Fran Childress

Dec 192015
 
What if?

What if things are what they seem?

People were so evil in the times before Jesus walked the Earth, they may have thought it was impossible to live a sacred life and keep God’s commandments simultaneously. It could be they believed only the few blessed individuals could live accordingly to the Law. It was then that Jesus came to Earth in human form to prove it can be done … in human form to teach all of us it can be done!

Numerous individuals question the validity of biblical events. “How could that have happened? That’s not possible!”

Why don’t we merge science and religion to determine feasible events? Let’s remove our own intellectual limitations by asking:

What if?

 

What if

there is a whole other universe complete with ‘aliens’ who are already aware of God’s heaven? They could be living in the afterlife in some sort of purgatory making reparations to reach heaven? Maybe they are lost souls awaiting judgment day, whereas the people who abided by God’s commandments already went home to heaven? The aliens may be just fallen angels.

 

What if

Jonah was eaten by a prehistoric ‘submarine’ only to be seen by the unaware/ignorant people describing it as a ‘whale?’ Wouldn’t they give a child-like account of actual events? Maybe what appeared to them to look like a whale, complete with air vents from appendages, was actually a man-made vessel. Don’t we call the bottom level of ships a ‘belly?’ That belly could have sustained Jonah. Or maybe it was an actual extinct creature that we are not aware of.

 

What if

the Earth had a longer rotation around the sun? A 24-hour day for us could have been longer during God’s creation of the Earth.

 

What if

Adam and Eve were made in the image of God, but the process of evolution also had ape-like beings transformed into a human form simultaneously? It could be the evolutionary people are the lost souls given a chance to enter the kingdom of God or they could be the disciples of Satan (the fallen angel).

 

What if

Adam and Eve ate the fruit of knowledge and the fruit changed their DNA? They could have had what we understand as a type of Down’s syndrome and the ingested fruit deleted the extra chromosome (and they became aware they were naked and gained knowledge)?

 

What if

the scientific ‘carbon elements’ we use as evidence of historical markings are flawed? That measurement of time based on compounds may be inaccurate as human error is very possible or altered by a weather-related activity (a deep freeze?).

 

What if

the Earth is the forewarned hell the Bible speaks of? This world is full of sin and evil mongers. There are demons all around us and we are killing each other as a result. Could we be living in hell right now? We are told Jesus will come and ‘fish’ the ones out who are obedient to God’s Word.

 

We are all born sinners with a will of our own (after eating the forbidden fruit). We may not have literally eaten the forbidden fruit, but because of our innate will, we probably would have been tempted and ate it nonetheless. Additionally, all our imperfections could be considered a sin as they are not mentioned in heaven (Jesus didn’t even have a broken bone). Heaven is pure and deific, divinely perfect with no illnesses or disorders. This would suggest that cancer, deformities and all illnesses of this Earth (anything that is not perfection) could be considered sinful or evil. That means as none of us are perfect, we all are sinners in need of God’s mercy and forgiveness. All of us.

 

I am not a biblical scholar (far from it!) but my faith is stronger than my deficient knowledge. Also, I am not in any way questioning God, nor His existance, just merely trying to suggest to the non-believers of the possibility that science only explains how God may have done things.

 

Don’t limit your spiritual faith from what appears to be far-fetched events. Eventually, science may explain all of God’s miracles, but know through Him, all things are possible. Question science, not your faith.

I dare you to think.

Bible verses about faith

Nov 282015
 

 

trivial prayers

Trivial prayers can be answered by God.

Ever wonder if your trivial prayers are too insignificant to God? Are you hesitant to ask for something you feel isn’t really that important? Maybe you want to win some money in a contest, or just have your new cookie recipe turn out since you will be serving it to company.

Most people feel ‘stupid’ when they ask God for the small things, are you one of them? We are told God does miracles in all things, large and small but how ‘small’ is small?

You may think something is trivial and it very well may be, but God knows when to intervene in trivial matters. That little, insignificant ‘something’ just may be important to you or to someone else. God knows this, so when you ask with good intentions, whether it will bring you peace and joy or be useful to His divine plan, He will answer your prayer.

