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Archive for December, 2015

Lifestyles

A dove in the sky (Image found on Google Images)

 

It’s good to remember and keep in mind that your spiritual experiences are not only found within your own belief system but are found in all belief systems. Just as right as you believe you are, others in their beliefs systems know they are right as well, and that you are misled. You may believe their spiritual experiences are deceptions from their carnal mind or are even demonic, but keep in mind, they believe the same way about you.

Click on the link below to watch the video.

Spiritual Witnesses

 

I love that someone put this clip together to show testimonies from people of various belief systems sharing the same experiences that caused them to believe, change for the better, and want to reach out to others. I think it would have also been great if people who were touched and changed by a secular rock concert would have been included as well. Yes, that does happen. Hype, mental manipulation and desperation, etc, can cause the same effect across the board.  But of course, only those converted and touched within your religion are actually being blessed by the only one true way. And that doesn’t have to make sense because when it comes to spirituality, science and reasoning are off the table and no longer apply. So, until one is able to wake from their wishful thinking and brain washed state, reason is a sin.

 

And to those who are tolerant, accepting and willing to coexist, believing “there is more then one path…” wither I disagree or not, I commend you. You are not “wishy washy” “simple minded”, “wimpy”, “unable to makeup your mind”and other insults religious and non-religious people have thrown at you. It’s okay to accept people the way they are and to be happy for them. This is not a bad thing. It’s also okay to not know something and admit it, that doesn’t make you stupid or dumb. Pretending and convincing yourself you know something and then convincing others of the same is ignorant, arrogant and rude. Peace is good and more effective them hate, division, and other negative things.

 

Honesty can be good but one must start with themselves to be truly honest. Questioning everything is the “right path”. Feelings are nice and they are human but they should not determine what is true and what is false. Also remember, when you research, don’t just research from within your own belief system. Go outside your belief system as well. And don’t just believe the first thing you read or hear. Questioning and research do not stop at one or two articles, blogs or personal testimonies. Also remember to appreciate the feelings but to take them out of the proof equation since feelings can be triggered and manipulated. Even testimonies like those of healing, healing is not restricted to that persons belief system. If you can handle it you may even push further and look for reasons these things could have happened without a “miracle”. Take into account that a lot of people lie. Even nice people you trust may be prone to lie about certain things. But there are still plenty of others who are not lying but do not understand the science behind what has happened to them, therefore to them it is a legitimate miracle.

 

If you are the type that believes you need your religion, then stay with it, but, don’t be a jerk about it. If your belief system is actually good for you, (in other words, you are not being controlled, abused, and told to take your own life or another’s or sticking with it out of misplaced pride) then stay with it but accept and even fellowship with people who believe differently then you. It’s good for you, good for your community and good for the world. And by all means, speak up and encourage others to do the same so that the out spoken Fundies don’t keep getting all the attention. We need more people to help other people to get along peacefully without tying to change folks to their spiritual way of thinking.

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Maybe a small spoiler alert here. Though I think the trailer says as much. But just in case I thought I’d add the alert anyway.
Watched Joy the other day. When I saw that the director was David O. Russell and stared Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro & Bradley Cooper I knew I just had to see this movie. I must admit it wasn’t a busy movie and it was different but it was still really good. Another wonderful inspiring movie.
I recently finished reading David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell. This movie could have been in that book. lol (I plan to do a book review on David & Goliath later.)
I loved how Russell really showed not just the tragedy behind success but also took the audience on the emotional ups and downs of what it takes to succeed when things aren’t just easily handed to you. Gladwell’s book also takes you on several of those kinds of journeys but seeing it on screen as amazing actors act it out is a whole different level. And no, I don’t think this movie and Gladwells book had anything to do with each other, or maybe they did. Hum… lol What has Russell been reading? 
There’s also Gladwells book called What the Dog Saw which also makes it clear that you can’t be “lucky” if you don’t put your self in a position to be and to be ready. There’s no guarantee you will find success, but at least you will have a better chance. This movie really puts that into perspective. The only reason Joy was lucky enough to achieve amazing abundant success is because she trained herself, she made her self available, she pushed through when people told her to give up, she never stopped. If she hadn’t become a success she would have still left a wonderful legacy for her daughter.
As far as wither the movie is true or not, it’s a mix of both. Initially the story is about Joy Mangano. But, it is also about several other woman who went through a lot before becoming a success and those woman are all wrapped up in Joy’s character (played by Jennifer Lawrence) as well. I found a good article on it at The True Story Behind the Movie Joy.
Joyfilmposter

