-Bible-a source of strength in tough times?

Renee Obsidianwords
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-Bible-a source of strength in tough times?

 

Economies are in a bit of a pinch right now. People are losing jobs, companies that have been a part of communities are shutting down, it is a time of change. And even if you aren't part of a layoff or haven't seen empty strip malls in your neighborhood, you know someone that has.

I came across this article this morning and I wanted to present it in this forum for some discussion. READ HERE

The article got me thinking about how I personally deal with hardships and thought this would be a great time for each of us to share some ideas and thoughts on how we are handling the current state of the world. Do you look to a higher power for strength? Do you seek the strength from within? This is a bit different as it isn't the typical "VS" call for debate (although debating any of the points brought up is fine here...just don't derail the thread please)

*********************

THEISTS: Here are a few questions to consider:

-How often do you search the bible for words of strength?

-Do you believe in the god of the bible?(or just use the bible as a source for inspiration- think deist etc.)

-Are there any other sources of inspiration you call upon during tough times?

ATHEISTS: Here are a few questions to consider:

-How do you find strength during tough times?

-Do you believe the bible holds motivating or encouraging words that you could read and gain any strength from? (Don't confuse this with believing in god or believing the story)

-What sources do you use to help you cope?


*********************

So the goal here is to share ideas.

If it helps to inspire each other - fantastic!

If it encourages a dialogue between different beliefs/thoughts and creates a bit more understanding - great!


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You know how a lot of people

You know how a lot of people have plaques, signs, and bumper stickers that say "Relax, God is in Control"? I think I share a bit in common with those folks by accepting that I'm not in control of a lot of things, so I can only put so much energy into those issues. When times are tough, I can prepare the best I can and accept that there were things I had no control over, things I should have been prepared for (and I know now), and things to work on in the future. My mindset is often "One way, or another, everything will be okay."

Also, having a network of friends and family gives me some sense that I won't fall too far if I fail.

I feel like too much of the "inspirational" bits of the bible seem to denigrate humans while they try to inspire... maybe I just haven't heard the right verse.

-Triften


Renee Obsidianwords
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"It is what it is" and

"It is what it is" and "Everything always works out"

These are 2 things that I say and think often. Wow, they look quite absolute written down  Smiling

"It is what it is"  I am not sure where I heard or read this but it stuck with me. And I use it when I need validation of not being in control of a particular situation. I don't use it to simply throw up my hands and give up. No, it is more like "okay, this is what is happening and now I must deal with it the best I can".

"Everything always works out" This is my own personal mantra. Some may see this as a bit unhealthy...thinking with such certainty that all will be well. In my life experiences everything really does work out, and that is not to say always to my advantage! Problems eventually are solved and situations go back to 'normal'.

 

There are a few verses from the bible that I remember my grandma would use and I didnt feel they were too 'preachy' :

"The fruit of the spirit is love, joy and peace" - Galatians

"I can do all things through him who strengthens me" - Phillipians

Now these 2 quotes I remember because I interpreted them as :
My thoughts are my so called spirit and 'him' is actually my own self.

I giggle now to think that at age 10 I thought so freely...

 

My family and friends are a great source for me to draw strength from. Even the internet has become a tool! A problem arises I think it through, talk to family and friends and then research the particular problem online.

 

SO as for the economy, it is what it is. Everything will work out.

Smiling

 

 

Slowly building a blog at ~

http://obsidianwords.wordpress.com/


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The strength that I used to

The strength that I used to find from the bible came from believing god had a plan for me and that whatever setback I faced was just part of his overall magnificent plan.  Knowing how thoroughly I was lied to - even though it mostly was by good people with the best of intentions - has tainted the bible enough that I have a real hard time finding anything motivating or encouraging in that book.

For me, strength comes from focus.  What do I really want and need?  In my case, it is a good childhood and okay future for my kid.  So, if things aren't going the way I want I can step back and just focus on what he needs.  This works even if my frustration is linked to providing what he needs.  There is no giving up and saying "Screw it!" when his needs are involved.  He doesn't really have anyone else.

As odd as this may seem I use NIN and Marilyn Manson to cope.  For some reason that music helps to center me and realign my emotions. 

 

"I am that I am." - Proof that the writers of the bible were beyond stoned.


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Quote:-How do you find

Quote:
-How do you find strength during tough times?

I try to give my perspective the greatest depth by asking myself a range of branching questions:

1. Can I draw solutions from previous experience?

I.E.

