Abiding Darkness by John Aubrey Anderson

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This story takes place in Mississippi during the late 1940’s and early 1950’s.  The main character is a young girl named Missy, who is consistently in danger from demonic forces that wish to kill her.  Missy relies on the power of God and her guardian angel to defeat the evil that surrounds her.

I thought the book was okay.  There are several scenarios that are a bit silly.  Also, the characters seemed flat or one dimensional, which made it difficult to relate with them.

 

Children of Shame – A Documentary

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The documentary Children of Shame exposes atrocities committed at a home for unwed mothers in Tuam, Ireland.  The home was founded in 1925 and closed in 1961.

At the time, religion was an important part of the Irish culture.  Purity was viewed as an essential trait and failure to live up to that standard brought extreme shame, so unwed mothers were sent to special homes.

The unwed mothers were forced to live and work in these homes against their will.  They were treated as criminals, even though fornication was not considered a legal crime.

The babies could be put up for adoption by the home, regardless of the mother’s desire to keep her child.  Children remaining in the home were treated poorly.  They were malnourished, abused, and did not receive appropriate medical care.  This resulted in a mortality rate for babies born out of wedlock that was six times higher than the norm.

Legislating morality has been a hot topic in the United States.  For example: should gay marriage be legalized and should birth control be easily available to all women.

However, stories like this one remind me of the dangers of strictly legalizing morality.  The appearance of purity can become more important than people.  The end result is evil acts are committed to hide immorality.

The Anti-Christ by Friedrich Nietzsche

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Nietzsche was extremely critical of Christianity in the book “The Anti-Christ.”  There are scholars who believe the title of his book should have been translated as “The Anti-Christian.”  It fits with the wording and matches the book’s theme.

According to Nietzsche, “The very word ‘Christianity’ is a misunderstanding — in truth, there was only one Christian, and he died on the cross.”

Nietzsche felt Christianity pushed pity on followers, to the point of creating suffering among the believers.  He viewed religious leaders as manipulative liars and hypocrites.  He also believed faith was used to push people to accept what the church teaches, without questioning and without seeking for factual information.

His words were harsh; however, a quick review of the history of Christianity will reveal they were not unfounded.

I think, sometimes we need to pay attention to those who are critical of our belief system.  I admit, it’s not an easy thing to do.  However; we may find discrepancies or inadequacies that were previously missed by us.  If what we believe is true, it will hold up to research and questioning.  Therefore, there is no reason to refuse to check the facts behind what we are being taught.

If I Could, I Would

A few weeks ago, I was at church and the preacher was talking about various things we hear when reading the Bible and how we should, or would if we could, react to those messages.

This is what I hear and should do or would do if I could:

  • I hear forgiveness.  If I could, I would be more forgiving of others and show mercy to others.
  • I hear love.  If I could, I would be an example of that love and teach others about the love of God.
  • I hear hope.  If I could, I would rely on that hope and not suffer from anxiety attacks.
  • I hear commitment.  If I could, I would finish what I start and be dedicated to the task at hand.
  • I hear freedom.  If I could, I would live as a person free from sin and condemnation.

This message was part of a series and the basic points of the series are:

  • Put your faith into action
  • Don’t show partiality, love others, love equally, and love freely
  • Freedom from legalism is freedom to love
  • Don’t be a slave to sin, instead be a slave to righteousness
  • Don’t be a salve to the law, instead be a slave to the word of God

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Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer

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Joyce Meyer wrote, “Battlefield of the Mind” to teach how changing our thinking habits can change our life.  Thoughts lead to actions.

If we have negative thoughts we will have a negative life.  However, if we have positive thoughts we will have a positive life.

We should pay attention to our thoughts and think about what we are thinking.  We should also spend time discovering the root cause of our negative thoughts.

Sings of a negative or out of control mind:

  • Your mind is always busy
  • Your mind is always wandering
  • You mind is frequently confused
  • Your mind is full of doubts
  • Your mind is anxious or worried
  • Your mind is full of judgmental or critical thoughts

Strategies to improve thinking patterns and control the mind:

  • Think positive thoughts
  • Spend time praising God
  • Ask for help
  • Meditate on God’s word
  • Encourage those around you
  • Be thankful
  • Do things for others to show your appreciation

There are a few theological points in the book that I don’t agree with; however, the book is excellent.  I would recommend this book, even if you don’t like some of the things Joyce Meyer teaches.