Holy and Unholy Numbers

Many of our great religions hold that numbers contain hidden meanings that in turn hold the mysteries of the universe and God within them. Ancient Hebrew mystics referred to this as Gematria. Numbers are also given corresponding associations to various deities, colours, plants, gemstones, and superstitions. Here are a brief list of associated correspondences and lore for the numbers 1 through 13.

The Number 1

In the faiths of Islamic, Jewish and Christian cultures the number 1 is associated with the unity of God. For medieval alchemists and metaphysicians the number was associated with the Philosopher’s Stone, the unknown catalyst that was thought to transform base metals magically into gold.

The number 1 is also associated with Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of Love; Apollo, the Greek God of Beauty and Truth; Diana, the Roman Goddess of the Hunt; Vesta, the Roman Hearth Goddess; Freya, the Norse Goddess of Fertility, and the Chinese God Pangu.

The number 1 is associated with the colors red, crimson, scarlet and cherry. Gemstones associated with the number 1 are ruby and garnet. Flowers associated with the number are red roses and red carnations.

Common superstitions about the number one are:

Break one egg and you will break a leg

It is unlucky to walk around the house in one slipper.

Only keep money in one pocket or you will lose it.

People with one hand are psychic.

A one-eyed person is a witch.

Seeing one magpie bodes a death in your future.

Seeing one white horse brings bad luck.

If you wash your hair on the first day of the month you will have a short life.

It is unlucky to get married August 1st or January 1st.

If you dream about the number 1 you have received a direct message from God.

The Number 2

In the Tarot deck, the number two represents duality, choices, decisions and partnerships. The Chinese believe that it represents the polar forces of Yin (the receptive, constrictive female energy) and Yang (the creative expansive male energy.)

Early Christians believed that the number represented the Devil or the division between soul and God. Similarly, the Zoroastrians believe the number represents the forces of good and evil locked in an eternal, yet equal, struggle.

The number 2 is also associated with the Ceres, the Greek Goddess of the Grain from whose name we have the word Cereal; Frigga the Norse Goddess of Hospitality and Wife of Odin; Freya, the Norse Goddess of Fertility and Venus, the Roman Goddess of Love.

2 is associated with the colors orange, gold, tangerine and peach. Flowers associated with 2 are freesias, orange roses and orange lilies. Gemstones associated with the number 2 are gold and coral.

Superstitions about the number two are:

If two crows fly over the house there will be a wedding in the family.

If two people sneeze at the same time both will have good luck.

If two shoots grow from the root of a single cabbage, you will have good luck.

Two people should never pour tea from the same pot.

It is lucky to have two holes in the same sock.

Breaking two eggs accidentally is a sign that you will find your soul mate.

Finding an egg with two yolks means there will be a death in the family.

If you wash your hair on the second day of the month you will have good fortune.

It is unlucky to get married January 2nd and September 2nd.

If you dream about the number 2 somebody is jealous of you.

The Number 3

Christians interpret the number 3 as representing the Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Ghost. The great psychologist Carl Jung interpreted as meaning the merging of the will with the heart and the soul. The ancient Babylonians and Celts interpreted this number to represent creation being born out of the union of 2 and thereby being a 3rd and distinct thing.

The number 3 is associated with Cronos, the Greek Titan who fathered the Olympians; Hecate, the Queen of the Witches and Goddess of the Crossroads; Pluto, the Roman God of Death; Saturn the Roman equivalent of Cronos and Tyr, the Norse God of Battle and Strength.

3 is associated with the colors yellow, lemon, beige and cream. Flowers associated with the number are yellow roses and orchids. The gemstone associated with 3 is topaz.

Some superstitions about the number three include:

A series of unlucky events always happen in threes.

It is bad luck to see three butterflies sitting on a leaf.

Spitting three times shoos away the devil.

It is unlucky to light three cigarettes from the same match.

If an owl hoots three times, there will be misfortune.

If a cat washes his ears three times you can expect a visitor.

A three-legged dog brings luck.

Try anything a third time and it will succeed.

If you wash your hair on the third day of the month you will

have great wealth.

It is unlucky to get married May 3rd.

If you dream about the number 3, you will lose your lover.

The Number 4

For the ancient Hebrews, the number 4 was considered to be especially significant. This connects to a mystical understanding of YHVH, the four-letter name of God, which was traditionally never written down. The number 4 and its equivalent geometrical shape, the square, were considered to be sacred by ancient cultures that believed the world was flat.

Many modern Pagan religions find within the number 4 a representation of the four directions (north, south, east and west) as well as the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water.

Deities associated with the number four are the fatherly Gods such as the Roman God Jupiter, the Norse God Odin and the Greek God Zeus.

Number 4 is associated with the colors green and emerald. The gemstones symbolized by 4 are jade and emerald. Plants associated with four are ivy, bamboo and baby’s breath.

Some superstitions about the number 4 include:

A four-leaf clover brings luck.

If four cookies fuse together in the oven while you are baking there will be a wedding.

Four ravens clustered together on a tree branch means there will be a wedding.

Finding four colors in one pansy petal bodes health, wealth, happiness and prosperity.

A house with the number 4 in the address is very inauspicious.

Keeping the four aces of an ordinary playing deck on your person is thought to bring power (spades), wealth (diamonds), love (hearts) and popularity (clubs).

Finding four colors in one pansy petal bodes health, wealth, happiness and prosperity.

If you hold the four of clubs while playing a card game, you will always lose.

If you wash your hair on the 4th day of the month you will go gray early.

It is unlucky to get married June 4th or October 4th.

If you dream about the number 4, you will soon be handed a lucky opportunity.

The Number 5

Pythagoras believed that 5 represented man in perfect balance with the universe and containing the sum of the male and female elements. At times this was taken to symbolize marriage. For the Sikhs, the number symbolizes the five sacred objects that are worn by all males.

The Chinese believe the number represents the 5 elements that are used in the divination oracle The I Ching as well as on the Pa’ Kua that is a device used for determining Feng Shui: earth, air, water, fire and metal.

In Wiccan circles, five can be found in the star shaped pentagram that symbolizes the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water surmounted or united by spirit.

Deities associated with the number 5 include Dionysus, the Greek God of Wine and Ecstatic Revelation; Ishtar, the Babylonian Goddess of Love, Sex and War; Mars the Roman God of War and Thor the Norse God of Thunder.

The colors sky blue and turquoise symbolize the number 5. The gemstones associated with 5 are turquoise and aquamarine. The flower associated with 5 is the anemone.

Some common superstitions about the number five are:

A five-leafed clover is even luckier than a four leafed one.

Wearing a five-pointed star turns away evil.

If five cookies fuse together while cooking a funeral will take place.

If you twist the stem of an apple and it breaks on the fifth twist you will be married within the year.

In the hoodoo tradition, a talisman featuring a hand displaying all five fingers is known as the Lucky Hand and is used to ward off misfortune as well as for luck in gambling.

If you wax your hair on the fifth day of the month you will go bald.

It is unlucky to get married on November 5th.

If you dream about the number five you will soon be famous.

The Number 6

For Christians, Jews and Moslems, the number 6 represents the day that man was created. Mathematicians revere the number 6 because it is the first perfect number.

Deities associated with the number 6 include Athena, the Greek Goddess of Wisdom; Bacchus, the Roman God of Wine and Hermes, the Greek God of Communication.

The number 6 is symbolized the colors deep blue, navy and royal blue. Gemstones associated with 6 are sapphire and lapis lazuli. Flowers that symbolize the number are thistles and bluebells.

Some common superstitions about the number six are:

It is unlucky to purposely turn the number six upside down in jest as it means your projects will not be completed.

If you find a rose with six petals it means you will be lucky in love.

If you find a pansy petal with six colors in it, it means you will receive an unexpected visitor.

A talisman with the number 6 worn on it means you will be protected against hurricanes and tornados.

It is unlucky to get married October 6th or November 6th.

If you dream about the number 6 you will soon have sex.

The Number 7

The number 7 is equally sacred amongst Islamic, Christian and Jewish religions. According to Jewish and Christian mythologies it took six days to create the world with the seventh day being the holiest day – a day of rest. The Bible, Zohar and other religious texts also recommend that fields were to be left fallow every seventh year as means of allowing the earth to regenerate itself. Some Christians believe the number 7 represents the seven levels of hell.

It is Hebrew tradition to mourn, or sit Shivah, for a period of 7 days.

Deities associated with the number 7 include Frigga; Minerva, the Roman Goddess of Intelligence and Wisdom and Mithras the Sun God in Zoroastrian lore.

The number 7 is associated with the colors violet, purple and plum. 7’s gemstone is amethyst.

Flowers associated with 7 are irises and deep purple roses.

Some common superstitions about the number 7 are:

If your date of birth can be reduced to a single number that can be divided by seven then you will have a particularly lucky life.

Shattering a mirror brings 7 years of bad luck.

If you sing before 7 am then you will cry before 11 am.

