5 Sept 2018 Sentient or Food

Hello.   I hope this finds you well.  I saw this morning that Japan is making a proposal to resume commercial whaling and at first I got really upset.  Then I decided to look at things a little more closely and of course found myself in the hypocrite box.  I eat meat and meat comes from cows which are sentient beings.  I don’t know to what degree they rank up with whales but nevertheless, before I can point a finger at others, I have to remove “the plank in my own eye” on this.    It’s so hard to resist passing judgement on others who don’t believe what we believe and live the way we choose to live.  It’s almost like a reflex, an instinct to do so.  At least it can be that way for me.  It’s when I take a minute to reflect and step back from something and or someone I’m upset about that I realize my part in it.  I realize that I’ve either done something or been someone just like that at some point in my life.  I eventually set aside my anger to find understanding, compassion and even forgiveness.

Matthew 7 New International Version (NIV)

Judging Others

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

 

As I’ve mentioned before, sometimes when you look at the words we’ve come up with through time to describe certain things, you find some interesting things numerically.  It’s become important to  me to start looking at this because words are what I use to communicate the most, not numbers and yet, if you think about it, numbers are behind a great deal of what we say and do in this world.  The numeric value of a word, I’ve been finding, doesn’t always match what it means by definition.  Since I’ve discovered Gematria, it’s really opened my eyes about the foundations of language and communication.  Take a look at what I’ve put together, what do you see?  Do you see patterns?

https://www.gematrix.org

“What’s your bottom line?” = 275/14/5  “Bottom Line” = 125/8  Money = 72/9 cycle  Survival = 124/Existence = 104/5

Alive = 49/13/4  Sentient = 106/7  self-aware = 90/9 cycle consciousness = 175/13/4  conscience = 90/9 cycle God = 26/8 Soul = 67/13/4

Food = 46/10/5  Body = 46/10/5  Human = 57/12/6/3 cycle  Animal = 50/5  Animals = 69/15/6/3 cycle  People = 69/15/6/3 cycle

Domestic animal = 138

Wild animal = 98

Pet animal = 91/10/5

Food animal = 96/15/6/3 cycle

Some of the beings we farm and or hunt for food:   

whale = 41/5  dolphin = 78/15/6/3 cycle  fish = 42/6/3 cycle  chicken = 53/8  duck = 39/12/3 cycle goose = 61 pig = 32/5  cow = 41/5  goat = 43/7 sheep = 53/8  deer = 32/5  bear = 26/8  wolf = 56/11 dog = 26/8  cat = 24/6/3 cycle = 647/17/8  647-26 = 621/9 cycle

Life = 32 Death = 38  Birth = 57  Rebirth = 80 = 207/ 9 cycle (interesting that same numbers values here are above, 621).   

Hunting = 93/12/3 cycle  Fishing = 72/9 cycle  Whaling = 74/11/2/1  Trapping = 83/11/2/1  Ranching = 74/11/2/1  Breeding = 64/10/1

Farming = 68/14/5 divided by 2 = 2.5 = 7 divided by 2 = 3.5 = 8/4/2/1  = 528/15/6/3 cycle

Links:

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/msn/japan%e2%80%99s-bid-to-resume-commercial-whaling-sets-stage-for-fierce-debate/ar-BBMS2pa – Japan’s bid to resume commercial whaling sets stage for fierce debate – Simon Denyer

“Moronuki said the United States is guilty of a double standard by allowing native communities in Alaska to continue whaling while not wanting Japan to do so, even though whaling is a tradition in some communities in Japan.

“All animals are equal,” he added. “Some say whales are intelligent, but I hear that some scientists found that other animals like cows and horses, they are as intelligent as whales. So you must be aware that we cannot draw the line between animals: ‘They should not be killed because they are intelligent, but others, they are not so intelligent, they should be killed.’ ”

Perry rejected that argument.

“Whether whales are sentient or not, they are very difficult to count. They are long-lived, slow-breeding animals. It’s very hard to know if you are depleting the population, and if you do deplete the population, it takes a long time to recover.”

https://www.livescience.com/39481-time-to-declare-animal-sentience.html – After 2,500 Studies, It’s Time to Declare Animal Sentience Proven (Op-Ed)

https://us.whales.org/issues/sentient-and-sapient-whales-and-dolphins – Sentient and sapient whales and dolphins

WDC believes that whales and dolphins are both sentient and sapient individuals, and that they deserve to have both their individual welfare protected and also for their moral and legal rights recognised.

https://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/conservation/issues/whaling.htm – How Whaling Works

https://www.meatinstitute.org/index.php?ht=d/sp/i/47465/pid/47465 – The United States Meat Industry at a Glance (as of 2013)

https://www.plantbasednews.org/post/are-farm-animals-sentient – Are Farm Animals Sentient?

https://news.vice.com/article/mexican-laborers-want-americans-to-know-who-picks-their-fruits-and-vegetables – Mexican Laborers Want Americans to Know Who Picks Their Fruits and Vegetables

“Day laborers in at least 19 other states in Mexico endure similarly poor working conditions. Some of these workers are among the quarter million people who live under modern-slavery conditions, according to the Walk Free Foundation’s 2014 Global Slavery Index.”

https://www.dirt-to-dinner.com/where-do-our-fruits-and-vegetables-come-from/ – Where Do Our Fruits and Vegetables Come From?

The Bottom Line:

Our fruits and vegetables come from all over the United States, but California leads production by a huge margin. When the season ends in the United States, production shifts to Mexico, Central and South American countries allowing Americans to enjoy many fresh produce items year-round.

