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These are answers that madima has provided in Christianity

Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 05/12/11 - THE OLD DAYS AT ANSWERWAY

Well, my friends, it looks like this Board is dead. Time for reincarnation, don't you think? Start asking questions, guys and gals. Much going on in the World. I watch FOX news. How about you?

HANK

madima answered on 05/15/11:

Hi, HANK!
I'm surprised at the dead boards here everywhere! I'm mostly on Facebook now. I read all my news online - NY Times, CNN, Daily Mail, etc! I don't watch TV (unless I'm in hotels out of town). I travel nonstop like before...Good to see you're still here at AW! :)

HANK1 rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

Question/Answer
STONY asked on 11/16/10 - A BIT EARLY.

WISHING ALL A MOST BLESSED THANKSGIVING EVER.

madima answered on 12/30/10:

happy new year, stony! :)

STONY rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

Question/Answer
webguy asked on 12/04/10 - Merry Christmas

just stopping by to wish everybody a Merry Christmas .

madima answered on 12/30/10:

Merry christmas and happy 2011! :)

webguy rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

Question/Answer
STONY asked on 04/17/10 - MAGGIE & BOBBYE....

NOW I CAN'T GET IN TOUCH WITH EITHER ONE OF YOU. WHAT'S UP? I KNOW THE STORY ABOUT "A REASON, A SEASON AND A LIFETIME" BUT I NEVER AM PREPARED FOR IT WITH NO NOTICE.

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend, and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrong -doing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up or out

and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and it is now time to move on.

When people come into your life for a SEASON, it is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They may bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person/people (anyway); and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant. Thank you for being a part of my life

madima answered on 05/18/10:

How are you Stony? Thanks for the beautiful post! :)

It's been a long time since I was here... Been too busy globe-trotting. I was in Florida from April 21 to May 2 and starting this June 5, I'll be on a 121 day tour of a dozen countries in Europe!

I miss all the experts here!!!

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 12/25/09 - HAPPY CHRISTMAS

Greetings to all my Answerway pals who are Christians. Hope you are all finding lots of happiness and peace in your lives. :)

I'm residing in a Supportive Living facility in my own apartment with my little darling Nick, the Cat who will be 16 in January. He's pretty rickety these days.

Happiness and fun to all in the coming year, also. :D

Sincerely,

Choux--(Mary Sue)

madima answered on 12/29/09:

Merry Christmas and a blessed 2010, Mary Sue! I was just thinking about you today... and was wondering about your handsome darling, Nick!

Great to hear you're both ok!

I am now "owned" by a big, beautiful tigress named Dao Ruang! One day, I pray I can take care of her forever... along with my other favorite tigers - Sairung, Hernfa, Techo, Mek, Chomnapa, Fadang, Phayak, Darika, my leopard -Supawan and the whole lot of them... plus my big cats in Nevada - Niki and Det, Nala and Rocky, Teddy and Sunshine!

Choux rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

Question/Answer
bal317 asked on 12/21/09 - Merry Christmas

Wishing all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Remembering, Jesus being born and living among humans, so He could understand,teach,and save us taking all of our sins with Him. He showed us love.
As we ask for forgiveness of our sins. Please accept Jesus as Our Lord and Saviour and spend eternity in God's House, where He has many rooms and one prepared for those who Believe.

madima answered on 12/29/09:

Merry Christmas and a blessed 2010, Bal!!!! :)

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Question/Answer
CeeBee2 asked on 11/14/09 - Information about IQGuru

Some of you knew or knew of IQGuru, one of the charter members of Answerway. He passed away on the last Monday in May, Memorial Day, 2009. He had gotten pneumonia the previous year and had never shaken it, and meanwhile was slowly getting lost in the fog of Alzheimer's. I have been in phone contact with his wife who has been dealing with her own set of physical problems. She asked me to let his Internet friends/acquaintances know about his death. If you wish more details, please let me know.

madima answered on 11/30/09:

I am very sorry to hear of his passing. Thanks for letting us know. IQGuru has been very kind to me.

I have wanted to meet him personally the next time I go to the U.S. He gave me good advice in caving - one of his many fields of expertise.

Unfortunately, I've been lying low for a year now after I was injured by a cougar I cared for at the Tiger Touch sanctuary in Fallon, Nevada last year.

I had a an almost lethal experience with Tiger Touch's owners, John and Barbara Williamson, whom I realized too late, were only using their big cat "sanctuary" to get donations for a spurious "university" and to lure women for sex!

I had a great time taking care of tigers, lions, a leopard and a bear at the Tiger Temple in Thailand for a whole month early last year, so I never expected that my U.S. volunteer work for big cats will almost kill me.

Anyway, please extend my condolences to IQ's family. I'll miss his wit and wisdom! I shall include him and his family in my prayers.

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Question/Answer
STONY asked on 12/25/08 - BEEN A LONG TIME....

BUT WISHING ALL OF YOU A BLESSED CHRISTMAS AND A PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR.

madima answered on 12/26/08:

Blessed Christmas to you and yours, STONY, and to everyone on the board!

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Question/Answer
MaggieB asked on 12/24/08 - Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all who come here to this board.

May the real meaning of Christmas be yours on this blessed day and throughout the coming year.

MaggieB

madima answered on 12/26/08:

Merry Christmas to you and yours, Maggie, and to everyone on the board!

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Question/Answer
CeeBee2 asked on 11/26/08 - Do you remember IQGuru?------------------------------

He is one of the charter members of Answerway and, along with voiceguy2000, ScottGem, Choux, and others, helped Vijay and Dathaeus get this site off the ground.

I talked with IQ's wife last Sunday evening and learned that he is very ill. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

madima answered on 12/13/08:

Please give IQ my best regards. I've wanted to do caving with him on my next visit to the US a few years back but lost touch with him.

I wasn't able to say hello to him the last time I was in the US this October because I was bitten by a cougar, one of 10 big cats I cared for as a volunteer at Tiger Touch sanctuary in Fallon, Nevada. It was a nightmare because the owners refused to bring me to the hospital, saying they have no money and I was bleeding for half a day in the middle of the desert.

Sharlene saved me, even though she was in Ohio. Without her, I don't know what could have happened to me. Loral (purplewings) also helped out in my medical bills after I came home.

I don't think I can go caving or adventuring anytime soon because the bones on my wrist separated when my cougar tried to pull me in the cage with her and I had 16 sutures in my left hand. Am undergoing intensive rehab on my fingers at present and the surgeon wants to operate on my wrist to fix the bones.

Please pray for me too. I need a miracle so that I would no longer need a wrist or hand operation, which I can't afford, and that I would recover completely and fast so I can go back caring for my tigers in Thailand in 2 months, as I promised them.

And please pray for Sharlene's fast and complete recovery as well. She has undergone surgery recently and need all the healing energies that can be directed her way.

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Question/Answer
bal317 asked on 08/24/08 - Fasting?

Do any of you par-take in this practice?
If so when?
Why do you feel the need to?
If done for a cause, how do you feel it helps you reach that cause?

madima answered on 08/27/08:

Hi Bal,

I usually fast during the Lenten season and during spiritual as well as "creative retreats", as the need arises :-)

I have always found that fasting clears both the mind and the body.

Primarily, it detoxifies my system, of course. We have so many junk foods available now that our bodies become cluttered with too many things we don't need.

It helps me in many ways, especially when I shut myself up in my place or in a retreat when I write and paint or both. I don't feel the hunger pangs at all. However, I cut down on my physical activities when I fast and refrain from strenuous work.

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Question/Answer
bal317 asked on 07/26/08 - Charles Manson-group?

I heard on the Christian channel. That one of the women who actually helped in the Sharon Tate murder's. Was dying of some sort of brain disease. And she has tried around 17 different times to get out of prison at her Board Hearings, but was denied paroll. This Christian leader, was asking. "Seeings how this woman has shown a change of life in a positive way, and becoming more Godly like. Shouldn't she be forgiving and released now that she is dying and possibly only has 6 months to live?
I feel, even though she has possibly changed. She still has man made laws to abide by and she should stay in Prison for her misconduct she par-took in.
What do you all feel?
How do we as Chrisitians, say we forgive and still allow this woman or other's to stay locked up like we do?
Are we afraid to actually be around those that have done horid crimes. Might of changed to the better?
Do we ask what type of Chrisitanity background, Prison personel have or those on the Boards?
This Christian Leader said,"Jesus told the sinner beside Him on the Cross, You will walk with me in Heaven."
Are we wrong or right forgetting those in Prisons?

madima answered on 07/28/08:

We can forgive but never forget, that's what I believe. And of course, it's easier said than done when one is not a victim or a family member or friend of a victim.

Too many times the prison systems have paroled and released criminals who should never have been released. And innocent people paid dearly because these criminals raped and killed again as soon as they were set loose on society.

I do not know this woman personally but the web reports I saw stated that as she stabbed Sharon Tate, who was begging for mercy for her unborn child, she said, "I have no mercy for you, woman." She stabbed her at least 17 times.

And she NEVER said sorry for that. Even to this day, she never had, according to Tate's mother, who was one of those strongly opposing her release. I wouldn't know how the Christian leader arrived at the conclusion that she had repented or changed at all.

And if she's dying, it wouldn't make any difference at all if she dies in prison. (Actually, she's not within the prison anymore but in a hospital and her care is costing a lot of American taxpayers' money which should have gone to better causes.)

Here in my country, she would have been given the death penalty right away for such a heinous crime.

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Question/Answer
Ch.Petrus.82 asked on 07/22/08 - Message from ATON/DOMINO

My old buddy is doing just fine and he asked me to pass on this message

"Let my friends know I miss them, and my enemies can kiss my butt."

IMO, he is needed on this board, what do you think?

Pete

madima answered on 07/28/08:

Hi, Pete!:-)

Please give Aton my best regards :-)

I've just been to his beloved homeland, Egypt, spent nine days there, three of them sailing the Nile on a felucca. Took a dip in the Blue Nile too, and never imagined it was that cold!

I should have loved to meet him in person, but I toured Egypt as an impulsive afterthought, after my 2- week assignment in Turkey. Perhaps, when I return we can meet, who knows?:-)

I've not been active on this board for the longest time... too busy traveling right now. Oh, but I miss you all! :-)

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Question/Answer
Peric1es asked on 01/01/08 - Happy New Year

To all the Experts on this Board, I wish you a great year ahead.

To all the Experts who have just left this Board, I would like to say: 'My Heart Will Go On'

Every night in my dreams
I see you, I feel you
That is how I know you
Go on

Far across the distance
And spaces between us
You have come to show you go on

Near, far, wherever you are
I believe, that the heart does go on
Once more you open the door
And you're here in my heart
And my heart will go on and on

Love can touch us onetime
And last form the lifetime
And never let go till we're gone
Love was when I loved you
One true time, I hold you
In my life will always go on

Near, far, wherever you are
I believe, that the heart does go on
Once more you open the door
And you're here in my heart
And my heart will go on and on

You're here, there's nothing I fear
And I know, that my heart will go on
We'll stay forever this way
You are safe in my heart
And my heart will go on and on

;)

madima answered on 01/01/08:

Happy 2008! :-)

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 12/30/07 - I want to take this time to.........................

Wish all here a very happy and prosperous New Year and that 2008 will be all you hope it will be for you.
Long life and prospers with peace and kindness,
Fred

madima answered on 12/30/07:

Happy 2008, Fred! :-)

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 04/26/07 - DO ELEPHANTS REALLY HAVE GOOD LONG MEMORIES?

HERE'S AN INTERESTING STORY!

In 1986, Mkele Mbembe was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from
Northwestern University. On a hike through the bush, he came across a young
bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Mbembe
approached it very carefully.

He got down on one knee and inspected the elephant's foot and found a large
piece of wood deeply embedded in it.

As carefully and as gently as he could, Mbembe worked the wood out with his
hunting knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot.

The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its
face, stared at him for several tense moments. Mbembe stood frozen,
thinking of nothing else but being trampled. Eventually the elephant
trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away.

Mbembe never forgot that elephant or the events of that day. Twenty years
later, Mbembe was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teenaged son. As
they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and
walked over to near where Mbembe and his son Tapu were standing. The large
bull elephant stared at Mbembe, lifted its front foot off the ground, then
put it down. The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all
the while staring at the man. Remembering the encounter in 1986, Mbembe
couldn't help wondering if this was the same elephant.

Mbembe summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing and made his way
into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in
wonder. The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of
Mbembe's legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

Probably wasn't the same elephant....

madima answered on 04/27/07:

Well... elephants have very good memories, they are very intelligent - with their huge brains - and they can be very affectionate, but any exotic animal handler in his right mind will tell you that what this "Mbembe" -and I have every reason to suspect that he's fiction - did is crazy.

No wild elephant will allow you to approach. They flee at the scent of man. I know because I have encountered enough wild elephants in the forests of Asia. If they feel threatened or cornered, they will charge. Injured elephants are the most dangerous.

You can't cozy up even to captive adult elephants at first encounter. I also know because I have volunteered in an elephant sanctuary in Thailand.

Even if you have hand-raised a male elephant, or you had been very good to him, he can kill you when he is in "musht", when he is "in season". Not out of meanness. That's just how they are.

But I have every reason to suspect this tale because Mokele Mbembe is the pygmies' mythical "elephant killer" in the Ndoki forests.

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Question/Answer
jjgoss asked on 03/12/07 - ..US couples seek separate bedrooms..

..(BBC)More and more couples in the US are ordering separate master bedrooms in their new homes to help ensure a more harmonious marriage, research suggests.

A survey by the National Association of Home Builders has predicted that by 2015, 60% of custom-built homes will have two master bedroom suites.

The quest for better rest is behind the trend as experts say the lack of decent sleep can cause marital tension.

The option of having separate rooms has often improved marriages, they say.

Gopal Ahluwalia, of the National Association of Home Builders, said the trend was a "market-driven demand that's going to continue".

Separate bedrooms have often been taken as a sign of a failing relationship, but for many people they appear to be becoming a practical necessity.

Snoring, night-time visits to the bathroom, child-care requirements and shift-working can deprive couples of the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep per night.

The situation has reportedly become more acute as gender roles have changed - with both men and women juggling work and childcare duties.

Families expert, Stephanie Coontz, told the New York Times there were many couples "confident enough that they have a nice marriage, but they don't particularly like sleeping in the same room".

"I don't think it says anything about their sex lives," she said.

Nevertheless, some builders call the extra room a "flex suite" to avoid any embarrassment.

The trend is not restricted to the upper end of the market, the newspaper says.

Lana Pepper of St Louis said she had switched things around in her new apartment to cope with a restless husband.

"My husband is still alive. I would have killed him," she said.

..Do you think that's a good idea???.....

madima answered on 03/13/07:

I think that's a good idea :=)

Papa's snoring used to drive my ma crazy. She was losing so much sleep and found separate bedrooms necessary to preserve both her mental and physical health :=)

She was lucky. We used to have four bedrooms and papa was very understanding, quite a modern man, too (though they went back to sleeping together in later years when he was often very sick and wanted warmth and company). Here in my country, that's a radical idea, though one that's good news to home builders :=)

In my ma's generation, once the couples sleep apart, the marriage is over. We have no divorce law here but a good many keep up the appearance that all's well to the rest of the world in order to save face.

Many of my young married friends sleep in separate bedrooms now. One says her husband is like a boa constrictor, it's impossible to have a decent sleep with him. Another keeps different hours from her mate and they only disrupt each other's slumber if they climb together in one bed.

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Question/Answer
purplewings asked on 05/01/06 - Angels: A 'Truth of Faith'

This article is for all who wondered if angels are real or only a fantasy created by humans.

'From infancy to death humans are surrounded by their watchful care and intercession,' says the Catechism.


http://www.beliefnet.com/story/93/story_9314_1.html?WT.mc_id=NL24

The existence of angels--a truth of faith

The existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls "angels" is a truth of faith. The witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition.

Who are they?

St. Augustine says: "'Angel' is the name of their office, not of their nature. If you seek the name of their nature, it is 'spirit' if you seek the name of their office, it is 'angel': from what they are, 'spirit', from what they do, 'angel.'" [188] With their whole beings the angels are servants and messengers of God. Because they "always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven" they are the "mighty ones who do his word, harkening to the voice of his word". [189]

As purely spiritual creatures angels have intelligence and will: they are personal and immortal creatures, surpassing in perfection all visible creatures, as the splendour of their glory bears witness. [190]

Christ "with all his angels"

Christ is the centre of the angelic world. They are his angels: "When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him. " [191] They belong to him because they were created through and for him: "for in him all things were created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities - all things were created through him and for him." [192] They belong to him still more because he has made them messengers of his saving plan: "Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?" [193]


Angels have been present since creation and throughout the history of salvation, announcing this salvation from afar or near and serving the accomplishment of the divine plan: they closed the earthly paradise; protected Lot; saved Hagar and her child; stayed Abraham's hand; communicated the law by their ministry; led the People of God; announced births and callings; and assisted the prophets, just to cite a few examples. [194] Finally, the angel Gabriel announced the birth of the Precursor and that of Jesus himself. [195]
From the Incarnation to the Ascension, the life of the Word incarnate is surrounded by the adoration and service of angels. When God "brings the firstborn into the world, he says: 'Let all God's angels worship him.'" [196] Their song of praise at the birth of Christ has not ceased resounding in the Church's praise: "Glory to God in the highest!" [197] They protect Jesus in his infancy, serve him in the desert, strengthen him in his agony in the garden, when he could have been saved by them from the hands of his enemies as Israel had been.[198] Again, it is the angels who "evangelize" by proclaiming the Good News of Christ's Incarnation and Resurrection.[199] They will be present at Christ's return, which they will announce, to serve at his judgement. [200]

The angels in the life of the Church

[334] In the meantime, the whole life of the Church benefits from the mysterious and powerful help of angels. [201]

In her liturgy, the Church joins with the angels to adore the thrice-holy God. She invokes their assistance (in the Roman Canon's Supplices te rogamus. . .["Almighty God, we pray that your angel..."]; in the funeral liturgy's In Paradisum deducant te angeli. . .["May the angels lead you into Paradise. . ."]). Moreover, in the "Cherubic Hymn" of the Byzantine Liturgy, she celebrates the memory of certain angels more particularly (St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael, and the guardian angels).

From infancy to death human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession. [202] "Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life."[203] Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God.

madima answered on 05/02/06:

Thanks for the post, dear Loral :=)
I thank God everyday for His angels and how they have walked with me and kept me company all my life :=)

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Question/Answer
CeeBee2 asked on 04/23/06 - Walking a Labyrinth...............................

Hank's question about the spiral reminded me of the labyrinth that combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful path. One walks through a labyrinth, and each walk is a personal experience. How one walks and what one receives differs with each walk. Some people use the walk for clearing the mind and becoming centered. Others enter with a question or concern. The time walking to the center can be used for reflecting, meditating, or praying. The time walking out can be used to integrate what has been received. The walk can be healing or even a profound experience. Sometimes the walk is just a pleasant walk. Each time is different.

Have you ever walked a labyrinth?

madima answered on 04/23/06:

I have walked natural labyrinths in the wilderness and inside subterranean caves (and I've even dived through labyrinths in underwater canyons) :=)

Those in the forest are usually animal trails that cross and criss-cross each other. Those in the caves had been carved by the action of water through millions or even billions of years.

I have always felt that each walk is a pilgrimage. Each walk also "empties" me and helps me get centered.

Sometimes, I pray while walking in the forest or in the caves. Sometimes, I just want to listen to the sound of the animals, the wind in the foliage, the dripping of water in the rocks, or to the rhythm of my own breathing.

Actually, you don't need a labyrinth. Among Buddhist forest monks whom I visited in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, they routinely do "walking meditations". They walk back and forth in a straight line in front of their meditation cottages in the midst of the wilderness.

However, I favor labyrinths because I've always believed that life is never a straight line. It has its twists and turns, its blind alleys and secret passageways where you can confront your personal Minotaur - the very essence of your Shadow self, the authentic soul that your waking consciousness sometimes deny.

And THAT is what makes life so exciting :=)

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Question/Answer
purplewings asked on 04/06/06 - Is water God? A little long, but well worth it.

http://www.beliefnet.com/story/181/story_18181_1.html

Masaru Emoto’s water-crystal photos first appeared in his book “Messages From Water” in 1999 and have stirred huge interest ever since. Dr. Emoto, a doctor of alternative medicine in Japan, has done experiments that he believes prove that water is responsive to the vibration (in Japanese, hado) of human thoughts—whether in words or writing—as well as to music and prayer. His work was featured in the New Age hit “What the Bleep Do We Know?” Beliefnet’s Wendy Schuman spoke to Dr. Emoto through a translator about his new book "The Secret Life of Water" and what his theories imply for the well-being of our planet. For more on his work, visit www.hado.net.
When people see the photos of water crystals in your books, it has a strong effect on them. Why do you think it’s caught on?

One [reason] is that everybody has that memory of the mysteriousness of water. And the second, human beings all have the same idea or description of what beauty is, so they all understand this is beautiful.

With the tsunami and the hurricanes and flooding that occurred recently, what do you think is going on with water?

I personally think the water is angry at us.

Because of our treatment of water?

Even though we can’t live without water, water has given us so much. Water has given us life. But we never tried to learn anything about water, or understand about water. So obviously water was unhappy about it, water had complaints about it. I do believe that water and human beings can be understood in the same way. If we were water and were doing so much for people, and more and more they’re not caring about us…

So you think the strength of the hurricanes could be from lack of respect and gratitude to water?

The whole imbalance of energy begins on the surface of earth. Think how much the population has grown--to 6.3 billion people. Before when there were not as many people, these natural disasters did not happen as often. But now that we have these imbalances of energy on the surface of the earth, this makes more imbalance within the distribution of water too. So in one place you have droughts, whereas in the other place it’s flooded with water. And this I think has a direct connection with our own cultural imbalance, and that resonates with the natural imbalance, and creates this whole catastrophe [tsunamis, hurricanes] as well. All the information is stored within water.

How did you get the idea that sending thoughts or emotions to water can affect it?

I started out as a businessman [in Japan], importing a medical device from the U.S. to alleviate pain. My contact in the States was a biochemist, Dr. Lee Lorenzen, who was studying and developing a kind of water that could be used for healing. This water, called "microcluster" water, could be measured by a device which analyzes and transfers hado [vibrations]. I became a healer in my personal way. I was able to use water to help people get better, and I was very good at it. I had these firsthand experiences that made me believe that water has the ability to retain information [through hado]. This kind of information can actually be taken [into water] through pictures, photographs, written words, spoken words, music—all those things can affect water. And, of course, that includes prayers.

Could you explain how prayer affects water and give an example?

Yes, there are so many. One of the first ones that was very surprising was our experiment with Fujiwara Dam in 1997. A Buddhist monk said he would go down to the water to pray for the water so we can purify the water. The reason why we were there was to get the sample of water before and after the prayer ceremony and see any difference in crystals. But even before we did [the experiment on] the crystals, right in front of our eyes the water started becoming clear. It was becoming different. Later on, a week later, we found out that a woman’s body was found in the water; a day after that the killer was caught. When we came back to look at the crystals, the crystals before the prayer came up with an image that looked like a woman in agony. So we believe this is the woman’s spirit that was actually projected. We looked at the water after the prayer and the crystal changed drastically. It was one of the most beautiful crystals we’ve ever seen. Can we talk about another example?

Does it involve a dead body?

(Laughs) It’ll be a little happier this time. I’d like to talk about an experiment we did in 1999 in Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan. Dr. Nobuo Shioya, who was 97 at the time—he just turned 103 this year—he led 350 people for a prayer ceremony at this lake. At 4:30 that morning, 350 people from all over Japan came together and said the following words...

The Grand Declaration
The infinite power of the universe has been crystallized to create a world of truth and great harmony.

They all said that phrase 10 times. This was done July 25, but on Aug. 27 there was an article in the Kyoto newspaper, which reported that there was something odd about the lake this year. Usually because the lake is so polluted by mid-August it creates a really bad odor, and about 300 people will call to complain. But oddly that year nobody called. This was because of the foreign algae that grew too much and caused the death of other algae. It was the dead, decomposing algae that smelled so much. But because that year there was not an outbreak of “kokadanamo” [the foreign algae], other algae were able to survive, and they were able to harmoniously live together. The grand declaration that we all chanted was all about harmonious living, so it really made sense.

Had the water crystals changed?

We [had] seen the crystals as well, and they were different. We didn’t know how that really worked until the next April. There was a report in another newspaper about scientists being successful in clearing water using ultrasonic waves. They were able to put in 200 hz of frequency, and that cleared up the pond. That gives us the reason why this worked.

This ultrasonic wave within water creates tiny vibrations, and that creates tiny bubbles not visible to the naked eye. The toxins in water like dioxin and PCB enter the bubbles, and they burst. That energy actually causes these harmful chemicals to break down into each different element. I think this explains what happened in Lake Biwa experiment. Because our chant was about taking that energy from the ultimate universe, and we said this with our pure hearts, we all believed in this. So when we said the words—they were about 300 hz—it reached to ultimate space, it reached that existence that has maybe 200,000 hz and echoes back onto earth into the water of Lake Biwa. And [it] did a similar thing that the ultrasonic wave had done.

Why is it significant that human beings are 70% water?

The message from water is: Be aware of giving love and thanks. If you can do that, the water will be happy and it will shine within. And that will help bring happiness into your own life. Don’t be selfish, because if human beings are selfish, water will be selfish. And that will create an imbalance of energy. That imbalance will pile up and finally burst into destruction. But I understand that it’s difficult to have that idea of love and thanks all the time. So just being conscious about it makes a difference.

Many people in the West learned about your work in the movie “What the Bleep Do We Know,” and have embraced it as a hopeful sign, maybe even a message from God. Where does God fit into your ideas about water?

Until I was about 40 years old, I had no thought about God. But when I started researching water, I couldn’t deny the existence of God anymore. Everything is created by vibration within the water, this I know through my own personal experience. Then I had to start thinking about what had made that happen, and I thought that nothing in this world is really a coincidence. Everything made sense, everything was perfectly planned. I couldn’t deny the fact of the existence of something great out there. Because without that greatness there won’t be any life, there won’t be an earth, there won’t be a universe. So I do believe that vibration is what created everything.

When you look at the phrase in the Bible, “In the beginning was the Word”—I personally understand it as “In the beginning there was the vibration.” God created water as a messenger to spread the vibration [hado in Japanese] that will create everything throughout the world. Water was the medium to spread this vibration throughout the world and to actually create something concrete out of the vibration. I was lucky enough to find these vibrations visually in the water crystals, and by doing so it was like finding my third eye. And I was able to learn more and look deeper within. I realized that God exists within, just like many other people have said.

What can we do in our everyday lives to improve the conditions of water?

First thing, I recommend everyone ignore all the negative information out there, be it television, newspaper, radio, magazine, anything. Don’t even look at it. Second, when you do encounter water anytime, you should say, or at least feel, thank you to water, love for water. Third, you should always be conscious of creating that positive vibration, either via positive information through the Internet, or maybe before you go to sleep and say out loud positive words with the intention of creating peace in the world.

madima answered on 04/07/06:

Thanks for posting this, dear loral. I don't really regard water as a God, but more of as an essence of what I am and the world that I live in.

From my own range of human experience, I feel that I am water just as I am fire and earth and air :=)

Personally, I don't think that the tsunami and the floods are manifestations of water's anger at humanity. For me, they are just manifestations of water's great power and part of the natural cycle of creation and destruction.

The fire cycles - volcanic eruption, the forest blazes, the wind storms and the dust storms are the same...

I have known water in many of its forms and moods... as over 20-footer waves that played with my boat, as sweet mountain spring that I drink, as rain that I bathe in, as an eternal blue world that harbors the coral gardens I dive in, the sharks and whales and dolphins that I pursue... Water heals me and speaks to me.

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Question/Answer
CeeBee2 asked on 03/29/06 - Christian funeral.................................

Do you think this is a worthy poem to have read at my funeral?

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there,
I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight
On the ripened grain.
I am the gentle Autumn's rain.

When you awaken in the morning hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there.
I did not die.

madima answered on 03/29/06:

It is worthy, dear Carol :=)

I wouldn't want my own death to be a time for grieving. It should be a celebration of my life, one that is well-lived.

The Hopis live very close to Mother Nature and it shows in their attitude towards life and death. And I can understand the meaning of the poem very well from the way I felt when papa died.

On that night, I was trekking alone in the heart of the jungle in Thailand and I felt that the whole forest, every living creature therein, is embracing me. A wild tiger showed itself to me, wild elephants and fierce Asian bears... But I never felt so protected, so loved in all my life. It was a very strange, yet very exhilerating experience...as if angels walked with me every step of the way...

I did not know at the time that the only man I ever really loved has died in mama's arms. (Well... I think I knew deep in my heart long before, I had all the premonitions, etc. but refused to entertain the thought.) There was no way that mama or anyone can reach me in the jungle. But papa did.

He is in everything that I love. He is love. Somehow, he saw to it that I will get the message. His job as a father is done and done well. He even lived almost half a century more than he expected to. I should not shed tears for him.

I wouldn't want those who love me to grieve for me too when I die :=)

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Question/Answer
ladybugca asked on 03/20/06 - in need of prayer

my dad is in need of prayer for he is dieing,the doctors say they dont know how he is still living.he can no longer see he cant walk no more and he cant talk.he has brain cancer and of the lungs, i guess what i am asking for is that he is not surffing.i dont know if he is saved or not so please say a prayer that someone can get through to him before it is to late.i thank everyone for your prayers and may the lord bless you all.

madima answered on 03/21/06:

Dear Mary, you and your family are in my prayers.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 02/10/06 - JUST WONDERING ...

... if a person can go through life being highly intelligent while being dumb as a rock? (I know about street smarts)

HANK

madima answered on 02/12/06:

Sure, dear Hank :=)

If you equate "high intelligence" with high Intelligence Quotient (I.Q.)- the number used to express the apparent relative intelligence of a person that is the ratio multiplied by 100 of the mental age as reported on a standardized test to the chronological age, then I would say "yes".

Having a high I.Q. or even a genius level I.Q. does not guarantee that a person will have common sense or even an adequate E.Q. (Emotional Quotient), to make him/her tolerable to live with or enjoy a measure of success in his/her life.

Some of the world's most notorious criminals and serial killers showed above average IQ when tested. Their exceptional I.Q. did not enable them to control their destructive nature and even helped them in stalking their prey.

Likewise, idiot savants rate very high on IQ tests and they are geniuses with numbers/music, although they are classified as mentally retarded or autistic. They can never live normal lives.

I have known a good number of people who are members of MENSA, the organization for those with high IQ - the top 2 per cent of the population. Some of them are self-made millionaires, brilliant in business but dumb when it comes to their choices of a mate and utter failures in their domestic lives, among other things.

I believe that being "intelligent" - having a high I.Q. - does not make one an intellectual, nor does it give one common sense :=)

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 02/08/06 - PEER PRESSURE - SOLUTIONS:

Great article about PEER PRESSURE:

"There is much you can do to help your teen resist negative peer pressure. The following are some of the best ways to help. • First, teach your teen by your own good example. Don't smoke, drink too much or drive too fast. Say no to friends when you need to. The teen can see that it's possible to say no and still have friends, to be sober and still have fun. • Second, practice assertiveness skills. Rehearse for the times when your teen will have to say no in a difficult situation when you can't be there to help. • Third, explore your teen's fears of being different. Saying no can make one feel different, and it's scary to face possible ridicule and rejection. Discuss what makes a true friend and how daring to be different can be mature and courageous. • Finally, help your teen find positive ways to feel good. Saying yes to self-esteem, enhancing hobbies, interests and activities can help him say no to harmful quick fixes. Standing up to peer pressure is one of life's greatest challenges. Your teen needs your loving help."

Source: "Helping Your Teen Resist Peer Pressure" - by Kathy McCoy, Ph.D.

Some parents need to copy this article and 'magnate' this advice to your refrigerator! Do you agree?

HANK

madima answered on 02/08/06:

Dear Hank,

When I was a teen, I never really felt peer pressure. I set my own standards and abided by them without as much as a thought about my peers :=)

In truth, I never thought much about my peers because I can always get my way with people my age and was held in esteem even by those younger and those older than me, as early as I can remember.

To my parents' credit, they never smoked, never drank alcohol, or took drugs, never swore, and by doing so made themselves the best role model for me.

Furthermore, they encouraged me in everything that I did and reinforced my belief that I SHOULD be different because I am unique as an individual. Nobody else should be like me :=)

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Question/Answer
purplewings asked on 02/06/06 - Two newish experts about to tangle? Jackreade & HerrAirhorn...

HerrAirhorn - Jack, don't make fun of HerrAirhorn, for you vill regret it zumday.

Is the weather affecting everyone here? Anyone want to tangle with me?

madima answered on 02/06/06:

I'll bring you Mek, to tangle with! :=)

He's the Royal Bengal tiger from the Temple of the Tigers at Karnchanaburi, Thailand. I will tangle with him when I visit his home next week, dearest Loral :=)

Now, that's a handful of fur to tangle with! All 500 pounds of him! He's been brought up by Buddhist monks in the monastery, along with over 15 other tigers rescued from poachers, and is supposed to be gentle. Nevertheless,he's still a tiger! :=)

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Question/Answer
purplewings asked on 02/05/06 - Meditation and prayer-What's it all about Alfie?

Why is it such a big deal for people? Is it because it's all neccessary to maintain the structure we desperately need?

Since God already knows what we've done, why, and even sees our hearts....why does prayer seem so important to us?

...and why meditate at all?

madima answered on 02/06/06:

Dear Loral,

It's no big deal to me, really :=)

And my life is anything but structured :=)

Prayer is as natural to me as conversation. It IS a conversation, as normal as one I would have with my parents, or my best friends. It is one-way, most of the time, inasmuch as I don't get to "hear" an answer the way I would in an ordinary dialogue... But sometimes, you just love to talk and the other party does not have to answer. It's just enough that he listens, or you get to believe he's genuinely listening.

I pray as soon as I wake up. But then, since I was a child, whenever I'm at home, the first thing that papa and mama would do when they wake up is to check if I'm up, kiss me and talk to me... They do the same thing before I sleep... I guess that's the same way I relate to my God, whom I regard the same way as my parents, anyway :=)

Meditation... I don't need it, I don't deliberately allocate a time for it... it just comes to me like prayers, naturally...

When I'm walking alone, riding in a bus on my way to my beat, or anywhere, when I'm writing, painting or doing anything relaxing, even just plain "looking at something", I just fall into a hypnotic rhythm. I can actually feel my heartbeat slowing down, making me conscious of nothing but my breathing until everything seems to stop, my mind is emptied, my brain ceases its endless chatter and I'm enveloped in that indescribably sweet inner stillness :=)

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 02/04/06 - A Professional right NOT to deliver service


Hello Christians:

Let's say I was a cab driver, and I picked up a passenger who wanted to go to a bar. If I didn't believe in drinking, could I refuse to take him?

Let's say I was a waiter, and I had a very fat customer order a rich dessert. If I didn't believe in overeating, could I refuse his order?

Let's say I was a garbage collector, and I had some customers who were throwing out some very good stuff. Could I refuse to pick it up if I believed in using stuff till it wears out?

Let's say I worked at McDonalds, and I observed a lady abuse her children. Could I refuse to serve her because I don't believe in hitting children?

Let's say I don't smoke............

excon

madima answered on 02/04/06:


Definitely, you can :=)

I'm a journalist, but I can refuse to write about things that do not interest me or things I judge to be not worth my time. I refuse to kowtow to the sacred cows of my newspaper and nobody, not even my section editor, my editor-in-chief, my publisher or the owner of the paper can force me.

Of course, I don't own my newspaper and if I refuse to do an assignment or if I hit hard at the paper's sacred cows, or expose the wrongdoings of companies that are major advertisers or "secret stockholders" of my paper, I can get in BIG trouble. And I have been in trouble, many times :=)

Definitely, if my editor catches me, he can always kill my controversial story - and I have had many of my stories killed since I started my career...

But then, I can always put them out in other publications (and I have) or I can "bury" the "expose" either in the middle or in the tail-end of my story for my dear newspaper, which happens to be the biggest English broadsheet here... That ploy got my editor in VERY hot waters more than once... You see, there are a million ways of exercising your free will even if you do not own the world... :=)

If they force me to "sing praises" to corrupt officials and no-good companies who are huge advertisers, I can always say no (and I have) or delay the submission till kingdom come. The editor will have no choice but to toss the assignment to another reporter or write it himself.

Well, I can afford to say "no" because I have already established a good track record, I know I am very good at what I do. And I have no vested interests to protect.

I am not afraid of losing my job either because I know, I'll never be out of job... And my employers know that too! :=)

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Question/Answer
FormerJesusHelper76 asked on 01/28/06 - Fasting?

Fasting? What are the different reasons why people fast. What is taught spiritually about fasting? Have any of you have had any experiance with fasting? Your thoughts greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!

Joe

madima answered on 01/28/06:

I fast to detoxify my system.

In today's society, we are exposed to so much high-fat food and junk that our bodies do not really need. I feel my body periodically needs a "break" from all these. And I listen to what my body tells me.

I'm usually in fasting mode when I'm painting or writing "intensively", mostly during week-ends when I'm not traveling.

Actually, in these circumstances, "fasting" is quite practical. I don't know how to cook and I live alone, so it's easier to just take bread/crackers or water/milk/juice three times a day, when my stomach rumbles. It saves a lot of time and I don't lose my momentum working.

In a "creative mode", when all I do is either sit and paint on a canvas, or sit and type on a keyboard, my body requires little by way of fuel. And it's easier to be creative when your body feels "light" and your system does not have to allocate so much energy to digest and convert bulkloads of material.

However, when I am trekking, mountaineering or scuba diving in cold weather, I force myself to consume complex carbohydrates to fortify my physical defenses and boost my stamina. I actually bulk up several days before a strenuous activity.

As for the spiritual aspect... When you fast, you take away your attention from food for the physical body, so at a certain point, you get a temporary "high".

In the practice of mysticism, it is also quite known that food and sleep deprivation forces "open" the psychic centers of the body.

The "third eye", being an individual's last line of defense, opens automatically when both body and mind are weakened or debilitated, to see to it that the person survives.

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Question/Answer
hOPE12 asked on 01/25/06 - Love, and Peace between all!

Hello Everyone,

What does Love mean to you personally?
Should we love those only who love us?
Shoule we love all people even if they think differently then we do?
Do you feel that love can be extended to all people? If so, why? If not, Why?

What is peace to you?
Should we extend peace to all people?
Can we offer our peace without giving into preasure from others and without standing up for what is right?
What if another does not wish to be peaceable with you, what can you do?

Take care,
Hope12 Think about this board when answering the
above questions. :)

madima answered on 01/25/06:

Love is just goodwill, the desire for the good of another, though of course, people have countless styles of loving.

My own primary personal love style is Eros -a passionate, highly idealistic love which burns high and burns fast, the love of an artist for a Muse, for what is beautiful and uplifting.

My secondary love style, according to the tests I took, is ludic-eros, a combination of idealistic love and playful love. My tertiary love style is ludus.

Unfortunately, I don't recall if I have even the slightest trace of Agape, which is the love of saints, the kind of love that Christians value.

Well, there are people and creatures whom I love but whom, I'm sure, do not love me. How can they, when they don't even know I exist? I love the creatures of the forests, the mountains and the seas. I still love some teachers who have long died and who could never love me back. But I don't care. When you love, you just love because you want to. That's all there is to it.

Sure, I love people who have faiths and beliefs different than mine. The difference, for me, just makes it all the more exciting. Besides, I look beyond the mirror and love not only those who approximate my reflection :=)

The fact that I can do that is evidence that you can extend love to everyone and everything - if you want to.

Peace is just inner stillness. If I'm at the state of perfect peace, which I sometimes achieve, I find that I can make people around me calm down too - without even trying.

When you are at peace, nobody and nothing can pressure you. You don't care about internal or external pressure because you are completely insulated from everything.

If another does not wish to be peaceable with me, there's nothing I can do about it, dear Hope. That's his/her problem, not mine. I'm at peace with myself and with the world, what more can I want? :=)

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 01/22/06 - To smack or not to smack - that is the question!




Total smacking ban demand

Jan 22 2006



Britain's four child commissioners have called for a total ban on the smacking of children in the UK.

In a joint statement, the commissioners for England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales said there was "no room for compromise" on the issue.

An amendment to the Children Bill outlawing the "hitting" of youngsters was rejected in the House of Commons in November 2004.

The Bill instead allowed mild smacking, while barring any physical punishment which caused visible bruising.

But the commissioners criticised the attempt to define "acceptable" smacking and said that the UK was still falling foul of European human rights standards.


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The statement said: "Children have the same right as adults to respect for their human dignity and physical integrity and to equal protection under the law, in the home and everywhere else.

"There is no room for compromise, for attempting to define 'acceptable' smacking."

It added: "We call upon Government to allow further debate and free votes in the relevant parliamentary assemblies to introduce legislation that will ban the defence of reasonable chastisement throughout the UK."

Peter Clarke, children's commissioner for Wales, said a free Parliamentary vote was needed because it was an "issue of conscience".

Mr Clarke said: "(The 2004 vote) was not a free vote and we would like a free vote because we think it is an issue of conscience. We think that a free vote would be different. We want to remove the law of reasonable chastisement so that the common law of assault applies to children as it does to adults."

===

My personal view is that smacking is a result of parental failure to cope with and teach the child in other ways.

Nanny 911 has demonstrated that physical violence towards children, even in the smallest degree, is not only unnecessary also counter-productive.

===

Agree?



madima answered on 01/22/06:

Totally agree, dear Ronnie :=)

My parents never smacked me. But then I was never that unruly. I never had to be.

Funny, I have observed that smacking is not effective, even with hand-raised baby animals, domestic or wild. Saying "No" firmly, silence, stopping play and other non-reinforcement of a negative behavior is much more effective.

If that's true with animals, what more with humans?

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 01/21/06 - "A rosebush by any other name .... "



Nepal's shrewd, smooth operator
By Rabindra Mishra
BBC Nepali Service

The lifting of the state of emergency
by King Gyanendra three months after his meticulously planned royal coup may have come as a welcome move for many both inside and outside the country.

However, the king's move has to be seen in the wider context of his political and diplomatic manoeuvring in which he appears to be moving towards the outcome he has carved out for himself.

Immediately after taking over state power on 1 February, he silenced any possible backlash within the country by declaring a state of emergency and severely curtailing fundamental rights.

At the same time he tried to impress upon the general public that his move was genuinely aimed at restoring peace and re-starting the democratic process, which, ironically, he derailed after he sacked the elected government in October 2002.

And many ordinary Nepalis, fed up with the infighting among politicians and their inability to deal with the country's civil war, still seem to be prepared to give the king the benefit of the doubt.

The king knew he could not control international reaction but he has made it clear that "they will have to say what they have to say, and I will have to do what I have to do".

This attitude has been well reflected in many of the king's moves.

Despite domestic and international pressure to restore basic rights, he has appointed two of the country's most staunch royalists as senior aides in the cabinet, named regional administrators to consolidate his power and has taken several political leaders into custody under various pretexts.

He has also snubbed India, Nepal's strongest international critic.

For nearly two months the king refused to grant an audience to the Indian ambassador, who wanted to convey his government's concern about the king's move.

After the royal takeover, India, along with the United States (LOL) and Britain, froze all military aid to the Himalayan kingdom.

India's non-cooperation would have been of particular concern for Kathmandu as Delhi is the key provider of military assistance to the Royal Nepalese Army.

But the king did not want to be seen as worried by Delhi's reaction.

Instead, he tried to play off China against India - something his father, King Mahendra, had done in the 1960s. And he knows his father won that diplomatic tussle.

After King Mahendra sacked the elected government and took control of state power in 1960, the then Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, told the Indian parliament that the king's move was "a complete reversal of democratic process" in Nepal.

However, within six months of the dismissal of the government, India had signed four aid agreements with Nepal and normal friendship had been re-established.

The present king is probably hoping for a similar about-turn.

There are indications, especially after the king's meeting with the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, on the sidelines of the Afro-Asian summit in Indonesia, that Delhi is indeed changing its mind, slowly but surely.

Nevertheless, Delhi has made it clear that the pace of change will be quicker if the king speedily restores fundamental rights.

And this is exactly the impression the king wants to give to the world community, especially India, by lifting the state of emergency.

It may be little more than shrewd manoeuvring given the fact that the lifting of the emergency will not affect press censorship, imposed through separate legislation introduced after the royal takeover.

Similarly, those currently in detention will not be released if they were arrested under the Public Security Act.

Immediately after the lifting of the emergency the government also announced that no demonstrations, public meetings and picketing would be allowed in several places within the Kathmandu valley.

At the same time, the king has made it clear that the all-powerful Royal Commission for Corruption Control is there to stay. Yet he seems to be in complete control of the situation.

His morale must have also been boosted further by setbacks the Maoist rebels have suffered at the hands of the government army in two major battles since his 1 February takeover.

The king has been repeatedly emphasising that the people and the international community must choose either him or the rebels, whom he always refers to as criminals.

And, it seems, many are ready to choose him - despite the conditions attached.

=====


Are they a pair of brothers, or what?


madima answered on 01/21/06:

Dear Ronnie,

If you are an ant between two elephants, the king of a tiny kingdom sandwiched between the two most populous nations on earth, and you can't even trust your own blood - remember Gyanendra's nephew murdered his own family and then killed himself, I guess you'll have to be a very smooth operator, if you want to hold on to your crown :=)

I am particularly interested in his kingdom because I am considering a solo three week trek to the base of Mt. Everest via Nepal this year. They have more established routes than Tibet. But many people are trying to dissuade me, however.

Some women - all Westerners - do trek there alone to this day. But the Maoist rebels reportedly waylay tourists and trekkers, asking for money and goods, although I have yet to hear of murders and kidnappings being committed.

So, the king is not totally in control, you might say. The rebels still rule the foothpaths - which are the only way in and out of Kathmandu. The air service is said to be still unreliable most times.

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 01/20/06 - Can you prove that you are alive?





Chilly welcome for Indian 'ghost'
By Faisal Mohammad Ali
BBC News, Bhopal

Raju Raghuvanshi's house in Mandla,
Madhya Pradesh
Relatives say they were surprised to see Mr Raghuvanshi
An Indian man is being refused entry to his house - because his family say he is a spirit come back to haunt them.

Raju Raghuvanshi was greeted with cries of "ghost" and neighbours locking doors when he returned from a short spell in jail to his village in Madhya Pradesh.

He had fallen ill in prison and was taken to hospital. Relatives heard he had died and performed his last rites.

Now, unable to convince them he is alive and well, he is staying nearby and has asked the police for help.


I have now to prove that I am alive - but I will have them punished
Raju Raghuvanshi

Mr Raghuvanshi told the BBC his cousins had denied him entry to his house in the village of Katra, in Mandla district about 300km (200 miles) from state capital Bhopal, despite his protests.

They even dismissed his pleas that he could not be a spirit because his feet were properly attached to his body and not turned backwards, a characteristic which locals ascribe to ghosts.

The 45-year-old said his cousins insisted they had performed his last rites as required and so he should not come back to haunt them.

Exaggerated rumour

Mr Raghuvanshi, who is unmarried with no living parents or brothers, has had to move to the nearby village of Bamni while he struggles to convince his cousins to let him come home.

Map showing Mandla district in India's Madhya Pradesh state

"I have now to prove that I am alive," he said. "But I will have them punished."

Mr Raghuvanshi has turned to the police for help has now filed a case for defamation against his family.

His lawyer, Maonhar Soni, said the refusal of relatives to accept that his client is alive could also be because of Mr Raghuvanshi's property and the few acres of land that he owns.

The rumour that he had died and been cremated started when he fell ill and was transferred from prison to a hospital in another town for treatment, police chief NV Vayangankar said.

Ganeshi, the wife one of Mr Raghuvanshi's cousins, said that when they heard of his death they had informed the village elders, who had told them to carry out the rituals immediately.

"Later on he turned up and we were surprised to see him," she said.

Rural India remains deeply traditional and many believe that a dead man's spirit will not rest until the last rites are performed.

In this case, the last rites have happened and it is not clear what proof the villagers need to accept that Mr Raghuvanshi is alive.

===

If you know how to prove that you are alive, how would you advise this gentleman to prove that he is alive?

madima answered on 01/20/06:

Dear Ronnie,

For this poor guy, I don't think it's a matter of proving himself alive.

I think it's a matter of his kins wanting him to stay dead. I'd say, it's an issue of greed.

They have, after all, given him all the proper rites, "buried" him and most importantly, they must have already apportioned, if not sold, his property. He has no right to ruin their plans of living the rest of their lives without the burden of his company.

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 01/20/06 - The "ear" of God


Hello Christians:

A noted evangelical summed up his views of pre-war sermons by the church, and wrote about them in the NY Times. This is what he thinks they said: "Our president is a real brother in Christ, and because he has discerned that God's will is for our nation to be at war against Iraq, we shall gloriously comply."

Do you agree with his summation? Did you agree with the viewpoint? Do you agree with the viewpoint now?

Yes bucker, I know you do.

In a similar vein, and I might as well ask it here, I saw a report on the news last night about a woman who had sex with some well known evangelical, Bishop Paulk, for 14 years, all the while believing that, because he had the "ear" of God, it was God telling her to screw him. She didn’t look like a slut.

Does God SPEAK to anyone? Who? Bucker?

excon

madima answered on 01/20/06:

I believe that God speaks to anyone and everyone through the voice of conscience.

But of course, as in every network, corporeal or ethereal, the message gets lost - if not in the "translation" then in the "deciphering".

Most often, we hear only what we want to hear, especially when we already have a definite mindset, or in the case of heads of state, a political agenda :=)

If I were a head of state who has commissions on a multi-billion dollar arms deal, thoughts of repaying weapons manufacturers to whom I am beholden, and dollar signs in my eyes, even if I "hear" God's voice telling me, "Make peace with all men," I will "discern" it with my particular self-interest in mind.

"Why, dear God! Before we can make peace, we must first kill all the enemies! How else can my compadres sell all their bombs and their war planes? I shall obey you most promptly and declare war right now. That way, we shall have peace!"

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Question/Answer
revdauphinee asked on 01/20/06 - Bloopers from Sunday School Students



The greatest miracle in the Bible is when Joshua told his son to stand still and he obeyed him.


Solomon, one of David's sons, has 300 wives and 700 porcupines.


Jesus enunciated the Golden Rule, which says to do one to others before they do one to you. He also explained, "Man doth not live by sweat alone."


It was a miracle when Jesus rose from the dead and managed to get the tombstone off the entrance.

madima answered on 01/20/06:

I loved that! Especially the last one!!!! Jeez! It must be heavy! Several tons of solid rock!!!! :=)

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 01/17/06 - JUST WONDERING ...

... how HUMILIATION can be instilled in a person.

HANK

madima answered on 01/17/06:

Dear Hank,

Do you mean how can one feel humiliated?

Humiliation is very derogatory in connotation. It can be an act you deliberately bring on yourself when you have a low self-esteem or just being masochistic or it can be something that others bring on you with the sadistic intent of taking you down by a notch or making you feel bad because they have the illusion that they are superior or feel insecure about themselves that they need to trample on other's egos to feel good.

Humility, the quality of being humble, is a virtue that should be instilled from youth. People who are truly confident about themselves, their inner strengths and their place in the world are usually humble because they know they do not need to flaunt what they have.

But humiliation is a despicable act that one should not bring on others or on one's self.

Humiliation being an act, not a quality can never be instilled in an individual or in the self. You can only bring on a sense of humiliation in yourself or others. But ethically, you shouldn't.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 01/14/06 - Miracle Pill

Updated: 07:15 PM EST
'Trauma Pill' Could Make Memories Less Painful
By MARILYNN MARCHIONE, AP

Researchers say the pill would reduce the effect of stress hormones that etch unpleasant events into memory.


(Jan. 14) - ""Suppose you could erase bad memories from your mind. Suppose, as in a recent movie, your brain could be wiped clean of sad and traumatic thoughts.

That is science fiction. But real-world scientists are working on the next best thing. They have been testing a pill that, when given after a traumatic event like rape, may make the resulting memories less painful and intense.

Will it work? It is too soon to say. Still, it is not far-fetched to think that this drug someday might be passed out along with blankets and food at emergency shelters after disasters like the tsunami or Hurricane Katrina.""



What do you think of a pill to reduce the intensity of terrible events, traumatic events that can ruin a person's life????

madima answered on 01/14/06:

Dear Mary Sue,

Unfortunately, if you will believe some psychologists, the problem is not just with the memory of our own life events that we store and sublimate. We are not really "alone" inside our heads.

Each of us also holds the memory of the "collective". Our consciousness, especially in the altered state, can access the collective unconscious - and in some instances, the superconscious.

We can access the memories of humankind, other people, other races, even the generations that have lived before us.

This, they say, is the reason why some people who do not even have any prior history of trauma, can be prone to depression, violence, etc.

The "collective consciousness" holds much wisdom of the ages. But it also holds much darkness.

So, even if scientists can find a pill to "wipe out" an individual's immediate past life history, there's no way they can prevent the individual from dreaming and accessing other-consciousness in the altered states.

Since time immemorial, our own ego already found its own way to "erase" trauma. That's why we have the so called "sublimation" of memories as a psychological defense mechanism. But the repressed memories always find a way to sneak back, especially in dreams and during hypnosis.

Man can always manipulate his conscious mind. The pills can work there. But he can never fathom and tame his subconscious.

The best way to deal with trauma is still to uproot it, no matter how painful it is, no matter how long it takes, and learn to deal with it on the conscious level.

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Question/Answer
ROLCAM asked on 01/14/06 - What do you want?

If Jesus asked you :- What do you want ?
What will your answer be ?

madima answered on 01/14/06:

I'd say, if He so wills it, can He please bring the rains to Kenya now and the rest of Africa to end the suffering there?

Can He please stop the wanton killing of endangered creatures and the destruction of nature... and end the wars that plague mankind?

But it's just wishing on my part and of course, if He does not answer, I'll understand.

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 01/13/06 - An odd ball, or should I say “tossed”, religion >< >< ><

Frisbeetarianism…………………
Do you feel that you are being tossed from on thing to another during life?
Are you being tossed back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, from one day to the next?
Is your life mainly Back and forth from home to work to home to work?
And at work going from one thing to another then back again?
Maybe even at play or pleasure you go back and for from one activity to another such as from the table to the bar and back again, or while playing tennis back and forth goes the ball while you are going from the far court to the net and back again?
If so then perhaps you need to believe in Frisbeetarianism.
In that you believe then when you die your soul goes up….
Up in the roof that is, and it gets stuck there.

madima answered on 01/13/06:

No way. My life does not have the pattern of a frisbee being tossed back and forth. Never did :=)

My life has never been routine, even from the beginning. It follows a rhythm of its own, though never predictable, like the tides of the oceans that I love.

Sometimes it takes me up on tsunami-sized waves, sometimes it lets me rest on a serene, glassy surface, sometimes it takes me to the greatest depths or sets me adrift on the shallows... But I'm always on the move, always in different places, constantly learning and hungering for more.

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 01/13/06 - Are your cell phone call records secure? No! No way!

I see on the news today that anyone can buy other people’s cell phone records even if the caller has a password for his cell phone calls.
Where is the ACLU when you need them?
Answer: Out harassing Christianity and troubling traditional Americana.
Peace and kindness,
Fred.

madima answered on 01/13/06:

From what I know, the cellular companies in my country "erase" their records every few months or so. Or else it will clog their networks.

We only have over 30 million cellular subscribers but the volume of calls, SMS and MMS are great - millions by the day. It will be extremely expensive for the cellular service providers to "store" all the data even if their network capacity is into the petabytes or even by the yottabytes (which is not the case at present).

I know you can have a password for locking the keypad of your cellphone so other people can't just dial or use it. But I haven't heard of a password for cellphone calls and I've been using cellphones for ten years now.

While those manning the networks of a cellular service provider can indeed "tap" into calls, it is not that easy to retrieve entire cellphone records of ordinary citizens past a given period, nor is it that cheap or hassle-free for the party who will order it.

I know of people who tried :=)

But of course, in America, there might be other ways! :=)

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 01/13/06 - Just a simple request?

Friends. I'm beginning a journey to central China tomorrow and I would appreciate your prayers. I have heard there might have been an earthquake somewhere near my destination, so I would appreciate an uninterrupted journey. When I get back I'll tell you what this is about but in the meantime, please keep my son and myself in your prayers please.

This might be a sample of what I will have to put up with

Should Someone Ask For Your Father

By: asianjoke.com


A man who was going away for some time enjoined his son: "If anyone asks for me, you can tell him that your father has been called away to attend to a minor matter and be sure to ask him in for a cup of tea."

Afraid that his idiotic son might forget his instructions, he wrote them down upon a slip of paper and gave it to his son, who tucked it into his sleeve and took it out to look at every now and then.

Three days passed without anyone coming to see his father. Thinking that he had no more use for that slip of paper, the boy committed it to the flames. On the fourth day, however, an unexpected visitor dropped in.

"Where is your father?" asked the visitor.

The boy immediately put his hand into his sleeve and fished around for the slip of paper. As he could not find it, he ejaculated:"No More."

Taken aback, the visitor asked:

"No more? When did it happen?"

"Burnt last night."

madima answered on 01/13/06:

Have a great trip, Brian. You're in our prayers... If this is your first time there... Don't worry about the earthquake but be careful about the water.

I've been in China four times last year. Keep your ears open...The food is heavenly but bear in mind that their English is not that great. I nearly fell from my seat when my hostess offered me "Flied lice" at dinner... It turned out she meant "fried rice"! :=)

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Question/Answer
CeeBee2 asked on 01/11/06 - Beauty or Truth

John Keats (1795-1821) wrote at the end of "Ode on a Grecian Urn,"

Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st, 'Beauty is truth, truth beauty-—that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.'

Is beauty truth and truth beauty? If not, why not? If you had to choose one or the other to rule your life, which would you choose and why?

madima answered on 01/11/06:

Truth is not necessarily beautiful, in my opinion, and what is beautiful is not necessarily true.

Suffering is a truth of human existence. It has never been beautiful for most of us, not when we see how it devours others, most especially the people and creatures we love.

Physical beauty is most often an illusion. In a woman, it can be a function of skillful make-up, good clothes and accessories - or it can be the skill of a great plastic surgeon. Just as the beauty that you see onstage is a trick of lights and paints. I should know, because I grew up in the theatre :=)

But both truth and beauty rules my life. It cannot be otherwise. Truth is inescapable, whether you choose to live by it or not.

Beauty, on the other hand, is something you choose to find... I find it everywhere in the most ordinary people, things and places precisely for that reason :=)

Keats has always been my favorite poet but what I really favor are his lines in Endymion: "A thing of beauty is a joy forever, its loveliness increases, it will never, pass into nothingness but still will keep, a bower quiet for us and a sleep."

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 01/07/06 - Got a Cell Phone? Court order - Dubya's guys may be listening.

Posted 1:00 AM Eastern
by David Bresnahan
January 3, 2006
NewsWithViews.com
Summary: Despite three court rulings that cell phone tracking by government agencies without a court order is illegal, a fourth court ruling has now authorized blanket spying. The government can now use cell phone data to track physical location, without a search warrant or probable cause.
NEW YORK -- A federal court issued an opinion permitting government agencies to use cell phone data to track a cell phone's physical location, without a search warrant based on probable cause.
The ruling seems to be in line with recent revelations about President Bush authorizing secret, warrantless wiretaps. The court opinion on Dec. 20, 2005 went largely unnoticed by the media or the public, but may have major ramifications on privacy rights and issues.
Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein of the United States District Court, Southern District of New York issued the opinion, despite three previous rulings to the contrary by other judges. There is no party to appeal, so the ruling paves the way for government agencies in all states to begin cell phone tracking without legal difficulty.
There was only one party in each case that was rejected by other courts, the same party in the case that was given approval -- the Department of Justice. The DOJ did not appeal the cases it lost, and there is no party to appeal the case it won.
"What other new surveillance powers has the government been creating out of whole cloth and how long have they been getting away with it?" commented the non-profit Electronic Frontier Foundation on it's web site.
The DOJ revealed an attitude that a court order is not needed in the brief submitted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Brown: "A cell phone user voluntarily transmits a signal to the cell phone company, and thereby 'assumes the risk' that the cell phone provider will reveal to law enforcement the cell-site information."
When the issue comes up in other courts there will be no case of appeal for judges to review for guidance, creating the more likely situation that each subsequent case will be easier and easier for the DOJ and other government agencies to win, say legal analysts commenting in various blogs.
Legitimate needs for tracking have been used by commercial vendors and government agencies to justify monitoring of all consumers with a cell phone. The checks and balances put in place to protect individual privacy, such as court orders, are in jeopardy by blanket use of tracking systems that have no accountability, according to government watchdog groups and privacy advocates.

madima answered on 01/08/06:

Here in my country, they managed to tap the cellphone call of no less than our very own President when she was trying to manipulate the election results :=)

You must have heard of the "Hello, Garci" tapes... It made the rounds nationwide and was even sold as a ringtone.

Well, I'm a telecom reporter and I cover the cellphone duopoly here. The husband of a good friend heads the network division of one carrier and we found out he tracked his wife (before they got married recently - he's quite a jealous man) when she refused to see him and disclose her whereabouts after a big spat.

You can track the physical location of a person only for as long as that person's cellphone is on and for as long as that person is within the range of a cellsite. But the location is not that specific. The range of a cellsite spans many kilometers, so it's still like looking for a needle in a haystack, the subject's specific location can't really be pinpointed.

Everybody taps into everybody else - the government, the networks, everyone who has access to somebody in either of them or both.

Unfortunately, I don't think anyone can do anything about it. If you do not want to be "tracked", don't turn your cellphone on, or just don't use cellphones.

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Question/Answer
ATON2 asked on 12/20/05 - That time again!

Family:
Will be heading South for the Holidays tomorrow. May be incommunicado for a short while. In the meantime I want to wish you all, a Happy, Healty...Kwansannukamas!!!!

Or as Tiny Tim was heard to mutter under his breath:
"God help us, everyone...here comes that damn Plumb pudding again".

madima answered on 12/20/05:

Merry Christmas!!! Have a great holiday!!! :=)

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Question/Answer
ROLCAM asked on 12/18/05 - Have you ever been touched by an angel ?

Touched By An Angel?

The popular perception that Angels are whimsical, social do-gooders, childish cherubs or simple go-for’s, is completely false. The Bible makes clear that righteous angels are sent forth from the throne of God as powerful ministering spirits to assure that God's plan for mankind is accomplished.

madima answered on 12/18/05:

I've been embraced by my angels, warmed by them when I got cold, lulled to sleep when I had a bout with insomnia... among countless other things they have done for me.

I feel they sit with me when I'm painting, they walk with me when I go out alone in the wilderness or even in the streets of every city I visit... they dive with me to the blue waters when I go chasing after sharks and whales...

Whenever I feel tired or unwell - which is rare - I just ask them to tuck me under their great wings, where I feel safest :=)

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 12/18/05 - A GIFT FOR YOURSELF AT CHRISTMAS:

"It is difficult to watch couples in love when your relationship is not working well, or if you are single and don’t want to be. It is difficult to see others spend money if you have none or are struggling. Making peace with unfulfilled desires is not the same as giving up on your dream or surrendering to never having it fulfilled. It is simply a way of having peace now, one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. This is not the same as denial. Peace is acceptance, a fundamental way of embracing reality as it is right now. Peace frees you up to take action to cause different results in the future."

Source: Third Age Blog

Are you going to give yourself this Christmas present?

HANK

madima answered on 12/18/05:

I honestly can't think of anything more to wish for this Christmas, dear Hank! :=)

Well... I have no money, for one. No disposable cash, really... But nobody believes it and no one can tell from the way I live :=)

All my friends tell me I'm extraordinarily lucky! A few days ago, I just won a Nokia 9500 communicator worth close to $1K in a Christmas raffle! I also won a new TV set, a DVD player and the EXACT amount of cash I need to tide me over my amortization for December, plus an overnight stay for two in a 5-star hotel! I was given gift checks worth half a grand, US dollar equivalent, that will take care of all my grocery requirements! :=)

My passport is almost stamped full though it has another year before expiry! I had at least four international trips this year, all expenses paid, five-star accommodations, over half a hundred local trips to the top destinations here. I've been to my fave 5-star resort islands TWICE in one year - that's phenomenal!

When I looked at the pages of one of my competitor top dailies on my birthday last Friday (December 16), I found my picture staring back at me! I was in scuba gear, moving an almost 100 pound block, building an artificial reef for the corals I love! (It was during my dives for EcoRescue this month.)

I have complete happiness, peace of mind, perfect health, unconditional love, zest for life, adventure when I want it... What more can I ask?
:=)

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 12/11/05 - ¡El discurso en español es un crimen y será castigado!





A junior high school student was suspended for speaking Spanish at lunch time and again later in the day.



A le invitan que comente. Gracias.

madima answered on 12/11/05:

Dear Ronnie,

For my first ten years of schooling - elementary and high school at Sacred Heart College, we were fined for every non-English word we uttered during class hours and in the periods we were inside the confines of the school. Indeed, it was “expensive” for us not to speak English, though no one has been suspended – that’s too much. Detained, yes.

Ironically, the school administrators forbade us to speak Tagalog (it is now known as Pilipino), our native language, in our own country even though we were no longer a colony of the US!

I guess the motive of my school was to enforce English speaking so we will be fluent in the language. True enough, English became the language of our thoughts and most students who received their education in private schools were actually MORE fluent in English than in Pilipino!

The only reason I became a balanced bilingual – fluent in both English and Pilipino – was because my father read poetry and literary works to me in BOTH languages from the time I was in the cradle! Add to that, I went to the state university for my AB and graduate studies and honed both my Pilipino writing and translation skills there.

Unfortunately, many of my countrymen are trapped in the two languages, understanding/speaking/writing enough to go by but not gaining true proficiency in either.

Some say school administrators should have enforced Spanish speaking to us in the same way, so we would have learned our Spanish well. After all, the Spaniards colonized us longer - for over 300 years; the Americans, for less than a century :=)

But they did not.

Por que?

No lo se! :=)

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 12/03/05 - Pleasure

Do you allow yourself to have pleasure?

"Contrary to what some people might believe, there is nothing wrong with having pleasures and enjoyments. What is wrong is the confused way we gasp onto these pleasures, turning them from a source of happiness into a source of pain and dissatisfaction."


How do these words fit into the Christian beliefs?
What are your comments?

madima answered on 12/04/05:

I've always felt I have a right to my pleasure. That's the whole point of living. Choosing to be happy, choosing to please yourself.