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I wasn’t gonna do it. Nope! It was my “my day” and I had decided to see Krampus at the matinee since I didn’t want to see the other options.  I wasn’t going to see the new Moby-Dick movie called, In the Heart of the Sea.

In_the_Heart_of_the_Sea_poster

I have a bit of a history with Moby-Dick. You see when my oldest, Hannah, was a toddler I got the move and we watched it. I didn’t realize that she would become obsessed with it and every time I would ask her what she wanted to watch she wouldn’t ask for a cartoon or princess movie, she would ask for Moby Dick. Yes, I am talking about the one staring Patrick Stewart. It was a good movie, but not really a movie I wanted to watch over and over again. But we did, we watched it over and over again.

moby dick patrick stewart

Although I decided not to see In the Heart of the Sea but to possibly wait till it came out on DVD I would have gone to see it with Hannah if she had wanted to. However, she lost her Moby Dick obsession a long time ago and had no interest in seeing the new film.

So it was the day before I planned to go to the cinema. I was looking at the movie times and it hit me. I had to see it, I had to see the new Moby-Dick movie. Almost like I didn’t have a choice. Almost like I’m the one with the obsession. But it’s not Moby-Dick I’m obsessed with. It the same as when I had to see the movie called San Andreas. It was my past, it was my home, it was my life, and I had to see it.

So that was it, I would go see In the Heart of the Sea.

I actually got teared up almost right away. They played a most epic Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer and I almost cried with happiness. It was awesome!

superman v batman

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

The movie (In the Heart of the Sea) was fine. It, like most Moby-Dick type moves, had it’s exciting parts and it’s slow moving parts. Other then wanting to see it because I lived on a sail boat in the Pacific I also had decided the cinema would be a good choice for the cinematography. I regret not seeing The Life of Pi in the theaters for that reason. However, In the Heart of the Sea didn’t have the amazing ocean and whale moments I was expecting and that the movie poster let on to have.

But as far as bringing back memories, that it did. Thankfully I was never a whaler. Oy, that would be an awful regret. But I do have ocean and harbor stories. Shoot, you want a scary giant whale, just sail close to a freighter in the ocean. Actually, you don’t even have to be close to feel the dread and the swell effects.

There were plenty of bad memories from the boat but it’s the good ones that take forefront and center. And really the bad ones are white washed and proud loved moments as well. That’s how adventure experience stories work.

The Atlantic ocean is so different from the Pacific. But it’s a step closer then the great lakes. Still, it’s the Pacific I really miss. And it’s adventure that really gets to me. Most my life has been an adventure one way or another. In some ways it still is. But it seems there are more moments of just existing then actually living and I miss the thrill of going new places and doing new things and watching my children learn on the road and experience real life and real people. Sure, living in a small town is real life and there are real people here, but most of them don’t seem to have a clue that there’s a bigger world out there. And some of them are actually afraid of that fact. I can’t help but go back to my idea of living in an RV and work camping and un-schooling and how awesome that would have been. It would have been an awesome adventure for us. As far as safety, shoot, going to public school is probably more dangerous.

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I found this pic on Google images. I gotta admit, there folks do look pretty scary. So glad my ex stopped us from running into to such dangerous people. 

I will do the best I can with what I have and my kids will make their own adventures in their own time. But I can’t help tearing up after a movie like that when thinking about all the adventures we could be on not just in an RV but if we could afford to go over seas and see the world. Not just as tourist but also as humanitarians.

