All posts filed under: z141

The struggle to choose the right path. Credit: James Wheeler/Flickr/Creative Commons

Why do I second guess myself?

Dear Andy Every time I make a decision I doubt myself.  I have very little confidence in myself and many decisions I made have been disastrous.  What can I do to feel more confident and to make better decisions? There are many reasons why someone lacks confidence in their decisions. First I would look at the evidence. No one makes all the right decisions all the time. Perhaps you are focusing on the ones that had less than stellar results. Perhaps there is a history of poor decision making. Many people can be very adept at making decisions in some areas of their lives but not in other areas. For example, a business person might make wise decisions regarding finances or planning for the future but make poor ones regarding dating or relationships. If you are like this, then your focus needs to change from the poor decisions and towards the good decisions you made. Look at the difference between the two. Try to find common themes with the good ones. For example, perhaps they …

Have We Ended the War Between Religion and Science?

I remember a sermon in church, when I was a boy. I don’t remember the whole sermon, but I clearly remember a dignified and stern preacher telling us about the “fool-osophers” in our universities. I felt sorry for any philosopher in the building. I have also met educated people, who believe in science and think religion is for idiots. When I was a student in a university, I learned that one of my favorite profs was a Christian and a leader in a well-known religious denomination. One day, I was in his office talking about my course work, and I told him the name of the church that I attended. I expected him to be friendly, but he didn’t smile. I could see anger in his face and he said “Oh, so you’re a literalist.” I didn’t know what that word “literalist” meant, but I felt the sneer; like someone was swearing at me. That conversation ended quickly, and I avoided him and his classes after that. So, is there any way that science and …

Happy Mother’s Day or not?

Are you like my sister who recently posted that she celebrates Mother’s Day the day after when all the hype, cards and running around has settled down?  Truly Mother’s Day for many is the day after. Apparently, the woman who first started Mother’s Day, Anna Jarvis, did it as a memorial ceremony to honor her mother and all mothers at Andrew’s Methodist Episcopal Church on May 10, 1908. After hearing about this, in 1914 Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother’s Day as a national holiday to honor mothers on the second Sunday in May. In the end, Jarvis resented the commercialization that quickly surrounded the Mother’s Day celebration and spent the latter part of her life trying to remove it from the calendar. For my sister, who lost a son to suicide 15 years ago, Mother’s Day is a day for her to just get through. I know she struggles with feelings of inadequacy, guilt and shame that try to wrap themselves around her at times. For many, when Mother’s Day rolls around we …

English survey reveals marriage is an important key to happiness

Think money is the answer to all your problems, then think again. According to a survey by England’s Office for National Statistics (ONS), people living in England believe marriage is one of the important keys to happiness. For the past eight years, ONS has conducted a annual survey asking people what makes them happy. They are asked to rank answers to several questions on a scale of one to ten rating their sense of fulfillment, life satisfaction and whether they considered their life worthwhile on a variety of issues. For the past several years, jobs and economic security was one the strongest indicators of happiness and well-being ahead of marriage, but ONS reported a significant change in the past year that showed marriage has now pulled ahead. In the survey conducted between 2017 and 2018, marriage came in second behind a person’s health. According to the survey, married couples are expressing a 9.9% higher life satisfaction over widows and widowers and 8.8% higher satisfaction than those who are separated or divorced. So how did singles …

Iran’s intelligence minister warns about the spread of Christianity in that country

One thing can be certain, the Iranian Intelligence minister, Mahmoud Alavi, undoubtedly understated what is really going on in his country. According to Iranwire, Alavi recently called a meeting of Shia Clerics to discuss a growing problem of people converting to Christianity in Iran. There are two main branches of Muslims, Sunni and Shia. The basic difference between the two groups is that Shia believes the leader of Islam must be a direct descendant of Muhammad, while the Sunni do not believe this is necessary. Iran is primarily Shia in belief. Alavi told the group: “Christianity is spreading in part of Iran.” He then explains why Iranians are becoming Christians. Basically, Muslims are tiring of the violence they are witnessing first-hand in Islam. Alavi said: “We had no choice but to summon them to ask them why they were converting. Some of them said they were looking for a religion that gives them peace. We told them that Islam is the religion of brotherhood and peace. They responded by saying that: ‘All the time we …

Be different not divisive

I lived in many places and I traveled a fair bit. Divisions are everywhere. Rural people are different than urban people. Rich people are different than poor people. West coast people are different than prairie people. Add in different ethnics and you have a whole lot of differences. Now what do we do? We’re not all the same. Or are we? Ever notice your neighbors? They’re not like you! Some of our neighbors look like us and act like us, but we’re all different. I lived in some areas in which everybody looked and acted the same. I now live in a more diverse area in which people act different from one another. Here is the famous Andy life equation that you never heard about because I just made it up. Difference does not equal division. This changes everything! Think about your own family. Not too many of your brothers and sisters are the same are they? The same with your kids. One might have light hair or be taller or thinner than the others. …

Did Scientists Just Discover the Creation?

Recently, some scientists have been describing the origins of life on the Earth with language that is almost biblical. This is the strange case of secular scientists discovering something the Bible described thousands of years ago. If there is one thing that separates science from religion, it’s the story of creation, or the origins of life on Earth. Charles Darwin published his theory of The Origin of the Species in November of 1859. Since then, secular science has removed God from our origins. Before that time, most people believed that God, or some divine force that created life. Darwin is commonly called a “naturalist” but really he first apprenticed as a medical Doctor, and then trained as a minister for the Church of England. The young naturalist was a theologian, and I believe his theory of evolution (Origin of the Species) described a universe without God. Removing God was very important for the theologian; the God scientist. Here is an accelerated summary of billions of years of natural history according to Darwin and his followers: …

Turning back the tide of fear and doubt

During this past week I recognized that something had changed and shifted in my life. And although at times I felt some uncertainty and doubt about the new direction I was taking as I threw off the fears and doubt that ruled my life, I knew that my position had changed, my perspective on life had shifted. Yes, there were some backlashes as I walked through the wall of fear that controlled my life, but now I am taking authority over the doubts and fear that seemingly rise out of nowhere, like a wave wanting to wash over me. Yesterday, I decided to stand my ground and the phrase, “I’ll huff and I’ll puff and blow your house down” literally came to mind. Though the nursery story has the powerful wolf trying to blow down the piggy’s straw house, I sensed that God was telling me to reverse that story. We have authority. We have power in God and that satan’s attacks of fear and doubt are made of straw. We have the power to …

Be angry and sin not, but….

Español: Estar enfadado y no pecar, pero …. A study conducted by Concordia University in Montreal, Canada concluded that anger causes more serious health problems in old age than sadness or loneliness. The researchers stated that anger causes inflammation in the body, and though it can have beneficial results in the short term, long-term inflammation can lead to serious health consequences. The team studied 226 older adults broken up by age into two groups, 59 years to 79 and those 80 years and older. The researchers then asked them a series of questions daily for a week about the levels of anger and sadness they were experiencing. They then used blood tests to determine the levels of inflammation in their body and as well asked them about any chronic illnesses they were going through. From their study, the researchers concluded that for those over the age of 80, there was a link between levels of anger and poor health: Speaking on behalf of the research team, Carsten Wrosch said: “We found that experiencing anger daily was …