Wrapping her husband’s belt 7 times around a tree causes a woman to become fertile.

The seventh child of a seventh child is said to have psychic powers.

If you wash your hair on the 7th day of the month you will have trouble with the law.

It is unlucky to get married April 7th or December 7th.

If you dream about the number 7, you will soon meet a soul mate.

The Number 8

The ancient Greeks associated the number 8 with unhappiness and imperfection. The psychologist Carl Jung equated the number with the secret and dark movements of the subconscious that constantly folds into itself like a snake eating its tail.

According to the principles of Chinese Feng Shui the number 8 represents abundance and prosperity. It is considered lucky to have a house number that contains an 8.

Gods and goddesses associated with the number 8 include: Mercury, the Roman Messenger God; Gaia, the Greek Earth Mother; and Hera, the Greek Queen of Heaven.

The number 8 is represented by the colors pink and rose. 8’s gemstones are rose quartz and pearl.

Flowers associated with the number are pink roses and pink carnations.

Some common superstitions about the number 8 are:

If you fall ill eight days after a new moon, you will die by the full moon.

If you give 8 pennies away you will receive 108 times that amount.

Repeating your own name 8 times while staring into your own eyes in a mirror is thought to bring prosperity.

It is unlucky to give a person a bouquet with 8 flowers.

A house with the address 88 will bring you double happiness.

If you wash your hair on the 8th day of the month you will live to a ripe old age.

It is unlucky to get married February 8th and June 8th.

If you dream about the number 8, you will soon lose a great deal of money.

The Number 9

In occult circles, 9 is considered to be the number of completion and is closely connected with the Dead, especially one’s personal ancestors, and with the forces of the cemetery and the Underworld. The nine is also associated with Hecate, the Queen of the Witches.

In Chinese mythology, the number composes the lo-shi, a magic square that comprises the first nine single digits on the number line.

Gods and goddesses associated with the number nine include: Juno, the Roman Queen of Heaven; Luna, the Roman Goddess of the Moon and Odin, the All-Father & Ruler in Norse mythology.

The number 9 is symbolized by the colors white and pearl. 9 is associated with the silver, platinum, diamond and pearl. Flowers associated with the number are white carnations, white roses and lily of the valley

Common superstitions about the number 9 include:

You will be blessed if you find nine peas in a pod.

Tying nine knots in a strand of your lover’s hair will convince him to come to you.

Tying nine knots around a photograph of an enemy will cause them to give up the battle against you.

An address with the number nine in it brings you a long life.

If a young man wants to marry he should count 99 stars in the sky for 9 days. On the tenth day he will meet his soul mate.

Misfortune befalls the person who finds the Nine of Diamonds card on the street.

The moon that falls nine days after the New Moon in May is considered to be an unlucky day.

If you wash your hair on the ninth day of the month your marriage will be happy.

It is unlucky to get married December 9th.

If you dream about the number nine, your home will soon be blessed with a child.

The Number 10

For Christians, the number 10 symbolizes the Ten Commandments that were delivered through Moses from God at Mt. Sinai.

Deities traditionally associated with the number 10 include the Greek Gods Atlas, who bore the weight of the world on his shoulders and Uranus who was responsible for imagination and technology.

A common superstitious is that if you wash your hair on the 10th day of the month, you will receive a promotion at work. Another is that if you dream about the number 10 your mate is unfaithful.

The Number 11

The number 11 and in particular the number 11:11 (as seen on a clock) is considered, by many light workers and channellers to be a portal to other astral dimensions. The number 11 is also considered to be a ‘master number” in schools of numerology.

Deities associated with the number 11 are the Sea Kings such as the Roman God Neptune and the Greek God Poseidon.

A common Chinese superstition is that washing your hair on the 11th day of the month will improve your eyesight.

The Number 12

The number 12 is associated with the Twelve Apostles, the number of people on a jury as well as The Twelve Days of Christmas.

The number 12 is also identified with the Roman Two-faced God Janus.

A common superstition is that washing your hair on the 12th day of the month will bring you misfortune. Another is that if you dream of the number 12, a solution will soon be found to a nagging problem.

The Number 13

Usually considered an unlucky number, this double-digit represents Judas, who was the guest at the Last Supper who betrayed Jesus. As a result it is also thought to be unlucky to have a dinner party with 13 guests.

Many hotels are missing a thirteenth floor or have omitted the number from their room doors.

Gods associated with the number 13 are Hades, the Greek God of the Underworld and Pluto, the Roman God of Underworld.

The color associated with the number 13 is black.

Some common superstitions about the number 13 are:

It is unlucky to have an address with the number 13.

It is also unlucky to have 13 numbers in your name.

Friday the 13th of any month is said to be an unlucky day.

The moon that falls thirteen days after the New Moon in August is considered to be an unlucky day.

Washing your hair on the 13th of the month ensures that you will give birth to a son.

Siddhartha – An Indian Tale

Hermann Hesse was a German poet, novelist, and painter. He was born in the small town of Calw on the edge of the Black Forest in Germany, in 1877. Both his mother and father had served at the Basel Mission in India, and his mother was actually born in a mission like it in 1847. His father, Johannes Hesse was the son of a doctor, with a strong Baltic German heritage. The household was an odd mix of scholarly achievement and extreme religious ardor, due to his father’s tales from Estonia that painted a sunny, cheerful picture of life and religion very different from their reality.

From very early on, Hesse was fiercely independent, strong, and intelligent beyond his years. His maternal grandfather, Hermann Gundert, was a Pietist Missionary and Indologist, and young Hermann devoured the books in his collection. Hesse’s early life consisted of transfers from school to school, due to his precociousness and “bad behavior” which lasted until around 1895, during which time Hermann had developed some bad habits: smoking, drinking, running up excessive debts, and even contemplated suicide a number of times.

Hesse’s books don’t have strong plots, but instead are in the most part autobiographical in nature and they revolve around “Weltanschauung”, or a philosophy of life. Hesse frequently used the plots of his stories to present his thoughts, and his near constant struggle to understand life and the great problems in it. Most of this works, most notably Siddhartha, seem to be seeking a message from his “God” as to how he should live. Hesse himself called his novels “biographies of the soul.”

Hesse conceived the idea for Siddhartha in 1911, following a long visit to India looking for the fulfillment that he thought Oriental philosophies could give him. Siddhartha is an exceptionally intelligent Brahman, which is the highest caste in the Hindu religion. Siddhartha feels hollow, despite what seems to be a good life existing around him. He sets off on his journey of self-discovery. This journey to “find himself” leads him through several different types of lives: a period of asceticism and self-denial, though he eventually turns his back on these paths as he realizes they disrupt life by denying a part of it, the physical body. After this realization, Siddhartha decides to pursue physical pleasures and material success. After becoming a great lover and businessman, he eventually realizes that these pleasures too are superficial and don’t satisfy his deeper spiritual side.

A meeting with Buddha leaves him intellectually stimulated, but not spiritually affected, and Siddhartha continues along his own journey. Even meeting the Buddha could not convince him that salvation comes from suffering. Siddhartha even reminds Buddha of his own journey to enlightenment, pointing out that nobody finds salvation through someone else’s teaching, and that communicating enlightenment cannot be done through mere words. Because we know of the struggles Hesse has survived during the period just before writing this piece, we know that he is laying himself bare for our review, so that we might decide what these ultimate meanings are on our own.

Disillusioned that so many varied paths had failed, Siddhartha nonetheless doesn’t stop looking for the true meaning of life and his existence. Ultimately, Siddhartha finds his peace by the river. While repeatedly crossing the river and relentless soul searching, he finally reaches his own “hour of enlightenment.” In this third phase, Siddhartha finally is able to reconcile the physical and spiritual parts of himself by becoming closer to nature and simple work as a ferryman. His search for identity and truth, or the “inward journey” that Hesse referred to consistently as a recurring theme in all his work, is very much reflective of the introspective nature of Hesse’s writing.

Academically unsound though the historical and spiritual stories in Siddhartha may be, they are most often viewed in light of Hesse’s confession that Siddhartha’s pilgrimage mirrored his own. Each of the stages in Hesse’s evolution of consciousness is spelled out in Siddhartha. Many critics even today maintain that this book was Hesse’s statement of “liberation from Brahmanisn, Buddhism, and Hinduism.”

To Siddhartha, the river symbolized the teacher he had been missing up to that point. Vasudeva, who was the ferryman, teaches Siddhartha what he had learned about the river and finding peace within oneself. “The river knows everything; one can learn everything from it” Siddhartha took this to heart and soon began to learn from the river. He learns that there is in reality no such thing as time, and begins to see his life as the river and what it teaches him. “Siddhartha the young boy, Siddhartha the mature man, Siddhartha the old man were only separated by shadows, not through reality.” This teaches him that all things in his life will remain a part of him- knowledge and memories remain with him always.

