Friday, June 28, 2013

God Speaks: How Science Changed the Heart of an Atheist

Some people are always looking for proof of God's existence. Faith is not enough, and some seek to disprove what their heart might be telling them is truth.

Famed Atheist, Anthony Flew, has spent most of his life spreading the word that God does not exist. A scholar and lecturer, this has been his life's work. Until recently.

His work has included using Science to prove or disprove the existence of God. Science couldnt do it, and instead, led him to change his lifelong belief.

Now, he says, God exists.

Read more in this story from NBC news:

There is a God, leading atheist concludes

Philosopher says scientific evidence changed his mind 

 

updated 12/9/2004 6:04:35 PM ET
 
A British philosophy professor who has been a leading champion of atheism for more than a half-century has changed his mind. He now believes in God — more or less — based on scientific evidence, and he says so on a video released Thursday.
At age 81, after decades of insisting that belief is a mistake, the professor, Antony Flew, has concluded that some sort of intelligence or first cause must have created the universe. A super-intelligence is the only good explanation for the origin of life and the complexity of nature, Flew said in a telephone interview from England.
Flew said he was best labeled a deist, like Thomas Jefferson, whose God was not actively involved in people’s lives.
“I’m thinking of a God very different from the God of the Christian and far and away from the God of Islam, because both are depicted as omnipotent Oriental despots, cosmic Saddam Husseins,” he said. “It could be a person in the sense of a being that has intelligence and a purpose, I suppose.”

A gradual conversion Flew first made his mark with the 1950 article “Theology and Falsification,” based on a paper for the Socratic Club, a weekly Oxford religious forum led by the writer and Christian thinker C.S. Lewis.
Over the years, Flew proclaimed the lack of evidence for God while teaching at Oxford, Aberdeen, Keele and Reading universities in Britain, in visits to numerous U.S. and Canadian campuses and in books, articles, lectures and debates.
There was no one moment of change but a gradual conclusion over recent months for Flew, a spry man who still does not believe in an afterlife.
Yet biologists’ investigation of DNA “has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce [life], that intelligence must have been involved,” Flew says in the new video, “Has Science Discovered God?”
The video draws from a discussion last May in New York organized by author Roy Abraham Varghese’s Institute for Metascientific Research in Garland, Texas. Participants were Flew; Varghese; Israeli physicist Gerald Schroeder, an Orthodox Jew; and Roman Catholic philosopher John Haldane of the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
‘Follow the evidence, wherever it leads’ The first hint of Flew’s turn was a letter in the August-September issue of Britain’s Philosophy Now magazine. “It has become inordinately difficult even to begin to think about constructing a naturalistic theory of the evolution of that first reproducing organism,” he wrote.
The letter commended arguments in Schroeder’s “The Hidden Face of God” and “The Wonder of the World” by Varghese, an Eastern Rite Catholic layman.
This week, Flew finished writing the first formal account of his new outlook for the introduction to a new edition of his “God and Philosophy,” scheduled for release next year by Prometheus Books.
Prometheus specializes in skeptical thought, but if his belief upsets people, well, “that’s too bad,” Flew said. “My whole life has been guided by the principle of Plato’s Socrates: Follow the evidence, wherever it leads.”
Discussion among the unfaithful Last week, Richard Carrier, a writer and Columbia University graduate student, posted new material based on correspondence with Flew on the atheistic Web page Infidels.org. Carrier reassured atheists that Flew accepted only a “minimal God” and believed in no afterlife.
Flew’s “name and stature are big. Whenever you hear people talk about atheists, Flew always comes up,” Carrier said. Still, when it comes to Flew’s reversal, “apart from curiosity, I don’t think it’s like a big deal.”
Flew told The Associated Press that his current ideas had some similarity with those of U.S. “intelligent design” theorists, who see evidence for a guiding force in the construction of the universe. He accepts Darwinian evolution but doubts that it can explain the ultimate origins of life.
Flew, the son of a Methodist minister, became an atheist at 15.

Read more here at:  http://www.nbcnews.com/id/6688917/ns/world_news/t/there-god-leading-atheist-concludes/#.Uc3Q5OsgJMA

 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Shock Ads Against Teen Pregnancy Also Promote Abortions?

We have all seen or heard about the eye popping ads featuring a teen age boy who appears to be
pregnant.  Seemingly, this might be an effective device to wake up teens to the realities of sex at an early age, but the truth is that the people behind the ad are not promoting abstinence, but abortion.

Check out this story from LifeNews:

Web Site Behind Ads With Pregnant Teen Boys Promotes Abortion

by Nancy Flanders | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 6/22/13 3:55 PM


Chicago, IL (LiveActionNews) — If you live in Chicago, or anywhere else with a news channel, it’s likely you’ve seen one of these ads depicting pregnant teenage boys. The Chicago Department of Health followed Milwaukee’s lead by plastering them on billboards and buses across the city in an attempt to lower their teen pregnancy rate, which is reportedly 1.5 times higher than the national average.
Shocking? Yes. Will they grab the attention of hyperactive, immature teenagers? For a second. Are they likely to stop teens from engaging in risky behavior? I don’t think so. Especially since the website these ads direct teens to tells them that it’s actually okay to engage in risky behavior.
unexpected chicago 