Have I been in a situation like this before? If I have, what did I do then? If not, has anyone been in this situation before? If someone has, what did they do? If this is an entirely new situation that nobody has been in before, move to question 2.

2. Can I draw solutions via deducing the situation's problems?

I.E.

What are the problems this situation is presenting to me? Which of these problems, if any, do I have an obvious & immediate solution (scratch those off the list; they are no longer problems)? Which problems have no obvious solution that would be within my power to apply? What makes them unresolvable by me? If the remaining problems are likely to pose real hazard to me, move to question 3.

3. What can I do to minimize the damage done by the problems that are outside my control?

How are the problems likely to cause me harm? What can I do to quickly recoup from it, if anything?

 

After you've taken the time to understand a given problem you'll likely find that there's no sense in worrying over it. Problems you can overcome you'd be better off working to overcome, while problems that are unavoidable are going to cause you problems regardless of whether or not you waste your time stressing over them.

Quote:
-Do you believe the bible holds motivating or encouraging words that you could read and gain any strength from? (Don't confuse this with believing in god or believing the story)

Sure. Lots of people find verses like the sermon on the mount to be inspirational. I don't personally find it inspiring, but it's obvious enough that other people gather strength from reading it (akin perhaps to how children can draw strength from a security blanket).

Quote:
-What sources do you use to help you cope?

In a word?

Knowledge.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Renee Obsidianwords

Renee Obsidianwords wrote:

 

-How do you find strength during tough times?

-Do you believe the bible holds motivating or encouraging words that you could read and gain any strength from? (Don't confuse this with believing in god or believing the story)

-What sources do you use to help you cope?

 

I think it comes from my upbringing, the strength that is.  Survival instinct has something to do with it as well. 

I can't think of too many Biblical passages that motivate or encourage me.  I have to admit that when I think of the Bible I immediately  think of the OT. However, there is that pesky NT as well, but when I think of that, I think of revelations and we all know how that ends. No, I don't find it motivating or encouraging and that's that. 

I'm not sure how to answer that last question. I guess it depends on the scenario. If it's a relationship, I rely on friends and time. If it's money, I rely on my view that it's only money and I can usually figure out a way to make enough to get me what I want and need. In that case, I rely on history. It's very situational, I think. 

god -- I tried you on for size.... you were a little long in the crotch, loose in the waist, short in the length and you made my butt look extra flat. I had to take you back for an exchange.


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I love you

I can help you.


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Renee Obsidianwords

Renee Obsidianwords wrote:
The article got me thinking about how I personally deal with hardships and thought this would be a great time for each of us to share some ideas and thoughts on how we are handling the current state of the world. Do you look to a higher power for strength? Do you seek the strength from within? This is a bit different as it isn't the typical "VS" call for debate (although debating any of the points brought up is fine here...just don't derail the thread please)

 

OK, this can have many answers depending on specific situations. However, I have a few things that I like to remember in general.

 

First: Everyone in the whole world is an asshole.

 

If someone is treating me respectfully, then that stands suspended, at least for the time being. However, if someone decides to treat me badly, then I remember that they are an asshole. And then I ask myself if it is really worth the trouble to get upset over some asshole.

 

Corollary to the above: The idea works best if I include myself among the assholes of the world. Then, if whatever is going on is worth the trouble (which it rarely is), I don't have any real problem with letting my inner asshole out to play.

 

I guess that people should probably think twice before messing with me. Either they will get ignored or they will get far more trouble than they bargained for. Either way is fine by me.

 

As far as a higher power goes, generally speaking, I am my own higher power. It is great that we have laws against robbing banks and stuff but that really does not concern me. What does concern me is if someone tries to pick a real fight with me.

 

The fact is that I am under no obligation to turn the other cheek. Sure, if retreat is an option, I have that as a choice and there is no shame in that if I choose to. However, there is no shame in fighting if I decide that that is what has to happen. If someone takes a swing at me, I may decide to kneecap them in response. Note that I say that I “may choose to”. I will decide what to do when I decide to do it but whatever choice I go for, I fight dirty and I will end the fight as fast as possible.

 

One time, I had some dude call me an asshole to my face. I looked him in the eye and said “Thank you”. That set him so far back that he lost the will to fight. You can only call these things as they come up but I will hurt you in whatever way I think best.

