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So! What is God's plan? How can we understand what has happened, is happening, or deal with what is going to happen to us, unless we can surmise God's overall plan for Planet Earth and us Persons?!?!
Let us try and approach!
What if God's plan for the universe in general, and the Earth in particular, was to create places where life would flourish and evolve until beings were endowed by God with souls that give us FREE WILL to choose both good and a life of service in God, or evil and self-centeredness?!
So God gave us free will because God wants us to freely choose life eternal with the Supreme Being, worlds and Communities filled with beings capable of love and choosing service to God and one another (Leaders!) OR, of course, filled with beings incapable of love, capable of choosing to Lead others to do all the evil acts and ideas that we see examples of in the world today.
AND it is my belief that the greatest gift that God gave us is good ethical Leadership skills with which we good Leaders INTENTIONALLY try every day and in every way to create a better world, overcoming evil when and where we encounter it!
We must choose! Choose the better idea, path, relationship, or Work, choosing God's way in all things!
We all are either part of the solution, or we are the problem!
Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday, celebrated in the United States once a year at the end of November. It has become, sadly, much more about shopping and eating.
Leadership needs to INTENTIONALLY elevate Thanksgiving to a Sacred celebration, a family giving thanks to God (Supreme Being) for life as Persons, for the abundance of food and shelter, security, peace, and for one another!
Let us Leaders, everywhere, make THANKFULNESS and GRATITUDE an important part of our relationship with God, Persons especially family and close friends, and everyone who Works for us, gives us service, provides us protection, rescues us, or heals us, etc.
Leaders lead first of all through supporting or changing their followers' ideas (ethics) or priorities. A Father and Mother of a family lead by example and direction to make a priority of love, kindness, good habits, hope, love of God, virtue, charity toward those in need, and Work, for example.
The greatest current barrier to creating a worldwide Community of love and care for one another, mutual support, and peace is a failure to realize that we are all ALIKE and that we are all made Persons because God has given us each a soul.
Let all Persons in the world decide themselves and lead all the Persons in the world to adopt the following Pledge of Solidarity and Unity!
In order to create a worldwide Community of mutual support, kindness, and love, I PLEDGE to:
-Recognize that there is one Supreme Being (God),
-Recognize that God has given every human being on Earth a soul—the same soul that makes us Persons who are ALL the same!
-Recognize that if I join others in a loving belief structure and service-oriented activities, then I could contribute to the ultimate salvation of Planet Earth in the future and a love-filled world in the present.
As a Good, Ethical Leader, I pledge to provide help to those victims of violence, provide safe havens and shelter to those fleeing the horror of war-torn countries and Communities, and I pledge to pray to our loving and merciful God for a religious and ethical change of heart of violent Persons.
The Pledge of Hope:
Let us pledge to give hope to each other and to the whole world, speaking and choosing ideas and actions that create harmony, betterment, healing, friendship, love of others, service to others, and creative and effective Work and works, thereby creating in the hearts of all Persons everywhere...
A wellspring of hope,
For the future.
This entry is especially addressed to the men and women of child-bearing ages.
I hope that if I propose to you the terrible steps that lead to a young woman's decision to abort her child, that you men and women (as well as boys and girls) might get off the PATH to abortion.
The “Path” consists of some of the following ideas, values, and habits that lead to abortion and the death of a child!!!
The slowly developing idea that God is not an important presence in their lives.
Because of #1, the failure to understand that we are not only animals, but that we are Persons—with the God-given gift of a soul. Failing to understand that we have a purpose, with the responsibility to have a lifestyle that prepares us to live with a good and merciful God forever.
Becoming, gleefully, part of the idea that sex is “fun,” that it's merely a passing fancy, that it is never a sin or evil, and that sexual partners are whatever we want them to be before, during, and after sex, including a “one-night stand!!!”
That premarital sex is clearly OK as long as there is a good chance for there to be a wedding, even though it's just a 48-hour party and marriage is something that we will work out as it unfolds!
That, if an unwanted pregnancy happens before or after marriage, then, if we decide, we can get help to kill the child (called a fetus!) and dispose of the “remains.”
