meaningofstrife

Seeing the best in life's challenges

Ernie Fitzpatrick

I never knew Ernie Fitzpatrick — I only discovered him online, and I don’t remember exactly how.  I learned today via Facebook that he passed away suddenly last night.

I loved reading the things he wrote and posted at http://www.lrchouston.com.  He was one voice that I found that understood God and Jesus the same way I understood them.  I loved the short quotes he would post on Facebook.

I am very thankful that I “knew” him, and I send love and comfort to his family and friends.  If you got here via google, please visit http://www.lrchouston.com and take a look at the things he wrote.

Here’s a recent sample:

Love & Grace

It’s amazing the impact that RELIGION has had on perverting the historical, the real JESUS! There just seems to be this paradigm among Christians, especially fundamentalists, that life needs to be FAIR.

And in order that everyone is treated fairly, what is implied, and probably not understood, but there nonetheless, is that there’s no room for GRACE!

If you’re a bad person and you don’t repent this means God delights in sending you to hell with no chance of a get out of jail free card- ever! Where do you see Jesus depicting that as this Abba Father He loved so much?

You don’t. It’s not there.

You can only find it in many of the denominations.

John, the revelator, and others kept reminding us of the goodness of God. I John 4:16 is just one of the many “God is LOVE” statements. And how do the right wing fundamentalists, with their high value on MORALS (more so than on God or Jesus most often) miss this?

Everlasting torture is totally unacceptable and intolerable from a MORAL point of view because as Clark Pinnock said, “An eternal HELL pictures God as a bloodthirsty monster who maintains an everlasting Auschwitz for His enemies. Who can love a God like that?”

Few indeed!

But thankfully that is NOT who God is. God IS LOVE!

Thanks, Ernie.

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Jargon is Tricky

Have you had the experience where you listen to someone who is well-versed, or maybe you could say immersed, in a subject area you know little about?  You notice that they have a set of words, a vocabulary, that obviously has specific meaning in the context of their subject area, but might not mean very much to you?  People use words to convey meaning, to describe concepts that might be complicated or have a lot of context and history to them.  If you aren’t real familiar with the context, the way that person talks about their subject area might seem like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo.

This is true for any area of interest or expertise:  finance, economics, auto repair, sports, knitting, video games, health care, politics, even religion.  People who share expertise in a subject area can use jargon to make their conversations more efficient – they can use a word as shorthand to talk about something very complicated that they both understand.  But to an “outsider” listening in, the conversation would not be understandable at all.

We have to use words to convey complex concepts.  But let’s face it, when you get into complicated concepts or nuanced circumstances, it’s very difficult to describe something in words to a person who hasn’t had experience with what you’re talking about.  Any individual can hear words, a description of a situation, and interpret those words with their own personal bias and experience, and come up with an understanding that could be quite different from what the other person was trying to say.

Is it any wonder people misunderstand each other??

We hear someone using certain jargon, and we can get the quick impression that this person knows what they are talking about!  If you happen to be well-versed in that same subject area, you might find out after a bit of discussion that the person knows some jargon, but they don’t really understand the subject.  And the opposite might be true – a person might understand the concepts really well, but they don’t use the jargon you are used to.

My point is, we all need to watch ourselves, so that we do not make conclusions too fast about what we are hearing.  Words are powerful, but they have their limits.  Do you take words literally or do you listen for the message behind the words that the person is trying to convey?

The more esoteric and conceptual the subject area, the tougher this gets.

Which brings me to religion and spirituality.

Having attended churches with very different “styles” over the years, it is easy to see how a faith community can get comfortable with their own “jargon.”  Some groups refer to “the Lord,” some say God, some say “Spirit,” you get the idea.  It would be easy to assume, if you are used to saying “the Lord,” that anyone else who uses this term has the same understanding that you do.  And it would be tempting to conclude that those who use other terms “don’t get it.”  But that is a very simplistic approach.  These terms are used to describe the indescribable, the Creator, the Source of everything, something that is impossible to adequately describe in words.

(Interestingly, Ernie Fitzpatrick had something very similar to say recently about how we approach the Bible.)

So why do we get stuck at the level of jargon?

Well, it’s just human nature.  It’s what comes naturally.  It’s not that we are doing anything “wrong.”   BUT, if we want to push our understandings of complicated topics to a greater level, we can become more aware of this dynamic, and work at allowing ourselves to expand our ability to “hear” more than just the words.

Human nature can find this very scary.  We are comfortable with people we know, who speak the same language we do, who don’t take us outside our comfort zone.  Our instinct is to avoid the person with crazy sounding ideas, rather than taking the time to understand their underlying meaning.  We don’t want anyone questioning our status quo!!

There’s a lot of discussion about spirituality, in particular, that is “out there” that seems really wacky at first glance.  The safest approach is, “don’t go there!”  Don’t even read any of that stuff, it’s crazy, don’t consider anything that upsets your comfortable paradigm.

If you are so comfortable that your paradigm is The Truth, then what is so scary?  What’s wrong with stretching your mind to consider something that is outside the box?  You might learn a lot about yourself if you are able to engage the process.  What’s the harm?

Personally, I have decided to be fearless about investigating all kinds of stuff that others might consider wacky.  I am stretching my mind.  I am challenging myself to use my own brainpower and instincts to form my own conclusions about whatever comes my way.  I am doing this for me, not to influence or convince anyone else of anything.

