about the layer down under that experience....
looking within: thoughts & thinking
looking within: am i an abuser or abusive?
looking within: are you the one who abandons others?
consistency.... learn about it & use it
about suicide..... it's a shame...
coping mechanisms
communication continued
temperment & personality
family dysfunction


It was F. B. Meyer, I believe, who once said that when we see a brother or sister in sin, there are two things we do not know:

First, we do not know how hard he or she tried not to sin.

And second, we do not know the power of the forces that assailed him or her.

We also do not know what we would have done in the same circumstances.

Stephen Brown, Christianity Today, April 5, 1993, p. 17

found thru use it, it's an awesome resource!


circumstances happen...
when someone shares a personal experience with us, do we always know the reason we needed to hear the message? what would keep us from hearing what we needed to hear? perhaps we take too much energy in our "judging of others," to hear what the Lord had intended for us to hear...
and who knows who the Lord will send with the most important messages we need to hear? no one does. It's with these thoughts I offer to you - this page - circumstances... to consider that those who are without sin - are the ones who have the right to cast the first stones!


The Cookie Thief

A woman was waiting at an airport one night.
With several long hours before her flight.
She hunted for a book in the airport shop,
Bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.

She was engrossed in her book, but happened to see,
That the man beside her, as bold as could be,
Grabbed a cookie or two from the bag between,
Which she tried to ignore, to avoid a scene.

She read, munched cookies, and watched the clock,
As the gutsy “cookie thief!” diminished her stock.
She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by,
Thinking, “If I wasn’t so nice, I’d blacken his eye!”

With each cookie she took, he took one, too.
When only one was left, she wondered what he’d do.
With a smile on his face and a nervous laugh,
He took the last cookie and broke it in half.

He offered her half, as he ate the other.
She snatched it from him and thought, “Oh brother,
This guy has some nerve, and he’s also rude,
Why, he didn’t even show any gratitude!”

She had never known when she had been so galled,
And sighed with relief when her flight was called.
She gathered her belongings and headed for the gate,
Refusing to look back at the “thieving ingrate.”

She boarded the plane and sank in her seat,
Then sought her book, which was almost complete.
As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise.
There was her bag of cookies in front of her eyes!

If mine are here,” she moaned with despair,
Then the others were his and he tried to share!”
Too late to apologize, she realized with grief,
That she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief!

Source Unknown


Article Launched: 07/24/2005 01:00:00 AM MDT
far from rome - chapter two
A faith interrupted by circumstances
For a mom, 3 gay sons led to a journey of self discovery & spiritual certainty

By Jenny Deam
Denver Post Staff Writer

It was happening so fast.

Mary Schaffnit's husband, Paul, died in her arms as she helped him into his wheelchair. After a routine kidney dialysis treatment, his heart stopped.

Now, at age 78, hers was breaking.

In the quiet of Pax Christi Catholic Church's parish office two days later she began the widow's work of planning a funeral for the man she married more than a half-century before.

Amid a blur of details, one thing was clear. She & her husband raised 6 children to be Roman Catholic. And even though everyone but her son Tom had left the church, its traditions were planted deep within them.

"I want to make sure no one tells them they can't take Communion," she told the Rev. Ken Przybyla.

"I wouldn't do that," he said.

No questions were asked during that meeting last summer. No explanations were given.

The day of the funeral, her children stepped forward for Holy Communion. With them were the husbands & wives, companions & children that mark life's milestones.

Tom gave the first eulogy. The second came from Jack Dow, a middle-aged man who was never far from Tom's side.

Dow spoke of an acceptance he found within the Schaffnit family for so many years.

"One strong commonality Paul & I shared," he said, "was in our choice of partners, his of 56 years & mine of 25."

Schaffnit sat in the front pew & wondered what those around her - other parishioners, her husband's former co-workers, the neighbors at the Highlands Ranch retirement village, her priest - thought about Dow's words

"Well," she recalls thinking at the time, "It's out now."

Years before, Tom Schaffnit came to his parents as a teenager & asked them to hear what he needed to say.

He was gay.

"You think I didn't know?" Mary Schaffnit said, forcing her mouth into a smile. She saw how difficult this was for her son. She wanted to make it easier.

Her husband didn't say a word.

"Later," she remembers, "I cried. Hard. But not where Tom could see. It wasn't because he was gay or I thought it was a sin but because I worried about how hard his life would be."

