The Secrets In Plain Sight!

Spiritual Calisthenics For People Who Are Willing To Think! Not your typical religious podcast, but with something for everyone whose mind is open enough to function.

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Even though "Faith Crime" is not a term you can find in a law book, they do happen.  Faith Crimes are those acts which a reasonable person should be able to see might destroy another person's faith.  This goes beyond any question of religion, denomination, or deity.  

One form of faith crime is interference with a person's free exercise of their faith, especially if the perpetrator could reasonably see that it might damage the person's faith.  Routinely interrupting someone's prayers might be an example, as would a base chaplain prohibiting a particular faith's services in the absence of a military chaplain of that faith.  

Another form of faith crime is putting words in the mouths of deities, especially when there is no legitimate basis for such a statement.  Telling a three-year-old girl that her beloved daddy died because of "God's will" is as wrong as claiming that Jesus wants a particular candidate elected!

Yes, there is some overlap between the two types of faith crimes.  Nevertheless, they are crimes against people.
    
Blessed Be!


Direct download: SIPS_PROGRAM_565.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:26pm EST

Why not?  Wiccans and Pagan have no problem with any number of gods and goddesses, and it is apparent that Yahweh does not mind.  He does want "top billing" from those who followed Moses out of Egypt and their descendants, but are you one of them?  And the tenth chapter of Acts gives some further exemptions!  And I am not about to abandon Allfather Odin!

The fact that certain early church missionaries followed by others demanded abandonment of other deities does not make it right!  And, there were other Christian traditions, rooted in places like Glastonbury and Alexandria which were different from the Roman.  Some say they "disappeared", but did they?

Before he ascended, Jesus told his followers that he still had many things to tell them, "but ye cannot bear them now" "John 16:12).  What happened to them?  Since the Bible was closed to any additions, where are those things he wanted to tell us?  Many of the people who think they follow Jesus are following several strange routes, but for the rest of us, there is a quest with eternal rewards!
 
Blessed Be!


Direct download: SIPS_PROGRAM_564.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:40pm EST

Imbolc has a powerful gift which we can put to good use throughout the year, but especially during the time which spans from Imbolc itself to the following Sabbat.  While the celebration of a particular day is important, we need to be aware of what the Sabbat brings to us.  And Imbolc has something which can be highly relevant.

Think of our most ancient ancestors, still learning how the world works.  Some will have figured out the cycle of seasons, but there might be doom-sayers among them who claim that winter has come to stay.  But when the first shoots poke up through the snow, they accepted the fact that they are seeing the fulfillment of the promise made at Samhain and repeated at Yule.

And we can harness this power to meet our needs!
 
Blessed Be!

Direct download: SIPS_PROGRAM_563.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:37pm EST

I really did not want to bring up the subject of hate again, but current events make it unavoidable.  And those of us who are not totally in the mainstream have cause for concern.  President Trump's so-called "Muslim ban" might be just the first of several acts which will become historically infamous.  There is talk of another measure in the offing concerning the LGBT communities, and that's cause for more concern.

History proves how wasteful hate invariably is, and how the consequences are usually more than expected and often tragic.  And people do not seem to learn from the mistakes of past hate campaigns.  All that, and it distracts effort from more worthwhile causes.  As an example, where is the federal disaster aid for the tornado victims in Mississippi?

My basic feeling can be summed up if I might please adapt from the masterful words of former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  He once said "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."  I say "The only thing we have to hate is hate itself!"

 
Blessed Be!

Direct download: SIPS_PROGRAM_562.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:38pm EST

The most important thing about prayer is that it needs to work.  Unfortunately, some people's introduction to prayer is such that it doesn't get much of a chance to show itself working.  In my own case, I had to learn the difference between what I was taught and truth.

There's a basic principle which some seem to want to avoid: if you want something, ask for it.  That is as it should be.  What few legitimate restrictions there are fall under the basic heading of common sense.

From there, proceed to bring what you wish into being, maintaining a focus of the results.
 
Blessed Be!

Direct download: SIPS_PROGRAM_561.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:17pm EST

My own spirituality has been under fire almost since I considered myself old enough to take responsibility for it.  Whether it was in college where any religion was suspect, to the Air Force where "such stuff" was sup-posed to be confined to the base chapel, to later when it seemed so many spiritual paths seemed to forget tradition in favor of bending with the social/political winds.  And now, we face some groups who seem to think that their way is the only valid way!

It is possible to confront such groups publicly and often it is necessary.  But, it is necessary to maintain control over the situation and to insure that we do in fact get the right attention.  

But, in addition to what we do in the open, our private spiritual lives are the backbone of what we do and what we accomplish.  All the more reason to jealously guard your prayer life and never lose sight of the fact that your spiritual life is your business.
 
Blessed Be!

Direct download: SIPS_PROGRAM_560.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:49pm EST

Benchmarks and yardsticks are as useful in spiritual matters as they are in other tasks.  The term "benchmark" comes from the measuring marks which artisan and craftspeople would make on their workbenches.  A yardstick is, of course, a measurement tool most often associated with dressmakers and tailors because of cloth being sold by the yard.

Most of us probably have the basis for making similar measurements because of the books and other literature we've collected.  It is sometimes said that a spiritual "real one" can sometimes be identified by their collection of literature.  If you recognize what kind of writings your personal library includes, you'll see how they can be used to measure what people say in the name of deities or spirituality.

Armed with that, you might be able to tell if someone is following the path they claim, if they are diverting for a valid reason, or if they are simply doing their own thing while using a label that does not belong!
 
Blessed Be!

Direct download: SIPS_PROGRAM_559.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:35pm EST

While it might seem strange to begin the New Year with discussing infinity, for me it seems logical.  In a society where 8% of Americans believe that the sun revolves around the earth, and it took some eminent meteorologists armed with documentation to show that "polar vortex" was not some newly-created piece of propaganda, it's easy to see how people's viewpoints can become too limited.  And that does include The Divine.

While most people of most faiths will agree that The Divine is infinite, many seem to adjust infinity to the point that it fits their own understanding and experience, and nothing more!  In some cases, notably the Christians, one group might not even recognize another group as being their fellow believers!

What's really hard about this is how much might be being revealed to us, and how much we might be able to share and perhaps even see together!

Blessed Be!

Direct download: SIPS_PROGRAM_558.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:57pm EST

One of the regular features of the mundane New Year celebration is the annual offering of New Year's resolutions, those promises to do better in one thing or another, or to achieve something.  They can cover any number of subjects or wishes including losing weight, stopping smoking, pursuing education, getting a new job, or anything else you can imagine.  

Some are reasonable and realistic.  Others could be, but they need some additional power to actually come to be.  Let’s look at them and see what can be done!

With some thought and effort, you might surprise yourself and others.  

Blessed Be!

Direct download: SIPS_PROGRAM_557.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:44pm EST

If you explore a calendar that embraces a number of spiritual paths and traditions, you'll find that this time of year is full of celebrations.  Many of these celebrations are celebration of beginning and/or renewal.  Central to most of the celebrations is the birth of a divine child.

Even the Jewish Hanukah celebration, although it does not include a divine birth, does celebrate the Jerusalem Temple coming "back to life" and staying that way because one day's supply of lamp oil lasted for the eight days needed to make more oil.

The implications of a divine child being born are tremendous, and we certainly might expect the local religious and/or political powers-that-be to possibly see this as a challenge to their authority.  And who knows what else might be going on!

Blessed Be!

Direct download: SIPS_PROGRAM_556.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:20pm EST