Friday, October 2, 2009

Tithing Education - Giving From Guilt

If you're part of any organized religion and donate money on a regular basis, do you know where your money is going? Have you ever asked what they are spending the money on? Are you one of those people who feels that your pastor and church leaders know best and never even ask them, because you might feel inferior to them? Have you asked in the past and were told not to worry about it but still would like to know.

Before you give your hard earned money away, whether you're doing it out of guilt or pleasure, make sure you're supporting the right organization. You should never feel the need to donate money if you don't have it to give.

I went to a church that had funds for everything, building funds, starvation funds, church funds and even funds to fund of funds if they ran out of money. Okay I just threw that last part in their but all kidding aside, there's plenty of stuff to be done in our country, to help the starving, the poor and the needy. Why do we need to go to other countries?

I want to make a suggestion to people who can't afford to give their money away but feel guilty if they don't. In the Bible it tells you to give away 10% of your earnings to the church. The part that it doesn't tell you is what to do if you can't afford to give 10% to the church. I personally have known quite a few people who give money out of guilt and fear but will tell you that this is a requirement of their religion and its okay. God will take care of us and he always does.

I don't really believe God, the all powerful all-knowing and loving creator, wants us to suffer, if we just don't make enough money to survive. If you're planning on sending your child to a Christian private school and could only afford to send them to that school, using the money that you were going to tithe to the church, what will you do? Tithe the money to the church so that they can use it to feed hungry people in other countries or build a new church somewhere or help with your child's education.

Some of these decisions are made difficult by religious doctrine and these are the parts of organized religion that I have problems with. When do we use common sense, combined with a little education to seek the truth. Does your religion ask you to seek the truth but not to gather your information beyond their religious boundaries?

Only give what you can afford to give and feel good about it. If you don't feel good about giving your money away, don't do it. Take care of yourself, so that you can take care of others, if you choose to. Living a life of fear and guilt doesn't make sense.

Question Your Religion

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Greg Vanden Berge is a published author, internet marketing expert, motivational inspiration to millions of people all over the world and is sharing some of his wisdom with experts in the fields of writing,marketing, and personal development.

Greg is currently working on a religious help library filled with great subjects on a wide array of topics, like religion, self help and spiritual changes in the world. His views on religious freedom are slowly changing the way people think about institutional religion.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Rocking the Foundation of Christianity

Whatever you build a house, you start with the foundation, if you're writing a book, it might be an outline for the table of contacts, but when were talking about Christianity, rarely do any Christians ever research the origins or how Christianity began.

Most Christians assume that Jesus was the one who started Christianity, however, he was Jewish and there is a good chance that he never even thought about starting a new religion. I know, Jesus is God and he knows everything and he knew that he was going to start Christianity. Okay, but what if.

That might not be entirely true. We don't have any proof that Jesus was actually a superior god like being. We can speculate or assume all that we want to, however there is very little evidence to support, that Jesus did anything that the writers of the New Testament, suggested he had done.

I would like to challenge most Christians, to do a little research and quite possibly start rocking the foundation of Christianity. It's much more important to understand Christianity than to call yourself a Christian. Will a little bit of research help or hurt you, as you study Christianity.

You can start by looking at the origins of the Bible, the Council of Nicaea, the Emperor Constantine, the missing years of Jesus in the early Roman Catholic Church.

To understand anything, you must understand its origins. Take some time out of your busy life, to start studying the foundation of Christianity.

Do Christians Believe Everything
You are free to copy this article to your site as long as you include the following resource information with an active link to my site:
Greg Vanden Berge is a published author, internet marketing expert, motivational inspiration to millions of people all over the world and is sharing some of his wisdom with experts in the fields of writing,marketing, and personal development.

Greg is currently working on a Christian Article Library filled with great subjects on a wide array of topics, like religion, self help and spiritual changes in the world. His views on religious freedom are slowly changing the way people think about institutional religion.

Good Christians Really Do Inspire Me

One of the best Christians who I ever met, truly inspired me and everyone around him to become a better person. His son is now working at a church and his daughter is a teacher and they're not the only people who he inspired.