Casual Sex
BeYouBeHealthy.org asks teens to proclaim that they are “at least friends” with someone before they have sex with him or her. As in, as long as the person isn’t a stranger, it’s okay, it’s safe, it’s healthy. The trouble with this? First, many teen girls think sex will get a boy to love them. They will likely end up hurt and confused when it doesn’t work out the way they fantasized. Second, sex with all of your friends will increase your chances of contracting sexually transmitted diseases, including HPV, which can cause cancer.
Sex Tips for Teens
The website directs teens to a different site called The Sex-Ed Loop. This site offers weekly sex tips via text messaging for teens. They let teens know that while it’s illegal to have sex under age 17, no one can stop them. They also have a Pinterest page. This Pinterest page has some inappropriate and tactless images, including lips with the words “So what if I like to suck dick” and tips on how to get your sex drive back. The Pinterest page also features unsuitable images.
Abortion
BeYouBeHealthy.org and SexEdLoop.com both promote abortion. They let teens now that they can access abortion without anyone informing their parents. Teens who visit this site will be directed to Planned Parenthood…a lot. They are told to go there for free condoms and for birth control and health services. While BeYouBeHealthy.org does list the side-effects of different birth controls, nothing seems to talk about the side-effects and risks of abortion.

Read more here: 
 http://www.lifenews.com/2013/06/22/web-site-behind-ads-with-pregnant-teen-boys-promotes-abortion/
 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Making Whole: Healing Through Art: Sticks and Stones

Select thin, narrow branches for this project
by Diane Steinbach

Making Whole is a bi-monthly art therapy column focused on art to heal. 

The old adage: "Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones, but Names Will Never Hurt Me" was something your Mother may have told you when you were picked on by other children. Meant to teach you not to let the hurtful words of others effect you emotionally, both adults and teens can still reflect on this lesson and find meaning.

Adults may look back and find that although names Did indeed hurt, they also made us tougher, and taught us lessons about friendship. Teens or pre-teens who experience bullying present day may learn that the negativity that surrounds them can be wrestled into submission by controlling their own reaction to it. 

This dimensional art project uses natural elements of tree branches and stones, along with a glass vase to illustrate the adage and the beauty of self awareness.

Sticks and Stones:
 

 What you need: A straight round, tall, clear glass vase, 
Thin tree or bush branches, trimmed to the same height as the vase
Small and medium sized  pebbles and stones in whites, grays and blacks

Think about the old saying "Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones, but Names Will Never Hurt Me."  What does that saying mean to you. When did you hear it? What memories do you tie to the saying.  What does it mean to you now?

For Adults:
How did the negative and difficult experiences of your youth help shape you into the person you are today. What were the positive outcomes of those experiences?

For teens or pre-teens: 
How do we give power to the "names" and negative thoughts of others? How can we take that power away?

Think about the power you have to overcome negative influences. While doing so, choose branches and place in the vase in an appealing manner, fill the vase moderately full with branches.  You'll be able to view the branches through the glass vase and as you do it should resemble a wooded forest.  All branches should be trimmed so that they are straight across the top.

Add the pebbles and stones, allowing them to fall into and amongst the tree branches. You'll see them get caught, some will fall through. Much like how we dwell on some memories, and let others go completely.  Reflect on your memories while you work on this meditative art piece.

Once complete, you'll have a stylish reminder of how difficult things can turn into beautiful form ... how we can overcome darkness and make our past pain into present day strength.




Diane Steinbach is an art therapist and the author of: Art As Therapy: Innovations, Inspiration and Ideas:, Art Activities for Groups: Providing Therapy, Fun and Function and A Practical Guide to Art Therapy Groups

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

House Passes Bill on Late Term Abortions

Late term abortions are the most grotesque abuse of life we can think of, and the House finally is taking the first steps to end abortion abuses.

Check out this article printed in LifeNews.com:

House Passes Bill Banning Late-Term Abortions After 20 Weeks

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 6/18/13 6:45 PM

The House of Representatives today approved a that bans abortions from after 20-weeks of pregnancy up to the day of birth.
The vote for the bill broke down on mostly partisan lines with Republicans supporting the ban on late-term abortions and Democrats opposing it. The House approved the bill on a 228-196 vote with 6 Democrats voting for the bill and 6 Republicans voting against it. (See end for how members voted).
The bill, if it receives a vote in the Democrat-controlled Senate, is not expected to pass and pro-abortion President Barack Obama has issued a veto threat. But pro-life groups hope to use the measure as an election tool in 2014 in an attempt to wrest the Senate from abortion advocates.
Leading pro-life organizations issued statements praising the House for the vote.
“I would hope that stopping atrocities against little babies is something we can agree to put an end to,” Rep. Kristi Noem of South Dakota said during the debate. “We’re talking about babies who, if they were born and simply given a chance, they could survive outside the womb.”
Congresswoman Wagner of Missouri added: “As science and technology continue to advance, we are changing hearts and mind. It is not only the pain of the child we must consider, but also the pain of the mother. Everyone talks about the right to choose, but no one discusses the implications of that choice. I am for life at all stages. I am for the life of the baby, and I am also for the life of the mother. I will continue to work for a day when abortion is not only illegal, but absolutely unthinkable.”
Rep. Chris Smith, the head of the pro-life caucus in the House, spoke eloquently from the House floor.
“The brutality of severing the spines of defenseless babies—euphemistically called “snipping” by Gosnell—has finally peeled away the benign façade of the billion dollar abortion industry” he said.
“Like Gosnell, abortionists all over America decapitate, dismember and chemically poison babies to death each and every day. That’s what they do. Americans are connecting the dots and asking whether what Gosnell did is really any different than what other abortionists do. A D&E abortion—a common method after 14 weeks—is a gruesome, pain-filled act that literally rips and tears to pieces the body parts of a child,” he added. “The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is a modest but necessary attempt to at least protect babies who are 20 weeks old—and pain-capable—from having to suffer and die from abortion.”
One leading expert in the field of fetal pain, Dr. Kanwaljeet S. Anand at the University of Tennessee, stated in his expert report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Justice, “It is my opinion that the human fetus possesses the ability to experience pain from 20 weeks of gestation, if not earlier, and the pain perceived by a fetus is possibly more intense than that perceived by term newborns or older children.”