I think that is the essence of the Christian precept: Love yourself.

You cannot love others unless you love yourself. You cannot give pleasure and make life pleasurable for your fellowmen unless you know what pleasure is :=)

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 12/03/05 - Who are You?

Matthew Flickstein said, "How much of your life do you spend looking forward to being somewhere else?"

When I was much younger, I was always looking toward the future, what I would be doing then would "make me happy/contented/fulfilled".

Over the years, I learned that I must live and be honestly present in my life each day, live each day...no matter my life's circumstances.

What are your thoughts about Mr. Flickstein's observation???

madima answered on 12/04/05:

I've always lived in the present, dear Mary Sue, because that's all I have and that's exciting enough! :=)

All of my life is spent living in the moment.

The past is dead. I can never get back to it, no matter how beautiful or glorious - or erroneous it was.

I feel that the future is too far away for me to look forward to - though to a great degree, I've always been precognitive. I could "see" the major events that will happen in my life years in advance.

But I've always thought, tomorrow may never come. Tomorrow, I may be dead, so why not live today, this very second, to the hilt? :=)

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 11/27/05 - Will you put your hand to .....

..... the killing of witches?

When is a good time for you to spend a week or so rounding them up and slitting their throats?

madima answered on 11/27/05:

Nope, dear Ronnie.

I don't really find anything wrong with Wicca or paganism, especially in the way they honor Mother Nature. Add to that, every human being has the right to his own belief.

If Wiccans and Pagans will fortify environmentalists in fighting against the global deterioration of the earth, sea and sky, for me that's great! I believe the earth we live in sure needs it!

Some of the ethnic tribes I came in contact with in the mountains and along the coasts are pagans and pantheists. I believe that their practices in preserving nature, in not engaging in wasteful killing and hunting, are to be emulated.

As I've said before in an earlier posting... I'd rather kill the poachers, anytime, anywhere.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 11/26/05 - Down Memory Lane

Remember we just answerd what we thought were the most important things in life? All good answers. Very enjoyable to read.

How about this. What did you think were the most important things in life at the following ages::

Twelve
Sixteen
Twenty-One
Forty
Fifty-five

YES, WE ALL WERE YOUNG ONCE!!!

madima answered on 11/26/05:

The most important things in my life at the following ages:

1. Twelve - I never thought I'd live to be twelve, anyway. Remember, the doctor told me I'll be dead before my twelfth birthday? :=)

But when I did see my twelfth birthday, I made a bet with papa that I'll get to join the national beauty pageant and I vowed I'll see the whole world! Get to see places, people and things my parents never even imagined!

The most important thing in my life then was just living to the hilt.

At twelve, I was highschool muse, valedictorian and the most awarded student in my school... but my first love died. He was 15.

2-Sixteen - I've made it to the national scene, was a contestant at the Miss Philippines beauty pageant and won the bet with papa. I was also in college, landing lead roles in professional theater, publishing poetry, short stories and painting to my heart's content.

There were too many men around. But the most important thing in my life was the stage.

3.Twenty-One - I was taking my M.A., at the same time, I've established myself as a lead actress in the country's professional theater company. I also tried my hand as a playwright, stage director and translator. On top of everything, I had commercial modeling stints.

I had my first really serious romantic relationship but the most important thing in my life was still the theater - the fame and the ecstasy. Men had never been a priority :=)

4. Forty - Sorry, I'm not there yet, dear Mary Sue! Actually, when I got to be twelve, I thought, for sure, I'll be dead before I reach forty! They all say life begins at the fourth decade, but I don't know... Perhaps I'll never know? :=)

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 11/25/05 - Priorities

""" Some people have lost track of the important priorities in life but ... that's their problem.""" quote from Hank on previous question.


Just wondering what everyone thinks are the most important priorities in life.

Comments...

madima answered on 11/26/05:

Mine has always been my freedom and happiness :=)

Everything else comes after :=)

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 11/26/05 - JUST WONDERING



... what you would take with you if you had to leave your home in five minutes.

HANK

madima answered on 11/26/05:

My IBM thinkpad and my pocket PC. Everything's there. My rosary's always in my pocket :=)

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 11/23/05 - So! it's come to this?

Buy your way to immortality
From:

November 24, 2005


A CATHEDRAL is offering people the opportunity to have their face immortalised in stone on its spires.
St Paul's Cathedral in Melbourne has come up with a novel fundraising plan for people to have their likeness carved on one of about 170 stone figures - for an estimated $50,000 each.

Anglican Dean of Melbourne David Richardson hoped people would jump at the chance to have their likeness on earth forever as a "kind of immortality".

"People aged 60 would like to say to their grandchildren, 'Up there is your grandfather carved in stone'," he said.

Buyers have three options: a realistic sculpture, a caricature, or a grotesque - a bizarre gargoyle-like sculpture.

Now which do you think would be the way you want to be remembered?

madima answered on 11/24/05:

Certainly not in a sculpture in a spire :=)

Cathedrals crumble under earthquakes and are buried under lava flows. Whole continents sink beneath the sea.

I don't really like to be remembered because I don't live in memories myself. I exist for the present, not for the past. I just love living my life to the hilt and mounting the spirit of the given moment.

I'm happy in the here and now, so, I don't really care if I'll be dead tomorrow. For me, dying and being forgotten doesn't matter at all :=)

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Question/Answer
hOPE12 asked on 11/21/05 - Homeless People, Who are they really?

Hello Everyone,

Maony people sterotype homeless individuals thinking they are smelly, grimy wino's. But in reality are the homeless truly these kinds of individuals?

In some countries where there are homeless street children there are gangs that are made up of the meda and police, and society in general feel that street children or homeless children present a threat to what they call a civilised society and so they set up death squads and self proclaimed vigilantes to kill these children, about three every day in places like Rio de Janeriro and other countries.

The United state is suppose to be the richest country in the world and yet we have homeless people. I am thinking about that these days because I and my family are looking for a new home and this issue crossed my mind. How can we live in the richest country ever and have homeless adults and children? Are we headed in the same direction as other countries such as Rio de Janeriro where these homeless ones are killed because of lack of knowledge of how a person can become homeless? What is the real causes of homelessness?

1- Because of the inability of the government to give significant resources towards the right of the homeless to adeuate housing.

2- Very bad regulations and inefficient plans cause confusion and no housing for the homeless.

3- Homelessness is a sign of poor money management on the part of housing programs in the community.

4- Lack of knowledge and training of those in charge of dealing with homeless people. Children and adults should receive respectful and be regarded as potential assets to the comunity rather then a burden or looked down on.


As a caring person either Christian or not, do you feel there is hope for the homeless?

I you were in position to help the homeless, what would be your solution?

What do you think you can do personally to help adults and children who are homeless here in the United States, starting in your own community?

Take care,
Hope12

madima answered on 11/21/05:

In my country, it is not just utter poverty that causes homelessness.

Many people who are rightful owners of their lands are displaced because of government corruption and greed.

Poor people who rightfully occupy lands can still be driven out with little or no compensation (even if they have titles to such lands) if some big multinational companies take interest in their property for development, mining and the like.

Ethnic groups can be driven out of their ancestral lands by huge mining and lumber firms, as well as real estate developers.

Of course, this is done in collusion with corrupt government officials. One of our most corrupt agencies is the Bureau of Lands. Officials there can issue "new" land titles for lands with existing titles.

They can even issue private titles for government or public lands and sell off the many "unclaimed" islands, hills and mountainsides as well as protected areas and parts of national parks and forest sanctuaries in our archipelago!

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Question/Answer
Laura asked on 11/21/05 - Major life changes ahead for us..

After 27 years working for GM the plant here in OKC is closing down.

30,000 people across the nation will lose their jobs with GM by the end of 2007. My husbands plant will be one of the first to close in early 2006.. With so many people losing their jobs it is unlikely that we could go to another plant in another state.

This was very unexpected for this plant as they had recently done alot of upgrades in the plant and installed a state of the art paint shop investing alot of money into it. We are hoping that they will offer an early retirement plan. I would hate to see hubby work somewhere for so long and walk away with nothing. But we are just a few of many who will be in the same boat..

Oh the things life throws at you.. For those who have been there and done that..You are still here..Life did not end..Ewww I'll have to get a job :-O I have no real skills because i've always been a stay at home mom/wife. I can type well, and I like to help people so maybe i'm not too old to get my feet wet in the job world.. Please keep all of these people who are going to lose their jobs in your thoughts. It won't be easy for alot of them. Thanks. Laura

madima answered on 11/21/05:

Hi, Laura,

Don't worry, everything will be ok.

Perhaps you and your husband can invest the money he gets from his early retirement in a high-yield fund or other financial instruments? And he has years of experience that will be of value to him as a consultant elsewhere.

Perhaps you can also try working for a BPO or a call center from the comfort of your own home? It's a good paying job and studies have found that housewives working from home are the most efficient in the call center industry. All you need is a month or two of training.

God be with you and your family.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 11/18/05 - What is Moral; What is Immoral

"" ***Nobody is immoral just because someone else says they are.*** Keeping this in mind is important. It comes in handy when self-righteous moralists take the stage and try to denigrate and punish those who disagree with them. ......


...... morality is personal conscience. That's why hiding a runaway slave before the Civil War, though totally immoral and illegal by Southern standards and Supreme Court dictate, was moral. That's why hiding a dissident from the state police was moral under Stalin, and harboring persecuted Jews under Hitler. It's moral to oppose unjust laws, as Rosa Parks and Gandhi did. One of the key ways that society advances is by having enough "immoral" people who follow their conscience.

This all seems so basic, but we face a generation that is being pounded by reactionary belief to the contrary. It would be all too easy to grow up in present-day America to believe that

--Hurricane victims, being poor and uneducated, are better off having their lives ruined so that they can collect government aid.

--Any Muslim-American should be regarded as a potential terrorist.

--Whatever deception it takes to get into a war is morally justified.

--Atheists are bad people. So is anyone who won't let a child pray in school.

--Abortions defy the command of God (even though the Bible is totally silent on the matter).

--Patriotism is more important than individual conscience. Likewise, the need for law and order is absolute.

--Free speech should be squelched in dissidents because they are troublemakers.

--Liberalism is the same as laissez-faire sexual behavior and tolerance for social losers. (Liberals also smoke pot.)

The list could go on ad infinitum, for once the moralists are in the saddle, their critique of everyone unlike themselves knows no limits. They ignore the fact that the majority of the public doesn't believe the Bible literally, backs the right to choose an abortion, and opposes the current war. What moralists want to do isn't convince anyone, however; they want to intimidate and crush them. How moral is that?"" Cut and Paste


Any comments?

madima answered on 11/19/05:

Indeed, morality for me is personal conscience. It has nothing to do with what a church, a society or an institution says is right.

In my code of morality, it is not wrong to have abortion, especially if the girl is a victim of rape, if she is an unfit mother duped into unwanted pregnancy or if the pregnancy endangers her life. It is not wrong to have euthanasia when the patient himself wants it for a dignified death. It is not wrong to kill in defense of your own life or that of someone or something you love.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 11/18/05 - The Sin Box

The Sin Box
Why have Catholics stopped lining up at the confessional?
By Andrew Santella
Posted Thursday, Nov. 17, 2005, at 2:13 PM ET

A Catholic friend of mine recently went to confession at her parish church for the first time in years. She had personal reasons for wanting to seek absolution, but there was this, too: She said she'd long felt a little sorry for the priests sitting alone in their confessional boxes, waiting for sinners to arrive.

A generation ago, you'd see a lot of us lined up inside Catholic churches on Saturday afternoons, waiting to take our turn in one of the confessionals. We'd recite the familiar phrases ("Bless me Father, for I have sinned"), list our transgressions and the number of times we'd committed them, maybe endure a priestly lecture, and emerge to recite a few Hail Marys as an act of penance. In some parishes, the machinery of forgiveness was so well-oiled you could see the line move. Confession was essential to Catholic faith and a badge of Catholic identity. It also carried with it the promise of personal renewal. Yet in most parishes, the lines for the confessionals have pretty much disappeared. Confession—or the sacrament of reconciliation, as it's officially known—has become the one sacrament casual Catholics feel free to skip. We'll get married in church, we'll be buried from church, and we'll take Communion at Mass. But regularly confessing one's sins to God and the parish priest seems to be a part of fewer and fewer Catholic lives. Where have all the sinners gone?

On the surface, the drop-off in confessors might seem like no surprise.


To congregations scarred by the recent sex-abuse scandal, the thought of turning to a priest for forgiveness might not hold the attraction that it once did. And regular penance is not the only Catholic sacrament that has declined in practice recently: The scant number of young Catholic men training for the sacrament of holy orders, or ordination, for example, has left the church with a serious shortage of priests.

But it's strange that so many lay Catholics should have abandoned the confessional even while secular culture is increasingly awash in confession, apology, and acts of contrition of every sort. Parents own up to pedophilia on Jerry Springer. Authors reveal their fetishes and infidelities in self-lacerating memoirs. On Web sites like Daily Confession and Not Proud, the anonymous poster can unburden his conscience electronically. The confessions on these sites are displayed in categories borrowed from Sunday school lessons: the Ten Commandments or the seven deadly sins. At least one posting I read was framed in the language of the Catholic confessional. "Bless me, Father, for I have sinned," it began before going on to catalog a series of mostly mundane misdeeds. (Others are simply odd: "I eat ants but only the little red ones. They're sweet as hell and I just can't get enough.")

All this public confessing testifies to the impulse to share our deepest shame. So, why isn't that impulse manifesting itself in Catholics practicing the ritual that was created expressly for that purpose? Of course, Catholic penance—whether it's done in a confessional booth or in a face-to-face meeting with a priest, an innovation introduced in 1973—is supposed to be private and confidential. It may be that in an age of media-fueled exhibitionism, some people want more attention for our misdeeds than can be had from whispering a list of sins in a box in a church. But those Internet confessions won't count toward absolution in the eyes of the church any time soon. "There are no sacraments on the Internet," declared the Pontifical Council for Social Communication unequivocally in 2002.

The Catholic tradition of listing the number and kinds of one's sins in regular, private confessions became standard practice after the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215. Penance took root in Catholic ritual and established itself as, in the words of religion writer Peter Steinfels, "the linchpin of the Catholic sacramental economy." The Eucharist and the other sacraments, Steinfels points out, provided access to God's grace. But expressing contrition in confession could mean the difference between going to heaven or hell: Dying with unconfessed mortal sin on your soul meant eternal torment. Early 20th-century Catholics might have taken Communion only once a year—some referred to it as their Easter duty—but they generally confessed their sins far more regularly. As recently as 40 years ago, many Catholics would not have thought of accepting the Eucharist until after they'd cleansed their souls.

Today the situation is almost exactly the reverse: Entire congregations receive Communion, while the confessionals remain mostly empty. Between 1965 and 1975, according to the National Opinion Research Council, the proportion of Catholics who confessed monthly fell from 38 percent to 17 percent. A University of Notre Dame study in the 1980s showed the decline continuing. In a 1997 poll by the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at the University of Connecticut, only 10 percent of Catholics surveyed said that they confessed at least once a month; another 10 percent said they never went to confession at all.

Like most of the recent changes in the church, the shift occurred in the wake of the Vatican II reforms. The program of renewal for the church that emerged from the Vatican II council said almost nothing about penance and reconciliation. The church's emphasis after Vatican II seemed to be less on guilt and damnation and more on love and forgiveness. The sacrament was given its current kinder, gentler name—reconciliation. Which seemed to reduce the stakes: If priests rarely talked about going to hell anymore, why bother confessing to them? To the extent that confession seemed necessary, the church's post-Vatican II efforts to empower the people in the pews left some Catholics figuring that they could confess their sins directly to God in prayer. At the same time, baby boomers who had been educated in the arcane legalisms of Catholic transgression—is eating meat on Friday a mortal or venial sin?—found themselves as adults thinking less about whether they were breaking the rules and more about their attitudes, intentions, and ideas about how to live a Christian life.

Last but surely not least, there was the growing gap between church teachings and the daily practices of American Catholics, especially when it came to sex and contraception. If you practiced birth control or had sex outside marriage, and you were scrupulous about confession, you might end up spending a lot of time in the confessional sharing every detail of your personal life with the (celibate and male) parish priest. That prospect is particularly bothersome to some Catholic women. I know one who says she'll go back to confession when she can confide in a female priest.

The biggest barrier between Catholics and the confessional, however, may be the real effort it requires. Unloading your transgressions on the Internet takes a few computer clicks—you can do it on your coffee break. But done right, Catholic confession demands a rigorous examination of conscience and real contrition, to say nothing of the prayers you may be assigned for penance and the thinking a priest may ask you to do about the ways you've let yourself and God down. No wonder we are more comfortable with the Eucharist service, which demands only that we line up like consumers and accept something for free. Dorothy Day wrote of having to "rack your brain for even the beginnings of sin." That's work." Cut and Paste from Slate On-line Magazine.


Comments.....

madima answered on 11/19/05:

Personally, I think it's just that the concept of "sin" has changed. I don't regard most things that the church preaches as really "sinful" and so, I feel guiltless... Hence, there's no need for confession.

I remembered that teachers of religion used to tell us when we were kids that if we receive communion without going to confession first, we'll be struck down by lightning from the heavens or get some terrible punishment from above.

But we found that even if we confide in God directly and do our private contrition privately then receive the host, nothing bad happens anyway...

Then again, we found that we really have no "sins" to confess regularly. The church used to regard dark thoughts and dreamings as sinful too, but modern psychology taught us that is part of the human personality that should be honored and reconciled with the rest of us. That is natural. So, how can it be sinful?

In today's extremely competitive career environment, as in war, all is fair. So, if you fight back tooth for tooth and claw for claw when someone is trying to pull you down or get ahead of you, the things you do can't really be considered "sinful" :=)

If you live in a very violent world where terrorists abound, where bombs can explode anywhere, from your bus to your office, to the malls and the theaters, the things you do to protect yourself can't be considered sinful, either.

Anyway, ifever there's a need for confession, you have friends to confide in, you have blogs that you can put out to the world, messages, online journals and diaries... There you can examine your soul with much more thoroughness and openness without being judged by others.

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 11/18/05 - I got these from a gal who said they are funny....

Do you think any are funny?
If so what ones.

ASIAN PROVERBS
Man who run in front of car get tired.
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Man who run behind car get exhausted.
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Man with one chopstick go hungry.
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Man who scratch ass should not bite fingernails.
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Man who eat many prunes get good run for money.
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
War does not determine who is right;
war determine who is left.
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Wife who put husband in doghouse soon find him in cat
house.
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Man who fight with wife all day get no piece at night.
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Man who drive like hell, bound to get there.
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Man who stand on toilet is high on pot.
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Man who live in glass house should change clothes in
basement.
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Man who fart in church sit in own pew.
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Crowded elevator smell different to midget.
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

madima answered on 11/19/05:

Man with one chopstick go hungry?

Nope, he can still skewer the food with one chopstick or eat with his bare hands. I've done that myself when the waiters (who don't understand English) would not give me spoon and fork in the Asian countries I travel in! Somehow, I have not learned to eat deftly with chopsticks up to now! :=)

War does not determine who is right;
war determine who is left.
Now, this is one that I really agree with! :=)

Wife who put husband in doghouse soon find him in cat house.
Aaah! That's true! :=)

I like these, too! :=)

Man who drive like hell, bound to get there.

Man who live in glass house should change clothes in basement.

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 11/18/05 - will you use SMS speak or english?

John Milton, Paradise Lost:
"devl kikd outa hevn coz jelus of jesus&strts war.pd'off wiv god so corupts man(md by god) wiv apel.devl stays serpnt 4hole life&man ruind. Woe un2mnkind.''

Translation
"The devil is kicked out of heaven because he is jealous of Jesus and starts a war.

"He is angry with God and so corrupts man (who is made by God) with an apple. The devil remains as a serpent for the whole of his life and man is ruined. Woe unto mankind."

madima answered on 11/19/05:

I've always used SMS when texting over my cellphones. It's so much easier and faster -unless you use a PDA phone! But it does wreak havoc on your spelling! :=)

I c notin rong w/ it. I reciv bout 20 SMS/day n txt som 20 myslf. D Plipins s d SMS captal f d world!

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 11/18/05 - A CHRISTIAN THOUGHT ABOUT SELF-ESTEEM:



Well-being virtually depends on the illusions of overly positive self-evaluations, exaggerated perceptions of control and unrealistic optimism. These illusions are not only characteristic of normal human thoughts, but also necessary for the usual criteria of mental health ... the ability to care about others, the ability to be contented and the ability to work productively. Since I have a positive view of the world, it is better to maintain illusions at all costs since they protect my self-esteem.

Does this descriptive prose fit your personality?

HANK

madima answered on 11/18/05:

Illusions? :=)

I grew up in the theater, a world where reality is an illusion and illusion is the reality :=)

However, when a man decides he has control over his life and his destiny, that he likes himself well enough not to be dependent on others, I don't think that is an illusion.

That's a decision.

It's also a self-perception based on what man thinks he is and should be.

We alone make the ultimate choice whether we want to be happy or we want to be miserable.

Strangely...In the culture of the dreaming, people believe that we ARE only a dream in the mind of the creator :=)

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Question/Answer
CeeBee2 asked on 11/12/05 - Priest/ministers/rabbis as celibate?

Which would be better - that a man of the cloth marry and have a family or remain single and celibate?

My mother once told me that, before they were married, my father said to her that once he became a minister, the church would always come first, even before her and any children they had. She agreed, and was our mainstay at home. My father was always the last one out of the church and the one to lock up after Sunday morning service/Sunday School and after weekday evening meetings. He attended every parish meeting, even those for the youth - he was very visible and involved. He spent his days visiting the sick and tending to other ministerial duties. When he was working on a sermon at his home office, we kids had to play quietly. Yet, some of my best memories are the times he spent with us kids playing board games, making popcorn, playing word games during meals, and our family devotions after supper each evening (except for Sunday). Holidays were special because he found ways to make them special for our family. He devoted his life to the church, to God, and was still able to find time and energy for his family. I suspect though, from knowing other ministers' families, that my father was somewhat of a rare man.

Is that spreading a man of the cloth too thin? Maybe ministers and rabbis shouldn't marry. Maybe the Catholic Church is right in not allowing its priests to marry. Yet, being married with a family would give a priest/minister/rabbi a very important point of view about life and would allow him to better understand his parishioners' joys and sorrows in their marriages and with their children.

What do you think?

madima answered on 11/12/05:

You're lucky with your father, but I think yours was an exception rather than the rule.

I know of a minister here. He was good with his flock, but his vocation took all of his time. He was able to lead many youths who had gone astray back into the right path. But unknown to him, one of his own children became a drug addict and later, committed suicide. His wife left him. The minister blamed himself. He said he was so absorbed in saving others he failed to see the devil take his own child.

I still think a man of the cloth should remain single and celibate. A family will be a great encumbrance to him. And it will be unjust to his wife and kids if he will only regard them as a second fiddle. The point of view of a family man, he could easily get from his experience with his own parents and his own family.

In this aspect, I believe I'm very conservative. I believe one can only serve one great master at a time :=)

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 11/11/05 - Turkey bans the Hijab ...

Turkey has just passed a ban on young girls wearing the hijab, or head scarf, at school.

1. Do you think they ought to have done so?

2. Do you think it will make Muslims feel any less persecuted?

3. Are you as eager to have this ban overturned as you are to have the ban on Bibles, crosses, Christian prayer, and the Ten Commandments in public schools overturned?

madima answered on 11/12/05:

1. Do you think they ought to have done so?

No, dear Ronnie. I don't think any government should meddle with its citizens' private and very personal choice of clothing :=)

2. Do you think it will make Muslims feel any less persecuted?

No, a Muslim is a Muslim, no matter what he or she wears. Same goes true for a Hindu, a Christian, a Buddhist, a Taoist, etc.

You will know a person's faith by what he believes in - and that's the cause of the prejudice. The externals are only a minor part of it. It's just the surface. Persecution goes much, much deeper.

3. Are you as eager to have this ban overturned as you are to have the ban on Bibles, crosses, Christian prayer, and the Ten Commandments in public schools overturned?

I just hate the idea of governments telling people what to do and interfering with ALL kinds of personal freedom.

I see nothing wrong with the hijab. My ex-future-mother-in-law made me try on a chador - which reached from head to foot -when my ex-boyfriend introduced me to his family in Dubai. If it weren't too hot, I think I'll love to wear it too - to protect me from all that dust and desert sand!

In fact, although I'm Catholic, I took to covering my whole head and face with a big scarf while going about in the streets of Manila when Mt. Pinatubo erupted and the ashfall reached us here.

The lahar dust, which rained on us for days (although the volcano was 100-200 kilometers away), was abrasive and itchy and I was glad the scarf protected me. Also, I didn't have to shampoo my hair twice a day. The pollution is terrible here in the metropolis.

So, you see, dear Ronnie, veils, face coverings, etc. are no big deal for me :=)

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 11/06/05 - JUST WONDERING ...



Cognitive therapists ask people to examine their perceptions of the world and the evidence for their beliefs. A depressed person observing a bed of roses might see only the litter and none of the beauty ... and might conclude that the whole world is ugly and always will be.

Tell me what you see when you view a bed of roses!

HANK

madima answered on 11/06/05:

Whenever I see a bed of roses, I always think of lions. They love to lie on rose beds and eat the roses, you know. So sweet for so fierce a predator :=)

As a child, I've watched a spectacular parade. The queen was on a float covered with roses with a full-grown lion secured at the head of the float (his keeper was well- hidden underneath).

I never looked at the queen. I just stared and stared at the magnificent lion sprawled among those blood red roses, the sun gilding his 400 pound body and the wind blowing his black mane so that his face looked like a huge sunflower. He was thoughtfully eating all of the roses on his side of the float :=)

When I was a bit older, I befriended the son of a big cat trainer so I can sneak up on a lion yearling and play with him all day long.

I've always wanted to bring home a full grown lion to mama's rose bed - though I find it easier to handle Siberian tigers :=)

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 11/05/05 - Shocking!! Unrelated to Religion!!


Cruise Ship Escapes Pirate Hijack Attempt

By RODRIQUE NGOWI
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - Pirates armed with grenade launchers and machine guns tried to hijack a luxury cruise liner off the east African coast Saturday, but the ship outran them, officials said.

Two boats full of pirates approached the Seabourn Spirit about 100 miles off the Somali coast and opened fire while the heavily armed bandits tried to get onboard, said Bruce Good, spokesman for the Miami-based Seabourn Cruise Line, a subsidiary of Carnival Corp.

The ship escaped by shifting to high speed and changing course.

``These are very well-organized pirates,'' said Andrew Mwangura, head of the Kenyan chapter of the Seafarers Assistance Program. ``Somalia's coastline is the most dangerous place in the region in terms of maritime security."


HUH? Pirates????

madima answered on 11/05/05:

Dear Mary Sue,

That does not surprise me. Pirates abound here in the Philippines, in the high seas of the South, mostly. And they live well in the forests, the oceans and the mountains of Asia.

Pirates are the reason why I cannot dive in the beautiful Turtle Islands, which is close to our boundary with Sabah, Malaysia. The international researchers who went there once for a study of the marine ecology had to be escorted by a fleet of Coast Guards!

But even the Coast Guards cannot overtake the small but very fleet vessels that the pirates use here. They are called "kampit".

There are also "bandidos" making their headquarters in our remote and inaccessible mountains facing the ocean. In one of my solo climbs in a mountain in Santa Ana, the place where the Pacific Ocean meets with the South China Sea, I nearly had an encounter with some - but my angels are with me. I managed to flee in time! :=)

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Question/Answer
revdauphinee asked on 11/04/05 - Are there any Jews in China??

Chinese Jews

Sid and Al were sitting in a Chinese restaurant.

"Sid," asked Al, "Are there any Jews in China?"

"I don't know," Sid replied. "Why don't we ask the waiter?"When the waiter came by, Al said, "Are there any Chinese Jews?"

"I don't know sir, let me ask," the waiter replied and he went into the kitchen.

He quickly returned and said, "No, sir. No Chinese Jews."

"Are you sure?" Al asked.

"I will check again, sir." the waiter replied and went back to the kitchen.

While he was still gone, Sid said, "I cannot believe there are no Jews in China. Our people are scattered everywhere."

When the waiter returned he said, "Sir, no Chinese Jews."

"Are you really sure?" Al asked again. "I cannot believe there are no Chinese Jews."

"Sir, I ask everyone," the waiter replied exasperated. "We have orange jews, prune jews, tomato jews and grape jews, but no one ever hear of Chinese jews!"

madima answered on 11/04/05:

Nice one! By the way, I'll be in China next Sunday, will spend a week there. Let me ask... :=)

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 11/03/05 - JUST WONDERING ...

... if anyone is interested in Transpersonal Psychology? What is it? "It's a branch of psychology that is concerned with the study of those states and processes in which people experience a DEEPER or WIDER SENSE of WHO they are, or a SENSE of greater connectedness with others, nature, or the "spiritual" dimension. The term TRANSPERSONAL means "BEYOND THE PERSONAL" and a common assumption in TRANSPERSONAL PSYCHOLOGY is that transpersonal experiences involve a HIGHER mode of CONSCIOUSNESS in which the ordinary mental-egoic self is transcended."

Do you think this is a Christian approach to self-improvement and a possible study of what it takes to REALLY make us tick? (I might add that TP is NOT what some of us know about the New Age)

HANK

madima answered on 11/04/05:

Before I go into that, I have to finish my study on my own personal psychology first :=)

I've been the foremost student of my own mind. I believe I can only go beyond myself after I've fully established the groundwork on my core psyche :=)

You have to learn how to walk before you learn how to run.

But once you get to know yourself, even just a little, everything else comes after -the deeper consciousness, etc.

Yet...I can spend a whole lifetime with myself and not know everything I feel I need to know about me :=)

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 11/03/05 - TAKING INVENTORY OF ONESELF:

Do you think people should attempt the following at least once a year? I like to ...

... reappraise my life and dreams by questioning my basic values.

... accept all gaps that I have made for myself between my dreams and my achievements.

I also like to ASK myself ...

... Am I overcoming a sense of being 'stuck' or 'trapped?'

... Am I facing the facts of aging and death?

... Do I lament my lost youth and unfulfilled dreams?

These 'issues' are important to me since I'm in my middle years. They tell me what my life has been so far. Only I can change my thinking and my future if my 'performance' hasn't been satisfactory!

HANK









madima answered on 11/04/05:

I do that every year, every 16th of December, on my birthday :=)

I have kept journals and diaries since I was a child and sometimes, I like to scan them to see how far have I gone and speculate how much further can I go :=)

But I have no fear of aging or death. The Future is too remote for me. Nor am I bound by the Past - that's why I can look back without regrets at all my foibles and follies.

I only live for the moment. That's why I live my life to the hilt and love it! :=)

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 11/04/05 - Your government in action


Hello Christians:

Condoleezza Rice just had her annual Ramadan dinner. Why???

After all, she doesn’t break the fast with Jews on Yom Kippur, sup with Hindus on Diwali, or cavort with Druids on the Winter Solstice. And she certainly isn’t spreading official Christendom on Christmas Day. No, the children's Easter Egg roll doesn't compare.

I'm thinking of the Muslim suicide bombing in Tel Aviv that killed five, and the promise of Iran's Shiite president that "the stain of disgrace"—Israel—will be "purged from the center of the Islamic world." I'm thinking of the week of Muslim rioting in Paris, and the news that a London suicide bomber was buried in Pakistan (his exploded remains, anyway) at the shrine of an Islamic saint. In New Delhi, Muslims are suspected of killing 60, while actor Omar Sharif has received Internet death threats, for playing St. Peter. And I can't stop thinking about the three Christian girls who were beheaded in Indonesia en route to their Christian high school. The killers carried off one of the severed heads to a new church, where they left it.

Do we need to “reach out” to the Muslim community, or should they be “reaching out” to us?

excon

madima answered on 11/04/05:

Perhaps the food was too good to pass up? :=)

You know that I'm not an American, but when you mentioned she does not sup with the Jews, the Hindus,the Druids and even the Christians, I couldn't resist...

I remembered how sumptuous the feasts are at the end of the Ramadan. I've partaken in such a feast myself in Dubai in the home of my Muslim friends.

Muslims fast for one month and when they finally break it, the best food flows... as if to make up for all that hunger repressed.

By the way, the end of the Ramadan has also been declared a national holiday in the Philippines by our President for the FIRST time this year!

I have nothing against it, but everyone else was buzzing here. T'was an amazing move for a head of state in the only Christian nation in the Far East!

But with bombs flying all over the place, I guess she needs to "reach out" to the Muslim community as well, like your Condoleezza Rice :=)

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 11/04/05 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME:


Yep! It's my Birthday. I plan to live until I'm at least 99.

"Happy Birthday to You, the four-line ditty, was written as a classroom greeting in 1893 by two Louisville teachers, Mildred J. Hill, an authority on Negro spirituals, and Dr. Patty Smith Hill, professor emeritus of education at Columbia University.

The MELODY of the song Happy Birthday to You was composed by Mildred J. Hill, a schoolteacher born in Louisville, KY, on June 27, 1859. The song was first published in 1893, with the lyrics WRITTEN by her sister, Patty Smith Hill, as "Good Morning To All."

Happy Birthday to HANK, Happy Birthday to Hank ...

Age is a matter of attitude, health, perspective and all bodily functions. I'm happy to report that my functions are doing just fine.

HANK

madima answered on 11/04/05:

Happy birthday, dear Hank!!!! :=)
I'll keep greeting you yearly till you're 100 - at least! :=)

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 11/03/05 - The French Islamic Republic of Eurasia

welcome to the dhimmitude :

French Rioters Shoot at Police, Fire Crews
AP ^ | November 3, 2005 | JAMEY KEATEN

Rioting youths shot at police and firefighters Thursday after burning car dealerships and public buses and hurling rocks at commuter trains. France's government faced growing pressure to curb the violence, fueled by anger over poor conditions in suburban Paris housing projects.

Rampaging for an eighth day, youths ignored an appeal for calm from French President Jacques Chirac, whose government worked feverishly to fend off a political crisis amid criticism that it has ignored problems in suburbs heavily populated by first- and second-generation North African and Muslim immigrants.

Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin called a string of emergency meetings with Cabinet ministers throughout the day. He told the Senate the government "will not give in" to violence in the troubled suburbs.

"Order and justice will be the final word in our country," Villepin said. "The return to calm and the restoration of public order are the priority _ our absolute priority."

The riots started last Thursday after the electrocution deaths of two teenagers hiding in a power station from police they believed were chasing them in the northeastern suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois.

By Wednesday night, violence had spread to at least 20 Paris-region towns, said Jean-Francois Cordet, the top government official for the Seine-Saint-Denis region north of Paris where the violence has been concentrated. He said youths in the region fired four shots at riot police and firefighters but caused no injuries.

Nine people were injured in Seine-Saint-Denis and 315 cars burned across the Paris area, officials said. In the tough northeastern suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois, youth gangs set fire to a Renault car dealership and burned at least a dozen cars, a supermarket and a local gymnasium.

Traffic was halted Thursday morning on a suburban commuter line linking Paris to Charles de Gaulle airport after stone-throwing rioters attacked two trains overnight at the Le Blanc-Mesnil station. They forced a conductor from one train and broke windows, the SNCF rail authority said. A passenger was lightly injured by broken glass.

The unrest has highlighted the division between France's big cities and their poor suburbs, with frustration simmering in the housing projects in areas marked by high unemployment, crime and poverty.

The violence also cast doubt on the success of France's model of seeking to integrate its large immigrant community _ its Muslim population, at an estimated 5 million, is Western Europe's largest _ by playing down differences between ethnic groups. Rather than feeling embraced as full and equal citizens, immigrants and their French-born children complain of police harassment and of being refused jobs, housing and opportunities.

Opposition groups accused the government of letting the situation spiral out of control, either by failing to act quickly enough or letting in too many immigrants over the years.

"We see that the situation in certain neighborhoods is not getting better at all but degenerating," Socialist Party President Jean-Marc Ayrault told LCI television, who said Chirac's conservatives "did not know how to take control."

Right-wing French lawmaker Philippe de Villiers, who has said he wants to "stop the Islamization of France," told RTL radio that the problem stemmed from the "failure of a policy of massive and uncontrolled immigration."

Minister of Social Cohesion Jean-Louis Borloo said the government had to react "firmly" but added that France must also acknowledge its failure to have dealt with anger simmering in poor suburbs for decades.

"We cannot hide the truth: that for 30 years we have not done enough," he told France-2 television.

.......................................................
comments ?

*I bet this is in response for the French support for the war in Iraq !

*The French never did institude gun control did they ?

*They have a 'Minister of Social Cohesion ...socialism at it's best ! I think the French should raise taxes and provide more social services for these down trodden . No wonder they have become insurgents ...sheesh .... I call them freedom fighters ! If only the French would end their occupation of Paris .





madima answered on 11/03/05:

I'm not really familiar with the plight of first- and second-generation North African and Muslim immigrants in Paris.

We do have a restive Muslim minority here in the Philippines and our government has always allied itself with the US.

I've gotten quite used to public buses being burned in the streets of Manila and in other major cities, taxis being overturned, stoned, burned, etc. That's quite a regular occurrence here. But these acts are being done mostly by the Christian poor, not the Muslims.

In our case, it often happens during transportation strikes, as the urban poor feel that they are being squeezed to death by rising prices and the government is not doing anything about it.

I believe that for as long as there's a great disparity between the rich and the poor, the kind of unrest that Paris is seeing now will happen anywhere, regardless of religion.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 11/02/05 - Pet Lovers...

"Remember, be kind to your mailman," said Jane Harris, a disc jockey. Then she softened her voice until it was a little insinuating: "He only wants to deliver the mail."

It is a message that many of her listeners need to hear. Ms. Harris is a D.J. on DogCatRadio.com, a new Internet radio station for pets. Now dogs, cats, hamsters and parrots can keep the anxiety, the loneliness, the restlessness at bay while their owners are out. It is radio just for them, live 17 hours a day, 4 a.m. to 9 p.m. Pacific time, and podcast for the rest of the 24 hours."


God loves all living creatures the same. Human biengs are not special, in fact, they are worse!

madima answered on 11/02/05:

Dear Mary Sue,

Somehow, your last sentence reminded me of the observation made by one animal lover and conservationist: "The more I learn about people…the more I like my cat."

It will be interesting to listen to what the program offers. Animals have been shown to respond very well to sounds. My fave cat relaxes with classical music and perks up with hip-hop! :=)

Even deer calms down with soothing music. I've even read about an Indian elephant (he lived in the house with his family until he got too big to get through the door) who favored rock-and-roll and would turn off the TV remote with his trunk when any other type of music comes on air! :=)

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 11/01/05 - Newest Kind of Marital Infidelity


The Newest Kind of Marital Infidelity

"Hold the sex! With emotional infidelity, all it takes to cheat is a close friendship. If you're married and you share secrets with a close friend of the opposite sex or go out for drinks after work, you are guilty of emotional infidelity. That's the controversial verdict from M. Gary Neuman, a Miami Beach, Fla., therapist and author of the new book, "Emotional Infidelity: How to Affair-Proof Your Marriage and 10 Other Secrets to a Great Relationship."

His words are blunt: You can't have an intimate relationship at work and still have a great relationship at home. Even if there is no sex, he claims that any sort of male-female friendship outside of marriage is adultery. Period. Those are frightening words. With the long and intense work hours so many regularly endure, close friendships at work with people of both genders are typically the norm. Neuman's advice is simple and direct: Back off. He told The Baltimore Sun, "My message is that if you want to infuse passion and have a buddy for the rest of your life, you have to keep that emotional content in your marriage. Otherwise, it's not going to happen."

His views may be extreme, but even his critics--and there are many--acknowledge that his central premise that friendships between members of the opposite sex can harm marriages is probably valid. Author and infidelity researcher Shirley Glass, told the Sun that office friendships are a big concern. "Many love affairs begin just that way."


What do you think of Neuman's assessment of different sex friendships?

madima answered on 11/01/05:

That makes sense.

As they say, if you don’t want to get burned, don’t get too close to the fire :=)

I have many platonic relationships with men, the longest being 19 years old todate and still going strong. I tend to have them on top of my erotic romances because I like having brother surrogates. I never had a brother and am an only child.

And yet, I know that if I tell my best friend that I’ll marry him, I’m sure he will drag me up the aisle in the next second. In fact, his family had been nagging me and saying I’m his “ideal partner” for ages. Yet to me, that will be like committing incest.

In my countless platonic relationships with men, I’ve always known it will be easy to cross the line, though I don’t, by choice (except twice). Of course, my best friends’ girl friends, lovers and wives will never believe me :=)

Come to think of it, perhaps the reason why I was never demanding or possessive with any of my boyfriends in my romances was the fact that I ALWAYS had strong platonic relationships with men alongside! My erotic and my platonic relationships always co-exist. But then, that could also be the reason why marriage never tempted me. I found all my boyfriends are… dispensable :=)

Imagine how dangerous that will be if I tie the knot! :=)

So far, almost 90 per cent of my women friends who married engaged in extra-marital sex. They all have deep friendships with the opposite sex and most of their affairs started with a “friends-only” premise with men. But after committing emotional infidelity, the rest is easy.

As for me, I guess that’s the reason why I don’t like to get married. It will limit me in so many ways and I can’t afford that. I’m still too hungry for life! :=)

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Question/Answer
kindj asked on 11/01/05 - Culture comparison

I am NOT bashing America, OK? Let's just get that straight right out of the box.

I have, however, noticed a distinct difference in various cultures, specifically in regard to manners.

I lived in Japan for almost a year, where I found the people so polite I could hardly stand it. In Saudi Arabia, most everyone I met was kind and social, and kept to a pretty high standard of manners. The Phillipines holds very fond memories for me, largely due to the gently, gracious attitude of nearly all the citizens I met there. Ditto for some other places I've visited. Sure, there were some that were no more than overdeveloped cesspools, but a majority of places had more than their share of well-mannered, polite folks.

I think the epitome of manners, though, may have to be the United Kingdom. I've never had the pleasure of travelling there (though I desparately want to), but everything I've seen and everyone I've met from there has been possessed of a personal dignity that stands out. Even the rural dwellers, those that are not from the bigger cities, carry and conduct themselves with a measure of grace that simply is not found in most places.

Then I look at America, my home. It's gotten to the point that when one is treated courteously by a stranger (aside from those whom we expect it from, such as wait staff and such) it is a remarkable experience, rather than being the norm.

I could cite examples in everything from "icebreaker" conversation to personal attire to respect for elders, but I think that most know what I mean. I'm not talking about the pompous ass that has to maintain an artificial air of superiority--all cultures suffer those fools. I'm talking about class without pretension, which is exceedingly rare in the US these days.

Are we Americans afraid that if we act with dignity and class, we will be regarded as "elitists?" Are we afraid of appearing to shoot holes in the "we're just normal folks" aura that so many are proud of?

My British friends still dress for dinner. Not in suits and ties, mind you, but at least with decent pants and a tucked-in shirt. And dinner is still an event, something to be savored and lingered over, not grabbed from a sack and eaten on the go. When I ate with them, I could count on dinner running from around 6 or 7 until 9 or 10, easily. Relaxed, unhurried, and enjoyed. While most Americans (myself included) tend to make dinner a 30 minute ordeal at best, and often not altogether as a family.

We have kids and young adults today going to class in their pajamas, for crying out loud. And respect for elders? Forget it! Good luck getting a child or teenager to call you Mr. or Ms. anymore, now it's a first-name basis all around. Perhaps familiarity really does breed contempt?

I'm really just wondering WHY the difference? Is it a more densely populated society that breeds politeness out of necessity, such as in Japan? Is it a traditional cultural thing? Or am I totally off the mark here?

And please, don't take this as an invitation to begin another litany of the terrible faults of America and her citizens. Believe me, we are painfully aware of most of them, and NO society is without it's upright apes.

As for me, I'd like to see Americans (including me) a bit better schooled in etiquette and manners.

I'll start now:

Cordially,
DK

madima answered on 11/01/05:

Dear DK,

As a Filipina who had been well-exposed to American culture, who had been to America twice and who has a lot of American friends, I guess America is just too liberal - which is both her advantage and allure, but is also her setback.

Also, its pace, standard of living and ultra-consumerist, rat-race lifestyle favor the young set - perhaps to the detriment of the old.

If you ask me, I believe polite manners is equated with traditional values and formality, much of which we try to set aside in modern times.

So far, I have never met any ill-mannered American yet :=) But it did strike me that the Filipinos who were raised in America do not have as much respect for their elders than what we will consider “normal” in our domestic setting. They tend to talk back to their parents and older folks in a manner which will be considered very rude here, among other things. In fact many of my friends who are now in the US maintain that if they decide to have kids, they will ship them back here, just long enough to assimilate respect for their elders and other values.

Here in the Philippines, we address older people with respect, punctuating each sentence with "po" and "opo" when we speak to them, we kiss the hands of our elders, etc. In a way, we share Japan and China’s culture that gives great respect to senior citizens (although we are not a welfare state and our laws are not favorable to our own seniors in terms of health care, nursing homes and other provisioning.)

But I guess the senior-citizen friendly culture is the reason why despite our country’s political instability, many Westerners like to retire here. Also, Filipinos are in demand as care givers abroad, especially for the elderly.

Furthermore, we are said to have developed “longer” patience than Westerners. You have to, if you need to brave two-hour long traffic everyday, stand in long queues for inefficient Third World country type of services, or get stranded in floods, political rallies, and the like.

Westerners are so much used to fast and efficient service, a good many would tend to snap at service providers when they cannot deliver outright :=)

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 11/01/05 - Bush Unveils Bird Flu Strategy ...

The Bush administration, battered by criticism over its hurricane response, its nominees to the SC, its Iraq Attack, and numerous other fudgements, is attempting to divert the nation's attention away from White House failures by getting the nation prepared for a pandemic of bird influenza.

A 'senior White House official' today revealed that Bush's personal favourite was the building of a ten foot high wall around the whole of the USA, because, the President is reported as having said,

"That will keep out the birds and the illegals."


Do you think ten feet is high enough, or should it be even higher?

madima answered on 11/01/05:

His wall should be at least 40,000 feet high, well into the stratosphere, that way not even the migratory birds can get in! :=)

I wonder how many trillions of dollars he has to spend on that... and how engineers could come up with even a mile of such a wall and say it has structural integrity.

Even the highest buildings in the world can only go a little over a thousand feet high todate.

But then, smugglers of exotic birds with the avian flu can easily go underground :=)

Instead of wasting dollars walling in the entire American continent, however, he is better off financing the development of the vaccine to prevent the pandemic and making sure that everyone of his citizens get it.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 10/31/05 - Slavery in Qatar

From Wired on line Magazine

Robot camel jockeys. "

That's about half of what you need to know. Robots, designed in Switzerland, riding camels in the Arabian desert. Camel jockey robots, about 2 feet high, with a right hand to bear the whip and a left hand to pull the reins. Thirty-five pounds of aluminum and plastic, a 400-MHz processor running Linux and communicating at 2.4 GHz; GPS-enabled, heart rate-monitoring (the camel's heart, that is) robots. Mounted on tall, gangly blond animals, bouncing along in the sandy wastelands outside Doha, Qatar, in the 112-degree heat, with dozens of follow-cars behind them. I have seen them with my own eyes. And the other half of the story: Every robot camel jockey bopping along on its improbable mount means ****one Sudanese boy freed from slavery and sent home****.


Are you in favor of Islamic slavery??

madima answered on 10/31/05:

No, dear Mary Sue. But I believe slavery has more to do with poverty in terms of the slave, greed and power in terms of the master - rather than religion. Poverty is the greatest enslaver of humankind.

We are a Christian nation but with over half of the 85 million populace living below poverty line, many are "enslaved" - literally and figuratively - you have rampant child labor, white slavery and all the atrocities connected with "traditional" slavery of the olden times.

Robots for camel races may reduce the "demand" for young Sudanese jockeys, but if the Sudanese continue to starve in their home country, their "slavery" will continue in other forms, maybe worse.

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 10/30/05 - Columbine, and similar incidents ...

Have you noticed that the perpetrators of the massacres at Columbine, et al, were all alienated individuals?

I have a theory that alienation is always at the heart of such incidents.

What is your theory?

madima answered on 10/31/05:

I would presume alienation is at the root of such incidents.

To me, this sense of alienation seems to be a very "American" thing. We do have a lot of violence here and cases of suicide, but no serial killings or massacres perpetrated by the youth.

However, the rebel and the terrorist groups here get most of their recruits from the youths in the lowest socio-economic levels of our society.

The children of the poor make up the bulk of the recruits of our New People's Army. They carry and fire guns as soon as they are big enough to be able to wield one - sometimes as young as ten years old.

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 10/30/05 - Do you share Prince Charles' concerns?

Prince Charles: Climate change is 'terrifying'

Monday, October 31, 2005 Posted: 0314 GMT (1114 HKT)


Prince Charles: "I find myself born into this particular position. I am determined to make the most of it."

LONDON, England (AP) -- Prince Charles says he believes the pace of climate change is terrifying and people are becoming too dependent on technology.

In a rare TV interview ahead of his official tour of the United States next week, Charles expressed concern that economic progress is "upsetting the whole balance of nature."

"You know, if you look at the latest figures on climate change and global warming ... they're terrifying, terrifying," Charles told CBS's ඄ Minutes" in the interview aired Sunday.

The prince is a keen environmentalist, but his office declined to say whether Charles will raise the issue of climate change when he dines with President Bush at the White House this week. Clarence House, the prince's office, said it would not be appropriate to comment on a private dinner.

In the past, Bush has questioned the existence of global warming. The United States has refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol designed to limit greenhouse gas emissions, saying it would harm the economy.

Charles, who will be visiting with his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, also said he was worried about the importance of technology in modern life.

"If you make everything over efficient, you suck out, it seems to me, every last drop of what, up to now, has been known as culture," Charles said in the interview, which was recorded last month in Poundbury, England.

"We are not the technology. It should be our ... slave, the technology. But it's rapidly becoming our master in many areas, I think," he said.

Charles will travel to the United States on Tuesday for his first official tour of the country since 1994, although he has made a number of private visits since then.

He last visited the United States on June 11, 2004, for the funeral of former President Ronald Reagan.

During the tour, Charles and Camilla will inaugurate a new memorial garden in New York for the British victims of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center.

They will also travel to Washington for their lunch and dinner with President Bush and Mrs. Bush. During the final leg of the tour, Charles and Camilla will meet homeless people in San Francisco.

In previously released excerpts of the CBS interview, Charles said he was concerned about being seen as irrelevant.

"The most important thing is to be relevant ... It isn't easy, as you can imagine ... because if you say anything, people will say, 'It's all right for you to say that.' It's very easy to just dismiss anything I say. ... It's difficult," the heir to the British throne said.

Charles says his duty is "worrying about this country and its inhabitants."

He adds: "I find myself born into this particular position. I am determined to make the most of it."

Charles has won respect for the time he devotes to The Prince's Trust, which has helped more than 35,000 disadvantaged young people start their own businesses and provided job training to thousands more each year.

He hopes efforts like these are valued, telling interviewer Steve Kroft lightheartedly: "I only hope that when I'm dead and gone, they might appreciate it a little bit more."

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press.


I was only remarking recently that we have become so dependent on the easy life we could not survive if someone turned the power off. do you feel the same way?

madima answered on 10/31/05:

Power outages are still common here in my country.

I have two computers at home - a desktop and a subnotebook, three cellular phones - PDAs/pocket PCs, broadband connection - DSL and Wi-Fi, plus a wireline phone. That's on top of the TV, the DVD players, etc.

I surely miss the convenience of my gadgets when we have brown-outs and blackouts, but I can still write letters and notes by hand, though it's slower. I'm not a TV addict, so I can get by without the audio and the visuals. The most vivid programs are in my brain :=)

Though I'm IT-dependent, I can say I can still survive if they turn the power off - and here, they often do! :=)

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Question/Answer
hOPE12 asked on 10/31/05 - Back finally!

Hello Everyone,

It sure has been rough here in Fort Lauderdale area in Florida. Wilma really got us good. I just got electric back. Many are still without and the only reason we got back after only one week is because we live next to the police station and the hospital is right up the block.
My family and I lived on MRE's for a week. If this is what the army guys eat, I feel sorry for them.

We had lots of damage here and the roof of our apartment building caved in. My apartment is fine because I am on the third floor and the roof caved in on the fourth floor. Fema is relocating the ones whose apartments were really bad. This buildings roof is being repaired by the disaster crew but some that are worse then this one is beyond repair. I certainly count my blessings at this time.

I missed you guys and just wanted to let you know what is happening here. Some of the lights have been repaired still a lot are out as of this time. We can now drink the water here but we are scarce still on food because many of the supermarkets do not have lights as of yet. We have been all very grateful and realize things could have been worse. It is good to be back and have some normala activity back.

Take care,
Hope12

madima answered on 10/31/05:

I'm glad to hear you're safe :=)

We are also being battered by a prolonged typhoon season, with a lot of floods, landslides and mudslides on this side of the globe.

Take care! :=)

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Question/Answer
hOPE12 asked on 10/31/05 - Here is what some people act like in an emergency!

Hello Everyone,
HERE ARE SOME OF THE NEGATIVE REACTIONS.
Recently due to Wilma we all were in need of gas for our cars. Here are some of the scams people were pulling.

One guy was approached by a man carring a 5 gallon can full of what he said was gas. The man paid him over 30 dollars only to find out what he poured in his car was water. A brand new truck. Sad!

One mam sat for 8 hours in line for gas at the pump and when he finally got to the pump to get his gas another car cut him off, so the man orginally at the pump first honked his horn so as not to get hit by the guy who cut him off. Well the guy who cut him off didn't like having the horn honked at him so he go out of his car, drew his gun and shot the man.The man did not get gas nor did he live another day. There goes that new gun law for you!

One woman needed to extend her payment of rent because of the huricane and her situation where her house was damaged badly. She was told that if she was late she would be charged a late fee for every day she was late.
Wow, talk about not caring.

Another women feel and busted her lip and told the owner of the drugstore that she needed some water or ice for her lip. They lady thought if she could find ice or water she could control the bleeding. She asked the owner did he have one of those instand ice packs that you break and it gets cold, he told her no and that she just needs to watch were she walks and asked her to leave his store.

" Loving wasn't he? Not only was there no lights but the lady was there to try and get needed medication for her family. As the owner of the drugstore he could have been more helpful."

NOW FOR THE POSITIVE THINGS I SAW:

One of the families I know went to bed when the storm was just about to hit and was dosing when all of a sudden the wind picked up and for some odd reason her and her husband got up- out of bed and ran to the living room to check the glass doors and just as they left their bedroom their whole ceiling in the bedroom fell on the bed. Now that was scary, they still get nervous when they relate the story.

One couple got their lights on before anyone else did and went and stood in the Fema lines to collect ice and water and food to take it to those without lights and to shut ins who were stranded on upper floors, and older ones.

Another family with lights got together with others and prepared noodles, and soup and tried to put hot food together for those who did not have home or lights.

One man with his wife and two children had their home totally damaged and yet they had their grill and generater in the shed in the back yard that was not damaged. This man and his wife began by getting gas for his generator and finding can soups and cofee and taking it to others who had less damage then he did.

One family where the wife was about to give birth had her home completely damaged and when they asked what they were going to do now that they lost most of what they had, the man said, "I will be thankful that my wife and my soon to be baby and I are alive and able to continue on together."

My question is this, we here in Broward County and Palm beach County and parts of Miami Dade County suffered the same disaster. Yet why so many different reactions? Why do some react in a negative way and others in such a positive and loving way? Do any of you guys have an answer to this one?

Take care,
Hope12

madima answered on 10/31/05:

We get hit by an average of 25-30 typhoons per year, so typhoons are nothing new to us on my side of the globe.

But if you ask me why people's reactions vary in the face of an emergency, I'll say it all depends on their perception of how safe and secure they feel they are.

A person who thinks he can survive and believes he has enough resources to do so will tend to be more generous - whether or not he has the real strength and resources to do so.

A person who has enough resources but who thinks he does not have enough and fears for his survival, will focus only on his own interests, tend to hoard and grab everything he can grab.

Of course, those who don't have any resources who think they cannot survive are the most desperate.

You also have natural opportunists and unscrupulous parties who will use any emergency or disaster to make a killing.

And there can be no predators without the prey - the gullible ones and the confused, whose sense of judgment had been weakened by such crisis situations.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 10/30/05 - JUST WONDERING ...


What's your favorite thing about yourself? Your smile? Your sense of humor? Your approach to your religion? What is it?

HANK

madima answered on 10/30/05:

My devil-may-care, to-hell-with-the-world attitude, I guess! :=)

In a world where peers, friends, family, bosses, etc. try to impose on you what they think you should be, how you should behave, feel and think, I can simply slam the door of my consciousness, make myself inaccessible when I want to, do as I please and be happy with the results :=)

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 10/29/05 - "All Hallo''s Eve" comes with nary a shiver

Does anything about "All Hallows' Eve" make you shiver?

( © 1995-2002 by Jerry Wilson)

Halloween is an annual celebration, but just what is it actually a celebration of? And how did this peculiar custom originate? Is it, as some claim, a kind of demon worship? Or is it just a harmless vestige of some ancient pagan ritual?

The word itself, "Halloween," actually has its origins in the Catholic Church. It comes from a contracted corruption of All Hallows Eve. November 1, "All Hollows Day" (or "All Saints Day"), is a Catholic day of observance in honor of saints. But, in the 5th century BC, in Celtic Ireland, summer officially ended on October 31. The holiday was called Samhain (sow-en), the Celtic New year.

One story says that, on that day, the disembodied spirits of all those who had died throughout the preceding year would come back in search of living bodies to possess for the next year. It was believed to be their only hope for the afterlife. The Celts believed all laws of space and time were suspended during this time, allowing the spirit world to intermingle with the living.

Naturally, the still-living did not want to be possessed. So on the night of October 31, villagers would extinguish the fires in their homes, to make them cold and undesirable. They would then dress up in all manner of ghoulish costumes and noisily paraded around the neighborhood, being as destructive as possible in order to frighten away spirits looking for bodies to possess.

Probably a better explanation of why the Celts extinguished their fires was not to discourage spirit possession, but so that all the Celtic tribes could relight their fires from a common source, the Druidic fire that was kept burning in the Middle of Ireland, at Usinach.

Some accounts tell of how the Celts would burn someone at the stake who was thought to have already been possessed, as sort of a lesson to the spirits. Other accounts of Celtic history debunk these stories as myth.

The Romans adopted the Celtic practices as their own. But in the first century AD, Samhain was assimilated into celebrations of some of the other Roman traditions that took place in October, such as their day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple, which might explain the origin of our modern tradition of bobbing for apples on Halloween.

The thrust of the practices also changed over time to become more ritualized. As belief in spirit possession waned, the practice of dressing up like hobgoblins, ghosts, and witches took on a more ceremonial role.

The custom of Halloween was brought to America in the 1840's by Irish immigrants fleeing their country's potato famine. At that time, the favorite pranks in New England included tipping over outhouses and unhinging fence gates.

The custom of trick-or-treating is thought to have originated not with the Irish Celts, but with a ninth-century European custom called souling. On November 2, All Souls Day, early Christians would walk from village to village begging for "soul cakes," made out of square pieces of bread with currants. The more soul cakes the beggars would receive, the more prayers they would promise to say on behalf of the dead relatives of the donors. At the time, it was believed that the dead remained in limbo for a time after death, and that prayer, even by strangers, could expedite a soul's passage to heaven.

The Jack-o-lantern custom probably comes from Irish folklore. As the tale is told, a man named Jack, who was notorious as a drunkard and trickster, tricked Satan into climbing a tree. Jack then carved an image of a cross in the tree's trunk, trapping the devil up the tree. Jack made a deal with the devil that, if he would never tempt him again, he would promise to let him down the tree.

According to the folk tale, after Jack died, he was denied entrance to Heaven because of his evil ways, but he was also denied access to Hell because he had tricked the devil. Instead, the devil gave him a single ember to light his way through the frigid darkness. The ember was placed inside a hollowed-out turnip to keep it glowing longer.

The Irish used turnips as their "Jack's lanterns" originally. But when the immigrants came to America, they found that pumpkins were far more plentiful than turnips. So the Jack-O-Lantern in America was a hollowed-out pumpkin, lit with an ember.

So, although some cults may have adopted Halloween as their favorite "holiday," the day itself did not grow out of evil practices. It grew out of the rituals of Celts celebrating a new year, and out of Medieval prayer rituals of Europeans. And today, even many churches have Halloween parties or pumpkin carving events for the kids. After all, the day itself is only as evil as one cares to make it.

© 1995-2002 by Jerry Wilson; Get Permission to Reprint this article.

References: Charles Panati, Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things, 1987; and Dr. Joseph Gahagan, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Personal letter, 1997

madima answered on 10/29/05:

Not really, dear Ronnie :=)

But I keep my door locked on Halloween eve, which is just a few hours away where I am now.

It also happens to be a great night for robbers. Many break-ins happen here on this eve as most people are in the cemeteries celebrating the feast of the dead :=)

Many shoot-outs happen too, with so many drunks on the loose. Coconut wine flows freely and passions run high.

So, you see, if one is not careful here, one is very LIKELY to join the dead before this day is over! :-)

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 10/29/05 - Iranians - I don't like 'em


Hello Christians:

I'm a Jew. I think Iran ought to be wiped out. It's a blot on the map. This time, Israel should drop the big one. Screw those Arabs, or Persians or whatever the fk they call themselves.

excon

madima answered on 10/29/05:

I adore Persian cats! :=)

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Question/Answer
revdauphinee asked on 10/28/05 - MORE IDIOCY

Animal Rights Activist: 'Kill the Researchers'
Senate committee shocked by testimony of ALF spokesman

http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=47096

WASHINGTON – A radical animal rights activist shocked members of the U.S. Senate this week by advocating the murder of those conducting medical research.

Jerry Vlasak, spokesman for the Animal Liberation Front, told the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works that killing medical researchers was "morally justified" to save laboratory animals.

Vlasak compared the life of lab animals to African American slaves and the Jewish victims of Nazi concentration camps.

He made his comments while defending a similar statement, made to the news media last year: "I don't think you'd have to kill – assassinate – too many vivisectors before you would see a marked decrease in the amount of vivisection going on. And I think for five lives, 10 lives, 15 human lives, we could save a million, 2 million, 10 million non-human lives."

"It is so revolting to hear what you say about murder – these aren't extermination camps," said Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-NJ. "What's being done, whether you like it or not, is to try and improve the quality of life for human beings. I believe that laboratory tests involving animals can be necessary and important for the advancement of science and medicine and the protection of public health."

The hearing was called to investigate the animal rights group SHAC, whose mission is to force the closure of one of America's largest independent contract research organizations, Huntongton Life Sciences. Recently, the New York Stock Exchange abruptly postponed its long-planned listing of HLS's holding company, Life Sciences Research Inc. following threats against the exchange made by SHAC.

Sen. James Inhofe, R-OK, told the FBI's counterterrorism Deputy Assistant Director John E. Lewis, who also testified, that he plans to introduce legislation that will grant law enforcement greater flexibility in tracking and prosecuting those who break the law.

"That's not a maybe," he vowed after hearing Vlasak. "That's a definite."

Another witness, Mark Bibi, general counsel for LSRI, recounted how his private property was vandalized by SHAC.

"The car was covered with animal rights graffiti," he said. "Warning messages were spray painted all over my house."

Witness Skip Boruchin of NASDAQ, who was targeted by SHAC for having a business relationship with HLS, reported the group slandered him as a sex offender and harassed his elderly mother while she was residing in an assisted living home.

LSRI reportedly lost millions of dollars in business and spent over $1 million on legal costs. Its share price was battered.

Vlasak described himself as a "former vivisector" and the press officer of the North American Liberation Front.

"The actions of underground activists who care enough about animals to speak out in no uncertain terms, and at times to risk their own lives and freedom, have a message that is most urgent and one that deserves to be heard and understood," he said. "Often underground animal liberation speech and actions either go unreported in the media or are uncritically vilified as 'violent' or 'terrorist,' with no attention paid to the needless and senseless suffering that industries and individuals gratuitously inflict on animals."

He claimed HLS kills 500 animals a day and "will test anything for anybody. They carry out experiments which involve poisoning animals with household products, pesticides, drugs, herbicides, food colorings and additives, sweeteners and genetically modified organisms, oven cleaner and make up."

Vlasak said the company was infiltrated in 1997 by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and found information that forced HLS to plead guilty to animal cruelty violations and pay a $50,000 fine.

He said it was important to realize "SHAC is not one group, or hierarchical entity, but an ideologically aligned group consisting on thousands of people who gather in various groups to protest the atrocities perpetrated by HLS."

Vlasak celebrated the fact that HLS has been brought to the brink of financial ruin.

madima answered on 10/28/05:

Of course, you have a right to your own opinion, I respect that.

But have you SEEN what med research does to animal test subjects? And did you or your kids ever have any pet that loves you or any animal that you love like your own child or family?

Since I don't know your answers to these Qs, I wouldn't know what you will do if someone grabs your beloved animal and slowly tear out its eye sockets to see how much pain it can stand, electrocute it and cannibalize its internal organs while it's alive and screaming... You see, researchers have to establish pain thresholds for meds they test, etc.

In China, some raise black bears to tap them for their bile. You tear a permanent hole in their abdomen and implant catherers in their gall bladders to collect their bile which traditional Chinese medicine holds can cure fever, liver illness and sore eyes.

It's a very cruel, extremely painful practice,which is absolutely unnecessary.

This month, one of the farmers was attacked and eaten by his bears. I didn't feel sorry for him one bit.

If you ask me, in all honesty, I'll say I admire Vlasak and completely agree with him.
He should add more to his list too. Kill the poachers, the trappers and the bounty hunters as well as the traders and middlemen... although a bullet in the head will be letting them off too easily.

It will be an act of justice if they are made to EXPERIENCE the SAME things they do to animals.

It will be sweet justice if they are forced to step into their own steel traps and hang upside down in their own gore for days and days to die with agonizing slowness.

They should have all their internal organs taken out, tampered with, replaced and taken out again without anesthesia countless times to give them a dose of their own medicine.

See if they don't cry out they are being treated WORSE than African American slaves or Nazi concentration camp victims.

But of course, animals can't cry out like their human killers can. Under such circumstances, animals can only scream in pain or die in silence.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 10/27/05 - Greatest Problem ?

Cut and paste from BBC on line website(BBC dot com dot UK):: Prince Charles at Home Farm

"Prince Charles says climate change should be seen as the "greatest challenge to face man" and treated as a much bigger priority in the UK.

