Halloween and my experience with “The Personals”

We attended a birthday party today where several adults mentioned that they were heading off to Halloween parties tonight, and described the costumes they were planning to wear.  Adults dressing up for Halloween was something unheard of when I was a child.  Halloween was an affair strictly for children.  Participation is Halloween seemed to end for most of us during our high school years, and older teenagers never went door to door for candy treats with most of us opting for parties in someone’s home, or some school organized social function. Halloween seems to have changed to involve adults sometime in the last 25 years. This may have come about from the commericialization of just about every holiday.

Lately I feel somewhat torn on Halloween. Autumn is my favorite season and I enjoyed Halloween as a child.  However, the church we belong to highly discourages any participation in Halloween for a variety of reasons, but mainly because, as Christians, we believe in celebrating eternal life and not a festival of death. It also reduces death, spirits, and afterlife to something that can be parodied.  Christians don’t believe in ghosts, but we do believe in demons which do deceive and harm living people. They have existed for thousands of years, and they know all the human weaknesses.  Modern, secular society battles with them almost completely unarmed.

As I sit here typing late on a this dark Halloween night, I bring up a little vignette from my colorful past which is perfectly suited for Halloween.  After I was deserted by my first wife, I threw myself into my work.  It took me several years to emerge from my funk after I realized that work is no substitute for companionship.  In my late ’30s, I had to start over from scratch because, by then, not only had I long been out of circulation, but the only girl I ever dated I ended up marrying. It just worked out that way, but we parted 10-years later and I was a late 30-something with no dating experience. I also lacked a social circle. For when two people divorce, you also end up divorcing a significant portion of your mutual friends and acquaintances.  Your friends become collateral damage in a fractured relationship as they take sides or fade away. To limit my prospects further, I work in a field where I am surrounded by other men. So not being a barfly, and lacking the time and opportunity to develop relationships, I turned to what was once known in the pre-Internet era as “the personals”.

Over the course of a few years, I met many interesting women from the personals, but one in particular stands out. Her name was Patricia.  At our first meeting I asked her why such a nice girl needed to use the personals.  It seems that not only was she wrapped up in her own job with its own unique demands, but she indicated that it was often difficult to get a date in her line of work — she was a mortician.

Patricia indicated that to succeed in her chosen profession, one needs only three qualities.  A strong stomach, lots of empathy, and you REALLLY need to enjoy working with people.  Inevitably we would come to discuss the technical aspects of her job, and there were a few stories.  It seems that it is common for females in her field to be “hit on” by newly bereaved husbands.  She always rebuffed these advances because it violated a code of professional ethics.  Then there were, the “clients”.  Most of them were elderly as one might expect. People in her field tend to depersonalize the body they are working on, but she found it difficult to do this when she had to work with children. In one case, she was assigned to work on a girl of about 8-years old who died of a hemorraghic disease. She soon found herself talking to the girl, telling her how pretty she was, how beautiful her hair is — while as she stood there talking, the girl’s body was dissolving in front of her.  Then there was the time she was “stuck”.  It happened when she was working on a drug user who had died of AIDS, and her kevlar suit was punctured by a hypodermic needle which went into her arm.  That caused her much anxiety until the tests eventually came back negative.

Patricia often worked alone, and most of her cases were uneventful. Patricia told me she did not believe in ghosts, but she indicated there were two instances where she felt that she was not alone.  In those two cases, she sensed a presence close-by as if someone was observing her at work.  There was no one there, of course. Nothing in her peripheral vision.  It was just a feeling, her intuition, but enough to raise the hair on her arms. Maybe she was working too long, or too late on those days.  But perhaps it’s possible some of us stick around and take an interest in what happens to our remains after our sprit separates from them. I’m reminded of the old admonition to not speak ill of the dead.  Perhaps the walls do have ears.

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UN Passes ‘Unprecedented’ Pro-Family Resolution, Sexual Radicals Outraged

Excerpts:

(snarky comments in boldface added by your editor.  -ed.)

