Heaven or Something else?

The odd neighbor dies and the priest tells everyone at the funeral he is now in heaven. The old school teacher in the retirement home passed away in her sleep and the minister comforts the family telling them they will see her again someday in heaven, so they go on their way comforted.
Almost every religion or culture speaks of somewhere people go after they die. These places are called many different things and are described different but they all have one thing in common, you only get there by dying. Are these places real and are they different places or the same?  
In my recent Psych 600 class, this topic came up for discussion, centered on the main question, is there something else or nothing after death. One question arose asking “is the belief in the afterlife merely a humanistic attempt to make sense out of our existence?” I can see the reasoning behind the question. If there is nothing beyond death, then why are we here and what is the reason for our mortal existence? The flip side is that IF there is something beyond death then our mortal existence can have meaning and our actions can affect what happens to us when we die.
So I pose this question to you in hope you can put forth a worthy argument for or against the afterlife, is there more beyond our daily struggle to survive? Is there a reason you were born, other than to live out your days and die and then that’s it?

Once you face the truth

Growing up, my father often recalled the stories of a childhood filled with homelessness, hunger, and alcohol abuse. This is one of the reasons he worked tirelessly to provide for our family and care for others. He would talk about times he and his siblings would scrounge for change in order to get enough food for the family each day. I believe this is the main reason he left California at 18 years old and never returned. He wanted to separate himself from the life he experienced in the skid row slums of Alameda, CA. He would explain the hardships the family suffered because his father would get a paycheck and drink it all away. 

My father passed away in 2011, after my mother passed away in 2007. As their only child, their passing became my nightmare. I will not blame them for what has happened since then. I will reference those pivotal events as the beginning of a downward spiral which has lead me to become what I am today, an addict. That sentence is the hardest I have ever written. I do not write these words, nor do take this fact lightly. Now what?

What started as a casual activity, shared among friends, has transformed into a solitary daily event. Before you think this is a confession that has an overcoming outcome at the end, I must warn you it is not. I have not been delivered, beat the devil, or any other term you want to add. I am an alcoholic. How did I get here? I’m not sure I can point to one event that tipped the iceberg. I don’t have repressed memories of a haunted childhood that have come to light. I have never suffered mental, sexual, or physical abuse that has caused me to seek comfort in a bottle or in pills. I can not blame someone else for this, nor do I want too. 

So I have admitted my faults in front of God and anyone else reading this, what now? I could go on and on about what I could do, should do, or will do. I could say this is the first step of recovery or the fight begins now, but that would be a lie. I like drinking. I like the feeling it gives me and the way I can retreat into my own world with my headphones on while I’m drinking. I hate the way it makes those close to me, feel the way they do about me when I’m drinking. I regret the things I say to my family, even though I can’t remember it. So, I move forward. What now? I don’t have the answer. Not even sure why I am writing this because now everyone knows that I know what is happening. 

Once you face the truth there is no way you can sent the facts. Now what?

Cha..Cha..Changes

Changes Crossroad Sign

2016 is a year to remember for ages to come. Donald Trump, the billionaire business man is running for the office of President of the United States of America and is currently leading the Republican party for the nomination. Hillary Clinton, who many believe unfit to lead, is in a tight race with Bernie Sanders, an older senator who is closer to a socialist than a democrat. This election cycle is sure to leave the United States with a President that is far different from anything this nation has ever seen in the past. The GOP is nowhere near what it was during the Reagan administration. It is much closer to the Democratic party of the past, and the current Democratic candidates are even further to the left than at anytime before. We could talk about politics and the moral state of our country for days and still not reach a consensus of opinions. While I am a conservative in the most general terms, I do not believe that the current GOP candidates speak for me. As a practicing Christian, I do hold to some of the fundamental beliefs that separate the conservative and the liberal. But, do not attempt to put me into a box and to consider me close minded. I believe everyone has the right and the privilege to think, act, do, say, and live any way they see fit. That is the ability we have been given by our Creator. It’s the concept of Freewill. Read more of this post

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