 

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28 Aug 2018 Zero

https://www.gematrix.org/?word=

Beginning = 81/9 cycle

Sun = 54/9 cycle

Word = 60/6/3 cycle

Speak = 52/7

Speech = 56/11/2/1

Poor Teacher = 124/7

Son = 48/12/6/3 cycle

The Poor = 97/16/7

Learn to do without = 220/4/2/1

The Have’s and the Have Not’s = 244 (64)/10/1

Tithe = 62/8/4/2/1

Share=51/6/3 cycle

Charity = 84/12/3 cycle

Give and Take = 99/18/9 cycle

Sustainability =181/10/1

Consumption = 159/15/6/3 cycle

Population Control = 236/11/2/1

Birth Control = 154/10/1

Resources = 123/6/3 cycle (ABC, 123)

Poverty = 121/4/2/1

Cat = 24/6/3 cycle

Dog = 26/8/4/2/1

Tree = 48/12/6/3 cycle

Human = 57/12/6/3 cycle

Life = 32/5

Human Life = 89/17/8/4/2/1

Nobody = 75/12/6/3 cycle

Nothing = 87/15/6/3 cycle

Alone = 47/11/2/1

Who’s Dream Am I In? (I ask myself this sometimes) = 152/8  (If I were to take this result literally, it would be God’s)

David Bowie – Zeroes, 2018 (Official Audio)

Lyrics

Yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah
Oh, yeah, yeah

You’ve arrived in the land of a thousand different names
And the fabulous sons have crashed their planes in flames
Now tomorrow is back claiming redemption is on your heels
And a toothless past is asking you how it feels

And me, my little red corvette has driven by
Fair weather heart has fallen in
My rainyday girl is feeling down
And she tells me that the world is spinning round

I say the dream was all for you
You’re nobody else
Tonight the zeroes were singing for you
Yeah

Hi! Can I walk you home again today?
Gotta get forgive and forget hey hey
Something good is happening and I don’t know what it is
Don’t you know we’re back on trial again today

And it’s breaking wine for you
Hell!, it’s only ’cause you’re true
Someone outtimed my heart
Stopping and preaching and letting love in

You are my moon, you are my sun
Heaven knows what you are
Tonight the zeroes are singing for you
Yes, they were

Tonight the zeroes were singing for you
You
Tonight the zeroes were singing for you
You

It doesn’t matter what you try to do
(Doesn’t matter, doesn’t matter)
Doesn’t matter what you try to do
(Doesn’t matter, doesn’t matter)
Doesn’t matter where you try to go
(Doesn’t matter, doesn’t matter)
Doesn’t matter who we really are
(Doesn’t matter, doesn’t matter)

Doesn’t matter
(Doesn’t matter, doesn’t matter)
Doesn’t matter
(Doesn’t matter, doesn’t matter)
Doesn’t matter
(Doesn’t matter, doesn’t matter)

Doesn’t matter
(Doesn’t matter, doesn’t matter)
Doesn’t matter
(Doesn’t matter, doesn’t matter)
Doesn’t matter

Songwriters: DAVID BOWIE
© TINTORETTO MUSIC
For non-commercial use only.
Data From: LyricFind

 

9 July 2018 Sleep, Bird in the Water (missions) and Buy the Milk (story)

Hello – how are you doing in your here and now?  I hope this finds you well.  I’m tired again but getting better.  Think I’m getting closer to figuring out what the problem is – being too warm at night.  Link likes to cuddle right up next to me and he runs really warm.  Last night I went out to the couch and it was nice and cool and I actually slept some until he figured out I had left the bed and came looking for me lol.  Then we went back to the main bed and it had cooled down and I slept some more until things heated back up.   I’ve always slept better when it is cooler and ever since we adjusted the thermostat in the house, by just 1 degree higher, I haven’t been sleeping as well!

https://sports.yahoo.com/science-says-sleeping-cold-room-174708555.html

Science Says Sleeping In a Cold Room Is Better for Your Health

Courtney Campbell

Those who prefer to keep bedroom temperatures chilly while catching some shut eye may be on to something. According to an article written by Dr. Christopher Winter, Medical Director at Charlottesville Neurology & Sleep Medicine, and published by the Huffington Post, our bedroom temperatures can make a big difference when it comes to getting a good night of sleep.

Although most of us might not give a second thought to the temperature of our bedroom at night (unless you’re trying to save money), Winter says our rooms should be 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit for the best sleep. If the temperature goes above 75 degrees or below 54 degrees, it can cause people to toss and turn all night.

Why does the number on the thermostat matter? Our body temperatures naturally peak and decline during a 24-hour period, with the highest numbers occurring in the late afternoon and the lowest ones around 5 a.m. Sleep usually begins when our body temperature drops, so a colder room can encourage us to fall asleep faster.

If the promise of more sleep isn’t enough, there are plenty of other reasons to keep the air on cool:

You’ll have a more restful sleep.

Research done at the University of South Australia found that certain forms of insomnia occur with poor body temperature regulation. If you’re having trouble falling asleep at night, a colder room could help your body cool down enough to reach a level of deeper, restorative sleep.

It’ll keep you looking young.

Sleeping in a room warmer than 70 degrees will stop your body from releasing melatonin, one of the body’s best anti-aging hormones. Once we’re asleep in total darkness and our body temperature drops, it releases melatonin and triggers a slight cool-down in the body.

It can help you lose weight.

According to the Huffington Post, naturopathic doctor Natasha Turner says that as your body temperature drops and growth hormone is released, the stress hormone cortisol will also decrease with healthy sleep patterns. When you aren’t able to sleep enough, you’ll wake up with high levels of cortisol-meaning you’re more likely to reach for a box of cookies and have increased anxiety.

You lower your risk for metabolic disease.

One study found that sleeping in a room set to 66 degrees can help prevent certain metabolic diseases, like diabetes. Participants not only burned more calories when they were awake, but also nearly doubled their amount of brown fat, or good fat, which allows the body store fewer calories. Over time, this can lower the risk of metabolic diseases.

So, put on your favorite PJs, turn the A/C down to 65 degrees, and get ready to catch some zzz’s. ]]>😴

————————————-

Ugh…..yesterday was an emotional day for me.   It started with watching a video of a man saving an otter from killer whales.  Alas he couldn’t rescue the baby that was with her.  Hearing her scream for her baby just tore me up!  Little did I know this was going to be the tempo of my day!

As Temple Grandin says:

Temple Grandin

“Nature is cruel but we don’t have to be”

Temple Grandin, The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism & Asperger’s

8 July 2018 – Simple drawing I did before the sequence of events that would unfold

So yesterday Kyle and I decided to take the dogs on a walk in the evening and came across a loose dog.  He looked like Spot, probably even the same age, but was a Chihuahua.  He had tags and seemed to be a nice dog but we just couldn’t get close enough to him to read his tags.  Having Link and Spot along with us didn’t help either.  So we finished the walk and I went home.  I put a note about him and his whereabouts on our neighborhood Next Door page to let folks know about him in case they were looking.  Then I grabbed my phone and went out to see if I could get a picture to help identify him.