After Peter Camenzind was published in 1904, Hermann Hesse maintained a great following, and with each subsequent publication his popularity rose dramatically. German readers liked his poetry and stories about traditional ways in the old country, and he was well entrenched in the libraries of most households by the time of the First World War in 1914. As Hesse began writing disparaging works about nationalism and the military, his reputation quickly became one of a traitor and draft dodger, even though he had volunteered for military service. (He was deemed physically unable for combat and was sent to care for the injured.) This public debate was raging when several much deeper calamities came upon Hesse- his father’s death in March, 1916, the serious illness of his son Martin, and the corresponding schizophrenia of his wife. Forced to leave military service, he also began receiving psychotherapy, which began a long He was forced to leave his military service and begin receiving psychotherapy. This began for Hesse a long fixation with psychoanalysis, and he would eventually come to know Carl Jung personally, and it is said that Jung spurred him to new creative heights.

During a three-week period in September and October 1917, Hesse penned his novel Demian, which was published after the armistice in 1919 under the pseudonym Emil Sinclair. After the war, with the chaos and social and political upheaval, his reputation turned back to the point where self-knowledge and self-realization presented in Demian, which was published in 1919 resounded with German youth. Hesse became their idol and Demian their bible. By this time, Hesse’s marriage had shattered following his wife’s psychosis and recovery. Their house was divided, and Hesse settled alone in the small town of Montagnola and lived in four unheated little rooms in a castle-type building, the Casa Camuzzi.

Alone with his solitude, he explored further writing projects, painted, and published Klingsor’s Last Summer in 1920. Finally, after many years of being immersed in Indian culture and Buddhist philosophy that he’d developed at an early age, he published Siddhartha in 1922. Even Hesse’s characterization of Siddhartha’s evolving ideology make a lot more sense when viewed through the light of Carl Jung’s psychology of the unconscious. Jung’s psychology insisted on also “acknowledging the dark side” of human nature and allowing for its manifestations along your life path. Sex, gambling, and greed possessed Siddhartha for a while but still never completely fulfilled him.

A new dimension that we find in the novel Siddhartha is his smile. Siddhartha is a similar story as that which was written in Demian: the search for self through all the stages of despair, alienation, guilt, and on to the experience of fulfilling the whole. In this new story, Hesse insists upon using love as the creator of this fulfillment, and he regards this component as “natural growth and development” out of earlier beliefs. In his essay “My Faith”, which he wrote in 1931, he clarified “that my Siddhartha puts not cognition, but love in first place: that it disdains dogma and makes the experience of unity the central point….”

Hesse’s works are challenging and unlike almost any other works of Western writers, and he’s had periods of great fame, and also periods of scorn and neglect. Upon his receipt of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946, a great flurry of translations of his works was begun, including a 1951 English translation of Siddhartha. His books did not get much attention in the English-speaking world until the political and social upheaval in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s. Because he excelled in depicting personal crisis’s and private agonies, and this type of literature also seems to be remarkably popular during dark periods in culture, which also accounts for Hesse’s large-scale adoration in Germany during both devastating wars.

Translations

Several American publishers have recently had translations of Hesse’s work commissioned, including Siddhartha, which previously were not possible due to copyright restrictions. In addition to the following newer translations, many publishers are still selling the original 1951 translation done by Hilda Rosner and being sold in reprint editions.

Newer translations include:

• Modern Library, translated by Susan Bernofsky, with a foreword by Tom Robbins, translator’s preface (2006). An elegant translation, true to the original writing.

• Penguin, a translation by Joachim Neugroschel, introduction by Ralph Freedman, translator’s note (2002). This version is very short and concise, and critics argue it does not do the story justice.

• Barnes & Noble, a translation by Rika Lesser, introduction by Robert A. Thurman (2007). Part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality works at affordable prices

• Shambhala Classics, a translation by Sherab Ch√∂dzin Kohn, introduction by Paul W. Morris, translator’s preface (1998). A good translation with relevant quotes by Hesse.

• The Gutenberg Project, translated by Gunther Olesch, Anke Dreher, Stefan Langer, Amy Coulter, and Semyon Chaichenets. Available for online reading and in eBook formats. (2001)

This is widely viewed as the most literal and accurate translation of Siddhartha.

Between Darkness And Light

Jang Song-Thaek was stripped down and thrown into a cage, along with five of his closest associates. Then they let in 120 dogs, which were starved for three days, and they let them prey on the victims and eat them alive. This is called ‘quan jue’, or execution by dogs, and it was overseen by the young dictator Kim Jong-Un, as reported by “Wen Wei Po”, a daily newspaper close to the Chinese communist regime.

This report shouldn’t be accepted at face value, because it’s probably part of a thought-through tactic to enlarge the newspaper’s circulation, or at least that’s what many analysts say. Yet everybody, including those who ordered it, the North Korean dictator and his communist dynasty, agree that the execution was still performed in one way or another, and that fact should make every person with a sane mind and pure heart think. Because, when we read about the brutal and cold ways of killing people in this country cloaked in a dark cloud of tyranny, we must shiver at the mere thought. Let us not forget that these crimes are not taking place on another planet, but right here, where every person has (and must have) a natural right to live, and that this right shouldn’t depend on any mad dictator. A trusted source informed me that it was Kim Kyong Hui, the sister of the late dictator Kim Yong-Il, who ordered the execution of her own husband and his close associates due to greed and arrogance. It is known that the ruling dynasty is using the army to maintain “love and peace” among the people and, to do so, the army must be well supplied with food and clothing, which leaves the rest of the nation starving and hungry, and it is a sort of a motto of the ruling communist dynasty. The insensitive and cunning Kim Kyong Hui is teaching the young dictator how to rule the people. Without a loyal army, there is no loyal nation, that is her pagan motto, and when her closest associates ask her how to feed the starving people, she coldly answers that death will take care of this issue, since poor people dying of hunger is a natural process in her opinion. Of course, neither she nor the ‘dear leader’ can be touched by the tears of hundreds of thousands of starving children, and so the dynasty is dividing international donations between the army and the lobotomized party puppets, and only the remains of the remains trickle through to those subjects who are also decidedly lobotomized and close to the palace, so that the waves of their merry sighs can spread to the palace, where the ‘dear leader’ is anxiously awaiting the praise directed at him by his people, to be able to keep surfing the popular elation. Yes, using the term ‘his people’ is correct, because this dynasty has long since decided to turn their pagan ideas into the ghastly reality of the water, the air, the mountains and valleys, and even the people being their property. And so, the cunning shadow master Kim Kyong Hui has advised the young dictator to execute Jang Song-Thaek for the surplus of compassion he expressed in the past. You might wonder what compassion could possibly have to do with corruption. To cut a long story short, Jang Song-Thaek’s sin was that he communicated his feeling – that more solidarity should be shown to the starving people – to his closest associates in the party and in the army and that, for example, the money made from the sale of seafood to Chinese companies whould be used to aid the people, instead of letting the party, i.e. the dynasty, be the sole beneficiary. Sources close to the palace claim that it drove Kim Kyong Hui mad, and that she ran across the palaca cursing her husband, who dared to utter the ony forbidden ward, compassion. This was further exaggerated by Jang Song-Thaek’s statement that no amount of plastic surgery or costly perfume would help her regain her youth and beauty, and that it would be better if that money was spent on those who are starving, rather than being spent on vanity. This was akin to signing his own death sentence, says the secret source.

Some analysts will say that it was Jang Song-Thaek who empowered the young dictator in the first place, by replacing generals who had their doubts regarding Kim Jong-Un, but they keep forgetting that Kim Kyong Hui, the younger sister of Lim Jong-Il, was the puppetmaster pulling the strings. One might wonder how Kim Jong-Un can sleep calmly. Isn’t he haunted by the ghosts of the departed? Skeptics will say that the young dictator can be craddled to sleep by the music of the golden coins and the view of his throne. At day, countless lobotomized poltroons and mercenaries are keeping him happy. For example, some former NBA stars arrive at the throne of the ‘dear leader’ to perform for his pleasure. If the young dictator’s gaze should by mistake notice the cold and dark streets where his starving subjects walk like zombies, all these basketball greats will surely lighten his mood. Yes, you might ask yourself what kind of man it is, who can leave the citadel of liberty to praise the mad dictator of such an outlandish fable. Some media is elevating this basketball player to the highest throne of humanism, claiming that he is on some kind of holy diplomatic mission. Come on, no amount of sugar talk can enlighten a man who is calmly watching the ongoing deaths of thousands of children and mothers, while stuffing his stomach full of expensive exotic delicacies. When the former basketball star claims that his great friend Kim Jong-Un is a wonderful and – get this – compassionate man, he must know that he is in no way helping manking, but rather furthering the boundaries of the crazed dictator’s madness. Is that a diplomatic mission? I’d like to have the opportunity to ask such ‘peacemakers’ and journalists, who appeared before the young dictator to interview him, whether the idea behind kissing the dictator’s hand is to help the oppressed and starved people. You’re definitely wrong! This is how you damage the oppressed and starving people of North Korea, because if the truth is ever to reach the dictator’s errant mind, it has to be shouted out loud! It takes medical language to correctly diagnose the disease and to cure the patient, and the dictator Kim Jong-Un can only be cured by the truth, not by false compliments. It is high time for Kim jong-Un to look at the man in the mirror, who will say to him: “On the path of life you may fool the whole world, and people will pat your shoulders as they pass you by, but your ultimate wage will be pain of the heart, and tears, if you have fooled the man in the mirror.” The only way to save or even enlighten the young dictator is to talk to him far away from the prying eyes and ears of Kim Kyong Hui, or her personal spies. I believe that some poems based on social themes (like “My little cardboard home” or “Freedom”) would be of more help to the young dictator than all the fake compliments offered to him by false peacemakers. If the aforementioned basketball player was a man of noble mission, he would ask himself how many hungry mouths could be fed by those bloody florins that will be thrown before him by the young dictator. As a poet, I would always choose homelessness before the golden throne of dictatorship, because life teaches us that the moment you lose your soul, you become much poorer than the homeless, since the poverty of spirit is the worst of poverties. I still believe that falsely complimenting dictators cannot possibly turn them into better people. History teaches us that the opposite is true. But then, could I be wrong? Anyway, I always rely on the most fair among all the judges of the quality of human life, which is time itself, because time cannot be owned by no single monarch, group of people, states or corporations and, as such, time is most fair at writing history. After all, life teaches us that the journey between darkness and light is not easy, and that weak-spirited people easily stray, because a strong spirit is man’s most faithful ally in the thick forest of passion. Yes, a man without conscience is like a lamp without oil.