He inspired me to write this article, good Christians really do inspire me and others and he definitely was living his life, like Jesus did. He's the only person that I ever met, who didn't have anything bad to say about anyone, with the exception of one time. I actually heard him say that he hates that person, the person probably deserved it, but I still couldn't believe that the word came out of his mouth.

We all make mistakes, even he did, every once in a while. Whenever someone asked him about Christianity, he would try to avoid sharing his beliefs with them, unless they were persistent and then he would share all that he knew.

He never tried to convert anyone and never forced his opinions on anyone else. I asked him once," Did he actually read all of those books that he had in his library." He said that he actually did and I was shocked. He had three large library shelves that were each 4 foot wide and went almost all the way up to the ceiling, filled with books on Christianity and some on other religions.

He's the only man I ever met, that I would actually consider to be a good Christian. I don't know what it was about him, his honesty, compassion or simple kindness, but I valued his friendships and kept my ears open and my mouth shut... most of the time.

If you know someone like this in your life, I would advise you to take full advantage of their wisdom and let them inspire you to become a better Christian and if you don't believe in Christianity, these people can inspire you to become better person. A great life can be acquired, learning the wisdom from people who lead great lives.

Unbelievable Christian Bible Study Book

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Do you really know why you're a Christian, click on this way to get more information about Becoming Really Good Christians

Greg Vanden Berge is a published author and a inspiration to millions of people. He has been involved in religious research for almost 30 years, and his influence in the Christian community is growing. The Holy Bible, is the core to Christian beliefs and most Christians don't even question it. Was the Bible actually written by men?

His newest book," Did God Actually Say That?" Was written specifically for Christians who are interested in gaining additional knowledge about the Bible. This book provides Christians with advanced biblical knowledge, answer some tough questions and should be read by every faithful follower of Christ.

Thanks for reading my articles

Monday, September 14, 2009

Many Benefits of Meditation

Meditation is a way of life. It leads one to the path of health and peace.

Meditation is not easy. One needs a mental discipline and dedication. It requires perseverance just like those who are dedicated to their sports, art or other field of endeavour. Over time, their performance is enhanced through their dedication and discipline. There is much to gain from learning to embrace the practice of meditation. It is not as awkward and uncomfortable as some may think.

Meditation works through the brain circuitry. Meditative practice helps people achieve different levels of awareness. Through meditation. the brain waves get organized and mental activities like focus, memory, learning and awareness are sharpened. Benefits of meditation touches on the physical, psychological and spiritual level. Many medical practitioners believe in the benefits of meditation.


Stress reduction

Today's world is stressful. Negative emotions invade our everyday life. These manifest as disappointments, regrets, overwhelming responsibilities, relationship issues, failure, feelings of rejection and a lot of other issues. There are many physical conditions triggered by stress such as hypertension, cardio-vascular disorders, ulcers, skin rash and insomnia, just to name a few.

Calm down, relax. These are words we hear when stress starts to take over. Meditation offers the promise of a tranquil and calm mind. Meditation is not a review of what could have been and other thoughts of uncertainty. It is not a rehash of unpleasant events. Meditation is a way to relax the mind and focus on the present moment. A calmer mind is empowering. Issues are not threatening.

Levels of cortisol and lactate are lowered through meditation. These chemicals are linked with stress. During deep meditation, the metabolic rate and heart rate are reduced. It is a process of slowing down. This state will not be achieved quickly.With patience and dedication, a meditator will get to this state.


Meditation quietens the mind. This brings about coherence in the brain waves. When the brain wave activities are in harmony, this is associated with improved reasoning and greater creativity. The clutter in the mind is minimized.

Other psychological benefits are decreased anxiety, decreased depression and irritability. With a quieter mind, the power of concentration is improved, memory is enhanced, vigor and vitality is renewed, better emotional stability and self-awareness. A calmer person finds inner peace and happiness and projects this on the outside. Meditation makes one realize that problems people worry about are trivial.


Meditation is a way to connect with inner feelings. It guides one to feel calm, love and peace. Acknowledge negative feelings and let these go.The goals of meditation is to replace these with positive feelings. Meditation helps one to go deeper into one's being and appreciate what a relief it is to be able to surrender negative thoughts, let go all negative feelings that cloud judgment and reason.