The prince unveiled his vision for the future of the environment, farming and food in an exclusive BBC interview.

He said climate change was "what really worries me", and he did not want his future grandchildren to ask why he had not acted over the issue.

He also encouraged consumers to buy regional produce to help UK farming."


Do you think that global warming is the greatest problem facing Great Britian and the rest of us???

madima answered on 10/27/05:

I like Prince Charles. Before Princess Di died, he came here alone and donated a sum of money for the conservation of the highly endangered Philippine tarsiers. He even came to Bohol, the home of the tarsiers, to pet some of the captive population there :=)

Yes, I think that global warming is one of the greatest challenge that faces man today. But it is a problem that man has brought upon himself - with his use of fossil fuels and his destruction of the "lungs of the earth" - the rainforests aboveground and the coral forests beneath the seas.

But the Prince should also know that "unenlightened" farming is one of the factors that wreaks havoc on the earth.

When people denude forests to create more farms, they hasten the extinction of countless flora and fauna, contribute to erosion, desertification and siltation which kills even the corals under the seas.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 10/27/05 - Europeans Not Fans of Halloween

Cut and Paste from Yahoo News

By WILLIAM J. KOLE, Associated Press Writer Wed Oct 26, 4:20 PM ET

VIENNA, Austria - "It's almost Halloween — and all those ghosts, goblins, tricks and treats are giving Hans Kohler the creeps. So the mayor of Rankweil, a town near the border with Switzerland, has launched a one-man campaign disparaging Halloween as a "bad American habit" and urging families to skip it this year.

"It's an American custom that's got nothing to do with our culture," Kohler wrote in letters sent out to households. By midweek, the mayors of eight neighboring villages had thrown their support behind the boycott. So had local police, annoyed with the annual Oct. 31 uptick in vandalism and mischief.

Although Halloween has become increasingly popular across Europe — complete with carved pumpkins, witches on broomsticks, makeshift houses of horror and costumed children rushing door to door for candy — it's begun to breed a backlash.

Critics see it as the epitome of crass, U.S.-style commercialism. Clerics and conservatives contend it clashes with the spirit of traditional Nov. 1 All Saints' Day remembrances.

And it's got purists in countries struggling to retain a sense of uniqueness in Europe's ever-enlarging melting pot grimacing like Jack o' Lanterns.

Halloween "undermines our cultural identity," complained the Rev. Giordano Frosini, a Roman Catholic theologian who serves as vicar-general in the Diocese of Pistoia near Florence, Italy.

Frosini denounced the holiday as a "manifestation of neo-paganism" and an expression of American cultural supremacy. "Pumpkins show their emptiness," he said.

To be sure, Halloween is big business in Europe.

Germans alone spend nearly $170 million, on Halloween costumes, sweets, decorations and parties. The holiday has become increasingly popular in Romania, home to the Dracula myth, where discotheques throw parties with bat and vampire themes.

In Britain, where Halloween celebrations rival those in the United States, it's the most lucrative day of the year for costume and party retailers.

"Without Halloween, I don't think we could exist, to be honest," said Pendra Maisuria, owner of Escapade, a London costume shop that rakes in 30 percent of its annual sales in the run-up to Oct. 31. Metropolitan Police, meanwhile, haven't logged any significant increase in crime.

But not everyone takes such a carefree approach toward the surge in trick-or-treating — "giving something sweet or getting something sour," as it's called in German.

In Austria, where many families get a government child allowance, "parents who abuse it to buy Halloween plunder for their kids should be forced to pay back the aid," grumbled Othmar Berbig, an Austrian who backs the small but strident boycott movement.

In Sweden, even as Halloween's popularity has increased, so have views of the holiday as an "unnecessary, bad American custom," said Bodil Nildin-Wall, an expert at the Language and Folklore Institute in Uppsala.

Italy's Papaboys, a group of pope devotees who include some of the young Catholics who cheer wildly at
Vatican events, have urged Christians not to take part in what they consider "a party in honor of Satan and hell," and plan to stage prayer vigils nationwide that night.

Don't take it all so seriously, counters Gerald Faschingeder, who heads a Roman Catholic youth alliance in Austria. He sees nothing particularly evil about glow-in-the-dark skeletons, plastic fangs, fake blood, rubber tarantulas or latex scars.

"It's a chance for girls and boys to disguise themselves and have some fun away from loud and demanding adults," Faschingeder said. "For one evening, at least, kids can feel more powerful than grown-ups."

___


I'm lazy, make up your own question and answer it.
That is, if you wish. :):):)






madima answered on 10/27/05:

Dear Mary Sue,

We don't celebrate Halloween like Westerners do, although we are quite "Americanized".

The over three centuries of Spanish rule has more hold on our culture than the less than one century of Uncle Sam's reign :=)

The malls in the biggest cities are spruced up with lighted plastic pumpkins, spider webs, bats, vampires and ghoul mannequins, but Filipino kids don't go for "trick or treat" here. Many go from house to house in groups, singing the standard "serenade of the dead" although they don't wear costumes.

Roughly translated, the song identifies the child serenaders as "lost souls from purgatory who did not make it in time when the gates of heaven closed". So they are begging for alms, waiting for the next time the gates will open. For their pains, the old folks give them coins for their pains :=)

But our real celebration focuses on the cemeteries, where feasting that lasts for two days is held. The tombs are cleaned, laden with flowers and candles, lights are put up, people picnic, sing and dance and tell stories beside the graves. Some even have rock bands in there! It's an official non-working holiday and a real feast of the dead! :=)

If it's a business here, it's mostly for the underground economy - the small vendors of flowers, candles and food and the entertainers :=)

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 10/26/05 - Wisdom

Just thought I would share this

25 Phrases Of Wisdom

1. If you're too open minded, your brains will fall out.

2. Age is a very high price to pay for maturity.

3. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you a mechanic.

4. Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

5. If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before.

6. My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.

7. Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.

8. It is easier to get forgiveness than permission.

9. For every action, there is an equal and opposite government program.

10. If you look like your passport picture, you probably need the trip.

11. Bills travel through the mail at twice the speed of checks.

12. A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.

13. Eat well, stay fit, die anyway.

14. Men are from earth. Women are from earth. Deal with it.

15. No husband has ever been shot while doing the dishes.

16. A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.

17. Middle age is when broadness of the mind and narrowness of the waist change places.

18. Opportunities always look bigger going than coming.

19. Junk is something you've kept for years and throw away three weeks before you need it.

20. There is always one more imbecile than you counted on.

21. Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.

22. By the time you can make ends meet, they move the ends.

23. Thou shalt not weigh more than thy refrigerator.

24. Someone who thinks logically provides a nice contrast to the real world.

AND . . . (drum roll please?)

25. Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves for they shall never cease to be amused.


now I think I can relate to everyone of these, how about you?

madima answered on 10/26/05:

I love numbers 1, 4 and 25.

But most of all, I love number 5: If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before.

Now, that's a rule to live by! :=)

Thanks, Brian! :=)

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 10/26/05 - and just to test your perspective

Matter of Perspective

Three preachers sat discussing the best positions for prayer while a telephone repairman worked nearby. "Kneeling is definitely best," claimed one.

"No," another contended. "I get the best results standing with my hands outstretched to Heaven."

"You're both wrong," the third insisted. "The most effective prayer position is lying prostrate, face down on the floor."

The repairman could contain himself no longer. "Hey, fellas, " he interrupted, "the best prayin' I ever did was hangin' upside down from a telephone pole."

madima answered on 10/26/05:

If I remember it right, the best praying I've done was trapped alone in a building, in a blackout, in the middle of the night, with an over 6 magnitude earthquake making my cot slide from one wall to the other :=)

Good the earthquake lasted only for a few seconds :=)

Perhaps God heard :=)

I wasn't praying for myself though, but for the helpless little cat who sleeps under the stairs.

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Question/Answer
sapphire630 asked on 10/24/05 - A C&P brought to u by sapph

Squirrels on crack

Oct 7, 2005


NATURE lovers fear that squirrels could become hooked on crack cocaine plundered from addicts' hidden stashes.

The furry animals are thought to be behind a new drugs turf war in Brixton - stealing rocks of crack hidden in front gardens.

Tough police action to rid the town centre of dealers and addicts has seen crackheads abandon their usual drug stash hideouts.

But the blitz has displaced some dealing into nearby residential streets.

Drug addicts are known to be hiding small stashes of crack rocks in people's front lawns late at night.

Squirrels have been spotted in the same front gardens, seemingly hunting out the buried narcotics.

The discovery has led some residents to speculate that the squirrels are already in the grips of addiction. One resident, who asked for his name to be withheld, told the South London Press.

"I was chatting with my neighbour who told me that crack users and dealers sometimes use my front garden to hide bits of their stash.

"An hour earlier I'd seen a squirrel wandering round the garden, digging in the flowerbeds.

"It looked like it knew what it was looking for.

"It was ill-looking and its eyes looked bloodshot but it kept on desperately digging.

"It was almost as if it was trying to find hidden crack rocks."

Crack squirrels are a recognised phenomena in the US.

They are known to live in parks frequented by addicts in New York and Washington DC.

The squirrels have attacked park visitors in their frenzied search for their next fix.

An RSPCA spokesman said he was unaware of the squirrels taking crack in Brixton.
----------------------------------
Maybe they (the police) should team these squirrels up with the drug sniffing police dogs.

madima answered on 10/24/05:

The poor squirrels! But no, I don't think they will be addicted. They will die.

Many of the "forbidden" substances that humans like to consume are toxic to animals -both domestic and wild.

One tiger owner had his adolescent kids' buddies hanging around in their home. When he was away, one of them must have fed the drugs they were using on the tiger. They did not mean to kill him. Perhaps they just thought: "Let's see how a tiger trips." The innocent cat died as a result.

That happens to be a 500 pound cat. So, what happens to a less than ten pound squirrel or other smaller mammals who would stumble on a cache?

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 10/24/05 - ATTACHMENT:



Attachment involves a person's behavior that is independent of his/her direct needs. It assumes that humans are social beings who do NOT just use other people to satisfy their drives. I believe this applies to a poor or lower middle-class person but not the upper middle-class, the rich and the wealthy. Those who come into money can go one of two ways: Be greedy and keep it for him/herself OR spread it around and make friends. I have found over the years that many of my poor friends did the latter and the former became outcasts. If a working class became a ruling class, I readily believe that a Democracy would remain except for the 'self-dealing' turkeys who are running the show now. Most poor people have a tendency to appreciate what they come by. As we know, the ruling class doesn't. Wouldn't it be great to see those in Congress digging ditches 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year without medical insurance? Putting on a new pair of shoes is great ... if you're a poor person. Others take it foregranted. Do you?

HANK

madima answered on 10/24/05:

Dear Hank,

I find it quite strange that the West puts so much emphasis on "attachment" when so many Eastern faiths put more value on non-attachment.

Attachment to people, to material things, to thoughts and ideas could easily be a man's undoing :=)

Every year, Buddhist monks in Nepal create a very elaborate mandala of colored sand. They spend most of the year creating it. When it is finished, they allow people to view it and appreciate it for some days. Then, they blow it away and start all over.

Nothing of this earth ever lasts. Making that a premise of our existence could help in any ways. It seems that not too many realize how non-attachment could in itself be of great value.

Non-attachment liberates you.

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 10/23/05 - Alexander Solzhenitsyn unmasks the weakness of secular humanism

Perhaps the most graphic illustration of godlessness versus belief as it impinged, not only directly on the lives of men, but also on their political machinery, was that brief moment at Harvard, in 1978, when Alexander Solzhenitsyn spoke so soberly in the rain to its graduates.

"Yet there is a disaster which is already very much with us," he explained to them, apparently uncomprehending and unprepared that his words would apply to them.

" I am referring to the calamity of an autonomous irreligious humanistic consciousness. It has made man the measure of all things on earth -- imperfect man, who is never free of pride, self-interest, vanity, and dozens of other defects. ....

"On the way from the Renaissance to our day we have enriched our experience, but we have lost the concept of a Supreme Complete Entity which used to restrain our passions and irresponsibility.

"We have placed too much hope in politics and social reforms, only to find out that we were being deprived of our most precious possession, our spiritual life. ...

"If, as claimed by humanism, man were born only to be happy, he would not be born to die."


Comments?

madima answered on 10/24/05:

Dear Ronnie,

I know Solzhenitsyn is a great man, but I don't favor his concept of what "religious consciousness" should be, as I glean from this excerpt.

While I don't subscribe to putting too much hope in politics and social reforms, I don't subscribe in being too religion-dependent either.

I'll only comment on two of his lines you quoted :=)

"...we have lost the concept of a Supreme Complete Entity which used to restrain our passions and irresponsibility."

If you ask me, I find that false. Man has free will. So why would he need a Supreme Entity to keep him from doing what he wants to do - good or bad? Why should he pass the buck to his God?

And why would a Supreme Entity bother about monitoring the actions of His creations when they should learn the purpose of their own lives by themselves, by trial and error? Otherwise, He should have just created robots with a perfect programming and wind them up when He pleases.

And I see no sense in this either:

"If, as claimed by humanism, man were born only to be happy, he would not be born to die."

I think life is precious because we know we live on borrowed time. The moment we are born, our cells begin to age, and we slowly begin to die.

But that's precisely the reason why we try to live life to the hilt!

How boring it must be if one can live forever!

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 10/23/05 - Unkindest Cut of All

For clete, the Australian who bad mouths American media::

"TALK show host Rove McManus's plan to show a vasectomy live on TV has sparked outrage.

Australian Medical Association state president Dr Mark Yates said the show was trivialising a serious decision.

"If the decision is made in flippant circumstances and there is a requirement later for a reversal, that represents an awful waste of valuable resources," he said.

Family Association national vice-president Bill Muehlenberg said Channel 10 was "scraping the bottom of the barrel".

McManus said: "I'm very excited at the prospect of speaking live to someone undergoing something that would make the toughest Aussie bloke's eyes water."

The program on Tuesday will cross live to a Sydney clinic."


Comments???

madima answered on 10/23/05:

I don't really know what the ruckus is all about :=)

What's wrong with showing vasectomy live on TV? It's just a simple outpatient procedure. It's not even a major operation.

The networks and other media companies have long been showing footages and films of child births, CS, brain surgeries and other medical procedures onscreen. I think the National Geographic episode on face lifts and liposuction was actually more gory than a vasectomy or a tubal ligation.

Papa had vasectomy when I was a child. He thinks men should have a more active role in family planning, more responsibility. They should not just leave the burden on the women.

He had the trauma of his life when he saw how mama suffered when she gave birth to me. He was on her bedside. And he swore he doesn't want to have her go through that anymore.

I agree with him.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 10/23/05 - Famous Convert

Newsweek, Oct 31, 2005 issue::By David Gates
Newsweek

"Sometimes Anne Rice won't leave her bedroom for days on end—and neither would you. Glass doors open onto a terrace that looks over the red-tiled roofs of La Jolla, Calif., to the Pacific Ocean. A live-in staffer brings meals to the table at the foot of her ornately carved wooden bed, which faces an ornately carved stone fireplace. She exercises in a huge bike-in closet. She's got two computers and enough books to last her a year. Splendid isolation? Splendid, sure. But she's often got family visiting in a downstairs guest suite, she reads The New York Times every morning—"Nicholas Kristof is a hero to me"—watches news "till I can't stand it anymore," and spends up to an hour and a half a day e-mailing with her extraordinarily faithful readers.

They've been worried about her. After 25 novels in 25 years, Rice, 64, hasn't published a book since 2003's "Blood Chronicle," the tenth volume of her best-selling vampire series. They may have heard she came close to death last year, when she had surgery for an intestinal blockage, and also back in 1998, when she went into a sudden diabetic coma; that same year she returned to the Roman Catholic Church, which she'd left at 18. They surely knew that Stan Rice, her husband of 41 years, died of a brain tumor in 2002. And though she'd moved out of their longtime home in New Orleans more than a year before Hurricane Katrina, she still has property there—and the deep emotional connection that led her to make the city the setting for such novels as "Interview With the Vampire." What's up with her? "For the last six months," she says, "people have been sending e-mails saying, 'What are you doing next?' And I've told them, 'You may not want what I'm doing next'." We'll know soon. In two weeks, Anne Rice, the chronicler of vampires, witches and—under the pseudonym A. N. Roquelaure—of soft-core S&M encounters, will publish "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt," a novel about the 7-year-old Jesus, narrated by Christ himself. "I promised," she says, "that from now on I would write only for the Lord." It's the most startling public turnaround since Bob Dylan's "Slow Train Coming" announced that he'd been born again.

Meeting the still youthful-looking Rice, you'd never suspect she'd been ill—except that on a warm October afternoon she's chilly enough to have a fire blazing. And if you were expecting Morticia Addams with a strange new light in her eyes, forget it. "We make good coffee," she says, beckoning you to where a silver pot sits on the white tablecloth. "We're from New Orleans." Rice knows "Out of Egypt" and its projected sequels—three, she thinks—could alienate her following; as she writes in the afterword, "I was ready to do violence to my career." But she sees a continuity with her old books, whose compulsive, conscience-stricken evildoers reflect her long spiritual unease. "I mean, I was in despair." In that afterword she calls Christ "the ultimate supernatural hero ... the ultimate immortal of them all."

To render such a hero and his world believable, she immersed herself not only in Scripture, but in first-century histories and New Testament scholarship—some of which she found disturbingly skeptical. "Even Hitler scholarship usually allows Hitler a certain amount of power and mystery." She also watched every Biblical movie she could find, from "The Robe" to "The Passion of the Christ" ("I loved it"). And she dipped into previous novels, from "Quo Vadis" to Norman Mailer's "The Gospel According to the Son" to Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins's apocalyptic Left Behind series. ("I was intrigued. But their vision is not my vision.") She can cite scholarly authority for giving her Christ a birth date of 11 B.C., and for making James, his disciple, the son of Joseph by a previous marriage. But she's also taken liberties where they don't explicitly conflict with Scripture. No one reports that the young Jesus studied with the historian Philo of Alexandria, as the novel has it—or that Jesus' family was in Alexandria at all. And she's used legends of the boy Messiah's miracles from the noncanonical Apocrypha: bringing clay birds to life, striking a bully dead and resurrecting him.

Rice's most daring move, though, is to try to get inside the head of a 7-year-old kid who's intermittently aware that he's also God Almighty. "There were times when I thought I couldn't do it," she admits. The advance notices say she's pulled it off: Kirkus Reviews' starred rave pronounces her Jesus "fully believable." But it's hard to imagine all readers will be convinced when he delivers such lines as "And there came in a flash to me a feeling of understanding everything, everything!" The attempt to render a child's point of view can read like a Sunday-school text crossed with Hemingway: "It was time for the blessing. The first prayer we all said together in Jerusalem ... The words were a little different to me. But it was still very good." Yet in the novel's best scene, a dream in which Jesus meets a bewitchingly handsome Satan—smiling, then weeping, then raging—Rice shows she still has her great gift: to imbue Gothic chills with moral complexity and heartfelt sorrow.

Rice already has much of the next volume written. ("Of course I've been advised not to talk about it.") But what's she going to do with herself once her hero ascends to Heaven? "If I really complete the life of Christ the way I want to do it," she says, "then I might go on and write a new type of fiction. It won't be like the other. It'll be in a world that includes redemption." Still, you can bet the Devil's going to get the best lines.
© 2005 Newsweek, Inc.


Do you want Anne Rice writting for the Lord?

madima answered on 10/23/05:

Hmmm... I don't think she's writing for Him, dear Mary Sue :=)

I should know because I write a lot of fiction, aside from the everyday non-fiction, potboiler, journalistic stuff. And it's the fiction I've always enjoyed most.

Anne Rice is writing about Him. Or rather, she is writing about what she thinks He thinks when He was a kid. That's different.

In the creative act of fiction writing, Anne Rice will put much of herself in her concept of Christ, as He should have been, or rather, as she thinks He should be and should have been in her mind :=)

She puts herself in His position, as every writer does, when she creates a fictional character. She becomes Him and He becomes her.

But inasmuch as it is her hand on the keyboard, she is the ultimate creator and He is only her subject :=)

A writer does not really write for Him or for anybody. She does it for herself because the "impersonation" pleases her.

It is a very intriguing, very challenging process for a writer. And of course, in the case of authors who already have best-selling track records like her, it makes very good money! :=)

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 10/23/05 - BELIEVERS:



How do believers combat boredom, loneliness and helplessness?

HANK

madima answered on 10/23/05:

Honestly, I've never been bored or lonely!

I live my life to the hilt, every millisecond of it. I can't even find enough time to do all that I wish to do! I don't think my whole lifetime will be enough! :=)

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 10/23/05 - NON-BELIEVERS:



How do non-believers combat boredom, loneliness and helplessness?

HANK

madima answered on 10/23/05:

Probably by ranting at themselves, their friends, family, their kins and their pets.

I'd guess at least, believers can rant at God and curse Him for not giving them mates, lovers, promotions, sexy bodies and lottery winnings.

But I wouldn't really know. I've never been bored or lonely in my life! :=)

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 10/23/05 - Well, that stopped the clock, but, now for a serious question ...

As a Christian or any kind of believer, "Do you believe that your first duty is to your God or to the President/ruler of your nation, and what do you do if you truly believe that your President/ruler is not doing God's will in something? Who do you choose - God or the President/ruler"

Please - no lists of names!



The witch hunt is temporarily on hold.

madima answered on 10/23/05:

Actually, dear Ronnie, I believe that my first duty is to myself :=)

That's what any Christian President of any country will tell you, if he is honest enough - which he isn't, otherwise, he won't be president :=)

I can hear God's voice well enough in my conscience.

And I wanna bet that's what your President and mine will tell you, too! :=)

You must be aware that here in the Philippines, we have overthrown two of our Presidents already and we are close to overthrowing our third.

But it's not because they did not do God's will. That's not their job, we believe. They are not priests of the church. The president's job is to do the will of the people because he is supposed to take care of their welfare - in peace or in war.

But that is of course, being idealistic.

Presidents always think they are God, though they won't say it aloud.



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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 10/23/05 - will you oppose the new Nazi threat?

Nazi racoons on the march

From correspondents in Berlin

October 24, 2005


GERMANY is battling a new threat - "Nazi" raccoons that are ruining the country's wine harvest half a century after Hermann Goering introduced them, saying they would "enrich" the local wildlife.
Goering ordered the creatures released into the German countryside in 1934.

Since then, they have spread through central Europe because they have no natural predators there. They are now destroying Germany's grape harvest.

"Raccoons wiped out almost the entire harvest in a matter of days," said Werner Kothe, who operates a vineyard in the Brandenburg region.

The situation has become so serious in Brandenburg that officials have hired bounty hunters to cull raccoons.


Scientists estimate there may be more than a million in Germany, and say they are spreading to neighbouring countries at an alarming rate.

madima answered on 10/23/05:

Well, that is Germany - and the rest of Europe's price for eradicating their big predators that can cull the coons naturally.

The European lynx is almost gone, thanks to humans denuding the forests, putting out traps and poisons. Same is true for the European wolves and the jackals, which farmers had been persecuting nonstop for raiding their livestock.

While even the lynx, the jackal and the wolf (unless they are in packs) are really no match for a healthy adult coon (which can both swim and climb), these predators can at least control the coon's population growth.

But in all honesty, I cannot sympathize with the German grape growers. I don't drink wine and I love racoons. They are very intelligent, very agile and extremely adorable, just as they are extremely mischievous, beautiful masked-face bandits that they are.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 10/22/05 - ANOTHER ROLE MODEL QUESTION:


Chou made a comment in her answer to my last ROLE MODEL question. She said that she couldn't think of any regular member on this Board who's a role model. That got me thinkin' which led me to asking myself, "What are the characteristics of a role model?" Here's what I came up with:

Communication skills, positive attitudes, knowledge, organizational abilities, enthusiasm, fairness, flexibility, able to encourage and good speaking and writing skills.

Taking those characteristics into consideration, are there any ROLE MODELS that participate on this Board?

HANK

madima answered on 10/22/05:

I can't say there is one for sure, until I get to know them well in the real world.

This is virtual reality. Anyone can be anything here :=)

I beg to disagree about the qualities of a role model too, dear Hank. I have known of people who are illiterates, with no organizational skills, who make good role models in terms of compassion and self-sacrifice :=)

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Question/Answer
revdauphinee asked on 10/22/05 - Britain’s War on Pigs

Britain’s War on Pigs
October 16th, 2005
By Robert Spencer
www.frontpagemagazine.com

Pigs are disappearing all over England, but not because of some porcine variant of Mad Cow Disease: rather, the most implacable foe of the swine is turning out to be multiculturalism.

The latest assault came in the benefits department at Dudley Council, West Midlands, where employees were told that they were no longer allowed to have any representations of pigs at their desks. Some had little porcine porcelain figurines. Others had toys or calendars of cute little pigs. One had a tissue box depicting Winnie the Pooh and Piglet. All of this had to go, not because of new some new anti-kitsch ordinance, but because Muslims might be offended — particularly now, what with Ramadan beginning. How could a pious Muslim in the Dudley Council, West Midlands benefits department redouble his efforts to conform his life to the will of Allah with all these…pigs staring him in the face? It was an insult!

This was not the first anti-pig initiative in Britain. In Derby, Muslims took offense at plans to restore the statue of the Florentine Boar, which had stood in the Derby Park for over a hundred years before it was decapitated by a German bomb in 1942. Recent plans to rebuild the Boar’s head ran into resistance from local Muslims. Suman Gupta, a local Council member, warned: “If the statue of the boar is put back at the Arboretum I have been told that it will not be there the next day, or at least it won’t be in the same condition the next day at least. We should not have the boar because it is offensive to some of the groups in the immediate area.” However, after more than 2,000 locals signed petitions in favor of the Boar, local authorities decided to bend to public opinion and go ahead with their original plans to restore the statue.

Elsewhere in England pigs did not fare so well. In March 2003, Barbara Harris, head teacher at Park Road Junior Infant and Nursery School in Batley, West Yorkshire, banned stories mentioning pigs. “Recently,” Harris explained, “I have been aware of an occasion where young Muslim children in class were read stories about pigs. We try to be sensitive to the fact that for Muslims talk of pigs is offensive.” Harris didn’t mention whether or not she intended to allow Muslim students to possess copies of the Qur’an at the school, despite its repeated mention of how Allah cursed Jews and turned them into apes and pigs (2:62-65; 5:59-60; 7:166).

Why have pigs become so unpopular in Britain? Mahbubur Rahman, a Muslim Councillor in West Midlands, summed it up in explaining why the toy pigs had to go: “It’s a tolerance,” he said, “of people’s beliefs.”

How’s that again? It’s “a tolerance of people’s beliefs” to deny to others the right to display harmless pictures and figurines? Mahbubur Rahman seems unacquainted with the dictum, widely attributed to Voltaire, that “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Yet this is what tolerance really is: the acceptance of the fact that in a free society, some will do and say things of which one may disapprove, and that one has no consequent right to command or force them to stop. If this is not recognized in any given society, that society is not in fact free at all — any more than Henry Ford’s offer that “You can have a car in any color you want, as long as it’s black” represented a genuine choice.

madima answered on 10/22/05:

That's quite sad.

Pork is always much healthier to eat than beef, as some nutritionists will tell you. Between the Mad Cow disease and the Avian Flu, I wonder what alternatives Briton carnivores will have... Of course, there's mutton and venison, which we don't like here in Asia. We are predominantly pork eaters :=)

Even pig images are popular here and are normally given as gifts to attract good luck and prosperity.

For some people, pigs also make good pets - if they can cope with its size in the future, when it matures. They are very intelligent and affectionate.

Pigs/boars are so honored in Eastern culture that they had been placed in the Chinese zodiac.

It is said that people born in the Year of the Pig are chivalrous and gallant. Whatever they do, they do with all their strength. For Boar Year people, there is no left or right and there is no retreat. They have tremendous fortitude and great honesty. They don’t make many friends but they make them for life, and anyone having a Boar Year friend is fortunate for they are extremely loyal. They don’t talk much but have a great thirst for knowledge. They study a great deal and are generally well informed. Boar people are quick tempered; yet they hate arguments and quarreling. They are kind to their loved ones. No matter how bad problems seem to be, Boar people try to work them out, honestly if sometimes impulsively. They are most compatible with Rabbits and Sheep.

I do wonder what Brits will do in 2007. It's the Year of the Pig. Will they ban it? :=)

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Question/Answer
hOPE12 asked on 10/21/05 - Why do people do what they do?

Hello Everyone,
How are you all doing? I am really sad because I saw this on the news about a women named Lashaun Harris, who is 23 years old, in San Francisco, who took off her children’s clothing and tossed their naked bodies in the San Francisco bay. They were three boys, were Taronta 2, Treshaun 6 and Josha 16 monthes old. They were able to recover the bodies of the older two but the 16 month old Joshua was not recovered as of yet. The mother of these children was to protect them and love them. How could a mother do such a terrible thing so as to fling them into a cold, dark waters of the bay and –still live herself? Those poor babies. I am not a person who seeks to find revenge but I certainly am fighting what my heart feels.
What could make anyone do such a horrific thing, especially a mother who gives birth to such a precious gift of life?

Take care,
Hope12

madima answered on 10/21/05:

It does not surprise me in the least. Some psychologists call it the "Medea complex", after the mythical Medea of Colchis.

Though Medea is most known in the tragedy written by Euripides, as a witch-queen betrayed by the husband she loved and who committed filicide as an act of vengeance, the term "Medea complex" has been applied to both men and women who kill their offspring.

In essence, Medea is a psychological archetype. In the Greek legend, she is the grand daughter of Helios, the Sun, although she is also a priestess of Hecate – the goddess who rules the moon and the underworld. Hence, she represents both darkness and light, life and death.

The premise is: If one can love, one can hate. If one can give life, one can also kill. If one can create, one can destroy. Everyone has a bright and a dark side. But in others, the duality can be carried to both extremes, depending on the mitigating circumstances and the true psychological make-up of the individual.

Parents view kids as extensions of themselves. So, if they can love their kids passionately, they can hate them just as passionately. If they can sacrifice their lives that their kids may live, they can also kill them, if they become desperate enough, or if they feel they are betrayed by either their mates or the kids themselves. Of course, the reason could be pathological, but in some cases, it's not.

I don't know the true circumstances of Lashaun, so I can't say for sure. But she is painfully young to bear the full responsibility of motherhood by herself and is apparently either not in her right mind or very desperate, though when it came to the final act of killing herself, she obviously lost her nerve.

The children who die in the hands of their parents are too many to count. But usually, they don't make it to the front pages of newspapers. Most people just don't like to speak of it.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 10/21/05 - ROLE MODELS:




"Children need models rather than critics." - Joseph Joubert

That's ROLE models, folks. Are you a role model? (Tell the truth)

HANK

madima answered on 10/21/05:

Definitely, I don't think I'll make a good role model for girls who want to be either a mother or a wife, or both. I'm too self-absorbed and extremely self-centered to share my life with another human being (though I will be more willing to share my life with wild creatures).

I may make a good role model for someone who likes to think that life is an adventure, though, someone who likes to compete in my particular field, do what she pleases, enjoy my personal brand of freedom and say to hell with the world! :=)

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 10/21/05 - I Was Tortured

Unbelieve-able, isn't it. I was tortured by the medical establishment because my paperwork was "not in order" even though they admitted it was through no fault of my own!

Wednesday night I had a Sleep Study-I slept overnight in the hospital sleep center so they could monitor my vitals while asleep. Blood oxygen level, EKG, EEG, respiration rate, and most importantly, how much pressure I needed on my ventilator to keep me breathing while asleep.

I have been sleeping on a vetilator for ten years and have had five sleep studies. I went in to have myself monitored and have my ventilator pressure raised.

They said that due to the paperwork mix-up(will leave out a long story), they had to do the sleep study as if I was just starting out being diagnosed. That meant that I had to sleep without any assistance at all. I have not even laid down in ten years without breathing assistance. I argued my case to no avail, and finally decided to go through with the study.

I lay on my back in the dark, trying to "sleep" for over two hours, I would guess, trying to concentrate and *force my lungs to go in and out* and in terrible pain.

Living f*cking hell. As I was laying there on the bed I though of torture. I wondered how long I could last; the test was at least 6 hours; how long my heart would last....he said that if I "coded", they could get assistance right away! Pathetic consolation!!

Finally she came in and hooked me up to their ventilator. Relief. I just concentrated on in and then out sucking in blessed air.

I slept much of the next 24 hours, and today, I am recovering from the ordeal. I will never go back there. Phew!!

Choux

really happy to be alive and by myself with my cat!

madima answered on 10/21/05:

Dear Mary Sue,

I can empathize with you very well. You can imagine what a torture it was for my parents when the hospital staff exchanged my x-ray plates with that of a terminally-ill girl my age and then the doctor told all of us that I will not live to see my twelfth birthday.

However, going on thin air is something I have yet to face when I go for my dream of climbing the 8K meter mountains.

When I go beyond the death zone - 26,000 feet, then I think I will know what it's really like to suck in every blessed molecule of oxygen that could be sucked in very thin air...

I'm thinking of going without bottled oxygen when the time comes, but I don't know yet if my body can tolerate it. Oxygen deprivation kills brain cells fast, induces hallucinations and make you lose your judgment.

In the meantime, like you, I'm trying to enjoy sea-level oxygen in polluted Manila and playing with my frequent visitor, a stray tuxedo cat! :=)

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 10/21/05 - Scared Straight

Last week, my physician gave me a copy of the Gospel of John suring our visit in my apartment. My blood pressure was in stroke out range, my blood sugar sky high as usual, and other alarming symptoms. I took it as that I was in "God's Hands".

Well, I have gained control of my blood sugar, and now instead of posting here with my blood sugar in the 300-400 range, it is in the 90-150 range.

I'm thinking my posts and answers may exhibit a little more sense going forward. Having blood sugar that high is kinda like being drunk.

But then, hey, maybe not! :=D



Dudes, have a series of great days till the day you die, that's what I'm going to do.

madima answered on 10/21/05:

Glad to hear you're ok, dear Mary Sue. Please take care! :=)

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 10/18/05 - Just for Fun

Ananova(UK on line tabloid):

**David Copperfield to 'magic' girl pregnant**

"David Copperfield says he plans to impregnate a girl on stage - without even touching her.

Speaking to German magazine Galore, the illusionist rejected the theory that there were only seven different kinds of magic tricks.

He said: "Bull S/! There is a great deal of new territory to conquer. In my next show I'm going to make a girl pregnant on stage."

He added: "Naturally it will be without sex. Everyone will be happy about it, but I'm not telling you any more."

The magician is currently on tour in Germany with his show, An Intimate Evening of Grand Illusion.


Comments...

madima answered on 10/18/05:

I have a DVD of David Copperfield vanishing an entire airplane... I guess that in terms of scale, that's more challenging! :=)

I'll bet that on this "impregnation" act, he will employ a set of twins, one is pregnant and the other is not.

All he has to do is create an imperceptible diversion for the audience so he could seamlessly switch the non-pregnant twin with the pregnant one at the culmination of his act.

Perhaps he will even summon a doctor in the audience to examine the belly of the girl before and after she became "pregnant"! :=)

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Question/Answer
CeeBee2 asked on 10/18/05 - Posting the Ten Commandments.........................

Please help me understand this. Why would the Commandments be posted in a U.S. government building? What is the message? What is the intent?

madima answered on 10/18/05:

I'm not an American, but if you ask me, I see absolutely NO sense in it! For me, it even comes across as a gesture of hypocrisy.

America is a Christian nation, sure, but she is also the Land of the Free. So why alienate the others of other faiths who come to her shores? Besides, the 10 commandments' righteous place is in a religious building, if it is to be displayed at all, which is not really necessary. Why put it in a state-owned building, which effectively is financed, not just by the Christian citizenry but by the non-Christian constituents as well?

I'm in a predominantly Christian country myself. In fact, mine is the only Christian nation in the Far East. We have lots of churches even in the poorest and in the remotest towns. Many of our government officials (the President included) have the images of saints, crucifixes or both, and usually altars INSIDE their private offices in the public buildings... But even that is usually frowned upon by the people... Like, you know this is a very corrupt politician and yet he has the nerve to surround himself with religious icons, like he honors anything sacred. It's nothing short of sacrilege!

Oh, the Church meddles a lot in our national and local politics... But I have NEVER seen ANY of our government buildings posting the ten commandments! (I'd reckon a guess that if they do that, they'll attract bombers, especially if they do it in our Muslim South.)

I believe if you are a real Christian, if in your heart and soul you want to keep the commandments, you just live it.

You don't need to post it.

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Question/Answer
ROLCAM asked on 10/18/05 - The Negative Side !!

On the negative side, two elements catch our eye, elements which do not belong to other epochs in the same way: terrorism and drugs.

Please may I have your views on these two topics.

madima answered on 10/18/05:

I guess terrorism has always been there, though it has never been played up to the grand scale like it is now.

Modern technology - like the way information can be transmitted across the globe in seconds, like the way terrorists can recruit and spread propaganda in websites without being traced or apprehended- has something to do with that.

Drugs have always been with humankind. Ancient people and shamans of ages gone have long learned the use of hallucinogens to alter their minds and gain access to other or supposedly "higher" levels of consciousness. Hallucinogens and their equivalents have long been used in rites of initiation, not just of the youth, but of leaders of men. In many cases,they have also been used for both bodily purification and healing.

As with anything, the problem is not with the drugs, not with the plants or chemicals with hallucinogenic properties, but in the way people use and abuse them.

You know, there's plenty of marijuana and other hallucinogens here where I am? They grow wild in our mountains (although many of our rebel groups "farm" them in the forests to support their cause). I can easily take drugs if I want to, simply because they are there and nobody can prevent me. But the thing is, I don't want to.

I can be a terrorist if I want to. The terrorists behind 9/11, Bali, and heaven knows where else, trained here in my country. I'm already quite desensitized to violence, with bombings regarded as ordinary happenings here. And you'll be surprised that many of the terrorists we knew do it, not for idealism, but for the money...

Sometimes, I consider the merits of environmental terrorism - to destroy the corrupt powers who bribe our government so they can wantonly destroy mother nature... Still, I prefer not to do it...

The "negative" always exist with the positive. They are two sides of the same coin. If man has a bright side, then he has a dark side. It is up to him how he wants to honor both and effect a balance.

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 10/16/05 - Could this be true?

* JESUS REBUKED THE FIG AS AN EVIL ABOMINATION.
"Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he was hungry.
"And when he saw a fig tree by the road, he came to it, and found nothing on it, but leaves only, and said to it, Let no fruit grow on you henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.
"And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon has the fig tree withered away!"
--Matthew 21:18-20

* JESUS COMMANDED US NOT TO EAT OF THE CURSED FIG.
"The next day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry:
"And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if perhaps he might find any thing on it: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.
"And Jesus answered and said to it, No man eat fruit of you hereafter forever. And his disciples heard it.
--Mark 11:12-14

* EAT A FIG, GO TO HELL.
"He destroyed their vines with hail and their sycamore-figs with sleet."
--Psalm 78:47

* GOD PROMISES TERRIBLE VENGEANCE FOR FIG-EATERS.
"Yes, this is what the LORD Almighty says: "I will send the sword, famine and plague against them and I will make them like poor figs that are so bad they cannot be eaten."
--Jeremiah 29:17

In summary, figs are the source of all the world's evils. They are a plague upon humanity and an abomination in the sight of the Lord.

What is your opinion, is the fig cursed.

madima answered on 10/16/05:

Nope. I like to eat figs, when I can have them - and I can rightfully say my life is blessed.

Wild figs nourish so many animals in our forests, from the mouse deer to the fowls. Some creatures eat nothing but wild figs and yet, they flourish.

I find it strange, that Jesus, who blesses all creatures, will be capable of begrudging a poor fig tree, simply because it was not its fruiting time when he came to it hungry.

I find it all the more odd because the fig in Buddhist religion and in other Oriental faiths is regarded as a sacred tree. Its fruit is the fruit of wisdom.

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Question/Answer
ROLCAM asked on 10/15/05 - Are you stressed ??

"I am too blessed to be stressed!"

The shortest distance between a problem and a solution is the distance between your knees and the floor.

The one who kneels to the Lord can stand up to anything.
Love and peace be with you forever.

AMEN.

rolcam.

madima answered on 10/15/05:

Dear Roland,

I don't feel that stressed, though I should be, under the kind of circumstances I'm in right now :=)

But from my experience, the shortest distance between a problem and its solution is not just the distance between my knees and the floor. It has to do with the distance between my finger and the PC keyboard, between my finger and the phone, between my heart and my brain as well.

I always begin and end each day with a prayer, but not always on my knees. And when I'm confronted with a problem, I pray AND act at the same time :=)

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Question/Answer
STONY asked on 10/15/05 - IS GLUTTONY A SIN??

AND DOES SIN ULTIMATELY LEAD TO DEATH? LAST WEEK HERE IN FLA. A 13 FOOT LONG PYTHON CAPTURED AND ATE A 6 AND A HALF FOOT LONG ALIGATOR. THE SNAKE HAVING STRETCHED IT'S SKIN AS FAR AS POSSIBLE TO INGEST THE GATOR FOUND IT COULD NOT DIGEST THE ANIMAL AND EXPLODED. BOTH SNAKE AND GATOR WERE DESTROYED. DON'T KNOW IF THIS HIT THE NAT'L NEWS BUT IT WAS A "BIG" STORY DOWN HERE. SEEMS LIKE IF THE LAWS OF SIN AND DEATH CAN WORK ON ANIMALS THEN WE SHOULD BE EXTRA-WEARY THAT THEY APPLY TO US ALSO.
QUESTIONS, COMMENTS AND/OR OBSERVATIONS...

madima answered on 10/15/05:

Dear Tony,

I don't see the python and alligator case as one of gluttony, knowing the nature of both animals in particular and animals in general.

If you ask an animal lover like me, who has handled both pythons and gators, it was just a case of lethal miscalculation on the part of the python.

Predators do miscalculate the size of their prey species. Snakes do not have very keen eyesight. Constrictors do misjudge the size of their food, though it's not very often.

Anacondas can swallow small antelopes whole - horns and all - and they don't need to feed for many months, sometimes, even a whole year. But then, they are the biggest snakes in the world, reaching up to 80 feet in length, according to unverified reports.

On the other hand, this python is only 13 feet long.

Even raptors miscalculate. The osprey sometimes latches on to fish much bigger than it can carry, cannot free its inward-curving talons, gets dragged down in the water and drowns.

Beneath the sea, the giant moray eel, which also has poor eyesight, can misjudge and grab prey bigger than it can swallow.

Even sea turtles can misjudge, that's why so many of them get killed by human trash. When people throw transparent plastic bags and wrappers in the sea, turtles often mistake them for their favorite food - jellyfish. So they consume the plastic, get congested and die.

Man is a predator, he is an apex predator. But I don't think one can apply the human concept of sin to other predators in the animal kingdom.

Predators have to kill in order to live. Usually, they kill the weakest of their prey species - those either too young or too old or too sick to flee or defend themselves. Predators render a great service in that they only allow the strongest to live -that is until the predator himself grows too old or too sick and becomes prey, of his own kind or another.

That's just the way things work in nature.

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 10/12/05 - To whom is allegiance owed???


Hello Christians:

Tell me the truth, as if a Christian would do otherwise. Who does your church look out for, you the member, or itself and its employees? Who is it SUPPOSED to look out for? Why?

Who does/did the Catholic church look out for? Does your government look out for you, or itself? Whatever you answer to any of my questions, is that the way you want it?

excon

madima answered on 10/12/05:

Hi excon,

If you ask me, I believe my church looks out for its own interests, not mine. The church here is a huge money machine, it owns a LOT of businesses, meddles in politics, and takes care of its coffers.

Same thing with my government. The politicos' main concern is their vested interests and their own pockets - and to hell with everyone else.

Of course, in an ideal world, both the church and the state should look out for me. After all, that's what they always say. That's what they always promise. Everything they do, they do with my interest and that of the people at heart. All lip service.

Well, on second thought...they did some things for me. My Catholic school gave me full scholarship from elementary to highschool. My government gave me full scholarship in our state university for my A.B and M.A. I never had to spend a single cent for my education... But then I deserved it. I maintained my grades :=)

Oh well, I'm used to taking care of myself. That's the way it was, the way it is and the way it will be :=)

Life's too short to be complaining :=)

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 10/11/05 - I know these are personal questions, but….....

It’s a way we learn from each other and get to know each other better.
If you think they are to personal, please don’t bother to answer.
The questions are:
1. Personally what or who is God to you?
2. From your personal perspective what is your relationship with God
3. How or by what criteria do you personally arrive at the morals you choose to abide by?
4. What brought you to your personal belief and the way you believe in God?
Peace and kindness,
Fred

madima answered on 10/11/05:

Hi Fred! :=)

1. Personally what or who is God to you?

My heavenly Father who happens to be in spirit form.

2. From your personal perspective what is your relationship with God?

It's just like my relationship with my papa on earth, except that I don't see Him all of the time... He anticipates all my needs, keeps me company, never rebukes me when I do foolish things, inspires me and loves me unconditionally! :=)

3. How or by what criteria do you personally arrive at the morals you choose to abide by?

By my own personal ethics, from what I think, feel and intuit. I don't see any need to model it on anybody or anything. I don't follow the crowd. Never did. Of course, I know very well that what is right for me may not be for another, but I don't really give a damn.

What is right by me is what I live by. After all, I am accountable to myself, first and foremost... and after all is said and done, I have to live with myself ALL of the time, from birth till death :=)

4. What brought you to your personal belief and the way you believe in God?

My parents are devout Catholics and brought me up as one. I don't agree with all of the dogma. In fact, I don't agree with much of it, but the religious affiliation was quite convenient while I was growing up.

Still, my God is my own and not the God of the books. My God concept is colored with all my personal experiences, my exposure to Mother Nature and other Eastern religions.

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Question/Answer
ATON2 asked on 10/10/05 - Strike up the band..Big Daddy is back!!!!

Still a bit jet lagged, but could not resist checking up on what you've done in my absence. What I find is pretty much what I left....still bashing Muslims, still posting Bible trivia, still arguing whether homosexuals can be Christians, still sticking the knives in each other over silly doctrinal differences...and still cutting and pasteing instead of offering thoughtful, personal responses!!! Nothing new except for some apallingly racist nonsense...and the mind-boggling assertion that God wiped out New Orleans because of gambling :) :) :) I was disappointed that the obscenities from our resident red necks were not more firmly censured...but not enough to break in on the game-playing...:) :) :)
No way I can catch up on all the questions posted in my absence; fortunately most were not worth answering anyway. However I will respond to some of the more interesting posts.
For those who missed me...Thanks!!! For those who did not...Live with it!!! :) :) :) I missed all of you..and that surprised me...a bit!
Sorry I did not get a chance to thank you for your good 'bon voyage' wishes. You all get five stars...as soon as I can dig up the posts.

To those NEW family members...welcome: I'll be either your worst nightmare or you your new best friend...Time alone will tell :) :) :)


madima answered on 10/10/05:

Welcome home, big daddy!!!!! :=)

Really missed you!!!!

If you had been anywhere physically nearer, I would have put jasmine leis round your neck... aside from the band and the red carpet.

Here in Manila, that's how we welcome loved ones back! :=)

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 10/10/05 - COLUMBUS DAY:



Did Columbus discover America?

madima answered on 10/10/05:

I guess he "re-discovered" America for Europe, among the many who thought they did :=)

He sighted the Carribean islands off southeastern North America in 1492. But another Italian navigator, Amerigo Vespucci, was credited with discovering America in 1501.

Anyway, long, long before they came, the native American Indians have discovered the continent and inhabited it.

Between 890 - 980 AD, a Viking became the first European to set foot in North America - Eirík the Red's son Leifur-"Leif the Lucky". He named it Vinland.

And way before...sometime in 200 A.D. or so, the Chinese have discovered America, if you will believe some archeologists and historians.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 10/09/05 - EVE:



Was Eve the originator or SIN?

madima answered on 10/09/05:

I believe not :=)

Personally, the concept of sin originated from whoever created the concept of right and wrong.

There can be no wrong unless there is no right. So whoever created right, created wrong. Whoever originated good, originated evil... One can never BE without the other... Although of course, most Christians will never acknowledge that :=)

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 10/09/05 - innovative or foolish?

Bible group spreads word by SMS

Thursday, October 6, 2005 Posted: 0840 GMT (1640 HKT)

ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) -- "In da Bginnin God cre8d da heavens & da earth," according to a new version of the Bible translated into the text message language of cell phone users.

The Bible Society in Australia launched on Thursday its translation of all 31,173 verses of the Bible in the modern, abbreviated language of text messages, or SMS.

The verses can be accessed over the Internet for free so that the word of God can be spread by cell phone to family and friends, said society spokesman Michael Chant.

"The old days when the Bible was only available within a somber black cover with a cross on it are long gone," Chant said.

"We want to open it up for people of all ages, backgrounds and interests, and the SMS version is a logical extension of that," he added.

The society used the International Contemporary English Version of the Bible and remained faithful to the grammar, changing just the spelling of words, Chant said.

Sending the entire Bible by SMS would take more than 30,000 messages, he said.

madima answered on 10/09/05:

Gud 2 no dat coz m n d SMS captal f d world! :=)

Actually, the Philippines has been dubbed as the world's texting capital for several years now.

I find that SMS is very convenient but it wreaks havoc on one's spelling! You should see the postings of avid texters on forums and elsewhere. They tend to use SMS for ALL their written communication and they're every editor's nightmare!

Fortunately, my cellular phones are both PDAs/Pocket PCs now, so I have handwriting recognition/transcriber applications and don't have to bother with SMS.

If I like to have the entire Bible in my cell phone, in its full text, all I have to do is to sync my phone with my PC and copy the file to my phone's 1 Gig SD card.

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Question/Answer
godot asked on 10/09/05 - transsexual

Do you consider a transsexual (1)a homosexual, (2) a bisexual or (3)a heterosexual (a)before and (b)after the sex change operation?

madima answered on 10/09/05:

I consider transsexuals in a class of their own - as do psychologists.

Transsexuals are people who feel they are born into the wrong body, so they change their genders with the help of modern medicine.

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Question/Answer
godot asked on 10/09/05 - disappointment

Were you disappointed with God when you lost a loved one? Maybe just a little bit?

madima answered on 10/09/05:

No. I accept death is a natural part of life. In a way, it is a respite and a reward.

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 10/08/05 - Is China "Godless" or is it not?

Destination Facts

Full country name: People's Republic of China
Area: 9,596,960 sq km (mainland)
Population: 1.25 billion (mainland) Yikes!
Capital city: Beijing (pop 13.8 million)
People: Han Chinese (93%), plus 55 ethnic minorities
Languages:Putonghua (Beijing Mandarin dialect), Cantonese
Religion:

Confucianism:
http://www.teachingreligion.com/confucianism/god.html

"While God exists in Confucianism, the philosophy details more on how to live your life rather than the nature of God."

Buddhism:
http://www.buddhistinformation.com/buddhism_and_god.htm

"I hope you're able to see that God is not what Buddhism is all about... Suffering is... And if you want to believe in God, as some Buddhists do, I suppose it's OK.

The Buddha never said there wasn’t a God.

He never said anything at all about God... Because the Buddha never met a Jew"
.

Taoism:
http://www.thetao.info/tao/gods.htm

"Taoism has a large number of male & female gods."

Muslims (14 million)

Christians (7 million)


Although officially an atheistic state, it is not "Godless."

If it were, there would be not one Chinese living in PRC who believed in God.

Comments?

madima answered on 10/08/05:

Dear Ronnie,

China could call itself atheist but its people is not godless. For one thing, they traditionally worship the spirits of their ancestors.

I've been to PROC more frequently than any other destinations in the Far East. Hongkong is just one and a half hours flight from us and I've been to Shenzhen, Shanghai and some other places in Guangdong, Xiamen and other provinces.

Actually, I don't even have to go that far because too many Mainland Chinese have come here as illegal aliens. In fact, our Chinese minority population in the Philippines control more than half of the local economy.

First thing I notice when I go to the homes of my Chinese friends - something which I also notice when I go to atheist PROC, is that they have the pictures of their ancestors on the altar, in a special place in their home. And they burn incense and offer food on that altar everyday.

That is aside from the many images and pictures of deities in their homes, offices or places of business.

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Question/Answer
godot asked on 10/08/05 - traits of homosexuals

What are the likely traits of homosexuals? Do you think effeminate males are likely to have a gay relationship, and masculine females are likely to become lesbians? For instance, Elton John, Boy George, Liberace and Martina Narvatilova, Amelie Mauresmo respectively. Of course their homosexual partners would not be effeminate or masculine respectively.

madima answered on 10/08/05:

You can only distinguish homosexuals by their sexual preference for the same gender.

A man's being effeminate or a woman's being butch is no indication. Even transvestites are not necessarily homosexuals. I've known of many cross-dressers who fathered kids and had wives.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 10/08/05 - Honor/Shame vs. Guilt/Redemption

Salman Rushdie in recent intervies about his new book:

"The most essential characteristic of the person who commits terror of this kind is the idea of dishonored manhood. I try to show this in my novel. The character Shalimar picks up the gun not just because his heart gets broken, but because his pride and honor get broken by losing the woman he loves to a worldly man of greater consequence and power. Somehow he has to rebuild his sense of manliness. That is what leads him down the path to slashing an American ambassador's throat.

Living in the West, where there is no "honor culture," it is easy to underestimate its power.

Judeo-Christian culture has to do with guilt and redemption. In Eastern cultures, with no concept of original sin, the idea of redemption from it doesn't make sense. Instead, the moral poles of the culture have to do with honor and shame.


Do you have any comments about Mr. Rushdie's remarks?

madima answered on 10/08/05:

Dear Mary Sue,

Sorry to say I haven't read Rushdie but being an Asian in a relatively Westernized country, I could say that one of the traditional Eastern values is the concept of "keeping face", so yes, to a great degree, it is about honor and shame.

For example: In order to "keep their faces" people who are trapped in destructive marriages do not let on about their problems. Getting officially separated, for many traditional guys who are successful in their business, shows that they have "failed" as men.

Seeing shrinks and getting outside help for private problems, is also seen by many as a cause for "loss of face".

However, the Eastern concept of what is "private" or "personal" differs much from the West.

For example, here, it is usual to ask: "Where have you been?" as an ice breaker or upon seeing a friend, a casual acquaintance, or even a stranger. To most Westerners, that would be very intrusive.

But you have to live in Asia for sometime to fully understand what I mean :=)

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Question/Answer
bucker asked on 10/08/05 - Faith, or tempting God

If you are falling from a high cliff, you say, “save me Lord!” Is that tempting God, or having faith. It depends on what............................?

If you are standing in the middle of a railroad track, and you see a train coming, you say, “save me Lord!” Is that tempting God, or having faith. It depends on what............................?

madima answered on 10/08/05:

I fell off a bridge a little less than a hundred feet and I said, "God, I love this!"

But that's because I jumped and I like the feeling of flying, even for awhile, and then falling into the whitewaters below :=)

When I'm teetering over the knife ridges of mountains that I climb and am looking over drops on both sides thousands of feet below, I say, "God, this is beautiful!"

But that is because I love climbing mountains and living on the edge :=)

I don't like tempting God, but I love my adrenalin highs :=)

The railroad track is close to my elementary school and I used to play over it. Whenever I see the train coming, I just get off its way - fast! :=)

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 10/07/05 - I saw in the night, Visions ...

1. Does God sometimes communicate with us through dreams?

2. If something happens to us that we are certain we have been shown in a dream, must we then react as we presume was intended?

3. Would such an experience unduly influence us and tread upon our free agency?

Answers?

Clarifications posing as answers will be ignored.

madima answered on 10/07/05:

Dear Ronnie,

If you ask me... :=)

1.Does God sometimes communicate with us through dreams?

I believe we can access both our highest and lowest consciousness through the dreaming. In that context, I would say we can access God or our God-consciousness in our dreams.

2. If something happens to us that we are certain we have been shown in a dream, must we then react as we presume was intended?

From my personal experience as someone who had monitored and journalled my dreaming since I was eight, I observed that I can't do that.

I have much pre-cognitive content in my dreaming. However, many of those come in symbols that you may not interpret in time before the actual event happens. You will only realize that you have known it will happen all along AFTER it has happened.

In some cases I have "seen" the actual events as they will happen days, months or years before. But in the event of disasters and deaths, there was no way I could have prevented them from happening, although I felt that seeing them in my dreams in advance helped a lot in preparing me mentally and emotionally for the inevitable.

3. Would such an experience unduly influence us and tread upon our free agency?

Not in my case. As I mentioned above, even when the dream content is precognitive and 100 per cent accurate, there is nothing much you can do to change them before they happen.

Add to that, the conscious/rational mind is normally at odds with the subconscious/irrational or the dreaming mind.

So, more often than not, the conscious mind will NOT listen to the warnings of the subconscious.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 10/07/05 - How Oregon Assisted Suicide Works

Click Here!

From Slate Magazine Article.

How Does Assisted Suicide Work?
A guide to "Death With Dignity" in Oregon.
By Daniel Engber
Posted Thursday, Oct. 6, 2005, at 3:20 PM PT

The U.S. Supreme Court took up the issue of assisted suicide on Wednesday as it heard arguments in the case of Gonzales v. Oregon. The Bush administration has challenged an Oregon law that lets physicians prescribe lethal medication to terminally ill patients. How does assisted suicide work?

The patient has to ask for it three times. According to Oregon's "Death With Dignity" law, only certain people can ask for lethal medication from their doctors. You must be at least 18 years old, an Oregon resident, and the victim of a terminal disease that will kill you within the next six months. You also have to be able to make and communicate a clearheaded decision to your doctor.

The first step is to make a "formal oral request." Advocacy groups that work with terminal patients suggest something like, "Doctor, will you assist me in using Oregon's Death With Dignity law?" At least 15 days later, you need to make another oral request. The doctor still won't be able to prescribe lethal drugs until you file a written request form signed by two witnesses.

Continue Article

Many people who are considering assisted suicide contact a patient-advocacy group for help with the procedure and paperwork. Such a group can help to screen out people who are ineligible for assisted suicide, but a doctor makes the final decisions. If she thinks the patient may have a psychiatric or psychological disorder, she can refer him for evaluation and treatment. The doctor also must tell him about alternatives like hospice care, advise him to confer with his family or next of kin, and remind him that it's OK to change his mind at any time. By law, a second physician must review the case and sign off on the first doctor's diagnosis.

A doctor can prescribe lethal drugs two days after receiving a written request, but under no circumstances can she administer them herself. That would be euthanasia, which is illegal in Oregon. The state's assisted-suicide laws mandate that the patient take the drugs himself. Almost all assisted suicides take place in the home, with at least one health-care worker present. The patient takes one of two kinds of barbiturates. Seconal costs about $125 for a lethal 10 gram dose, which comes in the form of 100 individual caplets that must be broken apart to produce about three tablespoons of powder. Nembutal comes in a more convenient liquid form. It costs more than $1,000 for a dose, though, and insurance almost never covers lethal drugs.

If the patient is using Seconal, it's either mixed in water to create a bitter drink or stirred into pudding or applesauce to hide the taste. The patient will slip into a coma about five minutes after taking the drug, with death coming within about half an hour. If you're in pretty good shape, or if you're especially fat, death can be delayed for up to 48 hours. In most cases, the time of death is determined by a health-care provider who checks your pulse every few minutes until you pass away."


Comments???

madima answered on 10/07/05:

Dear Mary Sue,

I think that the Oregon law is fair and hope more countries will be open to the death with dignity option.

However, I'm not so sure about using barbiturates for euthanasia, though I've never taken them (or any drugs for that matter) myself even to induce sleep or as pain killers.

I recalled reading somewhere that an overdose of barbiturates will cause bouts of nausea as the body tries to get rid of the chemicals. If that's the case, it will not be an easy or a sureproof end.

I remembered at the time I considered euthanasia, my drug of choice was cyanide. Cyanide occurs naturally in cassava roots, which we commonly consume here in my country as a carbohydrate source. On the other hand, Potassium Cyanide, which looks like sugar crystals and is soluble in water, is also readily available as it is used in the jewelry sector.

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Question/Answer
godot asked on 10/07/05 - the salt of the earth

Do you consider yourself the salt of the earth, and why?

madima answered on 10/07/05:

Definitely yes. I believe I make life exciting for myself and for others whose lives I want to touch ... when I want to...

It's the same way that salt flavors what we eat, nourishes and energizes the body and heals.

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Question/Answer
kindj asked on 10/07/05 - What would you do?

My wife and I, along with a few other parents, are distressed at something going on at our kids' elementary school.

It seems that the Spanish teacher has assigned a mandatory project, in which the student must create a Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) diarama. It must be realistic, complete with a shrine, a photo of the deceased loved one of their choosing and miniature food "offerings" to the deceased.

As parents, we feel that this is inappropriate as a mandatory assignment, as it conflicts with a tenet of our faith concerning communication and offerings to the dead. We believe that the project crosses the line between learning about something and taking an active part in something.

If you would like to learn more about this holiday, go here: http://www.dayofthedead.com/TraditionAltars.html

Even though the site says it is a "mixture" of Christianity and pre-Hispanic beliefs, I believe it to be more of a perversion of Christian beliefs, such as there are in voodoo and the like.

Just curious about your thoughts.

DK

madima answered on 10/07/05:

That's quite a dilemma. I feel it will be difficult, if not impossible, to change the mind of that teacher, with her own cultural beliefs, or make her understand your apprehensions and that of the other parents.

But in a way, I also understand the teacher. You know that my country has been colonized by Catholic Spain for more than three hundred years and the celebration of Dia de Muertos, which is November 1, is deeply ingrained in our culture.

Here, the American equivalent of Halloween, the day of the dead, is known as "All Saints' Day". It is actually an institutional two-day holiday here and people flock to the cemeteries, cleaning them up days beforehand. They bring offerings of flowers to their dead, stay overnight near the tombs, singing, dancing and feasting. It's a way of honoring both life and death that is more hedonistic and pagan than voodoo in its spirit, if you ask me.

And yet, to me it seems more of a cultural than a religious thing. I'm of the impression that Eastern cultures like ours that honor ancestral spirits in their home -despite our Christian orientation, would be more apt to identify with it.

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 10/06/05 - Can you shelve your prejudices?

In Katrina I Didn't See Racism, I Saw Brotherhood
By Rabbi Aryeh Spero
Posted Sept 7, 2005


In New Orleans, beginning Tuesday morning, August 30, I saw men in helicopters risking their lives to save stranded flood victims from rooftops. The rescuers were White, the stranded Black. I saw Caucasians navigating their small, private boats in violent, swirling, toxic floodwaters to find fellow citizens trapped in their houses. Those they saved were Black.

I saw Brotherhood. New York Congressman Charlie Rangel saw Racism.

Yes, there are Two Americas. One is the real America, where virtually every White person I know sends money, food or clothes to those in need -- now and in other crises -- regardless of color. This America is colorblind.

The other is the America fantasized and manufactured by Charlie Rangel, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, who constantly cry "racism!" even in situations where it does not exist, even when undeniable images illustrate love, compassion and concern. These three men, together with
today's NAACP, want to continue the notion of Racist America. It is their Mantra, their calling card. Their power, money, and continued media appearances depend on it.

Often, people caught up in accusing others of sin neglect to undergo their own personal introspection. They begin to think they alone inhabit the moral high ground. It is high time these men peered into their own
hearts at the dark chamber that causes this unceasing labeling of their fellow Americans as "racist." They may find in that chamber their own racism -- against Whites.

There is only one real America. Beginning Friday morning in Houston, thousands of regular citizens poured into the Astrodome offering water, food, clean clothes, personal items, baby diapers and toys, love and even their homes to the evacuees who had been bused in from New Orleans.

Most of the givers were White, most of those being helped were Black.

But there was Jesse Jackson, busy on TV, accusing the country of not putting Blacks -- i.e., him -- on some type of Commission he is demanding.

Where was he early in the week? Not sweating with others from around the country who had scraped their last dollar to come help. With Jesse, it's always about Jesse.

After decades of hearing accusations from Jesse, Al, Charlie, the NAACP and certain elitists about how racist America is, it would have been refreshing to hear them for once give thanks to those they for years have been maligning. These self-anointed spokesmen for the Black
community lead only when it comes to foisting guilt and condemnation, and not when it comes to acknowledging the good in those they have made a career in castigating.

As a Rabbi I have a message I wish to offer to my fellow members of the cloth, Reverends Jackson and Sharpton:

"It is time to do some soul searching. Your continued efforts to tear this country apart, even in light of the monumental goodness shown by your White brothers, is a
sin."


There are no churches in the world like the American churches. And there are no better parishioners and members of churches anywhere in the world. These churches are saving the day. Their members -- infused by
the special and singular teachings of our unique American
Judeo-Christian understanding of the Bible -- are, at this moment, writing an historic chapter in giving, initiative, and selflessness.

They are opening their homes to strangers. They are doing what government is incapable of doing.

America works because of its faith-based institutions. It always has. That is what makes it America.

So next time the ACLU tries to diminish and marginalize the churches, saying there is no role for religion in American public life, that an impenetrable wall must be erected separating the citizens from their faith, cry out "Katrina."

Next time the ACLU goes to court asking that U.S. soldiers not be allowed to say Grace in the Mess Hall and that communities be forbidden from setting up a nativity scene, ask yourself:

Without the motivation of Goodness sourced in Faith, would people offer such sacrifice?

Where else does this Brotherhood come from but the Bible
which teaches "Thou Shall Love Thy Neighbor as Yourself."


I saw brotherhood on Fox News, where 24/7 reporters used their perch as a clearinghouse for search-and-rescue missions and communication between the stranded and those in position to save. In contrast, the Old-line networks continued with their usual foolish, brain-numbing programming.

Those who always preach "compassion" chose profit over
people.

The New York Times has utterly failed America. Its columnists could have used their talents and word skills to inspire and unite a nation. Columnists such as Frank Rich and Paul Krugman, however, revealed their true colors by evading their once-in-a-lifetime chance to help and instead chose to divide, condemn, and fuel the fires and poison the waters of Louisiana.

In them, I saw no Brotherhood. The newspaper always
preaching "compassion" verifies Shakespeare's "They protest too much."

Similar elitists here in the northeast and on the West coast have over the years expressed their view of the South as "unsophisticated" and Texans as "cowboys."

Well, the South has come through, especially Houston and other parts of Texas, whereas, as I write this on Labor Day,
the limousine moralizers are lying on east and west coast beaches thinking they're doing their part by reading Times' editorials and calling George Bush "racist." How sanctimonious life becomes when proving you are not a racist depends not on living in a truly integrated neighborhood, but by simply calling others racist.