Read More Here:  http://www.lifenews.com/2013/06/18/congress-passes-bill-banning-late-term-abortions-after-20-weeks/

God Speaks:Stories of How God Works in Real People's Lives: Video: Testimony: Man's Life After Death - Experience of Hell

The book "Treasuring Grace" was inspired by a dream in which co -author Tracy Roberts feels that God spoke to her and directed her hand in the writing of the story. Many people feel God's special influence in their lives in direct or indirect ways.  This column seeks to bring you some of their inspirational stories.

If there is a God, there must be a Satan, If there is a Heaven, there must be a Hell... Good/ Evil.. there is always an opposite to the lightness of God.

We believe that we see evidence of God all around us... and we often hear stories of people who had near-death experiences and speak of their connection to God, Angels.. and heaven.

This video is a testimony of a man who clinically died in a plane crash, and who, when he was brought back to life, was able to describe his experience.. including a vision of hell.  

What do you think.... 

 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Making Whole: Healing Through Art: Stone Cairns

by Diane Steinbach

Making Whole is a bi-monthly art therapy column focused on art to heal.

A stone cairn is basically an elegant stack of stones, not held together by any mortar or cement. Found in ancient civilizations all over the globe, they are currently found in desert communities, hiking trails and used not only as an art form, but as navigational and ceremonial markers.

From larger stones at the base, to smaller stones on the top, the rocks towers can be placed in a single placement, or in groups, and in any location. Depending on the stone colors and shapes and the way the stones are stacked, the cairns convey an emotion or feeling to the viewer. For some reason, most people feel a connection to the cairns... do you? 

Collect stones from local beaches, woods or anywhere you can find them. Pick out an indoor or outdoor area where you can safely construct your cairn. Feel free to use superglue or epoxy to hold your cairn together especially if you have pets or children around who may bump or topple your cairn.

Stack the stones into a cairn. Make one or a grouping of cairns.

Process:

The act of creating the cairns is a meditative process that connects us to the earth in a healing and peaceful way.  When done in a thoughtful way, the cairns can provide a moment of peace and calm both when created and when viewed later. They provide a visual cue to take a moment and rest, relax and discharge all of our stress.  We don't know why this seems to work... but it does. 


Diane Steinbach is an art therapist and the author of: Art As Therapy: Innovations, Inspiration and Ideas:, Art Activities for Groups: Providing Therapy, Fun and Function and A Practical Guide to Art Therapy Groups

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

God Speaks:Stories of How God Works in Real People's Lives : Video Witness to Angels...

The book "Treasuring Grace" was inspired by a dream in which co -author Tracy Roberts feels that God spoke to her and directed her hand in the writing of the story. Many people feel God's special influence in their lives in direct or indirect ways.  This column seeks to bring you some of their inspirational stories.

Some people believe miracles happen around us everyday. With the world getting smaller through increased communication and modern technology, sharing our stories is easier than ever.  The more we share, the more it seems that miracles do indeed happen all the time. Check out this inspirational story and testimonials about a car crash and the angelic interventions that saved the lives involved and changed the lives of everyone who hears about it.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Making Whole: Healing Through Art: Who We Are at our Core

by Diane Steinbach

Making Whole is a bi-monthly art therapy column focused on art to heal. 

Our Core


Determining who we are, at our deepest level, is often a difficult thing to do. Our definition of who we are and what our belief system is changes over time and with each life experience. Things we said we would never do in the past may change when confronted by difficult choices and decisions. As we go through life's journey, the very core of what makes us who we are develops, changes and is challenged. 
This art process takes that idea and asks artists to think about our "core being" and create and interpretation of what that might look at.  It gives an individual the opportunity to take a hard look at all the choices they have made in their lives and take ownership of all the mistakes, and successes, joys and regrets, and what effect that has had on their character and personality...their core being.

Things you need:  
Drawing paper
Markers, craypas, drawing pencils, crayons, chalks

Instructions:
Imagine yourself as an apple. You have a beautiful skin that you show to the world. Rosy and red, there may be some scars, there may be some bruises...
Under the rosy skin is the sweetness and foundation that makes up all that you are. All your memories, your actions, your life. 
At the center of it all is the core. This is what the rest of it is built around. Your core being. What are you at the very center? When everything else is taken away... what are the things that the rest of you is built around? Imagine your core... what would it look like? 

Draw what your core being would look like using the basic image of an apple core as a base.  Use color, line, images whatever, to define those things that you are at the very basic, center of your being, whatever that means to you....

Processing notes: 
When you look at your work, what do you see? Do you see positive images? Do you see negative and dark images or a mix of both.  Most people would present more positive than negative, but a mix, to show a realistic representation of an adults life journey. None of us go unscathed.  Someone who presents with all positive core being images may see themselves as idealized or want their life to be a fantasy.  Someone who presents their core as very dark and negative obviously would be a deeply sad and troubled person, still working through issues and not recognizing their inner good, in spite of having made mistakes through their lives.  

image:
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Diane Steinbach is an art therapist and the author of: Art As Therapy: Innovations, Inspiration and Ideas:, Art Activities for Groups: Providing Therapy, Fun and Function and A Practical Guide to Art Therapy Groups

Friday, May 17, 2013

God Speaks: Stories of How God Works in Real People's Lives: Proof of Angels? Can You Take Their Picture?

