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thanks to all for the great feedback

thanks to you ALL for the understanding and I DO really appreciate you all “writing in”
PS: Perhaps someone with more time and technical talents than than me could SET UP A BLOG with WordPress to discuss the issues raised and take comments. And I could do a LINK!

If the Lord makes you successful, I’ll keep you humble (…by spending all your money)!”
– a wife (I won’t say whose!)

Hi

Thanks for the feedback to you all, but I’m being swamped by “spam mail” (no, most not really “spam” – most of comments are great, but some people are abusing the system, just trying to promote their own products….and so spoiling it for most) For the past days I’ve spent all my time going through the mail and sorting out genuine comment

So I can’t go through the hundreds and hundreds of messages, I get each day and have to “simply empty the “spam” box (not really spam)

Still I’m pleased you readers are enjoying these thoughts (why I write) and I really DO APPRECIATE the feedback. Will try to read as many responses as I can each day, but may only approve a few. I’ll try to manage as best I can and “do as I go”
I do appreciate the feedback

To answer a few questions raised in your comments (I’m “snowed under”, so sorry, don’t have resources as a “one man band” to answer you individually)
* All my writings and articles may be freely reproduced (sorry don’t have time write for other websites), as I’m busy writing a few books at the moment
* If you clicked on contact and you keep on getting mail (or something like that) I know NOTHING, so contact WordPress admin direct. I put most of my energy, my focus into my books, so have no idea how to add sound, video, etc

* I don’t have a newsletter to subscribe to
* please feel free to link to the web site or my other wordpress blogs at http://craigsblogs.wordpress.com
* I’m a “total non-techno”, so know, nothing about web site design, feeds, etc. And lay-out is not one of my strong points. I just write! How I got am where I am now is a “miracle” . And no one would believe the story!
* Will try to post articles from time to time, but all my writings are available at http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/user/15565 and http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981 in case you’re interested
(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration

Thanks again for the understanding and back to writing new books  (have some new ideas)

craig

PS: Perhaps someone with more time and technical talents than than me could SET UP A BLOG with WordPress to discuss the issues raised and take comments , then I could do a LINK!

I, like most people am not religious, but rather ‘spiritual’ (and religion and dogma divides)

“We are all spiritual beings  on an earthly jouurney ” (or should that be the other way round)

Perhaps a new topic for discussion???

The various books that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4 and http://www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.html

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4 or my latest one (at least a couple of days ago) on the mind of Jesus at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007E2WXW0

If the Lord makes you successful, I’ll keep you humble (… spending all the household budget??)!”

– a wife (I won’t say whose!)

PPS
thanks to you all for the understanding and I DO really appreciate you all “writing in” with your unique perspectives

“When (or if ever) you arrive in heaven, let faith and love be the wings that carried you there.”
– as adapted from the inspiring words of Jonathan Edwards, former minister in New England, Massachusetts

“The Greatest Race: Living by (with) faith, hope and love is the highest podium any person can reach, God’s podium that anyone stand on.”

– craig

Having pursued the goals, the dreams set before us and run the race with persistence and endurance, after giving it all. Then one day standing on the summit of life, breathing in the pure sweet oxygen of achievement, totally satisfied in running the greatest race, the race of life one that ANYONE can run and win.

craig 11/11/11

 

What Do Muslims Believe about Jesus? (from ‘Basic Principles of Islam’)

Article Title: What Do Muslims Believe about Jesus? (from ‘Basic Principles of Islam’)

Author: Mohammed F Thompson

Submitted (with permission) by: Craig Lock

Category (key words): religion, Islam, Jesus, faith, beliefs, peace, spiritual, spiritual growth, spiritual unity, unity of religion (religions)

Web site: www.voiceofislamtv.com

Submitter’s web site: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4

The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at http://craigsblogs.wordpress.com

Other Articles by Craig are available at: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/user/15565 and http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981 (Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig

“We share what we know, so that we all may grow.”

WHAT DO MUSLIMS BELIEVE ABOUT JESUS? (from BASIC PRINCIPLES OF ISLAM)

Introduction:

Craig is studying the teachings of different religions (to find ‘common ground’/principles/ for his novel ‘A New Dawn: Let the Journey Begin’. And as he learns from his research, is sharing these notes in an attempt to ‘enlighten’ (himself and perhaps others) regarding ‘eternal and universal truths.’ And as I share these basic principles regarding the Islamic faith, I learn too. Hope this piece may be of interest to you.

*

The Miracle of the Holy Quran, the Spirit of Truth.

# Islam is a Complete Way of Life: A Muslim’s whole purpose in life is to worship Allah (God). The concept of Allah in Islam is that there is only one Allah for ALL of mankind. He is the Allah for Christians, the Jews, the Muslims, the Buddhists, the Hindus, the atheists and all human beings, whether they believe in Him or not.