So, why are you writing about it, you ask??  Well, it is simply an outlet for me to express myself.  Writing helps me process my thoughts.  I’m writing anonymously and letting my words be “out there.”  If someone finds my musings by googling, that’s great.  And yes, I do get a kick out of watching my stats come up, and seeing all the views from around the world.  I don’t want to separate myself or hide from the world, but I do want to sit back and watch any interactions unfold.  Not sure if that makes sense to anyone else.  It’s a thing that’s a little hard to describe in words.  🙂

 

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Duality vs. Unity Consciousness

Duality is introduced in the Bible in Genesis.  God creates the Heavens and the Earth, the darkness and the light, the day and the night.  And it is good.

He creates the land, the sea, the sky; the above and the below.  And it is good.

God creates all kinds of diversity; the Sun, Moon and Stars.  The animals and fish of the sea.  The birds in the air.  All good.

Then God creates people, humans, male and female (the ultimate opposites!).

The words in the title might be unfamiliar and might seem a little weird.  But the concepts are not new.  To me (and many others, apparently) they represent two ways of thinking and interpreting the world.

Duality is just a word used to talk about opposites.  Consciousness that is defined by Duality is just a way of thinking that focuses primarily on these opposites.  Within this mindset, judgment is inherent.  Everything is good or bad, right or wrong, constructive or destructive, yours or mine.

How do you see it?  Which “side” do you choose?  Can you see both sides? Most of us have had enough life experience to realize that not everything is black or white.  There’s more grey than anything.  The older we get, the less we know for sure.

Notice that in the first chapter of Genesis, many opposite and different things are created, but they are ALL good.

Which brings us to Unity Consciousness, nicely alluded to in Ecclesiastes 3:

  • There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
  • A time to be born and a time to die,
  • A time to plant and a time to uproot,
  • A time to kill and a time to heal,
  • A time to tear down and a time to build,
  • A time to weep and a time to laugh,
  • A time to mourn and a time to dance,
  • A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
  • A time to embrace and a time to refrain,
  • A time to search and a time to give up,
  • A time to keep and a time to throw away,
  • A time to tear and a time to mend,
  • A time to be silent and a time to speak,
  • A time to love and a time to hate,
  • A time for war and a time for peace.

In other words, all these opposites and differences have their place and their time.  There is purpose to all of it.  How can you know something, if you have not faced its opposite?

We are moving into a time of Unity Consciousness, connectedness.  It is a more mature way of thinking.  There is no need to judge, only the opportunity to discern when the time is appropriate.  There is nothing to be afraid of, because everything has its place.  EveryONE has his/her place, even the evil ones.  There is no reason to fight or eliminate evil; rather, opposites create opportunities to learn and gain understanding and wisdom.

How do you see the world?  The choice is not either/or, one or the other (that’s SO 3D, Duality Consciousness!)  Rather, it is a transition:  where are you in the journey toward Unity?

Welcome to the Fifth Dimension!!!

Related topics:

David Lynch on Consciousness, Creativity and the Brain

The movie I AM talks about how we are all connected

(and did you know Tom Shadyac has written a book?)

I always love what Ernie Fitzpatrick has to say about God

The first article in a series of 12 about Living in the Fifth Dimension

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God Doesn’t Forgive?

Today I’m just copying a post from http://www.LRCHouston.com.  Ernie Fitzpatrick always has thought-provoking things to say.  And I love the description of his “church”, especially the “adding a few crazy people” part:

God Doesn’t Forgive?

Published February 21st, 2012 

Talk about going against the grain!

We’re told by Jesus that we are to forgive 70 x 7 or 490 times, if you take that literally. We’re to forgive eternally, if you take that metaphorically. So, here’s the question. Why would God ask us to do that which he-she won’t or doesn’t do? When God kills tens of thousands of people (in the Old Testament) and assigns BILLIONS to an eternal hell, where’s the forgiveness? Where’s the love in that?

When Jesus forgave, the Pharisees were upset.

When Jesus told the Pharisees they could forgive the sins of others they were even more angry.

But, what IF, and this is a big IF indeed: what if God doesn’t forgive at all. Could that be a possibility? Well, for me it is. I embrace the concept that God does not forgive because God does not JUDGE. What’s to forgive when you don’t judge? Now, that’s truly something to chew on. Unconditional love is really what it says it is?

Can you handle such love?

About Life Revealing Community…

LRC is a community of people who are on a JOURNEY, both naturally and spiritually.

NATURALLY our journey began in the Patrick Thomas Bank Building on FM1960 in 1987. A year later we moved across the street into a strip center. A year later that we moved back to the South side of FM1960 in a free standing building what was once known as the Pep Rally. Two years later we bought an empty building at the corner of High Life Road and FM249: formerly a Walker Kurth Lumber building. Four years ago we bought six acres on Woodedge where we are now still building a community home.

SPIRITUALLY we began as reformed Baptists, took on some Catholics, and added a few crazy people. Slowly we shed our Baptist roots and became Charismatics with wild praise and worship. We slowly got our emotions under control and adopted an orderly apostolic culture. In 2007, the winds of change began to blow and we discovered that we really weren’t a church. Rules, rituals, dogma, and doctrine slowly gave way to relevant relationships and an intimacy with the Spirit that resides in all of us.

We’re still on the journey and always will be. Our CORE is Christian but we know God is too big to be confined to any one religion or denomination. We believe in unconditional love, not conditional love. We meet on Tuesday and Friday nights. There is no lecturing, no praise and worship, no sermons, just a community of people coming together to discuss how life can be lived more fully and abundantly.

Come and check us out. You’ll be surprised and I think pleased.

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