Spiritual Tidbits 3

Welcome to 2019

You may have heard the saying that the more things change, the more they stay the same….It isn’t always true, but sometimes it is.

There really hasn’t always been the Internet but there have always been stages of life.

Stages of life is something that I have always found interesting.  Like nearly everyone, I have tended to have preferences and person issues and development work commensurate with my age group.  I have always made some observations of and had some interest in other age groups.  It’s always different to really be each age group than it is to observe that group as older or younger than oneself.

Within the past 2 years I had a major surge of bothering to read The Bible (Protestant version) and finally made it so that 40 years after having started reading it in the 3rd grade, I have read the entire thing….aside from the 2 or 3 Catholic Bible books that aren’t in the Protestant versions of The Bible.  (reasons unknown by me, but I may redo the research so I can blog about it).

Age groups in The Bible

One of the tidbits I found to be awesome was when I was reading about how God used different age groups to deal with packing up the Temple in the wilderness.  I mean, WOW, maybe even WOWOWOWOWOWOOh hoo wow!

There were other events in at least 2 books of The Bible in which it became really noticeable that for some matters God said: use all the men between and 18 and 60 years old.

Other matters: Don’t let anyone under 30 years old touch that stuff!!!

In some cases: get someone who is at least 50 years old, if you want that dealt with properly.

I was honestly mildly stunned, but after a while sort of pleased.  None of us is useless for our stage in life and when each of us fulfills our divine destiny, there is a schedule to what needs to happen when, some of it is very detailed in terms of time of day and other stuff is really like: wow, don’t do that yet, or please do that.

Really?

In reality, it may have taken me so long to read the entire Bible because of laziness or spiritual attacks against me, but it’s also possible that it is actually better to leave most of it until over 30 years old.

Anyway, this time that’s the spiritual tidbit.

Spiritual Book Promo with Chat

Without Rival video

Who the heck is that lady?

Lisa Bevere, during her 50s often unapologetically refers to herself as a Sicilian grandmother.  She is a rather famous Protestant Christian preacher.  She’s American.  She is a wife, a mother and a grandmother.  She has also written a number of books, specializing in Christian inspirational nonfiction.

Writers Again

Because of that, she could call herself a writer and an author without lying.  I don’t know whether or not she thinks of herself that way.

Book Promotions

This means that Lisa Bevere is dealing with book promotion, just like all the other authors.  Like all the other authors, she has a unique way of doing it, but despite the uniqueness, a great deal goes on that is just like all the other book marketing that really works.

Factoids

There is a lot of public speaking involved during which she is the one doing the talking.

There is a significant amount of travel involved with the position.

There was a lot of money poured into the speaking, traveling and other marketing, but that means that all that money now also needs to be brought back in just to break even on the books.  Because she does a lot of preaching, it is theoretically possible that she has saved massive amounts of money on publicity by being allowed to promote her books right along with a series of public speaking engagements (preaching for God in her case) that may be supported financially by the churches who would have had her come and speak had she not written the book….but if they did not let her mention the book, the value of those efforts as book promotion would plummet, but not be totally destroyed.  I do not know if it is that, or if the publishing company just fronted the money for the promotions.

Desires

Like all the other writers, I desire certain kinds of support and outcomes.  The kind of publishing company and publishing contract is tied up in professional desires; aspirations as desires.

Recently, right here online, I have discovered another slew of fellow-authors who are also, often, dealing with trying to promote their work, my work, your work despite smaller budgets and publishing contracts that aren’t “the dream book contract”.

The reality of every profession is more complicated than it seems on the surface and from the outside.  Writing and publishing abide by that same principle.

Writer, Reader, check it out:

I invite you to check out works listing with links to buy .

Unlike many authors, the main editor of both my novels and the little nonfiction philosophy booklet was actually me too.   My works are not all the same genre.  They were not all put out by the same publishing company.

None of them had more than $50,000 put in up front by a publishing company and none of the publishers provided me with any marketing budget whatsoever.

There are other authors around.  You know how it is: in a bookstore, library or online writers group it starts to seem like everyone writes books.  The other day I was reminded by another woman, that not everyone does.

Most of the readers don’t also write books, but some do or will someday.

Writer’s Life

human teeth

Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

Anyone have anything to say?

The fact is that the written word is still using the language.

Writers are:

  1. Just people who have the gift of gab and the time or the patience to do it in writing.
  2.  People who tend to have something to say.  In some cases these are just egocentric people who love attention.  Other times, these are insightful thinkers who have great input.
  3.  Lonely people who want to talk to someone.
  4.  Happy people who prefer to hang out alone more than very extroverted, social people but not nearly as much as most hermits.

Images,

but not in pictures….Novelists: male: Dr. Watson, the narrator and character of the Sherlock Holmes stories.  Neil Gaiman.  Novelists female:  the lady from the TV show ‘Murder she wrote’ and JK Rowling.

