Keeping Up With Your Bible Reading…

So what do you do once you’ve read through your Bible, had your confirmation and established a routine of going to church?

You can share a faith journey video (which I will do on my YouTube channel), you can raise money for your church, but then what?

After editing and uploading my faith journey videos it was a reminder of how awesome it is when you’ve made the decision to follow God, however, that enthusiasm can easily fade away as prayers become inconsistent and your Bible starts collecting dust. I’m happy that I received some new Bibles for my confirmation because this means that I have new translations in my possession which is a great incentive for reading The Bible once again!

What does this version say? Did I miss anything? What has been changed in this specific edition?

Establishing a habit of spiritual practise can be difficult. In February I had the brilliant idea that I was going to do a spiritual fasting. It’s probably one of the worst ideas I’ve ever had. Trying to fall asleep while hunger is gnawing at your guts is not exactly something that I would recommend. I’ve read that you should start these things slowly such as cutting out one meal during your first fast.

It was certainly not a pleasant experience, partial or non-partial, it didn’t take long before I ate properly again to put it that way.

It was a great reminder however of how terrible it must be to be starving as a result of poverty or lack of resources. If anything it will make you ever more grateful for food which is something that a lot of Westerners take for granted. The same can be said of water.

I hope that my readers have a wonderful Sunday! I personally hope that I will finally be well enough to cough my way back to church. I’ve felt really terrible about missing out on services lately! It really adds something to your week, I strongly recommend it!

 

 

 

Christians in Pop-Music, Homelessness in Finland & Fake News.

After I had written a blog post about Homelessness in England I received a very interesting article in the mail about how they have tackled homelessness in Finland. Some of these methods are now being tried out over here which is a good thing! I hope that it will work!

Here is an article that I came across about the increase in Christians in pop-music! Considering how Christianity is consistently ridiculed it is quite staggering to see how many major pop and rock artists considers themselves to be of the faith! I found this to be a very uplifting read indeed! Christianity in show-biz.

I’ve taken a break from reading the news but decided to feature these two articles since they have a positive vibe to them.

The issue at the heart of the negative news-cycle is money I’m sure. I saw a TED talk with Monica Lewinsky a while back where she said that she was one of the very first internet shaming victims. She claimed that everyone threw her under the bus in the name of “click-bait-articles” without any concern for her wellbeing or her future. It was a very interesting speech that I would highly recommend. Her parents were apparently on “suicide watch” since they were so worried about how she would handle all of the negative attention. She couldn’t get hired anywhere either.

You need stories that can sell regardless of whether or not this increases tension and even create conflict. Bad news & scandals sell, and if something sells then people who are “clever” tend to promote this for all that it is worth regardless of what the cultural impact might be or how many lives that are utterly destroyed.

I’m sure that this is one of the reasons as to why there is such an abundance of “fake news.”

How To Do Self-Help Right….

“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”            Alice in Wonderland

Do you guys love Disney’s Alice in Wonderland? I love the creativity of the Disney cartoon version, the strange characters, the bizarre story line, etc;

The quote taken from the movie is very suitable for this blog for several different reasons.

What do you do when certain topics trend on your site?

“Oh, you just create more content along those lines” would probably be the obvious answer. Yet when it comes to self-help I’m slightly torn.

I’ve realised that the best self-help that I’ve come across is: prayer, reading The Bible and going to church.

I now look forward to my Sundays when I turn off my gadgets and spend time with my youngest brother building our awesome fortress in Minecraft or attempting to re-create our awesomeness in the real-world via Lego. Just to mention one example.

Yet reviews that I’ve written about self-help books keeps on trending on my site and I’m wondering how to best feed that demand.

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Mental training really helped me when it came to dealing with stage-fright specifically. I found it difficult to deal with expectations and denial coming from others when it came to my own talents.

Even though I’m way beyond the technical level of my heavy metal recordings these days thanks to my classical work, I had to deal with people who did not think that I was the one playing the guitar on my own heavy metal recordings when I first started out.