She suspects her husband wept too. "It was very hard for him at first. He would say, 'It's just not normal.' But over time, he came around. There was nothing he wouldn't do for our boys."

Between 1949 & 1964, Paul & Mary Schaffnit had 6 children. 4 boys, 2 girls. 3 of the Schaffnit sons are gay; 1, Michael, died of AIDS in 1994 at age 38.

Schaffnit begged God to let her youngest son be straight. He is.

The odds of having 3 gay sons are unfathomable for most people. "People do ask me about it, how it happened. I don't even try to explain. I don't know. My feeling is that's the way God wants them to be."

A generation ago, Catholic leadership declared that sexual orientation wasn't a choice, but innate, unchangeable & not unto itself sinful.

This is a softer stance than what's preached from some conservative Protestant pulpits, where homosexuality is seen as a sinful choice.

In fact, recent polls show that homosexuality is more likely to be perceived as "morally acceptable" among Catholics than non-Catholics.

But the Catholic leadership remains unbendable on one point. Sex outside of marriage - homosexual or heterosexual - is wrong. And anyone who crosses that line must be forbidden Holy Communion.

Schaffnit can't accept this. She is a mother. Two of her daughters are divorced. Two of her surviving sons are gay. Tom was an altar boy & once wanted to be a priest.

They are whom Rome would deny.

On Thanksgiving Day 1947, Paul Schaffnit married a Good Catholic Girl.

Mary Helen Nuschy grew up going to confession every Saturday night. She helped the poor during the Great Depression. As a young adult she attended morning Mass on her way to her secretary's job.

Although a fiery spirit lived inside her, in postwar America it wasn't a time to challenge convention. The Schaffnits, who met as teenagers in Bible study class, were in lockstep with thousands of young married Catholics.

Her son, Tom, has 2 distinct memories of his mother from childhood. When he was maybe 7, it was the thrill of being the child she chose to attend Novena services with her. He can still see her, with her head covered, as she sat quietly praying. If she forgot her hat she would fix a tissue over her hair with bobby pins.

Then, when Tom was a teenager, she came home from the doctor in tears. She was pregnant with her 6th child. She wasn't sure she could handle another baby.

And even though she treasured her youngest, Paul David, born in 1964, soon afterward she & her husband decided to use birth control.

Those were heady times in America with social change in the air & the Roman Catholic Church was experiencing its own changes. From 1962 thru 1965 a series of councils took place to usher the church into modernity. They were collectively known as Vatican II, which, in part, confirmed that Catholics should search their individual consciences in matters of faith.

The rebel within Mary surged to life. She joined a group called Christians Searching to explore questions such as was it really a sin if you missed Mass & the role of women in Catholicism. The group was soon shut down as too controversial.

"That really upset me," she says. "What is this that we can't ask questions?"

Her husband was an engineer. He liked precision & predictability. He attended Mass because he was supposed to. He found comfort in tradition. She took the puzzle pieces of her faith out of the box & spread them on the table before putting them back together.

When her son Michael was a teenager - even before he acknowleged his homosexuality to himself - he was fired from a job as a waiter at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, where the family then attended. Some church members suspected the young men who worked at the church cafe might be gay. Michael was devastated, his mother furious.

"I kept going to Mass there, but I never forgave those people," she says now.

Through the coming decades, as her sons acknowleged their homosexuality & her daughters divorced, Schaffnit became increasingly frustrated with the church's rigidity. Once, she wrote the Denver Archdiocese to vent. Soon afterward, she says, copies of the Catholic Register mysteriously stopped coming to her house.

More recently, when Bishop Michael Sheridan wrote parish members warning them not to vote for candidates who supported abortion, Schaffnit slapped a John Kerry sticker on her car.

"Some Catholics might consider me bad," she says. "I'm definitely one of those 'cafeteria Catholics.' "

Yet what is good?

She prays nightly, sometimes in the morning. She never misses Mass. She adores her priest & his compassion. A silver crucifix hangs around her neck. A ceramic Virgin Mary looks down from the fireplace mantle.

Those who want to tighten the rules & return to a more traditional church amuse her; she was once like them. Then her life happened.

"My faith is as strong as it ever was," she says. "I think it's the way I look at my faith that has changed. My God accepts everybody."


The Value of Good & Bad Experiences...