When we see a dynasty turning North Korea into a concentration camp in which an entire nation is imprisoned, and the free word is turning a blind eye on it, we all need to ask ourselves whether we’re all to blame because, how can you possibly turn a blind eye on the tears and the dying agony of an entire nation? It is exactly the same way we are observing the eradication of an entire nation in Syria. Everyone is washing their hands and claiming that it’s a civil war, and one of the participating parties is Al-Qaeda, but isn’t it just a coward’s excuse? Had the free world dealt with this issue on time, and had they intervened against the dictator Bashar Al Assad, they would have prevented the growth of terrorism and extremism. Let us not forget that what most Syrians wanted was just what every American, Japanese, South Korean or European has – liberty! I can’t understand how people – most of those who have political power at their disposal – can possibly watch all those wounded and starving children washing the mud of their faces with their young salty tears, while their little trembling hands are holding on to the lifeless hands of their mothers in the demolished streets of ancient Syrian cities. Where has mankind’s conscience gone? I can’t understand the indifference and the apathy of the Arab Union. Where is your conscience, sheiks? Are the cries of the Syrian children no business of yours? Does making money always come first? Do you think that the man in the mirror is not waiting for you? If you have lost your faith, well, I didn’t lose mine! Yes, you world politicians and wealthy sheiks, this may sound strange to you, but a poor poet’s faith is much bigger than you can possibly imagine. Why? Because liberty can’t be bought with gold and diamonds. It can only be earned through human honor and dignity, and this is exactly why I believe that it’s still not too late to help the Syrian people, because most of the rebels (the Free Syrian Army) is still fighting for a country in which every person, regardless of race, gender or religion will have an equal chance to live, which means that they are fighting for the same values the free world is advertising. The freedom of the Syrian people is the key to victory, not just over the dictator, but global terrorism as such. The world media should eventually realize that the Syrian rebels aren’t terrorists, and that there is no civil war in Syria. The truth is that the army and the mercenaries of Basharr Al Assad are conducting a massacre against their own people, which means that this is a struggle of the people against the dictator and not a civil war at all. There is a revolution in Syria! After all, the political leaders of the Syrian opposition have stated that they shall not accept any kind of terrorism, and that they are not about to divide people along religious lines, or get involved in pogroms the way Bashar Al Assad, who is portraying himself as the only one who can guarantee stability. The opposition wants the Syrian people to live in free coexistence with all religions, and that every Syrian may elect their own politicial representatives according to their own wishes and conscience, instead of having them imposed on themselves by Bashar Al Assad’s dictatorial dynasty. If the dreams of most Syrians would come true, there would no longer be tensions or wars in the Middle East, because this would also serve as a recipe towards achieving peace between Israel and Palestine. When everyone will have the freedom to respect the religions of others as their own, to respect other countries and nations, only then will the children, the mothers and the fathers be able to freely walk their respective paths of dreams and praise the Lord for the mercy bestowed upon them. Isn’t that the real purpose of life and happiness? Doesn’t that inspire the politicians and sheiks of the world to finally do what the conscience and heart commands? Yes, each person is fighting the two selves since the moment they are born, and each person has the freedom to choose between darkness and light. The rest is excuses. For how long will we be able to calmly watch a mad dictator like Assad kill the women, the children and the elderly with poisonous gases? This is what I’m asking the Americans. Have we still not realized that the message we are sending is that any future dictator can feel free to kill their own people in their respective countries, because it is of no concern to American citizens, who do not want to be the ‘global policeman’. What would the hero from Omaha Beach, who gave his life for the freedom of people whom he never met, think of this? There is a wonderful word, ‘dignity’, and its glorious power can be best understood from the example of the Omaha Beach hero. This is why I believe warriors (and those who kill civilians are no warriors) are like poets, because both are ready to sacrifice their lives for freedom.

Sadly, abundance and apathy are killing not just dignity, but also liberty in the free world. Let us not forget Shakespear’s wise words: “Plenty and peace breed cowards; hardness ever of hardiness is mother.” Are we really the free world? Are we really the citadel of freedom? Yes, every American should ask that question – what have I done to prevent an entire nation (North Korea, Syria etc.) from dying?Don’t you think that this apathy is also killing freedom within the citadel of freedom? Look at the man in the mirror who is asking you: What have I done to prevent millions of fellow Americans lacking health insurance? Turning your head is the easy thing to do, but is it humane? Aren’t we human beings, with a soul, who can feel compassion for other human beings? Or are we just clones who only care for themselves? Sooner or later, the deathbed awaits all of us, and we will have to settle our accounts. What have we done to make the world within us and around us a better place? And what have we left undone? These questions will follow us more closely than our own shadows on that ultimate voyage.

It is interesting to see that there are laws that say that addictions to alcohol, drugs or gambling are diseases, and this is right… but hey, I am yet to find a law that does the same for greed. The skeptic will tell you that this is because those who write laws are the greediest of all. On second thought, we shall realize that greed is a much more dangerous disease than the pest or cholera, because it goes beyond destroying the body – it destroys the soul too. Greed is the mother to many a dictator or conquering war. Sadly, it takes a war to defeat a dictator, and this is why I respect true patriots because, to me, the greatest of patriots is the one who helps his fellow men. If all people would reason along these lines, the world would be a much better place to live. And we don’t need much to create a world like that, it’s enough to take good care of the most merciful of the Lord’s gifts to man, which is freedom. If every person, regardless of race, gender or religion would have the same chance to live, and if this wasn’t a privilege of chosen political castes and their tycoon buddies, as is the case in this small and beautiful country of Croatia, and many other beautiful countries infected with corruption and dictatorship. Most of the world’s dictators are not likely to listen to wise advice, and some of the wisest advice comes from their brothers in greed from the ninth circle of hell in Dante’s Inferno: “You are what we used to be, and you shall be what we are now!” Come thinking of that, we all have our counsellors; whether they are up or down, and whether we shall dispense advice from hell or heaven, depends on the quality of our lives. We should never forget that once we depart, the size of the shadow we leave behind is proportional to the light that emanated from our souls while we were still alive. If we look closely into the eyes of the man in the mirror, we shall hear his advice: “Don’t forget to do good deeds in the present time, because the future is but the past returning through another door!”

Walter William Safar

Family of Ganesha – First Family of Hindu Religion

Ganesha is the youngest member of Lord Shiva’s family and is known to be very dear to all the Hindu deities mentioned in the Hindu mythology. Though, there are many famous tales associated with the birth of Ganesha or Ganesh, the most popular is that in which his mother prepares a statue from clay and blesses it with life. The statue turns into none other than Ganesha, who is known to be fond of sweets. The following information talks about other members of the family to which Lord Ganesha belongs.

Shiva, the Destroyer

Lord Shiva, the father of Ganesha, is one of three supreme Hindu Gods, the other two being Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma. Known to reside at Kailasa Mountain, Shiva is worshipped with different names like Sankara, Rudra, Neelkanth and many more.

Shiva is held responsible for unknowingly cutting the head of his own son, Ganesha, when the latter denied him permission to enter the quarters of Goddess Parvati, Shiva’s wife. However, Shiva restored Ganesha to life after discovering the latter to be his own son. Apart from that, Shiva also announced that Ganesha would be worshipped before any other God or Goddess by people in the universe during any type of ceremony.