That a coalition of eastern bloc and developing countries prevailed at the UN is itself unprecedented.

“This is unprecedented, a tremendous victory for the family,” Sharon Slater, the head of Family Watch International, told LifeSiteNews. “It is the first time ever in the history of the United Nations that a comprehensive resolution has been passed calling for the protection of the family as a fundamental unit of society, recognizing the prior right of parents to educate their children, and calling on all nations to create family-sensitive policies and recognize their binding obligations under treaty to protect the family.”

Two generations ago, Ronald Reagan described an “evil empire”.  Who fits the description now?

“Those opposing the motion included the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland and other Western European countries, while its sponsors included Russia, China, Belarus, and more than a dozen Muslim and African countries. The four abstaining members of the council—Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Macedonia—probably were forced to do so by the rich countries opposing the bill.”

The Western position was supported and advanced by a mixed bag of radicals, sexual deviants, and social revolutionaries,

“…a defeat for the small but powerful group of anti-family groups supported by developed countries and the United States. Several attempts were made by feminist and pro-LGBT groups to first defeat and then amend the resolution by inserting “reproductive rights”–a euphemism for abortion, and by replacing “the family” with “families” and by inserting inclusive language to apply the resolution to sexual minorities.”

The usual suspects bemoan the outcome,

The passage of the resolution was predictably condemned by feminist and sexual advocacy groups. The Sexual Rights Initiative, for example, called it “a set back to the advancement of the human rights of individuals as it seeks to elevate the family as an institution in need of protection without acknowledging the harms and human rights abuses that are known to occur within families, or recognizing that diverse forms of family exist.”

They find an oppression hidden under every rock.

“Specifically, it claimed, “Families perpetuate patriarchal oppression, traditions and harmful practices”

The same rocks they all should go crawl back under.

 

Here is the link to the full news article from our friends at Lifesite.com

UN passes ‘unprecedented’ pro-family resolution, outraging sexual radicals | News | LifeSite.

Mass Baptism of Football Team Sparks Investigation, Atheists Outraged

The Headline, 

“A Georgia school district is investigating after video of a mass baptism was posted on YouTube.

The article begins with a quote from the YouTube video,

The video, posted by First Baptist Villa Rica, was shot on school grounds just before football practice. “We had the privilege of baptizing a bunch of football players and a coach on the field of Villa Rica High School! We did this right before practice! Take a look and see how God is STILL in our schools!” the caption with the video reads.”

The usual suspects howl in rage:

The Freedom from Religion Foundation sent a letter to Carroll County Tuesday asking the district to “immediately investigate and take action to ensure there will be no further illegal religious events”. In the letter, the FFRF mentioned its lawsuit against Emanuel County School District for similar practices.

The authorities promptly swing into action to enforce the new state religion: secularism

“The Carroll County School System was made aware of a situation that took place at Villa Rica High School prior to football practice on August 17th.  The District is currently looking into the specifics of this situation and will take appropriate steps to ensure all state and federal laws are followed.”

The legal system stands poised to financially cripple the heretics,

The group is now seeking punitive and personal liability damages in that case. “We prefer to settle these matters cooperatively,” the letter ends with a request to detail the steps the school district is taking to comply with the First Amendment.

The obligatory quote from an aggrieved atheist,

“I can’t remember another case like this,” said Annie Laurie Gaylor of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. “It’s really misusing the authority of the coach to promote his personal religious agenda.”

The article mentions that many Georgians remain defiant, and display some backbone,

“The state of Georgia remains a lightning rod for these kinds of cases. A school band in downstate Dublin caught flak last Friday for playing “Amazing Grace. … Those involved with this event have not hidden from it. The Villa Rica Touchdown Club posted the video to its Facebook page with the caption, “Share this with everyone! This should go viral!”

