Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What does Yoga Offer?

       Has one notice that as the main media and much of the world has openly rebelled against God and the Bible, society all over has openly campaigned throughout the western world for yoga? The media's heavy push for yoga always advertises a very positive, no lose reward for all those who pursue it. Yoga for much of it's peddlers symbolizes a means of happiness one can achieve without spending time boring over the Bible, driving to church, laboring through Biblical lessons or studies, or even trying to live a moral life. Yoga preaches meditation techniques that is supposed to create mindfulness, concentration, super mundane powers and insight. An insightful person may ask super mundane powers from where? Who is this mundane power? And what is this individual who practices yoga actually concentrating on?  A world full of atheists and agnostics who will often argue and fight to say that there is not a god will pursue time and energy meditating for a super mundane power whom they can not specifically explain, describe, nor name. They cannot state who or what they are suppressing their bodies for. 
       The Wikipedia explains yoga as the yoking together of the mind and body. Yoking is supposed to illustrate the "yoking together" of mules and horses. While reading this explanation one may still ask: "yoking to who? what? When a yoga follower sits on the floor with his or her legs crossed while breathing in and out, closing his or her eyes and humming, who is this person humming too? the air? 
While reading through various definitions and views of yoga I came across explanations such as relying on progressive restrictions of inputs from the outside, making oneself aware of his or her deepest nature, to experience one's deepest self. And again after reading through these explanations one may still ask restrictions from who? or after knowing one's deepest nature then what? How is one knowing his or her deepest nature going to transform his or her life? Will knowing your deepest nature make you happier? Will the achievement make you smarter? Will it bring you any closer to a state of no suffering? Will one achieve everlasting peace?
       These are typical questions that an individual who has not been sold into yoga may ask, or even one who has. These same questions are difficult to find the answer to. Christianity preaches meditation also but instead of one trying to yoke together his mind and body, the individual will communicate directly to Jesus. Someone who has prayed to Jesus and welcomed Him into his or her life will be able to talk freely with Him without ever needing to cross his or her legs or be forced to practice breathing exercises. Any one of you who has visited a Bible believing church, can you imagine the attendees sitting cross legged on their butte while practicing breathing exercises? Can one imagine Isaiah, Moses, Paul, or even Jesus sitting cross legged while enduring one of their many trials and sufferings? This is what the media and much of the world is trying to sell the world as good or beneficial. This is the same group of people who state constantly the separation of church and state. These are the same people and media who refuse to tolerate the idea of having the Ten Commandments posted in a court room or any general public facility. These same groups of people will be quick to want to expel your child for openly inviting someone to church while within his or her class room or discussing the rewards of salvation and baptism in the middle of the students' lunchroom. These are also the same media, groups, and individuals who will call someone a bigot or homophobic for choosing not to support homosexuality and, or gay marriage.
       But what does Yoga have to offer? Can it produce miracles? Can it save marriages? Can yoga turn an abusive, drunken husband into a loving spouse who becomes clean and sober for the remainder of their marriage? Can Yoga bring hope to a fallen nation who has forgotten their God, One who once brought them hope and freedom from countries, empires, religious organization, and leaders who were trying to kill them? Can the exercise pull one's precious soul out of the depths of hell? Can being aware of one's deepest nature allow him or her to spend eternity with Jesus in heaven? Do you want to place your soul into the hands of yoga? Where's your faith? Which reality sounds better to you? 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Why Stay?

