ISM – I Sell Myself

-ISMs . . . we most often identify an “-ism” as something negative, harmful, or downright evil to ME!

Over the years, I have heard “communism,” “socialism,” “terrorism,” “paganism,” and many other fear-filled “-isms” to identify what I must fight against to protect myself, my family, my country, my very existence. The fear drives me to ignore the simple fact that I only know what I have been told about these “BAD -isms”—I don’t really know what they are, I only know what I have been told they will do to harm me or that they will take something away from me!

And these, and many other “-isms” have been used to:
• “sell” me on political candidates (ignoring the politician’s flaws in exchange for protection from one of these “-isms”),
• “selling” me on supporting laws to “protect me” while giving a huge power increase to some others (ignoring the potential for abuse by them), and
• “selling” me on the idea that I must focus ONLY on protecting myself and that others will have to do the same for themselves (others are not MY problem, I only have to look out for me or my group).

It is SO easy to buy into this fear-filled rhetoric, to be so totally focused on protecting myself that I don’t see anything else, to find myself crossing a line that I can’t even see . . . my own standards, values held dear by my parents or grandparents or others that I respected in the past.

It seems simple to identify those older beliefs as “outdated” and “it was a different world” or “they didn’t really understand,” but that is just an attempt to defend what I want to believe, a human nature response.

Do I know what I believe and why or what my values are, or what I consider important enough to die for? Or do I just ride along on the wave of fear and bow to the latest “-ism” being put out as my “enemy”?

I remember when John Kennedy ran for President of the United States of America and the loudest talk was how electing a Catholic would bring the Pope to power in our country and our “Christian” nation would all become Catholics . . . we elected him and none of the feared things came about.

Today I am still “selling myself” when I listen to and repeat fear about some group that I really don’t even know and I give power over my life to those selling that fear in some false idea that it will bring me what I want . . . protection, promotion of my beliefs (shutting down those who don’t agree with me), or something else I see as a gain for me—I sell myself. Like Esau I trade for a bowl of porridge because I am hungry and that bowl gives me what I want. I never really stop to think about what I am trading . . . ME!

Values seem to be unpopular today and voicing a need to live by standards draws ridicule and often harsh, defensive remarks. The idea that “the ends justify the means” seems acceptable today and, I believe, has served to draw many away from the need to walk the “higher road” when others choose to wallow in the mud to get their way.

My hope is that
• each of us will examine ourselves to determine what we believe and why, that
• we will realize not one of us possesses the ONLY or all of the truth, that
• we will try to inform ourselves about other groups and what they believe not just accept the fear-filled misconceptions spread about them—did you know early Christians were accused of cannibalism (see the -ism?) because of the Lord’s Supper? that
• we will view an “-ism” as a call to do objective research not accepting “exposes” or “conspiracy theories” without checking multiple valid sources (not just copiers), that
• we will come to see that working together we can create a world united in pursuit of the “common good” for ALL without identifying “-isms” as a way to get me to “sell myself” to a fear-filled cause . . . do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

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Perspective . . . a beginning

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Exposing Shadows . . . Removing Masks

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GROWING among stones . . .

LIFE . . .
not time,
not past,
not future . . .
LIFE reveals Truth
. . . as Eternal
. . . as Being
LIFE reveals I AM

My path winds through duality –
two-sided coins,
mountain journeys repeated,
valleys revisited,
leading to a prism of multi-faceted lights and colors –

perspective influx,
concrete boots discarded,
“the hills are alive with the sound of music,”
slowly opening to be, to flowing with LIFE –

seeing flowers,
feeling soaring birds,
being the rain,
LIFE reveals I AM

LIFE reveals Truth . . .

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Bowls . . . FULL of memories


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LIGHT . . . light . . . or

My heart was stabbed with a deep, icy fear when I read some posts by a family member that were using Scripture from the Christian Bible to support a politician and a political view that, in my mind, borders on blasphemy because its message is so opposite of Truth of GOD!

NO POLITICIAN is my “savior”. . .
NO POLITICIAN can justify mistreatment of other human beings . . .
NO POLITICIAN will convince me that Christian Scriptures relieve me of my responsiblity to “love my neighbor as myself” . . .
NO POLITICIAN should bask in distortions of Truth to gain riches at the expense of the poor, the elderly, or the downtrodden . . .

HOW did we get to this point of blindness and willingly embrace it?

HOW did we walk to the place where we can distort Scriptures to support the mistreatment of others and “preach” the message of selfishness marketed by a despot?

HOW did we reach this precipice on the edge of such darkness?

HOW did we become deaf to calls of conscience to return to the path Jesus walked and claim instead that a path of prideful, hateful, self-centered rhetoric is the path of Jesus–it seems so obviously out of line with the Life lived by Jesus?

Fear drives me to consider a “conspiracy theory” originating in the far reaches of time . . . power, greed, and worship from those who are convinced they will share in the spoils of winning that war—how sad it will be when those “worshippers” see that their role as pawns was only to build the empire for darkness, never to be participants in its bounty . . . how sad it will be when they see they traded themselves for an empty bowl of porridge, getting nothing in exchange . . . such weeping and gnashing of teeth . . .

“has a nation ever exchanged its gods
(and theirs are not gods at all!)?
Yet my people have exchanged their Glory
for something without value.
Be aghast at this, you heavens!
Shudder in absolute horror!” says Adonai.
For my people have committed two evils:
they have abandoned me, the fountain of living water,
and dug themselves cisterns, broken cisterns,
that can hold no water!”
Jeremiah 2 :11-13 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

GOD, open the eyes of my heart . . . help me be YOUR LIGHT in the darkness . . .

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GOD not “church” . . . my thoughts

I agree with the thoughts in this article . . . a major time of pain and trauma was capped by an incident I used to view as my “reason” for walking away from “the church.”—I was 19 years old … hurting … disillusioned by horrible things that had happened to me; I was SO traumatized that I found facing each day more and more overwhelming. All the things I had believed to that point in my life had been destroyed – wiped out – totally obliterated and I did not know which way to turn—so with a raw and bleeding heart, I walked in to the Sunday evening service where I had been attending and the wife of an elder told me I was not welcome there because the “scriptural” justification of my marriage failure was not part of my official court document. I walked out of that building crying in pain and anger . . . at 19 years old, I said “if that is the way God’s people are and that is the way God is, I don’t want anything else to do with Him or them” and for 12 years the only way I used the name of God was in profanity and I did not set foot inside a church building.

Over the next several decades, I came to realize that my relationship had been with an organization, a “church,” a group of people, and not with God Himself. I doubt that I would have ever come to realize the difference if I had not had the “toxic words” thrown at me, if I had not been driven out of the “safety” of that organization and that would mean I probably would never have come to seek God as His Word repeatedly commands me to do . . . God tells me to seek HIM – He wants relationship with me!

God knows if I put my faith in people, they will fail me—just like I will fail them. BUT, God will never fail me nor forsake me. I can judge people and some of them fall short of the standards I require of my self, BUT God does not. So, bottom line is my relationship must be with God, not with an organization. “The Church” is not organized religious groups, it is simply individuals who are in relationship with God and that automatically connects them all THROUGH GOD . . . God is the connector! Meeting with others of like mind can be encouraging and strengthening, but it should not be a substitute for a relationship with God—no one should stand between me and God.

THE answer: GOD . . . only GOD! Open the eyes of my heart that I may see only GOD, HIS perfection within the perceived flaws of HIS creation, HIS life within a world seemingly filled with death, HIS image within every soul as HIS Love completes HIS creation . . . only GOD!
My Emancipation From American Christianity

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