# Islam rejects the idea of a chosen people

# Prayer is the foundation of Islam, which literally means “submission”

The nearest to Muslims are the Christians. * CHRIST IN ISLAM

Muslims believe in Jesus. The Muslim belief in Jesus Christ (pbuh) as a prophet of Allah is a fundamental article of faith in Islam. Muslims accept Jesus as one the most distinguished apostles of Allah. A Muslim believes that the greatness of Jesus (pbuh) arises from the fact that he was chosen by Allah and honoured with His word. Then he was entrusted with the revelations of Allah and commissioned to teach His message.

The Qu’ran Affirms the 2nd Coming of Jesus. It has been revealed in the Qu’ran that Jesus Christ (pbuh) will be returning to this world before the day of resurrection.

All Muslims believe, that Jesus (pbuh):

* Was one of the mightiest messengers of Allah.

* That he was the Messiah

* That he was conceived miraculously

* That he gave life to the dead with His (Allah’s) permission

* That he healed those born blind and the lepers by His (Allah’s) permission

In fact, no Muslim is a true Muslim, if he or she does not believe in prophet Jesus, his works, his teachings and his miracles.

* *

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MUSLIM AND CHRISTIAN BELIEF?

The oneness of Allah: In Islam the greatest sin is to associate partners with Allah. It is forbidden for a Muslim to adolize any person or thing, like movie stars, singers, saints or any created beings (living or dead). This is why a Muslim cannot accept either that Jesus (pbuh) could be the son of Allah, or the notion of trinity.

The rejection of trinity: “Christ Jesus, the son of Mary was (no more than) a Messenger of Allah.”

Jesus was NOT crucified. Holy Qur’an: An-Nisa (4) Ayah:157-158 157. That they said (in boast), “We killed Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah.” “But they killed him not, nor crucified him; but it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely they killed him not.” 158: But Allah raised him up to Himself. And Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise.”

However, Jesus (pbuh) is NOT Allah. A Muslim is not considered a Muslim, if he does not believe in Jesus (pbuh); but we believe in him as a Prophet, not as a God or the only begotten son of Allah and so on. The acceptance of Jesus Christ by Muslims is a fundamental article of faith in Islam. Muslims accept Jesus as one of the most distinguished apostles of Allah.

Islam is the way of ‘Unity’. Any relationship with Allah is direct and personal, without the mediation of a priest or Imam (learned Islam scholar). Only Allah can forgive sins.

INFORMATION SOURCED (directly with permission) from a booklet BASIC PRINCIPLES OF ISLAM by Mohammed F Thompson

(Published by Voice of Islam. Copyright C 2005 website: www.voiceofislamtv.com * *

QUALITIES OF CHRIST IN THE QU’RAN

Sura 2.87 He is endowed with the Holy Spirit.

Surah 3:45 He is the Messiah, the Christ.

Surah 3.45-46 He is the Mediator.

Surah 3.49 He healed the sick and raised the dead.

Surah 4.158 He ascended to God.

Surah 4.171 He is a messenger of God (Allah), the Word.

Surah 5.49, 110, 111

In Surah 5.49, it says about Jesus:

‘Confirming that which came before him in the Torah, we sent him the Gospel.

He brought the gospel of guidance and light.

Surah 6.85 He is Righteous.

Surah 19.19. He is Pure and Holy.

When the angel announced to Mary the ‘gift of a holy son’ in Surah 19.19, it meant that he would be faultless, without sin.

Surah 43.61 He is coming before the hour of Judgment.

And in the Bible St Paul declares that it was actually Jesus who brought this gospel to the world.

As Paul writes in Romans 1.

16: ‘I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ; because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

and

17: For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written,

‘The just shall live by faith.”‘

website: www.voiceofislamtv.com

*

ISLAMIC WEB SITES

Listed below are some useful web sites (for you to browse), if you are interested to know more about Islam and Muslims

www.sultan.org

www.islemtoday.com

www.islamway.com

www.islamonline.net

www.islamhouse.com

* *

I hope that this information may be of interest to you…and perhaps get you thinking about these “deep and serious subjects”… and that’s my reason for sharing.

Religion divides; whereas truth unites.”

“The way we live is far more important than what we believe.”

“Those of us who long for moderation will continue to hope for understanding of complex issues with reasoned dialogue and a spirit of understanding between different faiths.”

Humanity has far more in common than our differences, what separates us.

So isn’t WHAT UNITES US IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHAT DIVIDES US?

With UNDERSTANDING comes TOLERANCE and with TOLERANCE comes UNDERSTANDING.

