Getting yelled at in church…REALLY???

I would like to chime in from a different perspective. I was a Southern Baptist for many years, eventually walking away from the church because of just such hypocrisy between teachings and behaviors. I studied religion throughout my childhood and adolescence because it really fascinated me, and has carried over to adulthood. After leaving the church for about 6 years I began practicing meditation, and eventually practiced as a Buddhist for about 3 years, but there were still components of the philosophy that were lacking.
Other life situations and challenges, including a divorce, came along further developing perspectives and thoughts on things. Eventually I met an amazing woman and her family and learned about a reformist sect of Islam called Ahmadiyya. After months of attending events, asking questions, and learning more about it I felt drawn to the teachings of peace and the motto “Love for All, Hatred for None.” I have become heavily involved in the community and find it to be one of the most loving and accepting communities, and we are constantly attempting to clear and dispel the myth and falsehood surrounding Islam. There are many who practice Islam in the same manner this article speaks about Christianity, but this is so far from the way that Islam is meant to be.
In Islam, we believe that there is no compulsion in religion. You should do what you do for God, no other reason. Killing or hurting others is only advocated under extreme circumstances, such as when they are attempting to keep you from being able to worship God and get rid of Islam. In our community, however, even under these types of circumstances we do not advocate violence. Just read “The Wrong Kind of Muslim” by Qasim Rashid to see the kinds of things our community suffers in Pakistan. Further, the Holy Qur’an clearly states that if you kill even one person, of any faith, it is the same as killing the entirety of humanity.
Just as Christianity gets a bad rap by many for being too hardline, or too rigid, Islam does the same. There will always be extremists or those that twist the words and ways of any faith. One of the critical components of Islam is the belief in all of God’s Prophets, which includes Jesus, Abraham, Moses, and many others. Why would you want to kill people who believe in the same people as you? We all believe in one God, that is the most important thing.
As a convert, I make many mistakes or missteps, from both cultural and religions perspectives, but I am learning. Some of the cultural components I respect, but also respectfully decline to partake in as my focus is on Islam as the practice and not the multitude of cultural components that alter that.
There will always be those things that get twisted by human beings, but our goal as Ahmadis is to keep Islam in it’s true form as God intended it, through critical thinking and analysis and academic understanding of the religions before and the teachings provided in context of when they happened.

Culture Monk

getting yelled at in church

By Kenneth Justice


I was in church on Saturday for a funeral and I got yelled at by a dude 20 years younger than me” said my mid-50ish friend

Yesterday I was having coffee with a good friend of mine who recently returned from the funeral of a pastor-friend of his. The pastor had served the church for nearly 50 years and my friend went to the funeral on Saturday to pay his respects.

Kenneth, the temperature on Saturday morning when I got to the church was like 8 degrees. So I had my winter coat on, a scarf, gloves, and a hat. I had just come through the door of the church and I was hobbling up the stairs (my friend is disabled) which led to the main lobby, and as I’m slowly making it up the stairs, this usher, who was in…

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Long time no see!

It has been quite a while since I have maintained my blog at all, but I’m really hoping to get back to it for 2014.  Things have been crazy over the last year-and-a-half or so, but I’m at a point that I think I can finally focus my attention here a little more.  Not to mention, I have a considerable amount more to talk about and hopefully it’s broader than even before.  When I first started this blog, the intent was on sharing my professional ideas and foci.  However, I’ve found that over the last few years my interests have broadened and much of what I may have thought was only a professional focus is really just what interests me as a person.  With this in mind, I’m hoping to offer a much broader array to enrich myself and hopefully those who read this. With that said….off to write my first real entry!  Happy 2014!

Think Like A Shark « Manage Better Now

This article is from a blog I follow that is always chock full of great ideas and quick bits of inspiration for managers, leaders, and the average person moving through life.

The most recent article does a really great job of reminding us that we sometimes get overwhelmed by things because we try to take in the macro concept instead of the micro, systemic components that make up the greater macro system.  In other words, as I mentioned in my comment on the blog article, small wins are still wins, and are steps toward a larger goal.  Enjoy the article, and ask yourself, what is a small win I can experience today that leads me on the path I want?

Think Like A Shark « Manage Better Now.