I didn’t find the sweet boy but I did find something quite tragic in front of my neighbor Fred’s place.  There was a bird in a puddle of water in his front yard.  At first glance I wasn’t sure if it was dead or alive.  When I stopped to really look, I saw labored breathing.  I chose to stop and sit down next to the dying being.  Their wings were all messed up.  I sat and talked to them in soothing tones and stroked their head which they seemed to respond to.  There were tears on my part because I knew there wasn’t much else I could do for the poor thing.  Fred’s cats were out and I knew it was either they were going to get the bird or it was going to be the ants we have around here.  We have ants that wait for Cicada’s to molt and eat them before they even fully get out of their casing!

So I was sitting there and Fred came home and asked me if everything was ok.  I told him about the bird.  He is a hospice nurse and was just home from work.  He was very tired and said, “Why always in my front yard?  The last time it was you telling me about my favorite cat!”  A year or so ago I had been walking and found his favorite cat with it’s throat torn on his front yard.  I had taken the time to tell him instead of just ignoring it.  He told me he had just been on vacation to California and it’s been 8 months since his wife died.  I said that I bet Cindy would be happy that he’s moving on, that she would want him to be happy…he deserved to be happy.  His wife had been sick for a very long time and they both suffered so much with it.   The dying bird I was sitting with was almost symbolic of what they had been through.

He went inside and grabbed some paper towels for me so I could remove the bird to what I hoped would be a safer dying place in my yard.  The bird seemed to find peace in being wrapped and closed it’s eyes as I carried it home.  One last effortless flight.  Alas the space I chose to give this poor thing rest in my yard was later found by the ants.  I think, I HOPE,  the bird had already passed on.  There just was no winning with this case.  I am praying that the bird found a moment of peace with how I chose to handle things.

Remember the message about life is about choices?  What I’ve shared with you illustrates this.  It’s probably happened so many times in your own life and you may not even have been conscious of it!

1) Kyle and I chose to take the dogs for a second walk which we don’t normally do in the summer here.  2) This lead us to the loose dog we wanted to help.  3) This lead me to going back out for a longer walk.   4) This lead me to finding and trying to console a dying bird.  5) This lead me to a loving conversation with Fred about his wife who died after suffering a long illness.

All of this felt like a mission.  I don’t believe that it was “just a coincidence.”  There is the hidden director at work!  Do you heed the direction or do you ignore it?

A long time friend shared a story with me recently.  I don’t know if it’s true story but it was a great example of what I have experienced in my own life when I heed direction from the unseen director….God of energy, the Source….the Universe.

http://www.gospelweb.net/Illustrations/BuyTheMilk.htm

Buy The MilkOr Are You An Angel?
Author Unknown
Bible.Flag
Follow Book & Flag

A young man had been to Wednesday night Bible Study. The Pastor had spoken about “listening to God and obeying the Lord’s voice.”

The young man couldn’t help but wonder, “Does God still speak to people?” After service he went out with some friends for coffee and pie and they discussed the message. Several different ones talked about how God had led them in different ways. It was about ten o’clock when the young man started driving home. Sitting in his car, he just began to pray, “God, if you still speak to people, speak to me. I will listen. I will do my best to obey.”

As he drove down the main street of his town, he had the strangest thought to stop and buy a gallon of milk. He shook his head and said out loud, “God is that you?” He didn’t get a reply, so he started on toward home. But again, the thought came to him… buy a gallon of milk.

The young man thought about Samuel, and how he didn’t recognize the voice of God, and how little Samuel ran to Eli. “Okay, God, in case that is you, I will buy the milk.” It didn’t seem like too hard a test of obedience. He could always use the milk. So, he stopped and purchased the gallon of milk and started toward home.

As he passed Seventh Street, he again felt the urge, “Turn down that street.” This is crazy, he thought, and drove on past the intersection. Again, he felt that he should turn down Seventh Street. At the next intersection, he turned back and headed down Seventh. Half jokingly, he said out loud, “Okay, God, I will”.

He drove several blocks, when suddenly, he felt like he should stop. He pulled over to the curb and looked around. He was in a semi-commercial area of town. It wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t the worst of neighborhoods either. The businesses were closed and most of the houses looked dark, like people were already in bed.

Again, he sensed something, “Go and give the milk to the people in the house across the street.” The young man looked at the house. It was dark and it looked like the people were either gone or they were already asleep. He started to open the door and then sat back in the car seat. “Lord, this is insane. Those people are asleep and if I wake them up, they are going to be mad and I will look stupid.”

Again, he felt like he should go and give the milk. Finally, he opened the door and said, “Okay God, if this is you, I will go to the door and I will give them the milk. If you want me to look like a crazy person, okay. I want to be obedient. I guess that will count for something but, if they don’t answer right away, I am out of here.”

He walked across the street and rang the bell. He could hear some noise inside. A man’s voice yelled out, “Who is it? What do you want?”

Then the door opened before the young man could get away. The man was standing there in his jeans and T-shirt. He looked like he just got out of bed. He had a strange look on his face and he didn’t seem too happy to have some stranger standing on his doorstep.

The man asked, “What is it?”

The young man thrust out the gallon of milk and said, “Here, I brought this to you,” he said.

The man took the milk and rushed down a hallway speaking loudly in Spanish. Then from down the hall came a woman carrying the milk toward the kitchen. The man was following her holding a baby. The baby was crying. The man had tears streaming down his face.

The man began speaking and half crying, “We were just praying. We had some big bills this month and we ran out of money. We didn’t have any milk for our baby. I was just praying and asking God to show me how to get some milk.”

His wife in the kitchen yelled out,”I ask him to send an angel with some. Are you an Angel?”

The young man reached into his wallet and pulled out all the money he had on him and put it in the man’s hand. Then he turned and walked back toward his car and tears were streaming down his face. He knew then that God does still speak to people… and answer prayers.

 

8 July 2018 – Simple drawing I did before the sequence of events that would unfold – looks like a man in a box looking for a way out to me. 