Like so often in history, facts trump platitudes. Reality reigns. Those who always preach brotherhood, thus far have acted devoid of it. Those who for decades have been accused by elitists of not having compassion are the ones living it. They are: the churches, the military, and the sons and daughters of the South.
==========================

Is the Rabbi correct?

madima answered on 10/06/05:

Yes, dear Ronnie, I think the rabbi is correct.

In times of disaster, even the lion lays down with the lamb - literally. In floods, rescue workers evacuating residents of sanctuaries have reported that they can take huge wild predators in a boat full of prey animals and the former will not attack the latter in transit to safety.

In times of great danger, differences are forgotten. That is true even with animals. So it is true with men.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 10/06/05 - DEVILISH QUESTION:



Is the Devil a homosexual?

madima answered on 10/06/05:

Homosexuality is a preference of physical entities endowed with sexual capabilities and capacities (although psychologists still classify homosexuality as a sexual deviation.)

Angels, both the fallen and those in their righteous state, are spirits. Spirits have no sex.

Devils are fallen angels and do not have genders.

Therefore, devils cannot be homosexuals :=)

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Question/Answer
Carlita asked on 10/05/05 - Back Again

It's very hard because I do stuggle with this. I don't know how this happened. I have accepted christ as my Lord and Saviour. I pray about this all the time but Why did this happen to me I get so angry.Why do I have to be alone, I have no attraction for men! This is so hard!

madima answered on 10/05/05:

I love being alone. Why don't you?

I look for solitude and I can't bear the idea of not being able to get away from the world and all its people regularly! For me, aloneness is a great privilege as well as a great need... And I cannot tolerate any man who do not know how to respect my need for solitude.

Why do you have to measure your personal worth with the ability to "attract men"? If you love yourself enough, then you are your own best company. And if you are to be loved by another, you have to love yourself first and foremost.

Even if you have a boyfriend or a husband, it is still with yourself that you will live with most of the time to the end of your days.

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 10/05/05 - The Right to Die


Hello Christians:

If I were terminally ill, headed for a painful death within six months, should I be allowed to end my life? Should a doctor be allowed to prescribe medicines (drugs) that will end my life? If a doctor does that, should he be prosecuted by the DEA as an illegal drug dealer? Should a state decide what medical procedures it allows or should the feds? How will Roberts vote? Will the Oregon "Death with Dignity Act" be affirmed? Is there a Christian position on the matter?

excon

madima answered on 10/05/05:

Hi, excon,

Personally, I don't think a Christian position will be relevant because what is at issue is the choice of the patient, his/her family and the one who will perform the euthanasia. After all, they are the ones who will be directly affected.

I can say that because I came to that choice myself at age 11 when my doctor told me I will not see my next birthday. (My X-ray plate was exchanged with that of a terminally-ill girl of the same age.)

Even at that age, I had NO doubt what I wanted done. I wanted to die with dignity - and fast. So, I told my parents and even resolved that if NOBODY will have the courage to help me terminate my life, I will do it myself if I have to, just to spare myself the pain and the degradation of a slow death and to spare my parents of the agony and the medical bills.

However, I cannot say how US citizens should decide on their laws. I'm not an American. I'm in the Philippines, a predominantly Catholic country where heads of state kowtow to the Church.

Euthanasia is illegal here but nobody can really prevent it when it is the wish of the person concerned. Everyday, it is done silently, in our hospitals and outside, with the agreement of the doctors, the patients and the families. It is something very personal, very private. So, it is not something that you broadcast. It is just something that you do.

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Question/Answer
kindj asked on 10/05/05 - Which are you?

Sandcastles
By Max Lucado

"Hot sun. Salty air. Rhythmic waves.A little boy is on the beach.

On his knees he scoops and packs the sand with plastic shovels into a bright red bucket. Then he upends the bucket on the surface and lifts it. And, to the
delight of the little architect, a castle tower is created.

All afternoon he will work. Spooning out the moat. Packing the walls. Bottle tops will be sentries. Popsicle sticks will be bridges. A sandcastle will be
built.

Big city. Busy streets. Rumbling traffic. A man is in his office.

At his desk he shuffles papers into stacks and delegates assignments. He cradles the phone on his shoulder and punches the keyboard with his fingers. Numbers are juggled and contracts are signed and much to the delight of the man, a profit is made.

All his life he will work. Formulating the plans. Forecasting the future. Annuities will be sentries. Capital gains will be bridges. An empire will be
built.

Two builders of two castles. They have much in common. They shape granules into grandeurs. They see nothing and make something. They are diligent and
determined. And for both the tide will rise and the end will come.

Yet, that is where the similarities cease. For the boy sees the end while the man ignores it.

So, one is prepared and one isn't. One is peaceful while the other panics.

As the waves near, the wise child jumps to his feet and begins to clap. There is no sorrow. No fear. No regret. He knew this would happen. He is not surprised.
And when the great breaker crashes into his castle and his masterpiece is sucked into the sea, he smiles. He smiles, picks up his tools, takes his father's hand,
and goes home."

I choose to live as the little boy. You?

madima answered on 10/05/05:

But I don't build my castles on sand! :=)

I build them on PC, paper and pen, paint and canvas. That way, the waves don't wash them away :=)

On hindsight, literally, I have never built a sand castle as a child. My parents were afraid of the sea and I was forbidden to play with earth or sand or anything that will make me dirty.

My father will have a heart attack if I give him the complete details of what I regularly do in the sea and out of it right now :=)

I do not labor for nought, though like the little boy, I have no fear of the waves. In real life, I love to ride the waves. And the bigger they are, the better.

But what I build, I keep out of the way :=)

It might interest you that in psychology, they have true cases of what is called "the sandcastle syndrome". It is the inclination of some to build on grandiose schemes and then deliberately bring down what they have built in a flurry of self-destructiveness.

That, I do not have :=)

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Question/Answer
godot asked on 10/05/05 - modern lifestyle

Did God intend the modern lifestyle which has a fast pace and is a rat race?

madima answered on 10/05/05:

Man dictates the pace of his own life, not God, or anybody, for that matter. Man has the free will to do with his life as he wants to.

If man opts to compete, amass money, gain recognition for himself and outdo his colleagues, it's a decision that he alone makes.

And if you make a choice in life, you must be willing to pay the price.

I live in the city and am competitive in my own turf, but I can accelerate and decelerate the pace of my life, according to my needs and wants.

It's all a matter of choice.

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Question/Answer
revdauphinee asked on 10/05/05 - some may not care for this joke But i think its funny!

“Rub-A-dub-dub, Thanks for the grub…”

A new minister at his first service was so nervous he could hardly speak. After the service, he asked the senior pastor how he had done. The elder minister replied, "When I am worried about getting nervous on the pulpit, I put a glass of vodka next to the water glass. If I start to get nervous, I take a sip."

So the next Sunday he took the minister’s advice. At the beginning of the sermon, he got nervous and took a drink. He proceeded to talk up a storm. Upon returning to his office after mass he found the following note on his door:Sip the vodka, don't gulp.
There are 10 commandments, not 12.
There are 12 disciples, not 10.
Jesus was consecrated, not constipated.
Jacob wagered his donkey, he did not bet his ass.
The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are not referred to
as Daddy, Junior, and Spook.
David slew Goliath, he did not kick the **** out of him.
When David was hit by a rock and knocked off his donkey, don't say he was stoned off his ass.
We do not refer to the cross as the big T!
The recommended grace before a meal is not: "Rub-A-dub-dub, thanks for the grub, yeah God."

madima answered on 10/05/05:

Thanks for making me laugh so early in the morning! :=D

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 10/03/05 - This Just In. Amazing..............................

A Montana couple were out riding on the range, he with his rifle and she (fortunately) with her camera. Their dogs always followed them, but on this occasion a Mountain Lion decided that he wanted to stalk the dogs (you'll see the dogs in the background watching). Very, very bad decision...

The hunter got off the mule with his rifle and decided to shoot in the air to scare away the lion, but before he could get off a shot the lion charged in and decided he wanted a piece of those dogs. With that, the mule took off and decided he wanted a piece of that lion. That's when all hell broke loose... for the lion.

As the lion approached the dogs the mule snatched him up by the tail and started whirling him around. Banging its head on the ground on every pass. Then he dropped it, stomped on it and held it to the ground by the throat. The mule then got down on his knees and bit the thing all over a couple of dozen times to make sure it was dead, then whipped it into the air again, walked back over to the couple (that were stunned in silence) and stood there ready to continue his ride... as if nothing had just happened.

Fortunately even though the hunter didn't get off a shot, his wife got off these 4 pictures...
I wished that I could show the pictures to you.
They are amazing.
That was one mean mule!!!
Fred

madima answered on 10/03/05:

The pictures are quite real but the description is grossly inaccurate. Fact is, the mountain lion being “mauled” by the mule is actually very, very dead.

Unfortunately, this is another urban legend, one of the 25 hottest urban legends at www.snopes.com.

You can find the full details at: http://www.snopes.com/photos/animals/mulelion.asp.

“According to Steve Richards, who wrote a couple of articles about them for Western Mule Magazine, these pictures date from 2002 or 2003 and show Berry, a now 11-year-old mule, owned by a 25-year-old hunter named Jody Anglin.

The incident depicted took place in southwestern New Mexico, and came about as Berry the mule grew more aggressive over time in his pursuit of mountain lions with Jody:

When Jody first got the mule and after Jody shot the first lion out, Berry casually came over to the lion and just nuzzled the lion and casually nibbled it. With each lion Berry just got more aggressive. Jody said it didn't take more than two lions and Berry got really aggressive to the lion and couldn't wait to get the cat.

However, the text description accompanying these photographs is somewhat inaccurate, as Berry didn't actually kill the mountain lion — the mule picked it up and tossed it around only after it was already dead:

The lion was dead before the mule Berry took and shook the lion. A lion is a powerful and lethal predator and can easily kill a mule — however a mule can be quite an adversary.”

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Question/Answer
godot asked on 10/01/05 - Depression

The WHO has projected that depression will be a major cause of death by 2020. Do you share that view?
Why do some Christians suffer from stress and depression if they believe in Christ?

madima answered on 10/01/05:

I don't exactly share that view.

One does not die from depression, although deep depression can indeed lead to suicide.

Also, the physical body can be vulnerable to many illnesses indirectly due to depression and the accompanying "death-wish" syndrome. So, we have psycho-somatic ailments. Depression can likewise increase the stress on an already weak heart.

You'll be surprised that clinical depression is not prevalent in my country, the Philippines, which happens to be the only Christian nation in the Far East.

Although this is the 3rd world and more than half of the 85 million population live below the poverty line, very few are treated for depression (and ironically, these are the members of the middle and upper socio-economic classes).

Shrinks complain they can't really make a decent living here, except when they work for the big corporations and have rich clients suffering from mental illnesses.

However, Eastern culture is very different from Western culture. We have very strong support groups and family bonds. In fact, we don't have an exact equivalent of the English words "loneliness" and "depression" in our native tongue.

I do know of Christians who are stressed and depressed, but then, I don't think their faith has anything to do with it.

Stress is part of the rat race and the competition, even if you know that the Lord is with you. It's still you who go out there to live your life and fight to survive :=)

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 10/01/05 - EDGAR CAYCE:


What do you know about Edgar Cayce and his Spirit Realms concept?

HANK


madima answered on 10/01/05:

Dear Hank,

Some years before, I have read a number of books about Edgar Cayce because I was interested in the Akashic records.

First thing I knew was that he believed in reincarnation. In fact, he believed that he had been a healer in Egypt in his past life - that's why he tried to help people as a healer in his lifetime.

However, he always did readings,diagnosis and healings in a state of trance. He was a medium and spirits came through to him. One time, he channeled an angelic presence who identified himself as the Lord of the Way. He was presumed to be St. Michael, the Archangel.

Cayce followed a set routine to gain access to the spirit realm and his wife, who also took down the information he channeled in his trances, aided him in the process. This starts off with relaxation until he enters an altered state of consciousness, and a "voice" speaks through him.

From what I recall, he believes that human consciousness is like a funnel. Its starting off point, the tiniest dot where everything begins, is the cerebral consciousness - rational thinking. The second layer, which is broader but irrational, is the subconscious - the dreaming mind, which can in turn access the two broadest ranges of the "funnel" - the collective subconscious and the superconscious.

The last is the broadest of all and gives access to the Akasha, where the thoughts, memories and wisdom of all creatures who had ever lived in the universe are supposed to be recorded.

Cayce is said to be one of the greatest psychics of his age and the greatest American psychic of his time. I would have loved to interview him :=)

Unfortunately, he died in 1945, many decades before I was even born.

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 09/29/05 - Please pray for me..................................

I have double pneumonia and with my diabetes it’s very difficult to heal up.
I’m very sick and in pain.
So I ask all my friends here to please keep me in your prayers.
Thanks,
May God bless you all!
Fred

madima answered on 09/29/05:

Dear Fred,
I'm keeping you in my prayers.
God be with you always.

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Question/Answer
CeeBee2 asked on 09/27/05 - Healing that takes place is unsupportable?

That seems to be what experts are telling Bradd in a question below. I say there should be evidence of healing. Wouldn't there be a tumor or blindness or paralysis or a short leg that had been documented by physicians, and if a healing has taken place, this also can be documented by physicians?

madima answered on 09/27/05:

I remember that in my church-affiliated healing group, they keep a logbook. People seeking treatment sign up there and other details are recorded - illness, history, etc. Even so, it is a very low-profile group and people hear of it only through word of mouth.It is not something you normally speak of.

In my country, there are actually professional medical practitioners, doctors and nurses, who incorporate pranic healing in their hospital treatment routines. And I personally know some doctors and nurses who are members of traditional healing groups, but they are not a majority.

So why the lack of documentation? As I mentioned before, you cannot rationally document a healing by faith via any scientific method. You cannot measure a spiritual, non-scientific process via scientific parameters. It makes no sense.

Healers and healing groups themselves don't like "advertising" their abilities and achievements - even those who are genuine and who have already vowed to devote the rest of their lives to healing full-time.

Here, the belief is that if you are blessed with the healing ability - a gift that is given for free - then you must use it to help people for free.

That is an awful lot of responsibility, given the percentage of the population who are usually suffering from one ailment to another who cannot afford medical treatment. Where I am, if word goes around that you can heal, you will be inundated.

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 09/27/05 - Healings are blessings for Believers, not signs for Sceptics

Miracles by Matthew Cowley

[Matthew Cowley was born in 1897. His father, Matthias Cowley, was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve.

Matthew was called to serve a mission in New Zealand in 1914, while only 17 years of age. He became fluent in the Maori language and developed a great closeness to the people.

In 1945, Elder Cowley followed his father in becoming a member of the Quorum of Twelve. He passed away in 1953.]

Address at Brigham Young University
February 18, 1953

I feel very humble this morning, and sometimes when I'm introduced, I get the idea that others feel that I'm untouchable, but I want you to know that I'm neither untouchable nor unteachable. And since I've been in this position in the Church, I have learned some very fine things from some of the members of the Church, generally in anonymous letters. I don't know why they don't sign those letters because almost invariably what they say is true, especially when I look it up in the books.

When I was invited to come here, President Wilkinson (then president of BYU) suggested that I might talk a little bit about miracles. Well, it will be a miracle if I do. I had a particular assignment or instruction from President George Albert Smith when I was called to this position. He called me into his office one day and took hold of my hand, and while he was holding my hand and looking at me he said, "I want to say something to you Brother Cowley."

I said, "Well, I'm willing to listen."

"This is just a particular suggestion to you, not to all the brethren but to you," He said, "Never write a sermon. Never write down what you are going to say."

I said, "What on earth will I do?"

He said, "You tell the people what the Lord wants you to tell them while you are standing on your feet."

I said, "That certainly is putting some responsibility on the Lord."

But I've tried to live up to that instruction. And I've had some great experiences. There have been times when the Lord has forsaken me. But when he hasn't, I've had some miraculous -- well, I shouldn't say miraculous -- it is the normal experience of the priesthood, of having the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. I can bear witness to you, my fellow students, here this morning that God can work through his priesthood and that he does work through it.

I know that without any question of doubt. I've had too many experiences. I'm an expert witness about these things.

A few weeks ago I was called to the County Hospital in Salt lake City by a mother. I didn't know her. She said her boy was dying from polio and asked if I would come down and give that boy a blessing.

So I picked up a young bishop [Glen Rudd] whom I generally take with me, for I think his faith is greater than mine, and I always like him along. We went down there, and here was this young lad in an iron lung, unconscious, his face rather a blackish color, with a tube in his throat, and they said he had a tube lower down in his abdomen.

He had been flown in from an outlying community. The mother said to me, "This is an unusual boy. Not because he's my child, but he is an unusual boy." I think he was eight or nine years of age. After they put the usual coverings on us, we went in, and we blessed that boy.

It was one of those occasions when I knew as I laid my hands upon that lad that he was unusual boy, and he had faith. Having faith in his faith, I blessed him to get well and promised him he would. I never heard any more about him until last Sunday.

I was on my way to Murray to conference; I dropped in the County Hospital, and I asked if I might see the lad. The nurse said, "Certainly. Walk right down the hall." as I walked down the hall, out came the boy running to meet me. He ran up and asked, "Are you Brother Cowley?"

And I said, "Yes."

He said, "I want to thank you for that prayer." He added, "I was unconscious then wasn't I?"

I replied, "You certainly were."

He said, "That's the reason I don't recognize you." Then he asked, "Come in my room; I want to talk to you." He was an unusual boy.

Well, we went in the room. He still had a tube in his throat. I said, "How long are you going to have that tube there?"

He said, "Oh, two weeks, two more weeks, and then I'm all well. How about another blessing?"

So I said, "Certainly." I blessed him again. I was in a hurry. I wanted to get out to my conference. But he stopped me and asked, "Hey, how about my partner in the next bed?"

There was a young fellow about sixteen or seventeen.

I said, "What do you mean?"

He said, "Don't go without blessing him. He's my partner."

I said, "Sure." Then I asked the boy, "Would you like a blessing?"

He said, "Yes, sir. I'm a teacher in the Aaronic Priesthood in my ward." I blessed him, and then my little friend went and brought another fellow in. Here was another partner. And I blessed him.

Now, except ye believe as a child, you can't receive these blessings. We have to have the faith of a child in order to believe in these things, especially when you reach college age, and your minds are so full of skepticism and doubt. I guess there are some things you should doubt.

But you can become as little children in these things. Miracles are commonplace, brothers and sisters.

In 1851 or 52, Parley P. Pratt wrote a book called The Key to Theology. In that book he said the day would come (these were not his exact words), when man would not be satisfied with going along the surface of the earth at the rate of sixty, seventy, eighty or ninety miles an hour, but we would use the air and go at the rate of a thousand miles an hour.

Now in 1852 when he wrote that the was "crazy," wasn't he? He was "mad" -- but he was a prophet.

Today it is commonplace. Since the first time I flew from San Francisco to Australia the flying time has been decreased twelve hours. I see in the paper where they are going to have a jet plane from Vancouver to Tokyo, Japan, which will require only eight hours for that long journey.

Now, are they miracles? No, they are just commonplace -- just commonplace!

The boy prophet went into the grove and prayed -- a young lad with simple faith. He opened up his heart to God. He apparently reached out and by prayer got under his control the proper channels, and God and the Son came down and appeared to him.

A few weeks ago I sat in my front room and had Dwight Eisenhower come right into my front room. I saw him sworn in as President of the United States. I saw the parade over other people's shoulders -- all of this right in my own front room, and the same thing in millions of homes!

Now there was no wire connecting me or my home with Washington D.C., just these channels, or whatever Brother [Harvey] Fletcher and others call them out there, air waves, or whatever they are. But through those channels I brought into my home the President of the United States and the inaugural ceremonies. If I'd have told you twenty-five years ago that this would be done in this year 1953, I know what you'd have told me.

Well, no man invented those elements out there. Man has invented instruments whereby he harnesses those elements, but he never invented the elements; they are eternal; they've been there all the time, and if I can turn a little gadget and bring the President of the United States and into my front room, God can bring himself down within the vision of man.

The Master can come down within the range of man's vision because he has more control over those elements out there than man does himself.

The Prophet Joseph said that Moroni appeared to him in his bedroom. I've been back there to that house. I've stood there and wondered how he got through those walls, how he came in.

Now I don't doubt any more about the Angel Moroni coming into the prophet's home. Man hasn't yet harnessed all of these elements. He's working at it and meeting with great success.

I was on an island down in French Oceania one Sunday afternoon. I started fooling with the radio; I don't know whether you're supposed to play radios on Sunday afternoon or not, but I started turning the dials, and all of a sudden I heard the voice of Richard L. Evans from the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City.

The strange thing about it was that I wasn't in contact with Salt Lake city, I was in tune with a station in Houston, Texas. that station was getting the program from Salt Lake City, and I was picking it up from Houston. I can't explain these things. Some of you fellows can. But I had an instrument there which man had invented so that he could bring under his control and direction these elements out there.

I was over in Samoa. I couldn't sleep, worrying about the centipedes, and so forth. So I got up. It was three o'clock in the morning. I went in the room where they had the radio. I started turning the dials, and all of a sudden I heard a voice say,"Station KSL, Salt Lade City. Songs of Harry Clarke." I sat there and listened to Harry Clarke sing for fifteen minutes. Then I had to get up the next morning at three o'clock because I'd sent him a cable and I wanted to see if he got it. He had. He mentioned it over the air. So I listened to him sing for another fifteen minutes.

You know, the strange thing about it was I was hearing him sing four hours before he actually sang. And you talk about miracles.

I got on a plane one day in Tonga. It was Saturday morning, the Sabbath of the Seventh-day Adventists. The head of the Seventh-day Adventists' mission in the Pacific got on the plane with me. Down at the airport were his Sunday School children, giving him a send-off, singing hymns, and so on.

Well, we got on that plane Saturday morning, and we went to Samoa. When we arrived at Samoa, it was Friday, the day before we left Tonga. I just wondered how he was going to straighten out that "seventh day" business.

He's already had one Saturday, one Sabbath, an there he was again in Samoa on a Friday, the day before he'd had the Sabbath. The next day he had another. Now I tried to find him to ask him form which Saturday he was going to start counting the seven days. Well, these things happen. This is going on all over the world.

The missionaries down in Samoa didn't have a president for a few months. I was the president but by remote control. I used to go to a Chinaman's home in Honolulu and tell him to tune in one of our natives down in Samoa, then tell that native to round up all the missionaries and have them come there, as I wanted to give them some instruction.

So he'd tune in down there and get this young Samoan with his ham radio. and I'd sit there in that Chinese home and talk to these missionaries down in Samoa and give whatever instructions I wanted to give them. But being the usual missionaries, I don't think they paid any attention. I telephoned one day from Honolulu to my home, and I asked the engineer there at the radio-phone place, "How can I talk confidentially to my wife? I send this message out into the air and anybody with a ham radio can reach out and pick it up."

He said, "Yes, that's right, but they won't understand it."

I said, "Well, why not?"

He said, "Well, when your words go out of this transmitter we jumble them up; there is no meaning to them. But when they go into the receiver on the mainland they are all straightened out again, and your wife will understand them just as you spoke them."

My, I'm glad of that. I'll tell you why. I get my prayers so jumbled up sometimes that I'm glad there's a receiving set over on the other side that will straighten out the things I'm trying to say. And I believe that, I'm just simple enough to believe that. I'm simple enough to believe that if man can talk to man across the ocean and across the world with these instruments, that man can talk to God, that God has as much power as man, as much control over the elements.

And so, brothers and sisters of the Church, God has his priesthood here upon the earth, his power, and with that power we can be used by God for the accomplishment of his purpose. Don't ever forget that. I've had these experiences. I know.

I've learned a lot from these islanders that I see scattered around here. I see Albert Whaanga from New Zealand in the audience; I wish he'd teach you people how to rub noses. That's what we do down in New Zealand, you know.

We don't really rub. You just press your forehead and your nose against the nose and forehead of the other person.

It's a wonderful thing. You can always tell when they're keeping the Word of Wisdom down there. All you have to do is walk up and greet them and sniff a little bit, and you've got 'em! It would be a good practice to have over here, maybe even with some of our BYU students. So if I ever come up to one of you some day and say I'd like to rub noses with you, you'll know I'm suspecting something.

These Natives live close to God. They have some kind of power. I guess it's just because they accept miracles as a matter of course. They never doubt anything. They used to scare me. Someone would come up and say, "Brother Cowley, I've had a dream about you."

I'd say, "Don't tell me. I don't want to hear about it."

"Oh, it was a good one."

"All right. Tell me."

And they'd tell me something. Now I remember when President Rufus K. Hardy of the First Council of the Seventy passed away. I was walking along the street of one of the cities in New Zealand, and one of our native members came up -- a lady.

She said to me, "President Hardy is dead."

I said, "Is that so? Have you received a wire?"

She said, "No. I received a message, but I haven't received any wire." She repeated, "He's dead. I know."

Well, I always believed them when they told me those things. When I got back to headquarters, I wasn't there long when here came a cablegram which said that President Hardy had passed away the night before. But she knew that without any cablegram. She told me about it.

I got out of my car once in the city. I got out to do some window-shopping to get a little rest from driving. I walked around, and finally I went around a corner, and there stood a native woman and her daughter. The mother said to the daughter, "What did I tell you?"

I said, "What's going on here?"

The daughter said, "Mother said if we'd stand here for fifteen minutes you'd come around the corner." Now she didn't have any radio set with her, just one in her heart where she received the impression.

After President Hardy died, we had a memorial service for him. I'll never forget the native who was up speaking, saying What a calamity it was to the mission to lose this great New Zealand missionary who could do so much for them as one of the Authorities of the Church.

He was talking along that line, and all of a sudden he stopped and looked around at me and said, "Wait a minute. There's nothing to worry about. When President Cowley gets home, he'll fill the vacancy in the Council of the Twelve Apostles, and we'll still have a representative among the Authorities of the Church."

Then he went on talking about President Hardy. When I arrived home the following September, I filled the first vacancy in the Quorum of the Twelve.

Now did that just happen by chance? Oh, I might have thought so if it had been one of you white Gentiles that had prophesied that, but not from the blood of Israel. Oh, no, I could not deny, I couldn't doubt it.

And so, remember we have great opportunities. Great opportunities to bless. Sometimes I wonder if we do enough in our administration of the sick. You know when the Apostles tried to cast out an evil spirit, they couldn't do it or they didn't do it.

The Master came along, and he immediately cast out the dumb spirit. Then the Apostles said, "Why could not we cast him out?"

And what did Christ say? "This kind goeth not out but by prayer and by fasting." (Matt. 17:21)

Sometimes we rush in, administer to a person, rush out, and say, "Well, he won't make it. I know he won't." Of course, we have to, in case of an emergency, go immediately. Sometimes I wonder, if we have a little time, if we shouldn't do a little fasting. "This kind cometh not out save by prayer and by fasting."

A little over a year ago a couple came into my office carrying a little boy. The father said to me, "My wife and I have been fasting for two days, and we've brought our little boy up for a blessing. You are the one we've been sent to."

I said, "What's the matter with him?"

They said he was born blind, deaf, and dumb, had not co-ordination of his muscles, couldn't even crawl at the age of five years. I said to myself, this is it. I had implicit faith in the fasting and the prayers of those parents. I blessed that child, and a few weeks later I received a letter: "Brother Cowley, we wish you could see our little boy now. He's crawling. When we throw a ball across the floor, he races after it on his hands and knees. He can see. When we clap our hands over his head, he jumps. He can hear."

Medical science had laid the burden down. God had taken over. The little boy was rapidly recovering or really getting what he'd never had.

I went into a hospital one day in New Zealand to bless a woman who didn't belong to the Church. She was dying. We all knew she was dying Even the doctor said so. She was having her farewell party. Ah, that's one thing I like about the natives. When you go, they give you a farewell party. They all gather around. They send messages over to the other side. "When you get over there, tell my mother I'm trying to do my best; I'm not so good but I'm trying. Tell her to have a good room fixed for me when I get over there--plenty of fish, good meals."

My, it's wonderful how they send you off. Well, there they were, all gathered around this poor sister. She was about to be confined, and the doctor told her it would kill her.

She was tubercular from head to foot. I had with me an old native, almost ninety. She was his niece. He stood up at the head of the bed, and he said, "Vera, you're dead. You're dead because the doctor says you're dead. You're on your way out. I've been to you, your home, your people, my relatives. I'm the only one that has joined the Church. None of you has ever listened to me. You're dead now; but you're going to live."

He turned to me and said, "Is it all right if we kneel down and pray?"

I said, "Yes." So we knelt down. Everybody around there knelt down. And after the prayer we blessed her.

The last time I was in New Zealand she had her fifth child and she's physically well from head to foot. She has not joined the Church yet. That's the next miracle I'm waiting for.

Well, now, this is just psychological effect, isn't it?

There nothing to this priesthood business. it's only psychological effect.

But where was the psychological effect on that little boy in the County Hospital who was so unconscious he didn't even know we were praying over him? He wasn't even conscious of what we were doing.

I was called to a home in a little village in New Zealand one day. There the Relief Society sisters were preparing the body of one of our Saints. They had placed his body in front of the Big House as they call it, the house where the people came to wail and weep and mourn over the dead, when in rushed the dead man's brother.

He said, "Administer to him"

And the young natives said, "Why, you shouldn't do that; he's dead."

"You do it!"

This same old man that I had with me when his niece was so ill was there. The younger native got down on his knees, and he anointed the dead man. Then this great old sage got down and blessed him and commanded him to rise.

You should have seen the Relief Society sisters scatter. And he sat up, and he said, "Send for the elders; I don't feel very well."

Now, of course, all of that was just psychological effect on that dead man.

Wonderful, isn't it--this psychological effect business?

Well, we told him he had just been administered to, and he said: "Oh, that was it."

He said, "I was dead. I could feel life coming back into me just like a blanket unrolling."

Now, he outlived the brother that came in and told us to administer to him.

I've told the story about the little baby nine months old who was born blind. The father came up with him one Sunday and said, "Brother Cowley, our baby hasn't been blessed yet; we'd like you to bless him."

I said, "Why have you waited so long?"

"Oh, we just didn't get around to it."

Now, that's the native way; I like that. Just don't get around to doing thing! Why not live and enjoy it?

I said, "All right, what's the name?" So he told me the name and I was just going to start when he said, "By the way, give him his vision when you give him a name. He was born blind."

Well, it shocked me, but then I said to myself, why not?

Christ told his disciples when he left them they could work miracles. And I had faith in that father's faith.

After I gave that child its name, I finally got around to giving it its vision. That boy's about twelve years old now.

The last time I was back there I was afraid to inquire about him. I was sure he had gone blind again. That's the way my faith works sometimes.

So I asked the branch president about him. And he said, "Brother Cowley, the worst thing you ever did was to bless that child to receive his vision. He's the meanest kid in the neighborhood, always getting into mischief."

Boy, I was thrilled about that kid getting into mischief!

God does have control of all of these elements. You and I can reach out, and if it's his will, we can bring those elements under our control for his purposes. I know that God lives. I know that Jesus is the Christ. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. And if there ever was a miracle in the history of mankind that miracle is this Church which has grown to its present greatness in the earth.

And your institution here (BYU) stems from the prayer of a boy who was persecuted, who was driven from pillar to post, whose life was taken, who has been branded as the greatest fraud that ever lived on the American continent.

This Church from that kind of fraud is the greatest miracle of modern history. And it's a miracle of God our Father.

May you all have an inward witness that Joseph Smith was a prophet, that God used him to bring about his purposes in this Dispensation of the Fulness of Times.

May we always be loyal devoted, and simple in our faith, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.


====

And I say, "AMEN!

madima answered on 09/27/05:

Dear Ronnie,

This is a loooooong piece! But it's great reading! Thanks for sharing it with us! :=)

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Question/Answer
CeeBee2 asked on 09/27/05 - Healing and prayer................................

If a Christian prays for healing and is not healed, what does that say about that person's faith?

madima answered on 09/27/05:

I don't think that his not being healed shows that the person's faith is weak, that he is out of favor with God, or anything like it.

I believe that there are ailments that we do need - to teach us about life and ourselves. Many healers I have known have to go through great traumas and life-threatening diseases before they can tap and harness their powers of healing. In short, they have to learn to heal themselves before they can heal others.

On the other extreme, I observe that many of the dis-eases that befall us are actually wished for - consciously or subconsciously. Our body "obeys" our wishes beyond our imaginings, for good or bad.

Sadly, I have seen others who lose their faith and even curse God when their loved ones, for whose healing they prayed for so hard, dies.

But then, we will all die anyway. That is our natural course. And sometimes, when the pain is too great and the human body is damaged or broken beyond repair, death is in itself a healing.

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Question/Answer
Bradd asked on 09/26/05 - Some Evidence Please

Several of you have claimed that healing is a "regular" occurrence (paraclete), everyone has healing powers (madima), yes, more than I can count (liz22), and my favorite "Yes, I have had the honor or raising a person from death"!!!!!!! (bucker - who else?).

Please, can any of you provide ANY evidence of such miraculous claims? Are we supposed to just take your word for it?

madima answered on 09/26/05:

Hi, Bradd,

I already made a clarification on Ronnie's Q about healing. Anyway, I'll repeat it here with some more elaborations.

In all honesty, my journalistic instinct says it's not scientific at all (and that's why it is also referred to as 'spiritual healing' or 'psychic healing'), although off-the bat, I recall reading up some studies done about it in the west, though none were conclusive, I think :=)

I presume a real "scientific" study will be difficult because no one has found a foolproof way to measure subtle psychic energies and their effects on human cells - at least none that I know of.

There were some scientific studies done on Filipino psychic healers here, though I have not witnessed this kind of healing personally. There were some which were reputedly authentic, but 90 per cent were fakes.

However, the kind of healing by touch I referred to in my answer - pranic healing - is already being done by professional medical practitioners here - in combination with the usual hospital routines. Many nurses and even doctors - licensed ones - do them.

As for evidence on the healing I did... I don't really care about proving it to the world and I don't think I ever will, anyway :=)

But if you want an account of it... I studied pranic healing (informally via the healing group I joined - the Knights of the Holy Cross of Jesus) because my father refused to be operated on when his doctors suggested it. He sought a second and a third opinion. They all said he needs an operation.

After I administered a combination of pranic and crystal healing on him for a period of close to a month, his malignant tumor was gone. When he went back to his doctors, he was given a clean bill of health and they never had to operate on him.

I did healing on my mother and a number of friends as well because they requested me to and several times during the healing sessions of my group - all with good results.

You can say there must also be a good deal of auto-suggestion that could have transpired - especially with my parents and friends. I love them. They love me. They want to be healed. They want me to heal them. It's mind over matter.

But I also felt and "saw" the energies from the healing centers in my body. During the sessions, I automatically entered an altered state of consciousness. My "patients" also "saw" some of what I saw - the very bright light in my hands, in particular.

But then again, there were no third party scientific observers during the sessions, no auric photographs and no documentation. As I said, I don't care about that. My sole objective was to try to heal the people I love and I fulfilled the objective.

I have used healing on myself, on animals, a select number of people but I must also clarify that I try to heal out of love and I don't go around trying to heal people without their asking.

First of all, I believe a person has to WANT to be healed in order to be healed. Not all do. You cannot attempt to cure someone who NEEDs his illness and clings to it.

In my turn, I had been healed by other people, by Mother Nature, even by my own pets. My fave treatment for PMS since I first had it was to put my favorite cat over my belly like a living hot water bottle. As a child, whenever I get sick, the family cats would instinctively go to me and lie over where I hurt without any prompting and I'll feel instant relief...But again, there's no scientific evidence to that :=)

Oh, one last thing - I want to stress that the ability to heal does not make me a saint and it does not make me invincible to sin and temptation :=)

From what I've experienced, when you tap your ability to heal, you may also unwittingly come face to face with the darkest side of yourself. The ability to heal/create is the other side of the ability to destroy. They are two faces of the same coin. You will be tried and tempted.

History has also shown that the ability to heal can be lethal to those who abuse/misuse it and sponge off negative/diseased energies they can't handle.

You just have to look around to see biographies and autobiographies of famous healers who succumbed to cancer, heart attack and other dreaded diseases. Edgar Cayce, the most famous American psychic healer, died of pulmonary edema. After doing remote psychic healing and diagnosis for thousands all over the world (his healing cases were meticulously documented, by the way), he was unable to heal himself.

Please don't take my word for it, though. Try it, Bradd. Like everyone else, you are possessed of a great power within. But to harness it, you have to believe in that power :=)

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 09/26/05 - Moral Question


Hello Christians:

Can an artist make beautiful art even if he happens to be a pedophile? If you think that a pedophile artist can make good art, would YOU pay to see it?

Would you buy a refrigerator from GE if you found out that the president of GE was a wife beater?

Inquiring minds want to know.

excon

PS> Oh, by the way, I'm talking about Roman Polanski. He has a new movie coming out that is being widely advertised. Lots of people say it's good.

madima answered on 09/26/05:

Hi, excon,

I have no doubt that an artist can make beautiful art even if he is a pedophile - or even if he is totally insane,for that matter.

There seems to be a hairbreadth line between insanity/psycho-sexual deviation in art and literature.

I like Van Gogh - though he made some of his good pieces in the height of his psychotic attacks and eventually killed himself.

There was a European psychopath serial killer whose books were best-sellers. People read him.

I know that some of my fave authors had bouts of insanity and a good number committed suicide.

However, when I look at art, I appreciate it for its execution and how it specifically resonates with my own inner being. I would normally not "research" about the personality of the artist beforehand. I would only care about the quality of the work, how I can learn from it, being an artist myself.

Of course, the artist's inner turmoil often comes through in his imagery, choice of colors, style, etc. The opus will tell you a LOT about its creator.

But as a student of art, if I go to an art exhibition, my foremost concern will be the artwork, not the artist. I will pay to see ANY good art, regardless of what its artist is/was like :=)

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 09/26/05 - Reporters Exaggerated

Today on Fox News, an official gave some facts about what went on at the Super Dome during the Katrina disaster. It turns out that media stories were **grossly exaggerated**.

Sad day for journalism. Very sad. And, political hatemongers using the lies to further their agendas. :(

madima answered on 09/26/05:

Dear Mary Sue,

Please remember the reporters are not the only ones responsible. A report will NEVER be aired or published without the go-ahead of the editors and the owners of the station/publication concerned.

And for as long as the audience/readers are eager for such news, they will go on.

Remember that TV stations, radio networks, newspapers and magazines are beholden to advertisers. Furthermore, the members of their board of directors consist of interest groups affiliated with business and politics, people who put their money in media precisely to have their own specific "angle"/version of the issue publicized.

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 09/26/05 - Jesus the healer

Matthew 9:18-26

While [Jesus] spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live.

And Jesus arose, and followed him, and [so did] his disciples.

And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind [him], and touched the hem of his garment:

For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.

But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.

And when Jesus came into the ruler's house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise,

He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn.

But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose.

And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land.

Jesus healed by word and by touch. Have you witnessed similar healing in your church life?

madima answered on 09/26/05:

Yes, dear Ronnie. Everyone has healing powers he/she can tap - within the church and beyond it.

Even animals, plants and inanimate things (sea water, rocks, crystals) that exude subtle energies have the power to heal.

I was a member of a church-affiliated healing group myself. I personally experienced what it was like to activate the energies in my psychic centers and channel it to heal in the "pranic healing" style.

But I did healing only with people I love. Many of the practicing healers I knew tended to "sponge up" too much negative/diseased energies that proved to be harmful to them in the long run.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 09/23/05 - Pay for Children

AP) PARIS Cut and Paste

"France announced financial incentives Thursday for parents to have a third child, hoping to boost its fertility rate by helping people to better juggle the demands of work and family life.

A new measure will award $916 a month to parents who take one year's unpaid leave from work after the birth of a third child, Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin announced at the close of a national conference on families.

It will take effect in July 2006. De Villepin said he believed the measure will appeal to "numerous parents" and allow for a "better reconciliation of professional and family rhythms."

"We must do more to allow French families to have as many children as they want," the prime minister said.

France's fertility rate, at an average of 1.9 children per woman, is the second highest in Europe after Ireland's, around 2. But it is still below the 2.07 level needed to prevent population decline.

The European Union average is around 1.5, dropping to less than 1.3 in some countries, including Greece, Spain, Italy and the new EU member nations in Eastern Europe where fertility rates dropped precipitously after the collapse of communism. Some experts fear that the decline in fertility rates across the continent could have far-reaching economic and social consequences."

Should America offer third child benefits? The American birth rate is 2.1 according to the last information I read about.

madima answered on 09/23/05:

Dear Mary Sue,

I don't know if any study has been done on Mother Earth's full "carrying capacity". But if you ask me, I believe our world is already carrying more than it should, judging by the rate that species of animals and plants are getting extinct, the rate natural resources are being depleted and the rate of mortality in the Third World.

Now, the US is a First World Country, aside from being the richest and the most powerful on earth... Those classified as "poor" in the US still make $7,500 per annum, compared to my country's $400-600 per capita per year. Heaven knows how much is the per capita income in the poorest regions of India and Africa.

If a nation encourages more kids, it should be willing to take care of every new child born under its "program" from birth till death.

But even before a government considers doing that, it should prove itself fully capable of taking care of its EXISTING population.

Ideally, that means there should be NO poor, no destitute, no marginalized member of its society.

America - and every nation for that matter, is responsible for its current population, first and foremost. If it cannot take care of ALL its living people at present, it has no right to goad couples to bring more new life into a world of misery.

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 09/22/05 - Pope Benedict set to ban homosexuals from entering the RCC ministry.

My question is,

"How is a person's gender preference discovered?"

Is there a fool-proof test that will identify homosexuals from heterosexuals? If so, what is it?

madima answered on 09/22/05:

I don't think the church can find ANY fool-proof way to test the sexual preference of its priests and seminarians.

I grew up in the theater, which attracts a huge number of gay artists. Many of the gays I knew are not the loud, finger-swishing feminine types, whom you can spot at a glance.

In fact, many of the gays I knew do not like to appear "feminine" because that's a big turn-off for both gay and heterosexual prospective partners. Also, they don't like to arouse the ire of their parents and kill their chances for career advancement. And you'll NEVER know from looking at them or talking to them that they are gays.

And there are also those who realize they are gays only in the company of other gays and come out of the closet late in life.

So, I wonder... Will the church search for "witnesses" to their priests/seminarians' gay activities? You cannot really prove one is gay unless you can prove he had sex with another man. So, are they going to search for the "lovers" of those who are "suspected"? Will the "lovers" testify before the church even though such a testimony will be potentially damaging to the witnesses as well (that's like declaring they are either gays themselves or providers of sexual services to gays)?

And what will constitute a "credible witness"? Someone can be paid to bear false witness to another or do it out of spite. How can the witness prove that the suspect had sex with him? What constitutes "homosexual sex" in the church definition?

Also...Even heterosexuals may try sex with same gender partners, for the hell of it - for experimentation and fun. In that case, some heteros may be "ocassional bisexuals". Will the church attempt to uncover past activities of the sort as well?

Personally, I think establishing one's homosexual preference 100 per cent is impossible - unless the "suspect" himself admits he is homosexual.

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Question/Answer
MaggieB asked on 09/21/05 - Pray for Bobbye

Please pray for those along the Gulf Coast and Texas Panhandle as Rita roars toward them as a category 5 hurricane. Pray that they will have the means to leave and will respond to evacuating plans. Bobbye, an expert that many of us have known for 4-5 years lives in Houston and her last e-mail to me today between 3-4 pm said she was getting ready to leave for another town in TX for safety, keep her in your prayers as well as her family for safe traveling.

Thank you,
MaggieB

madima answered on 09/21/05:

She's in my prayers.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 09/18/05 - NEGLECT:



What is it about human consciousness and life that causes us to live barely conscious of God?

madima answered on 09/18/05:

Well, when man believes he has so much power over his environment, he believes he is God.

Consciousness of God is also often lost when man is obsessed by so much attachment to the material.

Most of those who felt they have lost their way to God and found it again had been subjected to great ordeals that humbled them and made them re-think their direction.

Suffering, war, sickness, death of a loved one, loss of love, loss of wealth... these often take back human consciousness to God.

Actually, it's either of two things. When you are subjected to these life-changing experiences, you either lose your faith entirely or you regain/strengthen it.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 09/18/05 - THE BIBLE:



Except for the Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer and the Golden Rule, what other advice do you get from reading the Bible?

madima answered on 09/18/05:

I'm intrigued by the Revelations... The passage about the seven churches... and of course, my favorite is the Lord's Prayer.

Actually, in the practice of kundalini yoga, the seven churches are said to correspond to each of the seven subtle psychic centers of the body - the "chakras". Edgar Cayce was also of the same opinion :=)

I find it odd that in the Catholic healing group that I joined, they use the Lord's prayer to activate the chakras - for healing purposes.

Even the Catholic nuns who serve as our retreat masters teach about the chakras and use them for healing.

So many mysteries in a book :=)

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Question/Answer
ROLCAM asked on 09/17/05 - Seek the LORD

Seek the LORD


"Ask, and it will be given to you;
seek, and you will find;
knock, and it will be opened to you.

"For everyone who asks receives,
and he who seeks finds,
and to him who knocks it will be opened.

Matthew 7:7,8 NASB


Do you get comfort from these words ?

madima answered on 09/18/05:

I don't really ask... He knows what I need and He gives them to me, willingly, just like my father on earth... My parents have always anticipated my needs...

But there are things that I do seek and I always find them. Well, not always. But if I don't find what I'm looking for, I always find something better, so I can't complain :=)

I don't go around knocking really... I like climbing walls and slipping through windows or breaking in through the backdoors, if I can. It's more exciting that way.

Oh, but I think when He really thinks I need to get in, He leaves the back doors unlatched, the windows partly open... and the walls don't have rolls of barbed wires and shards of glass planted over them :=)

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Question/Answer
bucker asked on 09/17/05 - half full, or half empty?

If two people. each holding up a glass, with water half way to the top, and also half way to the bottom.
Are they half full, or half empty? Now, if one says mine is holf full, and the other says his is half empty, which is right. Does that mean that the one is not half full, just because the man said the word wrong. Would you try to decide if the galsses were half full, or half empth, or would you all jump on the mispronounced word, and miss the real meaning of the question?

madima answered on 09/17/05:

How anyone sees it depends on how they perceive their own lives. In this case, you cannot say that one's answer is right - or wrong.

A discontented and unhappy man or a perfectionist/completionist will always see his glass as half empty.

A happy, contented man will always see his glass as half full.

That's true for everything else in the world...

Once, I was surprised to learn that my old teacher feels depressed seeing the mist and the rain, that my father is afraid of the darkness and has a phobia of spiders, that my mom is terrified of snakes.

Perhaps because I'm happy, I delight in the mist and the rain. My first instinct is always to go out and let the mist embrace me... to run and play in the rain. The darkness holds no terror for me and so I can go into its depths and find peace. Creatures like spiders and snakes are beautiful for me... I see them like living jewels and touch them without fear or loathing.

Actually, others may see my glass as empty but I always see it as full... Overflowing to the brim, in fact :=)

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Question/Answer
CeeBee2 asked on 09/16/05 - Man's designs vs. God's designs........................

A couple of years ago I had posted an essay here about man's geometric patterns vs. Nature's randomness - for instance, the designs on/in the Alhambra vs. God's designs. I searched for it, couldn't find it - but now as fall approaches, that essay has come to mind. Because of the recent Midwestern drought, leaves are falling early and exposing tree branches - God's random designs.

A garden spider had spun a large web in the thick of the bushes near my front door. All summer she has feasted on luckless flying things that got caught in her very beautiful web. That web is one of God's somewhat geometric but mostly random (every one is different) designs.

My thoughts then went to zebras. Wikipedia tells us that there are three kinds of zebras and "all have vividly contrasting black and white vertical stripes [that act] as a camouflage mechanism or play a role in social interactions (with slight variations of the pattern allowing the animals to distinguish between individuals) or is an effective means of confusing the visual system of the blood-sucking tsetse fly" - another one of God's designs.

On the other hand is the Alhambra, with its filigree walls and colorful Moorish tiles - one of man's designs, beautiful but almost tiring in its demand on one's senses.

Look around you. Do you see man's designs? - the rigid geometrics of smokestacks, skyscrapers faced with columns and rows of glass, the monotony of a freight train passing by, a bird's eye view of a Midwestern city with streets in a grid pattern. Beautiful but perhaps "too much for the eyes" after a while? Then take a look at Nature all around you - flowers, leaves, grasses, tree bark, the branching out of all kinds of trees, ant hills, birds' nests... aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!! Restful and joyful and a feast for the eyes. God's designs.

madima answered on 09/16/05:

I think God has a great sense of humor, too, when he designed the platypus and the camel... the seahorse and hermaphrodite insects, among many creatures :=)

The platypus looks like patchwork - tail and body of a beaver, bill and webbed feet of a duck, venomous spur on the males, egg-laying AND suckling ability on the females...

The camel can go without food and water for days in the eternal dunes, literally living off the fat on his back - both for the bactrian and the two-humped dromedaries. He can munch on anything from the thatch of his master's hut to wires and desert thorns...

The male seahorse gets pregnant and gives birth to offspring. In some species of fish, the female can transform herself into a male while in the insect world, some are created as viable hermaphrodites...

But I like the creations of men as well... especially those inside the Sistine Chapel, the Louvre and other great museums of the world - the paintings of Raphael, Michaelangelo, Titian, Reubens, etc... the sculptures of Bernini, the great works of art and literature :=)

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 09/14/05 - Exorcists Comvention

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Orthodontists have national conventions, as do lawyers and computer salespeople. So why not exorcists? At the end of his weekly general audience Wednesday Pope Benedict greeted Italian exorcists who, he disclosed, are currently holding their national convention.

The Pope encouraged them to "carry on their important work in the service of the Church."

Problem was that until the Pope spoke few people outside the inner circle knew that a convention of Beelzebub-busters was going on, presumably in Rome.

And where were they holding it? In a church, a hotel, a graveyard?

"They try to keep these things quiet," said a Catholic professor who has dealings with exorcists.

The Roman Catholic Church has shown growing interest in exorcism in Italy.

In 1999, the Vatican issued its first updated ritual for exorcism since 1614 and warned that the devil is still at work.

The official Roman Catholic exorcism starts with prayers, a blessing and sprinkling of holy water, the laying on of hands on the possessed, and the making of the sign of the cross.

It ends with an "imperative formula" in which the devil is ordered to leave the possessed.

The formula begins: "I order you, Satan..." It goes on to denounce Satan as "prince of the world" and "enemy of human salvation." It ends: "Go back, Satan."



What say you?

madima answered on 09/15/05:

Dear Mary Sue,

I find that intriguing :=)

Though we are a predominantly Catholic country, I know of only one Catholic priest in Manila who officially "specializes" in exorcism .

There are only very few priests who can and are allowed to do it here, though many ex-seminarian friends aspired to learn exorcism and were very intrigued by it when they first entered priesthood.

From what I know, aside from "specializing" in this specific area, priests go through a great deal of preparation before they even begin a ritual of exorcism.

They have to establish that the person to be exorcised is really "possessed" by the devil, not just a mental case. The church has a detailed guideline for this - which is classified information.

Once the "possession" case is established, they have to get permission from their superiors to do exorcism. Then they have to purify themselves, fasting, eating nothing but black bread for at least three days, and praying.

The exorcism rite itself takes place in the church and could be a very long procedure that takes days and even months. The person being exorcised usually stays in the church for a long time. Some suffer "relapses".

Church-sanctioned official exorcisms are quite rare, too. And they don't get publicized.

We had one case when the psychiatrist himself told his patient to go to the priest to be exorcised because there's no medical explanation to the physical "manifestations" that accompany her "attacks". Also, the girl was from the rural areas and uneducated, but when the priest talked to her "devil", she replied fluently in many languages, including Latin!

She even knew the most personal/intimate details of the lives of the people who assisted in the exorcism though they were complete strangers to her.

I bet that Italian exorcist convention would be very interesting to listen to! :=)

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Question/Answer
sarnian asked on 09/12/05 - What if ? ........................................................

What if one of these days we receive here on earth a first indication of other life in the universe (whatever that life may be).
Let's say we receive radio signals from an alien source.

How would that effect you in your religious belief?

madima answered on 09/13/05:

It won't affect my religious beliefs at all. I've always been liberal minded anyway - to say the least.

And if I can, I'll be the first to join the earth's welcoming committee for aliens. I'll ask my editor-in-chief for the assignment :=)

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 09/13/05 - GOOD ADVICE:


"Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly." - Langston Hughes

What are a couple of your dreams?

HANK

madima answered on 09/13/05:

One of my favorite dreams took me beneath the sea. I just found myself diving without any scuba gear, exploring a submerged limestone city in waters like molten emeralds.

Dolphins and sharks escorted me peacefully. They just swam beside me, a friendly entourage, never snapping at each other.

I've been exploring the undersea city for quite a long time before I realized that I was breathing underwater like a fish. One huge dolphin swam playfully in my arms, snuggling.

And then I heard the voice of the sea waters in my ears: "Don't ever be afraid. We will never hurt you."

I felt so happy, so at peace :=)

Not too long afterwards, I saw in reality what I saw in my dreams. It was a group of islands with limestone cliffs over 300 million years old. Once it was submerged under the ocean.

I have never seen a single picture of it until then. I never even knew it existed. For me, it is one of the most beautiful places on earth. I will visit it again soon, middle of next month. The islands of El Nido :=)

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Question/Answer
sissypants asked on 09/12/05 - prayer request

please keep itgolf in your prayers in the next few days. he is in the hospital

madima answered on 09/12/05:

He's in my prayers. I'm praying for his complete recovery.

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Question/Answer
Lazlow asked on 09/11/05 - Anger Management and Love for Powderpuff

My apologies Lately I have found out that I have a anger problem a dilemma that I had when I figured out that I was in love with a member on this board, and I never wanted to share her with you intellectuals that is the only incentive I have on here besides working with the CIA is I am madly in love with Powderpuff? My Dear Powderpuff, with eyes that sparkle and such ruby red lips that I myself can only dream about . Please my little one, run away with me my beauty my love, this is Lazlow, and I am very rich I can care for you, I even own my own home---313 area code????? I will sing to you.
“You are so pretty oh so very pretty, I feel sorry for any girl whom is not you”
Now that I have this little problem, whom on here besides Hank can take my love away from me? This is Lazlow and I send all of you my love.
My momma taught me that I should love all of you, so I also want to say I am greatly remorseful for using fowl language, but I no longer want to share with you my powderpuff.

madima answered on 09/11/05:

Well, Lazlow, I don't blame you. I happen to love Sharlene too. Very much! :=)

She is my cybersister for five years straight now. But I feel she is my soul sister. And I'm sure I'll love her to the end of my life :=)

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 09/11/05 - The home of the free and the brave

but not brave enough to be allowed to see the truth?


Challenged in court by CNN, the US Government has agreed not to prevent the news media from following the effort to recover the bodies of Hurricane Katrina victims.

The Government won't, however, permit photographers to join them in boats or helicopters during the mission to recover bodies from flooded homes.

CNN filed suit against the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in US District Court in Houston yesterday, concerned about two statements made by Government officials that day. The officials said they didn't believe it was right for the news media to show pictures of Katrina victims.

Terry Ebbert, New Orleans' homeland security director, said the recovery effort would be done with dignity, "meaning that there would be no press allowed".

Army Lieutenant-General Russel Honore later said there would be zero access to the recovery operation.

In a hearing today before US District Judge Keith Ellison, army Lieutenant-Colonel Christian DeGraff promised that recovery teams would not bar the media from watching. Satisfied, CNN agreed to put its case on hold.

"We believe very strongly in the free flow of information and felt it was necessary to have access to tell the full story," said Jim Walton, CNN Newsgroup president.

He said CNN has proven in this story and others that it doesn't put gratuitous images on the air.

Army Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Steele said that DeGraff's statement didn't represent a change in policy. Reporters can watch recovery efforts they come upon, but they won't be embedded with search teams.

"We're not going to bar, impede or prevent" the media from telling the story, he said. "We're just not going to give the media a ride."

Images of Katrina's victims have frequently been part of the story, and The Associated Press offered such pictures to its members today. The picture of a dead body in a wheelchair, wrapped in blankets and resting near a wall, is one of most-remembered images of the tragedy.

Some Bush administration opponents are suspicious that there would be efforts to limit pictures of bodies so the public wouldn't be reminded of the government's response to the storm. They likened it to restrictions against taking pictures of bodies returning from the war in Iraq.

But Walton said he didn't think the "zero access" plans in New Orleans had anything to do with politics.

AP

madima answered on 09/11/05:

To journalists like me, "zero access" is all a matter of politics - wherever you maybe, as a member of the working press. As they say, a picture speaks a thousand words.

Nothing is more moving than a good shot splashed across the front pages of a broadsheet or in the visuals of a live TV broadcast.

If you want to rouse the blood of people drowsing in their armchairs, if you want to raise the fury of the populace, if you want to call attention to cruelty and political booboos, you show them pictures of gore, suffering and death.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 09/10/05 - Christian Morality???

What do you think of the following cut and paste?

Britain, France, Spain, Italy and Sweden are going to sell bonds and use the money to pay for vaccinating children in what is called the developing world. The World Health Organization says that the immunizations will save the lives of millions of African kids.

Bad idea. President Bush has put the kibosh on it.
America is not going to have anything to do with a morally objectionable program. This is the Terri Schiavo case writ large, an unnatural intervention in the will of the You Know Who.

If the You Know Who wants African children to live, the You Know Who will take care of it without the Europeans. Keeping those kids alive will lead to demands to spend more money which we do not have without taxing the rich and that ain’t gonna happen.

The children you save today will starve tomorrow, anyway. There is a new wheat rust blight with the charming moniker of UG99 that is threatening to cut food production first in Africa and then everywhere, as it spreads, around the globe. UG99 is You Know Who’s way of saying stay out of it. Don’t mess with providence, although you do have his permission to drop a copper or two in the kettle when the flies begin crawling on the babies’ faces again and the older kids are all bone and bloat.

The Africans can do what we did in Louisiana and Mississippi after Katrina. Send in cabinet secretaries. Like kings of old who could cure scrofula simply by touching the afflicted, President Bush’s cabinet members can do the same. That is why they visit the New Orleans’ site one after another. Candy Rice is a sure fire cure for warts. A glance at a mental patient by Michael Chernoff cures delusions of grandeur.

They cannot cure everything. President Bush is the panacea man. Had he been in Florida and touched Terri she would have awoken from her coma and raised up from the bed. He often comes to New Orleans to cure the sick. Those who say he’s doing it for the photo ops or strong leadership ops or the vision thing ops, they lie. They lie like rugs, they are dissing our President and the You Know Who is going to turn them into African children.

What say you?

madima answered on 09/10/05:

Dear Mary Sue,

I only hope that something good comes out of it and that usable medicines make it to their intended beneficiaries.

In many cases, unscrupulous individuals and public officials have transformed even the most organized and best intentioned charitable programs into profiteering ventures. It takes great political will and superhuman vigilance to keep that from happening.

It is also a known fact that the Third World is the dumping ground, not just for expired medicines but for substances that had been found dangerous and banned from the First World. The contraceptives and medicines for dangerous illnesses that had been "donated" to the Third World in the past were cases in point.

The road to hell is sometimes paved with the best intentions...

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 09/09/05 - Murderous Cruelty, the OT and Rome

I have been watching a week's long special on the Roman Empire...generally speaking from 500BC to 500AD, a thousand year Empire. It has been wonderful, educational, but I have had enough!

All the hacking people to bits, the love of gore and disembowling, cutting throats; also, the violence and hacking to bits of women and children in the Old Testament.

Were there any civilizations that were not bloodthursty and gory?? Even today, men cut off political prisoner's heads in Iraq for "religious" reasons.

I say thank heavens for democratic republics and democratic monarchies like Britain...The greatest advance in civilization. Do you agree??

madima answered on 09/10/05:

Dear Mary Sue,

I'll beg to disagree this once :=)

Britain had been quite famous for the "rack", (among other horrid instruments of medieval torture like the Scavenger's Daughter, the Manacles, the Iron Maiden, etc.) which was used in the Tower of London.

Until supposedly "civilized" times, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, they use the rack to stretch the victim's body until the limbs are dislocated and finally torn from their sockets.

Britain, the rest of Europe and America burned a lot of witches and their cats alive too, on the stake... American Indians scalped their victims alive and made prisoners run between rows of "beaters", etc.

Unfortunately, advances in civilization do nothing to quell the beast in every man, especially during times of war and other atrocities.

Just look at what the Nazi did in the last World War. That's just over 50 years ago.. and they're not just physical torture but mental and emotional torture as well... Look at the experiments they did in the camps, like the one forcing the child to give her mother stronger and stronger electric shocks until she died.

And today... it's not only Iraqis who cut off the heads of political prisoners. They still cut the heads off criminals - local and foreign - in the Middle East. A good number of my countrymen who worked there were decapitated as well.

Just a couple of thousand kilometers away from Manila, our Muslim brothers in the South still cut off the heads of criminals -and enemies alike.

Here in the capital city, offenders and radicals don't usually get separated from their heads. But the torture from the police and the military makes them wish it would be so. All you have to do is to ask those who had either escaped or survived...

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 09/09/05 - A few words from Tertullian ... (PM)

.
"All who formerly hated because they did not know the true nature of the thing they hated, ceased to hate as soon as they cease to be ignorant. "


Do you think the Cartaginian attorney is correct in this premise?

madima answered on 09/09/05:

That could be true for those whose hatred are caused by ignorance.

But hatred could also arise from love :=) In a perverse but true fashion, there's no one and nothing that you can hate more than the one you love most. That, of course, is from the viewpoint of erotic love.

Hatred, as an emotion is the extreme opposite of love. But psychologists will tell you that both love AND hatred are very mutable emotions. One can so easily become the other and vice versa :=)

Just as there can be no light without darkness, there can never be love without hatred, if you will look at it from that point of view.

In the duality of human nature, one cannot exist without the other. The two always co-exist. They are always two sides of one and the same coin.

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 09/06/05 - Some people don't know when to keep their mouth shut!

I ask you are these attitudes Christian?

Barbara Bush comments on survivors spark outrage
September 7, 2005 - 12:31PM



"They're underprivileged anyway, so this working very well for them" ... former first lady Barbara Bush and former president George Bush visit hurricane evacuees in Houston on Monday.
Photo: AP

Comments about Hurricane Katrina victims by the mother of President George Bush have fuelled the ire of some Americans, who see the Bush family as out-of-touch patricians.

The refugees in Houston, Texas, were "underprivileged anyway" and life in the Astrodome sports arena is "working very well for them", former first lady Barbara Bush said in a radio interview.

"Almost everyone I've talked to says: 'We're going to move to Houston,' " Mrs Bush said late on Monday after visiting evacuees at the Astrodome with her husband, former president George Bush.

"What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality," she said.

"And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this - this is working very well for them."

Her comments were aired on Marketplace, an American Public Radio show broadcast nationwide.

They triggered a flood of negative messages on the Huffington Post, a popular left-leaning blog.

"Cold hearted witch," read one of the more polite comments, signed by IowaDem.

"No wonder her son remained on vacation, playing guitar and eating cake instead of seeing that aid and rescue operations were well-managed."

Another writer found the comments hard to believe. "Did she really say that?" wrote 'Stephen.' "My God! What or who have we become?"

Meanwhile, "Katrinagate" fury has spread to US media.

"For God's sake, are you blind?" a woman shouted at Michael Brown, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). "You're patting each other on the back, while people here are dying."

The woman was not a victim of Hurricane Katrina. She was a reporter with US television network MSNBC who was so affected by the misery she had witnessed she could hold back no longer.

"Katrinagate" is the term being used by the media to describe the biggest challenge facing the political establishment in the US since the Watergate affair in the 1970s toppled Richard Nixon.

Not for decades has there been such merciless questioning of the President and his Administration by the US media.

Even now, as the rescue operation gets under way in earnest and the flood waters in New Orleans are starting to subside, the Federal Government's inadequate reaction - in the run-up to the hurricane and directly afterwards - is still being criticised by the media in reports that are anything but detached.

Never before, say some observers, have US reporters been so emotionally involved in a story to the point of being enraged. They are not just telling a story, they have become part of it.

"Has Katrina saved the US media?" asked BBC reporter Matt Wells, who sees the shift in tone as a potentially historic development.

A number of US journalists who cover federal politics, especially television presenters, had become part of the political establishment, said Wells.

"They live in the same suburbs, go to the same parties. Their television companies are owned by large conglomerates who contribute to election campaigns."

It's a "perfect recipe" for fearful, self-censoring reportage, he said, but added: "Since last week, that's all over."

But if the Bush Administration's reaction to Hurricane Katrina was slow, so too was the media's.

On Friday, reporters at the scene were still having difficulties establishing the scale of the disaster and the number of dead.

Used to reporting on comparatively harmless storms, heroically riding out the storms with windblown hairdos, they were then confronted with the "Big One".

The television reporters, particularly, were left scrambling in the first few hours of coverage as they tried to comprehend the scale of the disaster.

Then came the emotion. A CNN reporter broke down as she described the cries of help of people stuck on rooftops in Louisiana. Other journalists also related what they saw in broken voices.

Then the federal officials rolled into town and the press conferences started, with politicians thanking one another for their tireless efforts.

Next came anger. "This isn't Iraq, this isn't Somalia, this is our home," one NBC television reporter shouted.

The usually stoic ABC television presenter Ted Koeppel lashed out at the FEMA head in a interview, when he could not give any details on the number of refugees waiting to be rescued from the Convention Centre.

"Don't you people ever look at television?" the veteran presenter raged. "Don't you ever hear the radio? We've been reporting on the crisis at the Convention Centre for a lot longer than just today."

A CNN journalist also attacked Brown. "How it is possible that we have better information than you? Why aren't supplies being dropped in [by plane]? In Banda Aceh, in Indonesia, they did it two days after the tsunami."

Another CNN reporter interrupted Senator Mary Landrieu during an interview in which she was praising Congress for passing an emergency aid package.

"Excuse me Senator, I'm sorry for interrupting. I haven't heard anything about that, because I was busy these past four days seeing dead people on the street. And when I hear how one politician congratulating the others ... Yesterday there was a corpse on the street which had been eaten by rats because it had been there for 48 hours."

If the alarm bells are not already going off in the Oval Office, they should be, because the previously staunchly pro-Bush Fox News is also starting to show signs of disaffection.

As one of their reporters was being directed to another area because of the danger caused by looting, he spoke quickly into his microphone, saying: "These people are desperate. Why shouldn't they try to steal water and food from us?"

