Sunday, July 21, 2019

The Beauty of Black-eyed Susan

The Beauty of Black-eyed Susan

Yes! People are more than humans.
They are helpers of their God or gods.
It through us we are able to determine how plants grow.
For we participate actively in the process
And it’s the Universal Spirit who determines the outcome.

Take black-eyed Susan
There is a planter’s playbook for us to get the best results.
Black-eyed Susan has to be planted
When the soil temperature is around 70 degrees
For best seed germination
The planting period is from March to May
These seedlings will flower from June to September.

Black-eyed Susan enjoys the Sun
So be sure to have them get abundant sunlight
Be mindful and fertilize the soil for best results
Check plants regularly so see if they need watering
And be sure that they don’t dry out

Other tips would have a gardener remove faded or dead leaves to prolong blooming
Knowing when to prune the plant so that smaller blooms may occur in the fall.
But everything we do people is just helping their God or gods
To ensure black-eyed Susan grows their best
Still gardeners have to guard against slugs, snails, Aphids,
And fungi by using an organic anti-fungal program

“Universal Spirit, you have graced us with the beautiful black-eyed Susan.  This plant is both mother and father.  Help us to care for them, and shape their growth successfully by passing on healthy traits from generation to generation.  For it’s only through you that all plants grow.”  

Sunday, July 14, 2019

The Good in Suffering

The Good in Suffering

Buddhists wish to escape suffering to achieve Nirvana.
But Christians embrace suffering.
God tested the Israelites for forty years in the wilderness.
God the Father gives His Son - a suffering Christ, to save believers.

Christians are taught suffering produces endurance,
And endurance character and character hope
So suffering is a form of learning
And believers should take Christ as their model
For his yoke is easy and burden light

Christians have to be patient in suffering and persevere in prayer.
Some saints have prayed for suffering for redemptive purposes
Many civil rights leaders saw their goals could only be achieved through sacrifice, suffering, and struggle.
So suffering should be embraced for all sorts of development.
The best of us have known defeat, struggle, loss, and suffering.

Then there are those that are liberators
Who are able to free people from the bondage of poverty, deprivation, and discrimination
Nelson Mandela was driven by the struggles of black South Africans to become an anti-apartheid revolutionary.
So struggles can inspire people to rise to great heights and survive.
With suffering struggles would continue until there is victory for the equanimity of all men, women, and children.
“Eternal Spirit, help us with the struggles we face.  Help us to live and see them come to fruition.”

Sunday, July 7, 2019

God in Different Religions

God in Different Religions

Religions present believers with diverse paths.  These paths are concisely captured in the following faith traditions listed based on the number of adherents, and importance as a faith based on their influence:

1. Christianity (2.2 billion) – Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  God the Father and Holy Spirit complete the Trinity.  This religion major problem is “sin.”  Christ came to earth, died, and resurrected to save mankind.
2. Islam (1.6 billion) – monotheistic with Allah as God, considers itself the true religion with Muhammad as its Prophet.  Muslim beliefs are in the five pillars – repeating the creed, reciting prayers in Arabic, giving to the poor, fasting with certain abstentions from sunrise to sunset, and making a pilgrimage in one’s lifetime to Mecca.   
3. Non-Believers (1.1 billion) – atheists, agnostics, and people with no-faith tradition had its roots in 5th century B.C.E. Greek civilization and the Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century.
4. Hinduism (1 billion) – Brahman is the Ultimate Oneness.  There is an infinite representation of gods and goddesses.  Deities become incarnate in idols, temples, gurus, rivers, animals, etc.  Hindus’ quest is to become free from the law of karma – continuous rebirths.
5. Buddhism (500 million) – doesn’t believe in God or gods.  The big problem is escaping suffering, how to become Enlightened, and attaining freedom from the cycle of rebirth.
6. Chinese (394 million)  – Confucianism (5-6 million) and Taoism (20 million) are major Chinese religions.  Their other faith traditions are Buddhism and Shamanism.  Confucian rituals formalized how Chinese should act in society.  Daoism does the opposite and sees “the way” as being natural by going with the flow – practicing non-resistance.
7. African – Yoruba religion (100 million) of West Africa and its diaspora consist of a vast pantheon of superhuman beings known as orishas [adapted as Candomble (167, 363) in Brazil, and Santeria in Cuba (22,000 United States)] promoting believers’ harmony with nature with divination rites, and some practices influenced by  Christian traditions.
8. Sikhism (23 million) – Overcome the self.  Align with the will of God, and become a “saint soldier,” fighting for good.  Sikhs believe in reincarnation until resolve karma and merge with God.
9. Judaism (14 million) – Abrahamic religion like Christianity and Islam that shared its influence of monotheism.  Jewish teachings are based on the Books of the Old Testament and the Talmud.
10. Shinto (3-4 million) – polytheistic Japanese with “kami” worshiping ancestors, rain, wind, mountains, rivers, and trees, and fertility, etc - Buddhism and indigenous religions are also present.
11. Jainism (4 million) – polytheistic faith of Indian tradition, affirms the existence of all life forms, with beliefs in non-violence.
 12. Zoroastrianism (200,000) – Persian monotheistic and dualistic with “good” versus “bad,” is believed to have shared this concept with Judaism.

“Universal Spirit, shine your light on all faith traditions and help believers find their rightful path.”

The Big Religion Chart: Religion Facts