Hannah desperately wants to go overseas to Italy or the UK as an exchange student or to do relief work. I have to believe we’ll find a way and she’ll make it sooner then later.

So, yeah, that’s what happens when I go to see a movie like In the Heart of the Sea. Horrible things are happening in the movie and I miss the adventure. Lol!

As far as the San Andreas movie, it was just fun seeing my old home shaken and torn apart, and having the ever so yummy Dwayne Johnson as the main character didn’t hurt either.

dwayne johnson

Dwayne Johnson

Back to In the Heart of the Sea, I just gotta add, don’t think that whales don’t have a sense of humor and know exactly what they are doing. Those big buggers are smart and know how to play a practical joke. Sure! I’ll tell you the story.

It was a bright and sunny day and the wind made for good sailing. We were crossing the ocean from Catalina Island to the main land. My mom was on the helm when my dad, sister and I spotted a whale off in the distance. It’s not just the water from the blow hole that gives them away, it’s also the flat water in the mist of cat claws (choppy water) that’s a dead giveaway.

To our delight the whale came near the bow of the boat so my dad, sister and I got a good look at it. Then it dove down and we saw it go off into the horizon. My mom being stuck on the helm was very disappointed in not having gotten to see the whale. What we all didn’t know was that the whale had backtracked and swam under our boat. It came up right behind the stern and blew water onto my mom who screamed and jumped a couple feet into the air. Of course we all about died laughing after that as we watched the whale flip it’s tail into the air and once again disappear under the sea.

moonshadow

My mom, dad, sister and me in front of the Moon Shadow right after moving aboard her in Oxnard, Ca. The bottom pic is of the Moon Shadow outside the harbor Avalon in Catalina Island. 

 

So you see, it’s not the sea sick moments or the boring moments I recall, it’s the beautiful ones like that that come to mind when watching a movie about a life I had a tiny piece of.

 

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I’ve written many more stories about my live aboard days and hopefully will be writing many more in the near future. Even better, I hope to have it published one day.

You can find the link to them either on my Moon Shadow Facebook fan page at  Moon Shadow – My live aboard days.

Or directly on here at  ‘Moon Shadow – My live aboard days’ .  You will just need to scroll to the bottom for Part 1.

 

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Poll –   The Merry Christmas Controversy.

 

I have been seeing FaceBook posts and meme’s and pictures being shared regarding non-Christians and Atheists being offended by people saying “Merry Christmas”. There are also still the posts, yard signs and bumper sticker signs saying “put Christ Back in Christmas” as well.

I am friends to people of all kinds of different walks of life, Christians, Pagans, Atheists, Muslims, Buddhists and so on. I myself an am atheist. I have read some obnoxious troll like comments from Atheists and Christians on Atheist and Christian debate group sites. It seems those type of site attract the idiots so I don’t hang out there. But as far as people I know and FaceBook friends it seems the “war on Christmas” is Christian propaganda to cause dissension and keep people from living in peace with each other. Most likely it’s the fundie Christians but the more positive Christians share and spread their Christmas propaganda as if it were true. If the sign actually started with a group like Westboro Baptist Church and the churches name was written in bold on it and it included something negative about American Veterans other Christians would likely not share it but would be against it. However, these propaganda signs do not list fundi churches like Westboro and people have a need to feel persecuted so it appeals to them and they hit the share button without fact checking and then get offended when someone disagrees or challenges them.

If I have been describing you, think about it. Why would someone make a sign about non-Christians trying to take Christ out of Christmas and about people trying to get rid of the “Merry Christmas” greeting? Sounds to me like they are trying to get you riled up and to feel persecuted so they can bring division in our country and promote hate instead of love.

If you are one of the folks who is offended when someone doesn’t say “Merry Christmas” to you but says a different greeting or a blessed holiday greeting from a different belief system then I suggest you do some internal searching. Who is really persecuting who? Who is actually being offensive? Doesn’t it sound sketchy that you want others to accept your holiday greeting but you are offended by theirs?