Walk your OWN path to Highest Truth and be happy

Shared (with permission) by craig

Former Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa Desmond Tutu once said these wise and inspiring words: “We have come to a time in the history of the world, where we need to rediscover the path to peace, and the path to peace can never be war. This pathway is lined with the concept of co-existence and co-inhabitance of the world.”

“A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends and when the soul of a nation, long supressed, finds utterance.” – Jahrulal Nehru, first Prime Minister of India

“It is time for people of good will from every faith, culture and nation to recognise that a terrible danger threatens humanity. We must set aside the partisan bickering between nations and join together to confront the danger that lies before us. Let us seek common ground between peoples around the globe… because what unites us is far more important than what divides us.”

“There is neither east nor west, tribe nor ethnicity, male or female, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist. Christian nor Jew. There is only a God-filled humanity.”

“Let each one of us build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls. Let us look at distant horizons together in a spirit of acceptance, helpfulness, co-operation and peace. Let our leaders look at the future with a vision – to see things not as they are, but what they could one day become.”

Let us build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls. Rather than borders, let us look at distant horizons together…in the common spirit of the value and dignity of a shared personhood – our common humanity as citizens of planet earth.”

– craig

“When people’s hearts are full of love, the world is filled with hope.”

“With passion and purpose in our individual lives we can touch others and in so doing illuminate the hearts and minds of humanity to make a better world (through helping raise the ‘collective consciousness’). Let us encourage our leaders towards an alternate vision for the world to embrace: one that banishes the fanatical ideology of intolerance and hatred to the darkness from which it emerged. Each one of us in our own little ways can offer (and most importantly, LIVE) this compelling new horizon: a bright future of justness and justice, tolerance, respect for other traditions and values. Especially a vision of hope and thoughts of peace fuelled by the eternal flame of love, which can light the darkest night… always “ – me

“God, The Essence of Life, the Ground of All Being, is leading us to the light. What we learn in the darkness, we are to share in the eternal light.”

“Nothing that I can do will change the structure of the universe. But maybe, by raising my voice I can help the greatest of all cause – goodwill among men and peace on earth.”

– Albert Einstein

“What we believe is not nearly as important as how we relate, interact with each other… and how we live. Only when we can say, ‘I am first and foremost a human being, and second a Jew, Muslim, Shi’ite, a Sunni, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, or a Sikh …’ will we progress and break down barriers between peoples, nations and cultures, east and west. Let not our beliefs , but our shared humanity (ALL of us) define who we really are.”

– craig

About the submitter:

In his various writings, little by little, one mind, one soul, one life at a time, Craig strives to break down social, cultural, religious and economic barriers through sharing information and “planting, then watering uplifting ideas and seeds of hope”. He truly believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share as ‘human beans’ is way more important than what divides us.

Craig’s new manuscript, ‘A New Dawn’ is set in the Middle East: In it he attempts to find ‘common ground’/principles between different religions and cultures and to try to make some difference in building bridges in an ever more dangerous, turbulent and uncertain world. A passionate story of inspiration: hope, faith, peace and especially love.

The various books that craig “felt inspired to write” (including A New Dawn’ ) are available at: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4c and and http://www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.html

Also http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/craiglock (ebooks) www.creativekiwis.com/index.php/books/74-craigs-bookswww.lulu.com/craiglock and https://www.xinxii.com/asresults.php?s4=craig+lock&sid=1

The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at http://buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.com  http://religiousunity.wordpress.com/ and http://craigsblogs.wordpress.com

“Together, one mind, one heart, one life at a time, today let’s plant the seeds, the hope of a better and brighter future (for tomorrow)”

“God is a mystery, the ‘mystery of life’, a Creative Presence, Who/That allows me to be who I really want to be and become.”

“God, the Essence of Life, is the great mystery in the vast unknown; yet He(??) is understandable.”

“God, The Essence of Life, the Ground of All Being, is leading us to the light.

These writings may be freely published with acknowledgment to the source (Mohammed F Thompson), thanks

What we learn in the darkness, we are to share in the eternal light.

May the Grace of our loving Creator care for and watch over you all … always

“Its Always Darkest Before the Dawn”

“Don’t judge others (as you haven’t stood, walked in their shoes*)

treat everyone with respect (and especially their right to hold certain beliefs)

listen hard and speak less (why we were born with two ears and one mouth)

practice wellness and well-being

play with abandon

don’t take life too seriously (fall in love with yourself and ensure a life-long romance)

laugh (often and especially at yourself)

choose your life path with no regrets

continue to learn (we’re never too old along life’s amazing journey)

appreciate your friends and especially family

do what you love (then you’ll never have to do a day’s work in your life)

and that will ensure success

live generously (not with you don’t have , but with what you DO have) in an attitude, a spirit of gratitude

live with intention and faith

(be bold and unseen forces come to one’s aid)

walk to the edge in total commitment

accept that life is a challenge (huge at times)

so treasure it

then submit to God, the mystery of life, the Ground of All Being

live as if this is all there is.

simply doing your very best and let God do the rest”

– craig (as adapted from and inspired by mary ann radmacher)

* “Until you walk a mile in another man’s moccasins you can’t imagine the smell.”