Dealing with this doubt from industry people and knowing that there were those who showed up at my concerts only to see and check whether or not I actually knew how to hold a guitar was very difficult.

As my fingers became faster and faster turning me into a guitar virtuoso the expectations just kept on increasing.

Due to this it was a Godsend that my manager had heard about mental training due to her own interest in sports.

We started applying this to my practise routine and it improved my own experience of playing live dramatically.

The self-help industry though isn’t necessarily geared towards that.

It promises to enhance all aspects of your life, but if you’ve ever read a Bible you’ll probably recognise that a lot of what it is trying to address are issues that religion already has.

You’re not really praying to something outside of yourself though, it is all very much internalised, and this can quite easily evoke a feeling of emptiness.

An alternative doctor who is a good friend of the family revealed to me that it is possible to meditate oneself into a “psychosis” and that excessive meditation might lead to “depression.“

Nobody had ever told me that, nor had I read about this.

I don’t think it will ever harm you to direct your love outwards towards other people or God, but I can in part understand why meditation might lead you down dark alleyways.

Another reason as to why I now feel a bit odd about self-help is that there is no “one-size-fits-all!” So the best way to deal with self-empowerment would be to customise it! 

Just like we zoomed in and used mental training for a specific purpose customising this training according to my individual needs, well so do you have to do!

What are you looking to improve and why?

Likewise there are a gazillion different churches with their own worship style and also individuals who considers themselves non-denominational.

The way that I deal with my Bible reading and my prayers will probably differ from how you or anyone else would go about it and apply it to daily life. 🙂

All I can do is to share my own story in the hope that maybe some of it can be applicable, but a great deal of it probably won’t which is why I find books like this: “Seeing What Others Don’t” by Gary Klein – My reaction to Chapter One & a bit of Chapter Two., very suspect.

I’m working my way through the book and still haven’t seen examples being used that can be applied to non-creatives! The majority of the people featured are still scientists with a curious and investigative disposition!

So keep that in mind when the self-help industry promises to dramatically alter not only you but also the outcome of your life. ❤

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“Decoding Da Vinci“ by N.T. Wright

After having read “The Gospel of Thomas” translated by Svein Woje & Kari Klepp., I asked the local vicar if he had any reading material regarding the numerous conspiracies surrounding the Christian church.

He lent me a 28-page pamphlet authored by Rt Revd N.T. Wright.

An interesting question posed by the author to his readership regarding “The Da Vinci Code“ is this: What questions did it raise for you in relation to Christian belief?

I did not have any questions regarding Dan Brown’s claims at all when I first read it for the simple reason that it has become pretty much cannon in Norway that the sanctity of Jesus was decided during the church meeting at Nicea. Norwegians also subscribe to the belief that the books chosen for The New Testament were picked for political reasons, which means that many people in Norway know about the non-canonical gospels and perceive their exclusion as the result of politics.

Since this had already been presented to me as truth repeatedly I saw Dan Brown’s book as a confirmation of an already established fact.

I went out and bought myself “Holy Blood and Holy Grail,“ which I then took as further evidence.

All of this ties neatly together with pop-Satanists and modern pagans who are hard at work to clean up negative PR surrounding their spiritual practises that according to them was/is the result of Christian propaganda.

Due to this it is very difficult to come across books about witchcraft or Satanism that aren’t apologetic in nature….

I sincerely doubt that relevant or good reading material can be found about the topic in any mainstream book shop or at any state funded library….

As a teenager I tried but couldn’t find much of interest.

I was mystified when I read that Jimmy Page apparently had an occult book shop in London once upon a time. Where on earth he could find enough material to justify a book store puzzles me.

All you come across are excuses and attempts at making the Christian churches in Europe look like oppressors making life impossible for other faiths; that of course are always depicted as harmless.

Much emphasis is put on the burning of Witches and what a horrible event this was in human history since there are no such things as witches – just like there are no such things as demons or dark spirits. 