Journalists: Walter Kronkite and Barbara Walters.  Next generations: Diane Sawyer and John Stewart.  These are very well dressed, fast-talkers able to do rapid research and behind the scenes are adept at accepting criticism and making editorial changes, on a daily basis, at the office.

Still, we also have the image of the war-correspondent: some nutter who went overseas and dangerous to get 5 minutes on TV.  Some of us still recall that 10 years ago or so, a freelance journalist broke into the mainstream with some of his work over in Iraq and ended up getting offered a “real job at NBC”.   That’s a clue as to how tough it is for freelancers and how many rightly assume that freelancers are people hoping to get a steady job as staff writers.

Freelancers

People doing it for love.  People desperately trying to break into the field.  Hobbyists, who just want to write for fun now and then and are happy to get the occasional ‘prize money’ of being paid for a published item.

Millenials and younger

Women and college students, trying their hand to earn a few bucks doing something cool that can be done while kids are playing around in the house.

These are sometimes poor people who have been trying to earn a living writing for varying amounts of time.  They may be depressed, or drunkards, or totally fascinating people.

YA and Children’s

Either people with decent day jobs or ‘miracle mom’ types who are able to earn a steady living from sales of their books.

People who seem to have won the ‘incredibly successful book lottery’.  When asked, the swear they are overwhelmed and thrilled at the success of their book.  They are now swimming in more money than they know what to do with.  Often it is something like a fuzzy caterpillar book, or a dragon illustrated by previously unknown illustrator and everyone with children the right age for it are reading it and everyone just loves the book.

Staff Writers

People earning a living.  Often the younger ones are financially poor but still have hope.  The older ones are sometimes still poor but many are lower middle class and have a weird vibe because if asked they just have a day job and would never write for anyone who wouldn’t pay them.  These blend in seamlessly with other workers during lunch breaks in big cities when people are out of the office and bustling about.

person holding white paper and typewriter

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Christmas & Life Stages

Childhood

At some point, people are taught about what Christmas is.  Depending upon birth order, how the perception of it comes together may vary: something about a cuddle, a pinched cheek by a grandmother, the stench of shrubbery in cold weather, hot chocolate and then wrapping paper with something one likes.

Christmas carols and how for some reason we have to be old enough to differentiate the baby Jesus and our more mature selves…but maybe not that mature….Next thing you know they tell us about Santa and a red-nosed flying reindeer and at our age of learning and mental stage it’s all equally believable.

Some year, when old enough to be urged to create or buy presents for other members of the family…especially if we’ve ‘busted’ the parent/s sneaking around the house in the middle of the night and setting out packages….Disillusionment….How much have we been lied to?  Just the man who comes through the chimney or also that Jesus who’s mother never had sex stuff?

Adolescence and Early Adulthood

Either we figure out that the Jesus thing is for real but the reindeer that can fly and the fat guy in red who brings presents is more fiction than fact….Or else we lose our religion….or else we find that more of our friends think we are weird for still believing in Santa.

Once in a while, someone will do actual research and will be able to put the pieces together:  St. Niklaus brought Christianity to the Arctic where there really are reindeer and travelling by sleigh through the snow was realistic rather than crazy.

In reaction to the sorry state of affairs for English workers during the Industrial Age, the British nobility and top level executives had a spiritual transformation: instead of letting (mostly adult male) workers to have Christmas Day as their only day off for the entire year so that they would get drunk and demand liquor from their managers….How about: buy presents and hang out at home guys, with the wife and the child/ren?  Hence, the amazing development of Christmas as a family oriented religious and cultural celebration.

Meanwhile, it is also true that here and there the odd friar, sadly a fat one, really did go around with a bag full of toys …and would give the odd child a toy as a charitable act from the best kinds of motives: love of God as love of others…This was turned into “give to the poor at least at Christmas” and the wealthy families developing “boxing day” when rich kids would pick from amongst what they had received to give to someone else.  Obviously, in some cases, kids would only give what they wanted to trash otherwise…and sometimes there would be some sincere act of generosity with a profound spiritual motive and some children would give away stuff they really wanted to keep …to grow beyond selfishness.

In some cases for early adults and teens it stays being about….Jesus and family and also presents….Or the presents and parents and God are both tolerated as a means to receiving presents.  That varies a great deal from one person to another.  Let’s say that there is a difference between the people who keep or delve even more deeply into the real meaning of Christmas than those who are only reluctant to give up liquor-eggnog and receiving presents.

Parental Adulthood

Tables turn and people find themselves working “back stage” to create and present a Christmas celebration for their children.  Parents include this as just another part of whether or not they are any kind of sincere Christian or if they just don’t want to give up Christmas trees and eggnog….Or that they notice they would feel they were depriving their own children if they did not celebrate Christmas.