 

3 July 2018 Repurposing

Hello to you this HOT Texas afternoon.  Oh my goodness it’s summer lol.  I can’t believe I could forget how toasty and crunchy this time of the year can be.  At least the Cicada’s sing to me all day 🙂

As you may or may not remember, earlier this year I was not myself.  During this time Kyle was tested sorely and one of my precious crystals got tossed really hard on the pavement.  It was just one of the many things that were nearly destroyed when time in the Anger Room in Dallas (https://www.angerroom.com/) would have served us better!  Well we’ve managed to mend our relationship as we always do.  In celebration of our progress, today I decided to try and repurpose or fix the crystal he tossed.  I had saved some of the main pieces and thought it would be neat to soften the rough edges with shells we collected on our wedding cruise to Puerto Rico, to St. Martin in particular.  I know some would cringe at the thought of doing this to a quartz crystal ball but I am very pleased with her new look.  She looks like a queen now and is a fusion of land and sea!

I’m so grateful Kyle has stuck around despite the stormy times we’ve had together.  I’m so grateful he about as unconditionally as is humanly possible loves me and the person I am….as changeable as that can be sometimes!

For those who celebrate the 4th of July, hope you have a great day.  Remember if you have furry loved ones to make sure they are secure before the firework displays start.  They have much better hearing than we do!  We’ve already had a lot of dogs and cats running away around here because of the loud noises.

http://www.wafb.com/story/38566600/vets-warn-pet-owners-about-fireworks-shows-4th-of-july

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) –

Before you shoot off fireworks over the Independence Day holiday, think about your pets.

RELATED: Where you can and can’t shoot off fireworks

Doctors with the LSU Veterinary School of Medicine are warning owners about the dangers of fireworks shows. They say pets like dogs, cats, and livestock have enhanced hearing and are easily startled by the loud noises.

“They have very sensitive hearing, so it’s a lot harder for them to hear and see that than it is for us,” said Dr. Nancy Welborn. “And they don’t know it’s coming, so it’s scary. So the best thing, one, is never take pets to a fireworks show.”

Dr. Welborn says pets will run off and can get lost. She says it’s best to let your pet find a safe spot inside and stay there until the show is over.

“My dog, my personal dog, he hides in a closet, and it’s dark in there. I kind of close the door and he’s fine,” Dr. Welborn said. “They can pick their spot where they want to be.”

Dr. Welborn recommends that if you pet is overly anxious, you consider medication to relieve stress. But you must consult your veterinarian before administering any kind of drug.

Also, make sure your pet has a collar. Microchips are even better, because then you can easily track your pet if they get scared and run off.

Doctors also say you need to keep livestock in mind. Horses and cattle are easily startled, so if you are about to start a fireworks show, make sure it’s a safe distance away from any livestock.

Copyright 2018 WAFB. All rights reserved.

28 June 2018 For You

Hello to you.  Just a quick note.  I hope you can make out the picture from this morning.  I like to draw when there is shade on that side of the house so my pictures don’t come out as bright as I’d like.  I tried doing a trick with a metal tray like in The Fifth Element movie – “Aziz Light!”  – but it didn’t work lool.

The Fifth Element – Aziz Light!

An important thing I keep having to remember is when I do things like my drawings, this blog or whatever to do it for myself first.  I have to check my motivation for doing things.  There have been times in my life when I have done things for others expecting something in return and all I got out of the deal was a resentment!  My husband has taught me during the course of our marriage the important lesson of living without expectations.   If you are going to do something, make sure you are doing it for the right reasons.

 

Life is short and we have not too much time
for gladdening the hearts of those
who are traveling the dark way with us.
Oh, be swift to love! Make haste to be kind.

henri-frederic amiel – 1885

 

My Aunt shared this video on Facebook and I loved it so much I shared it too!  Sharing it here for my animal lovers in case you haven’t seen it.  This video is good for your heart!

Therapy Pets

21 May 2018 Breaking down walls

20 May 2018 – we had some wonderful rain. God cleaned off my canvas 🙂

Reading this first thing this morning helped me a lot.   What if this message could transcend all the barriers we put up to separate ourselves from each other?!  What if this message could transcend and eventually melt tools people use to harm one another into playgrounds and places that would bring us together in peace?  May be some day.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/pope-francis-tells-gay-man-god-made-you-like-that/ar-AAxzTp8

Describing his encounter with the Pope to CNN, Cruz said: “You know Juan Carlos, that does not matter. God made you like this. God loves you like this. The Pope loves you like this and you should love yourself and not worry about what people say.”

19 May 2018 – what happens when you don’t go to a professional to go blonde LOL!  I am working on finding my way through the darkness I’ve been in.  I’m so grateful for my family (two and four legged) and dear friends who love me no matter how wild it gets. 

 

6 18 9 5 14 4 19

F R I E N D S = 75 (3 cycle)

6 1 13 9 12 25

F A M I L Y = 66 (3 cycle)

2 5 12 15 22 5 4

7 18 1 20 5 6 21 12

G R A T E F U L = 90 (9 cycle)

B E L O V E D = 65

19 16 9 18 9 20 21 1 12 9 20 25

S P I R I T U A L I T Y = 179

2 12 15 14 4 5

B L O N D E = 52

Yesterday I got a little teary thinking about my dogs and cats.  It’s because I was feeling overwhelmed by all the art and writings I have through the house.  Dogs and cats are so simple.  What do they leave behind by way of material things but a collar, a leash and a few toys?  What matters the most is what they leave in my heart….so much love and gratitude!  Intangible things you can’t hold on to with your hands!   I found the actual story where a vet shares a beautiful story and explanation from a little boy about why dogs don’t live as long as humans.

http://blog.nilesanimalhospital.com/2011/10/normal-0-false-false-false.html

Why Dogs Don’t Live as Long as Humans

A four year old child’s wisdom

(From the internet….author unknown)

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten year old Irish wolfhound, named Belker. The dog’s owners, Ron, his wife Lisa and their little boy Shane were all very attached to Belker and they were hoping for a miracle. I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer.

I told the family there were no miracles left for Belker and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog. Ron and Lisa told me that they thought it would be good for the four year old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker’s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few moments, Belker slipped away peacefully. The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion.

We sat together for a while after Belker’s death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, “I know why.” Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I never had heard a more comforting explanation.