By Faadiel Rehman

I'd like to acknowledge & thank Mr. Alan C. Walter who has been researching in this field for close to 40 years now & I'd venture that his research expenditure has been probably 40 plus million dollars & many hours of trial runs & testing that probably led to many dead ends.

However his quest or search for answers isn't something one can take lightly or abandon at the first sign of trouble & Mr. Walter’s certainly deserves some gratitude for persisting in this endeavor.

His unswerving dedication to find solid & workable answers are a testament to the spirit of man & his tenacity for answers about life & happiness.

Thank you Alan

The value of your previous experiences in life in relation to what you’ve learnt at school or college or where you received your education in the field you now find yourself working.

Is your attitude or viewpoint about life based on the sum of your experiences or is it prior knowledge that determines how you will react to situations in your life?

Interesting question huh?

What would your answer be?

There’s a little thing called a precept that Mr. Walter’s spent many years researching or at least it’s something he discovered during his many years of research.

So what’s a precept anyway?

A precept is simply an idea or rule we live by; these rules are created from previous situations & experiences in our life. An example of this is when I was at school I was bullied one time into handing over my pen collection by some of my bigger & stronger class mates.

I don’t know what it was about collecting pens but the guys in the class used to collect some very nice pens & of course I wanted to show my excellent taste in pens so I kept them visible in my top pocket at all times.

I wanted desperately to be part of the pen collector’s click.

I know this sounds kind of geeky & it probably was but at the time it was the cool thing to do and I suppose growing up in South Africa is a little or a lot different from other places in the world. Anyway I could elaborate more on that but it would take a whole book to tell you the stories of me growing up South Africa

You're probably wondering how this relates to studying – right? Well give me a few moments of your attention because this is very important to our next few steps.

To continue with my story which is really supposed to keep the reader glued to the page because I can tell an exciting story or two, I will continue. So I was bullied into giving up my very cool collection of 5 pens total, it sure made me feel very sad because I did that to be part of the team.

I wanted to be with the big guys in class & I wanted to be as cool as they were because well all the young lasses would hang around them constantly & I wanted to belong.

Darn it I did everything right I had some good looking colorful pens & they still never accepted me. Instead they stole my pens & then laughed at me because I just stood there in amazement completely bewildered by what had just happened.

Worst of all was the fact that even a girl that I had a major crush on was laughing too. That really hurt more than anything, but because I was supposed to be a big boy & I had to show courage in the light of being robbed literally.

I said ah its ok “David” you can have the pens I’ll get more later. I couldn't understand why they kept laughing after that statement because didn’t it mean that I was now also cool because I gave the leader my pens which he stole from me in the first place.

Did I not prove to everyone there that I didn't feel so bad after all & that I was cool with it?

Fact of the matter is that I was totally broken up by that situation. I did of course get over it later but at that moment I wanted the ground to open up & swallow me whole.

Have you ever had something similar happen to you? I would venture a guess that it has. If you were one of the cool kids at school then you probably also had some difficulties that you were never able to let your friends know about at the risk of losing your cool status.

I guess some of us could shrug it off & move on but I could not because I was basically your standard run of the mill nice kid “yes believe it or not!” I just wanted to make friends & have fun playing & learning.

From that moment on I developed the following precept.

Precept: I will not own anything of value anymore because people can steal it from me & there's nothing I can do about it anyway.

Do you see how this precept can be damaging to my future? Imagine believing that nothing you own or have is worth anything because at any moment it can be stolen. I stopped placing a value on my possessions & as a result of that I haven't really fully owned anything.

I did buy things of value like computers, cars a Harley Davidson motor cycle & even at one stage a really expensive watch.

Truthfully though even the expensive stuff or the stuff of value I owned was always on my mind. I never knew why! I kept very close guard of my stuff. I never trusted anyone to look out for my stuff so I never trusted anyone period.

One thing led to another & more precepts led to even more precepts etc… I have no idea how many different precepts I came up with from just that one situation. Possibly thousands of tiny ones that make a whole personality to survive in the cold cruel world.

I could think of a few right now:

Life is so hard

Relationship never work out

Nobody really likes me

I don’t know how to make money

I am so unlucky

I can’t make a difference so why try anyway

The list goes on & on from there… Seems pretty rough doesn’t it? You're probably wondering if there’s a way to handle these very negative & limiting precepts. What if I told you no? How would that make you feel?

Sorry I had to do that… I can be mean & downright nasty sometimes.