The atheist spokewoman continues,

“Starting this video out, they call it a step of obedience, and then the camera pans to the students,” said Gaylor. “It’s forcing them to undergo a religious ritual to be accepted on a team. How are they going to cross their coach? They have no choice. It’s proselytizing, it’s coercive, and it’s not legal in our schools.”

Some background,

The 1st Amendment to the US Constitution, ratified in 1788, states,

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Many have argued that atheism is a religion with its own set of dogmas, and which issues its own anathemas.  Others would argue that football itself is a religion in certain parts of the USA.

Any thoughts from my readers?

A link to the video is embedded in the news story below:

Source: School district investigating mass baptism at football practice

The Most Unique Gravestone

wipe-away-every-tear

I don’t have much more commentary to add here. His father commissioned this unique monument for his son, who was wheelchair-bound, but is now free of his earthly burdens.  It belongs to Matthew Stanford Robison of Salt Lake City. Born with severe disabilities on September 23, 1988, he was expected to live only a few hours.  Matthew lived a short, but courageous life, before leaving the world on February 21, 1999, greatly loved by his family and all those who he inspired.

This photo was posted on Facebook and has been “liked” over 2,000, 000 times.

Wow!

Interview with a former Imam who converted to Christianity

I found this very powerful interview of the former Imam Sulaiman on YouTube which brought tears to my eyes. The man, now called Mario Joseph, claims to be a former Muslim cleric who credits the Koran for his conversion to Christianity. He says his journey to Christianity began when somebody asked him the simple question, “who is Jesus?”.  The Koran provided many clues, but it was while comparing the Koran and the Holy Bible that he found his answers, and soon became a believer.  I have not checked the references he makes to verses in the Koran, but he has piqued my interest in checking them myself.  I have often heard that the Koran refers to Jesus as a prophet, and that Muslims offer respect to his mother Mary (Mariam) because she is mentioned as the mother of a great prophet.  I’ve written on the interesting topic of Muslim tolerance at least twice before which you can read for yourself here, and most especially here.

Glory be to God! +++

 

(Update, December 27, 2015)  —  Located elsewhere…

A Comprehensive Listing of References to Jesus (‘Isa) in the Qur’an

Among the major world religions, Islam is the only non-Christian faith that recognizes the person of Jesus. Qur’an talks a great amount about Jesus. However, Jesus Christ is the most controversial personality in Islam. In the Qur’an, Jesus is referred to in over ninety verses in fifteen surahs. Islam corroborates that Jesus was born to a virgin, was sinless, performed miracles, and was superior to other prophets. Yet, Islam teaches that Jesus was no more than a prophet. It denies the central message of Christianity by denying Jesus’ divinity, crucifixion, and resurrection.
(Yusufali translation)

Surah Reference

2:87 We gave Jesus the son of Mary Clear (Signs) and strengthened him with the holy spirit.

2:136 We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Isma’il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them . . .

2:253 . . . To Jesus the son of Mary We gave clear (Signs), and strengthened him with the holy spirit.

3:45 O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah.

3:46 “He shall speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. And he shall be (of the company) of the righteous.”

3:48 And Allah will teach him the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel.

3:49 And (appoint him) a messenger to the Children of Israel, (with this message): “I have come to you, with a Sign from your Lord, in that I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah’s leave: And I heal those born blind, and the lepers, and I quicken the dead, by Allah’s leave; and I declare to you what ye eat, and what ye store in your houses. Surely therein is a Sign for you if ye did believe.”

3:50 (I have come to you), to attest the Law which was before me. And to make lawful to you part of what was (Before) forbidden to you; I have come to you with a Sign from your Lord. So fear Allah, and obey me.

3:52 When Jesus found Unbelief on their part He said: “Who will be My helpers to (the work of) Allah?”

3:55 Behold! Allah said: “O Jesus! I will take thee and raise thee to Myself and clear thee (of the falsehoods) of those who blaspheme; I will make those who follow thee superior to those who reject faith, to the Day of Resurrection: Then shall ye all return unto me, and I will judge between you of the matters wherein ye dispute.”

