want it, must and will have it, regardless of the cost. After all, money makes the world go round, doesn’t it? When we’re told to “Make the most of your time,” we immediately think, economic efficiency and productivity; why do we not think of friendship, family, relationships, or spirituality and contemplative, meditative time with God? Is seeking greater wisdom, enlightenment, truth, love, peace, and contentment above and beyond the material things of life, a waste of time or a better use of our time?

The motto that time is money may be true in the business world. But why should the world of business and finance define Reality for us? Perhaps we need to change our Mindset, our Value system, and develop a new perspective on Time/Reality. If money makes the world go round, perhaps it’s because WE allow it. What if we countered by saying, “Time is LIFE!” or, “Time is LOVE” or, “Time is beauty”? “Time is peace, joy, friendship, family, wife, children, even creativity!” Time is money only because we place that value on time. Perhaps it’s time to give Time a different Standard of Value.

Sleep specialist tell us that we’re getting less sleep and regularly suffer from sleep deprivation. Yet, at the same time, we are feeling more demands on our time, not less. Harassed and irritable, many of us have no idea what it means to be peaceful and content. We push ourselves out of bed, edgy, pressured, under the gun, facing demanding schedules and constrained time commitments, all because we owe and must pay. Furthermore, all our so-called time saving devices and thingamajigs that promised us extra free get-away time actually seem to have enslaved us all the more; deadlines are more immediate and due dates come quicker. And we must have our electronic devices with us and turned on, even while on vacation. What an irony! Ask yourself, are you under more or less time pressure since you’ve adopted these high tech gadgets in your lifestyle?

We are not machines and were never meant to be treated as such. The “Time is Money” idea reduces human value to nothing more than individual or collective units of productivity—machines made of flesh and blood. We need to resist the dehumanizing effects of the working world that says, “You are only worth as much as you can produce and the goods and services you might provide! We are human. Therefore, relationships are at the core of who we are and what we become. If we seek only to dominate, manage, control, and manipulate our environment solely for economic exchange, only to make a buck and spend it on shallow items of pleasure and excitement, we are sad creatures indeed.

The Christian Scriptures speak of “redeeming the time for the days are evil.”[1] How do we redeem time? First, quit selling it off to the highest bidder. Take it out of the market of trade and commodities and put it back into the realm of meaning and quality of life. Redeem time by saying that “Time is NOT money.” You could say instead that “Time is Spiritual Awakening!” Secondly, put the very meaning of Time, Money, and Life in its proper perspective. We all know that our time is limited here on earth and that we can’t take our riches with us beyond the grave. But an awakened and enlightened Spirit; well now, that’s an altogether different prospect, isn’t it? One’s spirit, spirituality, connection with God, etc, we CAN take with us beyond the grave. Wouldn’t you think?

1Eph 5:16 [Return]