That's all there is to it. No sin along the way, even starting with the first terrible act of turning our faces, souls, and minds away from God, then drifting into a world of LBTQ[etc.] and leaving church affiliation, family guidance, and/or pressure. The holy seems “prudish,” the Holy Bible is just “good reading,” proceeding to choose bad venues rather than good venues to socialize, and then, of course, drugs or alcohol (to help us keep on an “even” keel etc., etc.) while we continue on our downward Path.
On the other hand, a good “Path”:
We could choose God and Personhood as Core Values and define our relationships with the opposite sex (or with anyone) as a chance to develop all the following: TRUE and LASTING FRIENDSHIPS that grow stronger, loving, focused on others, wonderful, and blossoming into marriage, family, children, praying together, and a life of good, ethical leadership.
In my beloved USA, and my beloved Catholic Church, I see devastating havoc being caused by the sudden search for sins on the part of priests and mostly male celebrities. What I beg the leaders of these media-fed frenzies is to stop and consider the following questions and thoughts:
-Are you sure that your justifiable hurt and suffering caused by the sinful predations of 20 or 30 years ago justified the outing of those horrors causing the current destruction of the lives, careers, families, etc., etc. of your predators who are trying to live lives of service and work that benefits society?
-Does there exist a need to consider the law of proportionality in each instance, so that that evil act of the past does not spread even greater evil in the present through your actions?
-Please consider whether you victims are also called to forgive and not to seek vengeance!
-What is the effect of joining your cause together in a worldwide movement to assert the rights of women and to not be victims? Have you carefully considered the effect on the leader-subordinate relationship of today, and how this will bring doubt and fear into those relationships, even destroying them when there are only good intentions present?
-How does this attack on the hierarchy of the Catholic Church affect their ability to bring the grace and comfort of the sacraments to its billion souls, especially when the trust in the leaders of the Church from pope to priest is being systematically destroyed by the way in which the sins of the PAST are used against the PRESENT Church!
-Please let wisdom help you see and understand the dilemma of the bishop of 30 years ago. It was the midst of a sexual revolution of the '60's and dealing with the onslaught of sexual predations by priests. What to do?! On the one hand, all he could offer to the child and the child's family is shared sorrow and hopefully outrage. On the other hand, the priest is a soul in trouble, and he can provide a lifetime of service to the Church and thousands of persons. The bishop, encouraged by the current mentality of that time in the Church, opted for saving rather than destroying the priesthood of the priest.
-Be careful, leaders of this feeding frenzy, that the evil done to you now or in the past, can be buried in the past. “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Also, will your legacy of your current actions mostly help or hurt women in their leader/subordinate relationships, now and in the future?
If there is NO Supreme Being, then all that happens is random and devoid of both meaning and hope!!
God (the Supreme Being) gives us:
-The universe, with all its wonders!
-The planet Earth, with all ITS wonders!
-A soul—which is given by God to all human beings—with the same hope, promise, and invitation to worship God in this life and forever, both with and in God.
-The freedom to choose the path of love, justice, virtue, and God... OR the path of SELF—using others and this life to embrace evil and vice.
-A good guardian angel, which helps us choose good. God also allows an evil spirit, which tempts us endlessly.
-The beauty and bounty of the Earth, to nourish our souls with beauty and our bodies with water, food, and shelter.
-The gift of loving relationships with OTHER PERSONS, which provides the Leaders who create good families, Communities, nations, and civilization where good acts drive out evil ones. God also allows us to have corrupt and corrupting relationships with other Persons, bringing about evil Leaders which bring us famine, wars, hatred, etc., etc.
-An ever-searching and learning intellect which brings us, for instance: good theology and philosophy, good concepts like Personhood and democracy, as well as evil concepts like defining their Supreme Being as telling them to hate any strangers (infidels!) and telling them to conquer, kill, subjugate, enslave, etc., etc., creating Hell on Earth.
-The Supreme Being encourages us to bond with dogs and create relationships with cats!
-The Supreme Being gives us a sense of humor.
Planet Earth is at THE CROSSROAD!!! Exploding technology gives us a chance for a very hope-filled future, or... Armageddon.
Who are the deciders in this drama:
GOD. If there is a Supreme Being, then God is providing us with the ability to CHOOSE! God is letting us decide the future of the planet. We can ACT or NOT ACT!