       The video of Ray Rice punching his then fiancee has been shown on television repeatedly thanks to the Kings of Gossip - TMZ. Now everybody who is an avid football fall, or at least a television viewer, has witnessed the scene of the famous knockout punch and later Ray Rice dragging his unfortunate wife from across the floor. After the picture first aired masses of anti - domestic violence and pro -  woman groups as well as individuals came out in front of the microphones and cameras voicing their dismay and anger against Ray Rice, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, as well as the entire NFL organization. The NFL was receiving constant attacks and criticism for running a league full of mad driven, high ego males who habitually beat up their wives and girlfriends as if the behavior was customary. Myself, a fan of Ray Rice and a sorta fan of the Baltimore Ravens, felt very disappointed in him. "He should have known better", I thought to myself. Regardless of what she may have said or done, "he did not have to punch her". But, like most people, after hearing her comments concerning the transgression, - "No one knows the pain that the media & unwanted options from the public has caused my family" - a feeling of shock and disbelief immediately struck me. "Don't you realize that man could have easily ended your life?!?" I felt like screaming inside her ears. But then after awhile the feelings of disbelief dissipated. I realized that this is a domestic situation and these scenarios are often extremely complicated. I began to read the commentaries on many of the readers of various internet articles based on the Ray and Janay Rice domestic incident and saw similarities between their comments and my initial feelings regarding Janay Rice's response. A lot of Americans  are still clueless when it comes to domestic violence. Many of them assume that Janay is simply standing by her husband for his money or that she is just the typical booty shaking, pro sports groupie whose brain is located nowhere close to reality. But despite what many people believe, her support for her man may have nothing to do with his money. She may be inellectually  brighter than you and I. Domestic violence has little to do with the financial power of the man, his family or their social status. Poor husbands beat up their wives just as much as rich and middle class husbands. Spousal abuse occurs throughout all occupations, nations, religions, and cultures. Domestic violence is an individual issue where various combinations of anger, fear, and suspicion is triggered by events and circumstances. The effects of these events and circumstances differ depending on the aggressor and his or her personal history as well as psychological mindset.  The victim in the relationship, her history, psychological mindset also contributes towards the intensity and frequency of the violence by how he or she responds to the aggressor and the situation. When he yells does she often yell back? When he strikes does she often strike back? When he threatens her does she stay in the home or does she call a friend or relative? When he comes after her does she lock herself inside a safe place or does she immediately call the police? When she says she is sorry does he believe her? There are so many more questions but each and every one of them are crucial. Each question plays a very key role in the decisions the agressor and the victim will make and whether or not their will be further violence in the relationship.
       A lot of people place complete blame on Ray Rice stating that no man should ever hit a woman, no excuses. As a person who has spent three years interacting with clients within domestic violence and anger management group sessions, I know that simply walking away from a loved one who upsets you is not always easy. Words as well as actions hurt and when that loved one says those few words or sentences that hits that nerve the individual immediately wants to fight back. Human beings are prideful we don't always want to walk away allowing another person to win the argument or get away with saying something hurtful. But then again I was not there in the parking lot with the couple so I cannot state for sure whether or not Janay Rice said anything provoking toward her husband or whether he may have been doing all the provoking from the very beginning. Regardless, a man should never hit a woman. especially a man that big. Ray Rice should have known better. He did not have to punch her. He could have called a friend, a cab, even the police, just to protect him, his wife, his children from encountering a life changing situation. And it is very possible he may have punched her before this violent incident. If that is the case I pray that Janay wakes up and calls the authorities or someone for help because way too many incidents occur where a loved one ends the life of someone he or she was supposed to take care of but failed to because of the inability to control his or her temper. Whoever is doing the provoking he is obviously not able to handle it. He needs to consult further counsel and help from a trusted source. They have the money they can afford it.
       As mentioned before domestic violence is a very complicated issue and should not be treated as a one size fits all affair. It is possible that this was a one time infraction that will never happen again. I believe that the two really love each other but like all couples they have disagreements and this time the argument between the two got way out of control. The first thing they should do is to do everything to not allow the media, ex. TMZ, or public opinion to influence their reliatonship. TMZ cares nothing for Janay and Ray Rice. The media simply is running after the ratings and all the money, attention, and laughter that comes with it. Shut the door from the media, get help and counseling. Attend a church, yes church, that believes strongly in the Word of God as well as loving on people. It does not occur often but yes couples do save their marriages, even have good ones after experiencing marital violence. It takes a lot of patience, love, and FORGIVENESS, but it is doable. Of course, if the man is beating her like a pulp and continues to do so then for the sake of saving one's life and possibly the children's, by all means leave, and leave quickly.
       Circumstances where a wife is beating up on her husband, physically or verbally can be a bit more tricky because often times the husband is more physically stronger and intimidating than his wife. But there are wives who physically abuse their husbands and if such abuse is beginning to become life threatening then he needs to consider leaving his woman in order to protect his life or both and protect their children if they have any. Verbal abuse is trickier. In this situation one needs to follow the advice of a wise pastor or counselor but please don't do what Ray Rice did.