Adult Children

Again, what the holiday and does not mean comes up yet again.  Is it still about God or presents?  For many it changes and while hopefully still about God it is more about being able to spend some time in person with relatives that aren’t that available most of the year.

Of course, for many people this is also the triumph of unions and of having good jobs in as much as these are “paid days off” rather than “unpaid days off” and here or there, someone is working the holiday: hopefully for “time and a half” or “double the wage”.    Adult children are more likely to opt out of family gatherings by working the holiday.

People confront their “family issues”.  Happy families are thrilled to meet up.  People dealing with major tensions have to contend with whether they are hoping to avoid in-laws or hoping to win them over at long last.

Limitations

This was written by me.  I’ll turn 51 years old next month, so there’s only so many stages of life that I’ve lived through so far.  This is the case with everyone ….Like all of you, I’ve reviewed what this holiday means to me and why again this year.  For me, personally, God is the central cause, but I do also love to meet up with loved ones and I still like to receive presents….but I enjoy giving as well,….and my expectations aren’t the same……

Hope yours is good!  Meanwhile, I heard a rumor that loads of Jews living in the USA are hoping for Chinese restaurants to be open: Buddhists feeding Jews while the Christians are busy celebrating.

 

Today’s Comments

Duh factor

Today I have had a “duh factor” event.  “Duh” as many of you know, is a common Americanism in which something stupid happened, or someone finally has a realization that makes him or her feel temporary stupidity.

My “Duh factor event” today was that I finally found the notifications here at the blog and therefore finally read your comments.  Due to what happened, I apologize to all of you who responded to me weeks ago without my having even realized that you had bothered to reply, especially since your acknowledgement is part of what keeps me going with blogging.  Aside from that, thank you everyone who read a post, liked it and bothered to respond in some tangible manner.  Most of you also know that however much we try to believe the “stats” we are all justifiably suspicious that somehow the information exchange feedback is not entirely accurate.

After the Duh

In reality, like so many of you, I seem to “get” some aspects of how to use this technology very easily but not “getting” the whole thing, or all aspects of how to make the best use of online systems all at once.

While living in Germany, there were at least 6 months when I learned and figured out something new about how to get around online every day.  Other times, I don’t learn at that pace.

Also like most of the rest of you, when I go to do something only to discover that I have to learn a lot just to do it, I sometimes get a little freaked out and try to learn as rapidly as possible.  During such times, I often get somewhat worked up and easily frustrated with myself for not already knowing how to.

Today

Today is just today.  I perused around a little bit, wondering if I would easily find great inspiration for a new blog post.  I don’t feel that much as if I did.

Despite that, I wanted to make some attempt to connect with whoever reads this, inspired by the recent increase in traffic and feedback, according to the stats.

This Christmas

For me personally, the saddest aspects of this Christmas are that I am not going to be able to include in person: my husband, my son, and maybe not my father and his wife and 2nd wife (now an ex, but the live out stepmother of most of my childhood with whom I am still in touch).  The thing is that the reason I can’t include my husband is sordid, and weird.  In truth, I was last married in 2005.  I finally nearly got remarried in 2016.  I won’t go into it further aside from sharing with you that I am very glad my ex-husband is alive and having reasonably good luck being married to someone other than me, although I would have preferred for him to succeed at being my husband rather than someone else’s for 5 decades of more instead.  Still, I strongly prefer this to either of us being dead.  The rest of them, I just have the problem of suffering from limitations of transportation or funding for transportation.

The best news for me about this Christmas is that I will be able to spend time in person with my mother.  I am old enough to be very grateful that my parents are still alive and lucid.  My mother is in excellent condition for her age, and my father is in ok condition sort of for his age.  They are in their 80s.  As well as that, I was able to get my son some presents, about which I am very grateful and happy.  He is an adult now, by the way.

To the rest of you, I hope that you find a happiness during this time o year, whether you have a religious epiphany or a spiritual breakthrough or even just a good time with relatives….Kind words between you and your mother-in-law for example, or forgiveness between siblings.

God bless you this Christmas.

 

Pet Guilt

Today’s Guilt

Today, the cats are guilty of: trying to break and enter my room, getting into my stuff in my room, going up onto the fireplace mantle piece, and hanging out for way longer than necessary on the kitchen table instead of rapidly proceeding into the acceptable location of the window sill.

 

We have pets

Some animals live at the same residence as myself.  The wild ones which scurry across the roof.  Thanks to dominance, some squirrel and his privileged relations have excellent access to a bird feeder in the back yard.  Others hope for openings, and scramble to pick up what’s fallen from the feeder “catch as catch can”.  Those aren’t pets.  I know you know that, but it was worth pointing out for a reason.

