Pope Francis in America

Pope Francis, Gary Davis, 365Christianity, Christians, Clueless, Culture, Alfredo BorbaAs only the fourth Pope to set foot on American soil, Pope Francis has sparked an interest in not only the Christian faith, but in all religion across this land. Questions like, What do I believe? Do I really believe what I say I believe? What parts of those beliefs affect my life on a daily basis? And on a larger scale, What is our responsibility to the poor, the displaced, the strangers in our midst, and those of other faiths? Or, yet again, What is our responsibility to climate change? How can we handle the economic inequity across the globe?

 On September 23rd, in his speech before a joint session of Congress (http://time.com/4048176/pope-francis-us-visit-congress-transcript/), Francis graciously summarized & tackled two major areas of concern we need to address— CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT and CULTURAL WASTE.

 On the matter of Cultural Engagement, he encouraged all Christians, everyone in the United States, and everywhere, to solve the world crises in immigration, of refugees in the Middle East and Europe, to seek solutions to seemingly unending regional conflicts, and to learn that differing cultural perspectives can actually serve to improve the human race rather than to further divide it. We all must engage people who are different from us, for our own sake. Otherwise our differences will lead to misunderstanding and misunderstanding to mistreatment and war. We must end our isolationism.

 On the matter of Cultural Waste, Pope Francis’ deep concern was not only what we all are doing to our environment through national industrial pollution and waste byproducts, his concern was primarily with our attitude toward the humanity of humans. He called for an end to treating illegal immigrants as numbers, and called for an attitude where they are simply people, seeking a better life. He called for governments worldwide to find a solution to the massive migration of people from the Middle East and Northern Africa fleeing for their lives and for safety to European and Western borders. We dare not turn our backs on them because of their massive considerable numbers; they are people.

 His admonitions should move all of us to contact our Congressmen and Representatives to STOP ignoring these tragedies as if time will simply take care of them. It will not. WE must take care of them as if God is demanding that we do it. I couldn’t agree more.

What are you being called on to do to make a difference?


: (Wikipedia)-

barometer is a scientific instrument used in meteorology to measure atmospheric pressure. Pressure tendency can forecast short term changes in the weather. Numerous measurements of air pressure are used within surface weather analysis to help find surface troughs, high pressure systems, and frontal boundaries.”

As a child I remember marveling at our family barometer’s magical ability to predict a change in the weather. How could it do that? What was this strange device mounted on a piece of oak right next to a nautical clock? Now, years later, I understand the principles on which these precious instruments perform their magic.

When I got my first barometer from my dad I soon learned that it was a has-been, a dead, beyond repair, beautiful brass object that I proudly hung on my wall above my dresser. I used to imagine that I could determine the weather with my own force of will. That didn’t quite work out. So at 13 I invented my own scenario that this strange device could somehow predict my future, usually involving my latest crush on some girl. That didn’t work out either.  Until later.

At 24, (yes, I still owned that shiny, wonderful barometer), I imagined that I could determine the seasons of my life with some degree of accuracy; again, through sheer force of will. Again, no cigar.

I still had not learned.

Since then, I have created my own Phasic-Barometric-Scrutinizer. It is unavailable for purchase as it is still in the initial beta-testing phase. But, to coax you into buying it when released ($19.95 + S&H), here are some of the scales it measures.

  1. Contribution– To what extent am I contributing to improvement of my fellow human being?
  2. Significance– Am I making a difference in the lives of those immediately around me? Family?
  3. Learning– to what extent have I stopped? What can I do to learn again, “to reinvent myself?”
  4. Passion– For what do I exert unrepressed passion (Besides the Red Sox.)? To what extent has my life’s lust for living gone flat?
  5. Productivity– A corollary of #1, am I making anything that matters? Writing, bridges, beautiful landscapes or works of art, life enhancing technology, or medical innovations?
  6. Spiritual Insights– To what extent do I understand God and his Universe better? Have I implemented any of his principles for living in my life?
  7. Relationships– How do I measure my inter-personal exchanges with individuals/groups? The PBS can help.
  8. Fulfillment– To what degree am I fulfilled in my life’s work, relationships and family experiences? What role does my personal happiness play?
  9. Life-Depth– How “deep” of a person am I? 1-10 scale—

Deeply contemplation————————living just on the surface?

      10.  Resurgence– To what degree am I able to recover after a fall, a disappointment, an attack on my personal self-esteem?

My goal is to have the Phasic-Barometric-Scrutinizer ready for market in the near future, providing funding. It will operate similarly to a Rubik’s Cube.

Have a nice week,


searching for eternity

Our world is such a fractured convolution of philosophies and religions. Through the catastrophes of the Twentieth Century many people have adopted a godless foundation. Amongst religious peoples factions and divisions have splintered; Islam, Christianity and Judaism. China is experiencing an expansion in both the Christian faith and animism. Science believes it is coming closer to uncovering the primal source of all life, of everything- the elusive Higgs-boson particle, the “God particle.”