The book "Treasuring Grace" was inspired by a dream in which co -author Tracy Roberts feels that God spoke to her and directed her hand in the writing of the story. Many people feel God's special influence in their lives in direct or indirect ways.  This column seeks to bring you some of their inspirational stories.

 Many people need proof of God's existence. God, Angels, such difficult, abstract concepts that both believers and skeptics would fall to their knees should they be so blessed to actually encounter. 

While researching stories for this post, I came across this blog written by a person of faith, a spiritualist and photographer.  This person claims to have captured the image of angels on film.

I do not know what the author has photographed, but I thought it interesting enough to share with all of you.  Why not? Maybe its true, maybe it's a fantasy... but if it makes you feel closer to God...then it is a good thing isnt it? 
Check it out and decide for yourself.

Angels Do Exist in NYC: Photographic Proof

 http://scottufford.com/2011/03/10/angels-exist-nyc-photographic-proof/


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Students Take Up the Pro Life Cause

The Pro Life movement is a cause that has a lot of support from young women on college (and even high school) campuses everywhere. Speaking their minds and supporting a Christian cause like this does not come without some repercussions however, as discussed in this article on Lifenews.com.

Check it out:

Pro-Life Students Increasingly Face Free Speech Limits on Campus

by Brent Bozell | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 5/13/13 9:54 AM

It sounded like a freedom-of-religion case when a Columbus, Texas high school relay-race team was disqualified from the state track championship because Derrick Hayes pointed heavenward after his team won the race. That would seem odd in a red state like Texas. It turned out that officials were so strict, they warned runners to make no hand gestures after the finish line. Hayes had apparently pointed forward, and then upward, and for that, he was out.
It can be tough to be a student in today’s public schools. Never mind restrictions on the schools. It is becoming impossible to express a socially conservative or Christian viewpoint – as a student. Across the land, everyone is ordered to welcome without a discouraging word any expression of the gay or transgender variety. But try to say the G-word or oppose abortion, and watch someone lower the boom.
– In Minnesota, a sixth-grade student was prohibited by her public school from distributing pro-life pamphlets during lunch time. One of the fliers read, “Save the baby humans. Stop abortion.”
A few days later, she was called into the  school director’s office and told that some students find pro-life fliers offensive and that she was no longer allowed to pass them out during or after school hours, even if other students requested them. In an e-mail to the student’s parents, the school’s executive director claimed that the content of the fliers was inconsistent with the school’s educational mission.
“The school has a right to censor students without violating their free speech,” the director wrote. “In short, public schools have every right to prohibit student speech.”
Lawyers at the Alliance Defending Freedom filed a federal lawsuit on May 3. “Public schools should encourage, not shut down, the free exchange of ideas,” said Legal Counsel Matt Sharp. “The First Amendment protects freedom of speech for all students, regardless of their religious or political beliefs.”
– In New Mexico, a group of evangelical high school students aligned with the “Church on the Move” lost a round last month in their fight to give classmates two-inch “fetus dolls” with a pro-life message attached. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the school district’s authority to stop the doll distribution. Why?The 1969 Supreme Court case Tinker vs. Des Moines Independent Community School District established that students have free speech in schools, as long as it doesn’t disrupt school discipline. According to Education Week, teachers complained that students who had received the roughly 300 dolls that were handed out were throwing the dolls across classrooms, using them to plug toilets, and in other ways causing serious disruptions in the school day.There are no reports of any legal or disciplinary actions taken against the students responsible for vandalism. – In Michigan, the Students for Life chapter at Eastern Michigan University applied for student fee funding to host a display on campus called the Genocide Awareness Project, a traveling photo-mural exhibit which compares the contemporary genocide of abortion to other forms of genocide. EMU denied the funding request because they deemed the photos of the aborted babies and the event as too controversial and one-sided. But they’ve granted money to left-wing activist groups discussing “welfare rights,” as well as race-issues and abortion rights groups.

Read more at :  http://www.lifenews.com/2013/05/13/pro-life-students-increasingly-face-free-speech-limits-on-campus/

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Making Whole: Healing Through Art: Found Hope (Love,Courage, Peace,...) Guerilla Art

by Diane Steinbach

Making Whole is a bi-monthly art therapy column focused on art to heal. 

We have talked about Guerrilla art here before. Basically it is the concept of bringing art into the community in an unexpected way. Usually it involves big, bold artistic statements, but in this case, it is more about a generous sharing of handmade art and a simple message to a stranger that is a gift to the art maker and the surprised recipient. 

Making art is a deeply personal expression for most of us, and because of this, the act of giving it away, to a stranger...indeed, to leave it behind is both terrifying and liberating.  This art therapy process challenges the artist to consider a concept on a personal, emotional level, and then share it with a stranger.  By creating something meaningful, then lovingly gifting it away, the artist can work through issues of loss in other areas of their lives.

You'll need:  Small art canvases between the sizes of 4x6 to 8x10" on hard board, acrylic paints, brushes, water, Pens, high quality writing paper, dry glue sticks

Choose a word that reflects something that is important to you:  Hope, Courage, Love, Peace, Faith, Joy, Friendship, Mercy, Forgiveness etc.

On the small canvas, paint an abstract expression of that word using color, line and movement. Use the entire canvas area, covering it entirely.  Let it dry. 

Once dry, paint the word your chose boldly somewhere on the canvas, over the painting.  Allow to dry.