There are these 2 female cats who live where I also have some private and shared spaces.  One is like a 30something and the other is more like a 20something.  They only get along some of the time, which has been a cause of significant stress to both of them.  Aside from their species, what really clues us into their pet situation is that they have the privilege of demanding or requesting food and water or to have their potty cleaned out.  They almost never scurry across the roof and generally can’t get to the bird feeders, and might be punished if they try.

Meanwhile, there is also a flock of sparrows that live in intimate association with the residence, who are not surprisingly, not pets.   Many of them live in a manner that I slowly began to realize was probably a sort of culture.  I think they are a tribe, in all seriousness, a group of 3 to 7 small families with cousins and granduncles and grandmother birds all dealing with have effectively dominated the two or three major trees surrounding the house and maintaining almost exclusive access to the bird feeder in the front lawn.

When it isn’t the squirrels scuttling across the roof, it’s ‘them’, flapping and fluttering, often at least 5 launching into flight at the same time, warning a young one about the resident humans or traffic passing in the street.

There is also a dog, who is a pet.  It’s frightening, when I think about human economics and social status etc.. in terms of how the dog, like the cats and unlike the sparrows and squirrels, has a provider human who will get him special medical care and flea collars, as well as toys obviously made by humans.

 

Their Guilt

The dog’s guilt is normally rather subtle: he’s really a well behaved short haired dog.  He’s rarely guilty of anything other than begging for table scraps or asking for cheese between meal times.

The cats are really incredibly guilty, but all in the usual feline ways.  They get onto the tables and counter tops.

Relevant aside

One day I had an epiphany during which it became clear that it is definitely true that I don’t like flies putting their feet right where I want to put my lips to drink a beverage.

Back to cat guilt

The cats are also guilty of having spats amongst themselves.  They do occasionally just knock stuff off of counters and are guilty in other ways already seen on Facebook in videos.  So far, the 2 ladies here have not become so upset that they claw the toilet paper.

Due to this the concept and phrase “Pet guilt” has become part of my ordinary waking consciousness.

I have become inconsistent about chastising the cats for getting onto the tables while I am home, and they react inconsistently as well: some of the time, leaping from the table at the sight of me and other times hanging out up there brazenly walking up to me and peering at whatever I’m doing.

I feel the way anyone would who writes to “an agony Aunt”, and am only relieved that these are “minis”.

Spiritual Tidbits

 

 

 

 

gray turtle
Photo by Anand Raghu on Pexels.com

The Spirit in Nature

Many people still claim to feel spiritually uplifted when walking in natural surroundings which they prefer.

The order of the natural world is still one of the major premises in many of the logical arguments that lead to the logical conclusion that God definitely and obviously exists.

It has been said that mathematics is humans reading the mind of God.

Remember: Nature was made by God and that includes people.  In Judaism and Christianity, God told the people that God created humanity in His image (please don’t get hung up on gender).  One understanding of what this means is that the self-awareness and awareness of the outside world that humans are capable of, is what makes humans of such interest to God.  Humans are the only earthly creature capable of noticing and interacting with God.

Spiritual Practices Effect Awareness

One rebuff of nay-sayers is to point out that it is actually true that practicing a religion enable a person to develop awareness that may not develop otherwise.  This is a bit like learning any other skill.  Prior to learning a skill one may or may not even be aware of it.  In some cases, there is awareness, but that’s it.

To use an unrelated example: Cashiers.  Nearly everyone is aware of being served by cashiers.  Far fewer people have experience being one.  Not everyone who has been trained to be a functional cashier has had the exact same experience with it, depending on when they learned it and in what context.  However, it is still true that often enough, if you have been trained as a cashier and were competent, there are certain things you will tend to do, and/or to notice.  Just one example that I still tend to do, is making the bills face the same way and often arrange them by denomination.

By analogy, spiritual practices that people engage in have real effects.  Those who meditate and fast will have information and experience unlike those who only pray briefly or at church but are great about giving to charity.

The bottom line: Consider the source: the criticisms made by the ignorant are less reliable than the criticisms or comments of those trained and experienced in a given area.

Ability is not equally distributed

Even in spiritual matters, there is as much diversity of talent and ability as we find in sports, academic areas and in types of work.  This means that any person may be naturally better or worse with respect to spiritual awareness and behavior.

The relief for everyone who suffers from not having a great natural (God given, by the way) ability is permitted or even encouraged to pray for God to provide the power to achieve what would naturally be impossible.  There are people God loves to use to do things that the person really doesn’t have the natural ability to do; it is not a scam.

This also means that it is not wise to take the advice of those who don’t know about spiritual matters, but it also means to have patience and mercy with those who have no special blessing or spiritual talent, and as a consequence they may have no natural interest nor great insight into God.