“For I know that the plans I have for you”, says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster (evil), to give you a future and a hope.

“Then you will call upon Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me with all your heart. I will be found by you”, says the Lord.

Jeremiah 29:25 (11-13)

“It is always darkest before the dawn”

“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.”

– Og Mandino

Article Title: Sharing Some More Uplifting Thoughts (from My Collection)

Shared by: Craig Lock

Category (key words): Words of upliftment, uplifting thoughts, inspiration, words of encouragement and empowerment

Web sites: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4 and http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007IX0MNW

The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at http://craigsblogs.wordpress.com

Other Articles are available at: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/user/15565 and http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981 (Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration

Publishing Guidelines:

All my articles may be freely reproduced. If they help and encourage others “out there in any way” , then we’re very happy.

“We share what we know, so that we all may grow.”

A collection of uplifting thoughts that I’ll will post in an Amazon e-book (not another one, craig!), as I collect and jot them down instead of collecting stamps or bottle-tops!

 

20th March

 

THOUGHTS TO LIVE BY

 

“Don’t judge others (as you haven’t stood, walked in their shoes*)

treat everyone with respect (and especially their right to hold certain beliefs)

listen hard and speak less (why we were born with two ears and one mouth)

practice wellness and well-being

play with abandon

don’t take life too seriously (fall in love with yourself and ensure a life-long romance)

laugh (often and especially at yourself)

choose your life path with no regrets

continue to learn (we’re never too old along life’s amazing journey)

appreciate your friends and especially family

do what you love (then you’ll never have to do a day’s work in your life)

and that will ensure success

live generously (not with you don’t have , but with what you DO have) in an attitude, a spirit of gratitude

live with intention and faith

(be bold and unseen forces come to one’s aid)

walk to the edge in total commitment

accept that life is a challenge (huge at times)

so treasure it

then submit to God, the mystery of life, the Ground of All Being

live as if this is all there is.

simply doing your very best and let God do the rest”

– craig (as adapted from and inspired by mary ann radmacher)

 

 

* “Until you walk a mile in another man’s moccasins you can’t imagine the smell.”

 

“For I know that the plans I have for you”, says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster (evil), to give you a future and a hope.

“Then you will call upon Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me with all your heart. I will be found by you”, says the Lord.

Jeremiah 29:25 (11-13)

“It is always darkest before the dawn”

“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.”

– Og Mandino

The important thing in life is not to triumph but to compete…it’s not victory but combat…not to have vanquished but to have fought well…not winning but taking part.”

― Pierre de Coubertin (French Educator, primarily responsible for the revival of the Olympic Games in 1894. 1863-1937)

“There are so many challenges waiting for you to accept:

the challenge of a new opportunity

the challenge to beat yesterday’s record

the challenge to compete against yourself

the challenge to grow personally, a little more each day.

“We must set out to do a good job,

irrespective of race, and do it so well

that nobody could do it better”.

– Martin Luther King, Jnr.

 

“If a man is called to be a street-sweeper,

he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted,

or Beethoven composed music, or

Shakespeare wrote poetry.

He should sweep streets so well

that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say,

here lived a great street sweeper

who did his job well.”

– Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I want to write the way Gilles Villeneuve drove and slid his blood -red Formula One Ferrari… with wild enthusiasm, a sense of abandonment and youthful exuberance, yet also with the artists craft of a Stirling Moss, a Jim Clark, and especially an Ayrton Senna, living on the razor-blade edge of life.”

 

“One of the greatest powers in the world is a positive idea”

“The principles you live by create the world you live in.”

“Those who say it’s impossible, should stand aside and make way for those who say: ‘With the right will, commitment, dedication, persistence, courage and especially faith, one sunny day IT’ IS POSSIBLE’! – craig

“As we live and move and have our being, so from this vision, we can create heaven in our own lives… and perhaps even heaven on earth.”

– craig (as inspired by the words of Felicia Searcy)

Man is a great wall builder The Berlin Wall The Wailing Wall of Jerusalem But the wall most impregnable Has a moat flowing with fright around his heart

A wall without windows for the spirit to breeze through without a door for love to walk in.”