3:59 The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam . . .

3:84 . . . and in (the Books) given to Moses, Jesus, and the prophets, from their Lord.

4:157 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 so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not.

4:163 We have sent thee inspiration, as We sent it to Noah and the Messengers after him: we sent inspiration to Abraham, Isma’il, Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes, to Jesus, Job, Jonah, Aaron, and Solomon, and to David We gave the Psalms.

4:171 O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His messengers. Say not “Trinity”: desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah: Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth.

4:172 Christ disdaineth nor to serve and worship Allah . . .

5:17 In blasphemy indeed are those that say that Allah is Christ the son of Mary.

5:46 And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allah.

5:72 They do blaspheme who say: “Allah is Christ the son of Mary.” But said Christ: “O Children of Israel! worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.” Whoever joins other gods with Allah,- Allah will forbid him the garden, and the Fire will be his abode.

5:75 Christ the son of Mary was no more than a messenger; many were the messengers that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food.

5:78 Curses were pronounced on those among the Children of Israel who rejected Faith, by the tongue of David and of Jesus the son of Mary: because they disobeyed and persisted in excesses.

5:110 O Jesus the son of Mary! Recount My favour to thee and to thy mother. Behold! I strengthened thee with the holy spirit, so that thou didst speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. Behold! I taught thee the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel and behold! thou makest out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, by My leave, and thou breathest into it and it becometh a bird by My leave, and thou healest those born blind, and the lepers, by My leave. And behold! thou bringest forth the dead by My leave. And behold! I did restrain the Children of Israel from (violence to) thee when thou didst show them the clear Signs, and the unbelievers among them said: ‘This is nothing but evident magic.’

5:112 Behold! the disciples, said: “O Jesus the son of Mary! can thy Lord send down to us a table set (with viands) from heaven?” Said Jesus: “Fear Allah, if ye have faith.”

5:114 Said Jesus the son of Mary: “O Allah our Lord! Send us from heaven a table set (with viands), that there may be for us-for the first and the last of us-a solemn festival and a sign from thee; and provide for our sustenance, for thou art the best Sustainer (of our needs).”

5:116 Allah will say: “O Jesus the son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of Allah’?” He will say: “Glory to Thee! never could I say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, thou wouldst indeed have known it. Thou knowest what is in my heart . . .”

6:85 And Zakariya and John, and Jesus and Elias: all in the ranks of the righteous.

9:30 The Jews call ‘Uzair a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah.

9:31 They take their priests and their anchorites to be their lords in derogation of Allah, and (they take as their Lord) Christ the son of Mary; yet they were commanded to worship but One Allah: there is no god but He. Praise and glory to Him: (Far is He) from having the partners they associate (with Him).

19:19 He said: “Nay, I am only a messenger from thy Lord, (to announce) to thee the gift of a holy son.”

19:20 She said: “How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?”

19:21 He said: “So (it will be): Thy Lord saith, ‘that is easy for Me: and (We wish) to appoint him as a Sign unto men and a Mercy from Us’: It is a matter (so) decreed.”

19:22 So she conceived him, and she retired with him to a remote place.

19:27 At length she brought the (babe) to her people, carrying him (in her arms). They said: “O Mary! truly an amazing thing hast thou brought!”

19:30 He said: “I am indeed a servant of Allah: He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet.”

19:31 “And He hath made me blessed wheresoever I be, and hath enjoined on me Prayer and Charity as long as I live.”

19:32 “(He) hath made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable.”

19:33 “So peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)!”

19:34 Such (was) Jesus the son of Mary: (it is) a statement of truth, about which they (vainly) dispute.

19:88 They say: “(Allah) Most Gracious has begotten a son!”

19:91 That they should invoke a son for (Allah) Most Gracious.

19:92 For it is not consonant with the majesty of (Allah) Most Gracious that He should beget a son.

21:91 And (remember) her who guarded her chastity: We breathed into her of Our spirit, and We made her and her son a sign for all peoples.