It is possible the reason some of your prayers are not answered is because of your inner-most intentions. Do you want to win that contest money to boast or bring forth covetousness? What is that money going to do for your spiritual well-being? Will you use it for devious, covert purposes? Will it bring you closer to God or will it take you further apart from Him?

Additionally, do you want to impress your company with your culinary skills so you ask God to let your cookies look ornate and be appetizing? Alas, the ulterior motive behind the prayer is not to ‘feed the hungry’ but to gain others’ approval.

You have to be aware of the reasons why you pray for trivial things. This entails a self-awareness that many individuals lack. They cannot admit to their own selfishness and imperfections resulting in prayers that are not righteous. Thus, those types of prayer requests may not be answered.

If your trivial prayer will bring you closer to Him or if it will serve His will, that little trifle matter is worth it.

Trivial Prayers Bible Verses

 

Oct 032015
 
The Lord's Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer.
In Jesus’ Eyes by Fran Childress – Praying Hands by Albrecht Dürer

I have been wanting to share my personal thoughts on The Lord’s Prayer for a while now. The reason for my hesitation was that I did not want to offend anyone and wondered how I could elicit tactfulness. I am not a theologian nor a Bible scholar but I have decided to throw my insights out there anyhow and just hope for the best!

The Lord’s Prayer is the prayer Jesus taught his disciples. One disciple asked how to pray and he obliged with the teaching of The Lord’s Prayer. There are two references of it located in the New Testament accounts of Matthew and Luke. The popular version is the reference located in Matthew. In addition to the slightly different wordings in both these epistles, the Roman Catholic version is also different.

In any case, they all share the teaching of The Lord’s Prayer similarly.

When the one disciple sought direction in prayer, he was not alone with Jesus. The lesson was taught on the Sermon on the Mound with a multitude of people. Therefore, it is my thoughts the lesson was given in a plural aspect. With more than one person reciting The Lord’s Prayer, being in unison would change the pronouns to ‘us’ instead of ‘me.’

Although this may be trivial to some people, I believe reciting The Lord’s Prayer in plural form while being alone retracts the sincerity of the prayer. The person goes in ‘auto’ mode and the prayer may become meaningless. When I pray this prayer in solitude, changing the pronouns to a singular form encourages me to connect with the prayer further.

What do you think?

The Lord’s Prayer – Matthew 6:9-13

The Lord’s Prayer – Roman Catholic version

Oct 022015
 
Mass shootings

Mass shootings affect everyone in society. Photo by David-Castillo Dominici/freedigitalphotos.net

Mass shootings. It’s not a gun control problem as much as it is a mental health problem. There are many responsible individuals owning guns who do not go out and shoot innocent people. Likewise, there are many individuals with a mental health diagnosis who do not go out and shoot innocent people.

What’s the connection?

A breaking point. Yes, a mental breaking point where a person’s mind cannot tolerate anymore, fueled with anger (or another negative emotion) who wants revenge of some sort. This breaking point can surface in days, weeks, months and even years.

Now, hand that person who cannot tolerate anymore a gun.

Boom.

The Mind of Mass Shootings

Like most, if not all people, I have had a couple breaking points. It’s that point where I have no idea what my next step is going to be and my whole world feels like it has shattered. Did I want to go out and shoot people, much less hurt someone? No. (Disclaimer: If a person harms my family, I may become mentally unstable and retract my claim resorting to the ‘eye for an eye’ belief).

All mass shootings are senseless, and all mass shooters have a thinking process that is skewed. Yes, their thinking is irrational, delusional or distorted which places them in the category of having a mental health issue. To premeditate the killing of innocent people in masses justifies a mental health diagnosis. Some people believe they are evil, but other than performing an exorcism, society has to identify the root cause(s) to ameliorate the problem. As a side note; in our recent history, society labeled people with mental health issues as having an evil spirit.