Funny enough this alleged modern “enlightened“ way of looking at things is contradicted by polls where it is claimed that most people claim to have a belief in a God and/or the spiritual, there is no shortage of books about Angels and the paranormal, yet “witches“ or the “spiritual“ is a thing of the past.

Superstition led to the “black-magic-hysteria“ in old-times, now we are simply too smart and too good for these things.

Any modern-day books about spirituality coming from mediums or from anyone who has experienced an NDE will only talk about love, exclusively, without ever mentioning the darker aspects of spiritual experiences; such as hauntings, possessions, poltergeist activity, etc;

The topic of “dark magic“ or “dark spirituality“ can only be found in Hollywood movies, even though spiritual dark activity is well-documented historically. Even if looking at old myths and spiritual beliefs, there was always an acknowledgment of darker elements.

This is remarkably absent from modern-day “everything is just fine“ spirit-literature.

Ironically enough it is relatively easy to buy Tarot cards or Ouija boards or any other tools associated with “magic,“ but books about the topic cannot be found easily unless you are satisfied with the narrative of: “the Church is actually the bad guy and we are really the good guys.“

Satanism also gets a make-over with people claiming that it is all about self-development,  statements that seem dubious when considering the celebration of self-mutilation, suicide, murder and other destructive activities that can be found in so-called alternative circles.

When reading about pagan rituals involving human sacrifice in Nordic cultures in addition to revelations disclosing that the Vikings were very active when it came to slave trading, the modern myth of pagan-Scandinavia being peaceful, tolerant, egalitarian, and whatnot becomes dubious at best.

“Peaceful traders“ does not count if it involves the kidnapping and selling of other humans (a capital accumulated due to merciless raids and plundering), “Peaceful farmers“ does not count if the religious rituals involve ritual killings….

Yet everything seems to be done to smooth these type of things over to such an extent that I did believe that the vikings had a gender Utopia, that I did believe that female warriors was a thing & that I did not know that the Viking-culture of the North would in a modern setting make the activities of ISIS seem like kindergarten play in comparison.

Paradise in Viking mythology equals eternal warfare. You drink and you fight, you fight and you drink – where on earth is the advertised “peace?“

Meanwhile you have an assortment of female Gods that for the most part deal with fertility and family life. That does not sound like something that aligns with our current egalitarianism culture.

Just like I did not know this I also did not know that old pagan beliefs systems were ethnocentric in nature, with great emphasis put on location and blood lines.

There is obviously a great deal that we are not being told about when it comes to spirituality and especially our own histories as population groups.

In ignorance darkness triumphs.

 

 

 

Creation Myths From The Whole World.

This is a collection of creation myths from throughout the world translated to Norwegian. It was lent to me by a relative who clearly wants me to engage in comparative-religion. This is understandable since we used to be Pagan in Norway before we were Christened by the sword; if you are a believer in universalism I guess it makes sense too.

Universalists, as I’ve come to understand it, think that we are all worshipping the exact same God, but that our different cultures have led us to interpret this deity in different ways.

This theory is refuted when looking at those cultures who worship multiple Gods, in addition to the story lines themselves… 

All of the stories contained within this book are ethnocentric and location-based in nature. You would think that the book had been edited by members of the alt-right since the least race-conscious ideology is dethroned, while all others that are linked to blood-lines and ancestry are exalted.

What becomes obvious is that there are no “globalist religions.“ The closest you get is Christianity which appears unique and groundbreaking in offering a religion open to all regardless of race, ethnicity, location and/or socio-economic status.

Then again; the existence of Nations are acknowledged in the Bible and Christ will come back to judge all the Nations, which means that the abolishment of Nations is not part of the plan.

Yet Christianity comes across as the most inclusive of faiths when reading this book that was lent to me clearly as an act of undermining the status of Christianity.

In this my relative failed once again, mainly because of the fact that I’ve actually read the Holy Bible in full:

“The Old Testament” from the “Holy Bible.”