Parvati, the Shakti

Goddess Parvati, popularly known as Shakti, the power, is the mother of Ganesha. The Goddess is considered to be the centre of whole of the energy prevailing in the universe. Parvati is believed to be the second incarnation of Sati, the first wife of Lord Shiva. Kown by other names like Gauri, Bhairavi, Bhavani and many more, Parvati is considered to be very near to her son, Ganesha.

As mentioned earlier, Parvati created Ganesha as a statue from clay to guard the quarters, while she went to take a bath. Apart from the story mentioned in the last section, another famous tale tells how Ganesha got an elephant head. Ganesha’s head was turned to ashes, when the cursed God Shani had a look at the newborn child. However, Lord Vishnu soon replaced Ganesh’s head with one of elephant.

Famous Ganesh gifts consist of portraits and statues, depicting young Ganesha with his father and mother.

Kartikeya, the Brother

Kartikeya or Skanda is the brother of Ganesha, though their birth chronology is a matter of debate. Kartikeya is a popular deity among South Indians and also the residents of countries like Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore. As per the legends, Ganesha once defeated his brother in a competition by acting wiser.

Riddhi and Siddhi

Though Ganesha is believed to be a bachelor, in some parts of India, he is believed to have two wives, named Riddhi, who represent prosperity and Siddhi, who represent the spiritual power. It is also believed that the Lord has a third wife, named Buddhi, representing wisdom.

Shubha and Labha

Shubha and Labha are known to be the two sons of Lord Ganesha, the former representing auspiciousness and the latter one representing profit.

Doggin’ Northern Virginia: The 10 Best Places To Hike With Your Dog In NOVA

Have you ever considered how far you walk with your dog? If you walk just 15 minutes a day you will have walked far enough in your dog’s lifetime to cross the United States. With all that walking ahead of you, aren’t you ready for a new place to take a hike with your dog in northern Virginia? Here are NOVA’s best trails to hike with your best friend…

1. Sky Meadows State Forest

When you place your park on the Blue Ridge Mountain mountain slopes far removed from eight-lane roads clogged with traffic you have to work hard not to be the best place to hike with your dog in Northern Virginia and Sky Meadows does not disappoint. The real star here are the meadows – your dog can’t hike through any better.

2. Mason Neck State Park

A half-dozen canine hiking options through an attractive oak/holly forest on paw-friendly soft dirt are pretty enough you will want to complete them all with your dog. If you have time after lingering on the best beach for your dog in Northern Virginia.

3. Prince William Forest Park

The many miles of wooded trails in the largest swath of protected land in the Washington DC metropolitan area are refreshingly uncrowded – always an attraction for canine hikers. The trails are wide enough for a pack of dogs to travel easily over and well-marked.

4. Great Falls Park

You may come for the spectacular views of the Falls of the Potomac but you’ll stay for the canine hiking on wide trails that take your dog through a variety of habitats and the ruins of a Colonial canal town. Hold the swimming for someplace else, however.

5. The Battlefields of Manassas

Two five-mile interpretive hikes examine the year-apart clashes of the North and South across this Civil War battlefield. For your dog these hikes offer the best mixture of open field and wooded trail hiking in Northern Virginia.

6. Claude Moore Park

This eastern Loudoun oasis serves up a pastiche of a dozen short trails that add up to more than ten miles of canine hiking. You get your choice of two trails that circle the park, both of which visit Little Stoney Mountain for long views at Sugarloaf Mountain in Maryland.

7. Fountainhead Regional Park

Fountainhead is a trail user’s park. there are trails set aside for horses and for bikes and the white-blazed pedestrian trail is a snaking, two-mile excursion around wide ravines and through airy woods. For real canine adventures you can set out on the 18-mile Bull Run-Occoquan Trail.

8. Leesylvania State Park

There are three loops to enjoy with your dog in Leesylvania – the star being the Lee’s Woods Trail. This canine hike packs history aplenty into its two sporty miles atop the bluffs overlooking the Potomac River. For easy hiking with your dog take the Potomac Trail as it weaves through the former waterside amusement park that was part of the gambling gambit. Plenty of beach and swimming time for your dog here too.

9. Harpers Ferry National Historic Park

Few places in America pack as much scenic wonder and historical importance into such a small area as Harpers Ferry National Historic Park where the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers join forces. Your dog can sample hikes in three states here – up the mountain at Maryland Heights, through the town in West Virginia and across the Appalachian Trail in Virignia.

10. Mount Vernon

America’s most-visited home is dog-friendly to the core – the gate attendants provide a bowl of water for canine visitors. George Washingtn would have it no other way. The Father of Our Country is also the Father of the American Foxhound. He bred a new type of fox hunter with dogs from his friend Marquis de Lafayette and English hounds. The President favored silly names for his beloved dogs: Drunkard, Tipler, Tipsy.

The Pardoner, Sins Best Friend

Now, good men, God forgive you your trespass,

And guard you from the sin of avarice,

May my holy pardon save you all,

So you can offer coins,

Or else brooches, spoons or rings.

Bow down your heads before this holy bull!

Come up, you wives, and offer of your wool!

Your names I’ll enter on my roll, now,

Into Heaven’s bliss you will all go..

For I’ll absolve you, by my special power,

You that make offering, will be as clean and pure

As you were born.- And lo sirs, thus I preach.

And Jesus Christ, who is our souls’ physician,

So grant you each his pardon to receive;

For that is best; I will not you deceive.

In medieval times Pardoners were people who sold pardons or indulgences as a way for people to lessen their time in purgatory for the sins they had committed. These pardons were certificates from the Pope and pardoners themselves were sanctioned by religious houses given them the backing needed to sell these items. Pardoners became unpopular because many of them were seen as little more then frauds disguised as men of God. This image of unholy man playing at God’s work is the one Chaucer gives us in his Pardoners Tale where the last fifteen lines demonstrate not only how morally bankrupt the pardoner is as he tries to absolve others of their sins but it also is a reflection of the corruption in the church at that time as well.

The Pardoner begins the last lines of his tale by suggesting that the pardons he offers will be able to save those who purchase it from the sin of greed,

Now, good men, God forgive your trespass,

And guard you from the sin of avarice,

May my holy pardon save you all…

Having the Pardoner suggest that his pardons would be able to save anyone from any sin, including greed is a complete stretch of what Pardoners were supposed to be able to do. Buying a pardon might be able to lessen the time one spent in purgatory but in no way would be able to save anyone from their sins. To have the Pardoner make such an obvious lie, given the fact that we know he is well versed in Catholic doctrine due to his ability to quote scripture in his tale, Chaucer is making a statement about the credibility and the moral fiber of this man claiming to be a servant of God. More importantly the Pardoner is preaching against a sin that he admittedly embraces. His focus on greed is also important because his tale was a sermon on how greed can only lead to death, yet in having the Pardoner first relate a tale of the danger of money and greed and then portraying him as being as greedy as the men in his story Chaucer uses him to portray the dissatisfaction that people had with pardoners and money loving church officials at the time.

The Pardoner asserts his authority to be able to sell pardons when he tells the

patrons at the tavern,

So you can offer coins,

Or else brooches, spoons or rings

Bow down your heads before this holy bull!

Come up, you wives, and offer of your wool!

This official edict of his ability to sell pardons goes right to the heart of the corruption the church would have been experiencing at the time. With the Pardoner being as morally bankrupt as he is having church sanctioned authority to participate in what amounts to a government sanctioned swindle, Chaucer indirectly questions the morality of those in position of power in the church. By having the Pardoner wield his “Holy Bull” around Chaucer suggests that whoever gave him this authority knows of his corrupt nature and is just as corrupt as the Pardoner. However, Chaucer’s attacks seem to be aimed at the people in the church not Christianity itself. Never once is there a questioning of Christian teachings or principles, just those delivering the message. The Pardoner offers wonderful lessons on the dangers of gluttony, gambling and swearing, quoting scripture, and imparting ideals that should be followed, yet he is a man who indulges in the same sins he preaches against. This raises the question of how well those in the church were following the teachings of Christ that would later lay rise to Luther and the Reformation.

Also in these lines the Pardoner shows his method of ensuring that no one can claim that they don’t have the means to pay him his fees. In his prologue the Pardoner makes it clear that he doesn’t care about those that he’s selling his indulgences too. That they can be poor and if they can’t feed their families because of the money they give him for his pardons so be it, it is not his concerns. There is a sense of urgency in the lines as he requests these goods, as if by offering many ways for people to pay he is eliminating any possibility that someone would be able to say they don’t have the money or means to purchase a pardon and in turn fulfilling his own greedy desires he expressed in his prologue.

As he continues with his final plea to the patrons in the tavern he ratchets up the sell by making even more extraordinary promises on what he is able to do for one’s soul,

Your names I’ll enter on my roll, now,

Into Heaven’s bliss you will all go.