Mentally unstable people should not be allowed to purchase a gun (more gun control). Family and friends should not allow access of guns to known mentally unstable people. I would not give my car keys to my pre-teen child. It’s being called socially responsible.  Yes, maybe being pro-active in safety is more important than being afraid I might hurt my child’s feelings?

Therefore, it’s not just a gun control problem, nor just a mental health problem. It is a collective problem and we all need to get involved to put an end to the mass shootings.

 

Aug 062015
 
emotional immaturity

Your perspective may show emotional immaturity.

Recently, I witnessed the interaction of a grandmother with her grandchild. It wasn’t pleasant. The young child was having a meltdown; he was very angry and said things on impulse just to be malicious. His anger arose from something trivial, however, that trivia does not justify a temper tantrum. Subsequently, he told the grandmother he hated her, said in anger and obviously not true as he normally behaved with loving tenderness towards her.

This incident got me thinking about emotional immaturity:

The intense emotion from that anger emerged as what he perceived as hate. He may have felt ‘hate’ at that given time but the anger domineered the all other emotions, including his loving disposition. The powerful feeling of that anger made him believe he hated her. This expressive confusion is a sign of his emotional immaturity. He has yet to learn how to distinguish the difference or control his anger. Obviously, this is understandable in a young child.

Unfortunately, this childish behavior is seen not only in young children, but also in adults. I have witnessed numerous adults with this emotional immaturity. You see it everywhere, including the political arena (blocking bills in spite). Individuals confuse a disagreement or an opposing view as a hatred. If you don’t agree with them, they hate you. If you don’t do what they say, they hate you. That anger fuels an abhorrent behavior in the forms of verbal and manipulative means.

These people cannot understand that fury is not an odium, which is indicative of emotional immaturity. They are stuck in the childlike thought process that if they are angry with you, they hate you. That hate (according to them) justifies spiteful and malicious behaviors.

During the grandchild’s meltdown, his mother intervened. The way she handled it left me extremely impressed. She controlled the temper tantrum with a professional maturity of a child expert. Her parenting style (if continued) will guide her son to understand that anger is not hate and that hateful behaviors are not acceptable.

Too bad she can’t teach our politicians this.

Jun 282015
 
Confederate flag

Confederate flag

History was not my best subject in school, so I am outside my comfort zone talking about the confederate flag but I feel I need to tell ‘my’ truth.

Being honest, I’ve learned more about the southern flag now than I did all through my school years, and I was raised in the south. Not that I was wanting to learn, but because there is a social war going on right now regarding the southern battle flag of the south known as the confederate flag. Some people find it offensive while others feel it is a ‘pride’ thing and the opinions are flying more than the flag!

Showing my ignorance, I did not know there was more than one flag during the turmoil of the Civil War. According to the news and social media sites that I patronize, I’ve been enlightened on the different flags during that time period. Yes, I did do a bit of research to validate the claims strewn on these sites. Shockingly, these claims were correct.

More about the Confederate flag

The little bit that I did know was that the confederate flag was flown and used by people from the south. If they had this flag, you knew they were from the south. I personally know of various individuals who support the confederate flag and proudly display it in various ways. And they were born and raised in the south.

Apparently, the controversy regarding the flag started with the Charleston Church murders. A deranged kid used the confederate flag on his social media site backing up his hatred for others. He then attended a church and murdered innocent people due to the color of their skin. The connection with his racist anger and the confederate flag surfaced.

Now, I see people bashing The Dukes of Hazzard’s car and the classic movie, Gone With the Wind!

Maybe I live in a bubble or choose who I befriend, or possibly both. But all the people I know who proudly display the flag are not racist. Therefore, nobody I know personally flies the confederate flag to show racism.  This is my truth. They only fly the confederate battle flag to show their pride in their southern heritage. They mean no harm in their ‘pride’ capers.

The only times, and this is no exaggeration, the only times I saw a connection with the confederate flag and racism was on the news depicting a deranged, racist, odd individual. And even then it was maybe a handful of times, if that. These odd people would be racist with or without the flag. I believe they use the flag to intimidate, as the gun in their hands. Actually, the gun is more intimidating than the flag displayed in the background.