AFP, DPA

madima answered on 09/07/05:

Well, I don't know Barbara Bush personally, but given the situation, perhaps it would have been much much better if she had just kept her mouth shut.

I'm not sure if she would say the same thing if she herself had ever experienced getting stranded and swimming in dirty floodwaters for days and days. Or if she had the home she had been living in most of her life blown away to a pile of sticks before her eyes.

That portion about American journalists getting "enlightened" is notable, too. People find it hard to "feel" until they see misery and death up close. But after a time, when they've seen too much pain, they will grow to be numb too, and desensitized. That holds true for both spectator and inhabitants.

Oh, but when someone lives in a perennial disaster area, as I do, one gets "used" to it. As I've mentioned before, my country is in the typhoon belt and we get hit by an average of 30 typhoons per year. I guess, we are used to thousands dying in the super typhoons, the floods, the tidal waves, mudslides and avalanches. We're actually flooded here in Manila as I speak.

Of course, I didn't expect the government of the US will have such a slow reaction to a disaster like Katrina. They're supposed to have all the money and the best logistics. At least, here in a Third World country like mine, we have learned not to expect anything from our eternally corrupt government.

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Question/Answer
Laura asked on 09/07/05 - A hypothetical question!!

Well actually not. My husband and I have sent money to the Red Cross. We thought that we would have a spare room in our home for a couple or a person who was a victim of the recent hurricane. But our daughter couldn't move out after all as she had planned so that has been nixed.. But that's okay.. After all, we do have to tend to the needs of family as well right?

We all have these good intentions, but sometimes life just doesn't work the way that we would want or like. The Bible does remind us to focus on today rather than tomorrow because we really don't know what tomorrow will bring. Today has enough trouble of it's own.

Another delemna.. Our dog Tawny who has been a member of our family for 11 years has been moping and whining for the last few days. I couldn't see anything obviously wrong with her but one the the grandkids said that when they went to hug her neck she snapped at him! She NEVER does that!! So I took a look and was horrified. She had a gaping oozing wound between the folds of her neck..She is a Lab and so she had alot of loose skin there.. I took her to the vet and they had to do surgery. Between that and the meds that she will have to take for weeks to come it cost over $600. And depending on the outcome, she may have to have more surgery.

When do you say enough as far as a pet is concerned..After all, this money could be used to help hurrican victims.. That is what I had originally intended.. But I also took on the responsibility of caring for an animal 11 years ago. She is old but otherwise healthy..Do I discard her because my money might better be spent elsewhere???

What say you!!!

madima answered on 09/07/05:

Dear Laura,

I believe charity starts at home. Before you help others, you are duty-bound to help your family first. Tawny IS family. She had been loyal to you and yours for 11 years.

A lot of people are helping Katrina's victims. And the one who should help them is the US government to whom the people of New Orleans had been paying taxes for precisely THAT purpose, to be aided in time of need.

If I had been in your place, I will do the same. I'll save my dog first. My duty lies with her, first and foremost. If I send money elsewhere, even though it's for a legitimate cause and she dies, I'll never be able to forgive myself.

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Question/Answer
Laura asked on 09/04/05 - Watching the news this morning

Rescue workers are frustrated at the number of people that they are coming across in the flooded areas of NO that just don't want to leave their homes.. They've gone days without food and fresh water and there are alot of little kids as well.. Yet they just don't understand that it will be a long time before the water recedes and that they are exposing themselves to great harm from the stagnent diseased water all around them.

Can the government FORCE them to leave for their own good?

madima answered on 09/04/05:

Yes, I guess the government can force them to leave if the authorities can round them up and bodily load them in buses or choppers.

But if the government cannot give them enough food and shelter and security where they will be relocated, they will just troop back to their homes, unless the government enforces and mans a regular blockade of the area.

Well, I expect that being the richest country in the world, the US can tend to its needy, unlike here in Asia.

We have more or less the same experiences here in the Third World. Poor people set up homes near waterways and are forcefully evacuated during typhoons and floods. But they just keep returning back to the same place almost as soon as they are evacuated, even when the area is still unsafe.

When the government cannot provide them permanent homes and livelihood in relocation sites, they just turn back and rebuild from the ruins of their former homes.

They have nowhere else to go.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 09/04/05 - NIck the Cat

This morning, I opened the screen door to get my Sunday newspaper, and when I closed the door, I heard a cat meowing outside. I looked back outside and it was Nick!

I never saw him run out. He must have had a kitty-plan and executed it lickety-split. He escaped ten feet to the evergreen shrubs and his little nose was busy taking in the glory of it all! I called to him, and he disappeared under the hedge! Soon, he came out and tried the steps to the second floor which are in front of my apartment door. I went and got a chair and set it in the door so I could sit and call to Nick, hoping to hell noone would come by and see me in my house dress with hair akimbo!

I continued calling him, but he just wasn't interested in coming home. He was exploring the world ten feet from the door. Idea! Get the cat treats and crackle the package to tempt him to come home.

By the time I got back to the door and opened it, Nick was poised there and hurredly ran in.

I have been thinking. How far from my comfort zone am I willing to roam while exploring the world. How far in the past have I roamed in search of ?.

How far have you gone from your ocmfort zone???
What is your comfort zone?

All comments welcome...

madima answered on 09/04/05:

Dear Mary Sue,

I've always gone waaaay beyond my comfort zone :=) If I haven't, I will never have the kind of adventures I had and am having right now! :=)

My ambling up to a strange, 500 pound tiger when his keeper is away or hitchhiking on the dorsal of a wild 30-foot whaleshark in the open sea is not in any normal person's comfort zone, I guess :=)

Nor is jumping off an over 60 foot bridge into the raging rapids below, bivouacking at the peak of a mountain alone, or riding over 20-foot waves in gale-force winds in a flimsy wooden boat with no lifevest.

For somebody who grew up in the megapolis, who had been protected since childhood, who never really experienced the great outdoors until I got out of college...I guess I can extend my comfort zone indefinitely, depending on how much I relish the adrenaline rush that comes with it.

My ultimate dream, to summit Everest, K2 and Kangchenjunga, to explore even parts of the Amazon, the Sunderbans and Africa, to free dive with great white sharks in Gansbaii and perhaps kayak in the Aleutian chain, will really overshoot my comfort zone, especially where glacial environments are concerned because I don't have ANY experience with winter ice just yet.

Ohhhh, but I'll push my luck and my physical limits just to get what I want! It will be such a great thrill! :=)

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 09/04/05 - Is This Device Ethical/Moral??

Cut and Paste follows:

"A South African inventor has unveiled a new anti-rape female condom that hooks onto an attacker's penis and aims to cut one of the highest rates of sexual assault in the world.

"Nothing has ever been done to help a woman so that she does not get raped and I thought it was high time," Sonette Ehlers, 57, said of the "rapex", a device worn like a tampon that has sparked controversy in a country used to daily reports of violent crime.

Police statistics show more than 50,000 rapes are reported every year, while experts say the real figure could be four times that as they say most rapes of acquaintances or children are never reported.

Ehlers said the "rapex" hooks onto the rapist's skin, allowing the victim time to escape and helping to identify perpetrators.

"He will obviously be too pre-occupied at this stage," she told reporters in Kleinmond, a small holiday village about 100km east of Cape Town. "I promise you he is going to be too sore. He will go straight to hospital."

The device, made of latex and held firm by shafts of sharp barbs, can only be removed from the man through surgery which will alert hospital staff, and ultimately, the police, she said.

It also reduces the chances of a woman falling pregnant or contracting Aids and other sexually transmitted diseases from the attacker by acting in the same way as a female condom.

South Africa has more people with HIV/Aids than any other country, with one in nine of its 45 million population infected.

Ehlers, who showed off a prototype yesterday, said women had tried it for comfort and it had been tested on a plastic male model but not yet on a live man. Production was planned to start next year.

But the "rapex" has raised fears amongst anti-rape activists that it could escalate violence against women.

madima answered on 09/04/05:

Dear Mary Sue,

Rapex sounds ok but what if the woman is unconscious and the rapist knows how to remove the rapex before he assaults his victim?

Here, many rape victims are drugged beforehand. The drug is slipped in their food or drinks, when they are not looking. When they're unconscious, the men can do anything with them.

Also, forced vaginal entry is not the only kind of rape a woman is subjected to, although here in my country, that is the legal definition of rape.

The best weapon I'll recommend is still the .45, with a jungle knife in reserve.

Of course, even if you're a good shot, the .45 has a bad habit of jamming and if it does, you have to be quick enough to pull out the knife and use it. That is, if you will have the time to access both weapons.

Even a humble bunch of keys can come in handy, to guoge out eyes, etc. One's knees and elbows, applied with enough force in the right places, can have debilitating effects on an attacker.

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Question/Answer
revdauphinee asked on 09/03/05 - Im Baaaaack!

Hi folks i finaly got back in here am real buisy so wont be on as much for a while thanks for all the kindness relayed to me by ronnie.your comments make it a little easier.when all this is over im going to sleep for a week ,threw my back out throwing ice off the back of a copter but got to keep going folks are in dire straights down here your prayers are needed and if you have a little cash to spare please give it to the red cross we need all the help we can get.thanks folks !
Dorothy

madima answered on 09/03/05:

I'm glad you're back. Do give yourself some rest and take care! :=)

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 09/03/05 - MY BACK HURTS:



On days when my back hurts, when I have to hear about the continuing violence in the world, and when I wonder what my own degraded efforts will ever do to change things, I wish that I could just step back and view my life through a dream. Do you feel this way?

HANK

madima answered on 09/03/05:

Dear Hank,

Please don't bear the burden of the world. You don't have to.

When I was seven years old, I thought that when I grow up, I can change the world. But now I know how hard it is, even to change the parts of myself that I don't like very much.

When things become too much even for me, I go off alone into the forest, the mountains or the sea. They always heal me.

You'd better put some hot compresses on your back. There's a lot of exercises too that can help ease the pain.

You can try "the cobra" position in yoga - lie on your belly, palms on the floor, level with your shoulders, feet around one foot apart. Then try to raise your head and torso from the ground, supporting yourself with your arms and roll back your shoulders.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 09/03/05 - FYI

Management has reactivated my name, Choux. Just so there is no confusion, Choux is Mary Sue again. :)

Thanks Management. :)

madima answered on 09/03/05:

I'm happy to hear that!:=)

Choux is the foremost of my fave experts! I always put you in my fave list no matter what name you took, anyway! I see now that I still have Chouxxx, QuixoticChoux and QueenChoux! :=)

But I always think of you as Mary Sue! :=)

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 09/01/05 - Happy Endings ...

Would you say thaty the only people who believe that life does not end tragically, but triumphantly, are those with religious faith, whose hope and optimism, convince them that life really does have a happy ending?

madima answered on 09/01/05:

Dear Ronnie,

Whether people have faith or not, they... we... will all die, no matter what.

From what I have seen, a death, no matter how peaceful or how violent, is usually viewed as tragic by the ones who are left behind, the ones who love the departed.

That's why this saying often comes to my mind...When you are born, you cry, while all around you smile. When you die, you smile, while all around you cry.

However, how one views one's own end has nothing to do with one's faith - from what I've seen so far. It depends on how one views life - and death. It depends on one's unique personal experiences with both living and dying.

Having nearly died myself changed much of my attitude about death. It made me appreciate the blessings of my life more than ever. It made me try to make the most of each moment. But at the same time, I realized I can never be afraid of dying anymore, no matter how, where and when I die.

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 09/01/05 - Looting or perhaps not


Hello Christians:

Lets say that you live in New Orleans. You and your family haven't eaten or drunken anything at all for two days. You're standing in front of a grocery store that's closed. You have money in your pocket, and you would pay for the food and water that you're taking.

So, are you eating to avoid starvation? Or are you nothing more than a crook?

excon

madima answered on 09/01/05:

I'll take what I need, even if I have to break in that store, and pay for all of them when things get back to normal.

When you're trapped in a disaster area, survival comes first. You owe that to yourself and to your family. That's what I believe.

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 09/01/05 - New Orleans


Hello Christians:

Lets say that you live in New Orleans and own a grocery store. You evacuated. When you get back, you find that you’ve been wiped out. Are you upset? At who?

Let's say that you stayed and live above your store, and you own a gun (as all good rightward thinking Christians do)..... People are hungry... and have no money. What are you gonna do?

excon

madima answered on 09/01/05:

Well, if I manage to get back, I'll be VERY grateful just for that fact. I could not have lost everything when I was given my life.

For as long as you are alive, you have hope... to start anew, to rebuild. Material things can always be replaced.

If I have stayed, I would open that store for hungry people. I have known of at least one store owner who did that, but not in New Orleans. It was here :=)

I'll reserve the gun for those who threaten the lives of the hungry, the sick and the weak... and mine.

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Question/Answer
QueenChoux asked on 09/01/05 - Dome of Horror

Special to the LATimes:

NEW ORLEANS — A 2-year-old girl slept in a pool of urine. Crack vials littered a restroom. Blood stained the walls next to vending machines smashed by teenagers.

The Louisiana Superdome, once a mighty testament to architecture and ingenuity, became the biggest storm shelter in New Orleans the day before Katrina's arrival Monday. About 16,000 people eventually settled in.

By Wednesday, it had degenerated into horror. A few hundred people were evacuated from the arena Wednesday, and buses will take away the vast majority of refugees today.

"We pee on the floor. We are like animals," said Taffany Smith, 25, as she cradled her 3-week-old son, Terry. In her right hand she carried a half-full bottle of formula provided by rescuers. Baby supplies are running low; one mother said she was given two diapers and told to scrape them off when they got dirty and use them again.

At least two people, including a child, have been raped. At least three people have died, including one man who jumped 50 feet to his death, saying he had nothing left to live for.

Are there any Christians who think the NewOrleans disaster is their God's judgment against AMerica? Or something else supernatural? Thanks.

madima answered on 09/01/05:

Dear Mary Sue,

The disaster has nothing to do with God, I believe. There's nothing supernatural about it, either.

Even in lab experiments in psychology, when you crowd in so many rats in a very small space, they freak out and kill each other. And these are just rats.

If you imprison several thousand people together (and these people are as good as incarcerated because they have nowhere else to go) and deprive them of food, water and sanitation, they will behave like animals. They will turn on each other and even on their rescuers. They will snap, turn on themselves and commit suicide.

Among humans, it's called despair.

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Question/Answer
ATON2 asked on 09/01/05 - Ave Atque Vale!!

Would love to stay and chat, but I have some last minute packing to do...and then Farewell.....Not for ever I hope :) Try not to hurt each other too much, while I am gone. Will check in as soon as I reach the first cyber-cafe...Gonna miss you guys!!!!!!!! Be back full time the second week in October.

madima answered on 09/01/05:

Happy trip! :=)

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Question/Answer
QueenChoux asked on 09/01/05 - The Big One

New Orleans had their "Big One". I'm curious; are there any Californians on this Board who live west of the San Andreas fault?

Are any of you planning on moving before the California "Big One"?

madima answered on 09/01/05:

Dear Mary Sue,

I'm here in Manila, but I happen to be living right on top of an earthquake fault as well. And I mean right on top! :=)

We call it the "Marikina fault" and the last time it shifted was in 1999. I think it was a magnitude 6 earthquake but lasted for only a second or so. If it had gone on a bit longer, my condo building would have toppled to the ground and I suppose Manila will look worst than it did when it was bombed to rubble in the last World War.

But if you ask me, I don't intend to move from this flood-prone, earthquake zone. I love living dangerously! :=)

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Question/Answer
QueenChoux asked on 09/01/05 - Watershed Event

This catastrophe in NewOrleans is a watershed event in American history. I believe that one of the consequences will be a sane government policy about conservation of gasoline. The end to gas guzzling automobiles like SUV's, ending SO MUCH GAS WASTE maybe gassless Sundays to start.

Do you see anything good possibly coming out of this catastrophe??

Thanks

madima answered on 09/01/05:

Dear Mary Sue,

I just hope the disaster will bring about a change in land use policy. The U.S. government should not allow the use of marshes and wetlands for real estate development.

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Question/Answer
hOPE12 asked on 09/01/05 - Here are some positive steps we can take:

Hello Everyone,
I decided that there is something I can do and so can each one of you, if you so choose to.

1- I am emailing everyone I know and asking them to contribute what ever they can and then to email there friends.
2- I am going to email over 25,ooo peoople each day by means of a bulk mailer with the same information and who know, even if just some contribute to their local authorities, that is some I have reached that may not have responded unless asked.

3) The children here can make cards for all the thousand or so children in NO, and then mail them to the news people, asking them to make sure they give them to these children when they arive in Texas.. This will let them know that the kids here really care about other children in different parts of the country. I suggest this because children here are sad when they see what is happening, imagine how the kids feel who are going through this hard time.; What a good feeling that will give children, both those that make the cards and those who receive them when they arrive in Texas. These children have in many cases lost one or both parents. It is a small thing but it might help.

4) Write letters to all the officials in your area and ask them to contribute and to get some programs going. These people even when rescued and sent to Texas or wherever will need peoples help for monthes or years to come.

These are just a few suggestions and what I will be busy doing. I look forward to hear you all make suggestions on ways to help these people. Remember not everone is in a position to help financially. But there are others ways we can help. What can you personally do to help these people? I bet if you think about it you can come up with something also.
Take care,
Hope12

madima answered on 09/01/05:

That's a noble move, Hope. But I must also caution you.

Just emailing by bulk mailer may get you nowhere. I, for one, automatically delete whatever falls in my bulk mail. I don't even bother to look at them, so do most people.

Unless you personally know the public officials in your area, it's close to impossible to get through the cordon sanitaire. Your letter will most likely end up in the trash bin. At least, that's our experience here.

As you would know by now, I come from a calamity-prone third world country which regularly gets bashed by an average of 30 typhoons per year, a good many of them super typhoons. We also get our usual share of tsunamis, killer earthquakes, fires and volcanic eruptions.

From my experience here, unless you personally go to the disaster site and hand out donations, clothing and food directly to the victims, there is NO WAY to ensure that they will get to the right hands.

Many of the food donations and aid get stuck up in the ports because there's no way to transport them. Or they get entangled in bureaucratic red tape.

That is, if they don't end up in the pockets, in the warehouses or in the stores of corrupt public officials and private parties who take advantage of such disasters. And believe me, there are just too many of them in this world.

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Question/Answer
hOPE12 asked on 08/29/05 - When bad things happen!

Hello Everyone,

We live in this world where bad things happen to people, but is God always the blame for bad things.

Katrina now has hit us here in Miami Florida, many received a lot of damage and 6 people in Broward County lost their life. Should we blame God? Each of these people where told to stay home, stay inside. They didn't listen and went outside anyway during the time Katrina hit. All died by trees or branches crushing them or hitting their cars. Is God at fault here or just who is?

As to what some call a natural disaster, are they really natural? God placed the forces in action, but does that make him responsible for the forces when in action now? Do you feel that man has anything to do with the earths so call "Natural disasters'?

What's your opinion? Think about it before you comment. Think about what man is doing to the earth.

Take care,
Hope12

madima answered on 08/29/05:

Dear Hope,

I don't blame God for the typhoons.

Here in my country, the Philippines, we get hit by an average of 30 typhoons every year. We got hit by a super typhoon about a year ago. We had mudslides that killed thousands in the past two years alone. We had tsunamis, too.

Typhoons and tsunamis are parts of the cycle of nature, part of the normal cycle of life, death and rebirth. Creation and destruction are two sides of the same coin. What we call disasters that destroy life eventually pave the way for new life. That's the way it was, the way it is and the way it will always be.

Unfortunately, too often men makes things worse because of their greed. Illegal logging denudes forests, dams restrain natural waterways, development devours wetlands. Men remove natural barriers and protection - and of course, suffer for it, or get killed for it in the end.

I had my own fair share of swimming through typhoon-caused floods here in Manila, sometimes dodging flying pieces of roof peeled off the buildings by the very strong gusts of winds. Not to mention lack of power, leaking roofs, etc.

Just a few months ago, I got into a flimsy wooden boat and sailed where two oceans meet. The over 20-foot waves picked me up and toyed with me and the boat in gale-force winds. I didn't even have a lifevest. The boatmen in this area can't afford them. I thought if the boat capsizes, I'm dead.

But I didn't blame God for the gale and the rip tides and the waves as huge as mountains. I decided to be there in the first place. I made the decision. Just as I made the decision to live my life to the hilt. I live in a world that's full of danger and hazards - not just from Nature. I have the sole responsibility for my life.

Oh, but I do remember, as I rode the crests of the huge waves, I still had time to make an aside to God in my mind: "Dearest Father, you can let the sea play with this boat all you want. I don't really mind these big waves. Actually, I love them. But if you'll be so kind, just don't capsize the boat because I have no life vest and am too far away from land!" :=)

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Question/Answer
sarnian asked on 08/28/05 - New Orleans

Although I give my best wishes to all the people of New Orleans, what good is it to pray to God (assuming for this question that such an entity exists) for New Orleans?
Accordingly to the teachings it is God who controls (or allows) the tornado to pass straight over New Orleans.
Praying to God for New Orleans is like questioning God on his/her decisions and activities.
Maybe God has decided that the town requires to be destroyed, like Sodom or Gomorrah.
So why question and/or irritate God with your little human wishes and preferences?
His ways are inscrutable, isn't it?
Well, accept that than !

With my hope for as little as possible damage, and that all of those remaining there will find a safehaven ...

madima answered on 08/28/05:

If New Orleans sink, though I pray it will not come to that - it is not God's fault but man's.

The news says: "Experts have warned about New Orleans' vulnerability for years, chiefly because Louisiana has lost more than a million acres of coastal wetlands in the past seven decades. The vast patchwork of swamps and bayous south of the city serves as a buffer, partially absorbing the surge of water that a hurricane pushes ashore."

Catastrophe is the price man pay for raping Mother Nature, deforesting, turning wetlands into lucrative property development projects.

While the present generation is slowly becoming aware of environmental concerns, it is difficult if not impossible to reverse the damages done by the generations before them. Unfortunately, men pay for the sins of their fathers.

Last year and the years before that, we too paid the price - with mudslides that buried thousands in our deforested mountainside and coastal communities.

But the US is a first world country. I just hope the people of New Orleans are evacuated well and in time.

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Question/Answer
QueenChoux asked on 08/28/05 - Vatican to Block Gay Priests

Vatican plan to block gay priests

Jamie Doward, religious affairs correspondent
Sunday August 28, 2005
The Observer

"The new Pope faces his first controversy over the direction of the Catholic church after it was revealed that the Vatican has drawn up a religious instruction preventing gay men from being priests.

The controversial document, produced by the Congregation for Catholic Education and Seminaries, the body overseeing the church's training of the priesthood, is being scrutinised by Benedict XVI.

It been suggested Rome would publish the instruction earlier this month, but it dropped the plan out of concern that such a move might tarnish his visit to his home city of Cologne last week.

The document expresses the church's belief that gay men should no longer be allowed to enter seminaries to study for the priesthood. Currently, as all priests take a vow of celibacy, ***their sexual orientation has not been considered a pressing concern***.""


I think this is good news for the Catholic Church.
Do you have any interesting comments to make?

madima answered on 08/28/05:

I don't know how they can possibly do it.

Of course, they can subject prospective seminarians to psychological testing to ascertain their "true" sexual preferences or gauge if they have any perverted sense of sexuality... But tests can be fooled. All you have to do is answer or behave in the expected "normal" heterosexual way.

And what if one does not have pronounced homosexual traits when one gets in the seminary and only discovers his homosexual preference in the gender-restrictive environment of the priesthood? What will they do then? Encourage seminarians to spy and report on one another?

Homosexual abuse is not just a problem in the seminaries but in the nunneries as well. I have friends who had been sexually abused by the sisters who were supposed to be their superiors and counsellors when they entered the convent. (They have gotten out after that but they were traumatized for life.)

But then, it's not just homosexuals who are guilty of sexual abuse in the church - Catholic or otherwise. We have countless heterosexual priests who molest women. Spanish friars who came to our country "to spread the word of God" over 300 years ago raped women, kept mistresses and sowed wild oats.

If you visit our old churches - 16th century up to 18th century - the "secret doors" for the friars' mistresses are incorporated in the architecture of the churches!

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 08/28/05 - Revdauphine - Dorothy -

I heard from her this morning. She says she is 'preparing for the storm.'

If you pray, perhaps you will remember her, and if you do not, perhaps you will think of her.

I have asked her whether she is fleeing, and will report back in a clarification to this post whenever I hear anything.

madima answered on 08/28/05:

I pray that Dorothy and her family will be ok. Thanks for the update, dear Ronnie.

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Question/Answer
sarnian asked on 08/25/05 - Upcoming execution in Iran

Todays paper article :

Last month in Iran 2 boys of 15 and 16 years were publicly executed by hanging.
Tomorrow there will be another public execution there of two men.
Their "evil" deed? They are homosexual.
They did not hurt anyone. They did not display their homosexuality. Just being homosexual was enough.
All that is needed is 4 men (men, not women) to declare in court that you are homosexual.
And since 1979 more than 5000 men and women have been executed in Iran for homosexuality.

I know this is the christianity board, and that Iran is not christian.
Still I like to ask you what you think of these executions :

- What do you think of executions in general, of taking (a) life?
- What do you think of executing people for their sexual preferences?
- Is it perhaps not time to start sanctions against Iran? The european community is considering this.

Any homo joke will automatically receive a "bad" rating, seen the seriousness of the subject.

madima answered on 08/25/05:

Since you ask for a personal opinion, I have always favored the death penalty, which is what I grew up in here in my country, and which is the norm here to this very day.

Most of all, I'm for executing murderers, poachers, rapists, drug-pushers, corrupt officials and child abusers as well as abusers of the elderly.

The reason for me is simple and has nothing to do with my Christian beliefs (as there are some Christian dogmas that I don't really believe in or opt not to practice).

I simply believe they deserve it. I have seen and known many victims of such crimes and it fills me with such outrage that if I have the power to and the opportunity, I guess I'll love to execute these criminals myself.

However, I don't believe people should be killed for their sexual preferences. I believe people have a right to have their own sexual preference and their own happiness.

I don't know about sanctions against Iran. How can any nation sanction another's "inhuman" practices when they are also guilty of the same in other forms? If you ask me... if Iranians abhor their government, they have their own choices. They can either overthrow their rulers or flee their country. I have Iranian friends who chose the latter.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 08/25/05 - ASK YOURSELF :



Who am I? Where am I going? And what am I really meant to be doing with my life?

This has to do with DESTINY, the path you're meant to take in life.

HANK

madima answered on 08/25/05:

Dear Hank,

I first asked that question when I was six years old and I think I found the perfect answer before I was twelve! :=)

I am what I want to be. I will go where no others go. I meant to live my life the way I want to, to the hilt, every blessed second of it, and I'll allow nothing and no one to stand in my way! :=)

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Question/Answer
QueenChoux asked on 08/22/05 - In Praise of Friends

I am so thankful for my friend, Doris; I gave up the thought of ever having another real life friend, and then, she appeared!

New friends can materialize when you least expect it. That is part of what is so fantastic. Just kinda knocking around in The Now, and then, a new friend!

Have you made a new friend (not cyber)in the last year?
Do you have a desire to offer praise for a special friend?
What is your friend like(pick one if you have many)?
Special words for friends?

madima answered on 08/22/05:

Great to hear that! :=)

Every time I put my feet outside my home, everywhere I go, I get to have lots of friends.

My news sources always become my friends - they have to be because they put their necks on the line for me. The friendship soon extends to their secretaries, their life partners or their sweethearts, their kids, even to their security aides, their servants and their dogs :=)

The Public Relations Officers of the companies I cover and their staff evolve to be friends as well - even when I don't mean them to be. I don't like the thought of their getting hurt when I lambast their clients or their bosses in print.

My colleagues in the media also become my friends - the moment I choose to set aside the thought that we're competitors. Add to that the people I meet in my adventures, members of my mountaineering group, my scuba diving club, old friends from my dance company, my theater group - and ALL their friends, family and ever growing recent acquisitions :=)

I have met five new friends this year who became close enough to me to be classified as surrogate siblings. Three of them came from the media industry and two, from the theater. They are all like me in many ways -my mirror images .... perhaps that's why they gravitated to me, in the first place :=)

I guess God gave me true friends because I never had a brother or a sister, so I will know what it's like to have siblings. The only difference is that I get to choose my friends, or rather, they get to choose me :=)

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Question/Answer
FormerJesusHelper76 asked on 08/21/05 - Money = Power?

There are some who believe that Money = Power. I personally do not hold this believe because I do not believe money is more important then our family, our health for example. Why does america put such an importance on money. This will be the downfall of us. What are your opinions and thoughts. Thank you in advance!

madima answered on 08/21/05:

Money IS power. Rather, money buys power. But money is not equal to peace of mind, never equal to health and never equal to happiness.

The US is a capitalist nation, so in terms of financial wealth, it is the richest in the world. That also makes the US the most powerful nation on earth. But it pays a price.

In my job as a journalist, I've interviewed the richest people in my country. They are powerful, without question. Their money enables them to be kingmakers, to put heads of state in the palace, to change the laws of the land, to bend policies to their favor, etc.

But I have yet to find a tycoon who is happy.

One of our dollar billionaires here confided to me: "I never had fun."

For me, that's truly sad.

I have never even seen a million dollars. Sometimes I wonder what it will be like. But then, I know, it's not that important. I hate money though I love spending it. And anyway, even though I never had enough, I've always been happy with my life! :=)

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Question/Answer
QueenChoux asked on 08/18/05 - Christian Outreach




***Churches seeking marketing-savvy breed of pastor
By G. Jeffrey MacDonald | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor***

A year ago, the Rev. Scott Schlotfelt was weighing job offers from three churches smitten by what he had to offer.

But they weren't talking about his preaching or counseling skills. What they were seeking, like a number of churches across the United States, was some savvy marketing. And like a growing number of pastors, consultants, and volunteers, Mr. Schlotfelt was eager to do some branding for the Lord.


"I've kind of had a heart for marketing, [and] I think a lot of churches are looking for outreach" specialists, says Schlotfelt, outreach pastor at Mountain Christian Church in Joppa, Md. He received his undergraduate degree in marketing, then studied for the ministry and helped congregations build up their images through advertising in Las Vegas and Amarillo, Texas.

"It's the medium of marketing that's used to get a message across [in today's culture], whether it's an election or you're trying to sell a product," he adds. "But in this case, we're just trying to hear the hope of a new life that is eternal."

To succeed, a number of denominations and local congregations alike are seeking marketing know-how, whether among church staff or from from hired experts.

Churches' outreach to potential members as summer winds down. The United Methodist Church, for instance, will make its largest media buy of the year starting Aug. 30 - a four-week, $4 million effort. To get that marketing know-how, they're turning to those who know how to sell cars, houses, and other commercial products.

"The church in more ways than not is mirroring Wall Street and the world and Madison Avenue," says H. B. London, vice president of pastoral ministries at Focus on the Family, a national resource network for evangelical Christians. "We're [lagging] behind them to a certain degree, but we're using all their techniques."



For many in church leadership, corporate-style marketing is nothing new. Among males enrolled in seminary in 2000, the most common educational background was technical science, including business, communications, and computer science, according to a study by the Center for the Study of Theological Education at Auburn Theological Seminary in New York. (For women, it's social science.)

Another factor: almost 2 in 3 seminarians are over 30 years of age, according to 2003 data from the Association of Theological Schools, which means church leaders often have had business experience.

Thinking in terms of customers and markets, however, might not always bring out the best in a church leader, according to Jackson Carroll, a professor emeritus of religion and society and former director of research at the Pulpit & Pew Project at Duke University in Durham, N.C. He cites the example of Southern preachers who took up the cause of civil rights in the 1960s despite vehement local resistance.

"It didn't help marketing at all," Professor Carroll says. "People left churches in droves when pastors or leaders in the congregation took a strong stand in favor of integration, [but] they did it anyway."

Today, he says, pastors who make marketing a top priority run the risk of fostering "a congregation that refuses to deal with issues of individual or social justice because it might offend someone."

"Go therefore ..."

Others, however, see marketing as a necessary part of Christ Jesus' great commission: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations" (Matt. 28:19, New Revised Standard Version).

"Marketing and the church, they go hand in hand [because] we're called to bring our message to a community," says Kristal Dove, operations manager at Church Marketing Solutions. But she says not all church leaders should be involved.

"We basically make it so ministers can focus on people and not have to worry about this stuff," Ms. Dove says.

But in the opinion of Mr. London of Focus on the Family, any church leader's success depends at least in part on bringing the best of corporate-marketing tactics to bear on a righteous cause.

"Nearly every pastor is a salesman or a marketer of one kind or another because ... we have a philosophy to sell," he says. "The best marketers and best salesmen will have more converts, will have more people, will take in more money.... Evangelicals are marketers because they're really passionate about their product."

Have you encountered Christian Marketing in your church experience or anywhere??

Do you think that this approach will help increase church membership in America?

Comments....

madima answered on 08/18/05:

Yes, I've encountered what I believe was some type of Christian marketing and it was a big turn-off.

There was a time when we had well-dressed people boarding public transport - buses, light rail transits, etc., singly or in groups. They were thumping Bibles and "selling" Christ and Christianity to busy commuters.

My instinctive reaction? I simply increased the volume of my MP3 headset to shut out their voices. Most others slept on, rattled their morning papers, chatted more loudly with their seat mates, or punched out text messages on their cellphones.

Definitely, I don't like being "sold to" - that's true from make-up to clothes to religion :=) The fact that someone is shoving Christianity in your face like a bargain commodity creates automatic resistance.

America is a consumerist economy, good marketing seem to work wonders there - for as long as you never run out of gimmicks. But I wouldn't really know, not being a native of the US :=)

Here, it does not seem to work. Those religious "marketers" were soon being shoved out of buses and trains. It seems that people here distrust the "hard sell". If a product is really good, it usually becomes popular by word of mouth. No need to push it. The grand sales talk is usually reserved for the no-good bargain items and the unwanted.

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Question/Answer
QueenChoux asked on 08/18/05 - On the Lighter Side

The Daily Telegraph | Posted August 18, 2005 01:21 PM

SHOPPERS face a shortage of women's underwear because of new rules to stop cheap Chinese clothing flooding into the European Union.

EU limits on imports from China have left truckloads of bras, sweatshirts and trousers stuck in British ports and warehouses.


What say you? :):):)

madima answered on 08/18/05:

Well, honestly, dear Mary Sue, who needs underwear? :=)

Definitely, we do very well without them here in the tropics, where it's just too hot for most clothes!

My mama says that during the Spanish regime - that's the 15th century, our women wore no bras or panties anyway, under their elaborate shawls, gowns and multi-layered petticoats... for the same reason.

Before the conquerors came from Europe, people here wear little clothes. Even today we still have tribes who wear nothing in the rainforests. If they want protection from insects, they rub the juices of plants with insect repellant properties on their bodies.

(The bush people of other countries who stay out in the desert and open plains rub natural sunblock on their nearly naked bodies, too. They don't need clothes for protection.)

Europe, unlike us with sun all year round, has a winter. But then, you can layer tons of clothes for warmth without bothering with underwear, so there should be no problem :=)

It's sometimes funny when nations impose trade barriers on one another.

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Question/Answer
QueenChoux asked on 08/17/05 - Potential End to Horrible Epidemic?

Scientists in Australia's tropical north are collecting blood from crocodiles in the hope of developing a powerful antibiotic for humans, after tests showed that the reptile's immune system kills the HIV virus.

The crocodile's immune system is much more powerful than that of humans, preventing life-threatening infections after savage territorial fights which often leave the animals with gaping wounds and missing limbs.

Perhaps it won't be too long now to save Africa?
Perhaps it won't be very long to save all others?

Comments??

madima answered on 08/17/05:

Dear Mary Sue,

Many of the cures to the terrible diseases that plague humanity lies with Mother Nature. That's why we and the generations to come should be the guardians of our environment. That's why we should care for the creatures that share this planet with us and protect them.

Most of the crocodilians in this world are already endangered, if not seriously threatened. It takes a long time to develop cures. Scientists may yet do it for as long as their subjects don't become extinct.

Snakes, which most people fear, hold many cures. Snake venom is being tested to cure Alzheimer's if I remember correctly - among many other human ailments. But what do most people do when they see a snake? They kill it.

Sharks may hold the cure to cancer. They NEVER contract cancer. But shark populations have been depleted 90 per cent all throughout their global range. People hunt them mercilessly, not just for their fins but for the joy of killing them because they are toothy apex predators.

The forests of the Amazon and many of the endangered rain forests of the world have the plants that promise to cure other terrible diseases. But developed nations plunder them for timber and exploit their resources ruthlessly without thoughts of conservation or sustainable harvesting. As we speak, countless species of flora and fauna become extinct from the face of this earth.

We can save, not just Africa, we can save the world and ourselves, but only if we become truly responsible guardians and conservationists of our own planet.

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Question/Answer
QueenChoux asked on 08/17/05 - Ethical for Christians?

COUPLES could choose the sex of their children to balance their families under a radical overhaul of fertility laws being considered by the Government. (In Great Britian)

Families with a number of sons or daughters may get the right to select an embryo of the opposite sex in the first review of assisted reproduction for 15 years, ministers said yesterday.

Do you believe that this practice is moral/ethical for Christians??

Comments Welcome.

madima answered on 08/17/05:

Dear Mary Sue,

I believe in freedom of choice. If options are available, then we should make the best of them.

Again, personally, I believe the exercise of choice and freedom has nothing to do with being a Christian. Couples have the freedom - and the right - to choose not to have kids or to have them, so, they should also have the freedom to choose the gender of the kids they want to bring to the world - but if and only if they are emotionally, mentally and financially fit to do so.

Unfortunately, we have already seen the consequences of such gender choice here in Asia. You must be aware of the fact that the People's Republic of China implemented a one child policy to control their burgeoning population.

However, China is a patriarchal nation. Couples FAVOR sons over daughters on the traditional belief that sons make better heirs as they would carry the family name for eternity. Girls lose the family name once they marry.

Because of the limitation imposed by the state and because they don't have the technology to opt for the gender of their kids, many parents killed their firstborns when they had daughters, in the hope of eventually getting a son.

The practice and the gender choice ultimately created a very lopsided gender distribution in the mainland's over one billion population, where boys greatly outnumbered girls.

Ironically, it also turned out to be quite "beneficial" to the girls, they say. Now, you have so many eligible males wanting wives with so few available girls to choose from. Even the plain-lookers ... well even the "no-lookers" can afford to be picky with their grooms to be.

But you must also know what some population experts say... when you create an unnaturally dominant population of males, all with soaring hormones... you set the stage for war :=)

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Question/Answer
QueenChoux asked on 08/16/05 - Are you a "Luddite"?

Lud·dite Audio pronunciation of "luddite" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (ldt)
n.

1. Any of a group of British workers who between 1811 and 1816 rioted and destroyed laborsaving textile machinery in the belief that such machinery would diminish employment.
2. One who opposes technical or technological change.

ARE YOU A "LUDDITE"?

Of you are, would you state why?
If not, why not?

Comments welcome.

madima answered on 08/16/05:

Not by either definition one or two, dear Mary Sue :=)

On both my parents' side, my ancestors from the West came from Spain; those from the East came from Malaysia and China and I don't think any of them had been remotely interested in technology.

If they were not wielding paint brushes over canvases and sculpting stone opuses in their studios, they were performing in orchestras, lecturing in church pulpits or simply globe-trotting - and I'm quite sure they were more of artist-technophobes and adventurer-technophobes rather than Luddites :=)

For my part, I'm a great lover of technology, especially Information Technology, because I use it all of the time!

Also...My bread and butter job as a business journalist allows me to cover some of the IT giants - Nokia, IBM, Cisco, Sun Micro, HP, Sony-Ericsson, Motorolla, Nextel, Samsung, you name it...Can't even wait for my first 3G PDA phone! Yesterday, an SVP from our biggest telecom provider promised he'll give me one this Christmas for my gadget review! :=)

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 08/16/05 - The Gospel According to Groucho ...

Groucho Marx quipped, "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."

Though he was joking, I wonder if he is actually hitting close to home?

Do you have a firm set of principles that guide your life?

madima answered on 08/16/05:

Just a couple, dear Ronnie :=)

Live my life to the hilt, as if every moment is my last - and let nothing stand in the way of my freedom! :=)

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Question/Answer
powderpuff asked on 08/15/05 - some funnies

A Sunday school teacher asked the children just before she dismissed them to go to church, "And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?" Little Annie replied, "Because people are sleeping."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jesus saw the crowd stoning the woman, and stepped forth, shouting, "Let he without sin cast the first stone!" Silence -- then a stone came flying from the crowd, and Jesus turned around saying "C'mon, Mom, I'm trying to make a point here..."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mission President to a new Elder:
"When a big mean dog attacks you elder, just remember, you don't have to run faster than the dog, ...you just have to out run your companion."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There are a few things guaranteed to strike fear in the heart of even the strongest war veteran:

--a 3-year old who has just begun wearing big-kid underclothes squatted in the corner with a look of fierce concentration on his face;
--a little tiny voice from the back seat saying 'I gots to use the potty' when you are in bumper to bumper traffic;
--total silence from a room full of children;
--a boom/crash from the other room and the sound of many feet scampering in all directions;
--a boom/crash from the other room...and silence;
--the sound of a flush from a bathroom occupied only by a 2 year old
--all the kids huddled in the corner, whispering, when all you can overhear are the words, "Don't tell Mom!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Two missionaries were tracting door to door and knocked on the door of a woman who was not happy to see them. She told them in no uncertain terms that she did not want to hear their message and slammed the door in their faces. To her surprise, however, the door did not close -- in fact, it bounced back open. She tried again, really put her back into it, and slammed the door again with the same result -- the door bounced back open. Convinced these rude young people were sticking their foot in the door, she reared back to give it a slam that would teach them a lesson, when one of them said, "Ma'am, before you do that again, you need to move your cat."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A primary president, a high councilman, and a bishop sat on the front row of a airplane flight that, unfortunately, was hijacked. When the hijackers' demands were refused, they threatened to shoot some passengers, starting with the first row. The primary president promptly asked for one last wish. She wanted to sing her favorite primary song. The hijacker said that would be fine, then asked the high councilman and bishop if they also had a last wish. The high councilman requested that after the song he be allowed to stand and give the talk he had prepared to give in sacrament meeting that next Sunday. The hijacker agreed, then turned to the bishop. The bishop motioned for the hijacker to come closer and whispered in his ear, "Please shoot me after the song."


madima answered on 08/15/05:

Love numbers 2 and 3! Thanks for making me laugh in the midst of today's deadlines! :=)

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 08/15/05 - My Answer To Bikini Question:



Here's a verse from God's Word. God calls women to modesty, which means to not draw attention to themselves! 1 Timothy 2:9-10 says, "I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God."

HANK

madima answered on 08/15/05:

Dear Hank,

I honestly don't see anything wrong with wearing bikinis or even with being naked.

As an artist, I fully appreciate the naked human form, male or female. I don't really understand why most religions tend to negate the beauty of the human body and worst, to demonize it.

I paint nudes. When I'm at work on a canvas and I behold a beautiful man or woman, I cannot help but imagine what they would be like naked. I have to visualize them naked even when I paint their clothed forms, otherwise I will not be able to paint the flow of their garments, etc.

I guess... if God really thinks of clothes as a BIG issue, then all of us, not just women, will be born with clothes on - for modesty's sake.

Why then are we all born naked into this world? :=)

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 08/15/05 - Let's Take A Swim:



Should a Christian woman wear a bikini?

HANK

madima answered on 08/15/05:

Most certainly, if you ask me :=)

I believe Christianity has nothing to do with what you wear. It has something to do with one's faith.

I always wear a bikini when I go to swimming pools for very practical reasons.

Putting on lots of clothes here in the tropics, when the weather is 35 degrees centigrade or above is not advisable, unless you want to suffer from heat stroke. And the less clothes you have the better when you go swimming in fresh water where you are not bouyant, you can move more easily.

When I go snorkeling or scuba diving in blue waters, where the cold can have deleterous effects on my health, or where there's a lot of stinging jellyfishes around, that's when I don a full body wetsuit which covers me from neck to wrist and ankles. Diving in a bikini will be out of the question then :=)

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 08/12/05 - I Will Give You Rest ...

I Will Give You Rest
Ronnie Bray


Late in 1999, Gay, two of her American friends, and I strayed through Durham, and North and East Yorkshire for a couple of days.

We sat in the cool dimness of the awesome 1,000 years old Durham Cathedral in the land of Prince Bishops. The only cathedral in the British Isles built in a single style. It has massive round stone pillars, typical of heavy Norman architecture supporting an unbelievably complex roof. In that cool place whose tiny windows let in but little of the late sunlight, it was easy to wander backwards through the centuries and sense the devotion that had inspired and built it.

Looking round the broad, squat nave, one of our friends looked about at the dark reddish hue of the titanic pillars and the complex tracery of the ceiling of the massive pile, and exclaimed, How on earth did they pour all that concrete? You can see why I love Americans.

Later, we visited the mostly perpendicular Ripon cathedral, built over the Saxon crypt that was more than 1400 years old, before tramming down to see the ruins of Bolton Abbey, despoiled by Henry VIII during the Reformation.

We must have examined several millennia of history transformed into stone and earthworks, and walked where the heroes and villains of English history walked, saw the stunning vistas they saw, and been as enchanted by the broad green lands and rugged purple hills as they were, and been made to feel wonderfully alive by the same sights that inspired them.

We saw many places of ancient tale and fable whose names are connected with significant events in British history. At the end of our journeying, I asked Georgia and Karen which of the places we had been was most memorable. The bed and breakfast place! said the lady from Casa Grande, without hesitation.

Having told you that, I now have to tell you about the bed and breakfast place. It wasn't our first choice. We had telephoned a B&B in a five house village in North Yorkshire, near the historic Richmond Castle, only to find that they had no vacancies. However they recommended their friends' place called Stones Throw.

Stones Throw was a beautiful cottage built of the light gray stone of that area, with a deceptively large interior, kept by a shepherd and his wife. The interior appointments were sumptuous. Little touches here and there advised that a creative romantic spirit had been at work. The beds were surprisingly comfortable, and the rooms artistically and tastefully decorated.

We were greeted with home baked scones filled with fresh cream and home made strawberry jam and put at our ease. However, it was breakfast that really rang the bell.

When we went down to breakfast, it was already laid on the hefty pine table. The table legs were round and stout, such as might be seen on an overweight version of Long John Silver.

I have had Continental breakfast in American Motels and felt cheated. But this was a value-for-money breakfast with a vengeance! Orange juice in man-sized glasses with jugs of the stuff waiting close by for refills. More toast than you could shake a stick at, huge pots of coarse and fine shred marmalade and a huge boat dish of rich yellow butter.

The sideboard displayed a choice of breakfast cereals with an unlimited supply of milk fresh from a smiling cow, and oatmeal, called by the British either porage or porridge, was available for the asking.

After orange juice and cereals, the cooked portion of breakfast was carried in on red hot giant plates creaking under the weight of fried eggs with bright golden-yellow yolks from self-satisfied chickens, rashers of best back bacon with the fat trimmed, succulent pork sausages, crispy fried bread, mushrooms cooked in butter, black pudding fried to crispy deliciousness, and a couple of hash browns - an American import slowly gaining favour - topped with tomato ketchup for the Americans and with brown fruit sauce for the mature taste of the Englishman, and we were mostly silent for twenty minutes doing justice to the oblation.

Having wiped the various sauces from our mouths and chins - beards can be messy things! - we set about the toast. Just as the mountain was disappearing, our hostess arrived from the kitchen with another tottering precipice.

More orange juice, a brief rest to let our repast settle, then with cheery farewells we sloshed our way to the car to head across country towards Yorkshire's East Coast, where we meandered through the unbelievably picturesque hillside fishing village of Robin Hood's Bay, and the old fishing town of Whitby, where Count Dracula came ashore, and where the popular Whitby Jet mourning jewellery popularised by Queen Victoria was still made.

After a visit to the medieval Whitby Abbey and the equally ancient St Michael's church, a gentle troll down the coast road through the holiday resort town of Scarborough, where we enjoyed traditional fish and chips, we turned inland toward West Yorkshire and home, through towns that bear all the signs of the industrial revolution and the hardy folk that made the wheels of commerce turn whilst enduring grinding poverty.

Yet, for all the ancient glories, and the wealth of historic places we had seen, it was the bed and breakfast place that had made the most substantial impression. Contemplating the reason for her choice, I realised it was her favourite because it offered her something that the other places hadn't.

Although the scenery and buildings had broadened her understanding and given solid form to places she had only heard about, the place of rest and refreshment had supplied that which she most needed. She was no longer young, and her health was not as good as it could be, but she had proceeded with the stamina and fortitude of a pilgrim.

But, Stones Throw had granted rest, peace, silence, and fed her spirit with its peaceful seclusion as well as filled her with the best food she had ever tasted.

In our busy lives, we often rush around places thinking that we are doing ourselves some good, when we really ought to be in some bed and breakfast place refreshing our souls. Jesus pointed us to such a place when he said:

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest . . .
Learn of me . . . and ye shall find rest for your souls

And, of course, you will receive the spiritual equivalent of a Full English Breakfast!

- - -
Copyright © June 2000
Ronnie Bray
All Rights Reserved

madima answered on 08/14/05:

Dear Ronnie,
You are making me very hungry! :=)
I've been on a forced fasting for three days now! (Can't go out of the house because the streets are flooded from the typhoon since Friday.)
I've been on a diet of bread and strawberry jam, chocolate cookies and "brazo de mercedes".
Now, I think I would brave the floods to get some real food after reading your story!!!!

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Question/Answer
QueenChoux asked on 08/12/05 - Just Sitting

After the local electric substation caught fire, I had to spend five hours in darkness sitting in a wheelchair. Fortunately, I am quite able to sit and do absolutely nothing without getting the heeby jeebies. Occasionally I heard a mew from Nick my animal companion.

About midnight, I turned on a transistor radio and tuned it to Newsradio 78. I heard the voice of Stan Freeberg introducing his show which featured old time radio drama and comedy. The first show was from March 1953....a horror story about a scientist and a mutant spider. "This sounds good", I thought. I always loved the drama in the voices of radio actors.

Soon the three actors were discussion the Professor's experiment. Emmet's secretary asked the scientist how he had devised the experiment in hopes that he could cause spiders to increse their ientlligence and grow to a larger size.

The Professor said that the forces of electricity could be directed through an organism and combined with his secret formula on and on..... I BURST OUT LAUGHING....the show inagined and written only approximately 50 years ago and the idea was so hilarious to my Twenty First Century ears. Not a mention of genomes, chromosomes, DNA, or anything that could alter an organism in any way that could be considered scientifically respectable .

So, I thought over the idea that any age cannot think with information or imagination from past generations
anymore than Creationism disguised as Intelligent Design can be taught in schools as science! Laughable. Just plain laughable.

Mary Sue-thoughts in the dark August 10th, 2005

madima answered on 08/14/05:

Radio programs from the 50's? Great way to spend a dark night! :=)

I'm so used to brown-outs by now that I can negotiate my way up and down my spiral staircase and all over my condo in complete darkness. I can even find all of my things in the dark. (I forgot to stock up on batteries and candles last week and I hate to go out in the fierce rain and flood.)

We've been having some late season typhoons here, so my power's out and my ceiling's leaking as usual... that's why I was incommunicado for a few days :=)

But I feel safe and happy in the darkness - and comfortably cold. (Before the storm our temps are soaring over 30 degrees C.) I like sleeping to the sound of the storm too - for as long as it's not tearing away my windows or drenching my bed :=)

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Question/Answer
QueenChoux asked on 08/12/05 - New Wonder of Science

It is the ultimate conundrum for vegetarians who think that meat is murder: a revolution in processed food that will see fresh meat grown from animal cells without a single cow, sheep or pig being killed.

Researchers have published details in a biotechnology journal describing a new technique which they hailed as the answer to the world's food shortage. Lumps of meat would be cultured in laboratory vats rather than carved from livestock reared on a farm.

This news story really took me by surprise.
What are your comments?

madima answered on 08/14/05:

I would love that to happen! :=)

I hate it that animals are being killed for food and sport.

Lab-cultured meat will perhaps remove the pressure all over the world to convert wildlife habitat to grazing lands for cattle and sheep, which has been decimating if not wiping out not just wild grazers, such as antelope and wildebeest, but the predators who feed on them, from the cheetas to the leopards to hyenas and lions.

Perhaps it will also ease some of the pressure on the world's oceans and bodies of waters which had long been overfished.

I only hope that they market out such lab-cultured meat at the soonest possible time.

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 08/13/05 - Sunday morning

As a young man, Norton was an exceptional golfer. At the age of 26, however, he decided to become a priest, and joined a rather peculiar order. He took the usual vows of poverty, chastity, but his order also required that he quit golf and never play again.

This was particularly difficult for Norton, but he agreed and was finally ordained a priest. One Sunday morning, the Reverend Father Norton woke up and realizing it was an exceptionally beautiful and sunny early spring day, decided he just had to play golf.

So ... he told the Associate Pastor that he was feeling sick and persuaded him to say Mass for him that day. As soon as the Associate Pastor left the room, Father Norton headed out of town to a golf course about forty miles away. This way he knew he wouldn't accidentally meet anyone he knew from his parish. Setting up on the first tee, he was alone. After all, it was Sunday morning and everyone else was in church!

At about this time, Saint Peter leaned over to the Lord while looking down from the heavens and exclaimed, "You're not going to let him get away with this, are you?"

The Lord sighed, and said, "No, I guess not."

Just then Father Norton hit the ball and it shot straight towards the pin, dropping just short of it, rolled up and fell into the hole. It WAS A 420-YARD HOLE IN ONE!

St. Peter was astonished. He looked at the Lord and asked, "Why did you let him do that?"

God looked over at him and said, "Who's he going to tell?"

madima answered on 08/14/05:

That was great! :=)
Not being able to tell is actually the greatest agony! What a punishment! :=)

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 08/14/05 - Students Of Christianity:



How can a student of Christianity or any other religion truly understand any subject if he/she only has access to one narrow viewpoint?

HANK

madima answered on 08/14/05:

Open-mindedness is a pre-requisite to learning.

One can never be a student of Christianity or any other religion if he or she comes with pre-conceived notions of what a man's faith is or should be. Otherwise, he/she will just be a bigot, not a student.

A student keeps his mind and his eyes open, learning not just from his mistakes but from those of others. He should be willing to explore the less trodden even the untrodden paths to knowledge, at the same time respect the viewpoints of others, knowing that he cannot be impeccable.

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 08/11/05 - Intlligent Design???


Hello Christians:

So, tell me... If we're here because of some intelligent design, why am I bald? Isn't that a design flaw? What about my bad back? Seems to me if someone (or intelligence - or God) could create the Universe, he could have given me a knee that wouldn't go out all the time.

excon

madima answered on 08/11/05:

Now that you mentioned "intelligent design", first thing I thought of was the duck-billed platypus. They say it was an example of God's sense of humor during the process of creation.

This mammal, which is a native of Brian's (paraclete's) country, is a patchwork creation. It lays eggs like a bird or a reptile, it has a bill and webbed feet like a duck and a tail like a beaver. The males have poison like a snake in spurs on their hind legs. The females nurse their young with milk that comes out through glands on their skin and the babies lick it off their mom's fur... And yet, I find it beautiful and unique.

There are many other oddities of design in nature, like hermaphrodites - creatures with both sex organs - and some aquatic species can change their sex from male to female or vice versa in the course of their life cycles. Among sea horses, it's the male who gets pregnant and gives birth to the babies :=)

If you ask me, baldness is not a design flaw. In nature, the absence of hair is an adaptation. Among raptors, waders, such as fish hawks, do not have hair or feathers on their legs while their cousins who forage in non-aquatic environments, such as the harpy or the golden eagle, have fully-feathered feet.

A bad back is usually the price that we, of the species "homo sapiens", pay for staying upright. If we had lived on all fours, we won't be straining our backs so much and putting all of our weight into our spinal cords.

You see, the design varies. I would say it is intelligent and quite suited for our lifestyle and our habitats, but not perfect :=)

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Question/Answer
QueenChoux asked on 08/11/05 - Literal Interpretation vs. Symbolic

Do you believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible? Or, do you believe that many spiritual truths are explained by extended metaphor and the like?

For example, bucker asked a question about a man living in a large aquatic animal's stomach for three days. He believes that this happened. That is literal interpretation.

Another Christian might believe that this didn't really happen, but is a story to explain a larger spiritual message.

Are both Christians?
Do you have any comments on this topic?

madima answered on 08/11/05:

Dear Mary Sue,

Any book is open to interpretation. What a book means to one man will not be the same to another - be it the Bible or any other. I feel it does not make one man less wise or Christian than the other. It is not a question of rightness or wrongness, it is a question of perception.

I respect other people's right to believe in what they believe in, but if you ask me, personally, I think the Bible speaks in symbolisms.

Having known whales personally, having swam with them, hitched rides on their dorsals, put my arms and hands in their mouths, stroked their tongues, etc., I don't think a man can live in a whale's stomach for three days :=)

First of all whales will NOT swallow a man willingly. The only way you can get inside a whale's mouth is for you to force open its mouth, crawl inside and then close its jaws behind you. But the moment the whale gets a taste of you, he will spit you out... Believe me, I tried! :=)

The biggest fish on earth, the whaleshark, which grows up to a length of more than 50 feet and over five tons, eats only plankton. They come to my country to feed from October to May each year. I know them quite intimately.

The other true whales eat only krill. Some eat small fish. The great sperm whale eats giant squids living thousands of feet below the surface. But there are NO man-eaters among whales. Even the apex predator which is the killer whale or orca, (actually not a whale but a huge relative of the dolphin) never preys on men.

The only way a man can perhaps get in a whale's stomach is for someone to perform an incision in the whale's belly and stuff him inside the cetacean's main digestive organ. But he won't survive a day because the tons of gastric juices therein will break down his flesh before long.

And I don't think God will bother to perform such a needless surgery just to teach a man a vital lesson :=)

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Question/Answer
Laura asked on 08/09/05 - Our roots

Our heritage and upbringing seems to have an impact on our beliefs about God and life. I saw that in some of the answers to CeeBee's question. For instance, my husband was brought up in an abusive family. He didn't really have a father-son relationship with his father. His mother doted over his older brother and basically ignored him and any accomplishments he achieved when younger. He has said in the past that he finds it difficult to relate to God as "Father" because he doesn't really know what a father figure is supposed to be. It affected his relationship to his own children to a degree. Though he is a much better father than his own was, he still has difficulty relating to his kids. He expects things from them that they can't or don't deliver which is frustrating to him.

How did your relationships with your parents affect your life today?? And your relationship to God?

madima answered on 08/10/05:

I think my relationship with my parents determined my relationship with my God.

I'm very close to papa, so the concept of God as Father was nothing new to me.

A heavenly Father was easy to identify and relate to inasmuch as I knew very early on that my set parents on earth love me more than life itself.

I'm an only child and while my parents treated me as their personal treasure, they gave me the kind of freedom they never had and taught me not to fear everything they feared. They gave me an active role in decision-making and respected my free will.

I guess that's why I talk to my Father in heaven in the same manner I talk to my Father on earth :=)

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 08/09/05 - Who all here has had this experience?............

Many people do not have the experience of poor houses, the CCC, and beggars often at the door that existed all over the nation 70 years ago.
Compared to when I was a kid the USA, by and large, is opulent to an amazing degree.
Things started to change when World War II broke out.
As the nation geared up to fight more jobs were created to build ships, planes, tanks, guns, ammunition, sew uniforms, weave blankets, tents, etc.
Millions of more jobs were created and many of the poor joined the armed forces to get a job thinking it was better to maybe be killed with a full belly than starve to death on the streets.
Yes things have greatly changed but the sad part is that the young have not the experience to realize the great blessings they have today compared to just 60 or 70 years ago.
Time marches on to a different drummer each generation
Fred

madima answered on 08/10/05:

Dear Fred, you should come to Manila :=)

This is 2005 but beggars are everywhere, on the church doorsteps, on the train, bus and passenger jeepney stations, in most streets. They wait in ambush at the bakery, plucking on your arm when you buy bread, or even in front of the ATM machines, waiting for you to draw money. They knock on the glass walls of the restaurants watching you eat - when there are no security guards to shoo them off...In the commercial districts, some beggar kids run alongside, if not in front of the vehicles, finding a way to get themselves hit by the cars for easy blackmail money...

More than half of my country's 85 Million population (of which 15 to 20 Million are in Manila) live below poverty line. You will find the same scene in Third World countries...

As for houses...I'm living in a state-built condo and right now, my ceiling is leaking. Thieves have stolen the glass on the windows of the vacant units upstairs, so they get flooded in the typhoon months like this.

Time marches on to the same drummer, I'm afraid, for as long as there is poverty in the land.

But I count myself lucky. Extraordinarily lucky, still. I have never seen a world war yet and I hope I never live to see one. My father was but a boy during World War II but he remembers the horrors he saw to this very day, when Manila was declared an open city and bombed to rubble, when people were eating rats and the dead are being carted away and dumped in mass graves while planes spilled bombs overhead.

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Question/Answer
QueenChoux asked on 08/08/05 - Problems!

It's after one AM and I can't get my ventilator to work. I can take a chance that I don't fall "asleep" overnight, but that is not likely, so I'm going to have to call 911 and go to the hospital and get some help.

For me, that is extremely anxiety provoking, and I'm in quite a panic. I don't like to see physicians or go outside I put some food down for Nick in case I don't return soon.

The medical supply thing is so complicated....bureaucracy.

Thanks for listening. Human contact. Here goes nothing.

Bye

madima answered on 08/08/05:

Wish I live somewhere closer to Chicagoland. I'll try to fix the ventilator for you and babysit Nick, too.
But I'm with you in spirit.
Take care!

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Question/Answer
CeeBee2 asked on 08/08/05 - Family Devotions...................

One of my memories from childhood is that for about 15-20 minutes every evening (except for Sunday) after supper, my father would read from "the books" that he kept on top of the refrigerator. "The books" were the Bible and a monthly devotional booklet - 30 or so days of child's-level stories-with-a-moral from a series called My Devotions (Concordia Publishing House). He'd read a short Bible passage that then led into the story for the day. After the story, we talked about it and asked/answered questions. Then my father said a short prayer related to the story, after which our family together said a thank-you-God-for-the-meal prayer.

Did/does anyone have a similar experience?

madima answered on 08/08/05:

Papa is a devout Catholic but he never read the Bible to me. I grew on a diet of poetry, mostly from the Romantic Age, which he read to me every night :=)

But he told me the story of all his favorite saints and angels and the life of Jesus. He gave me my first rosary and taught me all my prayers. He always had the prayer habit, praying upon waking up, before and after each meal, during the Angelus and before going to bed. Mama and me always join in his prayers.

I hate waking up so early in the morning for Sunday Mass. So, if I cannot be perked up by the promise of a treat, papa will lift me out of bed and mama will dress up my inert form for church. Then, they will carry me in their arms, still half-asleep, to the church.

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 08/07/05 - *** Christianity *** Look at it this way for a change ...

As Christians, we are sometimes prone to denigrate the religious faith of others. This works equally at the denominational level.

Professor Daniel Peterson, with whom I am acquainted, addresses this phenomenon.

"The familiar language of prejudice [says of others]:

"They are not like Us. They are lower, less rational, less spiritually sensitive. They don't think like normal people."

In-groups always exalt themselves by degrading out-groups. Prejudice finds it hard to recognize individual variation; it judges whole classes, without nuance.

It makes no real attempt to understand why others think or act or appear differently; it condemns them because of the sheer fact that they do.

It is prejudice that leads to the notion that other groups need to be controlled, even enslaved, for their own good.

It is prejudice that has led, in some extreme cases, to concentration camps, holocausts, and ethnic cleansings.

[Anti-Mormons] John Ankerberg and John Weldon should be ashamed of themselves for resorting to such language [in their anti-Mormon book, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Mormonism].

"In Cairo some years ago, I [Peterson] spoke at length with a Muslim chemistry professor at the University of Cairo. He was astonished when he learned that I was a Christian.

"Do you really," he asked, incredulously, "believe that God had a Son, and that he allowed that Son to be murdered in order to buy himself off?"

After expressing some reservations about how he had expressed the doctrine of the atonement, I replied that, yes, I did believe precisely that.

"Oh!" he exclaimed. "How can any intelligent person believe in such nonsense?"

Well, the fact is that highly intelligent people have accepted Christianity. (Origen, Athanasius, Augustine, Aquinas, Pascal, and Kierkegaard are among those who come immediately to mind.)

But it was thought-provoking to find that my most sacred beliefs seemed insanely ludicrous to a highly educated outsider.

It was enlightening to find Christianity, for once, in the minority, and Christian assumptions questioned as less than self-evident.

How many times have I heard people say things like, "How can any intelligent person believe in Islam?" or "How can any intelligent person be a Catholic?"

Yet people like al-Ghazali and Iqbal and Ibn Khaldun have been Muslims, and the Catholic Church has claimed the loyalty of such people as Cardinal Newman and G. K. Chesterton and Jacques Maritain.

Reflecting on this, and on my own experience as an Islamicist, I have come to formulate what might be termed Peterson's First Rule for the Study of Other Religions: If a substantial number of sane and intelligent people believe something that seems to you utterly without sense, the problem probably lies with you, for not grasping what it is about that belief that a lucid and reasonable person might find plausible and satisfying."


Food for thought?

madima answered on 08/07/05:

In all honesty, I find many of the beliefs espoused by my own church absurd... you know, the thing about indulgences, original sin, the stance on homosexuality, birth control, euthanasia, abortion and divorce, among countless others...

Incidentally, I was "born" in the Catholic faith. Oh, not that I can't change it...It's just the comfort of the familiar... I considered atheism at one point and thought about converting to Islam at another... Then I favored the beliefs and practices of pantheistic ethnic groups I came to know... afterwards I dabbled in yoga, among other things.

I've always been intrigued about other faiths and other beliefs... Even as a child, I like to wander in strange temples and alien churches. I've always had friends of different faiths and I've never been averse to attending their services :=)

To me, now more than ever, the label, the denomination, no longer matters. For as long as you do good and follow your conscience, your own sense of ethics, then you must be in the right track.

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Question/Answer
QueenChoux asked on 08/06/05 - Crucifixion

I'd like you'r thoughtful comments on the following: Hollywood actor-director Mel Gibson has been asked to recreate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in the streets of Sydney if the city is selected to host a major Catholic gathering in 2008, a newspaper reported Saturday.