– OSWALD MTSHALI, Soweto (South African) poet from ‘My Traitor’s Heart’ by Rian Malan (published by Vintage 1990)

“Let us tear down the walls of our hearts in order to tear down the walls of concrete”

– Fouad Twal (top Roman Catholic official in the Holy land and Palestinian citizen of Jordan)

“You can cut down the flower, but nothing can stop the coming of the spring.”

“It was always seems impossible….

until it gets done.”

– Nelson Mandela

“Power is worth nothing, while you stand as an enemy to the people.”

Heed those words, President Assad!

“Instead of the limits of borders (of countries and of our minds) let us and our leaders expand our sense of possibility… and together let’s look at building bridges to distant horizons, far and great. Lord, help us all lift our eyes a little higher.” – craig

“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They already somehow know what you truly want to become.”

“For me, God is a Creative Presence (far greater and deeper than my own consciousness). A Presence that I can experience on earth and allows me to be all that I am able to become.”

– craig

“When you were born,

you cried and the world rejoiced.

Live your life so when you die,

the world cries and you rejoice.”

– Indian saying

Thanks, dearest mom, your spirit will live on…forever

craig

“The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ would take the slums out of people, and then they would take themselves out of the slums.

The world would mould men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behaviour, but Christ can change human nature.”

― Ezra Taft Benson, 27th President of the US

Hope gives one a dream.

YOU be the spark that light that lights the flame of hope in others

The Story of the Four Candles

The Four Candles burned slowly.

Their ambiance was so soft you could hear them speak…

The first candle said, “I Am Peace, but these days, nobody wants to keep me lit.”

Then Peace’s flame slowly diminished and went out completely.

The second candle said, “I Am Faith, but these days, I am no longer indispensable.”

Then Faith’s flame slowly diminished and went out completely.

Sadly the third candle spoke, “I Am Love and I haven’t the strength to stay lit any longer.”

“People put me aside and don’t understand my importance

They even forget to love those who are nearest to them.” And waiting no longer, Love went out completely.
Suddenly…
A child entered the room and saw the three candles no longer burning.
The child began to cry,
“Why are you not burning? You are supposed to stay lit until the end.”
Then the Fourth Candle spoke gently to the little boy,
“Don’t be afraid, for I Am Hope, and while I still burn,
we can re-light the other candles.”
With shining eyes, the child took the Candle of Hope
and lit the other three candles.
Never let the Flame of Hope go out. With Hope in your life, no matter how bad things may be,
Peace, Faith and Love may shine brightly once again.
“We are choosing hope over fear, unity over division, a new vision for the world. And so it is the triumph of life over death, of love over hate, of light over darkness …”

“As we live and move and have our being, so from this vision, we create heaven in our own lives… and perhaps even heaven on earth.”

– craig (as inspired by Acts 17:28 and the words of Felicia Searcy)

When (or if ever) you arrive in heaven, let faith and love be the wings that carried you there.”

– as adapted from the inspiring words of Jonathan Edwards, former minister in New England, Massachusetts

“The Greatest Race: Living by (with) faith, hope and love is the highest podium any person can reach, God’s podium that anyone stand on.”

– craig

Having pursued the goals, the dreams set before us and run the race with persistence and endurance, after giving it all. Then one day standing on the summit of life, breathing in the pure sweet oxygen of achievement, totally satisfied in running the greatest race, the race of life one that ANYONE can run and win.

craig 11/11/11

From It’s Always Darkest Before the Dawn

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007IX0MNW

And now as I move into the next part of this journey, I know that it will soon be time for me to take my hands off this book and let it find a life of its own.

 

The various books* that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available at: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4 and http://www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.html

THESE THOUGHTS MAY BE FREELY PUBLISHED

“For I know that the plans I have for you”, says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster (evil), to give you a future and a hope.

“Then you will call upon Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me with all your heart. I will be found by you”, says the Lord.

Jeremiah 29:25 (11-13)

I’M A BELIEVER

Our existence is shaped and enlivened by believing there is an infinite power – one that transcends our abilities to comprehend and describe it. Seeking God stretches our human limits. Giving expression to God inspires some of our greatest achievements. But if, like de Botton, we make religion God-free, we reduce it to a finite bunch of “good” things we could also find in a Rotary club or music appreciation society. We would lose the deeper connections and the sense of infinite possibilities yet to unfold.

Such faith helps us believe in something far bigger and beyond ourselves; it helps guide us to the heart of complex human issues we’re seeking to solve; and it helps us avoid hubris. As I began to glimpse all that many years ago, my universe suddenly seemed intensely intimate, yet unfathomably infinite. The hope that sparked in me still burns today.

