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The Divine is here
Some may see this odd, but I commune with God most every waking moment. On many mornings I sit quietly on my porch with coffee in hand and look over across my beautiful small valley, taking in all that my eyes and mind can take hold of. The early morning fog from the forest floor rises through tree tops as the gentle cool breeze softy carries the mist in a disappearance of unknown places. The cool moist breeze brushes against my face and welcomes the start of a new day. The many endless shades of emerald green that show their display as the sun peeks its way through the forest mist. The slivers of deep blues skies making their appearance for the dawning of yet another day. The busy-ness of critters large and small seemingly play, gather food and enjoy life. The forest wildflowers of dogwood, azaleas and rhododendron break through in the backdrop of painted green.
For many people seeing the same thing, is seeing things differently. What I view may not be what you view. Just as two people watching an event can have different perspectives of the same event. But their different perspectives should also arrive at the merging of a same conclusion. I see the artistry of God in all of nature, the simplistic yet deep complexity of how nature and its laws are set in place and work in a harmony that is so beautiful and stunning. There are times I hardly can take it all in, just as we all have moments of “awe” and wonderment of some splendor of nature. It’s a moment we can only share but yet can not explain to others the personal meaning behind our experience. Most are left speechless, not able to communicate the deep stirring within the depth of our souls, for this is meant only to speak to the soul. It forces a realization upon each of us that there is a Divine being that’s speaking to us. Or else there is a realization that we prefer to ignore a Divine presence and we only speak internally to ourselves because we want nothing to do with God. God is here and he touches us in many ways, the birth of a newborn child, the trueness of love displayed by either young or old, the beauty of a well placed sunset, creatures within the deepest oceans. Everything which is good comes from the Divine presence of a God who is here.
A verse dear to my heart is Philippians 4:8(MSG) “….friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse … learn from me…and God… will work you into His most excellent harmonies.”
Gaze upon the handy work of the greatest Artist within all creation,; it is there for all eyes to see. The Divine is here.
Deni Shepard – firstname.lastname@example.org
Bible teaches that ‘free will’ is given to all
Have you really, really thought about these five words: “In the beginning God created…? Maybe it’s time to think again. That is due to the fact that there is a never-ending movement to establish Christianity as America’s national religion. This movement is an affront to both Christianity and the First Amendment to Constitution of the United States.
Here’s why: 1. According to the Bible each individual has the “free will” to accept or reject the teachings therein. It is a belief system based on obedience to the unenforceable. You tell me how any government could enforce the First Commandment -“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” 2. The First Amendment adheres to this line of reasoning and believing as it states: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”.
Furthermore the Bible is not a book of facts. There are surely some in it, but it rests on historical accounts written by men. For example –“In the beginning” is very imprecise, revealing the fact that no one knows when the beginning was. Each individual could potentially make up his/her own theory about the date or even era. Secondly, “God created…”. Native Indians wanted to know where Europeans’ God came from. Did he create himself?
As a child I attended Long Branch, Locust Field and Jarrett Memorial Baptist Churches in rural Jackson County, North Carolina. I was taught to believe in God and the teachings of the King James Version of the Bible. To this day I believe there are very solid human relations principles in the Bible, especially in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. But, there is no place in the Bible where I read that God or Jesus asked believing Christians to enforce a belief in God. I see only “free will” given to each person to believe or deny.
There is no tenet in the Bible that would suggest that America require its citizens to defer to Christian beliefs. No theocracy. There is nothing in our Constitution that would allow/support a theocracy. Individual choice and “free will” must remain our guiding principles.
Know your Bible. Know your Torah. Know your Koran. But, no theocracy!
Dave Waldrop – Webster, N.C.