Pick up the paper and pen.  Cut the paper down to the size of the canvas.  Write the word "Found" followed by the word you chose to represent on the front of the canvas.  (so, you'd have "Found Love, or Found Forgiveness, Found Courage etc.)

Look at those words.  Imagine finding this, like a fortune, somewhere, like you were someone who needed it.  What would you say to that person?  Write it down on the paper.  For example, you might write:  "Found Love:  You found this today because someone thought you needed a hug, you needed to be recognized as worthwhile, and valuable, You are beautiful, wonderful, and worthy of big love. This artwork is a gift to you. "

Glue the message on the back of the canvas. 

Now, take your canvas out into the world. Leave it on a park bench, a seat on the bus, at a restaurant, in a mailbox, where ever someone who might need it, will find it.  Walk away from your wonderful gift knowing that you have shared strength and healing greater than yourself.


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Diane Steinbach is an art therapist and the author of: Art As Therapy: Innovations, Inspiration and Ideas:, Art Activities for Groups: Providing Therapy, Fun and Function and A Practical Guide to Art Therapy Groups

Thursday, May 2, 2013

God Speaks: Stories of How God Works in Real People's Lives: Angel Interventions

The book "Treasuring Grace" was inspired by a dream in which co -author Tracy Roberts feels that God spoke to her and directed her hand in the writing of the story. Many people feel God's special influence in their lives in direct or indirect ways.  This column seeks to bring you some of their inspirational stories.

While researching this column I came upon a very interesting and well written article on netplaces.com about angel interventions.  I wanted to share it with everyone here, as sometimes the web is so big, we miss these treasures.  


Case Studies: Angel Interventions

Millions around the world believe in angels. From every culture and geographic location and period in history, we have heard about angels. Angels are known as spiritual beings, messengers of God, or spirits of the dead transformed after passing that are historically described as God's task force, protectors, and guides for people in the earthly realm. They are often portrayed in art, literature, and other media as winged beings, filled and shrouded with light, often androgynous looking, sometimes with halos, and dressed in white, resplendent in the qualities of love, kindness, protection, joy, glory, destiny, healing, justice, protection, and celestial power.
In the Judeo-Christian traditions, there are also archangels, who appear to have special significance and proximity to God. In fact, many religions hold strong to the notion of angels, their mission-related purposes, and their roles in human life.
Tales of angel interventions have appeared throughout recorded history in religious texts, such as the Koran and the Bible (where there are hundreds of references), as well as religious and mystical texts in many of the world's religions, such as Judaism, the Bahá'í faith, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Sikhism, and others. For example, in the Bible, angels intervene to share messages or bring news, provide comfort or enlightenment, and sometimes to perform tangible tasks, such as the rolling back of the stone before Jesus' tomb after he was crucified.
Angels are depicted as being the messengers of God, acting as the gobetween for humans and God. Angel interventions are known to occur in order for the recipient to transcribe their messages, producing scriptures as is seen in the Koran, the works of Rumi, and various Christian mystical texts. There have been many famous stories of angel interventions for artists and historical figures alike, guiding their acts and works, from Joan of Arc, to Handel, to William Blake. Contemporary research and literature have also documented accounts of angel interventions.
These visitations can involve visions, audible information, smells, and tactile sensations. Angels are also often reported to appear as similar to regular human beings, as stated by Daniel Benor in Personal Spirituality: Science, Spirit, and the Eternal Soul. Benor claims that angels are “described as looking like normal people who appear out of nowhere, give their assistance, and then disappear again into nowhere. They may communicate in gestures, words or telepathically.”

Life-Saving Interventions

Angels often intervene to prevent accidents and death. In an account from firefighter Mark Kuck, retold in The Big Book of Angels, an angelic voice gave warning and instruction to the firefighter, allowing him to save his life and the life of his partner. While fighting a fire in a mobile home, Kuck was caught in a fatal flashover:
He heard a clear male voice: “Mark,” it said “you need to go.” Mark was astonished. The voice was audible, yet it couldn't be his partner — he was too far away to be heard. And an air pack distorts a voice…. Not like this voice, so distinct and close it was almost at his ear. Nor were there any openings in the trailer where someone outside could yell through. What was happening?
After Kuck and his partner retreated, the flames advanced into the room they had been in, and if they had not left at the moment they heard the voice, they would have perished. Later, as the fire waned, Mark thought more seriously about the voice. It had been a young voice, something like his own, firm but not intimidating, a voice that he instinctively knew he could trust and obey. And, yes, he had heard it once before, when he was seventeen and involved in a serious automobile accident. Wasn't it this same voice that had calmed him as he crashed, reassured him that all would be well? But how could this be?
In another account from bush pilot Terry Baldwin, retold by Daniel Benor in Personal Spirituality: Science, Spirit, and the Eternal Soul, we again find a human-sounding voice said to be an angel intervening. Baldwin was flying passengers through the bush when they were caught in a dangerous storm, and his instruments began to fail. An apparent air traffic controller led them to safety through the storm, evidently using only radar instructions, as the passengers prayed openly. However, Baldwin lost touch with the voice when the radio broke off, and another voice appeared suddenly, just as the plane touched down to safety. At this point, Baldwin said:
“Thanks tower. There's little doubt that you saved our lives today.” The controller's reply cast a stunned silence over the men in the plane.
“What are you talking about? We lost contact with you about forty miles out.”
In this case, as in many other accounts, prayers often come directly before an angel intervention.
According to Carmel Reilly in True Tales of Angel Encounters, aside from miraculous life-saving encounters, we often hear of angel interventions where angels appear as guardian angels in everyday experiences, angels appearing in dreams, angels seen during meditation or prayer, angels sharing messages or news, angels performing real physical acts, and angels as spirit guides and ghosts.