I’m a believer

From www.listener.co.nz/current-affairs/what-good-is-religion-anyway/

Key words: faith, religion, Christianity, Rod Oram, The Listener

Like many Christians, Rod Oram struggles to express the mystery at the core of his faith.

A decade or so from now, the Square Kilometre Array, a radio telescope to be built at a cost of $2.4 billion, will let us look back 13.7 billion years ago to the Big Bang, the birth of the universe. Some people will see only stars. Others will see stars – but also glimpse God.

When philosopher Alain de Botton looks at religion, he sees some things he wants to co-opt for secular society. But he denies the source. He’s simply the latest atheist to rubbish religion but concede that it’s handy, and his book Religion for Atheists is derivative. Among his predecessors, Machiavelli said religion was one way to control the rabble; Diderot, a leader of the French Enlightenment, said social unity requires religion; and Matthew Arnold, poet, school inspector and son of the famous headmaster of Rugby School, said Christianity soothes the working classes.

In the same vein, de Botton reckons religion is “sporadically useful, interesting and consoling”. Among other benefits it “teaches us to be polite, to honour one another, to be faithful and sober” and instructs us in “the charms of community”. Indeed it does. But so can other elements of society; and if you fancy good wine, coffee, music, art, architecture and a host of other agreeable things, the marketplace will provide far better than most churches. If that was all there was to religion, secular competition would have killed it off a long time ago.

But religion is flourishing around the world. Take China: 31% of its citizens surveyed by the Pew Research Centre in 2006 said religion was very or somewhat important to them; there are 100 million Buddhists in the country, according to Xinhua, the official news agency; and by some estimates, Christians outnumber Communist Party members. Given the rapid rise of house churches, China could one day have more Christians than the United States.

So, it seems religion offers us something more than some trappings of civilised society. Could it be God? Nonsense, say the atheists. We buried that ridiculous idea long ago. We moved on to higher things. Yet against their wills, they keep being drawn back to the coffin to check if it really is empty.

Even outspoken atheist Richard Dawkins has his bad days. Recently on BBC Radio he was pressed to name the full title of his bible, the seminal book on evolution written by Charles Darwin. Rattled, Dawkins blurted out: “On the Origin of Species … Uh. With, oh, God …” Was that just a figure of speech? Or was it a peek into his soul?

I have some sympathy for Dawkins. You might rattle me as much if you asked me in public to describe the God I believe in. Like many Christians and members of other faiths, I struggle to express the mystery that is the very essence of my religion. And the more science tells us, the more the mystery deepens. Even when the Square Kilometre Array shows us the Big Bang and when biologists create artificial cells that survive and replicate, as they promise soon to do, the origins and meaning of life will remain as elusive as ever.

Yet our existence is shaped and enlivened by believing there is an infinite power – one that transcends our abilities to comprehend and describe it. Seeking God stretches our human limits. Giving expression to God inspires some of our greatest achievements. But if, like de Botton, we make religion God-free, we reduce it to a finite bunch of “good” things we could also find in a Rotary club or music appreciation society. We would lose the deeper connections and the sense of infinite possibilities yet to unfold.

The world has never needed meaning and hope so urgently. We’re failing to solve even today’s social, environmental and economic problems. But they are easy compared with the challenges in coming decades. If 10 billion people are to live even moderately well on this planet, we will have to achieve a scale, scope and speed of change that goes far beyond anything humankind has achieved before.

To do so, we will need strong communities, local and global – ones capable of creating and adopting the immense changes we must make in technologies, systems, values and many other aspect of our lives. Thriving on common sense, common purpose and common wealth, these communities will have the courage to progress and the compassion to bring everyone with them.

God-free religion offers nothing to those communities other than the safe secular bits de Botton plucks out. Although these bits contribute to a functioning society, they are on their own massively inadequate for the tasks at hand. But God-filled religion connects us profoundly with everything in our infinite universe. It offers us unlimited opportunities and a transformative power far beyond anything we humans can muster on our own.

Such faith helps us believe in something far bigger and beyond ourselves; it helps guide us to the heart of complex human issues we’re seeking to solve; and it helps us avoid hubris. As I began to glimpse all that many years ago, my universe suddenly seemed intensely intimate, yet unfathomably infinite. The hope that sparked in me still burns today.

Rod Oram is a former business editor of the New Zealand Herald and an adjunct professor in the Unitec business school.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

 

From www.listener.co.nz/current-affairs/what-good-is-religion-anyway/

“People fight and die for religion but they seldom LIVE for religion.”
– J. Nehru, former Prime Minister of India”

“The greatest good we can do for others is reveal the rich treasure inside themselves; so shine your own bright light on an often darkened world… with the highest level of humanity …and have great fun along the journey of life.”