This is MY truth. I do not see racism in my social circle who fly the confederate flag. I see southern pride.

Jun 012015
 
Caitlyn Jenner emerges

Caitlyn Jenner emerges

Bruce Jenner is now publicly known as Caitlyn Jenner. Caitlyn has ‘come out’ to the world appearing on the July (2015) cover of Vanity Fair as transgendered. She claims she has furtively identified as a woman her whole life, although she was assigned a male at birth.

Whether you agree with Caitlyn’s decision or not, it is extraneous. Maybe you understand transgendered individuals are mentally ill (gender identity disorder), maybe it’s against your belief system or maybe you just feel uncomfortable around people who are different from you.

Doesn’t matter, Caitlyn has decided to quit living a secret life and emerge as who she feels she is on the inside. Her self-identification is not male, it is female. Trans people prefer to be addressed by the gender they identify with and not by the gender assignment at birth. Their gender expression is directly related to their gender identity, therefore their behavior will reflect their identity and not the birth assignment.

Caitlyn achieved fame by winning the gold medal in the 1976 Summer Olympics and recently appeared in the television series Keeping Up with the Kardashians, both of which she presented herself to the world as Bruce. Caitlyn tweeted on June 1st that she is happy to be living as her ‘true’ self and can’t wait for people to get to know her.

According to a tweet from CNN’s Brian Stelter, ESPN will honor Caitlyn with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2015 ESPY Awards in July. The award is given to individuals who exude strength in times of adversity.

Follow Caitlyn Jenner on Twitter

Feb 202015
 
sibling bullying

Sibling bullying hurts. Photo by marin/freedigitalphotos.com

Researchers from the University of Lincoln-Nebraska believe the familiar sibling rivalry within families is undermining the efforts to stop sibling bullying, along with peer-to-peer bullying. The researchers noticed the respondents of their study who experienced sibling rivalry when they were younger were less likely to report peer-to-peer bullying.

Furthermore, they hypothesized the respondents were so ‘used to it’ growing up that they could have thought it was not worthy to be reported as legitimate bullying.

This flawed reasoning resonates with the people who are assumed experts with bullying behaviors, also.

With all due respect for her efforts to address bullying and cyberbullying, the founder of Stomp Out Bullying criticized the research emphasizing sibling rivalry started many years ago and will continue its practice in the future. She claims the word ‘bullying’ is just a hot keyword for everyone to use now.

While I do agree sibling rivalry is part of growing up with relentless brothers and sisters, I do not agree that sibling rivalry should be minimized or confused with sibling bullying. These are two different concepts which should be addressed accordingly.

Sibling rivalry does not consistently mentally torment anyone. It does not cross the line into emotional, psychological and physical abuse. It also considers the maturity levels of all the children.

Unfortunately, the ‘so-called’ experts suggest letting the children settle differences on their own with no regard to the emotional intelligence and maturity of each child. This means, the older and wiser siblings can torment the younger ones with the parents and caregivers looking the other way. Or maybe it’s the younger ones tormenting the older ones?

Is it any wonder we have angry and frustrated kids?

There is a difference between teasing and tormenting as there is a difference in sibling bullying and rivalry! If both are laughing, it’s okay. If only one is laughing, it’s not okay!

I may be alone in my opinion, but I do not feel the parents should let the kids settle their own differences. They need to teach the children proper social behavior and how to resolve disagreements without resorting to bullying behaviors. This is called ‘parenting.’

Once this is taught, the children will know how to settle their differences in an acceptable way without parental intervention and will make life so much easier for the whole family.

Apparently, this simple approach appears to be missing in our (adult) society today. Parent your children.

Feb 122015
 
LGBT teens

LGBT teens may still be searching for self-identity.

The LGBT teens have a hard enough time in school without being given misleading information from the experts. A study claims LGBT teens who ‘come out’ while in school have a better self-esteem. This information may insinuate all LGBT teens will feel better about themselves if they identify as LGBT during their high school years.