Angels and Near-Death Experiences

There are also many recounted instances of angels present in neardeath experiences as well as out-of-body experiences. As professor Craig R. Lundahl stipulates in an article entitled “Angels in Near-Death Experiences,” “Angels are personages with whom the near-death experiencer does not usually recall having previous acquaintance. Angels serve as guides, messengers, or escorts in the NDE.” Lundahl says that in one account of a neardeath experience, “a man … came close to dying as a result of being ill during a tooth extraction, and took a trip to Heaven where he saw angels.” In another account, there was a woman “who described angels holding hands to form a stairway to Heaven” before she was revived.

Read more at :  http://www.netplaces.com/evidence-of-the-afterlife/angels-heaven-and-hell/case-studies-angel-interventions.htm

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Making Whole: Healing Through Art: Wise Word Collage

by Diane Steinbach

Making Whole is a bi-monthly art therapy column focused on art to heal.

Those of us who have been through any kind of pain in life, be it a romance ending, a death in the family, a loss of any kind, or even just the habit of internalizing our thoughts and feelings, know that writing out our feelings is often a useful way to release the inner angst and work through complex emotions.
Creative people have been doing it for centuries. Poets and great writers have used their own internal struggles to inspire some of the most powerful and timeless written words that still move and resonate within humanity today. A quick Google search under "famous quotes: heartbreak/ loss/love/ friendship or any other word that fits your own struggle or issues will turn up prose from names like Shakespeare, Poe, Whitman, Twain and others.

This collage process asks the artist to use found and printed quotes from the computer or book sources, or their own written words from journals or letters, along with abstract painting, to illustrate a feeling or emotion that they may struggle with or be working through.

You'll need:  11x17" watercolor paper on canvas or pre-stretched canvas, paints, Modge Podge decoupage medium, paint brushes, scissors, printed quotes of choice or copies letters, journal pages or written words to reflect your feelings or emotions

  • Gather together all your written word material
  •  
  • Using paints and canvas, think about the emotion or issue you have been working on in your journal or internally, and using colors and form, express it on the paper.  Fill the whole of the paper with color and shape to give the viewer a sense of the emotion and feeling behind the issue for you.
  •  
  • Once done, allow to dry. While drying, look through your written word papers.  Tear the sheets of written words into irregular shapes to apply over your abstract painting in a collage manner.  You may use as many or as few as you think you'd like to, covering as much of your painting as you like.

  • Using the Modge Podge, apply the torn word pieces to the canvas and apply a coat of Modge Podge over the papers to seal to the canvas.  Once you are done apply the papers, apply a coat of Modge Podge to the entire surface to give it a consistent surface appearance.  Allow to dry before display.

Process Notes:  The purpose of this process is to express the issue the artist is thinking about in two ways, both through color and form and in word.  Through the process of making the art, the artist again releases some of the angst and power of the emotions associated with the original issue and puts that energy into the artwork itself.  While reading through the quotes and thoughts of others about similar circumstances or emotions, the artist sees that the feelings are not unique and that others have felt those same emotions and have expressed them... and moved on.  This takes some of the power and energy away from the original issue as well, making it just part of life, and not something life should revolve around.

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Noncommercial Some rights reserved by {beautiful} Lemons Photography


Diane Steinbach is an art therapist and the author of: Art As Therapy: Innovations, Inspiration and Ideas:, Art Activities for Groups: Providing Therapy, Fun and Function and A Practical Guide to Art Therapy Groups

Friday, April 19, 2013

God Speaks: Stories of How God Works in Real People's Lives: Kidnapped and Freed by God's Hand

The book "Treasuring Grace" was inspired by a dream in which co -author Tracy Roberts feels that God spoke to her and directed her hand in the writing of the story. Many people feel God's special influence in their lives in direct or indirect ways.  This column seeks to bring you some of their inspirational stories.


The following story is from : http://www.precious-testimonies.com/Hope_Encouragement/a-e/BykerKathi.htm


KIDNAPPED AT KNIFEPOINT YET MIRACULOUSLY FREED


Over the years, I've really struggled a lot with fear.  I'm a sensitive person and things in the past have just hit me really hard.  Eighteen years ago I had breast cancer and that was hard.  Another time, we were in a near plane crash. Another time, our little granddaughter was diagnosed with a childhood cancer called neuroblastoma when she was three years old. As of 2012 she's l0 years old and doing very well, but it was very hard to see her lose her hair and go through so much trauma.  Fear is a tool of the enemy, and the devil really does use it to try to tie us up and render us ineffective and distract us from what God's calling us to do.  That's why I'm completely trusting God to help me to overcome this fear (Which He is doing, thank you Lord!).  I cannot do this by myself; it is something that God has to help me with.  
Sometimes to come against fears, to get victory over it, we have to confront them and that can be really scary; especially when they are brought to your doorstep like it was mine. About four months ago (as of early 2012) I really had to confront this fear.  A fearful situation came into our lives that was totally unexpected.
We woke up at 4:00 in the morning to people yelling in our bedroom.   I opened my eyes and someone was standing over me, on my side of the bed; a man totally dressed in black, except you could see his eyes, and he had a knife in his hand.  I just couldn’t believe it.  I closed my eyes and I thought I was having a nightmare, and I opened them again and he was still there, and I was utterly terrified.   He pulled out some duct tape and he was working with it while holding the knife.  He was trying to tie my ankles up and my wrists, and it was dawning on me that he was going to take me away. 