I Want My Kids to Fail

I Want My Kids to Fail… What a great article!  Sounds crazy, but I think we all need to learn how to gracefully lose, and then to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off.

Thomas Edison said of his attempts at creating the first light bulb that he did not fail 10,000 (yes, that is ten thousand!) times, but rather found 10,000 ways that would not work.  He also acknowledged that each way that didn’t work got them closer to the one that did.  This is replicated by Jonas Salk as he and his team of scientists worked to find a cure for one of the deadliest and most crippling diseases, polio.  They tried many ways to create a vaccine, and many failed.  But, had they given up, we may still have children who couldn’t walk, or permanently on a breathing machine.

Think about it, what have you failed at that led you to a great discovery or something bigger and better?  What have you failed at recently?  If you feel stuck in a rut, have you taken any risks that would move you out of that rut?

Been Busy, But Back!

Whew!  The last year has been crazy as I have been in school, moved, and changed jobs among other things, but it has definitely been good.  I’m hoping to get back to writing some more blogs, and definitely hope to write more often.  While I haven’t had the opportunity to write here, I have had the opportunity to write at work on our internal social network, which has been helpful so I hope to transition back to writing here with a considerable improvement to the content and style.

If there are ideas, topics, questions, etc., please feel free to get involved here, and I look forward to sharing thoughts and feelings collectively.  Also, please check out my Twitter @PsychoSoAnt for lots of good posts covering a broad swath of topics…I’m relatively sure that most will find something they like there!

Change is good for our government too.

As I was reading an article on Yahoo and then began reading the comments associated with the article I came upon a few excellent words of wisdom.  I felt as though one in specific was important enough to pass along and save for future sharing as well.  Here is what I read:

REAL CHANGE will ONLY happen if WE make it happen!!

Politicians, ALL politicians will not serve the common people of this nation until they ARE common people of this nation. Politicians are RICH to begin with or else they cannot run as an “effective” candidate. They do not relate to common people and speak only in euphemistic idealism and platitudes of populist idealism. None of which they have any intentions of following through with. Bush did it. Clinton did it, Obama is definitely doing it. There will be NO CHANGE with him, or anyone under the current “system” of government we now endure!

The truth is simple: REAL CHANGE will ONLY happen if WE make it happen!!

Time for us to get control of the incredibly dysfunctional form our government has devolved into and hit the “reset button.” This will require an effort equal to what happened in Egypt and Tunisia, and trying to happen in Libya. Until we have common people in the legislature and running the government, you are just going to change the faces but NEVER SOLVE THE PROBLEMS. You may think these are unrealizable goals, but then, how realistic was it when the Colonial Army took on the British in the war for independence? We won that one, too, in case you’ve forgotten….

Here’s were we begin “budget reform”….

Congressional Reform Act of 2012

1. Term Limits.
8 years only, one of the possible options below..
A. Two 4-year Senate terms
B. 4 Two-year House terms
C. One 8-year Senate term and Two 4-Year House terms
D. One 8 year term for Supreme Court Justices
If term limits are requisite for the President, Vice-President, and State Governors, then they most certainly are equally imperative based on the same principles for ALL of our legislators and even the judicial high seats.

2. No Tenure / No Pension.
A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

3. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.
All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people.

4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

5. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

6. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

7. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

8. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12. The American people did not make these contracts with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves.

9. Make all lobbyists and special interest groups illegal. They have no basis or rights for their existence except the greed of the oligarchs they represent. This is the heart of our dysfunctional government system. This is “legal bribery” in America and the Supreme Court has sanctioned it.

10. All campaign contributions, corporate or private, cannot exceed $250 max. No candidate can use their OWN money to campaign with. This violates the constitutional principles of equal opportunities for ALL people in the nation. If candidates qualify for federal campaign monies, then that is what they can use. Otherwise, they hit the trail like everyone else for the last 200 years.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

This was written by a poster named Triad (I want to make sure to give credit where it is due).  I believe that our government, for all it is run as a corporation, needs some serious restructuring, process improvement, ethics and cultural training, leadership development, and constant 360 feedback processes.  Triad’s posting speaks to that eloquently, and I think as the American people we need to take the responsibility back for running our own government if we want to see real improvement.