Gibson's staging of the Stations of the Cross, a live interpretation of Christ's final hours, would be part of a bid by the city to secure the Catholic Church's World Youth Day in 2008, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Comments?

madima answered on 08/07/05:

Glad to see you're back! :=)

Gibson's recreation is really no big deal for me, if you ask me :=)

We recreate the Stations of the Cross live in every part of my country every year during Holy Week.

Here in the Philippines, we have men and women who have themselves routinely nailed on the cross. I mean, really nailed on the cross, the way Jesus was nailed, with stainless steel nails about five inches long, dipped in alcohol! It's part of their vow for petitions that were granted for themselves or for their loved ones, such as the curing of a grave illness.

So far, nobody has bled to death or died yet. Those who have themselves nailed, "Kristos", as we call them, report that although the pain of crucifixion is horrible, their wounds heal incredibly fast.

I do wonder if Gibson will have the nerve to have the actor playing his Christ do it for real, as we do around here :=)

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Question/Answer
Laura asked on 08/07/05 - Favor

Could everybody please sign up as an expert in travel and tourism so that I may ask a question about plans for future travel? There are like 40 something unanswered questions there so posting another one would be kinda dumb without someone to answer.. I need advice about where to go for a once in a lifetime 14 day vacation that we are planning for next year around October. Will never be able to afford it again so this has to be "The place" for unforgettable memories..

madima answered on 08/07/05:

Dear Laura,

If you want to travel to Asia, especially to South East Asia, you can always ask me :=)

However, my expertise is really more on extreme adventure type of travels, for those in top physical condition, who are not afraid of anything... and I mean anything, from exotic foods, which require acquired taste at the very least, to dangerous - if not forbidden - places and creatures :=)

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Question/Answer
bucker asked on 08/06/05 - prejudices

be honest now. Have any of you ever felt prejudiced against anyone at anytime. Being three different kinds of Indian, Irish, and English. There may be more, I don't know. I Never the less, I have felt prejudice toward others. I do not like this, and I refuse to do it now. This was many years ago. That was before I learned that we are all God's chilfren.

madima answered on 08/07/05:

When I was a child, I was prejudiced against those who, in my eyes, are not physically beautiful.

Only when I grew up did I realize that true beauty lies within :=)

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Question/Answer
kindj asked on 08/04/05 - So tell me--where's the hope?

Hello again friends, neighbors, or mortal enemies, depending on your point of view and opinion of me. Been gone for awhile. Actually, not gone, just not HERE on this board.

Some of you may or may not know that things kinda came to a head in my life a few months ago, and I thought I would throw in an update, on the off chance that anyone's curious.

After much poking, prodding, testing, blood-drawing, MRI-taking, and uncomfortable questioning by MD's, psychiatrists (I f***ing HATE psychiatrists--always have), and psychologists, and after being examined in all manner of clinics from my regular doc's office to the VA quacks, the final word (so far) is "Major Depressive Disorder Brought On By Insidious Recurrent Episodes of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder." Ain't that a freakin' hoot? I mean, what the hell? Sure, I went to Panama and Kuwait, plus a couple other little brushfires. But damn, those things were nothing like my grandfathers' experiences in WW2, or my uncles' experiences in Korea and Vietnam, and they're fine (well, both grandfathers are dead, and OK, there's the one uncle whom 'Nam hit pretty hard, but he's totally functional). So why me? Sure, I volunteered. Volunteered three times over, to be exact. I knew the possible ramifications of the career path I chose with Uncle Sam. And really, those things weren't a lot of fun and I sure was glad to come home, but really, I didn't think it was THAT bad, especially after hearing various instructors and relatives speak of THEIR experiences. Maybe I'm just a wuss......

So we're trying to get the meds on line and adjusted right. Talk about a shotgun approach: "Let's try this. Oh, you almost murdered an entire small town? Ok, let's try this. What do you mean, you haven't slept in 8 days? Guess we'll try this. What? Now you sleep all the time, including at work? Damn....guess we'll try this..." and on and on, until I think we've hit something that will eventually work, once we quit screwing around with the dosage level and find a good one that works ALL day, and not just until 5 or 6 in the evening.

Even with insurance, this crap is expensive. Almost prohibitively so. However, I make like 14 cents a year too much to get any kind of temporary assistance with it. So I quit taking it for a week last month, to wait for payday to come. Let me tell you, THAT was a bad idea.

In the meantime, everything's gone up except for my paycheck. I work for a non-profit agency that is totally dedicated to helping those less fortunate than me. HA!! Little secret: some of those "less fortunate" are doing better than I am.

Anyway, it's been a financial struggle this year, to say the least. It's a long story, but suffice to say that it's been enough of a struggle that I have 16 days from today to cough up three thousand dollars or they're gonna take my house. I've filed all sorts of paperwork with the company and the VA (since it's a VA loan), but so far, no one's doing sh!t. Big surprise, since by my calculations, there are like four people on the face of the whole earth that care enough to do their job properly.

So I've been sitting back, cursing virtually every choice I've made and characteristic that I have. I've wondered if I shouldn't chunk this drive in me, the one that demands that I do good for people and not screw them over just to make a buck. Maybe I need to forget about finishing up this ridiculous masters in counseling psychology and get an MBA instead. Maybe I should say to hell with what I want to do, what's gonna pay me?

I have a wife and three kids. My wife's been working a bit, but it's not enough. We can't send her to work full-time, or whatever she made would be eaten up by daycare costs, clothing, lunches, gas, etc. I've done the math.

No, it falls to me, and I have failed.

Where's this "hope" that we speak of again?

DK

madima answered on 08/04/05:

Dear Dennis,

You have to find hope within yourself. You have to look for it and look hard. Not an easy thing, I know.

Uncle Sam has an obligation to help you, after all what you did for him. An expert suggested filing for bankruptcy. Won't that help?

Also...Why don't you give yourself a respite for the now? You deserve that too. It sounds very depressing to me, counseling and helping those less fortunate who are actually better off than you are, day in and day out.

If you are depressed, as those MDs say you are, then the first thing you do is get out of the company of depressed folks. Their negative vibes will pull you down faster than anything in this world!

Why don't you permit your wife to be the full time breadwinner for the meantime? It's not unheard of. I have a number of friends and acquaintances here who did just that. Being a house husband will allow you to enjoy your kids full-time, too. And in that interlude, you can sort out everything and heal yourself.

Don't ever lose hope.

Really, you have no right to!

You and your family are always in my prayers.

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Question/Answer
ladybugca asked on 08/03/05 - I Asked God






I asked God for Strength...
And He gave me difficulties to make me strong.

I asked God for Wisdom...
And He gave me problems to solve.

I asked God for Prosperity...
And He gave me brain and brawn to work.

I asked God for Courage...
And He gave me danger to overcome.

I asked God for Love...
And He gave me troubled people to help.

I asked God for Favors...
And He gave me opportunities.

I received nothing I wanted...
And I received everything I needed....

madima answered on 08/03/05:

Dear Mary,
I don't really ask, but He gives, so I graciously accept and thank Him :=)

In that way, He is like my parents here on earth.

I'm an only child and my parents have always anticipated most of every need I have and they provide because it's both their responsibility and their pleasure.

Strangely, from both my parents on earth and from my Papa in heaven, I get BOTH what I want and what I need.

I guess they all love to spoil me, though I'm NOT exactly an angel, never have been :=)

Guess I'm just extraordinarily lucky! :=)

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Question/Answer
bucker asked on 08/03/05 - Death gave me another task




As I was picking up limbs in my yard to burn, I found a little dead Bird. I do not know how long it had been there. I thought, how sad, there are no other birds around to see it. Nobody to mourn for it. It is alone in this old world with nothing or no one to care. And then I remembered Matthew 10:29, "and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your father". I felt better about it then. I said, "little Bird, there are four that I know of who care about you. There's the Father, there's the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and there's the Holy Spirit. As I placed it in it's final resting place I said, "and there's me". Bucker.

madima answered on 08/03/05:

Having nearly died myself very early in life and not just once, I never really thought of Death as a sad thing. If there's a beginning, there has to be an end somehow.

I love animals - both tame and wild - and have seen many of my beloved pets and other creatures die. I never thought they are sad about their dying either, at least, not from what I've seen. They accept their fate without question. They do not complain.

No matter how much we love our pets, especially our cats, many of them prefer to sneak off to die alone - if they still have the strength to. That's why from the first, I told my parents I think I'd prefer that too.

It's not from a misanthropic streak or anything. I love being with people most of the time, I love nature and most of earth's creatures. But if you ask me if I can choose, I'll choose to die alone, in dignity, at peace with myself, not bothering anyone and having no one to bother me. It's one of those ultimate experiences I'd prefer not to share with anyone, not even with those I love most.

If you have the courage to live, you'll have the courage to die. After all, as I've said to some experts here before, I've always felt dying is easy. It's the living that's hard :=)

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 08/01/05 - For your thoughts and prayers ...

... I give you my heartfelt thanks.

My diagnosis of Valley Fever has been confirmed by my pulmonologist.

He says it could be three months, six months, or even longer before I recover.

In the meantime, I am taking a massive daily dose of an antifungal medicine.

There are times whene I feel reasonably well, but then I take a sharp downward spiral and have to take to my bed for several hours.

As a consequence, my activity will be limited to how well I feel hour to hour [Cheering], and I will limit myself to whatever subjects tickle my fancy.

With my sense of taste gone to the dogs, there might be little that tickles my fancy.

Once again, thank you to you all for your kindheartedness and your good thoughts and prayers.

They are greatly appreciated.

Ronnie

madima answered on 08/03/05:

Take care, dear Ronnie. You're always in my prayers.

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Question/Answer
CeeBee2 asked on 07/31/05 - Satan.

Where did he come from? How did he originate? (he, right? not she???)

madima answered on 07/31/05:

If we abide by the premise that God created all things, then God created Satan as well.

In the beginning, there was only emptiness and darkness. God separated Light from Darkness, as he separated good from evil - if we go by the book. So both the Light and the Darkness came from Him alone.

And oh, while spirits are not supposed to have genders, men have conceived of "female equivalents" of Satan in other cultures and other faiths - in Sumeria, it was Lilith; in Phoenicia, Astaroth; in Babylon, Ishtar, the list goes on forever :=)

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Question/Answer
bucker asked on 07/31/05 - Satan

I just have a simple question. Maybe someone can set me straight on this. As I am sure someone will try.
:-) Satan believes in Jesus, why do so many people disbelieve. Is it possible that Satan has some inside information? Does he know something we do not? I decided not to let him out do me. I went to the source. and found the truth myself. Do you know what, I found out? He does have some inside information. He has been kicked right where it hurts by Jesus. He had his kingdom taken away, the keys to his home taken away
and he cannot even get out if Jesus says no. And someday He will say just that. He will say "you cannot bother God's children anymore. You just go down there and be satisfied with the ones you have stolen." So brothers and sisters, just think, some day we will be free from him forever. That sure will be a wonderful time. Don't you think so? Bucker

madima answered on 07/31/05:

Pardon me, but I won't attempt to set you straight on anything, I'll just state my personal opinion. You are an ordained minister and have every right to believe in what you believe in, just as I have every right to believe in mine :=)

Personally, I do not like to "demonize" things or see evil in people and the world in general. For me, Light and Darkness CO-EXIST. Others may see it as the Light of God versus the darkness of Satan, good versus evil, ignorance versus wisdom. But you cannot see the Light until you go through the Dark Night of Soul. If there is no Darkness, there will be no Light. If there is no Evil, there will be no Good, for what will be the basis of one without the other?

If the darkness has no purpose, then it will not exist. But it exists WITH the Light. So, I will presume it is allowed to exist. I will go further and say that it is there for a purpose.

If I were to assume that Satan exists, then it is because God allowed him to exist. He is a contrapuntal force and being such could be indirectly or directly a purifying or a cleansing force for humanity. God sees that Satan has a function in the order of things, otherwise, an all powerful God will just smite him effortlessly and he will be gone - obliterated in a millisecond. Why wait for millenia upon millenia? Why go through all the protracted trouble?

If Satan exists, he also came from God because God created ALL things. Satan is of God as the darkness is of the light, that's why God knows him. Satan knows of God because he came from no one else but Him.

No doubt, there is great knowledge in the darkness because first, as humans, we have to pass through it to gain the light.

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Question/Answer
Bobbye asked on 07/29/05 - PRAYER FOR EREWHON (Ronnie Bray)

I received the following e-mail from Gay (Ronnie's wife) advising of Ronnie's serious health problem. I'm sure some of you who are on his mailing list received same.

PLEASE REMEMBER HIM IN PRAYER. Thanks. Bobbye
===============.
(From Gay Bray):
"Sorry to send a collective note here, but so many have written and been concerned with Ronnie's health problems, that I thought I'd just send a note to all. He appreciates all the good wishes he has received, and as time and his health permit, I'm sure he will write individually to you, but we wanted you to know what's going on.

About 3 weeks ago Ronnie showed flu-like symptoms, and was given a prescription for an antibiotic. The very next day he broke out in a rash, like measles, and his fever went down. He still felt lousy, but we were not too concerned. After 3 days the doctor recommended a chest x-ray (which showed pneumonia in his left lung) and a bunch of blood tests and cultures.

The cultures came back negative for any bacterial infection, but positive for Valley Fever. The doctor then gave him an anti-fungal prescription, since V.F. is a fungus-airborne disease. He is scheduled to see a Pulmonary Specialist next Monday and we hope he will be able to receive some good help.

Ronnie has a few situations that complicate his health picture. First, his immune system is low to non-existent due to certain medications he takes for his bad arthritis. Also he has been bothered with lung problems most of his life, and this is just another situation to overcome.

His energy level is very low, as you can imagine, and so he is staying close to his bed for the time being. He has tried to sit at the computer and get back to writing, but his body rebels and he has to give in for now.

He is not alone in the bedroom, because usually both dogs share the bed with him, especially his faithful Border Collie, Frankie. Belle likes to bring a ball to him, on the odd chance that Ronnie would toss it for her to catch or chase."

Gay.

madima answered on 07/31/05:

Thanks, Bobbye. I got the note, saw it today, after I returned from my five-day out-of-town coverage. I'm praying for Ronnie's recovery. He and Gay and their loved ones are always in my prayers.

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Question/Answer
ATON2 asked on 07/29/05 - Is ATON a Muslim????

No. ATON is not now, nor has he ever been a Muslim.
Does ATON defend Muslims??? Yes when they are attacked by rabble rousers. Why? Because he has Muslim relations and he KNOWS the postings on this board to not reflect TRUE Islam.

Is ATON a MORMON. No. ATON is not NOW nor has he ever been a MORMON.
Does ATON defend MORMONS....YES, when they are attacked by rabble rousers. Why?? Because he has MORMON nieces and nephews who are among the finest CHRISTIANS he has ever known.

Is ATON an apostate from Jehovah's Witnesses. NO. ATON has NEVER been a Jehovah's Witness. Does ATON defend J.W.s ONLY when they are right :) Why?? Because they are often wrong :) :) :)

Getting the idea, folks????

I have defended Catholics against the depredations of Tom777 and our own anti-Catholic rabble rousers. Why?? You guessed it...I have Catholic nieces and nephews and cousins.

I have defended Judaism against our resident Anti-Semites...Yeah, you guessed it, again..I have Jewish In-laws.

Does ATON attack Christians...NO...only the pseudo-Christians who have distorted the teachings of Jesus and preached an elitist, country club Heaven which bears a sign "NO JEWS, MUSLIMS, BUDDHISTS, HINDUS or Dogs allowed".

Does ATON NOT have Christian relatives???? More than I can count...including an ordained minister, and a born again nephew who, the moment he accepted Jesus turned from a fun-loving teen ager to the sourest individual I have ever known.

EN FIN: Contrary to a recent, hysterical posting...As I have repeated over and over again... I do not consider the Scriptures of ANY organized religion to be the inspired, inerrant word of God..I am not a member of ANY organized religion..Any one who tries to pigeon-hole me as an adherent of ANY organized religious group is lying....or doing a bit of wishfull thinking.

Are Christians permitted to lie in defense of their beliefs????????? I know about Eusebius...but he was a product of his times.

madima answered on 07/31/05:

Well... I think that's why you're a favorite of mine, dear ATON :=)

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Question/Answer
CeeBee2 asked on 07/30/05 - God's gender. Is God male or female -

or neither?

madima answered on 07/31/05:

Neither, I believe. God is a spirit and spirits are not supposed to have any sex or gender.

But God is free to take any form in our minds because in essence He/She is a personal God. We - whoever believes in God -are of the flesh, not of the spirit. It is easier to understand God - or think we understand Him/Her in a physical way.

It is easier to feel closer to a God with identifiable masculine or feminine energies, to think of a Divine Benefactor as either a Heavenly Father or an Ethereal Mother. The concept of God is more comprehensible, more personal that way.

From my limited experience, I noticed that some of our people who favor pantheism tend to perceive God as feminine, as Mother Nature is female, and refer to their deity as a Mother Goddess, accordingly.

I think of God as my Father in Heaven, but that's just because that's the way my parents and my Church referred to Him when I was growing up. Eventually, I realized I'm most comfortable relating to Him in that manner because I love my father on earth so much anyway :=)

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 07/27/05 - so it's all about fear?

Muslim clerics want curbs on conversions
July 28, 2005 - 2:44PM
Page Tools


Indonesian clerics are calling for strong measures to prevent Muslims from converting to other religions, especially Christianity.

Indonesia is the world's largest Islamic nation.

But the influential Indonesian Ulema Council, which is holding its national congress, has expressed concern that the percentage of Muslims has dropped in some parts of the country.

They said Christian preachers have penetrated some provinces at "an alarming rate," according to The Jakarta Post.

"The phenomenon ... is most disturbing," it quoted a report presented at the conference.

The council is expected to adopt edicts at the end of its congress on Saturday aimed at discouraging religious conversions, including statements against mixed marriages and television shows that promote mysticism.

Indonesia recognises five religions including Christianity.

But attacks against Christians, who comprise eight per cent of the 210 million-strong population, have increased since ex-dictator Suharto's downfall in 1998.
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Muslim groups say evangelical Christians are partly to blame for rising religious tensions, accusing them of trying to convert Muslims, which is illegal in Indonesia.

Currently, three women from the West Java town of Indramayu are on trial for attempting to convert Muslim children to Christianity.

© 2005 AAP

The question is if their religion is so attractive and all inclusive, what do they have to fear from a few conversions? The reality is that, given the opportunity, people will seek something better than the bankrupt religion that is Islam. But a few conversions and they are up in arms, the sky is falling on their world.

madima answered on 07/27/05:

Hi, Brian,

After having lived in a predominantly Muslim country in the Middle East for a year and after having long-term associations with Muslims (Mindanao, the second biggest island in our archipelago, is Muslim) I don't think Islam is a bankrupt religion :=)

Personally, I have a great deal of respect for the beliefs of my Muslim friends.

But I do observe there's been some forms of religious "coercion" among some Christians who try to agressively haul in converts, even here in my country, that's why these missionaries are encountering a great deal of resistance. Indonesia is quite close to us and we do share some of their Southeast
Asian cultural heritage.

Some Christian groups have attempted to "blackmail" ethnic as well as other non-Christian groups here, dangling favors, international aid and other juicy dole-outs in exchange for conversion, especially in depressed areas.

Some Western evangelists have also come into isolated tribes without knowing anything about their cultures, values and mores and unwittingly created tension. These conversions were also accompanied by a corruption and rape of the cultures invaded, exploitation of the resources of the community, environmental degradation and religious conflict - to name just a few. Eventually, these people come to see the Christian missionaries as exploiters (or their "advance parties") and detestable representatives of the capitalist West. In some cases, Christianization was used as a mere excuse for exploitation.

Christianity is still a Western import here. My country, the Philippines, is the ONLY Christian nation in the Far East simply because it has been colonized by Catholic Spain for 300 years and by Christian America for less than a century.

Orientals DO have a very different culture from Occidentals, even though we of the younger generation are considerably "Westernized" and well acquainted with American/European cultures.

Unfortunately, many, if not most Western evangelists and missionaries who intrude into the East tend to overlook a lot of things in their zest to spread their own beliefs. At the very least, their oversight is interpreted as a complete lack of respect for the people they try to win over to their alien faith.

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 07/27/05 - Do you think or believe that many in the media....

are anti-christian? If so you are right.
Take a look at the secular/religion war.
Use the ULR below.
+++
http://headlines.agapepress.org/archive/7/262005a.asp

madima answered on 07/27/05:

As an active member of the working press, I say no. The media, in its true spirit, the media as I know it, is neither anti-religion or pro-religion, anti-Christian or pro-Christian. It is supposed to be pro-Truth.

Of course, that's the ideal.

In our ideal quest for the truth, journalists may run against religious beliefs and religious biases of all types, and not just the Christian religions.

Of course, our editors and publishers have their own vested interests. They may favor certain religious groups who broker power with the government or who support them financially. Business, religion and politics always go hand in hand - especially in Third World countries like mine.

In fact, the Christian churches in my own country, specifically the Catholic church, has a LOT to do with suppression and twisting of public information that runs counter to their interests.

It is also a fact that the "Iglesia ni Cristo Church" in my country, which carries a solid vote, has the power to sway, not just political trends and opinions, but also public information disseminated in the media.

The churches here have LOTS of money, LOTS of business interests, LOTS of political clout, which they put to good use in influencing the press, from the journalists to the editors to the publishers and media pundits.

We have LOTS of stories that never see print, killed at the moment of submission, because they run counter to the interests of the Christian church.

In the eternal game of power, the Christian church can - and do - make use of the media as a pawn.

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 07/25/05 - "Love your enemies"

When Jesus said "Love your enemies," was he only stating an option?

madima answered on 07/25/05:

I believe he does, as human beings have free will, which gives us the luxury of choice.

Anyway, I believe that man's greatest enemy has always been himself. So, if he loves himself - and he should - he ought to love his greatest enemy - the one who lives within :=)

As for the enemies outside of the self, we also have an option, I believe.

Of course, in war, when I confront someone who intends to kill me and I opted to kill him instead, it cannot be said that I did it out of hatred. I did that in self-defense. I may have no knowledge of my enemy at all, no understanding, no emotion, so I have neither love nor hatred, just an instinct to preserve the self.

But love and hatred are both very complex, very intense emotions, and the delineations are NOT that clear... at least outside the realm of Agape, the love that Jesus is supposed to have spoken of.

It's odd ... I guess you can't really hate someone unless you love him. And sometimes, you love someone so much you hate him for it.

As the saying goes: I have no more love left for you to hate you.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 07/16/05 - Free-Will:



Do human beings truly have a free will?

HANK

madima answered on 07/16/05:

Definitely. We can choose to be happy or we can choose to be miserable. We can choose to succeed or we can choose to fail. It's all a matter of free will :=)

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 07/13/05 - Morals

Hello Christians:

Let’s say that you were 62 years old, and you just got convicted of a crime and sentenced to 25 years in the slam - a virtual life sentence. You are, for the time being, free, but you have to report to the slam in October. You have sufficient assets to allow you to live comfortably, anywhere.

Would you stay? Would your innocence affect your decision? Would your guilt affect your decision. Would guilt or innocence even matter to you, for purposes of this decision? Why?

excon

madima answered on 07/13/05:

If I live to be 62 (which most of my friends don't believe I will, at the rate I'm living now) and I'm sentenced to 25 years, with enough assets to boot, I'll bolt. I'll buy myself an island in the remotest, most inaccessible part of the globe.

Of course, in all honesty, if I will ever commit a crime, I will see to it that I will NEVER be caught in the first place.

But in this case, innocence or guilt will not matter. That's my personal freedom at stake, and for me, that's the most important thing in the world.

Well, others say prison walls do not matter. The real prison is in the mind. Our national hero and many brilliant writers produced their magnum opuses behind bars.

I also know that some are of the thinking that prison is free board and lodging... more exciting than a nursing home, especially in countries like the US, where facilities are better, especially the libraries and the internet access.

Still, I loathe the idea of anybody incarcerating me against my will. I chose to live free, so I choose to die free.

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Question/Answer
tarot10 asked on 07/11/05 - what should we do about it?

If it ain't a loving thing to do we shouldn't do it.


If we see someone harming/endangering/abusing another, what kind of person are we if we do nothing?

What should we do about it? What have you done about it? Have you done anything about it?

IS THE PERSON WHO DOES INDEED DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, GOING TO FIND HIMSELF/HERSELF TOTALLY ALONE AND OUT IN THE COLD?

I think it would require everyone to take action simultaneously.

Hope you have some solutions for us.

madima answered on 07/11/05:

Dear Tarot10,

Some people who do something about it may not just end up alone, out in the cold. They may end up dead, like one gentleman I knew.

Last week, on his way home, he saw a guy exchanging heated words with a woman on the streets, threatening to be physical with her. Our gentleman friend did not know the couple, but he was concerned for the poor woman. He tried to intervene. The guy suddenly pulled a gun and shot him point blank. He died on the spot. He's not even 30 yet, just visiting from the US, where he has a promising career and was the hope of his family.

He was just among the many I knew who was killed under more or less the same kind of circumstances.

Unfortunately, some of the most compassionate and the most humane people in this world end up victims and fatalities themselves when they try to protect their fellowmen.

As for me...if I see someone holding a gun to my parents or someone I love, and I have a gun at hand (as I sometimes do), I will shoot him and ask questions later.

So, Christian or not, what we do about it mostly depends on our personal values, the gravity of the risk or danger as we perceive it, though it may also be determined by who the abusers/perpetrators and the abused/victims are, how much we are emotionally invested in the parties involved and whether we can afford the consequences of our actions.

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 07/09/05 - Snitching


Hello Christians:

Snitching - tattling - ratting - kissing and telling, buring your sources, etc.

What is the Christian/moral stand on the subject? Why? Do you keep secrets? Would you go to jail to keep a secret? Is it good or bad to do so? What do you teach your kids?

If it's good, why are all the terms describing one who does so, so reviling? If it's good, we should call it kissing or loving.

excon

madima answered on 07/10/05:

Hi excon,

I'm an active member of the working press in my country at present, so I can more realistically answer from the journalistic point of view.

I will go to jail to protect a good source. I have never disclosed the true identities of any of my news sources throughout my career.

Oh, there were many times people tried to tempt me or bribe me. And there were those few news sources who tried to burn me with false info.

But a good news source will risk to have his/her head on the chopping block for you... Of course, their motives could also be open to question. Some will "tell" with genuine honesty and idealism, but some will tell to exploit, to manipulate, or out of spite to their superiors or the system.

As journalists, we are told to deal with facts, not with the motives of the sources. When the facts given by the sources are verifiable truths, then they are published and the source protected.

From the Christian and the personal viewpoint, the demarcation lines can be blurry. But definitely, I don't protect liars :=)

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Question/Answer
Bishop_Chuck asked on 07/08/05 - Church Fire

Many of you know me from years here and on askme.come
We have had a major loss here in Sparta TN. Not only our church, but two other churches were set fire to last night. Our meeting place was not hurt near as much as the other two churches ( Methodist and Church of Christ)
But we did recieve damage.

I am asking anyone even non Christians who want to help others in need to help us with any donations they could make.

you can visit our web site for information on helping us

www.unitycatholic.org

madima answered on 07/10/05:

I'm very sorry to hear about the damage in your meeting place, Bishop Chuck. I hope you will be able to repair it soon. I hope too that the police will catch the culprits.

We don't suffer racial hate crimes here in our part of the world, but we do have our share of religious and terrorist bombings - and that too has been increasing lately.

Please take care and may God be with you.

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 07/07/05 - Prayers said in Latin.........................

I heard that our new pope asked that Catholics relearn the basic prayers in Latin.

As a convert I was not bought up in the Latin Church.
So please tell me what advantage there is in learning the prayers in Latin.
Would they be better heard by God if in Latin? I doubt it, but if so then why not in Greeek or Hebrew?
Apparently our new Pope, whom I highly respect, thinks there is an advantage at least to the Church in doing so. If so, what is it?
Your philosophical and/or theological thoughts, please.
Fred

madima answered on 07/10/05:

You're most welcome :=)

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 07/07/05 - Prayers said in Latin.........................

I heard that our new pope asked that Catholics relearn the basic prayers in Latin.

As a convert I was not bought up in the Latin Church.
So please tell me what advantage there is in learning the prayers in Latin.
Would they be better heard by God if in Latin? I doubt it, but if so then why not in Greeek or Hebrew?
Apparently our new Pope, whom I highly respect, thinks there is an advantage at least to the Church in doing so. If so, what is it?
Your philosophical and/or theological thoughts, please.
Fred

madima answered on 07/07/05:

Dear Fred,

Just my personal thoughts...I don't think there's any advantage. God will hear you in whatever language you speak. The language does not matter to Him. The intent does.

But I do pray in many languages... English, Pilipino, Spanish and Latin...depending on my mood.

In my country, the novena prayers and songs as well as the prayer of absolution which the priests utter on the closing of a confession are in Latin. The High Mass is still in Latin. And there's a Latin prayer that I say everyday after waking up. It's a beautiful language, a language of antiquity and I find it really romantic. So, I don't really mind :=)

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Question/Answer
CeeBee2 asked on 07/02/05 - Asked by a Lutheran minister......................

who was very surprised by the answers he got:

Suppose you were to die today and stand before God, and He asked you, "Why should I allow you into My Heaven?"

What would you say?

madima answered on 07/02/05:

Because You summoned me here! Why else? :=)

I'm perfectly happy living on MY piece of earth and staying there forever, though I have great friends up here! I still have a LOT of things to do for a good many of Your creatures down there, by the way! :=)

And beloved Father of mine in heaven, please make up Your Divine mind if You really want me frolicking up here forever with my angels... er, Yours... this VERY minute!

You summoned me at least TWICE already when I was younger and You always changed Your mind at the VERY LAST minute!

Papa, dearest, to be honest with You, I'm getting quite dazed being zapped to and from the earth! :=)

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Question/Answer
Saladin asked on 06/28/05 - Angel's wings?

I am sure that we are familiar with piuctures showing angelic beings with feathered wings.

It is well known (or should be) that wings as a means of propulsion are useless above the dense part of the earth's atmosphere.

So, in spite of biblical references to 'wings' that may be no more than symbolic and refer to their power to move, by what means do you think angels get from heaven to earth and back again?

~~R~~ - cleared for landing

madima answered on 06/29/05:

Dear Ronnie,

Angels do not need wings. The pinions are given to them by artists to show they are of the heavens. Spirits travel at the speed of - and at the propulsion of thought. All that an angel has to do is wish that he is on earth - or back in heaven and he'll be there. Come to think of it, there are no physical delineations in the spiritual plane :=)

Question/Answer
ATON2 asked on 06/29/05 - AVE ATQUE, but NOT VALE :)
Not a question: just a quick greeting to my dysfunctional cyber family

Missed you ALL...Too much personal stuff going on to explain. Will be posting sporadically...with new guidelines. No private postings (too much intrigue there, already). No more free rides...answers will be rated strictly on content, not INTENT!!! (EVEN IF I LIKE YOU) :) :) :)
Fair warning: Though I still abhor censorship, I will use the abuse button more frequently...and leave it up to answerway to keep the site clean!!!!!
Now!!! Can we get back to trying to EXPLAIN the ins and outs of Christianity...or do we persist in Anti-Mormon, Anti-Muslim, Anti-EVERYTHING that is NOT fundamentalist Christianity..rabble rousing??????? And for the sake of the Creator...NO MORE about Terry Schiavo or Michael Jackson!!!!!! That has become BORING to the point of Petrification!!!!!

"Once more into the breach...." and devil take the hindmost (whatever THAT means) :)

madima answered on 06/29/05:

Welcome back, Aton! :=)
We missed you! :=)

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Question/Answer
FormerJesusHelper76 asked on 06/24/05 - A New Life!

How do you feel about bringing in a new life into todays world. Do you think things in society will get better or only get worse. It is very important how the child is raised and where and how. What factors do you think will effect a child.

Thank you in advance!

Joe

madima answered on 06/25/05:

I admire those who can bring new life in today's world and raise their kids to be responsible human beings - despite all the odds.

But if you ask me personally, I abhor the idea of getting pregnant myself and raising kids. Call it selfish, but I'm not willing to invest the best 21 years of my life in a child just to "perpetrate my legacy" and see to it that "my genes will live on". I already live my life to the hilt every moment, every day and so, I don't need that :=)

Also, I can never do what my parents did for me nor do I feel obliged to. I'd rather invest my life in other forms of social service to give back the blessings given to me.

My parents have both been orphaned very early. The trauma made my father resolve not to have kids, initially. Only my mother prevailed on him to have just one child. She lost her first and my father conceded to have one more try. That's how I came to the light.

I know how difficult it is to raise a child, though. Both my parents raised me full-time, 24/7. They screened out all influences which they believed will be harmful to me in my formative years - from TV to playmates. And as I said before, I can never duplicate that.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 06/21/05 - Jealousy:



Unfortunately, it is all too common that jealous feelings get translated into actions. While I have the greatest sympathy for people who feel jealous in different situations, and while I understand that those feelings can be painful, I have little patience with people who use those feelings as an excuse for inappropriate, overly dramatic, or violent behavior. Such behavior is at best unacceptable, often unethical, and, when it becomes violent, illegal. In general, the pattern of such relationships is that they get worse.

Are you jealous of someone? If you are, why?

HANK

madima answered on 06/22/05:

No, jealousy has never been one of my traits. I don't see any reason why I should be jealous of anyone - even if they are prettier, more intelligent, more well-off or more privileged than me.

My life has always been and will always be blessed. I thank God and His angels everyday for that.

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Question/Answer
CeeBee2 asked on 06/21/05 - Mortem effugere nemo potest.*

What would you do if you knew you had only a year to live?


*No one can escape death.

madima answered on 06/22/05:

Well, I've been there quite early, so I can tell you :=)

Doctors told me I have at most one year to live when I was eleven years old - when they mixed up my x-ray plates with a terminally-ill girl of the same age.

The first thing I realized then was I haven't seen the world just yet. So, right away, I decided I have to see the places I wanted to see before I die, while I still can - and live my life to the hilt.

Another priority was to finish the stories and poems I've started to write - and burn all the unfinished ones, along with my dream journals, letters and diaries before I die.

I also made my parents pledge to take the best care of my favorite pets, especially my most beloved cat, Muning, until the end of his own days. I have to be sufficiently reassured he will be allowed to sleep on my bed whenever he pleases and that he will have my best pillow and my favorite chair.

Finally, I made my parents promise they will not permit me to linger in pain and misery, drugged with morphine all the time, with all those tubes feeding in my body. In case I cannot pull the plug on myself, they will either do it for me, or will allow the doctors to euthanize me immediately. And they should not feel sorry for me :=)



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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 06/21/05 - The miracle of the Lions?

Lions 'rescue' girl
June 22, 2005 - 11:52AM


Three lions rescued a kidnapped 12-year-old girl, Ethiopian police claim.

The kidnappers wanted to force her into marriage and had held her for seven days, repeatedly beating her, said Sergeant Wondimu Wedajo.

Then the lions chased them away and guarded her until her family and police arrived, he said from Bita Genet, 560 kilometres south-west of Addis Ababa.

"They stood guard until we found her and then they just left her like a gift and went back into the forest," Sergeant Wondimu said, adding that he did not know whether the lions were male or female.

News of the rescue, which took place in a forest on the outskirts of Bita Genet on June 9, was slow to filter out from Kefa Zone in south western Ethiopia.

"If the lions had not come to her rescue then it could have been much worse. Often these young girls are raped and severely beaten to force them to accept the marriage," he said.

"Everyone thinks this is some kind of miracle, because normally the lions would attack people," Sergeant Wondimu said.

AP

madima answered on 06/21/05:

Lions and other big cats would instinctively attack anything that they perceive to threaten them. They are very territorial.

The report did not mention the gender of the lions though it was mentioned that the girl was whimpering and some behaviorists speculated that could be one of the reasons why the lions did not attack.

The scent and behavior of babies or anyone belonging to a different species who are acting/sounding like an infant could be "non-threatening" to lionesses and other nursing big cats. It triggers the protective mother instinct and inhibits aggressive behavior. (On the other hand, other behaviorists also maintain that the shrill cries and quick movements of kids can trigger predatory behavior among the big cats - if they construe it as something similar to the behavior of their prey.)

Big cats - and even their small domestic cousins - are very keen readers of nonverbal behavior.

As someone who have handled big cats, I personally don't think it's a miracle. But it was surely something the girl should thank God for.

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Question/Answer
FormerJesusHelper76 asked on 06/08/05 - Prayer

I ask you for your prayers for God's will to be done in a family members surgery. THank you in advance! Joe

madima answered on 06/08/05:

Glad to oblige.

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Question/Answer
STONY asked on 06/08/05 - A PRAYER REQUEST IN MY EMAIL 2DAY...

Date: Sun, 5 Jun 2005 21:05:11 -0700 (PDT)
From: Randi Fass
Subject: Prayer Request


Well, now what?!

For the last 18 months I have been treated for a severe muscle spasm around my left hip. Two 10-week periods of physical therapy, injections of pain killer & steroids. Short term relief. I went back to the surgeon last week and saw a new doctor. When I asked about another shot, he said I didn't need a shot, I needed a neurosurgeon. It's not a muscle spasm, it's a "mass" - probably a benign fatty tumor - that has grown across my lower back. I had regular x-rays last week and am having an MRI Tuesday morning. (I'm deathly claustrophobic so I'll be sedated.) That will give me a clue as to what has to be done. Of course, Ashley is being married in July, so timing is lousy, but it is so painful, I can't go much longer without treatment.

So please pray for:

proper diagnosis
my sanity
pain relief
skilled doctors/surgeons
and above all God's timing and outcome.

Thanks!

Also Martin is in the MidEast until 1 July. Prayers for his safety and salvation encouraged!

xoxox
Randi


Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve... as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15

YA'LL HAVE THE POWER INSIDE OF YOU, SHARE IT WITH SOMEONE ELSE IN NEED....................LOVE, TONY

madima answered on 06/08/05:

Dear Stony,

I'm including Randi and Martin in my prayers.

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Question/Answer
Saladin asked on 06/06/05 - All in God's plan?


Tonight's TV news carried a report about a young child killed by the famnily's pet pit bull dogs.

One of the family said that it must have been in God's plan to call this youngster hoime and that it was all in God's hands.

Do you agree or disagree with her, and why?

madima answered on 06/06/05:

Dear Ronnie,

I don't agree with her, but if that's the only thing that would make the death of a beloved family member easier on her, then what can we do?

In a case like this, I don't believe it's realistic to say that as the reason for the death of a loved one, but then when a person is grieving and at loss as to what to say... that's often the easiest way out. Fatalism. Fate willed it. God willed it. There's nothing I can do. Everything is out of our hands.

To the bereaved parent, sibling or kin, it will be unacceptable to own neglect and responsibility, to say outright things like: I should never have allowed that child to be near my dogs, or I should have trained those dogs to tolerate children more, or I should have made sure to keep the child and the dogs apart at all times. I should never have left that child alone, unsupervised. I am to blame for her death. Indirectly and without meaning to, I killed her.

Alas! It will all be too painful!

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Question/Answer
FormerJesusHelper76 asked on 06/06/05 - Food, Take out and Gluttony.

The choices of food in our life can effect everything from our energy, from our behaviour, from our reactions and emotions and so much more.

How important is it for you to eat properly for we are a temple of God. Every aspect of our life is important to God including how we eat and what we eat.

Should we go by the new testament, the old testament or just what our culture teaches us?

Is take out food okay as long as we make healthy choices or should we all be learning to stay at home with making home made meals. The reason for obesity problems in North America do you believe it is because of lazier lifestyles and more take out and a lot more food?

What can we as a society and individuals do to change the trend of this type of lifestyle which goes against the teachings of the bible?

Thanks in advance.

Joe

madima answered on 06/06/05:

From what I've seen, choices of food is mostly determined by culture and by one's personal resources. If you are not a hunter-gatherer, if you are not a farmer or a livestock raiser, you can only have the kind of food that your money can afford to buy.

In my country, more than half of the 85 million population live below poverty line. That means they normally have only one meal a day and they have little choice about it. The meal may consist of rice and salt or tubers. Among the coastal areas, fish and food from the sea will be included in the diet. In the mountain regions, especially among hunter-gatherer tribes, insects may be included as protein sources. Still malnutrition is rampant and is among the leading causes of child mortality.

When I'm in the city, I eat whatever is laid out for me by my hosts in my daily coverages. That saves me a lot of money because food is quite expensive here. When I'm telecommuting, painting or writing in my own den, I eat straight out of the tin can or binge on chocolates. I have neither time nor patience to cook. When I know I'll engage in a strenuous physical activity and expect my body to perform well - like when I do taebo, aero, or dancing, when I know I'll be diving or caving or mountaineering, I'll load up on carbs.

As an individual, I can always suit my food intake to the kind of activity I schedule for myself and the kind of budget I have within the given period.

But of course, I'm in a Third World country. More affluent societies tend to be more at risk when it comes to obesity.

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Question/Answer
FormerJesusHelper76 asked on 06/04/05 - E.V.P. Phenomenom?

Has anybody ever heard of the EVP Phenomenom? What it is? What research has been done about it and have anybody know anything about it and or has had any experiance with the subject?

Thank you in advance!

madima answered on 06/04/05:

I hear other-worldly voices but I've never tried taping them. I am clairaudient since I was a child.

Clairaudience, as far as I know, comes from the "opening" of the fifth subtle energy center located at the throat. The center or chakra, can be opened fully at will by adepts, although it can also "open" accidentally. Sometimes, when one is sick - physically or emotionally, or when one is in grave danger, the fifth center may "open" automatically.

All the "voices" I've heard so far, speak to me directly, inside my head. They are "inner voices", thought forms that are heard audibly but not electronic voices.

But if you are really interested in EVP research, you can just google it.

However, it is often difficult to distinguish what comes from within and what comes from outside. It's not just a matter of distinguishing between real inner voices - that is, psychic phenomenon, or schizophrenic auditory hallucinations.

Human beings are conductors of electricity and can also influence the electromagnetic fields around them - accidentally or deliberately.

I have personally known some local psychics who can turn light bulbs and other appliances on/off - on top of doing other things in their physical environment. If humans can do that, then it is possible to influence or interfere with sounds waves as well.

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Question/Answer
ROLCAM asked on 06/04/05 - Candid views series # 1.

Is true happiness possible ?

madima answered on 06/04/05:

Yes. I've always been truly happy and that's the way it will always be.

From the start, I knew I have only two choices in life: to be happy or to be miserable.

I chose to be happy :=)

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Question/Answer
ROLCAM asked on 06/04/05 - Have you had any angel's encounter ?

Angels cannot be seen by man with his bodily eyes, but only with the eyes of the spirit which is with him.


- Emanuel Swedenborg

madima answered on 06/04/05:

I had a lot, from the time I was a child up to now, too many to enumerate, though I remember all of them :=)

I hear my angels, I feel them, smell them and see them with my own eyes.

Well... "seeing" with the eyes of the spirit, or seeing with the third eye, is quite different from seeing with the physical eyes.

It's quite impossible to explain, but I'll try. In my case, I get this sense that I have actually two pairs of eyes... that I have another pair behind my actual vision and that the two pairs "overlap", enabling me to see subtle energies which I ordinarily will not perceive in terms of light, form, color and texture.

I felt the "overlap" was complete or quite "seamless" as a child that I never thought that my parents and other people around me could not see what I "see". I thought it was natural. Only later on, when I was told of my "aberration" and I "deliberately" tried to "see" other energies that I became conscious of a sense of "separateness" between the two kinds of "seeing".

When I hear my angels, I hear them as inner voices inside my head, the most loving voices I could ever hear.

Sometimes, in church, they open the energy center in my heart and I feel them as an indescribable warmth that causes tears to flow from my eyes.

I ask them to inspire me whenever I sit before my canvas to paint them, or whenever I write, and they always do. I ask them to walk with me in the forests and to dive in the seas with me.

Sometimes, when I'm cold or could not sleep, I ask them to tuck me under their great wings.

And they always oblige :=)

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Question/Answer
hOPE12 asked on 05/28/05 - God's right to Rule humans!

Hello everyone,
Do you personally feel that the creator of the universe has the right to rule man?

If so, why do you feel that way?

If not, why do you feel that way?

How is God's right to rule balanced with the free will God gave us? Does free will mean complete indepedence?

Take care,
Hope12

madima answered on 05/30/05:

Dear Hope12,

When you bequeath free will to your creation, you automatically surrender your right to rule that creation.

That is the principle of free will.

In my belief, if God created us with the intention of making us subservient to his will, he would not have created human beings with free will. He would have created robots and programmed them to do all of his bidding. And that would have made for a very unexciting universe.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 05/30/05 - Heaven & Earth:



Why do SOME people think MORE about SURVIVING after death than they do about SURVIVING before death on Earth? Is the former psychologically healthy?

HANK

madima answered on 05/30/05:

Dear Hank, in my own Third World country, I have seen that philosophy among the very desperate and the very impoverished as well as some very mentally imbalanced folks.

I'm afraid that kind of philosophy has also been promulgated deliberately by many churches, including my own, especially when they operate in or when they move in very depressed areas.

They have no means of truly addressing the suffering and poverty of the people they are attempting to convert. Hence, they promote the idea that it is better to survive after death to an eternal life of bliss.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 05/29/05 - Communication:



How do you speak to an angel? (One of God's messengers) Can an angel be identified tangibly?

HANK

madima answered on 05/29/05:

I speak to God's angels and my own guardians the way I speak to people I love :=)

When I was a child I thought everybody else around me could see them, just as I see them!

Now, I usually communicate to them with my thoughts, from the time I wake up to the time I sleep and even in my dreaming. I know the angels by their specific energies and there are a good many whom I know by name, my fave seraphims and my guardian angels in particular.

I can also identify, see, hear and feel the angels of nature, who are sometimes referred to as the devas.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 05/28/05 - Deep Depression

I have fallen into a very deep depression. I anticipated being able to read books with my new glasses, and I can't. I was not aware that cataracts disrupted all vision; don't ask me why. Because I have a cataract on my left eye, my vision cannot be corrected enough for me to read or see clearly at any distance (except better at compurter). I'm going to see an opthamologist for help, but of course, I have no resources to get another pair of glasses should I get help from him. Doris, my friend, is working on stuff to see what can be done.

Consequently, I'm taking a vacation from AW until I'm able to function better.

Mary Sue

madima answered on 05/28/05:

Dear Mary Sue,

Please don't despair. There's a software that can help you out. I've just covered an ongoing IBM program this week. It's called "Computer Eyes", a PC assistive technology which had been used here for 5 years now. I'm sure you can find it in the US, which is the home turf of Big Blue.

IBM has piloted a software, in cooperation with another developer, for visually impaired individuals using computers and a screen reader. You can read all the books you want, do word procesing, information management, internet and email even if you can't see a thing.

Impaired vision is not a setback. I realized that, after I interviewed some of the over 100 people who took the Computer Eyes program.

Please come back soon!

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 05/25/05 - Have you seen the latest Star Wars movie?

I haven't seen it yet, but I intened to look for this when I do see it.

Star Wars III and The Church
If you intend on seeing Star Wars Episode III you might want to be aware of this theology………………..

Editor's Note: This article contains explanations of scenes from Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith — so if you want to be surprised, archive this article and read it when you return from the cinema.

No one who is remotely theologically grounded would ever equate the Jedi of the "Star Wars" films with the Church — but since, in the Star Wars mythology, they are the agents of good, Christians attending these films naturally identify with them. And why not? They are dedicated to peace and are, as old Ben Kenobi told young Luke Skywalker, the guardians of peace in the Old Republic.

But as the Star Wars legend unfolds, viewers discover that instead of continuing the clear good-versus-evil theme of the first film, the later films demonstrate that the Jedi operate heavily in what some might call the "gray areas." The Jedi are ascetics, but not in the mold of the Christian ascetics who subdued their bodies in order to get closer to God and become more holy. The Jedi are more closely aligned with the pagan ascetics who used self-mastery to gain power. (A detailed explanation of this similarity is available on the MovieMinistry website).

The latest installment, Revenge of the Sith, details Anakin Skywalker's descent from prospective Jedi Master to Sith Lord, Darth Vader. And while George Lucas' characters like to talk a lot about "destiny," it seems clear that the actions of the Jedi were more than mere coincidental factors in Anakin's transformation. What I saw in the film could be a primer in how to turn an apostle to an apostate. For Christians willing to use a fictional movie as a mirror to examine their own behaviors, Revenge of the Sith can serve as a cautionary tale, particularly about how some churches treat their young members. When the Church feels like a hostile place, acts hypocritically, is insensitive, and avoids dogma, it, like the Jedi, can contribute toward pushing people to an embracing, waiting Dark Side.

Kept at Arm's Length

A slave since birth, Anakin is forced to leave his mother on Tatooine because he is going to be made part of something bigger than himself — the Jedi order. But once he is presented to the Jedi Council, their initial inclination is to reject the boy as too old and full of anger (never mind all of the things he might have to be angry about). But by Revenge of the Sith, Anakin has proven his worth on many occasions, including saving his master Obi-Wan ten times. That Anakin is a powerful Jedi is without question, but other than Obi-Wan, none of the other Jedi actively befriend the young man. When Chancellor Palpatine tells Anakin that the Jedi Council are afraid of Anakin's power and are keeping him down because they fear they will be unable to control him, the accusation has a ring of truth to it — and not simply because Anakin is liable to pride.

Hypocrisy

Anakin commits a serious sin — slaying the evil Count Dooku on the order of Chancellor Palpatine. As soon as he does it, he feels regret, saying that to kill an unarmed prisoner is "not the Jedi way." Palpatine tries to assure Anakin that the desire for revenge is natural — but Anakin is troubled by his own actions. He wants to believe in, and follow, the way of the Jedi. But soon after, he discovers that even the guardians of the Jedi order lack the purity he seeks. His own mentor, Obi-Wan, asks him to spy on the chancellor, to use his position of friendship as a means to funnel information to the Jedi Council. Anakin balks at this treachery, citing it as a violation of the Jedi Code, but Obi-Wan tells him that the ongoing war justifies this breach of the rules. Later, after Anakin discovers the true identity of Chancellor Palpatine, that he is a Sith lord, he does what is right and reveals it to the Jedi Council. But when Anakin arrives at the scene of what is supposed to be an arrest, he finds Jedi Master Mace Windu about to execute the Chancellor in direct violation of the Jedi Code which demands that the unarmed prisoner be brought to trial. Again, Windu makes an excuse — it is the same excuse the chancellor gave Anakin for killing Count Dooku — and attempts to follow through on his threat until Anakin stops him, and mayhem ensues. It is the Jedi’s abandonment of their own principles that leads to Anakin's abandonment of the Jedi way.

Hypocrisy leads to disillusionment. The old joke is that a man says that he doesn't want to go to church because it is filled with hypocrites, to which his friend replies, "Then you'll feel right at home!" As long as there are humans involved in churches, there will always be sin issues. It is how we handle those sins, particularly among leadership, that is important. When young people hear adults say one thing, yet do another, it causes them to question the veracity of other teachings. We are on dangerous ground when the Church does not appear to have any more claim to holiness than the world. The young are watching, looking for examples to follow.

nsensitivity

Anakin is troubled by what he perceives to be unfair treatment at the hands of the Jedi Council. He is also plagued by premonitions of his wife's death in childbirth. What he seeks are justice and understanding. What he gets are platitudes and indifference. His friend and master teacher, Obi-Wan, advises patience — eventually the Jedi Council will come around. Never does Obi-Wan commiserate with Anakin or explain, let alone defend him against, the perceived injustice. Troubled, Anakin tells his dreams of Padme's death to Yoda, who advises detachment rather than care for loved ones in danger. Feeling abandoned and ill-advised, it is not surprising that Anakin seeks aid and comfort from his friend, the Chancellor.

Young Christians have problems, doubts, and insecurities. Even if older believers think them unwarranted, they are real to those experiencing them. Dismissing the problems of young Christians as "phases" — something the young will "grow out of" is insensitive, even if true. Additionally, sometimes advisors do not know how to act when faced with tragedy. When Yoda tells Anakin that death is a natural part of life and should be embraced, I thought of the many platitudes that people use when discussing death — "well, they've gone to a better place," "death can be a blessing," etc. As someone who sat in the hospital room as my mother died from lung cancer, I can attest to the hollowness of such words. Death is the enemy — we should hate it. When people have loved ones who die, and want to sob, Scripture says we are to cry with them (Rom. 12:15). This generation is marked by people desperate for understanding and community. One way or another, they will find it.

Abandoning Dogma

From Obi-Wan's brief hesitation in explaining the death of Luke's father in the original Star Wars, to his denunciation of absolutes (while, I might add, making an absolute statement himself) in Revenge of the Sith, I have been bothered by the loose sense of the truth exhibited by the Jedi. Considered to be teachers, custodians of the Jedi way and the Jedi temple, whenever they are caught in a lie, or in a compromise of their principles, they are quick to say that their explanations or actions are true "from a certain point of view." Anakin is a quick study. He comes to believe that whatever is convenient to move your agenda forward can be justified by identifying it as your point of view. And yet, when there is a final clash between Anakin's point of view and Obi-Wan's, Obi-Wan wastes no time in judgmentally accusing Anakin of being "lost" — as if there actually is a way. When assertions of truth serve convenience, we cannot complain when others find them inconvenient.

The Role of Cautionary Tales

The prequels to the original Star Wars Trilogy are nearly a primer on how to create an environment conducive to loss of faith. And lest this look simply like a "blame the Church" screed, I admit that Anakin's arrogance and pride were the primary factors that led to his fall. Individual rebellion is still the hallmark of those who stray from the path. Nevertheless, those in the Church should be willing to examine themselves to see if they are inadvertently creating a culture hostile to the growth of young believers.

Fictional stories have the tremendous capacity to enable us to look at ourselves by looking at others. But they work only to the extent that we are willing to change. By making our houses of worship inviting to all, by nurturing the gifts of our members, seeking forgiveness when we act inconsistently with our preaching, being sensitive to people who are hurting, and by bravely speaking the truth we can show the world the love of Christ. And in doing so, perhaps even those who have apparently abandoned their faith can turn around, as Anakin eventually does, and see embodied in the Church something to believe in.

madima answered on 05/25/05:

I've seen Revenge of the Sith. I see it as the usual play on man's dilemna with his shadow side.

If I remember my Star Wars right, Anakin did not turn around, though. He eventually met his end as Darth Vader, just as Obi Wan did (living by the light saber, he died by the light saber).

But I see Death as a great equalizer - as in chess, when the game is over, both pawn and king go into the same box.

Looking at my own brief life, I find the Shadow side seductive. It had always been. But I honor the Shadow, just as I honor the Light. I have always looked at them as two sides of the same coin. I don't demonize the darkness, I simply acknowledge it. And in doing so, I find I can sometimes redeem its hidden power.

Much of man's greatest potential, the deepest wellsprings of his creativity, I observe, still lies with the Shadow. If only he would know how to handle it and if only he wouldn't demonize it so...

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Question/Answer
Pamela asked on 05/22/05 - Cremation or burial?

I would like your views on this, please.

madima answered on 05/23/05:

I believe cremation is more sanitary. But when it comes to my preference for my own body, I'd really prefer to be "recycled" so that my flesh, which is of no longer of use to me, could feed creatures I love, allowing me to complete the cycle of life.

If I'm not mistaken, I think that in Tibet, some still enact what is called "sky burial" - which is not really a burial - though other cultures only allow this great privilege to warriors. The body of the dead is chopped up in a makeshift platform and thrown to vultures, who feed on the flesh. They believe in this way, the dead "returns" in the energy that fuels a revered raptor.

I think this is a very honorable way to dispose of one's already useless flesh... Being food for the great predators of the sea, like sharks, will be another way.

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 05/20/05 - do it again Lord?

Sometimes women are overly suspicious of their husbands. When Adam stayed out very late for a few nights, Eve became upset. "You're running around with other women," she charged. "You're being unreasonable," Adam responded. "You're the only woman on earth." The quarrel continued until Adam fell asleep, only to be awakened by someone poking him in the chest. It was Eve. "What do you think you're doing?" Adam demanded. "Counting your ribs," said Eve.

madima answered on 05/21/05:

Thanks, for making me laugh! :=)

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Question/Answer
STONY asked on 05/21/05 - AN ANGELIC ENCOUNTER

FROM MY BROTHER IN PHOENIX.................

Subject: emailing: Love Note from the Lord.wpd
Date: Thu, 19 May 2005 10:19:40 -0700



Love Note from the Lord

I have often described the following scene, in regard to how the Lord likes to encourage us.

"You go on a trip to a place that you have never been to before. You go into a room, and on a table you find a card that is addressed to you. You open it and find a ‘love note’ from the Lord.

It tells you, "I was just thinking about you, and wanted to encourage you." Signed, "love, Jesus."

I believe that I received just such a ‘love note’ from the Lord, during a trip to Arkansas. It happened at the furthest point out or halfway point of a roundtrip from Arizona. It happened at the head-quarters of Endtime Handmaidens, in Engeltal, Arkansas. Engeltal means "valley of angels."

After dinner in the dining hall, they were reading portions of Gwen Shaw’s book about encounters with angels. I was thinking about one of my own that had happened in a dream that I had in 1980. In it an angel told me the following. "Your mother wanted me to tell you that she is proud of you."

This message as related to me by this angel was profoundly significant in two ways. It told me that my mother knew that I was saved the year before, and that she was proud that I decided to serve the Lord Jesus Christ.

The second way was in this choice of words in the message. It seemed to me to be a continuation of the last words that she spoke to me shortly before her death in 1966. That day in her hospital room was miraculous in itself. I believe with all my heart she had made one last prayer request of the Lord. That being that she asked Him to see all the members of our family together one more time.

The chance of the six members of our family being together in one place was rare. It truly was a miracle on that day, when we all converged in her hospital room. Then she spoke to each one of us individually as if to say goodbye to us.

I’ll never forget the words that she said to me. "Steve, you are a good boy." With those few words was so much encouragement, forgiveness, and love. So, all those years later the words as relayed by an angel in a dream, seemed to be related. That it completed a thought or a sentence.

"Steve, you are a good boy, and I am proud of you."

Within a week I had another dream about my mother. This dream started with her seated at a dinner table in a small cabin or house. I noticed her immediately, and she simply said, "Jesus could you pass the gravy, please." Until that moment I hadn’t noticed that He was seated across the table from her.

Then there was another scene in this dream. The Lord Jesus Christ and my mother were standing across from each other beside an open door which looked out across cloud tops. There was a line of people coming up to the door. They had canes, crutches, and wheelchairs. When they arrived at the door, they would be greeted by the Lord. I somehow knew that then was when they would be made completely whole.

How did I know this? Because my own mother was standing there at the door with the Lord.

Because she was healed and made whole again. Because she also had used a cane, crutches, and a wheelchair during her long battle with Multiple Sclerosis. In fact, during her last six months she was totally bedridden.

These thoughts and memories were going on in my mind during this discussion about these encounters with angels. I started to leave the dining room, and noticed a painting on the wall near the door. This had a scene that was virtually identical to my dream about my mother having dinner with Jesus. In this painting, the woman of the house was standing in same place where my mother was seated. And Jesus was standing across from her, in the same place that He was in the dream.

All of this happened on a trip to a place that I’d never been to before. In a room where I believe that I discovered a ‘love note’ from the Lord. What an encouragement! Thank God for His mercy and grace.

P.S: I shared this story on a local Christian TV program. My prayer was that it would give at least one person hope. A woman called because the "mother-son" relationship caught her ear.

She lost her 27 year old son within three weeks due to cancer. This story helped her with her grief about her loss. And that still is my hope for everyone that hears this story, no matter what the circumstance is. Don’t lose hope. Start looking for your ‘love note’ from the Lord. You just may find one waiting for you in the most unexpected place. Or within the pages of your Bible which are full of just such ‘love notes’ from the Lord. In Christ’s love and in His service, Steve
[ISRAEL TOUR 1991]

madima answered on 05/21/05:

Thanks, dear Tony, for sharing the story.

Now, it's May 22 in Manila and I celebrate every 22nd of the month as my special Angel's day, to commemorate the first time I saw my guardian angels.

I had countless encounters with God's Holy Angels since then, in both my dreaming and in my waking life.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 05/21/05 - Follow-Up re: Excon's Question

How many adults here were approached *when they were children* by an adult intent of molestation or worse? What was the outcome?

A semi-random survey....may be interesting to show the magnitude of the problem of childmolesters in society.

I'll go first. A man tried to get me into his car while I was walking on the sidewalk on Ogden Ave in an upscale suburban neighborhood in about 1951. I immediately became aware of the danger as appaprently my mother had indoctrinated me very well. I ran away as fast as I could. However, I didn't tell my mother.

madima answered on 05/21/05:

Fortunately, nothing of the sort happened to me.

My parents never let me out of their sight when I was a child. I was fetched to and from school. I was not allowed to play with neighbor's kids and whenever I played with the son of my father's best friend and my cousin, it was always under supervision.

I never went to parties or anywhere unescorted, by one or both parents. My father told me never to talk to strangers or take food from them - not that I had any chance to. I am an only child and papa and mama are full time parents.

But one of my surrogate brothers had been molested by his own sister and a friend was molested as a kid by her own father, who was a respected industrialist. I had known of cases in my own school where kids had been lured, drugged and molested by adult strangers.

All of them bore the emotional and mental scars of the abuse for the rest of their lives.

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Question/Answer
CeeBee2 asked on 05/19/05 - George Will.......................

"The greatest threat to civility--and ultimately to civilization--is an excess of certitude. The world is much menaced just now by people who think that the world and their duties in it are clear and simple. They are certain that they know what--who--created the universe and what this creator wants them to do to make our little speck in the universe perfect, even if extreme measures--even violence--are required.

America is currently awash in an unpleasant surplus of clanging, clashing certitudes....It has been said that the spirit of liberty is the spirit of not being too sure that you are right. One way to immunize ourselves against misplaced certitude is to _____________________________."

What do you think one could/should do to immunize oneself against misplaced certitude, to purge oneself of the feeling that he/she (or the group one belongs to) is the only one who is right?

madima answered on 05/20/05:

I guess if you are inner-directed rather than "other"-directed, then you can immunize yourself against misplaced certitude, specifically misplaced religious certitude.

If you do not identify yourself so closely with a group, you can afford to be detached from the thinking of that group, you can afford to be more "liberal" because you will not be afraid of rocking the boat and gaining the disapproval of people and authority figures you hold in high esteem.

Without attachment and restrictions, your mind will be more free to question your own beliefs and to tolerate what is alien to you. Of course, exposure to diversified thoughts, cultures and philosophies, also helps.

At least, for me, I'd like to think that worked.

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Question/Answer
ROLCAM asked on 05/20/05 - Please Join In .

Prayer To The Holy Spirit.

Holy Spirit, You make me see everything and show me the way to reach my ideal. You give me the divine gift to forgive and forget the wrong that is done to me. You are in all instances of my life with me. I, in this short dialogue, want to thank You for everything and confirm once more that I never want to be separated from You, no matter how great the material desires may be. I want to be with You and my loved ones in Your perpetual glory. Amen.

ROLCAM.

madima answered on 05/20/05:

Dear Roland,
I've always had a devotion to the Holy Spirit and still do to this very day :=)
Thanks for the beautiful prayer :=)

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Question/Answer
Laura asked on 05/20/05 - Lordy...Give me patience!!

What did we do before air conditioning?? Ours went out day before yesturday. Today is supposed to be a record high. It's already 95 degrees. I know that air conditioner guys have alot of people to help but why do I always have to be last in line. Then they'll come, say they don't have the parts and it'll be next week before they can get them!! Ugg! Just griping! LOL don't take me seriously.. :-) I hope everyone has a nice COOL weekend..Me included!!

madima answered on 05/20/05:

I hope you'll be cooler, dear Laura, as I write this.

It's still the peak of summer here, with temps at 40 degrees Centigrade and I don't turn the aircon because we happen to have one of the highest cost of electricity in Asia (and perhaps in the world, for that matter). Turning on the AC from 6PM to 5AM will cost me around US$100 - which I'd rather spend elsewhere.

My parents never had the comfort of any AC in their home. When it's too hot, they simply open all the windows and cool themselves with a huge palm leaf fan :=)

Fortunately, I have a high tolerance for heat, having lived in a desert country for a year and in a tropical country all my life. When indoors, in my condo, I just turn on the electric fan and go about in my birthday suit :=)

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 05/16/05 - News in America

"News" in America is either entertainment or propaganda. What a sorry state of affairs!

Where do you go to get your facts?

madima answered on 05/16/05:

Straight from the horses' mouths :=)

After all, I'm a journalist.

Hence, I can ask tycoons, presidents, CEOs, CFOs, COOs, industry movers and shakers, analysts, traders, investors, stockholders, etc., the kind of questions not even their wives would dare ask - especially if the firms they are involved in are publicly listed.

And I can verify their statements against the minutes of their board meetings, their financial statements, disclosures and other indicators.

But I don't deal with politicos, the military, police, athletes, movie stars and figures outside my beat :=)

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Question/Answer
sapphire630 asked on 05/16/05 - BRRRRRRR

PLEAZ send me all the global warming you can!!!
I am freezing and I just want to go home and blast my furnace....I sure would rather have 90 degrees and sunshine. I have to look at a picture of the sun to remember what it looks like.
Please help! Please send me all the HOT HOT weather!

madima answered on 05/16/05:

You are welcome to have all our sun down here :=)

I am already sporting a double layer of sunburns - the last from my recent three-day adventure in the El Nido islands.

And now, I'm baking in Manila's temperature, which is hitting 40 degrees Centigrade - the temperature of the desert! Our normal temperature averages 27 degrees and 32 degrees C, maximum in mid-summer. But now, going in my room at night is like entering an oven!

Tonight, I'm taking out my bamboo rainmakers!

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Question/Answer
CeeBee2 asked on 05/16/05 - Being open-minded.

Are dangerous precedents being set? Will Benedictine University lose its identity as Catholic? Should other religious colleges be as open-minded?

(In deference to Chou, I put the most important parts in boldface, but pasted the entire article for context.)

EMPHASIS ON BOTH SCIENTIFIC AND SPIRITUAL PURSUITS MAKES MUSLIM STUDENTS FEEL AT HOME AT CATHOLIC BE
Different faiths, same spirit

By John Biemer
Chicago Tribune staff reporter
Published May 16, 2005

Mohammed Ahmed and Abrar Anwar draw curtains to cover the wooden altar, the pulpit and stained-glass images of St. Benedict and Jesus carrying the cross. Faruk Rahmanovic helps them move plastic chairs to the sides of the room and unroll colorful prayer rugs stashed in a cabinet.