Meditation ushers one into a different world. There is an experience of feeling peaceful and general well-being. Intuitive capabilities are enhanced with a feeling of assurance and "knowingness." One embraces unconditional love and psychic abilities are sharpened.


Breathing is very important in meditation. It is a way to calm down and quieten the clutter in the mind. Thoughts will come and go as one meditates, especially at the start. Don't let this discourage you. Even expert meditators experience fleeting thoughts that intrude into their meditation. Just let it go and continue meditating.

The proper way to breathe is to extend the stomach on inhale, and contract on exhale. The shoulders should not move. Focus on counting as you breathe in and out.

Sit in an upright position, on the floor, lotus or semi- lotus position or sit on a chair. It is important to be comfortable.

Focus on breathing and nothing else.

Start with count of four or five as you breathe in. Hold your breath

Count the same as you breathe out.

Thoughts will come and go, don't let this stop you, just keep counting and breathing.

As you practice, increase the count. Savor the calmness and relax. Slowly, you can adopt a mantra, this helps you to keep your focus. As you practise, you will be able to clear your mind of intrusive thoughts. As time moves on, so will you. Discover the surreal world of meditation. There is a lot of doors to open.

Bonnie Moss writes to inspire and to motivate her readers to explore the depths of their heart and soul and make a difference in this world. She draws from personal experience and her interest in spirituality.

Visit her website :

Outdoor Feng Shui

Many homeowners pay careful attention to designing the inside of their homes and forget to take a good look at the outside. What does the exterior of your home look like? Does it convey a feeling of success and wealth, or does it suggest a feeling of poverty and misfortune?

I recommend you go outside and pretend you're seeing your house for the very first time. How does it look? Is there paint peeling? Are there things to be repaired, cleaned, planted, mulched or trimmed? If so, that's negative energy. It's important to create positive outdoor energy to allow new "opportunities to knock."

In Feng Shui, your front door is known as the "mouth of chi." It's the most important part of your home because this is where the energy enters. Your front entrance must be inviting. Is your front door clearly visible or is there confusion on where to go? Is there a clear pathway to your door? Is it well lit? If you gave me directions to your house can I find it easily? Is your house clearly numbered? If your pathway is blocked energy can't flow in. Since the front door is known as the "door to opportunity" if your front entrance is uninviting, cluttered or blocked you might be having financial difficulties, poor health, unhappy relationships, or constantly have obstacles get in your way.

Here are some Feng Shui Tips to get you started.

A painted front door can uplift the energy outside your home and also dazzle your entrance. A green door symbolizes money, a red door represents good fortune, a purple door signifies spirituality and a gold door welcomes prosperity.

Welcome mats are great for welcoming friends as well as new opportunities to come your way. Or if you prefer, you can even hang a welcome sign on your door at eye level.

Placing plants and flowers at your front entrance in beautiful, rich-looking containers can give your porch a facelift. Just be sure to stay away from unfriendly cactus or plants with pointed, spiky leaves.

Wind chimes are great for circulating the energy outside your home. You can place them anywhere on your property. I have one on my front porch to keep the positive energy ringing in.

Water fountains are considered to be lucky elements outside your home. They can be placed in your front or back yard. Since flowing water is associated with money, abundance and prosperity, the water should always flow towards your house. Just make sure that the water stays clean and flowing.

By now you have a few Feng Shui ideas to get you started on sprucing up your outdoors. It's important to beautifully "dress" the outside of your home and have fun in the process!

If you enjoyed this article, you'll love "Feng Shui Made Simple: Room By Room" ebook. Since your home mirrors your life it's important to create an environment that supports your goals and dreams. You have the power to create your best life yet and this book will give you the tools. Click this link to read more about this book:

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Setting Up Your First Fish Tank

I still remember every minute of the day I got my first fish tank. Of course, I said I wanted to start small, so I got my 10 gallon tank with 3 small Goldfish...six months later, I had a 75 gallon tank with 9 Goldfish. So, if you don't want to repeat the whole process very soon, I would recommend getting the largest tank that you can accommodate. It's actually easier to clean a bigger tank than a smaller one. Small tanks and bowls require a lot more maintenance, believe it or not. You can find more information about all that throughout the site. For now, let's hope that this guideline can help you set up your fish tank. Like I said, you can start with a 10, 20, 30 gallon tank or bigger, made of glass or acrylic. Glass is traditional, but the advantages of an acrylic tank are many. It's a lot lighter, seamless, and the clarity is unbeatable. Just remember to buy cleaning tools for acrylic and not glass.