For I’ll absolve you, by my special power,

You that make offering, will be as clean and pure

As you were born.-

Here the Pardoner promises to absolve the patrons of their sins, a statement that is in direct contradiction of Catholic doctrine as only priests are ones that would be able to offer absolution. Part of the dissatisfaction with Pardoners was that there was confusion on what “powers” they had and what they were really capable of doing. Chaucer’s Pardoner is no exception. He, as his tale established, is clearly a man well versed in church doctrine so he knows he has no power to absolve anyone of sins and it is just a device to assuage the concerns of anyone who may be skeptical of him and what he is selling. He even offers to place there names on his roll as another way to look official and to reassure the patrons of his authenticity. Also, his willingness to deceive those that are relying on him for their salvation is similar to the three friends in his story. They thought nothing of deceiving and killing each other to fulfill their greedy plans and while the Pardoner isn’t a murderer he demonstrates once again how willing he is to deceive for his financial gain.

As he ends his speech the Pardoner reminds the patrons of the salvation that really matters,

And lo sirs, thus I preach.

And Jesus Christ, who is our souls’ physician,

So grant you each his pardon to receive;

For that is best; I will not you deceive.

The Pardoner seems to catch himself in these lines. The previous lines of the speech are all a push, one that starts small and then reaches a crescendo with the promise of absolution but then he brings it back to Jesus Christ seemingly as way to add another of validation to his request. As the “Holy Bull” acted as church sanctioned authority, reminding everyone of their Lord and Saviour gives him the spiritual authority as well. The lines seem to be delivered a bit tongue and cheek. It’s as if the Pardoner has realized he’s pushed things to far so, as any good shady salesman would, he reassures those he’s trying to sale of his honesty. The line is interesting, however, in that the pilgrims know that the Pardoner is a liar, so his assurance of, “I will not you deceive,” seems to be for reassuring the patrons at the tavern as much as it acts as a capstone a, ‘See, I told you I was good at this,” to the pilgrims who know his true nature.

Chaucer offers us an interesting window into the politics of the medieval world with his Pardoner’s Tale. The satire and unflattering portrait of this holy pardoner offers a look at the problems facing the church at the time as well as one of the best villains in English literature.

Churchless Christianity: A Move of God?

There’s another “move of God” that’s sweeping the nations. Have you noticed? Very few of those I’ve spoken with actually have. There are others who don’t necessarily view it as being a literal “movement” because it’s not quite as defined as they like. Not to mention those who don’t particularly approve of God “moving” in this direction. But as one British minister said to me several years ago, addressing all the controversies revolving around every new thing God has done since Genesis, “There’s never been a tidy move of God.”

Never.

Just as the Egyptian magicians were able to mimic Moses when his rod was turned into a snake, Satan is STILL duplicating and infiltrating whenever possible, muddying up the purity of the flowing river of God, deceiving “even the elect” of Christ’s Kingdom. And successfully dissuading many a curious onlooker from diving in as a result of the disjointedness of The Body of Christ.

What is this move of God? It’s the incredible mass exodus, the numbers of people who are leaving organized Christianity at an alarming rate, and the ministers who are either leaving the faith, or are ceasing to believe in the inerrancy of God’s Word (in a moment well see if these are really men of God at all). Fact is, what most theologians and church people see as a horrific trend, may well be a mighty move of God’s Spirit. And when the wind of the Spirit begins to blow, Wisdom cries out for us to adjust our sails. Let me explain.

Very simply, Jesus wants His Church back. It’s His Bride. Sadly, this lovely young woman has been made a prostitute with Religion as its Master. She was never intended to be structured, organized, or institutionalized. She’s an organism, not an organization. A living, breathing entity, not a cyborg to be programmed by a pious, human chain-of-command. Just as Christianity was once seen as a radical move among Judaism, I see this “Churchless Christianity” phenomenon as a move of God within the Church itself.

THE FACTS

People are leaving organized churches in Biblical proportions; at a rate of 53,000 a week in Europe and North America combined (the U.S. lost 57,500 in the entire Vietnam War, to put that number in perspective). As a whole, Christians lose 7,600 a day to other religions or irreligion. I hear from these people all the time by eMail.

Incidentally, several years ago a leading Bible seminary sent 12,000 letters to pastors of various denominations and asked one question: “Do you believe that the Bible is the infallible word of God?” The results of the survey were startling: 85% of the Presbyterian USA pastors said NO; 85% of the Methodist pastors said NO; 85% of the Episcopal pastors said NO; 55% of the Baptist pastors said NO; 45% of the Catholic priests said NO. (Source: Warner A. Bonner, [email protected])

These are our “leaders,” folks.

Be concerned. Be very concerned.

Christian Researcher, George Barna says of the American Church, “…new research supports our contention that the structure of the American church is already undergoing radical change. If you add up the proportion of people who will call the cyberchurch their ‘church home’, those who will align with an independent house church and individuals who will be steadfastly unchurched, within the next 15 years a majority of Americans will be completely isolated from the traditional church format.” (There are many church organizations well able to support existing ministries of each genre rather than attempt to launch their own from scratch. Hint. Hint.)

According to a study released 12/23/01 by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, while Americans flocked to their synogogues and churches after 9/11/01, one out of four adult American Internet users, roughly 28 million, have sought out religious or spiritual information online since that infamous day. I can attest to this.

More than 3 million U.S. adults find religious information online EVERY DAY, up from 2 million last year. That’s more than use the Internet for gambling, banking or trading stocks! Sixty-nine per cent of those engaged in religious activities online search for educationalor reference material, 50% research other faiths, and 35% seek spiritual advice through eMail. Forty-one percent said they sent or received eMail prayer requests. Seven percent made contributions online (unfortunately, I cannot attest to this stat).

As a man with an eMinistry, I don’t see this “Church Exodus” as being a bad thingat all, for I’ve witnessed the fruit of CyberChurch and it’s quite bountiful! No, I’m not advocating that we stop face to face fellowship. Perish the thought! We need each other. We are a Body fitly joined. But for those who need specialized attention – and the statistics reveal there are MANY, including the shut-in, the handicapped, the shift worker, the spiritually shipwrecked – I liken CyberChurch to Christ reaching the masses from town to town, in fields and on beaches, in the market, or wherever people gathered who would listen. Even if they must gather electronically.

The Lord could have erected a church building after the Sermon on the Mount but He chose to minister while making disciples in preparation for the harvest to come (no farmer harvests his crop without a barn or a silo in which to put the harvest – otherwise, it rots on the ground). The Western Church must learn to use today’s information technologies in conjunction with our postmodern orientation, to serve the greatest number of unchurched people possible in the most nontraditional and non-threatening ways. In other words, like Moses with his staff, God used what Moses had on hand at the moment, coupled with Mo’s willing spirit. In the third world Church, they use things such as wind currents to send Scripture-laden balloons across borders. They use flowing rivers to send the Gospel downstream in bottles. They get creative with what’s available. Little is much in the hands of God. What do WE have available?

The lowly computer is just one option.

It’s simply naive to expect our local professional ministers to do the job or to expect the unchurched to “come to church.” After all, shepherds don’t produce sheep; sheep produce sheep. It’s pure fantasy to believe the world could be won by Christian TV, radio, or music either. The Christian entertainment world is a ghetto into which the mainstream rarely strays. I didn’t, before I was saved. Did you? What arrogance to think that THEY should come seeking US!

IS THERE ANY HOPE?

Americans say they want revival! A poll conducted by Public Agenda, a secular think tank, showed that most Americans feel society would improve if people were more devout. 69% of the 1,507 U.S. adults polled in Nov. ’00 agreed that “religion is the best way to strengthen moral behavior and family values.” 74% agreed that “it is a bad idea for families to raise children without any religion.” (Source: Tribune News Service, 01/10/01)

Brennan Manning, author of “Ragamuffin Gospel,” says, “Too many people are living in a house of fear and not in a house of love. In the past, churches have been wounders of the healers, not healers of the wounded.” He explains, “Our huffing and puffing to impress God and our thrashing about to fix ourselves while hiding in our pettiness and wallowing in guilt are nauseating to God and are a flat denial of the Gospel of grace.”

It’s been said that Christianity is the #1 cause of atheism. We, ourselves, are to blame for this churchless faith phenomenon, resulting from years of misdirected church teachings and traditions. In its current state, we just don’t stand up to the scrutiny of our critics. Only God Himself can get us out of the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into.

But that ALONE should inspire great hope within us all!

NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH?

Many years ago, a man visted my hometown of Arlington, Texas and was going about sharing what he referred to as “a revelation on the Church.” Though he was way ahead of his time, the vision he shared for “how to have Church” was actually nothing more than what 80% of the Church was already practicing throughout the third world … the ONLY places where Christianity is currently flourishing, and amidst persecution at that! Though all listened politely, behind his back he was mocked and belittled. And I held their coats, just as Saul did when they stoned Stephen, the first Christian martyr. By the way, this man was James Rutz, author of the hot, new book, MegaShift. Read it and you’ll see why it’s so hot! we laughed at him back then.