He said, “People are born so that they learn how to live a good life – like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?” The four year old continued, “Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

Posted by Peter Sakas at 7:57 AM

17 May 2018 Drawing and Dream

Hello to you.  Hope this finds you well today wherever and whenever you are tuning in from.  Feeling gratitude today.  I had a weird dream last night/this morning.  It was about some hotel/hospital where people were going to get plastic surgery.  I saw Prince there and it was like his face was stitched on and it was a white version of himself.  This was the case of many of the people I saw there.  I think this dream was triggered by the CNN show we watched last night, “Video Killed The Radio Star.”  Since it was from the 80’s, they of course mentioned artists like Prince, Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston.  They talked about how difficult it had been for musical artists of color to break through on MTV.  They have a clip of an interview where David Bowie asked one of the MTV VJ’s why there were so few videos with black artists and he got a bullshit answer.  You could tell by how David responded that he wasn’t falling for it!

David Bowie Criticizes MTV for Not Playing Videos by Black Artists | MTV News

It made my heart ache to think on how many artists I knew and loved from the 80’s like Prince that are no longer here with us!  It’s a tough gig to choose to be a performing artist!  I miss them and am grateful for their contributions to such a big part of my developmental years.

16 18 9 14 3 5

P R I N C E = 65

3 1 20

C A T = 24 (3 cycle)

16 21 18 16 12 5

P U R P L E = 88

5 25 5

E Y E  = 35

2 9 18 4

B I R D = 33 (3 cycle)

16 12 1 19 20 9 3    19 21 18 7 5 18 25

P L A S T I C  (80)      S U R G E R Y (113) = 193

Prince – When Doves Cry (Official Music Video)

Prince – Thieves In The Temple (Official Music Video)

 

27 Dec 2017 Peace Fragile As Glass and Metallica – The Unforgiven (Video)

Hello to you.  It’s 7:55 am as I write from here.  Another gray and cold day it looks like!  We had a nice holiday with Kyle’s family and got to see Link’s (and ours) family for a short visit before they headed back to Oklahoma.  Erin talked me into reactivating my Facebook account to keep in touch.  I went through and basically sterilized whatever I’m following.  Got what shows up in my feed to mostly just family and friends versus famous people who don’t have anything to do with the pages in their names.  I’m sure I won’t be missed lol.  I also whittled out a bunch of other stuff that I allow to depress and anger me.  Testing the waters!  I go back in knowing full well that I chose to do so.

This morning I had something interesting happen when I tried to attach a star to a tree of life I had made that hangs on my bathroom mirror.  Just as I tried to attach the “broken star”, the glass peace symbol I’ve shared here before fell off and shattered!  I cut myself trying to pick up the pieces.  Is this symbolic or what?!  It was to me.  Peace is as fragile as glass and if you wreck it, there is bloodshed!

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/662577-glass-peace-alike-betray-proof-of-fragility-under-repeated

David Mitchell

“Glass & peace alike betray proof of fragility under repeated blows.”

David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

Yesterday I moved a bunch of “my stuff” into what was Amber and May’s room aka “the cat room”.  When I tried to remove the cat tree, I felt what I would describe as a “claw to my heart” and I burst into tears!  Yep….felt a physical pain in my heart at the mere thought of removing the tree.  So that tells me I’m still grieving and need to wait before passing the tree on to our friend Rhonda’s two cat boys Gio and Cocoa!
Dreamt about going to see Metallica this morning.  What’s funny is Kyle is the one who has seen them live!
Metallica – The Unforgiven (Video)

METALLICA – The Unforgiven Lyrics

Artist: METALLICA

Album: The Black Album

Genre: Rock

New blood joins this earth
And quickly he’s subdued
Through constant pained disgrace
The young boy learns their rules

With time the child draws in
This whipping boy done wrong
Deprived of all his thoughts
The young man struggles on and on

He’s known, a vow unto his own
That never from this day, his will they’ll take away

What I’ve felt, what I’ve known
Never shined through in what I’ve shown
Never be, never see
Won’t see what might have been

What I’ve felt, what I’ve known
Never shined through in what I’ve shown
Never free, never me
So I dub thee unforgiven

They dedicate their lives
To running all of his
He tries to please them all
This bitter man he is

Throughout his life the same
He’s battled constantly
This fight, he cannot win
A tired man they see no longer cares

The old man then prepares
To die regretfully, that old man here is me

What I’ve felt, what I’ve known
Never shined through in what I’ve shown
Never be, never see
Won’t see what might have been

What I’ve felt, what I’ve known
Never shined through in what I’ve shown
Never free, never me
So I dub the unforgiven

You labeled me, I’ll label you
So I dub the unforgiven

8 Dec 2017 Old town visit, Jan Ingenhousz (Photosynthesis), Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his interns, CRISPR-Cas9 (Gene editing) and Our Father (prayer)

Hello to you. How are you this morning? I am on my second cup of coffee as I write to you….another night of poor sleep. Kyle says that after the Vet’s office calls us to collect May’s ashes and we bring them home, may be I’ll be able to rest. I’ll admit I do keep listening for her voice. Last night before bed I did a drawing and she was definitely there in my thoughts as I did it:

7 Dec 2017 – Drawing I did before bed last night. Missing our May kitty.

Yesterday afternoon I went to our town square to see if one of the shops, Indians and Outlaws (https://www.facebook.com/Indiansandoutlaws) in particular, still had some of the home-made soaps I bought last year.  Kyle’s youngest brother just loved the lemon soaps.  The shop owner, Brian and I had another one of our far-reaching spiritual talks.  He told me he loves it when I come in there because of the discussions we get into.  As we talked he was saying it was funny how many things we were talking about overlapped with conversations he had just had with other people.  I love it when that happens!  He reminds me of my Dad’s brother Uncle John when he was younger.  He could be family!  Part of our conversation before I bought the soaps, was about our physical bodies just being earthly vessels – Brian’s words and I really liked that way of saying what we both believe.  These bodies are just earthly vessels.  We both also feel like Jesus never left us – just became part of us all.

7 Dec 2017 – it was cold after I got back from talking to Brian but I was so inspired I did this drawing.

After spending time with Brian, I walked down to Alvarado Crafts, Gifts and Collectibles to see how everyone was doing in there: (https://www.facebook.com/Alvarado-Gifts-and-Collectibles-147253735447257/ or  http://lloop27.wixsite.com/alvarado-gifts)

Snowflakes had started to fall, which was surprising to us all!  Apparently Brian and Mr. Davis had a friendly wager going on between them about that the day before!  I was sad to find out that the owner’s mother-in-law Darlene son Michael wasn’t doing very well.  It sounded like they weren’t sure if he would be with us much longer.  Michael suffers from muscular dystrophy.  They lost his brother recently from the same condition.  The two boys had shared the same room for 12 years.  I can only imagine how lonely it must be for Michael without his brother who probably understood him better than anyone on this earth.  My prayers are with these folks.  It’s tough to face such things, especially during a time of year that is supposed to be happy.