The Leaders of Planet Earth. Leaders at all levels must participate in the process of saving our world. If they don't, they have chosen to not save it. Participate in the hope-filled future, or surrender to the horrors of technological suicide!!!
What a wonderful—or terrible—time to be alive on this planet!
I hope that you leaders of nations will consider some negative side effects of the use of technology on its users and how they magnify the threat of WMD's to humanity. Please do not delay taking action and ridding the world of WMD's.
I believe that the incredibly forceful impact of technology on its users is changing the way that techies (everybody, almost) think and act.
The instant reward to a tech program is addictive. It takes over as primary reward that is sought after in us techies' life. I consider my crossword puzzle habit as an addiction.
When? Where? How?
In television, movies, computer games and programs, news media, and tech gadgets like Amazon Alexa, the rate of information is speeding up dramatically. Many ads on TV are using one second or less image changes, demanding the total attention of the receiver. The new Amazon Alexa gives instant information response to questions that used to take hours or more to find in a dictionary, map, or book.
Final drafts of complicated reports are typed, printed, and faxed in minutes, pulling together data from hundreds of sources in seconds. Contact with friends, family, and business associations are in seconds—WORLDWIDE!
Since the invention and widespread use of the telephone, telegraph, radio, television, Internet, and the worldwide dissemination of news, entertainment, along with personal and business contacts, we've gone from snail mail to instantaneous!!!
The impact of these wonderful inventions have made:
-Great positive impacts on science, medicine, politics, comfort, entertainment, and on people everywhere.
-Great negative impacts on warfare, spread of disease, illegal drugs, crime, thefts of technology, spread of evil ideas and corrupt concepts, and harm to the environment, all living fauna and flora, and on our air and water.
-That's not the worst, dear leaders!
Mobile phones and computers have spread the power to act for good or evil to everyone, including people on all levels of nations, businesses, and organizations.
I beg you leaders of nations to:
-Recognize what these changes mean in regard to WMD's.
-Recognize that, at any moment, some techie underling could blow up the world, kill half the world's population, start rumors that turn our streets into never-ending horrible riots, and destroy our systems of finance, power generation, communication, transportation, and food production, ETC!
WHAT??? TO??? DO???
At least, big leaders, take a giant step and attack the problems faced by WMD's!!!! Try taking the steps given in my previous blog entries, or, I am sure, take advantage of better plans you already have on hand.
ACT, or surrender the fate of your children and grandchildren into the hands of a genius but stupid and uncaring techie who wants to “press the button” to get a big, instant reward!!!!!
The decision of the 9/11 murderers to commit mass murder on 9/11/2001 was an evil decision and could not have come from an all-Good Supreme Being. It had to have come from that part of Muslim theology that is TRIBAL and believes that all non-Muslims are infidels who must convert to Islam or be killed or treated as second class citizens!
In this theology, Muslims rulers in their created theocracies also claim that a tribal god gives permission for Muslims to kill other Muslims.
The Muslim world, and the non-Muslim world, is AFLAME because of these two TRIBAL beliefs!!!
The Taliban, Al-Qaeda, ISIS, and individual mass murdering terrorists daily commit atrocities by chopping of hands, enslaving, blowing up wedding parties and marketplaces, destroying villages and countries, genocide, and suicide attacks, ALL in the name of the Muslim TRIBAL god, the bringer of evil throughout the Muslim and non-Muslim world.
Horror, horror, horror!
If Mohammed were alive, would he want to see his sacred God ----- be the inspiration for these monstrous activities, based on the very few words in the otherwise beautiful and holy Koran?
Now, the world of infidels, including Christians, Hindus, etc., welcome the Muslim victims of these tribal beliefs with protection, help, and the shelter of a global theology that believes in a loving father God. The victims are being brought to a society of Persons that are loving one another, even their enemies.
Muslim religious and political (and tribal) Leaders, I BEG YOU: lead your countries to declare that your God is no longer be a vengeful, murderous God, but a Supreme Being who desires all God's created Persons to love and help one another to build a global family without WMD's, murderous sects and individuals, OR 9/11's.