So what about those positive & winning precepts?

A winning precepts or a positive precept is one we develop in a specific situation which then solves the problem presented in the situation so it is immediately stored in our personal database for future reference.

The precept worked it assisted your survival & of course you won the coin toss or what ever the scenario was, at that point you were the victor. I didn’t see any problem with this at first but then after reading & researching more on the subject it became evident that positive precepts can also have a negative effect on ones potential & ability to win in life.

Every time you use the precept it becomes more & more solid & predictable to you, things work for you & in most cases you can handle whatever is coming at you in life.

However the use of a positive precept can be a liability if you use it inappropriately or in the wrong circumstance. Trying to use a winning precept in a changed situation or environment & it can serve to create more problems instead of solve them.

Fortunately for us there is a way to deal with pesky or not so pesky precepts that limit our abilities in life so markedly that we quit completely & come to a very definite halt in every aspect of our lives.

Example:  Jeff had tremendous success selling sporting goods to the construction workers who were building a large apartment complex near the store.  His style was to carry on a jovial banter, including an occasional risqué story & feigning sparring jabs at his customers. 

They liked him & his way of communicating.  After the construction project was completed & the men left the neighborhood, Jeff continued to operate on this winning precept with the new customers who started coming in & some of them, especially the ladies, found his behavior offensive & complained to the manager.

Jeff went from a condition of Success on his job to a condition of Failure because of his inability to differentiate between his customers.  He had turned a winning precept into a fixed idea which caused him unexpected problems & became a liability to him.

From this viewpoint, we can perceive that each of us has determined our condition by the precepts we use.  One can see that they are winning precepts only when applied to the appropriate situation or problem.

More examples on how we form precepts follow…

Example:  Child puts hand on hot stove. 

Precept: Don't put hand on hot stove.

Example:  Student, smartly dressed, sits in front row & studies hard.  On the way home from school every day a gang of kids taunt him, make fun of him & ridicule his dress, study & diligence.  He wants to be liked, wants to be part of the group & craves acceptance.

Precept: Dress like them, act like them. This precept will be a liability to him outside that environment. Only a gang of toughs finds that behavior acceptable. 

Example:  Daughter comes home early, sees mother kissing a strange man. 

Precept:  You can't trust anyone.  This precept will be a liability to her by causing a cynical attitude that precipitates relationship & job problems.

Example:  Person visits with a friend.  The friend tells him about his new job in sales & how much money he is making.

Precept:  If he can do it, I can do it!  This precept may or may not be appropriate for sales.  But the precept, "I can do it!", is necessary for all success.  However, setting out with that attitude in a field that is unsuitable could result in a “loss” for the person & turn sales into a “hot stove” that never should be touched again.

Example:Student studies math but can't grasp the concepts, due to his not understanding fully the definition of "equation", or "radius", or some other part of the vocabulary of mathematics. This confusion causes him to fail.

Precept:  I'm stupid.  This precept will ever afterward be a liability to him until he recognizes that he isn't stupid, only in need of study & drilling on the vocabulary of the subject.

Example: Person is illiterate, works slowly & can't grasp what is wanted. Bosses & staff harass him continually.

Precept: I hate people.  Obviously, a liability to him.

Example: Person is an expert on physical conditioning.  Others are coming to him constantly with questions on physical fitness. 

Precept:  Write book that answers all that one needs to know about conditioning. This precept seems appropriate. Variables would enter into success of this book, including whether he ever writes it &/or, is it well written? 

Example:  Person observes that others are always coming to him for answers in the area of computer programming.

Precept:: Form my own computer programming company.  This seems an appropriate precept. Variables would include, does he have the business skills to operate the company?

So what's a good education?

Seems to me a good education would be or could be redefined as being that part of learning or acquiring knowledge that helps us to handle the past or previous areas of knowledge that are now no longer valid or applicable or incorrect in our current lifestyles.

We should be able to evaluate with certainty our environment & of course be able to apply correctly what ever knowledge we have to the situation without causing further problems.

I think it would be a most amazing ability to have & I'm certainly working towards that in my own life.

You can do it too!!

Learn the value of Clean Slate today, use it & experience the results that others are achieving with this simple & effective procedure.

We can help - email me if you have questions or if just want to share your experiences using Clean Slate. I'd very like to know if you're using Clean Slate.