In his book, Rutz chronicled more than a week in the life of his Church for the rest of us to enjoy. Fascinating and fun! Regrettably, though I’ve never journaled Church activities, his description reminded me so much of what I’ve experienced many times in the years since.

He writes: What does the Church of Jesus Christ, our current part of the Kingdom of God, REALLY need to look like in order to delight her Bridegroom? Let’s imagine a “helicopter’s view” ofdaily life together as TRUE brothers and sisters in Christ. What would the Holy Spirit and a family of believers living in obedience to His Word look like today? What does the Church today, walking in God’s presence and full of grace, look like? How can we recognize the Life of Christ, alive again today in His Body, the Church?

It looks amazingly similar to the Life of Jesus in His physical body 2000 years ago!”

Here are 21st century nurses, restaurant workers, contractors, engineers, teachers, business owners and managers, carpetcleaners and secretaries – clothed in the garb of the teaching and Life of Jesus; a Church that was formed from His victorious death (Gen 2:21-22; Rev 5:9; Eph 2:11-22; 5:22-32).

This is typical, natural Life in the Spirit of Christ. This is a touch of the Life God’s Family is MEANT to have – where Truth touches individuals specifically in its gatherings. Meetings are filled with openness, faith-filled confession of sin, teaching, training, and praise in response to all that is currently happening. Disciples bring songs they’ve written, praise they’re brimming with, chapters from books that have elevated or challenged them, video-teaching tapes that have been a catalyst for growth in them, and ten thousand other possibilities. God’s Family is gathered, circled in barns, parks, hotels conference rooms, living room, apartment clubhouses, gymnasiums, or stadiums. Every barrier between God’s Children is destroyed…

This is The Church, the ekklesia (the “called out ones”), as expressed from Acts 2 to Acts 2002. There’s real Life here. Accountability. Horizontal as well as vertical relationship. Face to face, and by any OTHER means available. Anopportunity to truly become “brothers and sisters”; the family of God. And an opportunity to expand the servant-base, empowering people so that even MORE disciples would be trained and equipped for making MORE disciples. THAT is the Great Commission, after all.

There’s power here, too, as the family walks in agreement. Power in prayer. Power to heal and deliver those who are oppressed. Power in miracles. And it draws people unto itself as “many will come and see and put their trust in the Lord.”

BELIEVERS ONLY

Quite a few who receive the eMail broadcasts of “Your Town For Jesus” from t.e.a.m. ministries are of the “Believers Only” crowd, not belonging to any organized Church body for any number of reasons. Some actually refer to me as their “Pastor.” Some even call me “Father.” (Please, just call me “Michael.” God does.) I’ve even been “accused” of being a “prophet.” If you’re one of these – or want to be – please listen: though you may not attend organized services held in a building with stained glass windows, you DO require SOME sort of Christian fellowship. Iron sharpens iron. “Do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together” still applies, even if your only form of regular gathering is here, on your computer. Bottom line: all God really requires is your heart-felt availiability in order to open the door for miracles in someone else’s life… in person or not.

Your worship of God is not to be limited to the Sunday sing-along. Nor is it about being entertained or “being fed” (Jesus said His food was in DOING the will of the Father). Worship is a lifestyle. To what do you give the majority of your time, energy, money? Careful, for this may have inadvertently become your God. Though church

attendance as we know it in the West is not biblically required (for the Church was never intended to be a building or an orgaization); Church existence is mandatory.

In other words, BE the Church, don’t merely GO to church. The real SERVICE of the Church occurs AFTER the Church service.

Need pastoral counseling and prayer? Write or IM me at [email protected]

Every blessing!

Lucky In Love – Lucky In Marriage 777 The Most Popular Wedding Date In Years

Wedding Planning

Lucky in Love – Lucky in Marriage
777 the Most Popular Wedding Date in Years

Choosing Special Wedding Dates

Since ancient days, in many cultures, brides and grooms chose their wedding date very carefully. Some days have always been preferred over others.

Even today in the USA, certain dates are considered more popular than others. Traditionally Labor Day, Memorial Day, the 4th of July, the Christmas holiday season and The thanksgiving weekend are chosen most often for wedding celebrations.

This year there is a date that tops all of them. In fact some consider it a phenomenon. This special day is July 7, 2007 or 777.

We have interviewed both, engaged couples who chose this as their wedding date and wedding vendors, professionals and service providers hired by them.

Reasons for Choosing July 7. 2007 as a Wedding Date

Some of the reasons given us by the couples were:

  • Having found the loves of their life, the couples feel lucky. Adding 777 to the occasion is the ultimate jackpot.
  • To have their life long commitment blessed with luck. As one couple iterated:”you can never have too much luck.”
  • Many individuals and couples consider number 7 their favorite number.
  • Quite a few couples cited the Biblical reverence of number 7. The most common reference was to the 7 days of creation and that God blessed and rested on the 7th day, so that still today our week contains 7 days. The other popular reference was to the prayer of the Lord having 7 petitions.
  • Of great importance was also the fact that the 7th of July falls on a saturday so close to The 4th of July holiday allowing for a weekend long enough for guests from far away not to have to rush home. A weekend long enough for relaxing, un-hurried destination weddings.
  • Some of those we interviewed said that they just liked the way 777 looks on their invitations, that it sounds nice and that it offers great wedding theme possibilities.
  • All, with no exception liked the fact that the date is easy to remember. I can certainly identify with this way of thinking. When I chose to get married on the 4th of July, I considered that the date is easy to remember, we’ll be off from work and that every year the entire country will help us celebrate.

    What Wedding Vendors, Professionals and Service Providers Say About July 7. 2007 as a Wedding Date

    All Wedding Vendors, Professionals and Service Providers, with no exception feel very lucky. They were booked early, some over 2 years ago. Of those who can accommodate more than one wedding on that day, the majority already have waiting lists and we are only in March.

    Realizing the popularity of the date, quite a few raised their standard fees. They figured that with so many couples vying for the date, they’ll get top dollar plus. Brides and grooms are aware of the higher prices and of the competition for the 777 wedding date and are willing to pay the price to secure it.

    We spoke with hotels and halls and all are filled. Las Vegas the wedding capital of the world has been sold out for quite some time as have other cities with casinos.

    If you are a couple, in need of a wedding site, note that 777 is in the summer and consider the following options:

  • A destination wedding in a rural setting or abroad
  • A wedding in a home
  • A wedding in a park
  • A wedding on a beach
  • A wedding in a university hall
  • A wedding at a museum that offers such a facility
  • A wedding on a private estate
  • A wedding at a bed and breakfast
  • A wedding at sea, on a yacht or boat.
  • Do you have any ideas to share with us?

    What if you can not find a caterer?
  • Contact a restaurant
  • Summon your family and friends and start cooking and freezing.
  • Have a picnic reception
  • Have a pot luck reception

    OFFICIANTS who offer a ceremony venue whom we interviewed, suggested that they’ll perform one ceremony every 45 minutes or an hour until quite late into the night.

    WEDDING PLANNERS have donned their thinking caps, coming up with ideas for 777 themes for their clients. Some ideas are:

  • Starting either the ceremony or the reception at 7:00pm
  • Having 7 instead of 8 guests per table,
  • Setting the tables in the hall in the shape of number 7
  • Having 7 different centerpieces – repeating if there are more than 7 tables
  • Having a 7 tier wedding cake or a wedding cake shaped like number 7
  • Having the wedding accessories embelished with eithr 777 or luck oriented decorations*
  • Using 3 number 7 jewelry cake top numerals
  • Having #7 on jewelry and engraveable gifts for the wedding attendants
  • Having 7 people in the wedding party
  • Having a 7 candle candalabra on the bridal table
  • giving out favors and decorating with luck related items such as:* 777, good luck charms, 4 leaf clover, horse shoes, rainbows, stars, lucky pennies in a shoe, preferable minted in a year with 7. How about Scratch or lottery tickets or Jersey # 7 of a favorite theme?
  • A few planners were asked to arrange a fun, “Las Vegas night” style reception. Most suggested that their clients must be sure that if they invited guests who are against gambling, they may find objectionable. So, know your guests before you plan a casino like reception.

    I have interviewed a planner who really got inspired by the date.

    She arranged that her clients will

  • have a hotel room with a number 7 on the door.
  • Both the limo for the wedding day and the rental car for the 7 day honeymoon have number 7 on their license plates.
  • She secured – reserved parking spot number 7 for them.

    July 7. 2007 as a Wedding Date
    Flexibility and the Creative Brides and Grooms

    A few of the couples we interviewed, who secured 777 as their wedding date and who are flexible had rather creative ideas.

    The two that were really unique were by a bride and groom who were willing to SELL their wedding day complete with all the arrangements.

    They said that they will be glad to change their wedding date for a fee.

    Another couple familiar with the tradition in some countries of ‘Community Weddings’ is willing to have a shared wedding providing the other bride and groom will pick up the tab for the agreed upon flowers, decorations and entertainment. “This,” said the bride “will save us money but will not add to the wedding costs the other brides and grooms. Either way they’ll have to pay for flowers, decorations and entertainment.”
    The hall will be divided in such a way that the guests of each wedding will be separated from the other.