This bold claim could be an example of manipulative research to sway the young readers into thinking their lives will be better if they disclose personal information: Maybe it was the teens who already demonstrated a stable mental well-being who had the better self-esteem during the study? Could it be possible the teens who were still struggling with self-identity issues or peer pressure and did not ‘come out’ showed the lower self-esteem in the research? The factors other than the self-disclosure could have corrupted the findings.

LGBT teens who come out at school have better self-esteem, study finds

In an ideal world, this covert suggestion would be appropriate, but we don’t live in an ideal world. We live in a judgmental world consumed with hatred for anyone who is different than we are. The ‘hatred seed’ is planted in the home environment permeating into the social atmosphere of schools. Unfortunately, students learn to bully those who are different than them in school.

LGBT teens may already have a difficult time just trying to ‘fit in’ in a biased school setting with peers who are not welcoming. That added anxiety of identifying as different may just push them over the stress threshold and promote not only physical but mental distress, as well.

Furthermore, there are numerous students who are still searching for their whole identity. They may be questioning all aspects of their identity, not solely their sexual preferences. To encourage a student who is still searching his identity to make a public statement about a sexual preference may be unwarranted and create more harm to that student.

In a tolerant, welcoming school environment along with a strong desire to acknowledge one’s identity, this suggestion from the experts would be appropriate. However, to boldly state LBGT teens have better self-esteem after disclosing their identity is to insinuate they will gain self-esteem by going public. Maybe they’re not ready to go public.

You can’t beat, pray or wish the ‘gay’ away, but on the same token, you can’t encourage the LBGT teens to come out if they are still searching their identity.

 

Jan 132015
 
Can food lessons

Can food lessons. Photo by Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net

An Alabama middle school principal wants each child to bring in an 8-ounce canned food item to use as a weapon in case of a dangerous intruder. The children would be instructed to throw a can at the intruder to render or even stop an attack on the students. Principal Priscella Holley informed the parents via a letter which was published by a CBS affiliate in Huntsville.

Arm children with can food and books

 

I have to admit, I love the originality of the principal’s ‘canned food item’ attack against an armed intruder. On the other hand, I believe it’s hilarious!

I honestly commend the principal for her problem-solving attempt to have elementary students bring in a can of non-perishable items for use as a weapon. There is just one set-back; it won’t work.

There are numerous glitches that pop out at me that convince me this idea is better left on the shelf.

1.       Must know it’s an intruder, not a friendly helper

2.       Teacher must take time to have the children form a line so a child will not be in the ‘line of fire’

3.       Children prone to violence will have a tendency to harm other children with can food item

4.       Passive children will not feel comfortable intentionally inflicting harm on someone

5.       Stress of being taught to throw a can at someone for protection may be overwhelming

6.       Empowering students by way of violence, teaches violence

In my opinion, there would be more unintentional consequences from the availability of food cans than the self-defense opportunity.

The can food attack would have to be carefully orchestrated for its implementation to be effective. That means, not only would the students have to be absolutely certain they are targeting the intruder and not some innocent person coming in to help, but the teacher would have to instruct them to form a line so as no other student is in the direct line of fire, so to speak.

The food cans would have to be accessible on a short notice, thereby giving a disgruntled, angry child the opportunity to harm another child. Let’s say a child is mad at another child (it happens) and that child reaches for the accessible can and launches it at the other child. This is what that child was taught! Someone is getting hurt and it’s not an intruder.

In addition, children should not have to worry about protecting themselves in any learning environment. This is a responsibility of adults in charge of the students. The stress of having to be ‘on guard’ against an intruder would interfere with the learning abilities of the children.

Why not just build a bullet proof bunker with a latch door on the floor in a corner of the classroom? This idea would not only serve the purpose of protecting students from intruders, but also be a safe haven in inclement weather. It could even be used as a nuclear fallout shelter!

Yes, a bunker would be more expensive than purchasing can food items to be later given to the less fortunate but it would be better than enforcing children to become violent, not to mention instilling terror in them in a learning environment.

Or maybe just make it hard for a dangerous intruder to walk through the front door in the first place?