As of next week I'm going to be sending out weekly summaries of my experiences with Clean Slate. I've been working diligently at it now for the past 2 months & the results are amazing... just awesome.

I've recovered so much of myself in the past few months that it would be difficult for me to put in words. I'm going to try as best I can to share my every experience in using this procedure & I hope that it will be of some assistance to those of you who are using the procedure also.


Faadiel Rehman

Only God Knows

We sometimes criticize others unfairly. We don’t know all their circumstances, nor their motives. Only God, who is aware of all the facts, is able to judge people righteously.

John Wesley told of a man he had little respect for because he considered him to be miserly and covetous. One day when this person contributed only a small gift to a worthy charity, Wesley openly criticized him. After the incident, the man went to Wesley privately and told him he had been living on parsnips and water for several weeks. He explained that before his conversion, he had run up many bills. Now, by skimping on everything and buying nothing for himself he was paying off his creditors one by one. “Christ has made me an honest man,” he said, “and so with all these debts to pay, I can give only a few offerings above my tithe. I must settle up with my worldly neighbors and show them what the grace of God can do in the heart of a man who was once dishonest.”

Wesley then apologized to the man and asked his forgiveness.

Our Daily Bread, July 20, 1992

Sleepy Man

At a pastor’s conference in Spokane, Chuck Swindoll told of being at a California Christian camp. The first day there a man approached him & said how greatly he had looked forward to hearing Dr. Swindoll speak & his delight at now finally being able to realize that desire.

That evening Swindoll noticed the man sitting near the front. But only a few minutes into the message the man was sound asleep. Swindoll thought to himself that perhaps he was tired after a long day’s drive & couldn’t help himself. But the same thing happened the next few nights & Dr. Swindoll found his exasperation with the man growing.

On the last night the man’s wife came up & apologized for her husband’s inattention to the messages. She then explained that he had recently been diagnosed as having terminal cancer & the medication he was taking to ease the pain made him extremely sleepy. But it had been one of his life-long ambitions to hear Dr. Swindoll speak before he died & now he had fulfilled that goal.

Chuck Swindoll

When Bad Things Happen - By Jerry Lopper

It's easy to be spiritually positive & philosophical about life when things are going well. Even when exposed to life’s misfortunes from a distance - distant relatives or acquaintances - it’s fairly easy to conclude that life is bringing them the experiences appropriate to their lives.

But what do we do when misfortune strikes close to home,to us or to our immediate family?

And how are we to react to misfortune from several directions all at once?

What are the secrets to surviving & thriving in the midst of life circumstances & situations which seem unfair & undeserved?

Our ability to deal successfully in such situations is the key to peace & calm - the joyous life. My initial reaction to bad events is to take action-do something. But the key isn't what to do, but who to be.

Life is bringing the circumstances we face for a reason. You may not understand the reason immediately - maybe not for some time. But assume there is a reason & it's the perfection of life, so embrace it.

Then step back & observe what's happening from a distance. Pretend it's one year later & you're looking back at the current situation. Remember that this isn't the end of the world - you're an immortal soul & what's happening is simply the experience of human life.

Listen to the story your mind is telling you about what's happening. Is it an oft-repeated theme?

Are you being victim, loser, struggler, martyr, or villain? Is this a script you have written & played out before, perhaps many times?

What payoff accrues to you from living within this story? Be honest. There's a payoff to an often repeated story line, or you wouldn’t be living it over & over.

Maybe this isn’t about your story. Maybe you're merely a supporting character in someone else’s story. What gifts can you bring to the situation?

Be aware of who you are being in response to what's happening.

Are you fearful, angry, vengeful, or depressed?

Are you distant, supportive, loving, or helpful?

Ask yourself. "Is this who I am?" & "Is this who I choose to

Maybe you do choose to be angry, fearful, or depressed for a time, but keep it short. Consciously realize you're
being as you are, and when you’ve had enough of that state then choose another state of being that's more representative of your highest self.

Recognize that the Universe brings you circumstances you consciously or subconsciously call forth. Do these circumstances allow you to continue the story that describes who you think you are?

Or do these circumstances give you a frame of reference so you can experience bravery, joy, insight, or love?

There are no coincidences - no bad luck. This moment is just the blink of an eye in the infinite life of our souls. Live within the present moment while simultaneously watching it from a distance as an impartial observer.

Experience the present moment & grow with it by conscious choice.

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