23:50 And We made the son of Mary and his mother as a Sign: We gave them both shelter on high ground, affording rest and security and furnished with springs.

33:7 And remember We took from the prophets their covenant: As (We did) from thee: from Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus the son of Mary: We took from them a solemn covenant.

42:13 The same religion has He established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah-the which We have sent by inspiration to thee-and that which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: Namely, that ye should remain steadfast in religion, and make no divisions therein: to those who worship other things than Allah, hard is the (way) to which thou callest them. Allah chooses to Himself those whom He pleases, and guides to Himself those who turn (to Him).

43:57 When (Jesus) the son of Mary is held up as an example, behold, thy people raise a clamour thereat (in ridicule)!

43:61 And (Jesus) shall be a Sign (for the coming of) the Hour (of Judgment): therefore have no doubt about the (Hour), but follow ye Me: this is a Straight Way.

43:63 When Jesus came with Clear Signs, he said: “Now have I come to you with Wisdom, and in order to make clear to you some of the (points) on which ye dispute: therefore fear Allah and obey me.”

57:27 We sent after them Jesus the son of Mary, and bestowed on him the Gospel; and We ordained in the hearts of those who followed him Compassion and Mercy . . .

61:6 And remember, Jesus, the son of Mary, said: “O Children of Israel! I am the messenger of Allah (sent) to you, confirming the Law (which came) before me, and giving Glad Tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad.” But when he came to them with Clear Signs, they said, “this is evident sorcery!”

61:14 O ye who believe! Be ye helpers of Allah: As said Jesus the son of Mary to the Disciples, “Who will be my helpers to (the work of) Allah?” Said the disciples, “We are Allah’s helpers!” then a portion of the Children of Israel believed, and a portion disbelieved: But We gave power to those who believed, against their enemies, and they became the ones that prevailed.

N. S. R. K. Ravi

This Study Will Make You Think Twice About Who You Are Getting Into Bed With

It appears that even brief, casual sex creates a lifetime bond with your partner which cannot be broken. A recent study indicates that many women have trace amounts of male DNA in their bodies. Some of it comes from the male children women give birth to, but often it is from their sexual partners which is kept forever inside them.

Excerpts:

“…every time you sleep with somebody you are taking on a part of them within you.”

“…The idea that as women we are capable of taking on actual physical DNA from the men that we sleep with was an extremely eye opening piece of information to stumble across.”

“This science puts a whole new meaning on sexual intercourse as a whole. It is a very sacred and spiritual act…”

“A lot of people are misusing sex and have forgotten what it is meant for and how important and consecrated it really is.  “

“…sex is not something that is meant to be thrown around and given out so freely, it is a sacred act that creates a bond between two people that love and care about each other….There is a lot of power and amazing potential within this act and it has the ability to connect us with our true selves.”

Click on this link to read the full article at Collective Evolution:

This Study WIll Make You Think Twice About Who You Are Getting Into Bed With | Collective-Evolution.

UPDATE:  I was discussing this article with someone a few days ago, and found myself surprised that people find it to be controversial. Some people think so. I made an observation that prior to the ‘1960s Sexual Revolution, it was common for a woman to be considered “spoiled goods” if she had been unfaithful in marriage, engaged in pre-marital sex, or been victimized and defiled by rape. Even today, the identities of rape victims are usually shielded by news organizations, and marital infidelity is still considered grounds for divorce as the marital bed itself is considered defiled. This despite the secularized culture of the West having become very tolerant of high levels of illegitimacy and premarital sex. Such is now the rule, rather than the exception. There are many examples in law, and our culture, of husbands, suitors, and families rejecting a woman once they learned that she has been sexually active with someone other than her husband.  Fair or not, the stigma stretches back centuries, and seems to point to a cultural awareness that something tangible is left behind during the sexual union even if a child is not produced. The next time some child says that he resembles the postman, it may have some basis in biology.