Dear good ethical world leaders,
Be brave, and don't lose heart in the face of:
The existence of WMD's and their possession by evil political and religious leaders of some nations,
Terrible wars of genocide, religious conflicts, and power struggles over territory,
The theological, philosophical, and ethical conflicts of ideas and beliefs,
The global race toward consumerism and unbridled capitalism,
The fearful impact of fossil fuels, chemicals, and waste products on the Earth's environment,
The growing, corrupting influence of drugs on individuals and political structures,
The unbridled drive for more and more political and economic power,
The spread of atheism and total abandonment of Faith in a Supreme Being,
The global disappearance of commonly held good, ethical and philosophical beliefs and structures, such as: family life, Personhood, justice, mercy, the desire to make the world better, etc., etc.,
The sudden and overwhelming growth in the world's population due to the spread of healing pharmaceuticals and medical knowledge about the need for clean water and clean everything!
Uncontrolled technological development that is creating good and bad but is growing so fast that its true impact is little understood by anyone,
The slow dying of FAITH, HOPE, and CHARITY, and along with them a slow dying of any binding force that unites all aspects of our lives!
The worldwide problem of mass migration and its disruption of global economic, social, and political systems,
The inability of the United Nations to effectively and speedily address these and other problems.
I beg world, political, religious, economic, and media leaders to:
Call a special meeting of the United Nations, with world leaders in attendance, to develop a prioritized list of worldwide problems, along with possible solutions, and beginnings of solutions,
Create globally-mandated organizations to begin addressing these issues with action plans and timetables of implementation,
And all leaders, everywhere, turn towards the Supreme Being and pray for help!!!
If there is a Supreme Being (God), and I believe there is (JUST ONE!), and if the Supreme Being gave human beings a soul (and I believe that God did!), the same soul to everyone, then the ancient experiences with angels seem logical. The belief that God has assigned each one us a special guardian angel is also ancient and is a belief I treasure.
I believe I have conversations with my guardian angel, whom I have named Scholastica (with her permission. In addition, she has agreed to interact with me through the feminine side of her angelic being.
NOW, if you are still with me, I will, from time to time, share some of these “conversations” with you IF I am still communicating with you and not in a psych ward somewhere.
I asked Scholastica, my guardian angel, “How does it work?”
GA: What? (I hear no words, but I perceive clear answers to... my brain? To my soul???)
Tom: You are my constant companion?
GA: I am always available to you to “light, to guard, to rule, and guide” YOU!
Tom: Why? And how does it work?
GA: I am a gift of God to you, who will always allow you the freedom to choose and make good decisions. I have the power of God to protect you from evil beings who have taken away from you your free will.
Tom: Why is that so important?
GA: The life of your soul is all about choices. The ultimate choice is choosing God now and at the end of your life.
Tom: But that means I can make bad choices, and I can choose not to choose God at the end of my life?
GA: (No answer)
Tom: Tell me more about how that works.
GA: The life of every PERSON is filled with good and bad choices, and an often-changing direction toward a good life or an evil one. A Person's good choices, and the good habits make my job a joy-filled one that allows me to load up the good Person's soul with floods of God's love, mercy, faith, and hope. A Person's BAD choices and habits increasingly force me into a defensive role and less and less able to “rule and guide.” A life of evil choices creates numerous big and small accidents and calamities, both spiritual and physical, that I am less and less able to prevent.
Tom: Does that affect you?
GA: I weep, and I weep until the bad-choices-Person dies, and I watch helplessly as the gates of hell swallow the black soul into (???)! I'm filled with joy unbounded as a good-choices-Person dies and is embraced by “The Way,” Jesus, into the light!
Talk with your good guardian angel today. It will change your life, FOREVER!!!
Heavenly Father, heal, with your loving grace, the hearts of the victims of terrible acts of pedophilia and let them not be flooded with hate, retribution, and revenge. Teach them, Jesus, the evil from that horrific act can spread down the years and spawn more evil and despair.
Let them see that there is little or no good in driving a diocese into bankruptcy and attacking people who had no part in that terrible crime committed against you, by taking money that parishioners had given for their parish to function, supply their spiritual needs, and do good works.
Someone once said, “A saint is someone who accepts an evil done to them and does not pass it on!”
How can all Leaders respond to the crisis embroiling the Catholic Church? Acts of pedophilia on children and young persons by priests (and others?) and the widespread cover-up by bishops and the hierarchy of the Church?
And my answer is that all of us PRAY!
