Sunday, April 15, 2007


Whose plan do you choose for your life -- God's or the enemy's?

That's one question for today. Another is: are you letting people hold you down?

The questions dovetail because we don't reach the destiny that God has in store for us -- don't fulfill who we are -- if we let others or things hold us back.

That's not to say we should harbor resentment; it's not to say that we should go around looking to see who has said or done what. It's certainly not about holding a grudge.

It is to remember that Christ came to set us free and we are set free when we follow not the thinking of humans but His prompts.

Only deep in the soul is there the guidance in fulfilling the destiny given us by God.

All of us have one: every single person is on a mission from Him. In the afterlife, we'll learn precisely what that mission was. We'll also learn that every person had a mission that was equal in importance (though such can't be seen through the blinders of earth).

You have a Divine Destiny and should not be stopped from pursuing it. The guidance on how to pursue it will come in proportion to the purity of your intention.

The enemy would like to stop you. He would like you to wallow in mediocrity (or outright failure). He throws in all kinds of discouragement. He sends stumbling blocks. And we fall prey to them if we fail to persist.

Many are those who remain in mediocrity, blaming everyone and everything but themselves. They never rise above where they are. They never go beyond resentment, or procrastination, or laziness. They tend to blame circumstances or others for where they are.

But we are all called to rise above mediocrity. And we are called to ignore those who -- stuck in their own mediocrity -- seek to hinder us. There are those who are like crabs at the bottom of a barrel -- clawing and scratching to drag down those making way to the top.

Send love to people who may be yanking at you, pray for them, forgive them, and in prayer release yourself from what may be holding you in bondage.

It's a stark metaphor but one that conveys what is often the vicious nature of jealousy. Jealousy is like a curse and can operate beyond the physical. If you sense that this is happening, break it in the Name of Jesus.

And make sure you are not yourself jealous. Make sure you are not "mediocre." Make sure you're not holding down someone else.

Maybe the Lord has set your mission as a janitor, or a mailman, or a lawyer. It doesn't matter. He has put you where He wants you and He wants you to minister -- to help others -- in whatever role you have.

Great souls are to be found at all stations of life!

And rising above mediocrity means fulfilling whatever plan God has for you. It means diligence. It means excellence in whatever it is you do (whether the world considers your vocation "large" or "small"). It doesn't mean being rich. It means being excellent.

No matter what has happened to you in your life, no matter how you may have strayed, and no matter how late in the game it seems, remember that God can always go back to the original plan He had for you. He can allow circumstances to occur in a way that completes your mission, if you are prayerful, if you repent, if you seek to work for Him in whatever work on earth He has assigned for you.

Faith moves mountains, and here we see the final "secret" to improving our lives and making sure that the mysterious path set before us by God is walked in the way that He wants us to walk it. Faith through love.

Put those two together and you will be great in the eyes of God.

[resources: The God of Miracles]


Sunday, April 08, 2007

Belief in Reincarnation Tied to Memory Errors

The Truth Hurts!

Melinda Wenner
Special to LiveScience
Fri Apr 6, 9:25 AM ET

People who believe they have lived past lives as, say, Indian princesses or battlefield commanders are more likely to make certain types of memory errors, according to a new study.

The propensity to make these mistakes could, in part, explain why people cling to implausible reincarnation claims in the first place.

Researchers recruited people who, after undergoing hypnotic therapy, had come to believe that they had past lives.

Subjects were asked to read aloud a list of 40 non-famous names, and then, after a two-hour wait, told that they were going to see a list consisting of three types of names: non-famous names they had already seen (from the earlier list), famous names, and names of non-famous people that they had not previously seen. Their task was to identify which names were famous.

The researchers found that, compared to control subjects who dismissed the idea of reincarnation, past-life believers were almost twice as likely to misidentify names. In particular, their tendency was to wrongly identify as famous the non-famous names they had seen in the first task. This kind of error, called a source-monitoring error, indicates that a person has difficulty recognizing where a memory came from.

Power of suggestion

People who are likely to make these kinds of errors might end up convincing themselves of things that aren’t true, said lead researcher Maarten Peters of Maastricht University in The Netherlands. When people who are prone to making these mistakes undergo hypnosis and are repeatedly asked to talk about a potential idea—like a past life—they might, as they grow more familiar with it, eventually convert the idea into a full-blown false memory.

This is because they can’t distinguish between things that have really happened and things that have been suggested to them, Peters told LiveScience.

Past life memories are not the only type of implausible memories that have been studied in this manner. Richard McNally, a clinical psychologist at Harvard University, has found that self-proclaimed alien abductees are also twice as likely to commit source monitoring errors.

Creative minds

As for what might make people more prone to committing such errors to begin with, McNally says that it could be the byproduct of especially vivid imagery skills. He has found that people who commonly make source-monitoring errors respond to and imagine experiences more strongly than the average person, and they also tend to be more creative.

“It might be harder to discriminate between a vivid image that you’d generated yourself and the memory of a perception of something you actually saw,” he said in a telephone interview.

Peters also found in his study, detailed in the March issue of Consciousness and Cognition, that people with implausible memories are also more likely to be depressed and to experience sleep problems, and this could also make them more prone to memory mistakes.

And once people make this kind of mistake, they might be inclined to stick to their guns for spiritual reasons, McNally said. “It may be a variant expression of certain religious impulses,” he said. “We suspect that this might be kind of a psychological buffering mechanism against the fear of death.”