Get an under gravel filter, UGF, a plastic cover with a fluorescent light, one pound-per-gallon of aquarium gravel or sand, an air pump and a heater. If you have some extra change, get a power head instead of an air pump and replace the hanging heater with a submergible model.

You can buy a complete setup without ornaments for a low price, and this is a great beginning. You also need a stand that can hold the tank. Remember it'll be very heavy once you add the water. Start out with plastic plants, and plastic or resin, maybe wood, stone or ceramic decorations. Be careful, not every rock or toy is good for your tank. Some have toxins that can kill your fish. Remember, a larger tank is easier to maintain than a small one and it can hold many more fish, which will lead to a more pleasant experience of fish keeping.

Once you have the equipment, the rest is easy. Choose a stable place to set the tank in your home.

Once it's filled you won't be able to move it without emptying it first and you don't want to do that, and try no to put it under the direct sunlight of a window or a very hot area, since heat makes algae grow faster, which means, cleaning will be harder.

There are more complicated and expensive ways to filter the gravel, but I recommend using under gravel filters (UGF). These sit on top of the glass in the bottom of the aquarium. Lift tubes are inserted into the risers at the rear of the filter, and then the under gravel filter is covered with gravel.

Rinse the gravel well and spread it so you get an even layer. You always have to rinse everything very well before putting it in the tank.

Now add the heater and the water pumps if necessary. If you have a hanging heater, hang it off the back, where you can still see it and tell if it's on. A submersible heater should go near the bottom of the tank because the heat rises. Find a location for your air pump and put your air line and air stones in. You will also need a gang valve for the air line, which will let you run two lift tubes off of a single outlet air pump. Run a piece of air line from the air pump to the gang valve. Run another air line from the gang valve to each of your lift tubes. Read the instructions for your filter to see exactly how to attach the air line to your particular air stones.

Power heads are great for aquariums. They draw water from under the UGF and pump it out of the power head, creating water movement as well as delivering oxygen to the fish and the beneficial bacteria that live in the gravel (substrate).

There are also mechanical filters on the market. I prefer the ones with a Bio Wheel. The Bio Wheel is a paper like cylinder that rotates as the water is returned to the tank. Beneficial bacteria live on the wheel and helps increase the biological cycle.

Now place your ornaments in the tank and see where you want them before you get your hands wet. Expect some ceramic or plastic decorations to float or tip over as you put water in the tank.

Once your decorations are in place, you are ready to add water. You can just pour tap water into the tank and since you have no fish, plants, or a biological filter to worry about, add the treatment after the tank is full. Be careful that the water doesn't dig a hole in the gravel as you pour it in.

It's good to wait a couple of days before adding fish. Remember that patience is important to have long living, happy fish.

Then you'll be ready to start the biological cycling process.

If you want more information about setting up or maintaining a fish tank, visit me at:

8 Feng Shui Ways to Be a Grandparent

You may ask what being a grandparent has to do with Feng Shui. My answer is, 'Feng Shui is our reaction to the environment.' Family is a piece of the puzzle.

Reflect back to when you heard you were becoming a grandparent, or fantasize about what it will be like. Did you or will you think, "I'm not ready for this?" Or, were you like (or will you be like) me ... so excited? The honor of a new life in our family meant many things, and I couldn't help but also daydream at the prospect of playing again, and freedoms I didn't feel I had as a parent. It is said that 'once a man, twice a child;' (Rabbis) -- meaning we are born and die with limited mental capabilities, yet live as adults once. While debatable, you get the concept.

Growing up, I did not want to hear how my parents walked a mile in snow to go to school. Certainly, our children don't want to hear the 'same old' from us. In most cases, they can't relate. Actually, my mother never went to school. She was in an Australian adoption home, never feeling wanted (and before education and 'school' was mandated). Dad left home at 16 to join the service because his father passed, and his Mother couldn't afford five children during the depression (one with a disability). As far as grandparents, I only knew one. She came to live with us following an auto accident, and on a good day she tolerated us.