Heavenly Father, show your healing power, kindness, love, and grace to all of the victims of terrible acts of pedophilia, lust by priests and others. Let them not despair, lose hope, or suffer mental damage. Let them turn to you, Jesus, and join with you on the cross where they can experience the grace-filled act of saying with Jesus, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!”
Heavenly Father, fill them with the healing act of forgiveness, so that they might be able to say in the Our Father prayer, “Forgive me my sins as I forgive those who have sinned against me.”
Jesus, let not the evil Person continue to hurt them in their terrible memories, but let them close up that spiritual wound with your grace-filled act of forgiveness and go on with their lives filled with faith in you, hope in you, and love of you!!! Again, Jesus, let not the evil act diminish their love of the Church, which is your mystical body. I hope they share in your wondrous gift of the Eucharist, all the sacraments, and the joy of shared love of you in parish life.
Intentionality is using the power of the will to make things happen, rather than waiting to see what happens.
To begin, let's apply intentionality to leadership.
For 30 years, when I taught management off and on, I began the class with a pledge on the board that began, “I INTEND to BE a good, centered, ethical leader!”
-I intend to believe (have faith) in the existence of a GOOD Supreme Being (God)!
-I believe that God has given us human beings a soul (Personhood) which is exactly the same in all Persons.
-This means that, since our God is all good, then God does not inspire, condone, or support evil acts of hatred or violence against other religious Persons or anyone else.
-I intend to lead others to share my theological and philosophical beliefs because if all Persons shared these values and beliefs, then we could create Communities on a Planet of love and justice.
-I intend to treat Persons I lead with respect, kindness, charity, justice, support, openness, friendship, good instruction, good values, gentle discipline, expectation of creativity and hard work, and support in prayer.
-I intend to grow in a personal direction of good virtues and love of God.
In regard to your comment on the 8/3/18 entry, that Armageddon is not certain, see blog entries:
9/8/14: Theological Warfare or a Global Society: Defining the Supreme Being
6/3/16 and 6/17/16: The Rise of Fear—GLOBALLY!
8/28/17: The Dark Angel and Evil Revolutions
5/29/18: The Immediate Threat of WMD's
In regard to “certain” truths, see blog entries:
9/8/14: The Two Values Hierarchies
7/20/16: Theological Beliefs for Membership in a Global Community
3/20/17: Christian Beliefs on God
1/28/18: Dear Atheists, Please Choose God!
3/10/18: Jesus, the Gift Giver
Now, I'm sure, Kevin, you could do a better job of picking our blog entries that speak to your well-stated views in your blog entry. I answered with blog entries because I want to also invite current readers of our blog to read more previous entries!
Also, I hope you accept my Work of getting global ethical Leaders to accept the existence of “one” Supreme Being, the gift of Personhood for all, that the Supreme Being is ALL-GOOD and does not inspire or condone evil acts or religious intolerance, and that we all (ethical Leaders) should seek to act with love, kindness, and justice to all Persons. We all share in God's plan for all Persons to “recreate the Earth” and share God's life of light and love forever.
When Thomas James (who happens to be my Granddad) dictated "Leadership and the Rapidity of Change in Values," I pointed out some ways that techies are developing technology in a way that protects our values. I also pointed out many of the value-oriented things that people of my generation engage in.
He invited me to write my own reply and post it to the blog.
When confronted with the challenge of creating robots that can act according to our values, programmers and techies are faced with one glaring fact: our values are, and always have been, so inconsistent that it is impossible to boil everything down to simple rules that everyone can follow. For example, we can say that a human life can never be taken, but what to do if taking down one life will save many, like in the case of a mass shooter? Another example would be the commandment "Thou shalt not kill," but the Bible is filled with justified killing. Programming robots to make decisions like this is necessary for the next generation of tech like self-driving cars, but it's extremely difficult to solve these problems.
AND THAT'S A GOOD THING.
Because if there's one fundamental difference between Millenials and Boomers, it's that we are sick of the pretense of certainty. It's not Truth or values we hate, but certainty. We're sick of the Kool-Aid stained corpses that pile up in the temple of "beyond a shadow of a doubt." We're sick of the jihads and Crusades coming from people that believe the entirety of history and even the universe revolves around one person or group in their part of the world.