The thought of having to leave my husband was terrifying and putting duct tape around my ankles  and getting me ready to go out of the house was tortuous.  I started kicking the man and my husband said, “Stop, Honey; he’s got a knife to your neck”!   I didn’t even realize it, so I calmed down.  There was another man dressed the same way with a knife over my husband.  My husband had a very peaceful demeanor through this, and I’m so thankful that he didn’t blow up or get angry and set them off any more.  They were constantly yelling and swearing at us through this whole ordeal.  I found myself getting pulled and yanked out of our house into my own vehicle. He started putting duct tape over my eyes and my mouth, wrists and ankles and commanding me to lay down on the back seat.  To feel so vulnerable and helpless and to be under someone’s control like that was just … HELL.  

He pulled out of the driveway in the dark, away from my husband, our home, my safety place.  I mean, it was awful.   I didn’t have a clue where we were going, what he was going to do to me, or how long this would last.   He was driving with his left hand and had his right hand over the back of his seat with the knife in his hand, and he kept demanding that I lay down in the back seat, and if I sat up he’d kill me, and I believed that he would.  He had the knife right to my neck.
At that point, I remembered God.  I did.  I remembered to call out to God. I remembered He was there.  I prayed in the Spirit.  I remembered that praying in tongues will bring me to a place where my spirit is talking to God’s Spirit without my mind getting involved, and I just called on God.  The next thing I remember after I prayed, I remembered to plead the blood of Jesus over my body.  In the Bible it talks about the blood over the doorposts being protection, and I realized I needed God’s protection.  And as I brought God into the picture, the next thing I remember is that Proverbs 3:5 and 6 came to my mind.  Then some other verses came to mind reminding me that God is my refuge.  I surrendered totally to God and His Word as the Holy Spirit brought key scriptures to my mind.  The supernatural peace of God came into me. The situation hadn’t changed, but I remembered God.  The fear factor was lessening as the God factor was going up; and the realization that God was greater than this fear.   And if He can help me through that, He can help anyone through anything. 
It wasn’t too long after that, and he stopped and pulled me out and pulled me into what I thought was a forest. And I remember thinking: 'I am NOT going to be one of those people who are never heard from again, In Jesus’ Name'!  
DUCT TAPED TO A POLE
There was a pole, and he started to use the duct tape on my knees, and he was tying me to this pole. He said, “There’s somebody behind you and if you try to escape, he’ll kill you”.  I did not believe there was anyone behind me. I just did not sense it. 
I could hear him leaving, and I just waited a little while, not very long - like maybe 15 seconds.  Then I wiggled out of the duct tape on my wrists and pulled it off of my eyes and mouth, and I realized I was in a cornfield, and the corn was like 8’ tall, and I looked around and there was nobody behind me,   It was still dark, and there was nobody around.  I looked down and the tape was around my knees, and I pushed it apart and honestly, it was a miracle. The duct tape that was holding me to the pole ripped as I just put a slight pressure on it! 
I broke away from there, and ran to the road.  I thought in my heart:  It’s important which way I go – straight, left, or right.   I paused and felt God leading me to go straight.  Little did I know that the man had run out of duct tape, and he had run down the road to my vehicle to get more, and he was coming back and if I had turned left, I would have run right into him!  
No one prepares themselves for this kind of situation, and I didn’t know what to do.  I didn’t know whether to keep running or find a place, like I ended up doing, to hide.  I just didn’t know what to do.  But the thing that I remember is that I never felt so alone in my life.  I have never had a time in my life where nobody knew where I was.  It was like … nobody. 
It was dark - I was in my pajamas - I was barefooted ... duct tape hanging all over me.  I just started running.  Through the fields and hiding for awhile and praying -- then I would run some more.  
At one point, when I stopped and wondered what to do, I noticed a line of trucks by this trucking business. There were all these white cabs lined up, except there was only one red one.  The parking lights were on and the motor was running and I knew somebody was in there and I ran.  I was so relieved to see that the gate that should have maybe been locked, to hold those trucks in there, was open. And I ran in there and ran to the truck and pounded on the door and no answer.  But then pretty soon I opened the door on the driver’s side and called in there, and a man was in there and he had been sleeping, and he helped me. 
In Proverbs 3:6 where it says that: If we acknowledge Him in all our ways He will direct our path. HE DID!  He directed me to go straight.  If I would have gone left, I do not know what would have happened.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Making a Difference: Yes You Can: New Ways You Can Do It

Treasuring Grace Ministries tries to make a difference in people's lives through spreading the word about the truth of life, and supporting those who need help. Everyone can do something to make the world a little bit better, and we want to help you find a way to make a difference too.

Time Magazine featured an article listing many ways busy people can take a few moments out of their day, group together with friends, or focus in on the needs of thier own community, to make a difference in the world.  We'd like to share their ideas with you here.

New Ways to Make a Difference

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Making Whole: Healing Through Art: Nature Mandala

by Diane Steinbach

Making Whole is a bi-monthly art therapy column focused on art to heal. 




We have talked about Mandala's here before, and as an art therapy device, the Mandala is a versatile tool.  Carl Jung was obsessed with them and said, "I knew that in finding the mandala as an expression of the self I had attained what was for me the ultimate."

Especially significant as a tool for healing for women, the circle symbol, often associated with the womb, or Mother, can help artists work through issues and develop a sense of wholeness and integrity. 



Start this process with an 11x17 piece of watercolor paper and your favorite medium, water color paints, markers, drawing pencils, collage materials, ... whatever. 

Draw a large circle, a mandala on the paper to take up the majority of the page. 