“There is neither east nor west, tribe nor ethnicity, male or female, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist. Christian nor Jew. There is only a God-filled humanity.”

About the submitter:
In his various writings, little by little, one mind, one heart, one soul at a time, Craig strives to break down and economic, social, cultural and religious barriers. Craig believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share in the form of our common humanity is way more important than what divides us.

www.craiglockbooks.comhttp://www.selfgrowth.com/experts/craig_lock.html

The various books* that Craig “felt inspired to write” (including his books on Jesus and his numerous e-books on “the spiritual journey”) are available at: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4
Also http://www.creativekiwis.com/books.html http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/craiglock (e-books) www.lulu.com/craiglock

https://www.xinxii.com/asresults.phps4=craig+lock&sid=1&osCsid=7d30atm8g… www.craigsbooks.wordpress.com

“When people’s hearts are full of love, the world is filled with hope.”

“Together, one mind, one life at a time, let’s see how many people we can impact, encourage, empower, uplift and perhaps even inspire to reach their fullest potentials.”

PPS

“God is a mystery, a Creative Presence, the mystery, the Ultimate Source of Life, the Fountain of all Goodness, Who/That allows me to be who I really want to be and become

AN “INTERVIEW” WITH JESUS ON THE STATE OF THE WORLD TODAY

Jesus, why is the world such a mess and how can the world be made a better place?
It always has been, but these are particularly uncertain days in history. Still the current state of the world saddens me greatly.. especially the great divisions between nations. My message (very simple) today is still as relevant as ever. Justice, respect for all people, hope, love and peace. And if more people could just follow my simple teachings of 2000 years ago the world would be transformed. These teachings are practical solutions to the problems of the world … and they are as valid in my time on earth… today and always.
What can be done to bring unity between people, particularly between east and west, as there are so many religions (apparently conflicting), cultures and religious traditions?
A spirit of love is the well-spring of hope and brings people together… and this brings peace. Put God, the Father first, love your neighbour as yourself… and everything else, GOOD flows from that.
Is there one God and are YOU God, Jesus? There are many manifestations of God and I am but one manifestation. I have always had a very special relationship with my Father; but so can YOU, if you so choose.
I call myself “Son of Man”, in fact, more than “Son of God”, but everyone is a “child of God, the Father”. I just have and always will have a very special, intimate relationship with God, my Father.
There will be other messengers bringing God’s message after me, as our Father works through special people on earth (those who have a special sense of ‘mission and destiny’ and are available and totally committed to me). Then they are my hands and voice, a channel for my spirit to flow through.

When (or if ever) you arrive in heaven, let faith and love be the wings that carried you there.”
– as adapted from the inspiring words of Jonathan Edwards, former minister in New England, Massachusetts

“The Greatest Race: Living by (with) faith, hope and love is the highest podium any person can reach, God’s podium that anyone stand on.”

– craig

Having pursued the goals, the dreams set before us and run the race with persistence and endurance, after giving it all. Then one day standing on the summit of life, breathing in the pure sweet oxygen of achievement, totally satisfied in running the greatest race, the race of life one that ANYONE can run and win.