 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

As far as the economy goes, I am all about free market capitalism for the win. I would have to check my actual records to see where stuff is right now. Generally speaking though, I have my money spread out across about 15 to 18 different things and I move it around as I see fit.

 

Stocks are crap right now, so people are looking at bonds. When the stimulus package hits, Obama is going to issue lots of new bonds. So that part of my money is only going to do well for the next year or two.

 

Again, stocks are crap. Now is not exactly a bad time to get into them (depending on how you invest that is). I am 45 so I have plenty of time for the market to come back. I am soon going to move a portion of my “safe in the bank” money into stocks. When they come back, that money will come out and get split between bonds and the bank.

 

So for everyone who is wailing about how bad things are, keep it up. I see opportunity in your despair. Heck but I have to sell stuff at a loss in a planned way to minimize my capital gains taxes.

 

Here is a tip for those who do have a bit of cash to invest:

 

Don't sink the lot into one thing. Diversity is power. However, do buy some six month petroleum futures in the next several weeks. Do not hold them for the full time though. Gas is cheap right now. It will be expensive in August. Sell it in June, take the cash and put it in the bank.

 

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
Never ever did I say enything about free, I said "free."

=


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Renee Obsidianwords

Renee Obsidianwords wrote:

ATHEISTS: Here are a few questions to consider:

-How do you find strength during tough times?

-Do you believe the bible holds motivating or encouraging words that you could read and gain any strength from? (Don't confuse this with believing in god or believing the story)

-What sources do you use to help you cope?

-I hope this doesn't come off as conceited, but in hard times I look to myself for strength. I say to myself "You're better than this, get back up there and make it happen," and I pull myself up by the bootstraps. I don't believe you should rely on anyone else for your future. I think if you want something you have to get it yourself. Nobody is going to improve your station in life for you, least of all God.

-I don't see much in the way of inspiration in the Bible. The bulk of it to me just seems like empty words. I do rather enjoy fictional stories like Lord of the Rings, Kingdom of Heaven, The Shawshank Redemption. I find that if there is good character development and a sense empathy it's much more inspirational.

-Coping... hmmm... I don't really. I think about it for a while, then I shove it all deep inside and that's pretty much that.

After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him.

The moral: When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut.
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All I know is that bad

All I know is that bad situations suck, but you can make them worse by making an uninformed decision.  The more you knowledge about any situation you're in the more liekely you'll make a decision to improve it. If you're doing something to imporve it you'll feel more at ease and the stress will subside.  If it's out of your control it can be difficult, but knowing it takes time can help reduce the anxiety there as well.  It's when we get irrational we make these situations worse.

 

 

 

 


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Quote:-How do you find

Quote:

-How do you find strength during tough times?

 

Strength? Probably not the correct word since it implies that to be adversely affected by circumstances is proof of "weakness". But I understand the gist of the question and would answer that I don't. I simply rely on my own resources to endure the phase without being too seriously damaged, much the same as I live at all times actually.

 

Quote:

-Do you believe the bible holds motivating or encouraging words that you could read and gain any strength from? (Don't confuse this with believing in god or believing the story)

 

Lots of literature contains encouraging motifs and expressions which coincide with the more positive of one's own attitudes in adversity. It is of some small comfort to know that others (hopefully survivors) concurred in the past, and it is especially helpful to find complex motifs expressed succinctly. The bible contains some such sentiments. Shakespeare contains quite a few too. But that's not the point. The point is that they are all within you too, and it is knowledge of that from which the most "strength" should be derived.

 

Quote:

-What sources do you use to help you cope?

 

Depends on the problem. I don't, for example, take world economic recession personally so it doesn't increase my angst. I have also lived on or under the poverty line enough times in my life not to let that phase me either. If the problem is tractible then I apply myself to solving it. If it is intractible then I approach it holistically and solve it by avoiding it. If it is unavoidable and intractible then no amount of inner strength bolstered by any amount of externally sourced advice will get you much further than being lucky to survive it. If the problem involves personal tragedy then you must resign yourself to surviving, but not unscathed. "Such is life" as they say in France.

I would rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy


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Renee Obsidianwords

Renee Obsidianwords wrote:

 

ATHEISTS: Here are a few questions to consider:

-How do you find strength during tough times?

-Do you believe the bible holds motivating or encouraging words that you could read and gain any strength from? (Don't confuse this with believing in god or believing the story)

-What sources do you use to help you cope?


*********************

So the goal here is to share ideas.