So this mornings post title and subject matter may seem oddly patched together. It started with my seeing Google celebrating the 287th birthday of the Dutch physiologist, biologist and chemist named Jan Ingenhousz. I didn’t remember hearing about him so when I looked and saw he was responsibly for the discovery of photosynthesis in plants, I had to know more!

http://time.com/5055533/jan-ingenhousz-google-doodle-photosynthesis-plants/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Ingenhousz

Jan Ingenhousz or Ingen-Housz FRS (8 December 1730 – 7 September 1799) was a Dutch physiologist, biologist and chemist. He is best known for discovering photosynthesis by showing that light is essential to the process by which green plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen.[1][2][3] He also discovered that plants, like animals, have cellular respiration.[4] In his lifetime he was best known for successfully inoculating the members of the Habsburg family in Vienna against smallpox in 1768 and subsequently being the private counsellor and personal physician to the Austrian Empress Maria Theresa.[5]

As I perused the news headlines, I was curious to see what happened with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his interns. It turned out there was “plant-related” discussion, about cannabis (Marijuana) in particular (see the actual video by using the link):

http://www.businessinsider.com/interns-confront-jeff-sessions-on-police-brutality-gun-control-marijuana-2017-12

Justice Department interns confronted Jeff Sessions over police brutality, gun control, and marijuana

Michelle Mark

Justice Department interns posed tough questions to Attorney General Jeff Sessions during an event over the summer, newly published video shows.

Sessions told one intern that “other places in the country” have different views regarding excessive use-of-force from police officers.

He told another that marijuana is not a healthy substance.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions was grilled by Justice Department interns over the summer about contentious issues like police violence and marijuana legalization, an internal video obtained by ABC News shows.

During the private event, one intern asked Sessions about Philando Castile and Michael Brown, two black men killed in recent years by police officers who were not convicted for the fatal shootings.

“I grew up in one of these communities,” the intern said. “I grew up in the projects to a single mother. And the people who we are afraid of are not necessarily our neighbors but the police.”

Sessions, appearing frustrated, replied, “Well, that may be the view in Berkeley, but it’s not the view in other places in the country.”

“I hear you, I hear you,” Sessions continued. “We’ve got a situation where we need to confront violent crime in America in cities that have abandoned traditional police activities, like Baltimore and Chicago. Murder rates have surged, particularly in poor neighborhoods.”

Sessions went on to say that the Justice Department is committed to defending Americans’ civil rights and would prosecute police officers who violate them.

Coincidentally, the video’s release occurred on the same day as the sentencing of former South Carolina police officer Michael Slager, who will serve 20 years in prison for fatally shooting Walter Scott in the back as he fled a traffic stop in April 2015. Slager pleaded guilty in May to federal civil rights violations.

A Justice Department spokeswoman said Thursday that Sessions’ discussion with the interns was intended to give students the opportunity “to have robust conversation — even debates — about the challenges facing our country with the attorney general.”

‘Marijuana is not a healthy substance’

Another intern posed a fiery question comparing marijuana deaths to gun deaths, remarking that the latter was more statistically significant.

“Since guns kill more people than marijuana, why lax laws on one and harsh laws on the other?” she said.

Sessions responded that the question was one of “apples and oranges” and asked whether she was aware of the Second Amendment.

“I intend to defend that Second Amendment. It’s as valid as the First Amendment. So that’s my basic philosophical view about it,” he said. “Look, there’s this view that marijuana is harmless and it does no damage. I believe last year was the first year that automobile accidents that occurred were found to have been caused more by drugs than by alcohol.”

He went on to say that “marijuana is not a healthy substance, in my opinion,” arguing that the American Medical Association is “crystal clear on that.” When Sessions asked the intern whether she believed that point, the intern responded, “I don’t.”

“Okay, so Dr. Whatever Your Name Is, you can write to AMA to see why they think otherwise,” Sessions said.

I don’t entirely agree with the Attorney General either and found his reply to the intern rather rude. A few pro’s and con’s about Marijuana:

http://www.cannabissearch.com/articles/pros-vs-cons-of-marijuana/

Pros vs. Cons of Cannabis

There are many great things that cannabis has to offer, both as a medicine and a potentially legal drug in the future. On the other end of the spectrum, there are a few negative aspects about this medication. Under current federal law, the Controlled Substances Act classifies marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance. This is means that the U.S. government feels that there are no accepted medical benefits, it has a high potential for abuse and is unsafe for use even under medical supervision. As of now, 16 states and territories currently permit medical marijuana use for patients with legitimate prescriptions for the substance. The following will chronicle both the pros and cons of medical marijuana use, as well as legalization.

Pros

Despite the fact that the government has classified cannabis as a Schedule I substance, it has been proven that marijuana is helpful in the treatment of many medical ailments, ranging from cancer to anxiety. One of the main reasons many feel that marijuana is still illegal is because of the minimal amount of effort the government has put into testing its medicinal value. Were cannabis to be legalized, it would be easier for scientists to conduct tests proving marijuana’s effectiveness as a medication. Another positive outcome of legalization would be the immense amount of jobs it would generate for people such as Oaksterdam graduates. Taxing marijuana (like we now do with alcohol) would also assist in maintaining a steadier economy. In California, medical marijuana generates over $14 billion per year. Ironically, the United States government spends an estimated $10 billion per year trying to rid the streets and dispensaries of marijuana. Imagine how much more revenue would be generated if you could purchase it at a convenience store.

Cancer patients and/or those undergoing chemotherapy find medical marijuana extremely helpful in reducing vomiting, nausea and increasing appetite. Most of these patients are taking enough heavy-duty medications as it is, and rather than take one more for appetite increase (that often doesn’t work), they turn to medicinal marijuana. Also, prior to undergoing potentially worrisome treatments or doctor visits, these patients will find that using medical marijuana prior to these trips can relieve much stress, tension and anxiety. AIDS patients also find this medication helpful in increasing appetite and maintaining some muscle mass.