Minutes later, about 50 young men and women drop their backpacks near the bookcase full of hymnals, slip off their sneakers and flip-flops and kneel on the rugs. Bader Almoshelli, a sophomore wearing wire-rim glasses and a blue-striped Polo shirt, stands before them to lead Friday prayers that, in part, beseech Allah to help them through exams.

At most Catholic universities, this would be an unusual sight, but it's an everyday occurrence in the student center chapel at Benedictine University in west suburban Lisle. The school's location, science-heavy curriculum and moral foundation have attracted one of the largest Muslim student bodies of any Catholic university in the nation.


"It's definitely ironic," Almoshelli, 19, of Woodridge, said later, with a laugh. "Muslim prayers in a Christian chapel. I guess it's something you wouldn't have expected 50 years ago."

In a survey of 250 members of this year's freshman class at Benedictine, 13.5 percent of the students identified themselves as Muslim--almost 17 times the national average at Catholic universities and colleges nationwide. The 118-year-old college, which has about 3,000 students, has conducted the survey since 1999, when just 6 percent of the freshmen identified themselves as Muslim.

"The people are very nice and the school is Catholic, but it's very, very accommodating and open-minded. Muslim kids feel very much at home over there," said Inamul Haq, who has taught an introductory course on Islam at the university for the last decade.

Muslim students say they appreciate the steps Benedictine has taken to make them feel more comfortable, including the use of the chapel.

Basketball courts and the swimming pool are set aside at certain hours to allow Muslim women to exercise in modesty. The student center's snack bar, the Eagle's Nest, sells hamburgers and chicken nuggets that are halal, or prepared in accordance with Islamic law.

The school's location partly explains the phenomenon. Asian-American populations in DuPage County have exploded in recent years--growing by 80 percent from 1990 to 2000--and as of 2000 made up almost 8 percent of the county's population, according to the U.S. Census.

Many of those residents are of Pakistani and Indian descent, which helps explain Benedictine's sizable Hindu student population as well--5.5 percent of this year's freshman class. By attending Benedictine, largely a commuter school, students from those families can continue to live at home, a priority in some socially conservative households.

Both students and faculty members point out that many students raised in Indo-Pakistani and Middle Eastern families are drawn to the sciences, particularly those who plan to become doctors, dentists or pharmacists. Benedictine emphasizes preparing students to enter those fields.

But students say they're also comfortable with the moral and theological aspect of Catholic teachings. Aisha Ahmed, 20, marvels at how people from vastly different backgrounds can sometimes arrive at the same conclusions.

"The religions may differ, but I think the essence is the same," she said. "Once they have a religious tradition they hold on to so strongly, they can understand why you feel so strongly about your own religion."

Zeina Abusoud, a Jordanian-born Muslim who is director of residence life, said it's more specific than Catholicism. She ticks off the values of the Benedictine religious order--founded by St. Benedict, the father of Western monasticism--such as hospitality, community, education and an active prayer life.

"All the Benedictine values are easily implemented to other people from other religions, not necessarily just Muslims," Abusoud said.

It's not unusual for non-Catholics to attend Catholic colleges; more than a third of students at Catholic institutions are non-Catholic, according to the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities. For example, at Trinity University in Washington, D.C., most undergraduates are African-American women, who often are not Catholic. On the other end of the spectrum is the University of Notre Dame, where 82 percent of surveyed freshmen this year said they were Catholic.

Fifty-three percent of Benedictine's freshmen are Catholic, according to the school survey.

Michael James, vice president of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities and a former faculty adviser to Muslims at Notre Dame, said Benedictine does not surprise him.

"I think as Muslims increase in their numbers in the United States, they are going to be looking for places where they can be fully American, but be able to practice their faith lives," James said.

Student diversity has enriched classroom learning at Benedictine, said Vincent Gaddis, chairman of the history, philosophy and religious studies department. Preconceived notions and stereotypes are often challenged firsthand, such as the Sikh student who spoke up in a discussion about the sense of community in the United States, saying he has felt discrimination since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks even though he isn't Muslim.

However, Gaddis has concerns about whether the school, in its effort to appeal to people of all faiths, will lose part of its identity as a Catholic institution. Interreligious speakers and activities are important, he said, but they may sometimes substitute for those that promote the Catholic message of Christ's teaching.

"How do you strike the proper balance of being open to all and yet not sacrifice the core of who you are?" he said. "

But Abbot Hugh Anderson, who is in charge of campus ministry at Benedictine, said student body diversity hasn't watered down the school's Catholic identity.

"Personally, I don't think the Muslim students would want that," he said. "They have things they stand for and we have things we stand for. And they respect that, and we respect them."

madima answered on 05/16/05:

Personally, I don't think of it as a dangerous precedent. I feel all religious colleges should be open-minded.

I spent the first ten years of my schooling - from grade one to fourth year highschool in a Catholic institution - Sacred Heart College. Non-Catholics were admitted into our school and they were not required to attend Religion subjects.

A Catholic identity is not really important to me. What is important is that the school instills proper values and encourage personal growth - not religious bias.

I'm not even particular where I pray, so perhaps that explains my liberal-mindedness. I've prayed inside a mosque, inside the temples of various Eastern religions. For me, different faiths mean just the same thing - for as long as they nurture the good in humanity.

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Question/Answer
STONY asked on 05/13/05 - A PRAISE REPORT!!!

AT THE END OF FEB. MY DR. TOLD ME THERE WAS A GOOD CHANCE I WAS GOING TO LOSE MY RIGHT KIDNEY. IN MARCH I HAD SOME SURGERY DONE TO REMOVE THE HUGE CHUNK OF TRASH FROM THE KIDNEY. THE HUGE HOLE IN MY BACK HAS FINALLY CLOSED AND HEALED UP AND YESTERDAY I SAW THE DR. FOR A FINAL REPORT ON THE SITUATION. I STILL HAVE SOME STONES IN EACH KIDNEY BUT HE WAS AMAZED THAT THERE WAS NO DAMAGE TO THE KIDNEY ITSELF. HE WAS EXPECTING IT TO DIE ON ME AND HAVE TO BE REMOVED. I WANT TO SINCERELY THANK ALL OF YOU WHO KEPT ME IN YOUR PRAYERS, AS THEY WERE ANSWERED. AFTER HEARING THE DR.'S ANSWER, I TOLD HIM; "DOC, NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF PRAYER!!"

madima answered on 05/15/05:

I'm very glad to hear the update, dear Tony. God heals. Praise be to Him! :=)

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 05/11/05 - overruling religious foolishness

Court orders further transfusion against boy's wishes
By Leonie Lamont
May 12, 2005


A Jehovah's Witness teenager felt "violated, raped" after he was given a life-saving blood transfusion against his and his parents' wishes, the Supreme Court has heard.

The Children's Hospital at Westmead sought the court's approval yesterday to administer a further transfusion today, saying the 16-year-old cancer patient was at imminent risk of a fatal stroke if he did not receive it.

Two weeks ago the court authorised transfusion treatment after hearing the teenager had only a 50:50 chance of surviving the night. The teenager, whom the court ordered be known as "Jay", and his parents, opposed the blood transfusion because it violated their religious beliefs.

Jay's father told Justice Clifford Einstein his son had a strong faith. "Last time when he had the treatment, he doesn't want it, he cried, he feels emotionally depressed," the father said.

"We dearly love our son and want the best for him … Jay is not a baby. He fully understands the position he's in and feels that having blood given to him against his wishes is a violation of conscience. He believes that what is happening is not just a medical matter, he is being stripped of his right to be obedient and faithful to his God."

He said the family appreciated the help of the doctors, but could "never consent" to the transfusion. Jay's mother said her son told her he felt "violated, raped" and that his privacy had been invaded. "It is like a nightmare at home because they have violated him," she said. She detailed how she had sat up half the night comforting her crying son. He had been distressed by a document prepared for yesterday's court hearing, in which one of his doctors said he had the "intellectual age of a much younger teenager".

"He said, 'No matter what I say or do they have no consideration … they treat me as a little child'."

Justice Einstein was concerned that Jay was not represented in court, but Ian Harrison SC, for the hospital, said the urgent need for a transfusion should override that concern. He said Jay had undergone two transfusions, and neither he nor his parents had attempted to stop them. He had responded well, and been released home, but his condition had deteriorated and he required the transfusion today.

Justice Einstein said even though Jay was 16 and his wishes should be given serious consideration, he was still a child and his best interests lay in the treatment proposed by the hospital. "His life ought to be spared. He may well die in the absence of an order," the judge said.

He approved the hospital's application, and ordered a legal tutor be appointed to represent the teenager."

There are some interesting points here to consider, why does the JW family continue to consult doctors if they are prepared for the Lord to take their son?
Does this tell us that we need to be protected from ourselves by the state?

madima answered on 05/11/05:

With all due respect to the faith of others, if the family does not really want to be forced into receiving a treatment which they feel is a violation of what they believe in, they should never have gone to a hospital.

Of course, in some Western countries, if a child is ill and his parents do not seek medical treatment for him and he dies, they could be liable for negligence... That is not the case here in my country and to my knowledge, in the rest of Southeast Asia.

However, someone who really does not believe in blood transfusion should not put himself in an institution which he knows is likely to carry out the procedure on him.

When a patient allows himself to be admitted into a hospital, he legally "surrenders" to the decision of his doctor and the medical institution.

The hospital that admits him take full responsibility for his life and his health, so it is intrinsic in the arrangement that they will do what they believe is best for him, medically. If they believe a transfusion is best, they will carry it out. If they don't and the patient succumbs, they can be sued for malpractice. Their license could be revoked.

If a patient realizes at any point that he does not want to accept treatment, he can always get out of the hospital even without the release of his doctor. Of course, in that case, he automatically frees his doctor of all responsibility (and liability) in case his ailment worsens or if he dies.

Nobody can force any treatment on a patient - unless of course, the patient was sedated without his knowledge and had his transfusion while he was totally unconscious.

It looks to me like we have a totally confused family in this case. They trust in neither the medical profession nor their faith.

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 05/11/05 - If you had the chance to do this, would you?

British TV Captures Monastic Life
5 Men Live 40 Days in Benedictine Abbey

LONDON, MAY 11, 2005 (Zenit.org).- A TV series recounting the experience of five men who spend 40 days in a Benedictine Abbey will show England what monastic life can offer the modern person.

A three-part series, the first part airs today on BBC 2, "The Monastery" follows five participants of different backgrounds in a spiritual journey as they experience life according to the 1,500-year-old Rule of St. Benedict.

The series was filmed at Worth Abbey, near Crawley, West Sussex, a community of 22 monks, explained the Catholic Communications Network, of the office of the bishops' conference of England and Wales.

The five participants had a point in common -- the desire to see if life holds any greater meaning. All agreed to abide by the monastery's rules, with a strict timetable of instruction, study, prayer, reflection and routine work duties.

The program was meant to reveal if the lessons learned have the power to transform their everyday lives.

Among the participants is Tony Burke, 29, without faith or religious formation.

Single, he lives in London. He works in advertising, and has lived and partied hard in recent years, but is re-thinking his approach to the world. He hopes going into the monastery will help him to discover what is right and wrong and give him a firm grounding for the next 29 years of his life, explained the promoters.

Gary McCormick, 36, single, is a painter and decorator from Cornwall.

Originally from Belfast, he was involved in the UDA (Ulster Defense Association, a paramilitary group of Northern Ireland) in his youth and got caught up in the troubles during the 90s. He spent much of his early life in prison where he discovered faith but, 12 years on, still carries emotional scars.

He hopes to repair the damage of years spent in prison, learn to deal with the pain of the past, and move on with his life.

Nick Buxton, 37, another single participant, is studying for a Ph.D. in Buddhism at Cambridge University. He has been on a spiritual search for the last 10 years.

Recently he has returned to his Anglican roots, but part of him doesn't believe in what he is doing and he is struggling to make the leap of faith.

Anthony Wright, 32, from London, is a high-earning, high-energy bachelor who works for a legal publishing company. Brought up by his grandmother, he is looking to deal with issues surrounding his upbringing and, for him, the monastery offers a unique opportunity to search for inner peace.

Peter Gruffydd is seeking an answer to the ultimate question: "What is the meaning of life?" Married, a published poet, and a retired teacher living in Bristol, he hopes to gain spiritual guidance while in the monastery, having originally rejected religion in his youth.

Father Christopher Jamison, Abbot of Worth, commented: "We saw in this project an opportunity to discover what our way of life offers to people today who do not share our beliefs."

"We had distinct hopes for the participants and for the viewers," he added, as quoted by the BBC.

"For the participants, we hoped that they would discover hidden depths in their lives and in those hidden depths encounter God," said the abbot.

"This hope was fulfilled to an extent that took us all by surprise and the story of their development is movingly portrayed in the programs," he stated.

"They introduced themselves in the life of the monastery rather rapidly.

Although the rule of silence was difficult at first, the five entered into the rhythm of life rather rapidly.

The first episode of the series was transmitted today by BBC 2. The next episodes will be transmitted May 17 and 24.
ZE05051105

madima answered on 05/11/05:

I have done it and I'd like to do it over and over, but not in a monastery.

Now, I will prefer a 40-day or so climb to the peak of Everest, K2 or Kangchenjunga, that will be an incomparable spiritual uplifting for me.

Or 40 days in the Sahara,the Namib, the Kalahari or the Gobi desert... or its equivalent in the Amazon jungle.

From the time I was a child, I often devise my own "retreats" during our two month summer breaks. It was a period where I'm often alone, in pursuit of a creative endeavor - writing, reading or painting. I stay in my room and my parents bring food to me...Well, I happened to be an only child :=)

It's not a period of absolute reclusiveness because I can actually "go out" anytime I please to play with the family pets or to chat with my parents, but it instilled in me the pleasure of solitude.

Solitude was something I instinctively sought from the years of my childhood. I like being alone with my thoughts. I was never lonely in my aloneness.

It was reinforced by the mandatory "retreats" I participated in during my elementary and highschool studies at the Sacred Heart College. These retreats were conducted in the convent and I found them exhilerating.

At present, an urban "monastic" life is always accessible to me and I have taken advantage of it whenever I wanted to :=)

I live alone, in a condo in Manila. So, when all the parties and the coverages are over, when all my local and international trips are done, I can always lock and bolt my door, turn off my cellular phones, pull the plug off the wireline phone, turn off the radio and tv and have a respite from the world in the comforts of my own home :=)

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Question/Answer
ROLCAM asked on 05/10/05 - FACING REALITY !!

We are all a heart beat away from death. Sometimes death comes naturally as a consequence of aging; increasingly often it is the outcome of an event when life is cut off abruptly, tragically.

1) Are you personally afraid from death?
2) As a Christian have you prepared to face it?

madima answered on 05/11/05:

No, I've never been afraid of death, why should I be? I think of it as a reward, a respite, a part of the natural cycle of things.

I was prepared for death at a very young age. I don't deliberately seek out my death but even if I die now, I won't regret it. I have lived my life to the hilt, every moment of it :=)

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 05/09/05 - Prayer request

I am asking for prayer support for my son and in particular, a friend of his.

My son messaged me today asking for prayer, he has friend who has attempted suicide, the second time in two weeks. My son is a theological student and a youth leader and he is taking this hard, as he has been working with this person for a while. Appearently it was he who today called the police in an effort to protect this person from himself.

Please pray that my son will not be depressed by this, he is already depressed regarding his study load and failing to cope with the demands of his course and his church committments.

madima answered on 05/10/05:

I shall include Cameron and his friend in my prayers. May they find the Light.

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Question/Answer
ROLCAM asked on 05/10/05 - Do you find solace in Religion ?


The unbearable heaviness of being.

The human psyche has always sought a way to alleviate the sometimes unbearable weight of living. Some seek it and find it in relatively harmless ways like overworking or in religion. Others, who are unable to attain the happy medium of simply soldiering on, resort to artificial means like alcoholism and drug abuse to escape from the disillusions that fill our lives; unable to accept the fact that in life one must struggle and cope with disappointments, problems, loneliness, bereavement, disillusion and, above all, death.

How do you struggle and cope ?

madima answered on 05/10/05:

I don't struggle, dear Roland. I face what is given me and acknowledge how blessed my life is, although nothing is perfect.

I find much happiness, peace and joy in my life although I never had enough money. I go where my destiny takes me, off the path or on it, without trepidation.

I have never known loneliness. I don't think I will ever be lonely.

I am not afraid of death, I could never be, after experiencing near death and after seeing my angels.

Life is not an ordeal for me, it is a great journey and the greatest blessing. And I thank God for it.

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Question/Answer
hOPE12 asked on 05/10/05 - My Goodbye to All!

Hello Everyone,

I am leaving Answerway for good. I enjoyed being with everyone on Answerway, however, now I need to spend my time in helping others in person. Between my Autism group and my Ministry, I have hardly anytime for the board. I needed to simplify my life and it was either the time I spend with my ministry, which I would never cut, or the ones I so love who have autism or the board. I decided it is the board that I must take the time from. I hope everyone understands that I have great affection for you all but I must leave for good. I will always remember you guys and hope you continue to show love to all you meet in this world. My best wishes and hopes are with you always.

Sincerely with warm affection and love,
Hope12 (Anna)

madima answered on 05/10/05:

It was good to know you, Anna. God be with you, wherever you go.

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Question/Answer
hOPE12 asked on 05/09/05 - Exercise?????

Hi,
A lack of sufficient exercise can put us at risk of many serious health problems?
Good and sufficient exercise can help us in many ways:
MENTAL ALERTNESS
BALANCE AND FLEXIBILTY
EMOTIONAL HEALTH
BONE DENSITY
ENERGY LEVEL
These are just some of the benefits.

Lack of exercise can cause":
OBESITY
HIGH BLOOD PRESURE
HEART AILMENTS
NERVEOUSNESS
AXIENTY
BOREDOM
CANCER
MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL STRESS
DIABETES AND MANY OTHER AILMENTS.

Knowing all this, what do you do to get your proper exercise each day? Can this play a part in how you treat others and your spiritual health?

Take care,
Hope12

madima answered on 05/09/05:

On top of walking at least four city blocks and climbing up and down the 100 steps to my condo unit everyday, I have aerobics on Monday, yoga on Tuesday and Friday, taebo on Wednesday and Thursday. Weekends, I usually trek or scuba dive.

I haven't been running for sometime now. I used to run 10 kilometers every other day and do additional stair climbing in the 20- story building (which houses my press office) with a loaded backpack on every alternate days... But then this is the peak of the summer season here and I'm often away on travel now, so I can't find the time yet :=)

It's easy to keep your spirit healthy when your body is healthy. Just as it is easy to keep your body fit when your spirit is fit. I guess one can't be separated from the other. They are interdependent :=)

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Question/Answer
STONY asked on 05/09/05 - PRAYER REQUEST...

Could you please put this on your prayer list a friend sent it to me... thanks....blessings...

From: Vicky Field

Subject: My son has been shot in Fallujah.

I wanted to get everyone to pray for my son Chad. Today, Sunday, I got a call from the Army, that my son had been shot in the head. I am asking for all your prayers. He was in a Humvee going through Fallujah fighting and a gang of militia fighters fired on the Humvee and hit Chad in the head. The driver got him out of the city and took him to Baghdad. He was in fatal condition, but now has been upgraded to stable critical. His dad and I are on standby to fly to Washington then on to Germany as soon as the military calls us to go. The Army is trying to stabilize him enough to fly to Germany and at that time, we will leave.
Please pray that my son will not have brain damage and that he will be restored and healed by the blood of Jesus, and the grace of God. I ask for you to pass this prayer request on so there will be many prayer warriors praying for him. Thank you so much and I will keep you updated on his condition.

God Bless, Vicky Field

"Little by Little"
Isaiah 33:2 "O Lord, be gracious unto us; we have waited for thee; be thou their arm every morning; our salvation also in the time of trouble"

madima answered on 05/09/05:

Dear Tony,

I shall include Chad Field in my prayers. May he be healed.

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 05/09/05 - One's own body


Hello experts:

"Nobody is going to tell me what to do with my own body."

What's wrong with that statement? What's right with that statement?

excon

madima answered on 05/09/05:

Hi, excon, :=)

I feel there's nothing wrong with the statement. It's fact that you can use or misuse. That's all there is to it.

My body is my sole property so I can do with it as I will for as long as I am alive and able.

If I love myself I can pamper my body with every means imaginable for as long as I have the resources - time and money and health - to do so.

On the other hand, if I hate myself, I can mutilate or even destroy my body with vices, drugs and every unhealthy practice I can dream of. I can kill myself - and nobody can restrain me - not parents, kins, friends, romantic partners, not even the law - unless I become extremely dangerous not just to myself but to others, in which case, it becomes a totally different ballgame.

Some people can have a sense of propriety over another's body. Parents can, for as long as their kids are under their roof. Fathers and mothers often view their offsprings' bodies as a sort of an extension of theirs -so they will be concerned when that body becomes obese, too thin, sick or damaged.

Lovers and life partners can feel a "right" to own their husband/wife/lover's bodies, which become "theirs" or one with theirs in the sexual act.

Nevertheless, a husband or lover cannot forbade his partner from aborting her child or having herself sterilized, just as she cannot prevent lover or husband from "giving" his body to other women or from having himself vasectomized.

Of course, when couples are married, the law becomes concerned with what one partner does with his/her body when he/she crosses the line to adultery, concubinage,bigamy, polygamy or polyandry.

In death, specially when death is expected and when the dying is still in command of his/her faculties, nobody can tell another what to do with his/her body either. If a terminally sick person wants to pull the plug and he/she still has the strength to do so, or he/she finds willing accomplices, nobody can prevent him/her from doing so - regardless of whether others believe it is right or wrong.

It's only when you are totally incapacitated (by fear or by drugs in the case of rape, etc. or by sickness)or confirmed clinically dead, that other people can do what they will with your body.

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Question/Answer
Liz22 asked on 05/05/05 - Thy kingdom come

Been out Gardening most of yesterday, and when I sat down on my swing, and looked at the wonders of the earth, only a God could make such beautiful works. I find myself asking for his Kingdom and seeing the Paradise earth someday.
Jesus told us how we should Pray, do we ask for God for his Kingdom to come as Jesus asked of us?

Mt 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth."

I know the Kingdom of heavens have already came about, because Satan was thrown down to earth, but where will this New Earth and this New Kingdom take place? I believe it will be here on this very planet as the Heavens are still where they are.

Do you ask for his Kingdom to come?
Thank you, Joy.

madima answered on 05/05/05:

Dear Joy,
Why would I ask for something that for me, has already been bequeathed? :=)
For me, the Kingdom of God is in the heart and in the mind.
The body is His temple.
I already feel that I inhabit His Kingdom everyday.
Nonetheless, we all have free will.
We can choose to be happy or we can choose to be miserable. We can choose to be alienated from what is good within us or we can choose to be at one with the best within ourselves.
In short, we can own or disown the Kingdom that is by right ours.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 05/05/05 - 05-05-05

Today is May 5, 2006. What were you doing on 9-9-99; 8-8-88; 7-7-77; 6-6-66; 5-5-55; 4-4-44; 3-3-33???

I'll go first.

9-9-99 Trying to operate my first PC. :D
8-8-88 Sitting at my desk at the Bank.
7-7-77 Playing golf.
6-6-66 Graduating from Northwestern
5-5-55 The best year of my life!
4-4-44 Potty trained very young.


Anyone else?

madima answered on 05/05/05:


6-6-66... Unfortunately, I wasn't born yet :=)

7-7-77 - I was just a child but I was onstage for the first time, little knowing that I will grow up in the theater, that it was to be my school of life. I started my performing career very early.

8-8-88 - I became a dance scholar at MDT, the resident jazz company which would later book me for an overseas tour as a professional dancer.

9-9-99 - I have just started working as an economic journalist in my country’s biggest daily.

5-5-05 - I managed to beat two newspaper deadlines then spent the rest of the night with two very close friends and am looking forward to see a third. I realize, now more than ever, how blessed my life is :=)

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Question/Answer
ROLCAM asked on 05/04/05 - Tell us all about it.

Have you ever experienced theurgy ?

madima answered on 05/05/05:

Yes. Prayer and the celebration of the Mass is theurgy as well as processions giving thanks to the harvest and invoking the intercession of saints.

I also have more pantheistic type of theurgy, I guess... consecrating a natural and personal altar in the mountains or in the wilderness, praying for rain and using a rainmaker (which I tried twice and worked!), praying to lift the fog and calm an angry sea.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 05/04/05 - IS THIS UTOPIAN?



"When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost; something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost, wealth lost can be recovered or re-earned."

"Health lost can also be recouped. But a loss of character can never be made up by any other worldly possession. The richest men of the world are not those who possess millions of gold and silver coins. The richest are those who have a spotless career from beginning to end. It is these that pass a happy and enjoyable life here, and find the doors of heaven open for them when they go here."

Source: The Hindu.com

HANK




madima answered on 05/04/05:

Dear Hank,

If you ask me, Utopian simply means perfect :=)

In a perfect world, man should not be concerned with his health because he can never get sick. He should not be concerned with wealth because he never be poor. He should never be concerned with character because he is impeccable and could do no wrong.

Utopia is an ideal :=)

I don't think you can find it in this earth of ours :=)

Of course, that doesn't mean we shouldn't keep on looking :=)

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 05/03/05 - Ugly Children Cute Children

Today on cable, a story getting a lot of play is from a study from Europe, which found out that parents treated their good-looking children better than their uglier children. The child treated best was a good-looking boy.

Were you a good looking child?
Did your parents treat you well?
Comments?

madima answered on 05/03/05:

I think I was good looking as a child, if the pics do not lie :=)

At annual class pictorials, the fotogs always put me centerstage. I was always class muse and teacher's favorite. My parents treated me like a queen. But then, I NEVER had any competition. I am an only child :=)

But I had a good friend, the middle child in a family of 8 (he died three years ago). He was the most responsible in his family but not the best looking. His mother died early and he alone of his siblings took care of his sick and aging father. But he was not his dad's favorite because he had a younger brother with matinee idol looks.

The younger brother was a bum who sowed wild oats wherever he could and never finished his schooling. But it was his name who was on the lips of my friend's father when he died.

Ironically, my friend looked almost identical with his dad - dark-skinned with a plain oval face. The younger brother was fair-skinned with the classically handsome face of Orlando Bloom... His father's favoritism broke my friend's heart.

I have seen countless cases of good-looking children preferred over their plain-faced or less attractive siblings. I guess many parents like to identify with their most beautiful progenies.

It's a case of projection and transference. What you hate in others - even when they happen to be your own kids - is what you hate about yourself. If people hate what they perceive to be their own ugliness and can't admit it - they will hate it when they see it staring them in the face in their mirror image.

It's part of the Medusa the Gorgon complex, I think :=)

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 05/02/05 - Hobbits

Last night on 60 Minutes, there was a segment about humanoids nicknamed "Hobbits". On an island in Indonesia, an Australian anthropologist came across skeletons in a dig in a magnificant cave of human-like beings about three feet tall, but with about 1/3 the brain capacity of human biengs. They went extinct about 18,000 years ago. Human beings and "Hobblits" co-existed.

These Hobbits used tools, may have had a rudimentary form of language, were covered with hair. IN the dig they also found a very small elephant which had been slaughtered and eaten.

How do you feel about these "Hobbits" having lived at the same time as us human beings? What if "Hobbits" were alive today? If you had the power, would you have them killed off? Would you love them?

Comments?

madima answered on 05/02/05:

As another expert noted, pygmies still exist today. They belong to hunter gatherer tribes and some still cling to their old ways though some have intermarried with "normal"-height folks and gone off into the cities.

I admire and respect the pygmies for their jungle skills. They are masters in the ways of Mother Nature and respect her. I would love to know all of their lore... And they know how to poison their arrows well! :=)

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Question/Answer
curious98 asked on 05/01/05 - A new biblical plague?



HAMBURG — Hundreds of toads have met a bizarre and sinister end in Germany in recent days, it was reported: they exploded.

According to reports from animal welfare workers and veterinarians as many as a thousand of the amphibians have perished after their bodies swelled to bursting point and their entrails were propelled for up to a meter.

It is like "a science fiction film", according to Werner Smolnik of a nature protection society in the northern city of Hamburg, where the phenomenon of the exploding toad has been observed.

"You see the animals crawling on the ground, swelling and then exploding."

He said the bodies of the toads expanded to three and a half times their normal size.

"I have never seen such a thing," said veterinarian Otto Horst. So bad has the death toll been that the lake in the Altona district of Hamburg has been dubbed "the pond of death."

Access to it has been sealed off and every night a biologist visits it between 2 a.m and 3 a.m., which appears to be peak time for batrachians to go bang.

Explanations include an unknown virus, a fungus that has infected the water, or crows, which in an echo of the Alfred Hitchcock movie "The Birds," attack the toads, literally scaring them to death. (Wire reports
from Int.l Press 5/1/2005)

Are we going to face a new Biblical plague or is it a new terrorist weapon?

Comments?
Curious98

madima answered on 05/02/05:

Dear Claude,

I don't really believe in biblical plagues. What I believe in is that Nature has a way of effecting balance which gives neither advantage or disadvantage to any species on earth.

When the population of any one species explode, when resources fall short, when living conditions and environments change, Mother Nature "contains" the numbers in her own way.

When the populations of lemmings become too great, they die off, in what some naturalists believe to be natural suicide - whole populations rush off into the sea in a frenzy. Of course, that could also be attributed to the increase in toxins in the plants they forage on (which could wreak havoc in the lemming's internal system). The plants boost their toxicity so they won't be eaten, of course!

When a species becomes inbred, they become vulnerable to diseases and eventually become instinct.

When human populations explode and living resources fall short, major wars usually result to "contain" the population.

Nature always effects balance both by the process of creation and destruction. That to me, seems to be the way of things.

Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. Man, being the most intelligent apex predator on this planet, often messes around with Nature, toying with the most hazardous biochemical weapons, among other things - with dire consequences to his environment and to himself.

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Question/Answer
ROLCAM asked on 04/30/05 - Special Series. # 1.

Special Series relating to the different departments
of a Christian Person's life:-

1)appearance and personality.

Please comment.

madima answered on 05/01/05:

I don't think God cares how I look :=)

Well, in my adolescence, I can't go without make-up, sexy clothes and accessories, especially because I was in the theater, performing. I'd expect people to turn their heads when I walk down any street and they always do.

When I became closer to Mother Nature and spent more time with her, I realized how much more comfortable it was to be without paint on my face and without such things as high heels :=)

Now, I still have to follow a dress code as a journalist but I don't really care about external appearances as I used to.




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Question/Answer
ROLCAM asked on 04/30/05 - Special Series. # 2.


Special Series relating to the different departments
of a Christian Person's life:-

2. possessions.

Please comment.

madima answered on 05/01/05:

I don't need much, really :=)

In fact, I can be released naked in a rainforest (which is ACTUALLY done in some advanced survival courses I've known here) and I will know how to survive indefinitely - although, of course, I would prefer if I have at least a jungle knife. (That will make it easier, though I can always improvise with any sharp rock.)

As for living in the concrete jungle... I just had a backpack of clothes good for a week, a change of shoes and less than half a hundred dollars cash when I first flew out of the nest and went to Manila. I had almost nothing by way of possessions when I started out on my own. I never needed much to be happy :=)

After all, peace and happiness comes for free.

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Question/Answer
FormerJesusHelper76 asked on 05/01/05 - Gods will?

How do you know what is God's will in your life? How do you discover his will? Does he reveal it to you or is there a struggle to find it?

What are your thoughts and personal experiances?

Thank you in advance

FJH

madima answered on 05/01/05:

All I know is that God gave me free will to live my life the way I want it lived.

He gave me freedom to choose - that's why I'm a human being on this earth and not a perfect spiritual being in heaven at this time. The earth is a place for learning and for mistakes.

I believe that He chose me to be here the same way I also chose to be here. That of course, is not really consistent with Catholic dogma. It could be more consistent with the "spirit-choice-before-it- takes-human-flesh" concept of Hinduism and reincarnation.

If I make wrong life choices, I suffer the consequences, of course. God doesn't have to smite me or anything. Even your body has a way of telling you about your wrong choices. If you are obsessed with some things or yield to excesses, you get sick. But hopefully, I learn with my mistakes.

If I choose what is right by me, I also learn, but it doesn't "guarantee" I don't suffer. For example, if I stand by what I believe to be truth, I can still be persecuted. If I defend what I love at all costs, I can kill or be killed for it. But then, free will always has a price and I'm willing to pay it.

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Question/Answer
Pete_Hanysz asked on 05/01/05 - Human Kindness

hOPE12 needs funds to update her nz website.

I can, & will do it for no fee.

She will be in complete control.

Just glad to help!

madima answered on 05/01/05:

I salute you! :=)
I love kindness in people :=)

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 04/30/05 - Worrying and Acceptance

I'm thinking if we *accept reality*, we cut down on our worrying a whole lot.

Christian-"Thy will be done"

Four Agreements-"Don't take anything personally"

12 Step-"Turn it over to your higher power."

Serenity Prayer-Ask the Lord for the wisdom to know the difference between what we can control and what we cannot control.


The lesson we must learn is that we *WE CAN ONLY CONTROL AND MANAGE OURSELVES*. We must have a realistic understanding that we are of little importance in the world.

What do you think?

madima answered on 04/30/05:

Dear Mary Sue,

Have you heard about one of the annual rituals of Buddhist monks? :=)

They create this huge, elaborate mandala made of colored sand in their temples. They do it painstakingly and it takes them months and months to fashion the design. Eventually, when it is finished, they put the mandala on public view for a limited time, so it will be appreciated. And then at the end of the lunar year, they blow away the colored sand and begin another mandala.

It is meant to recognize and honor the impermanence of things on this earth.

Now, if we can only accept that all things will come to pass and that we will all die, no matter what we do, perhaps we will appreciate every second of our borrowed life on this planet.

We will make the most of everything by living to the hilt and not worrying about things going wrong or desires not being fulfilled :=)

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 04/30/05 - Have Wondered

I have always wondered why people like movies and tv shows with gore:: bloody corpses, decapitations, shoot outs(ala The Sopranos), hangings, the more creative the better.

Even in realilty. Sitting around the guillotine in France during the Reign of Terror. Slowing doen and staring at car accidents in hops of "seeing something".

Do you think it is in our genetic make-up? Why?

madima answered on 04/30/05:

Well... man is a predator. More than anything, he is an apex predator, the most dangerous and destructive of them all.

No matter how civilized we have become, no matter what our culture taught us, no matter how much our religion has sublimated our primal instincts, the predatory urge is in our genes.

Normally, except for those who hunt or those in the minority who belong to hunter-gatherer tribes, or those in the slaughterhouse business, men don't see their food being butchered anymore. But the fascination for blood and gore remains. It has been relegated to the shadow part of the persona but it is there.

One of my friends is now caring for an eagle chick who had been confiscated from poachers. I found it very interesting that the eagle instinctively lunged and pecked on the red ink spots in his box. It seems his brain has been programmed that red - blood and raw meat - is nourishment. I observed the same thing with other raptors.

It must be the same way with people.

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Question/Answer
ROLCAM asked on 04/30/05 - INSPIRED BY:- revdauphinee !!

Is WORRYING a sin ?

ROLCAM.

madima answered on 04/30/05:

No, but it's a great nuisance for me :=)
Worrying for me is wasted energy.
Besides, I have no reason to worry.
I can't worry about the past. It is done and dead. I can never go back to it.
I can't worry about the present. I'm just too busy living it!
I can't worry about the future because I'm simply too busy with the present!
Besides, God will take care of my future, so why worry?
God has a very good track record and I don't think He'll fail me. He has taken care of me very well in the past and in the present, so the future should be a breeze! :=)

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Question/Answer
ROLCAM asked on 04/30/05 - QUOTATION !!

Grace keeps us from worrying because worry deals with the past, while grace deals with the present and future.


-Joyce Meyer

Do you believe in the state of grace ?

madima answered on 04/30/05:

Yes, I believe in the state of grace. In fact, I believe I'm always in a state of grace, somehow, despite my shortcomings. I do not know the real reason why and it's an endless source of wonder for me, but that's how I feel and I am thankful to God for it.

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Question/Answer
hOPE12 asked on 04/30/05 - Is there a difference?

Hello Experts,

In your knowledge of the scriptures, is there a difference between:
1) The healing Jesus performed?

2) The healing of the touch of someone we love or the touch of another human?

3) The touch many refer to as the "laying on of hands?"

Take care,
Hope12

madima answered on 04/30/05:

Off the bat, I cannot cite the exact passage but if I remember right, Jesus told his disciples that they, as well as other men, are capable of healing as he could - and more.

I had been with a Catholic Church affiliated healing group for a number of years. We had priests in our group and that was the same thing they cited.

In the healing practice, we had been taught that we have the energy of God within ourselves because we are created by God. That "God energy" can be accessed through the highest centers of the body and channeled through our hands.

So, if you believe you have God in you and you are motivated by love, the laying of hands and other positive "energy transfer" modes could have a very powerful effect - and not just on humans. It can also be done on sick pets, wild animals, plants, trees and places.

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Question/Answer
Saladin asked on 04/30/05 - Deception ...


Deception comes in many forms and has crept into nearly all aspects of modern-day life.

Media reports abound with examples—politicians lying about their actions, accountants and lawyers overstating corporate profits, advertisers misleading consumers, litigants cheating insurance companies, just to name a few.

Then there is religious deception.

The clergy mislead the masses by teaching false doctrines, such as the immortality of the soul, hellfire, and the Trinity.—2 Timothy 4:3, 4.

Should we be surprised by all this deception?

Not really. Regarding “the last days,” the Bible warned: “Wicked men and impostors will advance from bad to worse, misleading and being misled.” (2 Timothy 3:1, 13)

As Christians, we need to be alert to misleading ideas that could turn us away from the truth.

Two questions naturally arise:

Why is deception so prevalent today, and how can we guard against being deceived?

What is your opinions?

How do you personally feel on the matter of deception in the world [...]

Is avoiding a direct question and making denials a form of wicked deception that will prevent the deceiver from entering heaven?

madima answered on 04/30/05:

Dear Ronnie,

If you ask me... :=)

Deception has ALWAYS been prevalent. Deception means to mislead, to pretend to be what you are not. But deception is not always manipulating, lying or cheating for its own end.

In the animal kingdom, deception is often a key to survival. The weak and the small prey deceive the strong and the hungry predators so they will not be eaten.

There's one nonpoisonous snake that imitates the look of the venomous coral snake - stripes and all - so predators will leave it alone. Among moths and butterflies, there are those who imitate the look of bad-tasting members of their family to deceive the birds so they will not be eaten.There are caterpillars, worms and other crawlers whose rear ends look like their heads so that when they are pounced on, they can only be slightly damaged and escape with their brains intact. Octopi and squid deceive moray eels and fish who dine on them by camouflage which make them look like part of their surroundings. Deer and tiger, as well as other big cats, deceptively blend with their environment, be it open plains, grassland or tundra, for their own specific ends - so one can't be eaten and so that the other can stalk his food effectively. A perfectly healthy mother grouse pretends to be hurt and drags its wing in front of a fox to lure it away from her brood. Possums and some snakes play dead. The simplest unicellular creatures with no "brains" as we know it, "fake it" to get into the body's defenses.I can go on and on to give you millions of examples.

Even among men, deception has survival value. Sometimes, the vulnerable deceive others to give the impression that they are strong, so they will not be trampled on or be taken advantage of.

Of course, the wise among the strong can also pretend to be weak, that is one of the strategems of Lao Tzu in his "Art of War" :=)

Surely, there are others who deceive to get what they want without really sweating for it - and so you have scam artists.

Deception is not limited to others, however. Many people constantly deceive themselves to be able to go on living :=)

I think deception is and will always be part of our existence in this world. I think God, in His eternal omniscience, understands that perfectly :=)

And for as long as there's someone who is willing to be deceived, there will always be a deceiver :=)

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Question/Answer
hOPE12 asked on 04/29/05 - Near death expeience, are the scriptual, are they real?

Hello Experts,

What about those who claim to have had near-death experiences? Does that not prove that the spirit or soul leaves the body at death? George Gallup, Jr., U.S. public-opinion pollster, investigated this subject and published the results in Adventures in Immortality. Doctors and scientists who were interviewed were skeptical about the validity of the near-death accounts. Said a Maryland biophysicist: “These are the experiences of a mind in an abnormal state physiologically . . . The brain is a very complex organ and it can play a lot of tricks when you mistreat it—look at the experiences with hallucinogenic drugs.” An Ohio psychiatrist: “These reports are fantasies or hallucinatory phenomena.” A Michigan scientist: “These are trauma-induced fantasies.”

Gallup came to the conclusion that near-death accounts do not “by any means constitute what might be considered proof of immortality or the afterlife.” He adds: “They may be simply dramatic internal scenarios that are played out entirely in the minds of those who undergo physical traumas.” He also suggests that some religious thinkers would explain such experiences as being “part of a demonic strategy to trick human beings.” What Jehovah God said long ago still stands: “The dead know nothing.”—Ecclesiastes 9:5.

What are you comments on the matter of near death experiences, are they real, and are they proof of Immortality of the soul?

Take care,
Hope12

madima answered on 04/29/05:

I had a near death experience so I can say that for me, they are real.

By the way, I was not on drugs at the time. I've never touched drugs or any hallucinogenic stuff in my life.

Demonic strategy? No, definitely not. I can't imagine why would such an exhilerating uplifting experience that puts you closer to God be a work of "demons".

I've had what many would label "extrasensory" (and extraordinary)experiences since childhood. For me, that's normal. I thought everybody sees what I see and experience what I experience.

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 04/29/05 - Do you like jokes like this for better or worse?

The teacher of the earth science class was lecturing on map reading.
After explaining about latitude, longitude, degrees and minutes the teacher asked, "Suppose I asked you to meet me for lunch at 23 degrees, 4 minutes north latitude and 45 degrees, 15 minutes east longitude...?"
After a confused silence, a voice volunteered,
"I guess you'd be eating alone."

madima answered on 04/29/05:

Good laugh! :=)
But I've always loved orienteering exercises, so if that teacher was with us, I guess she won't be eating alone after all! :=)

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Question/Answer
ROLCAM asked on 04/27/05 - Prayers Required !!

To all Christians.






Angele is a wonderful six year old girl who has always been full of life and love. She has been diagnosed with a brain stem tumor on the 23rd February, 2005 and has gone to through so much since then (including a major operation to remove to pressure building up in the brain). Unfortunately the tumor is inoperable and the only hope we’ve been given is radiotherapy.

We believe that there are things stronger than medicine and are thus are asking you to join us in praying for our little baby girl’s full recovery. As Jesus has said “Truly I say to you, ask and it will be given you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened … if you ask anything of the Father in my name, He will give it to you”.

Please join us in asking the Father in Jesus’ name for the full recovery of our beautiful little angel.

Thank you in advance,


Louise and Robert
(Angele’s Parents)


madima answered on 04/29/05:

I'm including Angele in my prayers. May God heal this little angel.

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Question/Answer
bal317 asked on 04/28/05 - Prayer Request Please

Hello Dear Experts: I have had yet another death in my family. For the last month, I have been trotting back and forth approx. 80miles 3-4 times a week to the hospital. My cousin who's Mother raised me and my baby brother, and he always treated us as his sister/brother, not an intruder, has died. We had his funeral today. He had a 2nd marriage, children and grandchildren from his first marriage. Shared step children with his second wife.
We were never mention'd in anything, obit. or otherwise. Time came in the Service for anyone who had anything to say please come forward. As I sat there and listen to 2 other's I then went before about 300 people and told our story. I had made a collection of youthful pictures to present of his life, as I had the only photo's from our past. Well, I told our connection and you could hear a pin drop.
Actually, when I was deceiding to go up and speak, I had not seen the Church was packed, standing room only, until I turned to speak did I see so many.
Something came down inside of me, and by the Grace of God what and how I said it, was taken in kind and I got much Blessings for sharing a huge missing piece.
So, as I ask Prayer's for us, I would also like it if any of you have family/friends that you have let slide out of your life. Just because you have not called and thought they might call you. Please do so, and share your past memories. They are very precious.
With the deepest of sincerity, God Bless you All.
Thank you,
bal317

madima answered on 04/29/05:

My condolences to you, dear Bal. You and your family are in my prayers.

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Question/Answer
hOPE12 asked on 04/29/05 - Getting older and yet not giving up.

Hello Experts,

There are those of us who are getting older and so I thought, "What can we each offer as a way of keeping our life, active, exciting, and alive as we grow older?

What do you personally do to make your life, exciting and not boring and at the same time give you satisfation of being useful and helpful to others, as well as for yourself?

Take care,
Hope12

madima answered on 04/29/05:

Dear Hope,

We all begin to grow old the moment we are born. But only the cells in the body gets old. The soul is timeless, the human spirit is ageless :=)

My parents say they live for me. Many times they admit they are tired of the everyday struggle for survival but they cannot allow themselves to die while they feel I still need them. They cannot "abandon" me.

My parents turned to the Church and to their pets for solace after I left the nest. They hear mass daily and participate in the activities of their prayer group when they can. My father religiously goes to the library after church on weekdays; my mother tends to her garden. And they both tend to a houseful of dogs and cats - on top of their endless daily chores - chopping wood, fetching water, etc. especially after the last super storm wrought havoc on the city's power and water supply.

Ifever I'll live long enough to be really "old", I guess I'll never run out of things to do - stories to write, canvases to paint, adventures to plan. For as long as I have strength left in me, I can tend to an endangered wild animal or work for the preservation of a species.

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Question/Answer
hOPE12 asked on 04/29/05 - What does all of this mean for you and your family?

Hello Experts,

There is no denying that religious passions today still can move people to hatred, killing and war. Yet alongside this there is evidence of increasing dissatisfaction with religion. Many have a spiritual hunger or a desire to worship but are confused and uncertain about religion. They may be embarrassed to appear religious or they may feel that religion is too confusing for them.

1- Is that how you feel?

Or, perhaps you do consider yourself quite religious. You may care about your religion, being convinced that it is correct. In any case, there is good reason for you to accept an invitation to give some thought to the matter of right religion. The book The Great Religious Leaders made this observation: “When we actually know what religion does for and to the individual, and how a person’s powers are increased by an intelligent understanding and appropriation of religion, life ought to be infinitely more worth living.”

Not only should true religion make ‘life more worth living,’ but we can assure you that the facts prove that it does! But before you agree or disagree with that statement, I invite you to think further about the matter of true religion.

2- Is there just one true religion?

3- If so, how could you identify it?

4- And what can it mean for you?


Take care,
Hope12




madima answered on 04/29/05:

1- Is that how you feel?
No, dear Hope. I've never been concerned with what is correct for other people really, but what is right by me. I worship God because I want to and I do it everyday. I know my freedom and my rights and I use them. But I don't classify myself as "religious".

2- Is there just one true religion?
No, I don't think there's one true religion. For me, there's just one credo that I must live by, that is to do what I believe is right. It doesn't matter by what name people call their God or their faith.

In all honesty, I did not choose the religion I grew up in. It is the religion of my parents. I saw nothing bad in it. I was as comfortable in this faith as I could be, but I don't believe in all of its dogmas.

I don't think that my religion makes life worth living. I make my life worth living. That sole responsibility lies with me and no other. If I can't make my own life worth living, then nothing and nobody else can :=)

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Question/Answer
Laura asked on 04/26/05 - I know that this board is for Q@A about Christianity but.....

This is for a Christian sister and her family. Our son is moving back to Oklahoma from New York. He got an honerable discharge from the service and is moving back here. He doesn't have too much choice as job opportunities are here for him. As you may know, he got custody of his kids about a year ago. He and the children have been in continuious counseling since and are now stable and well adjusted.

His ex calls the kids about once every other month and hasen't taken advantage of her opportunities to visit with them at Christmas and spring break. She didn't call our son to tell him that she didn't plan on visiting with them, nor did she call her daughter on her birthday.

About a two weeks ago and after he had already been discharged from the Army, his ex called his commanding officer and told him that she had reliable info that our son was going to go AWOL and run away with the kids to Canada and that he was abusing them. She didn't know he was out of the Army. About a month before that he had recieved a letter from her saying that she knew he was abusing the kids and he turned the letter over to the kids counselor.

Now that he is coming back here, it is obvious that she will no doubt will attempt to cause him and the kids grief. He is getting the kids into continuing couseling just as soon as he gets here and he is debating whether he wants to get DHS involved as they can really be a pain but he wants desperately to protect his kids. They have gone through so much and he doesn't want a repeat of a year ago.

Please put him on your prayer list along with his children and us. We have the tape recorder set up (sad isn't it) and we are sleeping with one eye open. I wish personally that he could move to Siberia to keep his kids safe but he misses his family and our support. He can't do it on his own. Please keep him and his kids in your prayers. God bless. Laura

madima answered on 04/26/05:

Dear Laura, your son and grandchildren and your family will always be in my prayers.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 04/26/05 - April 26-Hazeldon Meditation

I guess everyone understands that 12 Step Programs are based on Christian Principles(and Buddhist, too).

"Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I amy be in, therein to be content"- Helen Keller

"There is wonder in the moment, if we look for it, let it touch us, believe in it. And with the recogition and celebration of the wonder, comes the joy we desire and await.

Being wholly in tune with the present moment is how we come to know the spiritual essence that connects all life. We search for peace, happiness, and contentment outside of ourselves. We need instead to discover it within us, now and always, in whatever we are experiencing".

Do you live in the moment?
Are you spontaneous?
Any comments you want to make?

madima answered on 04/26/05:

I've always felt at home in the darkness and in the silence - just as I feel at home in the light and in the racket of the city :=)

But I seek silence when I want to hear my own heart speak, when I want to listen to my own thoughts.

I seek darkness when I want to find enlightenment. Only in the darkness can one see light.

Yes, I live in the moment. No use mulling about the past which you cannot relive, or bothering about a future you may never get to see.

I don't like making life plans, short-term, medium-term or long-term, because I feel that will make me inflexible. I won't be agile enough to take the exciting, unexpected opportunities on the way. And THAT will be a great tragedy, indeed! :=)

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Question/Answer
hOPE12 asked on 04/25/05 - Knowledge, just how much is too much?

Hello,
A couple sitting on the beach in West Africa were watching the silvery moon above. "How much does man know about the moon, and how much is there to know?" the husband stated.

His wife responded: "Imagine that we could observe the earth driffting byy like this, how much knowledge is there already on earth, and how much more there is to learn? And just think! not only is the earth rotating around the sun but our whole solar system is in motion. This means that we will probably never again be here at this eaxact point in the universe. In fact, we know our p9resent location only in relation to familiar heavenly bodies. We posses so much knowledge about some things, but in a sense, we don't even know where we are?"

We today are able to comunicate information almost beyond our comprehensions. Rotary presses run at incredible speeds, turning out newspapers, magazines, and books. For someone using the Internet, endless amaounts of information are just a click away. In these and many other ways, dissemination of information is increasing faster than anyone can assimilate it. The sheer quantity of it, forces us to be selective.

1_ Why should we be selective in taking in this knowledge?

2- Can some knowledge be beyond our personal capacity of understanding?

John 17:3 States: "This means everlasting life their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ."

3-Is taking in knowledge of God and Christ beyond our capcity?

4- Whill the day ever come when we know everthing?

5- How can taking in knowledge about something become a danger to us?

6- Why can Bible knowledge become pleasurable to us?

7- What kind of knowledge will benefit us for all eternity?


Take care,
Hope12

madima answered on 04/25/05:

1-_ Why should we be selective in taking in this knowledge?

We have only a limited time on earth, so we must "prioritize" what we need to know in proportion with what little time we have. The average human life span now is 70 to 80 years. You can only learn so much in less than a century.

2- Can some knowledge be beyond our personal capacity of understanding?

Sure, the true nature of God is part of the "Unknowable".

3-Is taking in knowledge of God and Christ beyond our capcity?

The human capacity really has no limits if you can access the "superconscious" mind as well as the collective unconscious.

But most of us would only know what we want to know of God and Christ because that is all we need to know.

4- Will the day ever come when we know everything?

If we can have eternal life on earth, in our human bodies and mind, then will that be possible.

5- How can taking in knowledge about something become a danger to us?

Knowledge is power. If you use power to destroy or corrupt others, you become a danger to yourself and your fellowmen.

6- Why can Bible knowledge become pleasurable to us?

It is pleasurable to have a peek into the Unknowable.

7- What kind of knowledge will benefit us for all eternity?

To be honest, eternity does not really concern me right now when I'm still in a survival mode. What concerns me is today, this precise moment.

For me, the knowledge that benefits me most is the knowledge about my Self because it is with myself that I live with 24 hours of the day, every day :=)

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Question/Answer
hOPE12 asked on 04/25/05 - How would you keep your Christian attitude?

Hello Everyone,

If a person has an employer who yells, curses, and keep doing this all day long, how would you personally handle such a person? He dosn't yell at anyone in particular but is constantly yelling all day long. What can a person do to deal better with this type of behavior and still keep their Christian personality?

Take care,
Hope12

madima answered on 04/25/05:

For me, it's simple. Either desensitize and be functionally deaf to all that racket or find another job.

Personally, I will opt for the latter.

I don't think there's any sense confining myself all-day long with a person whose behavior I cannot tolerate.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 04/25/05 - Meditation

"In the 16th Century one has only to consider the difficulties involved in feeding a baby if the mother's mild ran dry." - Philippe Aires

"Scietific progress has brought our society to the point where such a natural disaster as a milkless mother need have no consquences for her or her infant. Clean water, sewage disposal, immunization, and a widely availabe varied diet ensures relatively good health for millions. Sometimes it tempts us to look at the past as if it were another planet or the history of another species.

People had the same feelings four hundred years ago as we have today. Life was brutally hard; no families expected that all the chirdren born would survive to maturity; people were old at 35 and often dead at 45. But they loved, feared, raged, and sought spiritual peace as we do.

Imagining myself into the difficulties of the past can broaden my sympathies for the prsent."

Hazeldon 12 SAtep Meditation Book April 25th.

Do you Romanticize the past?
Do you scorn the advances of science?
Any comments?

madima answered on 04/25/05:

The past is dead and I live for the moment :=)

But as an actress, I had the privilege of living in the past in personifying the characters I played onstage...wearing hoopskirts and varied costumes of centuries gone, getting into the minds of their heroines :=)

I don't think the past was that bad, given my capabilities in the present. I mean, I won't mind living without television, electric stoves, electric lights, etc. I won't mind drinking from a stream, hunting for my food or walking for miles and miles, having to do without a car.

But I don't scorn the advance of science. I think its greatest inventions were the PC and the cellphone! :=)

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 04/25/05 - BELIEF...How Much is Too Much

Hope's question about knowledge a few questions down prompted me into thinking, "How much belief is too much belief?"

I don't think that too much knowlege is possible; we learn as much as we are able and willing.

BUT, too much faith/belief??????
Comments?

madima answered on 04/25/05:

Remember Gautama Buddha? :=)

He discovered that the best way is the middle way.

Too much of everything is not really good.

I don't think too much knowledge is possible either. The more you learn, the more you realize how little you know.

A lifetime is NEVER enough to learn all that we need to know :=)

Still... that should not keep us from trying :=)

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 04/25/05 - OSCAR WILDE:



"Anything worth knowing can't be taught in a classroom."

Comments?

HANK

madima answered on 04/25/05:

Academic knowledge is surely different from common sense and wisdom gained from life.

My Theater Arts degree was not what made me a professional actress. Books and teachers cannot really tutor any performer on the craft of emotional recall, recreation of emotions onstage or the skill of holding an audience.

My journalism degree did not teach me how to be a journalist. It gave me the basics of writing for publications but it did not teach me what it takes to get the loyalty of news sources, how to make them risk their necks to give me the information I wanted.

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Question/Answer
ROLCAM asked on 04/23/05 - Do you wish you were Gerry ?

Subject: Baseball


Two ninety year old men, Gerry and Sam, have been friends all their lives.

It seems that Sam is dying of cancer, and Gerry comes to visit him every day.

"Sam," says Gerry, "You know how we have both loved baseball all our lives, and how we played minor league ball together for so many years. Sam, you have to do me one favor. When you get to Heaven, and I know you will go to Heaven, somehow you've got to let me know if there's baseball in Heaven."

Sam looks up at Gerry from his death bed, and says, "Gerry, you've been my best friend many years. This favor, if it is at all possible, I'll do for you."

And shortly after that, Sam passes on.

It is midnight a couple of nights later. Gerry is sound asleep when he is awakened by a blinding flash of white light and a voice calls out to him, "Gerry.... Gerry...."

"Who is it?" says Gerry sitting up suddenly. "Who is it?"

"Gerry, it's me, Sam."

"Come on. You're not Sam. Sam just died"

"I'm telling you," insists the voice. "It's me, Sam!"

"Sam? Is that you? Where are you?"

"I'm in heaven," says Sam, "and I've got to tell you, I've got really good news and a little bad news."

"So, tell me the good news first," says Gerry.

"The good news," says Sam "is that there is baseball in heaven. Better yet, all our old buddies who've gone before us are there. Better yet, we're all young men again. Better yet, it's always spring time and it never rains or snows. And best of all, we can play baseball all we want, and we never get tired.

"Really?" says Gerry, "That is fantastic, wonderful beyond my wildest dreams! But, what's the bad news?"

"You're pitching next Tuesday".

madima answered on 04/23/05:

Thanks! For making me laugh! :=)
I won't be interested in a baseball game in heaven though...
I think I'll be more interested in a big cat sanctuary there :=)

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 04/23/05 - never trust a Muslim

Veiled threat an insult to all
By Miranda Devine
April 24, 2005
The Sun-Herald


Muslim cleric: women incite men's lust with 'satanic dress'

At Bankstown Town Hall last month, just three kilometres from the scene of one of the most horrific of the gang rapes of 2000, a young and popular Lebanese Muslim sheik told a packed audience that rape victims have "no one to blame but themselves".

These are the words of Sheik Faiz Mohamad, 34, to more than 1000 people squeezed into the hall on March 18, as recorded digitally by a concerned citizen.

"A victim of rape every minute somewhere in the world. Why? No one to blame but herself. She displayed her beauty to the entire world. She degraded herself by being an object of sexual desire and thus becoming vulnerable to man who looks at her for gratification of his sexual urge."

There was much more about women's responsibilities and the sins of the "kaffir" (infidel) that night from the charismatic former boxer and Liverpool Global Islamic Youth Centre teacher. But there was nothing about the responsibility of men to exercise self-restraint, even though most of the audience was male.

Sheik Faiz declined requests on Friday to be interviewed, so we don't know if he is aware of the implications of what he said. But in a community still reeling from the spate of racially motivated gang rapes by Lebanese Muslim males from Bankstown and surrounds, it was extraordinarily impolitic.

"Strapless, backless, sleeveless, nothing but satanic skirts, slit skirts, translucent blouses, miniskirts, tight jeans," he shouted into the microphone. "All this to tease man and appeal to his carnal nature."

Mostly he appealed to Muslim women to wear the hijab (head covering), which, incidentally, has become fashionable on global catwalks since France banned it in public schools last year.

Born in Sydney of Lebanese parents, Faiz embraced Islam at 19 and spent several years studying in Saudi Arabia. On the one hand, he numbers among his friends and students such positive role models as Bulldogs league star Hazem El Masri and boxing champion Anthony Mundine, testament to the clean-living discipline of Islam.

On the other hand, the centre at which he teaches has attracted controversy over the actions of two former students. Supermarket shelf-stacker Zaky Mallah, 21, was last week sentenced to two years' jail for threatening to kill Commonwealth officials and Muslim convert Jack Roche, 51, was convicted last year of plotting to blow up the Israeli embassy in Canberra.

Many in Sydney's Lebanese Muslim community reject Faiz's comments but are reluctant to speak on the record.

"Islam teaches that a woman could walk in front of you naked and you are supposed to be strong enough to say no," said one Muslim leader. "It is a test of your faith."

Faiz could be a good influence on young people, "if he calms down and gets rid of his anger . . . and understood the impact of his words. It's not what he would do [that's a problem]. It's what he says; he colours the minds of young people."

A non-Muslim who lives in Auburn and attended Faiz's lecture said: "My biggest concern is that the Muslims who come to our country and just want to mind their own business, get a job, have a family and a home life with freedom, are progressively being pressured by their own community leaders to conform. The mould [they] are being pressed into is not good for them and not good for Australian society."

Faiz's view that unveiled women invite rape does Muslims a disservice by promoting an image which is repugnant to the majority of his fellow citizens. After all, when a judge feels so strongly that he would stand in front of a group of strangers, as one did in recent weeks, and make the comment that Lebanese Muslim men are a "cancer", you know the community has an image problem which Faiz isn't helping.

Faiz may not care but his words are a slap in the face to the brave young woman, known to the courts as Miss C, who was raped 25 times by 14 men over six hours outside the Bankstown Trotting Club and elsewhere in 2000.

At worst, his words sanction the kind of contempt for non-Muslim women that led those gang rapists to regard 18-year-old Miss C, dressed in her best suit for a job interview, sitting on a train reading The Great Gatsby, as an "Aussie pig" and slut.

"I looked in his eyes. I had never seen such indifference," Miss C testified."

and they wonder why we don't trust them?

madima answered on 04/23/05:

I don't think rape has anything to do with one's faith or with the clothes a woman wears.

Women in chador as well as nuns in full habit had been raped. Men of all sorts of religion, from Muslims to Christians, had been convicted of rape.

As I've stated in an earlier response, rape is not an issue of sex or "uncontrollable libido", it is an issue of power.

Rapists seek to dominate and humiliate via the ultimate violation of a woman's body. Rapists have extremely low self-esteem and perverted minds.

A woman can cover herself from head to foot and still be sensual - and sexual.

Here in the Far East, one of the "most sexy" traditional women's costume is the Japanese kimono. It covers the entire body but allows a peek into the erogenous area of the woman's nape.

In fact, I don't find mini skirts, backless dresses, spaghetti straps and tight-fitting jeans "sexy" at all because they leave nothing to the imagination. They do not tittilate the senses.

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Question/Answer
Saladin asked on 04/23/05 - Men are so weak-willed


Men cannot help but act on their primal instrinct to knock a woman down, rip off her clothes, and then rape her if she is wearing somehting thaty allows men to be tittilated?

That any one who calls himself a Christian should actually think like this is cause to lock them up and castrate them.

Step forward you dogs.

I have a blunt hacksaw and am ready to strengthen your morality by removing your instrument of accomplishment.

I guess Jesus was dead wrong when he taught that a man could control his sinful urges, and god was just as bad for forbidding what men can not help but do?


You have to feel sorry for the poor fools.

I know I should, but I find this particular kind of arrogant stupidity nauseating.

Do you feel sorry for these rapists who wold be good but can't control their id-driven urges, or will you hold them down while I improve their behaviour?

Eh?

Answers from any female but only moral males, welcomed.

Ronnie

madima answered on 04/23/05:

Rape is not really about sex but about power, dear Ronnie.

Rapists are mostly men with very low self-esteem who feel a sick need to humiliate and dominate women whom they perceive to be vulnerable and helpless.

It's not about uncontrollable libido at all. The sex urge can always be controlled.

Rape is a crime that happens not just with complete strangers but with boyfriends, ex-boyfriends, husbands and with brothers, fathers, cousins, uncles and grandfathers in the case of incestuous rape.

Here in my country, rape is still punishable by death. A few years ago, they put a father who raped his daughter in the electric chair and fried him. I never felt sorry for him.

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Question/Answer
revdauphinee asked on 04/22/05 - been gone!

i have been of line for a few days due to computer problems .almost went through withdrawal not being able to access answerway!

madima answered on 04/22/05:

Welcome back, Dorothy. I hope Gracie is feeling better too.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 04/22/05 - Daily Meditation

From a non-denominational 12 Step Program meditation book I have come across; opened to this page:

"It is only when there is nothing but praise that life loses its charm, and I begin to wonder what I should do about it."

"We lose our appreciation for joyful times when they become a matter of course. Compliments lose their delicious quality with overuse. Balance in all things offers the greatest satisfaction.

It's not likely that we realize the full value of variety in our lives. Probably we long for easy times, the absence of struggle, and certainty regarding outcomes. Were life to treat us in such a manner, we'd soon lose our zest for the day ahead. The sense of accomplishment that we hunger for is nestled within the day's rough ripples.

Our experience in this life is purposeful, which means there are matters we'll be asked to attend to. Not every involvement will provide pleasure. Some, in fact, will inflict pain, but we'll discover elements that will enhance our self-awareness. Through this knowledge we'll find lasting fulfilllment.

"*Today* will be a mixture of joy, boredom, perhaps both pain and sorrow. Each element will give me reason for growth".

What do you think of this meditation for your stage in life, ie, senior citizen, middle aged, youth???

Is there anything of specific value here in your opinion?

madima answered on 04/22/05:

Well... my life, then and now, has always been like a pendulum, swinging on both extremes, and I've been used to it :=)

There's never been any routine. I hate routines. But I learned very early that I can always find peace in the midst of chaos -or chaos in the midst of peace - whenever I WANT to. It all depends on what I want to find at any given moment. In my life, I am the absolute master.

Today, this very moment, is always a surprise.But there is never a dull moment :=)

In the end, I believe I'm responsible for everything that happened, is happening and will happen in my life - both good and bad.

Things happened, are happening and will happen because I made them happen. I needed them to happen because I need to gain a lesson from them. I need to learn :=)

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Question/Answer
freethinker asked on 04/22/05 - Greetings from Turkey

Greetings from Turkey.

No question.
Just a hello to all!
This is a times internet connection.
Ciao soon!

madima answered on 04/22/05:

I've always equated Turkey with "oryantal" or belly dancing :=)

I wanted to go there just to see THAT. I heard Turkish men are equally good at the moves as the women.

Have a great time! :=)

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Question/Answer
Mathatmacoat asked on 04/22/05 - In the interests of fostering better international understanding

Basic Guide To Aussie Life



1. The bigger the hat, the smaller the farm.

2. The shorter the nickname, the more they like you.

3. Whether it's the opening of Parliament, or the launch of a new art gallery , there is no Australian event that cannot be improved by a sausage sizzle.

4. If the guy next to you is swearing like a wharfie he's probably a media billionaire. Or on the other hand, he may be a wharfie.

5. There is no food that cannot be improved by the application of tomato sauce.

6. On the beach, all Australians hide their keys and wallets by placing them inside their sandshoes. No thief has ever worked this out.

7. Industrial design knows of no article more useful than the plastic milk crate.

8. All our best heroes are losers.

9. The alpha male in any group is he who takes the barbecue tongs from the hands of the host and blithely begins turning the snags.