“The New Testament” from the “Holy Bible.”

If it was up to the book itself I wouldn’t know anything about the Christian faith since the religion is represented by two lone quotes. One at the front and one at the back of the collection; that’s all.

Based on that I would have concluded this entry by saying that Egyptian Sun-worship is what I enjoyed the most, since Christianity certainly doesn’t come off as particularly groundbreaking or special in this context.

Much space is dedicated to all sorts of weird worship traditions completely foreign to the Norwegian people and our culture, with the exception of the Norse creation myth.

After realising the importance of racial/ethnic identity when it comes to religions a thought presented itself to me: what if we summon our ancestral Gods when we pray, regardless of who we think we are praying to?

What if each tribe can only access its God/s and this is completely pre-determined due to the “spirit-wifi“?

My personal favourites were out-takes from the following: Eskimos, The Finns, Native Hopi Americans, the Mayans, Sumerians and Muslims.

What is of interest is that a great number of the myths present the Big Bang theory in ancient wrapping displaying the longevity and widespread acceptance of this belief.

What I found interesting in the Norse creation myth (besides the obvious inspiration for Lord of The Rings) was that female and male Gods were to be seen as equals (at least according to this translation) and that poverty and injustice was lamented, just as in The Old Testament.

The reason as to why this is of great interest is that if old Jewish tribes and old Norse tribes were complaining about this back then, then what makes us think that inequality is a challenge that can ultimately be solved in our time?

When reading the Norse creation myth I saw parallels to Greek mythology as well, which was an interesting detail to note; some of these belief systems overlap in part, but not all of them.

In gender-egalitarianism the Norse myth proved itself unique since all of the other myths would fall under the sexism umbrella in today’s socialist culture.

In the Japanese myth everything goes horribly wrong when a female deity speaks to the male deity first. Order is restored and creation can take place once the feminine submits to the masculine.

The African creation myth is certainly the most entertaining one concerning gender roles, since men and women are described as completely separate entities, and that the men are very puzzled when these alien creatures all of a sudden come into their villages helping themselves to their huts. The men are wondering why these women don’t build their own homes and why they come and live-off the men. This instantly made me think of how women are described in Ancient Greek myths:

Ancient Greek Myths – The Universe, The Gods, And Mortals told by Jean-Pierre Vernant.

Liberalism is described as “an evil that has come upon us“ (to paraphrase) in the Native American texts, which once again echos the laments of the prophets in The Old Testament.

Liberalism was clearly not seen as empowerment in ancient texts but rather as the act of demons and/or evil corrupting society.

The complaints from the people in the Buddhist myth also made me think of The Old Testament, where the Jewish people are reprimanded but repeatedly repeat past mistakes only to lament at the heavens again and again.

One of the myths that was of particular interest was the one from the Mayans. The Gods want to create a being that can worship them. They refer to it as the “human doll.“ They try repeatedly but fail and eventually it is said that the humans of today are linked to the monkeys!

The strangest myth of them all was the Kabbalah one. It only reminded me of the “illuminati confirmed“ sketches on YouTube. Kabbalah is clearly trying to decode the Hebrew language in order to “hack the code,“ gaining access to the assumed programming language of God.

Creation myths are becoming increasingly valid and intriguing when observing our own creation of artificial intelligence and advanced machinery, not that it can surpass what has already been created, but it certainly puts our favourite habit of mimicry into perspective.

Some of the texts were quite boring but I forced myself to read them since reading for pleasure isn’t really my number one reason for doing so.

I read out of curiosity and I also have a policy of reading the books that end up in my possession so that I don’t end up with piles of books that are only for show. This has led me to some horrible reading experiences, but it has also introduced me to different perspectives and stories that I wouldn’t normally have been exposed to.

Reading fiction for example is something that I seldom do. I’m intrigued by works that can either help me or enlighten my curiosity in one way or another, and interestingly enough this has led to inspiration for artistic projects as well.