Now, close your eyes.  Imagine a lush forest in springtime. Everything is mossy, wet, bursting forth with life. New growth. The sun filters through a canopy of bright green leaves, you hear water dropping onto the soft earth below your feet. Blooms on tiny plants begin to unfold around you. Vines begin to climb up the tree trunks, ferns shoot up and unroll into lacy feathers. Breathe it all in.

Now fill your mandala with the life that you absorbed. 

Process notes:  

The very act of filling the symbolic mandala with imagery of new life is a healing act. Subconsciously the artist feels renewed, and refreshed by the guided imagery and by the act of creation. As the mandala is of the artists creation, she acknowledges her own ability to be life-giving, in some way, and celebrates that through use of color and line. At the end of the process the artist should be relaxed and satisfied. 

If the artist is working through a loss due to abortion, miscarriage or other grief, creating life images in a mandala helps to re-establish the artist as a life-giver, a creator.  It gives the artist time to work through feelings of guilt, regret and sadness with each brushstroke or line. 

If the artist is so overcome by feelings of remorse, sadness or guilt that she cannot draw anything in the mandala, the group facilitator would need to encourage her to take the smallest step in creating one thing, one image of life in the mandala.  A small step on the way to healing, is still a step and opens up the door for verbal communication.

 
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AttributionNoncommercial Some rights reserved by Lyle58


Diane Steinbach is an art therapist and the author of: Art As Therapy: Innovations, Inspiration and Ideas:, Art Activities for Groups: Providing Therapy, Fun and Function and A Practical Guide to Art Therapy Groups

Saturday, April 6, 2013

God Speaks: Real Stories of God Working Miracles in Real People's Lives: Miraculous Saving from Drowning


The book "Treasuring Grace" was inspired by a dream in which co -author Tracy Roberts feels that God spoke to her and directed her hand in the writing of the story. Many people feel God's special influence in their lives in direct or indirect ways.  This column seeks to bring you some of their inspirational stories.


The Below video highlights a news story about an amazing and miraculous rescue that will have you saying only God could be the explanation.  Very inspirational... What do you think?
 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Make A Difference: Yes You Can and Here's 25 Ways to Do It!


We have talked about a lot of different charities and ways that one person can make a difference in this world, but it doesn't always mean joining an organization or spending a lot of time or energy. Even the busiest person with the fullest schedule can still make the world better for someone in some way.  Check out this list of 25 things you can do to help a fellow human being today (from Zen Habits.net.)

25 Things You Can Do To Help a Fellow Human Being Today...

"Take just a few minutes today, and do a kindness for another person. It can be something small, or the start of something big. Ask them to pay it forward. Put a smile on someone’s face.
Don’t know where to start? Here’s an extremely incomplete list, just to get you thinking — I’m sure you can come up with thousands more if you think about it.
  1. Smile and be friendly. Sometimes a simple little thing like this can put a smile and warm feeling in someone else’s heart, and make their day a little better. They might then do the same for others.
  2. Call a charity to volunteer. You don’t have to go to a soup kitchen today. Just look up the number, make the call, and make an appointment to volunteer sometime in the next month. It can be whatever charity you like. Volunteering is one of the most amazing things you can do.
  3. Donate something you don’t use. Or a whole box of somethings. Drop them off at a charity — others can put your clutter to good use.
  4. Make a donation. There are lots of ways to donate to charities online, or in your local community. Instead of buying yourself a new gadget or outfit, spend that money in a more positive way.
  5. Redirect gifts. Instead of having people give you birthday or Christmas gifts, ask them to donate gifts or money to a certain charity.
  6. Stop to help. The next time you see someone pulled over with a flat tire, or somehow in need of help, stop and ask how you can help. Sometimes all they need is a push, or the use of your cell phone.
  7. Teach. Take the time to teach someone a skill you know. This could be teaching your grandma to use email, teaching your child to ride a bike, teaching your co-worker a valuable computer skill, teaching your spouse how to clean the darn toilet. OK, that last one doesn’t count.
  8. Comfort someone in grief. Often a hug, a helpful hand, a kind word, a listening ear, will go a long way when someone has lost a loved one or suffered some similar loss or tragedy.
  9. Help them take action. If someone in grief seems to be lost and doesn’t know what to do, help them do something. It could be making funeral arrangements, it could be making a doctor’s appointment, it could be making phone calls. Don’t do it all yourself — let them take action too, because it helps in the healing process.
  10. Buy food for a homeless person. Cash is often a bad idea if it’s going to be used for drugs, but buying a sandwich and chips or something like that is a good gesture. Be respectful and friendly.
  11. Lend your ear. Often someone who is sad, depressed, angry, or frustrated just needs someone who will listen. Venting and talking through an issue is a huge help.
  12. Help someone on the edge. If someone is suicidal, urge them to get help. If they don’t, call a suicide hotline or doctor yourself to get advice.
  13. Help someone get active. A person in your life who wants to get healthy might need a helping hand — offer to go walking or running together, to join a gym together. Once they get started, it can have profound effects.
  14. Do a chore. Something small or big, like cleaning up or washing a car or doing the dishes or cutting a lawn.
  15. Give a massage. Only when appropriate of course. But a massage can go a long way to making someone feel better.
  16. Send a nice email. Just a quick note telling someone how much you appreciate them, or how proud you are of them, or just saying thank you for something they did.
  17. Show appreciation, publicly. Praising someone on a blog, in front of coworkers, in front of family, or in some other public way, is a great way to make them feel better about themselves.
Read more at  ( From http://zenhabits.net/25-ways-to-help-a-fellow-human-being-today/) 

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