10. It's not summer until the steering wheel is too hot to hold.

11. A thong is not a piece of scanty swimwear, as in America, but a fine example of Australian footwear. A group of sheilas wearing black rubber thongs may not be as exciting as you had hoped.

12. It is proper to refer to your best friend as "a total bastard". By contrast, your worst enemy is "a bit of a bastard".

13. Historians believe the widespread use of the word "mate" can be traced to the harsh conditions on the Australian frontier in the 1890s, and the development of a code of mutual aid, or "mateship". Alternatively, Australians may just be really hopeless with names.

14. The wise man chooses a partner who is attractive not only to himself, but to the mosquitoes.

15. If it can't be fixed with pantyhose and fencing wire, it's not worth fixing.

16. The most popular and widely praised family in any street is the one that has the swimming pool.

17. It's considered better to be down on your luck than up yourself.

18. The phrase "we've got a great lifestyle" means everyone in the family drinks too much.

19. If invited to a party, you should take cheap red wine and then spend all night drinking the host's beer. (Don't worry, he'll have catered for it).

20. If there's any sort of free event or party within a hundred kilometres, you'd be a mug not to go.

21. The phrase "a simple picnic" is not known. You should take everything you own. If you don't need to make three trips back to the car, you're not trying.

22. Unless ethnic or a Pom, you are not permitted to sit down in your front yard, or on your front porch. Pottering about, gardening or leaning on the fence is acceptable. Just don't sit. That's what backyards are for.

23. The tarred road always ends just after the house of the local mayor.

24. On picnics, the Esky is always too small, creating a food versus grog battle that can only ever be solved by leaving the food behind.

madima answered on 04/22/05:

Well, thanks for the pointers, Mathatmacoat :=)

I've always dreamed of going to Australia, but what interests me most in that great continent is the people of the dreaming.

I want to visit Uluru, see and hear a real digiredoo being played. The wild creatures there fascinate me too, not just the koalas and the wallabies and the roos, but also the funnel web spiders and the brown snakes...

But most of all, I'll love to free dive with your white pointers at Neptune Islands and explore the Great Barrier Reef to my heart's content :=)

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Question/Answer
CeeBee2 asked on 04/21/05 - Why Do We Feel So Bad When We Have It So Good?

Today's standard of living that you and I share is better than almost all the men and women of history. (The U.S. and EU middle class or above lives better than 99.4 percent of the human beings who have ever existed and better than most of the royalty in history.)

We have easy access to a huge variety of foods at affordable prices. (We used to buy fresh only when fruits or vegetables were "in season" or harvested from our gardens.)

Our average lifespan has almost doubled since the beginning of the 20th century (77 years compared to 41).

Deadly diseases such as polio, smallpox, measles, and rickets have been defeated. Even croup could be fatal.

Our houses are more than double the size of the past generation, plus we have forced-air heat (not a coal or wood stove/furnace) and ac that was unheard of by our grandparents.

Most of us have health insurance.

The "jet set", a term that once described people of rare affluence, now describes 200 million Americans who regularly travel by land, air, and water.

Crime is down, our environment is cleaner, we are more educated, and we experience greater equality. In real dollars almost everything costs less today than it did during the 1950s, health care is light-years better, three times as many people now make it to college, communication is nearly instantaneous, and no one thinks twice when women and blacks go to the polls to vote.

(paraphased from http://www.theocentric.com/theoarchives/000298.html)

I remember the 1940s and 1950s with great affection, but if you had a choice, would you really prefer to live back then instead of now?

madima answered on 04/21/05:

I wasn't born yet in the 40's and 50's, but I've often heard my parents talk about these times and they do not remember them with joy.

This was an era of rebuilding after the war, the buying power of our currency was more than 50 times than it was now, inflation has not reached that high, there was not so much traffic because there were few car owners and little infrastructure, life was less complicated but it was much more difficult, they said.

Although I have the ability to live very simply without the trappings of modernity, though I can live alone for long periods of time in the midst of a wilderness with just a backpack of the basics, I can't really imagine a life without the internet and the cellular phone - gadgets of the 90's and the new millenium :=)

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 04/21/05 - Re-Doing my Apartment

This isn't an easy project, cheer me on, please! I am going to get rid of at least half my books and I find I'm on dead center...inertia...and, get rid of my wedding pictures and some stuff just collecting dust....it is difficult.

My friend Doris helped me with the heavy work, she took many of my clothes and donated them, and other stuff like furniture, she kept what she wanted and donated the rest.

Soon, I hope, I will have a lovely simple but beautiful in a (minimalistic way) living space, just the basics, easy to clean, keep the cat hair and dander at bay. Even poor Nick has allergies!! :):):)

I gotta get this done!! I hate living in a messy pit.

Cheer me on!! Old lady in need of cheery encouragement!!

madima answered on 04/21/05:

Take heart, you can do it! :=)
I've started my great house cleaning project last year and it's not half way over yet!!!
Hopefully, I can get the Salesian sisters to cart away five cartons of books and clothing, etc. by next week!
I've re-done my condo unit five times in nine years! Everytime I think I'm done, I realize I've not even begun! :=)

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 04/21/05 - Heavens On Earth

What are your ideas about what is "heaven on earth"? Those glorious times?

Meditating/praying and being connected to your higher power?

Living on a body of water in a quaint cottage and a neighborhood full of wonderful people?

Sharing small moments with a good friend?

Living near the forest and being acquainted with the plants and animals nearby?


What is you special "heaven"?

madima answered on 04/21/05:

The truth is, my special "heaven" is that quiet place of bliss within myself that I can find anytime, anywhere :=)

I can find it in the flurry of my deadlines and in the chaos of the city, in the gymn that smells of sweat and in the crowded buses stuck in traffic. I can find it in my garden, in the mountains, in the canyons, in the caves, in the forests and in the seas :=)

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Question/Answer
Saladin asked on 04/20/05 - Okay, Christians ..... (and Paraclete)


.... did you ever call your mother's husband by any title that indicated in any degree that you owned him as your father?


Father
Dad
Daddy
Poppa
Papa
Pop
Pops

whatever?

Did you offend God when you did so?

madima answered on 04/20/05:


Dear Ronnie,

I call him "papa" or "pa" and rarely refer to him in my second language as "tatay" or "ama".

I don't think I offend God when I call him so. He IS my father on this earth. I'm just calling him by the name I'm supposed to call him with :=)

In our culture, parents are regarded as God's representatives on earth.

I refer to God as my heavenly Lord and Father because that's what He is :=)

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Question/Answer
Saladin asked on 04/19/05 - Benedict ... more trivia ...



Benedict n. a newly married man who has been a confirmed bachelor. [ an alteration of Benedick, the bachelor who marries Beatrice in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing (1598?)]


Saint Benedict, A.D. 480?–543?, was an Italian monk who founded the Benedictine order.

Benedict XIV, (Prospero Lambertini) 1675–1758, Italian ecclesiastic who served as pope from 1740–58.

Benedict XV, (Giacomo della Chiesa) 1854–1922, Italian ecclesiastic who served as pope from 1914–22.

Eggs Benedict n. toasted halves of English muffin, each covered with a slice of ham and a poached egg and topped with hollandaise sauce.

Benedictinge, n. a monk of St. Benedict's order

Benedictine n.

1.

a. a member of an order of monks founded at Monte Cassino by St. Benedict about A.D. 530.
b. a member of any congregation of nuns following the rule of St. Benedict.

2.

a French liqueur orig. made by Benedictine monks. —adj.

3.

of or pertaining to St. Benedict or the Benedictines.

Benediction n.

1. an utterance of good wishes.

2. the invocation of a blessing, esp. the short blessing at the close of a religious service.

3. (usu. cap.) a Roman or Anglo-Catholic service that includes a blessing of the congregation with the Host in the monstrance.

4. something that imparts a benefit or improvement.

[1400–50; late ME (< MF) < L benedictio]

:)

Ronnie - no question this time, but I wish a blessing on all Catholics

madima answered on 04/19/05:

Thanks so much, Ronnie :=)
God bless you as well :=)
St. Benedict is one of my favorite saints. He is also a favorite saint of my parents. I always invoke his intercession for protection. His prayer of exorcism - in Latin - was among the first prayers I learned as a child :=)

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Question/Answer
CeeBee2 asked on 04/18/05 - karma - 1) do you believe that

karma operates in your life? 2) If your answer to 1) is yes, please give an example of karma at work in your life.

madima answered on 04/19/05:

The principle of karma is simply universal justice, you reap what you sow.

I feed stray animals. In turn, I have never been hungry, even when I run out of money. Somebody always feeds me, somehow.

I never hurt wild creatures, I never take from Nature what I don't need. In turn, when I go into the wilderness, in the mountains and in the seas, Nature never hurts me.

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Question/Answer
kindj asked on 04/18/05 - By the way...

....I was wondering:

How rich do I have to be before I can be "eccentric" instead of "crazy?"

DK

madima answered on 04/18/05:

You have to be worth at least a billion US dollars :=)

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Question/Answer
Saladin asked on 04/18/05 - Life's Less Important Questions ... ...



I planted some bird seed. A bird came up. Now I don't know what to feed it.
I had amnesia once -- maybe twice.
Photons have mass? I didn't even know they were Catholic.
All I ask is a chance to prove money can't make me happy.
I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous.
What is a "free" gift? Aren't all gifts free?
They told me I was gullible.... and I believed them.
Two can live as cheaply as one, for half as long.
What if there were no hypothetical questions?
One nice thing about egotists... they don't talk about other people.
A flashlight is a case for holding dead batteries.
What was the greatest thing before sliced bread?
I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not sure.
The high cost of living hasn't affected its popularity.
Is there another word for synonym?
The speed of time is one second per second.
Show me a man with both feet firmly on the ground, and I'll show you a man who can't get his pants off.
What's another word for thesaurus?
Is Marx's tomb a communist plot?
Is it my imagination, or do buffalo wings taste like chicken.

'ey, up, lads an' lasses, cop for these!

R

madima answered on 04/18/05:

Indeed, "The high cost of living hasn't affected its popularity."
Love that!
Thanks for making my day, dear Ronnie!!!! :=)

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Question/Answer
hOPE12 asked on 04/15/05 - A Real tough Question:

Hello Experts,

Now here a good question for you guys. If after getting married a husband or a wife become slow mentally and does not have the mature understanding to make family choices, can he still remain the head of his household? Does God's laws expect a wife to be in subjection even though a man's ability to make choices is mentally impaired? Please give your answer from the Bible. Thank you

Take care,
Hope12

madima answered on 04/15/05:

Pardon me, dear Hope, but while I'm a Christian and I respect the Bible, I will not go to the Bible for answers on a question which I believe, should best be decided by common sense.

If one's husband becomes mentally ill after marriage and makes crazy decisions that will endanger his life or the lives of his family, there's no question about allowing him to remain the head of the household.

This is not a question of God's law, this is already a question of personal survival and endangerment of human life.

If a mentally deranged husband decides to kill his wife and his kids because in his crazed perception they have displeased God and only their blood can atone for their sins, should he be allowed to do so?

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Question/Answer
hOPE12 asked on 04/15/05 - Hypothetical question?

Hello Everyone,

How would you balance your choice if you had to choose between your child and your mate?

Another words suppose someone said that if you to choose your child's life or your mates life. Which loved one would be let go? Could you choose? What thoughts would enter your mind as you must choose between the two most loved ones in your life?

Now lets take it even further. What if you had to choose your worship to God or your loved ones life? Could you choose? What would you base your choice on?

I bring this up because throughout history many have had to make that choice. Some world rulers have killed those who have choose to worship God. Some children where even killed in front of the parent because they choose to serve God, when given that choice.

Once again, what would your choice be???

Take care,
Hope12

madima answered on 04/15/05:

So, I'll give my honest hypothetical answer on your hypothetical question based on my personal code of morality :=)

I'll choose my mate over my child because I can always produce another child.

But then, I can say that because I have not known what it is to be married and I never had kids and don't like the idea of having any.

I like playing with other people's kids but I don't think I can spare 9 months of my life getting pregnant and invest at least 21 of my best years in caring for one the way my parents did to me. My parents took very good care of me and if I can't do that to my child, I don't think it will be fair to have any.

Of course, my parents would choose differently. Papa told me more than twice that if it comes down to the ultimate choice, he would choose me over mama. Mama told me she would choose me over papa.

As for the other choice... I have no ambition to be a saint or a martyr and gone are the coliseum days when Christians are fed to lions. So heaven forbid, on the one billion to one chance that a religious terrorist or a crazy man holds a gun to my parents before me (and I was caught unarmed and unable to shoot him before he could do any harm) and makes me choose publicly between them and God, I will choose my parents.

In my culture, one's parents are God's representatives on earth, so I personally believe that choosing them is equivalent to choosing God. Others, the terrorist or the crazy man included, may not understand the choice but God will.

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Question/Answer
revdauphinee asked on 04/15/05 - Urgent Prayer request

please offer up prayer for my 2yr old great grandaughter who has just been diagnosed with menengitis and is hospitalised.Thank you in advance!
Dorothy

madima answered on 04/15/05:

I'll include her in my prayers, dear Dorothy.

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Question/Answer
Mathatmacoat asked on 04/13/05 - Earthquakes and Volcanos

Have you noticed what is happening in Indonesia? First earthquakes and now an active volcano springs to life near the last earthquake. Do you think God might be trying to get someone's attention?

madima answered on 04/13/05:

If you ask me…What’s happening in our neighboring Indonesia is a “normal” working of Nature.

Indonesia, like my country, is within the Pacific Ring of Fire, a real “volcano belt”, and the floor of the Pacific Ocean is crisscrossed with major earthquake faults. The volcanoes and the earthquake faults have always been there.

Personally, I’ve never believed that volcanoes erupt and that earthquakes, tsunamis and all sorts of catastrophes happen because “God is angry.” I don’t think He needs to get my attention – or anybody’s -by making the great ocean come inside my house, or open up the earth I walk on or pelt me with fire from the volcano’s mouth.

Life and death, destruction and creation are parts of the cycle of nature. They are the natural order of things. When the tectonic plates of the earth move – as they have been doing for billions of years, continents drift closer or farther apart, they “divorce” and reconnect, they change their configurations so that old species can die and new ones can be born.

Change is a natural phenomenon in the life of men, on the earth he lives on, in the galaxy and in the entire universe. Change can be destructive or creative but it happens because it is meant to happen.

A super volcano currently sleeps in Sumatra, inside Lake Toba. It last erupted 73,000 years ago in an event so massive that it altered the entire world's climate. It has a big eruption every 2,000 years, and it last erupted about 2,000 years ago. Another eruption is due soon and the latest seismological stresses along the Indonesian fault could hasten that eruption.

Other super volcanoes are found in Italy, South America, the United States and New Zealand -- where Mount Taupo could be ready for eruption.

But have you yourself seen a volcano erupting? I have personally known a lot of volcanoes. I climbed Mt. Pinatubo a couple of years back. Its latest eruption, in 1991, was the third largest eruption of the century, releasing gas that circled the globe in three weeks and jacked up the entire global climate by at least one degree Centigrade for years. Now we go to the sulfuric lake that sprang from its caldera because the waters heal many ailments.

I often go to Taal Volcano, the world’s smallest active volcano but my favorite is Mt. Mayon, the most beautiful volcano on earth. One Christmas eve, when I was vacationing in Legaspi, the city sprawled at her base, I went out to watch Mayon spew fire from her perfect cone and I thought I have never seen anything so powerful, so beautiful and so deadly.

But no, I don’t think God is trying to get my attention by rousing Mt. Mayon’s fires. This beauty has killed thousands of people caught unawares in her latest major eruption, but she has also fertilized the earth. She has watered and fed the countless who had returned to her bosom after her wrath has subsided.

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Question/Answer
STONY asked on 04/13/05 - THOUGHT YA'LL MIGHT ENJOY THESE...


Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2005 05:18:50 -0700




Subject: Old Farmers' Advice


Old Farmers' Advice:


Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.

Life ain't about how fast you run or how high you climb, but
how well you bounce.

Keep porcupines, skunks, bankers and lawyers at a distance.

Life is simpler if you plow around the stump.

A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.

Words that soak into your ears are whispered...not yelled.

Meanness don't just happen overnight.

Forgive your enemies. It messes up their heads.

Don’t corner anything meaner’n you.

It don't take a very big person to carry a grudge.

You can’t un-say a cruel word.

Every path has a few puddles.

When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.

The best sermons are lived, not preached.

Most of the stuff people worry about ain't never gonna
happen anyway.

Try not to judge folks by their relatives.

Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer – or, never
Miss a good opportunity to shut up.

Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and
think back, you can enjoy it a second time.

Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.

The easiest way to eat crow is while it's still warm, 'cause
the colder it gets, the harder it is to swaller.

If you find yourself in a hole, first thing to do is
stop diggin'.

It don't take a genius to spot a goat in a flock of sheep.

Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.

The biggest troublemaker you'll probably ever have to deal
with watches you shave his face in the mirror every mornin'.

Always drink upstream from the herd.

Good judgment comes from experience. Most a that comes
from bad judgment.

Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than
puttin' it back in.

If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try
orderin' somebody else's dog around.

madima answered on 04/13/05:

Love them! Thanks, Tony! :=)

But wait... :=)

Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.

How come I can always climb them? :=)

Life ain't about how fast you run or how high you climb, but
how well you bounce.

I love trampolines! :=)

Keep porcupines, skunks, bankers and lawyers at a distance.

I have actually cornered and stroked a huge wild porcupine in the forest of Palawan! I stroked him in the direction of his quills of course! He's such a nice guy and did not protest! But our native species, unlike the North American ones, do not "throw" their quills.

I heard skunks make good pets - once you have de-activated their stink glands! :=)

I deal with bankers and lawyers EVERYDAY on my job - as news sources! But anyway, I NEVER give them my money, so it must be safe :=)

Life is simpler if you plow around the stump.

But be careful of wayward roots!:=)

Don’t corner anything meaner’n you.

Well, I did and got away with it! Meaner and six times bigger too! :=)

Every path has a few puddles.

I love playing in them, anyway.

The best sermons are lived, not preached.

Amen.


If you find yourself in a hole, first thing to do is stop diggin'.

Yes...I start rapelling...

It don't take a genius to spot a goat in a flock of sheep.

Not when he's wearing sheep's clothing.

Always drink upstream from the herd.

A VERY sage advice! Don't know how many times I've followed that :=)

Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin' it back in.

Not if you let him know there's a goodie for him inside :=)

If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around.

Oh, then I must be a person of GREAT influence! :=)

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Question/Answer
hOPE12 asked on 04/13/05 - Do you count your days?

Hello Everyone,

Psalm 90:12 says: "Show us just how to count our days in such a way that we may bring a heart of wisdom in."
Should we personally count our day also and how can we do this?

Take care,
Hope12

madima answered on 04/13/05:

I have only Today. Yesterday is dead and Tomorrow is something I may never see. I don't count my days. I live for the moment. That's all I have :=)

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Question/Answer
hOPE12 asked on 04/13/05 - Bought with a price.

Hello,
At 1 Corinthians 6:20 we read: "You were bought with a price. By all means glorify God."

What does this mean?

Thanks,
Hope12

madima answered on 04/13/05:

In the religious context, the Christian context in particular, it will pertain to the sacrifice of the Son of God for the redemption of men.

And so it should be honored as a blessed gift.

In my personal context, it means my life was bought with my mother's pain at childbirth - at risk to her own life, when she brought me into the world.

It was bought with her and my father's sacrifice and love in my formative years, in protecting me and in teaching me to find my way, my own meaning and my fulfillment.

And so I live my life to the hilt. I see to it that it shall not be lived in vain.

And I mean to repay my debt.

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Question/Answer
bluevision asked on 04/12/05 - Speculation

All of you think that Christians shouldn't gamble. What about speculation then? Do you think it's alright for Christians to speculate in stocks & shares? I understand that some Christians don't buy shares because it is a form of gambling to them.

madima answered on 04/12/05:

Depends on what you mean by "gambling" :=)

Gambling in its true essence means "to take a chance", "take a risk". Living life on this earth is basically taking a gamble.

I gamble with my life everytime I go out on an adventure or in a dangerous dive, every time I go after sharks or cobras. I gamble with my neck everytime I play with a tiger. I gamble with my heart everytime I love :=)

One time I had a windfall, I made bets on the local stock market and hauled in reasonable profits. I don't think there's anything wrong with it. It's not speculation. It IS "educated" gambling to me - knowing when to go for it and knowing when to stop.

No matter how much you study the movement of the market and the issues themselves, any stockmart player worth his salt knows that money invested this way is money you can afford to lose, in the first place.

I don't think anyone in his right mind will put his entire life savings in the eternally volatile stockmart. Not even the best players can know precisely when the share price will hit the highest (so he can sell) or when it will hit the lowest (so he can buy)- unless he does insider trading.

I don't like gambling in casinos because I know that the odds are heavily stacked against me (though I did gamble twice on "complementary chips" given by the casino owners in the course of my press coverages and didn't lose).

I have only gambled in the stockmarket, mostly with blue chips and IPOs, when I know that I have at least 80 per cent chances of winning and only with disposable money. Perhaps that's why I have never lost.

I only gamble to win! :=)

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Question/Answer
Laura asked on 04/12/05 - I'll live!!

Got the results of my tests today. I have something called Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. I go back to the doctor on Thursday to talk about medication. Thanks to all who kept me in their thoughts and prayers. God bless all of you. Laura

P.S. If any of ya'all have thyroid problems and want to give me advice you are welcome to. I've heard it can really be a roller coaster ride until they get the meds just right.

madima answered on 04/12/05:

That's great news, dear Laura! :=)
Mama had thyroid problems. She went under the knife because of it and had to be careful with her diet afterwards. Just abide by what your doctors tell you.
You'll always be in my prayers.

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Question/Answer
Saladin asked on 04/11/05 - Could this happen to you?


COWBOY JAKE AND THE UNFAMILIAR VOICE IN HEAVEN

Jake, the rancher went one day,
To fix a distant fence.
The wind was cold and gusty,
And the clouds rolled gray and dense.

As he pounded the last staple in,
Gathered his tools to go,
The temperature had fallen,
Wind and snow began to blow.

When he reached his pickup,
He had a heavy heart.
From the sound of the ignition,
He knew it wouldn't start!

So Jake did just what we would do,
If only we'd been there.
He humbly bowed his balding head,
And sent aloft a prayer.

He turned the key just one more time,
Then softly cursed his luck.
They found him three days later,
Frozen stiff in his old truck.

Now Jake had been around in life,
And done his share of roaming.
But when he got to Heaven,
Well, it looked just like Wyoming !

Of all the saints in Heaven,
His favourite was one was Peter.
(Now, this line isn't needed,
But it helps with rhyme and metre!)

They sat and talked a while or two,
Or maybe it was three,
But nobody was keeping score,
For, in Heaven, time is free.

"I've always heard," Jake said to Pete,
"That God will answer prayer,
But the one time that I asked for help,
Well, HE just plain wasn't there."

"Does God answer the prayers of some,
And ignore the prayers of others?
That don't seem exactly square,
Seeing that all men are brothers."

"Or does he randomly reply,
Without good rhyme or reason?
Or maybe, it's the time of day,
The weather, or the season."

"Now I ain't trying to act smart,
It's just the way I feel.
And I was wondering, could you explain,
Just what the heck's the deal?!"

Peter had listened patiently,
And when old Jake was done,
He gave a smile of recognition,
Then he said, "So, you're the one!!"

"That day when your truck wouldn't start
And you sent your prayer aflying,
You gave us all a real bad time,
With hundreds of us all trying."

"A thousand angels rushed
To check the status of your file.
But you know, Jake,
We hadn't heard from you in quite a while."

"And though all prayers are answered,
And God ain't got no quota,
He didn't recognize your voice,
So he started a truck in North Dakota!"

========================


Could this happen to you, or does God know your voice well enough to find you?

(No bragging, please!)

:)

Ronnie

madima answered on 04/11/05:

Dear Ronnie,

I always say my prayers... sometimes I whisper it, sometimes I sing it, sometimes I walk it, sometimes I dance it :=)

So far, He has never turned a deaf ear to me :=)

Well... I never shout and I'm not really a demanding child. I don't make requests to Him often. I was born presuming that like my birth father on earth, my Father in Heaven should know what I require. But in the rare times that I made some polite requests, 99 per cent were granted :=)

As for the one per cent balance... He did not give me what I wished for but He gave me something better. Much, much better! :=)

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Question/Answer
powderpuff asked on 04/09/05 - another polygamy question

If polygamy was permitted and even encouraged (once upon a long time ago), and even approved by God, for what ever reason, (the reason does not really matter), would it be true that men can love more than one woman at a time? Or do you think the capacity for man to love more than one woman at a time went away once the reason for polygamy was gone?

madima answered on 04/09/05:

Dearest Sharlene,

I believe that men are capable of loving more than one woman at a time - just as women are capable of loving more than one man at a time.

This is so because ideally, no single man and no single woman can provide his/her partner with all that one requires in a mate. One cannot have EVERYTHING. One cannot be perfect. So, whatever is lacking in one, you can always find in another.

But I think polygamy was practiced more out of the need for genetic and economic expansion as well as protection.

If a man has more wives, he can have more children. If he can produce more children, not only can he can disseminate his genes more extensively with more heirs, he can also produce more laborers to increase the family wealth and produce more sons to serve as soldiers to protect his properties and his country.

Polygamy was also believed to solve major social problems, such as illegal sex and prostitution. When a man has a harem, he does not need to keep a mistress or solicit for sex on the streets.

However, even among those who still practice polygamy today, the Muslims, specifically, it is required that the man possess the financial ability to support his wives before he can add them to his family.

I have lived in Dubai, a Muslim emirate, and I have many Muslim brothers living in the South of our country. My Muslim male friends told me that they are allowed to have as much as seven wives if they can prove they are financially capable of supporting them.

As the Qur'an states: "but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one...(4:3)"

Even so, a man who will bring in the second to the seventh wife in his home MUST get the approval of his first wife before he can do so. The subsequent marriages must not disrupt the existing family unit.

Surprisingly, despite their freedom to enter into polygamous unions, my male Muslim friends profess they chose not to, even though they are financially capable of doing so. They are afraid it will make life very complicated.

But then, they are "modern" men, mostly educated in the West, and they have adopted Western ways and values :=)

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Question/Answer
cliff_dweller asked on 04/09/05 - God in real life

Do you think that God is present in your life? How does He make Himself real to you?

madima answered on 04/09/05:

Yes, I feel God is always present in my life. Without God-consciousness in me, I can never create or be creative. I see my God everywhere and feel Him everywhere. He is in everything and in the great nothing.

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 04/08/05 - For your information..................................

Check out this beautiful site.
http://www.wtv-zone.com/Mary/forsakenroots.html

madima answered on 04/08/05:

Thanks! I just did! :=)
It was very enlightening - to say the least :=)

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Question/Answer
Laura asked on 04/08/05 - Medical problem.

I went to the doctor the other day because I have been feeling just generally bad. I was beginning to think I was just a big hypochondriac because I have so many weird symptoms. The doctor found a lump in the area of my thyroid and did some blood tests.

He called today and said that I am hypothyroid and that the lump needs to be investigated further. I have an ultrasound sceduled for Monday. Please keep me in your thoughts. I'm nervous about all this and alittle scared. Thanks ahead of time. Laura

madima answered on 04/08/05:

I'm praying for your healing, dear Laura.
Don't worry.

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 04/08/05 - Does your denomination embrace the Aposltle's Creed?

If so what are the words you say?
Here is what the Catholics say.
The Apostle's Creed

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of
Heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ,
His only Son, our Lord Who was conceived by
the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered
under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into Hell; the third day He
arose again from the dead; He ascended into
Heaven and is seated at the right hand of God
the Father Almighty, from thence He shall come
to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Holy Catholic Church, the Communion
of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection
of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
Thanks for your answers on this,
Fred

madima answered on 04/08/05:

Thank you, dear Fred :=)

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Question/Answer
Saladin asked on 04/08/05 - Humour ... ... ...



Can you give instances (book, chapter, and verse(s)) of humour in the Bible?

:)

Ronnie

madima answered on 04/08/05:

Dear Ronnie,

Pardon my irreverent mind... but you asked for humor... Well, this is MY idea of wicked humor... (Anyway, I'm seeing my father confessor next week, so...) :=)

What about thinking of Proverbs 1:12 (King James version) as an advice for eating oysters?

"Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit."

Or.... recalling Isaiah 57:4 when French kissing? :=)

"Against whom do ye sport yourselves? against whom make ye a wide mouth, [and] draw out the tongue? "

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 04/08/05 - Does your denomination embrace the Aposltle's Creed?

If so what are the words you say?
Here is what the Catholics say.
The Apostle's Creed

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of
Heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ,
His only Son, our Lord Who was conceived by
the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered
under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into Hell; the third day He
arose again from the dead; He ascended into
Heaven and is seated at the right hand of God
the Father Almighty, from thence He shall come
to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Holy Catholic Church, the Communion
of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection
of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
Thanks for your answers on this,
Fred

madima answered on 04/08/05:

I do, being a Catholic.
In fact, I say it everyday because I pray the Holy Rosary everyday.

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 04/08/05 - A Story about John Paul II

During the summer of 1942, two women in Krakow, Poland, were denounced as Jews, taken to the city's prison, held there for a few months and then sent to the Belzec extermination camp, where, in October, they were killed in primitive Nazi gas chambers by carbon monoxide from diesel engines.

Their names were Frimeta Gelband and Salomea Zierer; they were sisters. As it happens, Frimeta was my wife's grandmother. Salomea, known as "Salla," had two daughters, one of whom survived the war and one of whom did not.

The elder of these daughters was Edith Zierer. In January 1945, at 13, she emerged from a Nazi labor camp in Czestochowa, Poland, a waif on the verge of death. Separated from her family, unaware that her mother had been killed by the Germans, she could scarcely walk.

But walk she did, to a train station, where she climbed onto a coal wagon. The train moved slowly, the wind cut through her. When the cold became too much to bear, she got off the train at a village called Jendzejuw. In a corner of the station, she sat. Nobody looked at her, a girl in the striped and numbered uniform of a prisoner, late in a terrible war. Unable to move, Edith waited.

Death was approaching, but a young man approached first, "very good looking," as she recalled, and vigorous. He wore a long robe and appeared to the girl to be a priest. "Why are you here?" he asked. "What are you doing?"

Edith said she was trying to get to Krakow to find her parents.

The man disappeared. He came back with a cup of tea. Edith drank. He said he could help her get to Krakow. Again, the mysterious benefactor went away, returning with bread and cheese.

They talked about the advancing Soviet army. Edith said she believed her parents and younger sister, Judith, were alive.

"Try to stand," the man said. Edith tried - and failed. The man carried her to another village, where he put her in the cattle car of a train bound for Krakow. Another family was there. The man got in beside Edith, covered her with his cloak, and set about making a small fire.

His name, he told Edith, was Karol Wojtyla.

Although she took him for a priest, he was still a seminarian who would not be ordained until the following year. Another 33 years would pass before he would become Pope John Paul II and embark on a papacy that would help break the religion of communism and so transform the world.

I do not know what moved this young seminarian to save the life of a lost Jewish girl. I do know that his was an act of humanity made as the two great dehumanizing forces of the 20th century, the twin totalitarianisms of fascism and communism, bore down on his nation, Poland.

Here were two people alone in a ravaged land, a 24-year-old Catholic and a 13-year-old Jew. The future pope had already lost his family - mother, father and brother. Edith, although she did not know it yet, had already lost her mother at Belzec, her father at Majdanek, and her little sister at Auschwitz. They could not have been more alone.

We are alone. All of us. The great opiates of the 20th century - communist and fascist ideology - promised to subsume the individual into the collective glory of a beckoning utopia, but they delivered only new and more terrible forms of suffering.

In his early, and very personal, observation and absorption of this suffering lie the roots of the late pope's core belief: the inalienable value and sanctity of each human life.

This belief carried Pope John Paul II to convictions that some found old-fashioned or rigid. But in an indulgent age of moral pliancy, why seek to be indulged by the pope, of all people? He offered his truth with the same simplicity and directness he showed in proffering tea and bread and shelter from cold to an abandoned Jewish girl in 1945, when nobody was watching.

It was a truth based on the belief that, as he once put it, "a degradation, indeed a pulverization, of the fundamental uniqueness of each human being" had lain at the root of the repetitive mass murder of the 20th century.

The power of that truth answered forever Stalin's contemptuous question - "How many divisions has the pope?" - as John Paul II, starting with his 1979 visit, undid Stalin's iron legacy in Poland and so opened the way for the unification of Europe a decade later.

This was not his achievement alone, by any means, but in an inalienable way it was his. I do not believe the strength that enabled him to do this and the strength that led him to save Edith Zierer differed in any fundamental way. Like his healing ecumenism, these acts required the courage born in a core certitude.

Edith fled from Karol Wojtyla when they arrived at Krakow in 1945. The family on the train - also Jews - had warned her that he might take her off to "the cloisters." She recalls him calling out "Edyta, Edyta," - the Polish form of her name - as she hid behind large containers of milk.

But hiding was not forgetting. She wrote his name in a diary, her savior, and when, in 1978, she read in a copy of Paris Match that he had become pope, she broke into tears. By then, Edith Zierer was in Haifa, Israel, where she now lives.

Successive letters to him went unanswered. But at last, in 1997, she received a letter from the Vatican in which the pope recalled their meeting. A year later, they met again at the Vatican.

Edith thanked the pope for saving her. He put one hand on her head, another hand in hers, and blessed her. As they parted, he said, "Come back, my child."

By Roger Cohen International Herald Tribune
Wednesday, April 6, 2005
.................................................
More than half a century later, near the end of his life, Wotjyla's Last Will would pass over his world-historical role in the destruction of Communism, as if it never happened, to return to memories of family and friends.

As the end of my life approaches I return with my memory to the beginning, to my parents, to my brother, to the sister (I never knew because she died before my birth), to the parish in Wadowice, where I was baptized, to that city I love, to my peers, friends from elementary school, high school and the university, up to the time of the occupation when I was a worker, and then in the parish of Niegowic, then St. Florian's in Krakow, to the pastoral ministry of academics, to the milieu of ... to all milieux ... to Krakow and to Rome ... to the people who were entrusted to me in a special way by the Lord.




madima answered on 04/08/05:

Thanks for the great story, tomder55 :=)

I was just talking to one of my compatriots who had personally met Pope John Paul II last night. He is one of our most famous paranormal authors here, Jaime "Jimmy" Licauco.

Jimmy met the Pope in the late 80's, one of the privileged handful who had an audience with him. When the Pope learned Jimmy was Filipino, he turned to him immediately. He had a special place for the Philippines in his heart, he said. Jimmy gave him a copy of his book on Filipino psychic healers. Significantly, the Pope believes in the healing powers of the mind.

Jimmy, who is himself very sensitive to auras and psychic energies, said he felt almost "staggered" by the Pope's powerful personal energy. It was incredibly strong.

I wish I had met the Pope - I mean, I wish I had a personal audience with him. He has visited Manila twice in his lifetime.

But perhaps, God willing, I will meet his successor - in Vatican, when I make my pilgrimage there.

It's one of the to-do lists in my lifetime :=)

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 04/08/05 - Finger in Chili a Hoax?

Investigators now think that the finger in the cup of Wendy's Chili was a hoax perpetrated by the woman who bit into the finger. They think that she got the finger from a dead relative, put it into the chili in order to get a large settlement. The relative may be exhumed.

madima answered on 04/08/05:

I just hope the police finds out the truth behind this matter.

From the first time I read it, I was reminded of the true story of a psychopath restaurant worker in Macau who butchered a family of eight and disposed of their bodies by baking them into the steamed buns that he served at the restaurant.

I was in Macau last year and our bus passed by the actual restaurant where it happened. Our guide pointed it out to us. The place was already padlocked but I had goose pimples even before it came to view.

The grisly murders happened about ten years ago and had been adapted into at least two movies - "The Untold Story", which was made in HongKong, and another horror movie, made in the Philippines.

By the way, our Macanese guide told us that the psychopath murderer is still languishing in China's prison to this very day.

I just hope that what happened at Wendy's is nothing similar to this.


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Question/Answer
ROLCAM asked on 04/06/05 - RITUAL ??

What is the most common religious ritual?

madima answered on 04/07/05:

Prayer will be the most common private religious ritual. On the other hand, the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will one of the most common public religious ritual.

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Question/Answer
STONY asked on 04/07/05 - FOR YA'LL FLA. RESIDENTS....

YOU NO LONGER NEED TO QUIVER IN FEAR OF CRIMINALS OR CARJACKERS IN OUR STATE. YESTERDAY THE GOV. SIGNED INTO LAW THE RIGHT TO FIGHT BACK WITH FORCE AND IT GOES INTO EFFECT ON OCT.1, 2005. WHAT IT BASICALLY SAYS IS THIS, BREAK INTO MY HOUSE AND YOU CAN LEAVE WITH THIRTY SLUGS YOU DID NOT BRING WITH YOU WHEN YOU ENTERED. ATTEMPT TO JACK MY CAR AND YOU WILL GET A FREE RIDE IN THE AMBULANCE AS THEY CART YOUR BODY AWAY
BECAUSE THIS CITIZEN IS ARMED AND DANGEROUS. I REMEMBER THE COCAINE COWBOYS OF THE 80'S AND THE LAW IS NOT ON THE SIDE OF THE CRIMINAL ANYMORE. IT AIN'T FREE REIGN ON FLORIDIANS ANYMORE. CRIMINALS TAKE NOTICE
BECAUSE AN OLD TEXAS SAYING IS COMING TO PASS HERE IN THIS STATE, "IF YOU [MESS] WITH THE BULL YOU GET THE HORNS ALSO." JUST SLIGHTLY CLEANED UP.

madima answered on 04/07/05:

Well, dear Tony, that kind of law has its advantages as well as disadvantages. It IS very hard to keep your head cool when you have a gun in your hands, that I have known from personal experience.

There was a time when I was a neophyte journalist that I went out with a folding knife tucked in my jeans and a .45 in my bag. I was covering trade and industry, wrote an expose which antagonized some big time smugglers and received death threats. I was living alone and the newspaper owners cannot provide security for me, so I decided to provide security for myself.

What I noticed was I became very aggressive -and I happened to be a woman. My tolerance level plummeted incredibly fast (which was very unusual), even with just accidental intrusion on my physical, private space. My fingers itched to pull the trigger.

When provoked, even accidentally or for petty reasons, I found I would instantly and instinctively reach for the gun. It took immense control on my part not to pull it and fire.

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Question/Answer
Saladin asked on 04/07/05 - Are You Wise to Trust Your Own Senses - or - Is Seeing Believing?


If you think your senses are trustworthy, this will shock you:

http://www.michaelbach.de/ot/mot_mib/index.html

madima answered on 04/07/05:

Dear Ronnie,

I never used the default buttons...how come I can still see ALL of the dots all of the time? :=)

Do you know that one of my favorite "exercises" is to walk with my eyes closed in wild trails when I'm alone in the mountains and in the forests? Sometimes I do it in the daytime, sometimes I do it at night, with darkness so thick, I don't have to close my eyes to feel blind :=)

I have never fallen off a precipice just yet, never had been scratched by thorny plants, never stepped on a cobra or had my toes stubbed on rocks :=)

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 04/07/05 - Follow-Up to Hope's Question

Hope asked if we beleive in an afterlife, and if so or not, reasons for our opinions. I would like to ask, why would a person want to "live" without a body? To me, that sounds like a horror!

Why want to have an afterlife at all? Isn't death peace at last?

madima answered on 04/07/05:

Dear Mary Sue,

If you know me a little by now, am the kind of person who lives very much in the present. "Today" is what matters most to me. Yesterday is dead and tomorrow is one I may never see :=)

But believe it or not, I had many Out of Body Experiences (OBE), Near Death Experiences (NDE) and astral projection episodes. In short, I am positive I have known what it is like to be in my astral body - completely divorced from the physical, a sort of pure consciousness. And I can tell you, it is not a horrible experience at all.

My NDE in particular, was such a beautiful experience that I NEVER wanted to come back. I had the full life review - saw my life pass before my eyes, from the moment of birth. I passed through the seemingly endless tunnel and beheld the Great Light at the end. I saw dead friends and kins. I saw my angels. The feeling is one of indescribable love, happiness and peace.

However, in the course of everyday living, I had also experienced encounters with restless, earthbound spirits and I have always prayed for the intercession of St. Michael the Archangel that they may find their way back into The Light. My daily prayers include a prayer to God for them, as well as for the souls in purgatory.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 04/07/05 - Being Correct

Is there a misconception that the Holy Spirit of Christianity is about *being correct*???

Comments please about the nature of the Holy Spirit.

madima answered on 04/07/05:

Dear Mary Sue,

From my personal view, the Holy Spirit as I know Him, is not about "being correct" although as the Third Persona of God in the Holy Trinity and in scripture, He has intellect, emotions, and will.

The Holy Spirit :
speaks (Acts 13:2),
intercedes (Romans 8:26),
testifies (John 15:26)
guides (John 16:13),
commands (Acts 16:6,7),
appoints (Acts 20:28),
leads (Romans 8:14),
reproves and convicts sin (John 16:8).
seals God's promise in believers' hearts (Ephesians 1:13-14)
shapes the individual's and community's life to Christ's (Romans 8:1-17)

However, the Holy Spirit can act in whatever manner He wants to act - through the apostles and saints, the church and beyond.

The Holy Spirit is often symbolized as a tongue of fire and as a white dove, but He is not just an emanation or a force. He is the Third Person of God, not a personification of good qualities, or "correctness". He is God Himself.



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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 04/06/05 - The Coverage of the Pope's Death

All the coverage of the Pope's death has had an unforeseen effect on me. I'm nostalgic for the Catholic Church. I don't know what to make of it. I can't remember what housework I did yesterday, but I remember parts of the mass in Latin. How powerful, childhood indoctrination. I even miss the holy card of the guardian angel. :) Comments?

madima answered on 04/06/05:

Well, dearest Mary Sue, rituals are very powerful :=)

I guess part of the enchantment of any church and the Catholic church in particular, is in the mystique and the grandeur of its rituals.

Some of the most vivid memories of my childhood were those inside the St. Ferdinand Basilica of the city where I was born, during the celebration of the holy mass, the feasts of the saints and the lavish processions... the priests' vestments embroidered in gold and studded with jewels,the icons and angels carved from ivory, the fragrance of incense and flowers, the soft light of the chandeliers and the candles...

Here, the priest still says the High Mass in Latin...As a result, up to this day, I can still sing and say a handful of prayers in Latin :=)

When I was a child, papa regularly took me to see his friend, the bishop (who eventually became a cardinal), after Sunday mass and he would give me his hand to kiss. His huge ruby ring always touched my third eye (perhaps that's why it blasted open so early!) :=)

Why don't you visit a Catholic church close by your place? Perhaps the most beautiful memories will come back :=)

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 04/05/05 - Feeling a little depressed?

This will give you a lift

www.cse.unsw.edu.au/~geoffo/humour/flattery.html

madima answered on 04/06/05:

Hi, Brian,

I sent it to a friend who was depressed :=)

It seemed to have worked wonders!

Thanks! :=)

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Question/Answer
Saladin asked on 04/05/05 - Conversion ... ... ...


Can conversion without a change of behaviour achieve anything?


:)

Ronnie

madima answered on 04/06/05:

Not a thing, dear Ronnie.

By conversion, one is supposed to change one's belief. The essence of conversion is "alteration".

If one professes he has been converted to a faith that espouses altruism, for example, but remains imprisoned in his hateful ways, his "conversion" is mere lip service.

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 04/04/05 - How do you remove rhetoric from reality?

I'm greatly disturbed by a statement I just witnessed on the PBS program "newshour"

An american female was being interviewed regarding the Late Pope and she said "we know he will always be there and we can pray to him"

Surely catholics dont equate the Pope to God, to Christ, don't think he now has any ability to answer prayer, surely the catholic church has moved on from this nonsense of saints as intercessors

madima answered on 04/05/05:

So am I equally disturbed by this.

As a Catholic, I love the Pope. I don't agree with everything he says but I respect him. I pray that God be with him. I pray FOR him. I do not pray TO him.

I have devotions to the Holy Angels of God and to His holy saints. I pray FOR their intercession and pray that they join me in my daily prayers to the Lord. I do the same thing to my family and friends. I ask them to join me in prayers, as part of our bond. I feel comfortable doing that. But I do not pray TO God's angels and saints.

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Question/Answer
ETWolverine asked on 04/04/05 - Living wills

Hello everyone.

The Terri Schiavo case has increased the number of people who are asking their legal counsel about living wills. As a courtesy, a number of legal websites, newspapers, etc. have printed templates of living wills that people can use as the basis for creating their own living wills. I happen to think this is a good thing, and a service that everyone should take advantage of.

However, every version of the living wills that I have seen call for doctors to STOP giving life-saving care at a certain point... whatever that point may be (incapacitation, coma, PVS, brain-death, whatever). But I have not seen a single living will form that says "In the event of my incapacitation, I wish to LIVE, and have the doctors continue to administer care until my death occurs. I do not want the plug to be pulled or care to be interrupted until my natural death occurs."

First, why is there no such form on file?

Second, how can I make such a form for myself, those being my wishes?

Elliot

madima answered on 04/04/05:

Hi Elliot,

I'm not an American, so I won't really know much about the system in your country. But I would hazard a guess that such a form will be unusual because while people normally have that primal instinct to live, they hate to suffer and they hate to prolong their suffering when there's no more hope.

Where I am, I have never encountered a living will form. In a country where more than half of the population live below poverty line, most are financially as well as emotionally incapable of doing so.

The mothers of two of my close friends, who both have large families, initially wanted to prolong their lives after their doctors pronounced there's no more hope for them. Initially.

The first mother had five kids and the second had ten. They still have very young children. I guess every parent wants to live for their children, most of all. These sick mothers saw many traditional and non-traditional healers, they tried every treatment, they fought hard.

But when they saw that their illnesses were draining their families' economic resources to the point they were mired in debt, when they were already screaming with pain for most of their waking hours, pain that no painkillers could banish, they both begged for death.

However, if you wish to ensure that you will never be euthanized, I think you could draft your living will stating your wishes, with the help of a competent lawyer.

And perhaps you'd better set aside sufficient funds exclusively to be disposed of for the purpose of your indefinite care and maintenance in the event, God forbid, that you suffer such an incapacitation.

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Question/Answer
Saladin asked on 04/03/05 - President Gordon B Hinckley's Expression of Sympathy on the Passing of Pope John Paul II ...


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
First Presidency Expresses Sympathy
2 April 2005



SALT LAKE CITY — Following the death of Pope John Paul II, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued the following statement:

"We join those throughout the world who mourn the passing of Pope John Paul II, an extraordinary man of faith, vision, and intellect, whose courageous actions have touched the world in ways that will be felt for generations to come."

"The Pope’s voice remained firm in defense of freedom, family, and Christianity. On matters of principle and morality he was uncompromising."

"On his compassion for the world's poor, he has been unwavering."


---

Latter-day Saints fully join themselves to his sentiments. We share the pain of your loss.

:)

Ronnie



madima answered on 04/03/05:

Thanks for the info, dear Ronnie. These are very kind words, so welcome in this hour.

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Question/Answer
purplewings asked on 04/03/05 - A simple Living Will-Don't leave it to chance.

LIVING WILL

I, _________________________ (fill in the blank), being of sound mind and body, do not wish to be kept alive indefinitely by artificial means.

Under no circumstances should my fate be put in the hands of peckerwood politicians who couldn't pass ninth-grade biology if their lives depended on it.

If a reasonable amount of time passes and I fail to sit up and ask for a cold beer (Ed. Note II: A soda will do just fine for me), it should be presumed that I won't ever get better.

When such a determination is reached, I hereby instruct my spouse, children and attending physicians to pull the plug, reel in the tubes and call it a day.

Under no circumstances shall the members of the Legislature enact a special law to keep me on life-support machinery. It is my wish that these boneheads mind their own damn business, and pay attention instead to the health, education and future of the millions of Americans who aren't in a permanent coma.

Under no circumstances shall any politician butt into this case. I don't care how many fundamentalist votes they're trying to scrounge for their run for the presidency in 2008, it is my wish that they play politics with someone else's life and leave me alone to die in peace.

I couldn't care less if a hundred religious zealots send e-mails to legislators in which they pretend to care about me. I don't know these people, and I certainly haven't authorized them to preach and crusade on my behalf. They should mind their own business, too.

If any of my family goes against my wishes and turns my case into a political cause, I hereby promise to come back from the grave and make his or her existence a living hell.


Signed: ________________________________________

madima answered on 04/03/05:

Thanks for posting this, dear Loral! It's the kind of will papa and mama and even me will sign! :=)

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Question/Answer
Saladin asked on 04/02/05 - Pain .... .... .... .... ... ... ... ... .. .. .. .. . . . .



Terri's death has not only focussed attention on merciful death, euthanasia, living wills, advance declarations, spokespersons for the unconscious, etc., but has raised the question of the purpose of suffering.

Shoul we accept our sufferings without relief on grounds thatsuffering i sourposeful and rmeinds us that God is in charge, andhe detemrines our entrances and exits.

Or shoud we do all wer can to wase the suffering of loved ones and others when the power to do so exists.

It would be wrong per se to permit a person to suffer in illness on our supposition that God allows pain because it is somehow good for us.

What good is accomplished by allowing a dying person to suffer rather than apply an anodyne to ease their pain in passing?

QUESTION:

What is the place of suffering in your theology?


Ronnie

madima answered on 04/02/05:

Dear Ronnie,

In my personal theology, suffering is an anathema.

I'm not afraid of suffering, it is the way of human existence, but I will not go out of my way to find it. I don't want people I love to suffer, either.

Now, if God loves me, and I have every reason to believe He does, I don't think He wants me to suffer. I don't think He wants me to just stand by and watch while my loved ones suffer, either.

So, in my personal code of ethics, in my personal theology, if it's within my power, I have every right to end my own suffering and that of people I love - especially if they expressedly ordered me to.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 04/02/05 - The Pope Is Dead:


Pope John II died at 1:37 C.S.T. today (4/2/05).

HANK

madima answered on 04/02/05:

He suffers no more. May God be with him.

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Question/Answer
cliff_dweller asked on 04/02/05 - Prayer

Seems like a highly debated topic, even though Jesus told us to spend time in prayer and the Word daily. My question is: Do you pray? Why or why not?

madima answered on 04/02/05:

I pray because it has been a part of my life as far back as I can remember. In fact, I can't remember a day that goes by without me praying.

Of course, that doesn't make me a saint. It does not mean I will never err or be tempted. But somehow, I find it makes life less stressful.

Even in the period during my teens when I fell in the company of influential agnostics and atheists and questioned the existence of God, I surprisingly did not forsake prayers.

I was brought up in the prayer habit by parents who believe that "a family who prays together, stays together".

I pray, not just as I begin and end my day, but while I go through the course of living, anywhere and everywhere at any time. I found that prayer infuses positive energies into each action and allows me to go into a relaxed, meditative state inside my mind even when there is chaos around me, along with the never ending deadlines.

I also found that each ordinary action can be taken in a "prayer mode" - like walking, waiting for a bus, riding to and from work, cleaning the home, gardening, stroking and feeding a pet, etc. I know of someone who prays while she cooks so that the food will be the best nourishment for those who will eat it. Another prays while planting her seeds in the garden that they may flourish well. The possibilities are endless.

For me, prayer is a constant "conversation", a constant act of giving thanks. It's not just something I do before an altar. It's part of my life.

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Question/Answer
cliff_dweller asked on 04/01/05 - Two things that arised from ROLCAM'S questions

If we were to share our faith with one person per week what would the results be? I challange everyone to share their faith with one person this week. Please document what the results are. remember Christ wasn't ashamed, embarrased when He went to the cross for us

madima answered on 04/01/05:

Hi cliff_dweller,

I feel that sharing one's faith is ok - and I've done it many times before - but if and only if someone expressed genuine interest in what I believe in. Otherwise I feel it's intrusion, or worse, disrespect.

I'm a Catholic, though I'm neither devout nor dogmatic. All of my friends are of various faiths. My constant buddy at present is a Protestant. One of my soul sisters is a Mormon, another is a Wiccan. I have long-standing friendships with Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Taoist, animists, pantheists, agnostics, atheists, etc.

I think my friendships with them survived for years and years because I showed respect for what they believe in and vice versa.

It never really mattered to me that other people, particularly those whom I love most, are of a different faith or religion. They don't have to believe in what I believe in. They have a right to their own beliefs. What matters most is that we respect and care for each other.

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Question/Answer
ROLCAM asked on 03/31/05 - Do you pray ??

This is the answer I got when I asked a devout Muslim:-

I pray before sunrise, in the early afternoon, again in the late afternoon, after sunset, and late in the evening. On a good day, I also pray during the morning and late at night. I offer supplications when I awaken, when I leave the house, before and after I eat, before I begin to do things, during the morning, during the evening, and before I go to sleep. I'm Muslim.

How can Christians match this type of devotion to prayer?

madima answered on 03/31/05:

Dear Roland,

I don't consider myself a devout Catholic but my parents have instilled the prayer habit in me as far as I can remember. My father begins and ends each day with prayers. In between, we pray the angelus and say prayers before and after each meals.

So, even after I've left the nest, I always pray upon waking up and before going to sleep without fail.

I also find comfort in praying while walking on the way to work, walking home, before and sometimes during and after diving, trekking or mountain-climbing.

I pray to say thanks to my Father and to ask for the company of His angels because they give me comfort and joy. I pray while painting, specially when I'm painting angels :=)

I pray for the people and creatures I love, for the safeguarding of all the wild places on earth and sea and sky. When I get mad or when I'm deliriously happy, I pray :=)


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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 03/31/05 - Starvation and Pain

I will post something personal to help ease the minds of those who think that Terri was in any kind of pain while dying.

In the mid 1980's, I went on the fad diet of the time, Optifast. Optifast was a *complete fast*. Of course, I drank water or diet pop. I ate no food or any liquid with calories. I was on the fast for approximately three months. After three days, I didn't miss food, and in fact, a kind of well being set in for some reason. I felt very good. There are chemical reactions that happen in the body of a person who eats no calories.

I have no doubt that there was no pain for Terri, and remember, I had the pain receptors in my head for sure. No pain.

Love Life!
Mary Sue

madima answered on 03/31/05:

Dear Mary Sue,

The last fasting I did was during this Holy Week but I had been gradually lessening my food intake before the actual "hard" fast.

After the first two days, I could no longer feel any craving for food. By the third day, I have forgotten the hunger, though I tend to sleep longer in what appears to be the body's way of "compensation". I felt no discomfort and was still efficient at work.

My grandmother died of starvation during the war. That was what papa said. She was not sick but she willfully starved herself that my father may live. My father was around 7 or 8 years old at the time, my grandfather has just died and the two of them - a woman in her twenties and a boy - were trapped in Manila when it was declared an "open city" and bombed to rubble.

My grandma gave all of her food rations to my father and refused to nourish herself. She kept telling him it was ok. Being just a boy, he failed to grasp what she was doing for him then. The only thing he knew was that the rations, whenever he could get them, was so small and he was always still hungry, so hungry he could not even sleep.

Papa told me he stayed by his mother's side as she lay dying. He could not recall that she was in pain though it took her many days to die. She slipped into a coma without a word or a whimper and was in her death throes for a long time. But what he could never forget was that she died with her eyes open.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 03/29/05 - Something Wonderful Happened

Something really great happened to me. About two months ago, I remembered something I forgot for years!!! :D

I did a little research, talked to a social worker, and voila! somethng good will happen in a week.

I can't tell you now in case something goes wrong in the meantime, but next week I can tell you what happened.

In honor of the occasion, I want to make a pledge to be the happier side of Mary Sue on the Board. Think positive thoughts, REALLY make an effort to discontinue being critical, even of my pet peeves.

Something wonderful can happen when you least expect it!

Question:: What is the last wonderful thing that happened to you that you didn't expect at all??

madima answered on 03/30/05:

Wow! You're keeping us in suspense for ONE WEEK!!!!! Dear Mary Sue, that's too much!!!

But I'm happy for you! :=) You deserve to be happy ALL of the time! :=)

Something wonderful ALWAYS happens to me each day. In fact, I'm keeping a "Book of Thanks" for all of them, just for fun :=)

Today, I found a new friend from an unexpected place. It was wonderful that I was able to convince her that she should not allow others to bring down her self-esteem.

I got a call from two other people I'm very fond of and we're renewing our bonds.

My "surrogate mother" at the press office surprised me with her home-cooked specialty at lunch. She really spoils me rotten.

While I was on the landing of the 100 steps to my condo unit, lugging two heavy boxes, which I had been prepared to lug all the way to my place by myself(we have no elevator), two boys, complete strangers, materialized out of nowhere and carried them for me.

On my doorstep, my stray tuxedo cat was curled up asleep, waiting for me to come home and he greeted me so ecstatically! He's sleek and well-fed, not hungry at all. He just wanted to play and be loved, it seems.

T'was a wonderful day! :=)

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Question/Answer
Saladin asked on 03/29/05 - Ho! Patriots!



OK, this is for you if you agreed with "George Carlin's" post.

When you got to MacDonald's and the server is Hispanic whose English is not as good as yours, do you stand up for your rights and walk out, or do you practice hypocrisy when you have to look your enemy straight in the eye?

Ronnie

madima answered on 03/30/05:

Hi, Ronnie,

You know I'm not American but I've been to McDo outlets in many non-English speaking countries in Asia and elsewhere :=)

At first, I thought that if someone is serving in an institution which happens to be one of the best known US icons, he/she should be required to speak English passably.

But the reality is, if I stick to very high expectations, I will not be fed. So, in the presence of the inevitable language barrier, I just resort to nonverbal communication when I can :=)

I point at the menu, I signify the numbers with my fingers, etc. :=)

You'll be amazed at the eloquence of the sign language you can muster when you are hungry in a foreign country :=)

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Question/Answer
freethinker asked on 03/29/05 - And the seal killing goes on again


In Canada the yearly seal killing has started again.
300.000 young seals will be killed within days.
Within hours the first 12.000 seals were killed.
With steel pipes they are hit on the head, to prevent their skins from damaging.
Within minutes they will be skinned, often still alive.
We all have seen the pictures before.
I know, I know, there is money to be made.

But how do you feel about this, as a member of humanity ?




madima answered on 03/29/05:

How do I feel about the wanton, senseless slaughter of wildlife, in all honesty? It's one of the very few things that make me see red... one of the very few things that make me contemplate going for environmental terrorism.

I'm not usually a violent person, but thank heavens I'm not in THAT area.

If I had been there, I'll get some guns and enough rounds of ammunition and either alone or with trusted friends, I'm going to shoot those guys until they leave those helpless seals alone.

I would love to see how they will feel if the predator becomes prey.

Of course, on top of that, I would also resort to other ways, like killing off the source of the demand - the middlemen, the buyers of sealskins, their processors and the big company buyers of the finished product.

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Question/Answer
freethinker asked on 03/28/05 - Chosen Death


In a very impressive documentary on the Belgium Television the subject was Chosen Death.

In november 2003 Jean Aebisscher (58) from the Swiss Canton Vaud is informed that he has a brain tumor with metastatis.
Jean still looks quite well, is still mobile, but realises that he is terminal ill.
Jean decides that it is better to end his life now, than being consumed by his illness, and deteriorate into some form of plant-like life, and die from the disease with lots of pain.

In Switzerland - like in so many other countries in Europe - euthanasia is allowed undere specific conditions.
One of these conditions is that the assistent in the procedure has no (financial) interest in the procedure, and that there is a proper legal and medical support for the entire procedure.
That's why the organisation “Exit Suisse Romande” is asked to assist, an organisation that yearly assist many people in ending the lives.
Another of the Swiss conditions is that the patient is completely aware of his/her condition, clearly state his/her wish to end life, and is able to drink the potion that will cause the end.

The documentary accompanies Jean and his girlfriend through his last days, and shows his grief to die, to end a life that is so much valued by Jean.
The program is a clear plea for the possibility of an intentional and decent departure based on human dignity, when all hope is finished for a normal natural life, and all that is left is pain and fear.

We saw Jean make an appointment with ‘Exit’ for the 6th of Januari 2004.
That day the ‘Exit’ representative visited Jean at home, where he was waiting with his nearest friends.
The camera registered the final moments of Jean, and show how peaceful he dies, without fear, without pain.

I'm NOT asking if you agree with Jean's decision to end life.
I'm NOT asking if you would do the same.
All I ask is if you agree that people in a similar situation like Jean can make use of the possibility of euthanasia.
Maybe you can also let me know if - if you were able to do so - you would try to talk such a person out of taking his/her own life, and - if so - WHY you would do that.




madima answered on 03/28/05:

If you ask me, I personally believe people should be allowed to decide whether they want to opt for euthanasia or not and they should be allowed to carry out their decision. It's their life and they should be free to do according to their will - not on the will of their church, their government or their families.

I will do all I can to dissuade a healthy suicidal person from killing himself/ herself but I will not attempt to dissuade a terminally ill patient who opts for euthanasia because I respect his/her decision to do as he/she wishes with his/her own life - and death.

To interfere under that situation will be interfering with his/her free will. I don't think God, as I know my God to be, will intervene with that free will Himself - that is the very essence of being human, so how dare I?

Although you are NOT asking me if I agree with Jean's decision or not, I can tell you I had been in the shoes of Jean at a very young age and I knew I will not allow anyone or anything to dissuade me from my option.

Without hesitation, I myself opted for euthanasia when doctors told me I can't expect to live for another year - after they accidentally exchanged my x-ray plates with a terminally ill girl of my age.

If I should be faced with the same situation and the same choice now or in the future, I will still opt for euthanasia.

I decide what I do with my life and my death. I decide what to do with what is right by me at this moment in time. And God can decide to do what He will with me afterwards.

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Question/Answer
Saladin asked on 03/28/05 - Life was never meant to be like this ...


The following Editorial from today's NYT disturbs me, not because I am an evolutionist, but because I am a creationist who is unafraid to hear the disparate views of others.

================

Censorship in the Science Museums

Published: March 28, 2005



Big-screen Imax theaters typically offer lavish visual spectacles with bland and uplifting scripts. Their films are seldom the stuff of controversy. So it was a bit of a shock to learn, from an article by Cornelia Dean in The Times on March 19, that a dozen or so Imax theaters, mostly in the South, have been shying away from science documentaries that might offend Christian fundamentalists.

Worse yet, some of those theaters are located in science centers or museums, the supposed expositors of scientific truth for public education.

Some of the documentaries whose distribution has been affected by religious controversy include "Cosmic Voyage," a journey through the far-flung universe, and "Galápagos," about the islands where Charles Darwin made observations that played a crucial role in his theory of evolution.

"Volcanoes of the Deep Sea," depicting the bizarre creatures that flourish near hot, sulfurous vents in the ocean floor, is the current focus of controversy.

It was vetted for accuracy by a panel of scientists and was sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation, a government funding agency, and Rutgers University.

It raised hackles by suggesting that life on Earth may have originated at these undersea vents.

No one can object if Imax theaters, whether commercial or located in museums, turned down the deep sea film in the belief that it was too boring to draw much of an audience, as some managers indicated.

But it is surely unacceptable for science museums to reject the film in part because some people in test audiences complained that the material was blasphemous.

The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, which made that judgment initially, wisely reversed itself and agreed to show the film after its cowardice became known and was widely criticized.

The danger in self-censorship by museums is that it will reduce the already tiny world of Imax theaters available for big-screen science documentaries.

Producers have a hard time making money as it is. It would be unfortunate if censorship by science museums helped drive them away from topics that might offend religious fundamentalists.

==================

I can not understand why Christians should make a rush to silence voices and ideas other than their own.

So, my question is:

"Is Democracy compatible with Christianity,
and 'why' or 'why not'?"


Answers that do not answer the question 'as asked' will get one of those little grey things!

:)

Ronnie

madima answered on 03/28/05:

Dear Ronnie,

I find this news VERY disturbing too, coming from a nation that is supposed to embody BOTH democracy and Christianity. America was not supposed to have been called the Land of the Free for nothing...

I'm a big fan of documentaries and I have seen features on Galapagos, on Volcanoes of the Deep Sea as well as the cosmic voyage series from the National Geographic Channel several times. I don't know if these are the same programs that were converted into an Imax version. I found them to be a highly informative and very scientific.And definitely, they are NOT easy to make. For me, anybody calling them "blasphemous" is utterly crazy!

But the question: "Is democracy compatible with Christianity?" is a tricky one.

Now, if you ask me, ideally, a democratic state should promote freedom and openness. Ideally, a religion that promotes love and altruism, like Christianity, should not be straitjacketing its believers. Ideally, by their essence, democracy and Christianity should espouse freedom from censorship and so, they should be compatible. But sadly, they are not. Nothing in this world is ideal.

Democracy is a form of government for the people, of the people and by the people as one American President defined it. Christianity is a religion derived from Jesus Christ.

But there remains to be a separation between the state and the church, although each find usefulness in the other under certain circumstances. (For one thing...Aspiring heads of state use the church during elections and the church uses the state for its fund-generation activities.)

Well.., democratic nations often do things that are not democratic and Christians often do things that are un-Christian. That's part of the flaws of human governments, human religions and humanity itself.

Also...If museums in a democracy are funded by powerful Christian patrons with caboodles of greenbacks despite their undemocratic and bigoted minds, then you and I shouldn't really be surprised :=)

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Question/Answer
LTgolf asked on 03/26/05 - The Bible


If the Bible ( both old and new ) was never written, would we even think or believe there is a God, or a creater as some would have it.

Leon

madima answered on 03/26/05:

Dearest Leon,

First of all, happy Easter to you!!!! :=)

I believe that even if the Bible was never written, men will still create a God for themselves. Men have always done so and always will.

Prehistoric men created their gods out of the forces of nature. Because they cannot fully explain such forces - both the beneficial and the malevolent, they attributed such to supernatural powers. And they sought to gain the favors of these powers or appease their furies, by acts of worship, songs, prayers and the offering of sacrifices.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 03/26/05 - Does God Want You To Be Happy?

I'm repeating the question because there is some kind of glitch on my computer or at AW, and I can't answer the question or make clarifications.

My Answer::

The "Real God" which is a mystery, gave us our life, our greatest gift. We must all make the best of our lives, that is our responsibility, but we have the help of others. :):):)

madima answered on 03/26/05:

Dear Mary Sue,

Just as I answered Roland, I'll admit to you that have no power to know what's in God's mind. But I do know that my God is a benevolent God, so I'm sure He wants me to be happy.

I am happy :=)

Happy Easter! :=)

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Question/Answer
ROLCAM asked on 03/26/05 -