Furthermore, worldwide, there is a heightened interest in finding both the source of all life, as well as verifying the existence of what comes next-eternity. To be sure, the majority of this earth’s peoples believe in an afterlife. For some, strict rules must be followed to enter eternity, the great beyond, the afterlife, heaven. For others, there is still a degree of doubt it even exists. For me, personally, proof for any life beyond this one escaped me for years. Now, not so much. Why? What follows is my list of evidence for the existence of God and His eternity.

1. The Theory of Compiled Coincidences- At one time our lawyer said to me, “You have once-in-a-lifetime experiences on a regular basis.” He was quite right. Too many things have happened to my wife and I that could only be attributed to a God in the heavens. Why? I’ll have to ask him. When I get into His heaven, that is.

2. The Existence of Death- Death just doesn’t fit life. We grow, are nurtured, learn skills, develop character, care for others, & serve our society. Then, it’s all over!?! It just doesn’t fit. There has to be something more, a life beyond this life. C.S. Lewis once commented, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” Reasonable?

3. World Religions- Humanity has gathered for worship of a deity (deities) since pre-recorded history. Archaeologists have uncovered cave drawings and artifacts of worship dating back as far as 70,000 BCE. [https://sharepoint.ocsarts.net/student/…pg 8-9] Though it was once believed clans formed for the sake of agriculture & protection, recent archaeological evidence has revealed that religious beliefs played an equal role in community formation.

4. Our sense of “something more”- This wonderment of something more comes in those times of uncertainty, maybe following the death of a loved one, a tragedy, or a near-death experience. We wonder about many things in these times; but why do we wonder about the possibility of something more…, something beyond what we can see, touch, hear, and taste?

5. Dr. Eben Alexander- Dr Alexander is a man of science, a neurosurgeon. By his own admission, though he claimed to be a Christian, it was in name only. Then, after a severe trauma in 2008, he plunged into a deep coma. There, he claims he went on a journey to heaven. Although neuroscience can explain many of the reactions of the brain while in a coma, there was no scientific explanation of Dr. Alexander’s images.http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/10/07/proof-of-heaven-a-doctor-s-experience-with-the-afterlife.html

Western science is a marvelous thing; but there are some realms where a scientist’s research and reasons are in over their heads. It postulates explanations with a certitude claiming, we just need a little more time. OR, might there be a totally different approach to which they are blind-sided?

In any case, I like my evidence for eternity, non-scientific though it might be. Maybe you have had experiences of eternity that science can explain away, given enough time. But I doubt it.

Have a nice week,


crossroads geese

It was a fresh, sunny October morning so I decided to take my morning coffee outside to soak in the morning warmth. Numerous gaggles of Canadian geese flew over; a typical passage for this time of year in New England, their southern migration heralding the approach of those wonderful, hot chocolate &fireplace snuggling Winter months.

A wave of bewilderment overwhelmed me as I followed two migrating flocks traveling in opposite directions, crossing one another. Stranger still was my confusion as I realized they flew, one, east to west, the other, west to east. Hummm!?! Maybe some were French Canadian Geese? Were some American covert operatives geese? Confused, I came to their rescue, “Hey, fellas, SOUTH is that way!” flapping my arms in the general direction. To no avail.

The metaphor was clearly obvious. Too often we follow a leader (or candidate) with little understanding of the direction they are heading. They are (seem) genuine, affable, pleasant, and cordial. Their words carry weight; they speak the truth. They are funny. They must be trustworthy, we conclude. Then we learn something about them that give us pause; that makes us question our original perception of them. We become hesitant, wondering what else might be hidden just under the surface of such a congenial façade. Have we misplaced our trust? We’re still flying straight, right? Then why are those other geese heading in the opposite direction? Do they know something we do not?

How does this happen?

  1. It happens when we place our trust in people without asking the right questions up front.
  2. It happens when we follow our leaders with our hearts, leaving our heads behind. We hold such implicit trust in them that we turn off our critical faculties and stop thinking. We just follow.
  3. It happens when we turn a deaf ear to other people who think differently. We do not listen to them. Different voices breed confusion, and that leads to thinking, reconsidering. TMI.
  4. It happens when we allow the deception to continue for so long that it becomes the truth, whether it is so or not. Majority rule.

So it is we find ourselves in this present culture listening to different voices gaggling “Follow me. Follow me.” when both may be heading in the wrong direction, as are many others. Thus have the masses come to be ruled by those who speak well, sound good, and are likable. Thus is the case when we suspend our God given ability to think and ask specific questions of those who lead us…, or who desire to lead us.

Ask questions! And, again,  Hey, South is THAT way!

Have a nice week,