That's why we prefer to implement less ambitious projects: we prefer Medicare for all, rather than the eradication of poverty through a managed economy. We prefer our nation to the United Nations. We prefer to go to church at the local "Thrive" rather than "The One True Church of God." While there are problems with these projects, that I can't go into here, Millenials certainly have values, and are willing to fight for them.
Millenials are more willing to acknowledge our own and others' perspectives in things and how this changes the perception of Truth. Things like race, gender, religion, and year of birth can no longer be ignored when having our discussions. It means accepting that we are tiny specks of the universe, and to make a claim to certain Truth degrades its purity and epic vastness. Then Truth ceases to become Sacred or even useful.
While times have certainly changed, and the dissolution of the family and religion are worrisome to say the least, even if you only look at the statistics,
I think it is alarmist to say that the change in values will lead to the end of the world.
A few days ago, I celebrated my 86th birthday.
My dear good, ethical Leaders,
Are you experiencing the same culture shock of a society where the young people are being raised in the technological age in which ALL the values of prior generations are not only tossed out, but worse, completely ignored. It is not bad enough that my children and grandchildren have left their religion that we raised them in, but when I try, and I do try, to engage them in values dialogue, they are bored and treat me with kindness until they can get back to their iPhones or computer games or friends who all seem to think alike.
Why do I bring this up in my writing is mostly directed at Leaders and leadership as we deal with a world of WMDs and world leaders crazed with lust for power or praised with religious zealotry? Because, while I am proposing the shared values of recognition of the existence of a Supreme Being and the shared gift of Personhood, and therefore that we are all the same and need to care for one another individually and collectively—the upcoming generation of techies may end up destroying the world to see if it can be done!!!
My appeal, then, is to Leaders of the world to rid the world of WMDs and crazed Leaders and crazed theologies and crazed power mad political systems and nations before the techies and their robotic systems take over!!!
In the meantime, let us Leaders of the ordinary values, teaching vehicles of church, family, neighborhood, media, schools, etc., etc., keep on trying to pass along the wisdom of the past in the hope that God will help us do a better job, or will show this tech-fog-bound generation that they also need to learn the basic values that make a Community work for good, or they will raise a generation of real robots without values which become determined to rid the Planet Earth of “defective carbon-based units”!!!
So many Leaders accept a leadership role when they LOVE and then TRUST:
-A Person can accept the basic leadership role of society: that of spouse and then of parent.
-And then Trust their Communities' choice for them to lead their town, church, volunteer group, as mayor, as policeman, as garbage collector, business executive, soldier, elected president, senator, etc., etc., etc.
-Leadership comes about as a response to Persons accepting their service and acts of love. Then, in order to earn Trust, they must carry out their responsibilities with: justice, love, humility, compassion, competence, faithfulness, openness, trust, honor, kindness, forgiveness, strength in truth, prayerfulness
We, in the role of followers of such Leaders, must give our Leaders (or our spouse co-Leaders): Trust, support, good advice, the gift of Work, discipline, honor, skillfulness, ideas, creativity, acceptance of expanded roles and responsibilities, prayers for ourselves and our leaders, thankfulness, etc., etc., etc.
Leaders and followers Work together to create Communities where Trust is shared based on Love of one another, shared goals, total commitment to our respective roles and responsibilities, and hope for God's blessing on us while we create Heaven on Earth.
If our Planet Earth has any chance of avoiding a nuclear or WMD holocaust, then our leaders must begin to trust and be trustworthy! In order to trust, our nuclear nations need shared values!
A favorite Lao Tzu quote says, “He who does not trust enough, will not be trusted.”
I hope it is clear from previous blog entries that because of the existence of both religious and political totalitarian countries, trust is missing in regard to future uses of WMD's, guaranteeing a horrible Armageddon... unless there is a change.
Despite all this, there is Hope! As I pointed out earlier, “mutual distrust” could give us a breathing spell if world Leaders recognize that the use of WMD's is a no-win scenario. I also see a “maturing” of political tyrannies, leading to increased economic freedom and a change from tribal, religious dominance to politically-run states. This means that a better future is possible!
These transitions are fraught with tremendous hurdles, and those of us Leaders not directly involved can only hope and pray for success and applaud every good sign of good progress by such regimes.