Before both my parents passed, I asked each if we could go through pictures. Mom was an amateur photographer so she was delighted to dig the photos out. This endeavor was one of the most memorable times I had with them. Instead of asking what the pictures were ... I asked what they were going through at the time, who their support group was, and what their joys and fears were. After all, we all have heavy boots to wear (something to learn, ways that we suffer). My parents met during World War II and my uncles all served. The reality is that life doesn't come with an instruction manual (whether a parent, sibling, spouse, or parent). The questions I asked my parents were open ended, and invoked a bigger-picture explanation. Their answers provided a real glimpse into their lives.

So, this article is about children. We can ask ourselves how our lives would be different "if." We can't go back (at least not yet) so it is our duty to go forward. Learn from the past and don't make the same mistakes. My first pregnancy was an ectopic one so I never saw my child. My second born was my daughter (who eventually passed over). Keeping a long story short, decades later, my granddaughter was born. Gems that I have learned and want to share with you are listed below in a short list. It's not necessarily inclusive, and it is a place to start. Remember, our youth is our future. Help create it!

Eight Feng Shui ways to Be a Grandparent:

1. When viewing a picture of your grandchild, ask them what is going on in their life (friends, bullies, teachers they like, teachers they don't (and why to both), etc.) rather than about the picture itself.

2. Encourage them to be all they can be. Limitations will reveal themselves as your grandchild grows. Remember to include lost arts such as manners, and contributions such as chores.

3. Teach them that money is a tool, not an end to a means. That being said, also teach them how to manage money -- balance a checkbook, save, and avoid debt.

4. Set an example of acceptance. This might be an act of kindness every day to a stranger or neighbor. Let them see that everyone deserves respect.

5. Actions speak louder than words.

a. When you help others, take your grandchild with you.
b. When you volunteer (soup kitchen, food bank, clothing drive, picking up trash, etc.), take them with you.
c. When you vote, take them with you.
d. Let them know their action and words make a difference. Complaining isn't productive-instead, action discloses ways that work (or are discoveries in and of themselves). Coach them that wounds may heal but unkind words last forever-what we put into the world comes back to us.
e. Consider a change of perspective (make another city or country available). A change of environment can be eye opening.

6. Educate them that instant gratification is temporary.

a. Each person needs to learn their own truth and purpose. That means reading, processing, problem solving, and learning.
b. Technology (TV, the internet, iPods, etc.) occupies us but what has it really made better? Information can be controlled and manipulated. Take your grandchildren into nature and explore the wonders there. Seek other people to expand your horizons.
c. Enroll your grandchildren in growing, cooking, and shopping for healthy food.
d. Tutor them on what is good for Mother Earth (what is meant by sustainable, renewable, and attuning to the environment). It is rewarding to reuse, renew, and recycle.

7. Persuade them to write their own legacy-begin with the end in mind. Each one of us has an innate desire to make a difference. Ask your grandchild how they want to be remembered, and be supportive when the story changes.

8. Love them unconditionally. Let them know that no matter what happens, you are there for them.

There are wonderful books these days that offer more ideas, but I hope this has provided tips on 'being' with a grandchild. It is easy to get caught up in doing and buying, but 'being' means sharing ourselves.

Have you ever heard, "I'll be a better parent than you were!"? A great response to that is, "Good, you got it! We're supposed to learn as we grow." As you've heard before, 'We did not inherit the Earth of our forefathers, we inherited it from our children' (Crazy Horse). It reinforces the notion that we need to do things differently.

In conclusion, when people want to know what Feng Shui is, to me it is ultimately feeling safe and secure in my environment. My husband and I collect our granddaughter a couple times a month for an extended visit. We play, read, explore, and talk. It is a sacred time and an absolute joy. Hope for the future depends on what we make of today. It isn't up to one leader, one nation, or one relationship. It is up to us!

Diana Garber is a classic Feng Shui practitioner with nearly 30 years experience in energy and risk management. Her extensive corporate background and work with Fortune 100 companies sets her apart as an international consultant, speaker, author, and seasoned program manager. She utilizes over a dozen sciences to evaluate influences such as electromagnetic currents, geopathic stress, and other factors internal and external to one's living or work environments to improve clients' lives. Please visit our Web site at for information, testimonies, and much more.