Shown to provide relief for those suffering from pain and muscle spasms associated with epilepsy and multiple sclerosis (MS), cannabis also helps with chronic pain and depression. Many patients with severe and chronic pain are prescribed medical marijuana, especially those who do not wish to take such “hard” drugs as Oxycontin or Vicodin. There are many more medical ailments that cannabis is capable of treating, including migraines, glaucoma, insomnia, asthma, anorexia, as an alcohol substitute and even ADHD/ADD.

Cons

While exceptionally helpful in treating a wide array of medical problems, as with an medication, is has side-effects. Ingesting cannabis slows the motor skills and reaction time, can sometimes cause paranoia and mood swings, fatigue and increased appetite, while under its effect. Long-term effects of marijuana use include memory loss, confusion and/or a delayed thought-process, blockage of blood vessels and can lead to lung cancer if continuously smoked (not vaporized or eaten). It can also cause loss of motivation, cramps and rarely diarrhea.

Then the path I’m on this morning lead to an article about how Scientists are playing with DNA again. In my mind, this next leading connects back to plants, to the “first” creations of the force, the “God” that created all of existence.  This article is yet another, of too many examples of  how humans insist on continuing to muck around in creation.  Sometimes it seems to me they do it more for  personal glory and profit than for humanitarian aims:

http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-crispr-gene-expression-20171207-story.html

Scientists use CRISPR to turn genes on without editing their DNA

The revolutionary gene editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 is best-known for helping scientists edit a strand of DNA more precisely and efficiently than ever before.

Now, researchers have demonstrated another use for the CRISPR complex: changing what genes are expressed without altering the genome itself.

…………………………………

What this looks like is yet another money-making scheme. Rather than a cure we get another, more expensive treatment option. There will more than likely be the Elysium movie version of such a treatment (for the wealthy) and the rest of us will most likely only have the repeated treatments option like we currently do to “treat” cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other common ailments:

“Our final goal is treatment of disease, so we want to make sure this technique is really working,” Hatanaka said.

Komor said the work is exciting, but she noted that the end result would be a disease treatment, rather than a cure.

“So a patient would likely require repeated treatments depending on the particular disease,” she said.

For example (lead to this article next); could this CRISPR “treatment” potentially cure the incurable Alzheimers disease? Or would it ultimately just be like what is going on in the realms of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other chronic diseases? Kyle and I suspect one of the reasons Bernie Sander’s proposal for healthcare for all Americans (https://berniesanders.com/issues/medicare-for-all/) hasn’t taken hold and been approved is because it would not be in the financial interests of the pharmaceutical industry.   Would we see more cures if there was no profit to be made from long-term “treatments?”

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/new-estimate-says-46-million-americans-headed-alzheimer-s-n827456

New estimate says 46 million Americans headed to Alzheimer’s

by Maggie Fox

Close to 50 million Americans could be in the early stages leading to Alzheimer’s disease right now, according to a new forecast.

And 6 million people likely have it now, the team at the University of California Los Angeles calculated.

The forecast is based on a lot of supposition as well as some hard data, but it’s the best estimate of how badly Alzheimer’s will affect the country in the coming years, said Keith Fargo of the Alzheimer’s Association, who was not involved in the research.

Finally lead to prayer. I know from my own personal experience that when people I love and care about are sick or dying I pray to the God of my understanding. There was this headline today:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/pope-francis-wants-to-change-line-of-our-father/ar-BBGnr4G?OCID=ansmsnnews11

Pope Francis wants to change line of ‘Our Father’

Pope Francis has suggested he wants to make a change to The Lord’s Prayer, widely known among the faithful as the “Our Father.”

Specifically, the Catholic leader said in an interview Wednesday he would prefer to adjust the phrase “lead us not into temptation,” saying that it too strongly suggested that God leads people to sin.

“That is not a good translation,” the pope said, according to Reuters.

The phrase “do not let us fall into temptation,” which the Catholic Church in France has previously decided to use, would be a more appropriate alternative, Francis said.

He added that the phrase used by the French, or similar wording, should then be implemented around the globe.

The prayer originated from Jesus’s language of Aramaic. It was then translated to ancient Greek, and later to Latin.

The pope earlier this week weighed in on President Trump’s announcement that the U.S. recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and would aim to move its embassy there from Tel Aviv.

Francis said he was “profoundly concerned” and appealed that “everyone respects the status quo of the city.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

In my curiosity to see if there was something official on the Vatican site, I found this which coincides in the date timeframe of the final article I’m linking:

http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/cotidie/2013/documents/papa-francesco-cotidie_20130620_our-father.html

POPE FRANCIS

MORNING MEDITATION IN THE CHAPEL OF THE
DOMUS SANCTAE MARTHAE

Pray Our Father

Thursday, 20 June 2013

(by L’Osservatore Romano, Weekly ed. in English, n. 26, 26 June 2013)

There is no need to fritter away words in order to pray: the Lord knows what we want to say to him. The important thing is that our first word be “Father”. Jesus’ advice to the Apostles was what Pope Francis, in turn, offered during the homily at Mass on Thursday morning, 20 June, in the Chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae. Concelebrating, among others, was Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, who was accompanied by some staff from the dicastery.

Thus the Pontiff repeated Jesus’ advice to the Apostles when he gave them the Our Father, according the Evangelist Matthew’s account (6:7-15). In order to pray, there is no need to make noise or believe that that it is better to use more words. There is no need to trust in noise, the noise of worldliness which Jesus pointed out, “to sound the trumpet” or “making oneself seen while fasting”. To pray, the Holy Father repeated, there is no need to heap up empty phrases: Jesus called this a characteristic of pagans.

Pope Francis went further, confirming that prayer must not be considered a magic formula: “Praying is not something magic; one doesn’t practice magic with prayer”. As he often does, he recounted his personal experience. He said that he never turned to sorcerers who promise magic; rather he knew what happened in meetings of this sort: many words are used to obtain “healing one time and at another time something else” with the help of magic. However, he warned, “this is pagan”.