craig 11/11/11

AN “INTERVIEW” WITH JESUS ON THE STATE OF THE WORLD TODAY
“MY CONVERSATIONS WITH GOD” ( THROUGH JESUS)
Key words (Tags): Jesus, Jesus Christ, teachings, “inspiration”, faith, new book, ‘The Real, The True Jesus’
Submitter’s Note:
The ‘reporter’ “did this interview with Jesus” yesterday and he doesn’t know whether he’s really crazy sharing this personal “interview” publically on the net (perhaps I’ll be locked away by funny little men in white coats), but am just doing it… “impulsively” (as always).
“Be bold and unseen forces come to one’s aid.”
Craig is currently writing a new manuscript titled ‘The Real, The True Jesus: The One I Know and Love’
“Lucky” 13th Feb 2010
*
“MY CONVERSATIONS WITH GOD” through Jesus
Jesus, why is the world such a mess and how can the world be made a better place?
It always has been, but these are particularly uncertain days in history. Still the current state of the world saddens me greatly.. especially the great divisions between nations. My message (very simple) today is still as relevant as ever. Justice, respect for all people, hope, love and peace. And if more people could just follow my simple teachings of 2000 years ago the world would be transformed. These teachings are practical solutions to the problems of the world … and they are as valid in my time on earth… today and always.
What can be done to bring unity between people, particularly between east and west, as there are so many religions (apparently conflicting), cultures and religious traditions?
A spirit of love is the well-spring of hope and brings people together… and this brings peace. Put God, the Father first, love your neighbour as yourself… and everything else, GOOD flows from that.
Is there one God and are YOU God, Jesus? There are many manifestations of God and I am but one manifestation. I have always had a very special relationship with my Father; but so can YOU, if you so choose.
I call myself “Son of Man”, in fact, more than “Son of God”, but everyone is a “child of God, the Father”. I just have and always will have a very special, intimate relationship with God, my Father.
There will be other messengers bringing God’s message after me, as our Father works through special people on earth (those who have a special sense of ‘mission and destiny’ and are available and totally committed to me). Then they are my hands and voice, a channel for my spirit to flow through.
*
What about Allah?
As I said, there is only ONE Infinite Spirit, One God. It’s just another term for the Creator of the Universe, which stems from different cultures, another tradition.
So are you saying all rivers lead to the ocean?
No, not all oceans are the same. Because each person’s path is different and you’ll have different experiences of God along the journey, depending on what you believe. So YOU choose what the concept of God (or “my Father”) means to you. And everyone’s experience of Heaven, the Kingdom of God will then be different… because of their unique journeys of life.
So are you the only way to God?
I am quite horrified by the way the church has applied much of what I taught over the past 2000 years, taken some statements out of context for their own ends (and even omitted many of my words). Power for its own sake is corrupting (and dangerous). I used (and use) parables to get my message across very simply, but so much of what I said is taken so literally.
I said no-one comes to the Father, except through ME. Other religions don’t offer a personal relationship with God, the Ultimate Source, and don’t utilise the concept of God as “a Father figure”. So only those who follow me will have a “Christ-consciousness” (and this is different to an “Allah consciousness” of the same ONE God).
I hope, I trust that my spirit comes alive through my words… giving hope eternally…and the only way I could do that was to die as I did!
“When (or perhaps rather if) you arrive in heaven, let hope, faith and love be the wings that carried you there.”
God bless you all.”
Jesus
13th Feb in the year 2010
“If I can throw a single ray of light across the darkened pathway of another;
if I can aid some soul to clearer sight of life and duty, and thus bless my brother;
if I can wipe from any human cheek a tear,
I shall not have lived my life in vain while here.
If I can guide some erring one to truth, inspire within his heart a sense of duty;
if I can plant within my soul of rosy youth a sense of right, a love of truth and beauty;
if I can teach one man that God and heaven are near,
I shall not then have lived in vain while here.
If from my mind I banish doubt and fear, and keep my life attuned to love and kindness;
if I can scatter light and hope and cheer, and help remove the curse of mental blindness;
if I can make more joy, more hope, less pain,
I shall not have lived and loved in vain.
If by life’s roadside I can plant a tree, beneath whose shade some wearied head may rest,
though I may never share its beauty, I shall yet be truly blest –
though no one knows my name, nor drops a flower upon my grave,
I shall not have lived in vain while here.”
– Anonymous
Today, don’t just try to make a living… try to make a difference
“If a man is called to be a street-sweeper,
he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted,
or Beethoven composed music,
or Shakespeare wrote poetry.
He should sweep streets so well,
that all the hosts of heaven will pause to say,
here lived a great street sweeper
who did his job well.
– Martin Luther King, Jr

“Instead of the limits of borders (of countries and of our minds) let us and our leaders expand our sense of possibility… and together let’s look at building bridges to distant horizons, far and great. Lord, help us all lift our eyes a little higher.”
– craig

About the submitter:
In his various writings, little by little, one mind, one heart, one soul at a time, Craig strives to break down and economic, social, cultural and religious barriers. Craig believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share in the form of our common humanity is way more important than what divides us.
He is currently “writing” ‘Jesus Meets Muhammad’.
www.craiglockbooks.com

The various books that Craig “felt inspired to write” (including Jesus Meets Muhammad, as well as his other e-books on Jesus) ) are available at : http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4

Also www.creativekiwis.com/index.php/books/74-craigs-books https://www.xinxii.com/adocs.php?aid=16831 http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/craiglock + www.lulu.com/craiglock
The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at http://craigsblogs.wordpress. and http://craiglock.wordpress.com

“Together, one mind, one heart, one life at a time, today let’s plant the seeds, the hope of a better and brighter future (for tomorrow”
When (or if ever) you arrive in heaven, let faith and love be the wings that carried you there.” – as adapted from the inspiring words of Jonathan Edwards, former minister in New England, Massachusetts

“The Greatest Race: Living by (with) faith, hope and love is the highest podium any person can reach, God’s podium that anyone stand on.”

Having pursued the goals, the dreams set before us and run the race with persistence and endurance, after giving it all. Then one day standing on the summit of life, breathing in the pure sweet oxygen of achievement, totally satisfied in running the greatest race, the race of life one that ANYONE can run and win.

craig 11/11/11