    A few couples seem interested, in fact they believe that it will be a unique wedding experience and will leave lasting fun memories for both couples.

    So, Why, is this Date or the Combination of Numbers

    So Special and Sought After?

    Since ancient times, the number 7 was revered and considered LUCKY by most all societies and in many fields such as: Religion, Ethics, Mathematics, Spiritualizm, Numerology, Geography, Astrology and Philosophy.

    Following are but a few samples

  • The bible Reveres the number 7 many times it can easily be considered the favorite.
  • Since the time of the ancient world, people revered the
  • 7 sacred planets.
  • The Seven Seas
  • The seven virtues
  • The seven Stars – planets
  • Today, the 777 Ultimate Jackpot.
  • and don’t forget the Seventh Heaven where brides and grooms are on their wedding day.

    Copyrights © 2007 All Rights Reserved Nily Glaser, A-wedding Day and Gan Publishing

    BYLINE

    Copyrights © 2007 All Rights Reserved Nily Glaser,

    Nily Glaser is the CEO of A-wedding Day

    A-wedding Day is a very popular Wedding Resource and Information Center, and a discount shopping

    mall for wedding gifts, supplies and bridal accessories.

  • The Root Chakra – Muladhara

    The Root Chakra is the first in the column of Chakras. Our most basic instinct – for survival – lies within this chakra, as do our needs for food, sleep and shelter. The Root Chakra is the base of powerful kundalini energy, which rises through all the Chakras to reach the crown, where it brings about the meditative state of Samadhi (Hindu and Buddhist term that denotes higher levels of concentrated meditation).

    As part of the survival instinct, the Root Chakra is closely linked with security, emotional a well as physical. When it is out of balance, you may suffer from low self-esteem, feel out of touch with your body and your sexuality, or be prone to depression and addictive behaviour, such as smoking. When your Root Chakra is balanced, you feel confident and healthy, and happy with your body and your sexuality.

    The Root Chakra grounds you in your body and gives you a feeling of safety. It is strongly linked to the Crown Chakra and between them, they govern the bodys hormone system. Without a balanced Root Chakra, the crown cannot function.

    The Root Chakra reaches down the legs to the foot Chakras to draw up the earths energy. When you sit on the ground to meditate, the Root Chakra – which lies between the genitals and anus on the perineum – is in direct contact with earth energy.

    In an emergency situation, you need to gather all of your physical resources, and the Root Chakra enables you to do this. The glands associated with this chakra are the adrenal glands, which produce the hormone adrenalin as part of the right-or-flight response. Adrenalin gives you extra strength and stamina in a crisis.

    It is strongly believed that your early years have a profound influence on the health of your Root Chakra. It is thought that babies who are fed on demand and given plenty of love and security are much more likely to have healthy Root Chakras. Whilst those deprived or love or left to cry when hungry tend to become needy and prone to developing a victim mentality. A closed Root Chakra in adulthood may mean that you constantly worry about money or never feel satisfied with your work or home. It can also lead to self-destruction or addictive behaviour – such as eating disorders, smoking, drug-taking, drinking too much alcohol, or gambling – or to illnesses such as lower back pain, haemorrhoids, constipation and sciatica. Depression may result from a dislike of your own body. On the other hand, a Root Chakra that is too open can lead to isolation; materialistic; selfish, bullying behaviour; or an addiction to loveless sexuality.

    A balanced Root Chakra makes you feel physically secure, able to be part of a group without being domineering or needy, and confident to trust your instincts and follow your destiny. A strong, firm massage can stabilize the Root Chakra. You can also nourish it with a balanced diet and plenty of sleep. Your Root Chakra thrives on physical challenge, so participating in sport is a good way to stimulate this chakra. Specific smells can both stimulate and calm the Root Chakra.

    Numerology Made Simple

    The practice of numerology has its roots in a few places; Chaldean numerology was developed by the Hebrews in Egypt and Babylon and there are indications that numerology was used thousands of years ago in China, Rome, Japan and Greece.

    Fast forward to early 1900 when Mrs. L. Dow Balliett, a revered student of the Bible, Pythagoras, Plato and other notable philosophers, introduced her own system of numbers. Largely credited with bringing the study of numerology to the Western world, Mrs. Balliett focused her efforts on allowing people to see themselves as divine beings. Her efforts, coupled with those of Dr. Julia Seton, who is actually credited with coining the term “numerology”, brought this system into the cultural mainstream.

    What numbers are calculated:

    The Life Path Number is considered by many to be the most important number in the numerology chart. It identifies the natural talents and abilities we are born with and shows us what we are capable of achieving.

    The Destiny Number is the sum of all the letters in an individual’s birth name and tells us what we are meant to become and what we are supposed to accomplish in our life.

    The Soul Number is used to help get in touch with your intuition. It represents your inner feelings, dreams, motivations and different aspects of one’s spiritual strengths and sensitivities. It is calculated by totaling the values of the numbers representing the vowels in your birth name.

    The Personality Number, which is calculated by totaling the values of the numbers representing the consonants in your birth name, shows us how we are seen by others. This number allows us to gain valuable insight on which aspects of our personality may need to be “tweaked” in order to make more favorable first impressions.

    The Maturity Number shows us the extent to which we expect to enjoy our “golden years” in a meaningful, satisfying and happy manner. It is calculated by adding our Life Path and Destiny Numbers.

    Calculating your Life Path Number add the numbers in your birthdate: Ex: October 12, 1975 = 1+0+1+2+1+9+7+5 = 26 = 2+6 = 8

    Meaning of the Life Path Number

    So, you’ve calculated your Life Path Number and are ready to know what it means. Here is a brief explanation for each:

    One (1) – Those with a Life Path Number of 1 tend to be independent, self-starters who strive to be the best at whatever they choose to do. Competitive by nature, people with this Life Path Number set high standards for themselves and can be quite critical of those they feel are not meeting expectations. A person with a Life Path Number of 1 should look for a career that will allow them to use these talents to their fullest; entrepreneurship or a career in government are both common career choices.

    Two (2) – Those with a Life Path Number of 2 are generally characterized as being peacemakers because they shy away from conflict and confrontation and instead seek harmony in their environment. They also tend to be easygoing, affectionate, patient, compassionate and get along well with all types of people. While these are all terrific attributes, it is important for these individuals to remember that their easygoing nature can cause others to take advantage of them. People with a Life Path Number of 2 should seek a career that allows them to negotiate, attend to details, and serve in a supporting role.

    Three (3) – Those with a Life Path Number of 3 are creative, romantic and love to be in the spotlight. Optimistic by nature, a “3” can have a great sense of humor and thrive in pursuits which allow them to use their creativity. As a result, people with a Life Path Number of 3 do best in professions which involve writing, public speaking, acting, designing, illustrating or singing.

    Four (4) – Those with a Life Path Number of 4 are usually seen as steady and reliable. They are characteristically honest, have a great respect for authority and tend to “follow the rules”. As a result, others look to 4s to be the list keepers, organizers and make sure that all details of any project or initiative are addressed. Common career choices include anything in construction management, accounting or bookkeeping.

    Five (5) – Those with a Life Path Number of 5 can find themselves easily bored with their everyday routine and so they frequently seek change. Not surprisingly, they also thrive in environments that allow for freedom, fun, adventure and travel. Often described as the “life of the party”, it is important for 5s to always be busy and involved in exciting pursuits, otherwise they risk the chance of turning to drugs, alcohol, gambling or other vices for stimulation. Common career choices include professions in advertising, publicity, communications, new ventures and sales.

    Six (6) – Those with a Life Path Number of 6 are often noted for their nurturing spirit. They continually seek to find a good balance between giving and receiving. Because of their magnetic personality, others often look to 6s for advice and counsel. Common career choices include positions in the service industry, medicine, and anything to do with decorating, remodeling and personal makeovers.

    Seven (7) – Those with a Life Path Number of 7 tend to be dissatisfied with taking anything at face value and feel compelled to observe, analyze and study virtually everything they encounter. Because of their studious nature, they can be seen as loners and even mysterious by others. Common career choices include teaching, computer programming, and any profession that requires a great deal of analysis, deductive reasoning and technical ability.

    Eight (8) – Those with a Life Path Number of 8 greatly value money, power and success. And, as you would imagine, they tend to like life’s finer things. However, because of their attraction to material wealth, 8s have a tendency to be workaholics and often put their work pursuits ahead of their personal interests. Common career choices include senior level management, financial advisor, real estate broker or any position of authority.

    Nine (9) – Those with a Life Path Number of 9 are considered natural leaders and are perceived to be the person in charge even when they are not. Part of this is due to the 9’s humanitarian interests and need to understand the relationship between all things and people. A person with this Life Path number strongly desires to treat others in the manner he would like to be treated. Common career choices include international business, the arts, education and health.