So how should we pray? Jesus has taught us: “he says that the Father who is in heaven ‘knows what you need before you ask him”. Therefore, let our first word be “’Father’. This is the key to prayer. Without speaking, without feeling this word, praying is not possible”, the Bishop of Rome explained. Then he asked: “To whom do I pray? The almighty God? He is too far away. I don’t feel him; neither did Jesus feel him. To whom do I pray? The God of the cosmos? This is quite frequent nowadays, isn’t it? Praying to the cosmic God. This polytheistic model comes with a superficial culture”.

Rather, we must “pray to the Father”, who begot us. But this is not all: we must pray “our” Father, that is, not the Father of a generic and too anonymous “all”, but the One “who begot you, who gave you life, who gave life to you and me”.

———–

I don’t agree with everything here, to me the term Father is exclusive and paternalistic. I have a loving Father AND Mother and that is not the case for many people on this planet. There are many people who hate their parents and to inject these terms into their prayers often keeps them off prayer altogether. Turns them away from any concept of God altogether.

I believe masculine and feminine energy of creation applies in “heaven” as on earth. I have learned to pray like supposedly Jesus did when he talked to the God of his understanding which it is written was his Father, “Not as I would have it, but as you would have it. Whatever is for the greatest, most loving good for this (person, place or situation.” Then I let it go. I agree with the Pope that when you use too many words or place too many conditions in your prayers you seldom if ever get an discernable answer.

I was curious to see if there would be any articles like this to back up my theories here as to why so many people have turned away from organized religions and was lead to this article:

https://www.npr.org/2013/01/15/169342349/more-young-people-are-moving-away-from-religion-but-why

More Young People Are Moving Away From Religion, But Why?

January 15, 20133:21 AM ET

Heard on Morning Edition

NPR Staff

Rigoberto Perez (from left), Kyle Simpson and Miriam Nissly participated in a roundtable discussion about religion with NPR’s David Greene at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue.

Coburn Dukehart/NPR

One-fifth of Americans are religiously unaffiliated — higher than at any time in recent U.S. history — and those younger than 30 especially seem to be drifting from organized religion. A third of young Americans say they don’t belong to any religion.

NPR’s David Greene wanted to understand why, so he gathered a roundtable of young people at a synagogue in Washington, D.C. The 6th & I Historic Synagogue seemed like the right venue: It’s both a holy and secular place that has everything from religious services to rock concerts. Greene speaks with six people — three young women and three young men — all struggling with the role of faith and religion in their lives.

Interview Highlights

Miriam Nissly, 29, was raised Jewish and considers herself Jewish with an “agnostic bent.” She loves going to synagogue.

“I realize maybe there’s a disconnect there — why are you doing it if you don’t necessarily have a belief in God? But I think there’s a cultural aspect, there’s a spiritual aspect, I suppose. I find the practice of sitting and being quiet and being alone with your thoughts to be helpful, but I don’t think I need to answer that question [about God] in order to participate in the traditions I was brought up with.”

Yusuf Ahmad, 33, raised Muslim, is now an atheist. His doubts set in as a child with sacred stories he just didn’t believe.

“Like the story of Abraham — his God tells him to sacrifice his son. Then he takes his son to sacrifice him, and he turns into a goat. I remember growing up, in like fifth [or] sixth grade I’d hear these stories and be like, ‘That’s crazy! Why would this guy do this? Just because he heard a voice in his head, he went to sacrifice his son and it turned into a goat?’ There’s no way that this happened. I wasn’t buying it.

“Today if some guy told you that ‘I need to sacrifice my son because God told me to do it,’ he’d be locked up in a crazy institution.”

Kyle Simpson, 27, raised Christian. He has a tattoo on the inside of his wrist that says “Salvation from the cross” in Latin.

“It’s a little troublesome now when people ask me. I tell them and they go, ‘Oh, you’re a Christian,’ and I try to skirt the issue now. They go, ‘What does that mean?’ and it’s like, “It’s Latin for ‘I made a mistake when I was 18.’

“When I first got the tattoo I remember thinking, ‘Oh, this will be great because when I’m having troubles in my faith I will be able to look at it, and I can’t run away from it.’ And that is exactly what is happening.

“I don’t [believe in God] but I really want to. That’s the problem with questions like these is you don’t have anything that clearly states, ‘Yes, this is fact,’ so I’m constantly struggling. But looking right at the facts — evolution and science — they’re saying, no there is none. But what about love? What about the ideas of forgiveness? I like to believe they are true and they are meaningful.

“I think having a God would create a meaning for our lives, like we’re working toward a purpose — and it’s all worthwhile because at the end of the day we will maybe move on to another life where everything is beautiful. I love that idea.”

Melissa Adelman, 30, raised Catholic

“Starting in middle school we got the lessons about why premarital sex was not OK, why active homosexuality was not OK, and growing up in American culture, kids automatically pushed back on those things, and so we had some of those conversations in school with our theology teachers. The thing for me — a large part of the reason I moved away from Catholicism was because without accepting a lot of these core beliefs, I just didn’t think that I could still be part of that community.

“I remember a theology test in eighth grade where there was a question about homosexuality, and the right answer was that if you are homosexual, then that is not a sin because that’s how God made you, but acting upon it would be a sin. That’s what I put down as the answer, but I vividly remember thinking to myself that that was not the right answer.”

Rigoberto Perez, 30, raised as Seventh-day Adventist

“It was a fairly important part of our lives. It was something we did every Saturday morning. We celebrate the Sabbath on Saturday. It was pretty hard growing up in a lot of ways. We didn’t have a lot of money, the household wasn’t very stable a lot of the time, so when something bad would happen, say a prayer, go to church. When my mom got cancer the first time, it was something that was useful at the time for me as a coping mechanism.

“While I was younger, my father drank a lot. There was abuse in the home. My brother committed suicide in 2001. So at some point you start to say, ‘Why does all this stuff happen to people?’ And if I pray and nothing good happens, is that supposed to be I’m being tried? I find that almost kind of cruel in some ways. It’s like burning ants with a magnifying glass. Eventually that gets just too hard to believe anymore.”

Lizz Reeves, 23, raised by a Jewish mother and a Christian father. She lost a brother to cancer.

“I wanted so badly to believe in God and in heaven, and that’s where he was going. I wanted to have some sort of purpose and meaning associated with his passing. And ultimately the more time I spent thinking about it, I realized the purpose and meaning of his life had nothing to do with heaven, but it had to do with how I could make choices in my life that give his life meaning. And that had a lot more weight with me than any kind of faith in anything else.”