If it helps to inspire each other - fantastic!

If it encourages a dialogue between different beliefs/thoughts and creates a bit more understanding - great!

1- I find strength during tough times because I realize that they won't last forever. All the bad times are followed by better times which hopefully balance out. 

2 - The Bible offers little in the way of motivation or encouragement to me as it's message is god will provide. I see more of use in the stories by Robert Heinlein.

3 - As I have encountered near death several times I probably shouldn't even be alive today. I have been shot, in a rollover accident when hit by a drunk driver that was going 120 mph, and been in 2 motorcycle accidents. If I lived through those things a little downturn in the economy is very little. I have relatives and friends that are very supportive in times of need. I have been there for them when they were in need and they are there for me when I need help.

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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I get inspiration from

I get inspiration from religion in general. Like from Theists like Nelson Mendella and Martan Luther King and Ghandi.

 

The whole "We are all one" of it all.

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:I get

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

I get inspiration from religion in general. Like from Theists like Nelson Mendella and Martan Luther King and Ghandi.

The whole "We are all one" of it all.

So it's a name dropping game is it?

After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him.

The moral: When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut.
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spike.barnett wrote:So it's

spike.barnett wrote:

So it's a name dropping game is it?

 

What? I only mentioned them because I find their stories inspirational.

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

spike.barnett wrote:

So it's a name dropping game is it?

What? I only mentioned them because I find their stories inspirational. 

Don't worry. I'm just picking on you a little.

After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him.

The moral: When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut.
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The economy and the Bible

Some Bibles I've seen have paper soft enough to be used as toliet paper to wipe my ass with. Also, it could be used as birdcage liner, but, you run the risk of brain damage to the poor birds...that's a toss up.


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A little off-topic here but

A little off-topic here but i only read the first paragraph of that article and doesn't anyone have a problem with the minister screwing that person out of money they can't afford. Like what the fuck!

 

Anyway, where i live the economic crisis isn't hitting us too hard although many people are having trouble getting their first "out of school" jobs no one is getting laid off. To answer the question I take a mostly stoic philosophy on life. Whenever something bad happens to me I accept it as so and don't ask questions like "why me" I also try to remember that through even the toughest times in my life, my quality of life is still in the top 1% of all humans who have ever lived in probably in the top 10% of all humans alive today. For some reason knowing that others have it worse than me always makes me feel better. I don't mean this in a schadenfreude sense but in more of a "if they can do it then so can is" sense.


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Renee Obsidianwords

Renee Obsidianwords wrote:
"Everything always works out" This is my own personal mantra. Some may see this as a bit unhealthy...thinking with such certainty that all will be well. In my life experiences everything really does work out, and that is not to say always to my advantage! Problems eventually are solved and situations go back to 'normal'

A good theory until something happens that prevents 'normal' from ever happening again. Getting in a car accident and losing one's legs insures that whatever 'normal' they had before won't be coming back.

If by normal you mean "life doesn't suck for the time being" then sure, sometimes that happens. In the end though, I despise this manner of thought. It is just masturbation. Just look at the phrase itself, "everything always works out". How could it not work out? Doesn't it have to 'work out'? Unless time and space somehow freeze I suspect everyting is going to work out in some way or another. I don't think getting chopped into little pieces by a serial killer is really what you had in mind though... even though everything would have 'worked out'. It's a meaningless phrase centered on empty wishful thinking.

Me? When I have the sense about me to back up and stop freaking myself out I usually fall back on the World Pantheist approach. Looking at the vastness of reality and the smallness of my worries. It isn't a flattering viewpoint but it certainly puts things into perspective.

If all else fails I just refer back to the original Terminator movie. When Sarah Connor is a waitress and some shit head kid puts a spoon full of ice cream in her apron one of her fellow waitresses leans over to her and says "Think of it this way, in a hundred years, who's going to care?"


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Oh, and the bible?

Oh, and the bible? Seriously? If I'm looking for words of positive inspiration I don't look in religious texts that are filled with horrid barbarism. That's a really strange thing to do, skim past the passage where it says to strip down your mother and feed her to the wolves, all in the hopes of digging a positive thought out of the book. No thanks, I'll actually read a book that is full of hope and positive thinking... not one centered on intellectual slavery and overt barbaric horror.

I would be just as likely to skim through Mein Kampf looking for words of encouragement. I'm sure some are in there, I'm just not going to wade through the filth to find them.