Sometimes we humans get like this slowly and we get caught up in fads and don’t realize we have lost our love and our peace. We don’t realize we are passing someone else agenda along and promoting it. Humans do that, it’s natural. Which is why I am writing this, to encourage you to stop and think about what you are really helping to spread. Sometimes hate and dissension are wrapped up in words that sound right. But the underlying tone is still hate and dissension.

And as far those who really are persecuting Christians, as well as other religions and Atheism, (yes, other beliefs and non-beliefs get persecuted too) spreading popular lies (or any lies and propaganda) is not going to help them or stop them. Truth is, the best weapon is love. I don’t always like that idea, some folks are just so annoying, but it is much more effective wither one likes it or not.

So instead of sharing posts about how people are trying to take your beliefs away from you, consider sharing or making posts about how you love folks regardless of what they believe and that you hope the best for them. It’s a much better testimony and a much better tool to spread peace and love.

 

Hope and love reason for the season

 

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The reason for the season… originally, was hope and distraction.

Being the longest nights of the year and coldest there was no guarantee one would live to see spring. Winter solstice celebrations provided a reminder that the long nights would soon get shorter and it provided a distraction from the suffering.

This is the reason that winter solstice of varying kinds are found all over the world and in most cultures.

Of course many of us don’t have to worry about such things now days but it’s still a good reminder of where we as humans came from and that our ancestors actually made it. Maybe they made it because such a celebration in the mist of despair gave them enough hope to not give up.

As far as the religious part of winter solstices it’s natural for folks to attach superstitious significance to a celebration and to inspire hope. Sometimes it didn’t start off as a religious thing but just story telling to make the holiday more fun and or to help future generations remember what to expect and how to prepare. Over time many of those creative stories got lost in the belief department.

So, it shouldn’t be about who’s origins is more original, but it should be about being thankful our forefathers lived though the dark times and gave us a chance to be here today. With or without religious significance, there is still plenty of reason to celebrate and find positive things to focus on.

The holi from holiday comes from the word holy. Holy indicates a note of purity. No matter what you believe or don’t believe finding a place of thankfulness is in it’s self holy. A pure form of being content.

Happy Holidays friends! I hope you embrace joy and peace during this time of Winter Solstice and have tolerance and acceptance for those who celebrate differently then you.

Winter-Solstice Josephine Wall

Winter Dreaming by Josephine Wall

 

 

 

 

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So many things are posted on FaceBook and other social medias that people haven’t fact checked. Many appeal to the emotions so they re-share without thinking it may be incorrect. Sensationalism and propaganda are most often wrapped in a way to appeal to certain types of people and the way they feel and believe. But just because something “backs up” something you feel is correct doesn’t make it so.

It’s always good to do a least a little research before sharing something. Or, if you just don’t have time or don’t know how, don’t be offended when someone does the work for you and then lets you know. They are not “haters” they are just truth seekers. And it’s a natural human thing to want to share what one has found. If they are sharing it with you then most likely they love you and or find you someone worth giving some time to.

Sure, there’s always those annoying cyber troll type folks, but someone disagreeing with you and giving you info on why and links to back it up isn’t trolling or bullying. They may even be wrong, just like you could be wrong. It’s okay! And it’s good to be challenged. If the post or info you shared is wrong be a decent person and don’t get upset over it. If you need to look perfect all the time you need some help cause that’s not healthy.

It’s okay to be wrong, to make mistakes and to be imperfect. It’s also okay to look into something and admit when you got it wrong or give your info source to “prove” you are right after all. In many cases both parties can be right and wrong. It’s great to be in communication with people who can help you tweak what you know and you can help them as well.

If everyone agrees with you on social media it’s a good idea to question what kind of online friends you actually have. It’s likely you could walk around with a giant bugger on your face and they would never tell you. And if you told them how yummy poison tasted they wouldn’t try to stop you but would more likely tell you how smart you are. In other words, “yes men”, or I should say, “yes friends”, are not folks you should trust.

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