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Beyond Spirits and Ghosts: More Visitors and Where They Come From

Excerpted from Visits From The Afterlife: The Truth About Hauntings, Spirits and Reunions with Lost Loved Ones By Sylvia Browne, Lindsay Harrison The worlds of spirits and ghosts are fascinating enough to fill countless volumes all by themselves. But they're only the beginning of the story when it comes to "things that go bump in the night," those welcome and unwelcome intruders who can make us doubt our own eyes, ears, and sanity. As the chapters of this book continue

Getting the Pose Just Right

Excerpted from Every Young Man, God's Man : Confident, Courageous, and Completely His By Stephen Arterburn, Kenny Luck, Mike Yorkey In their book Posers, Fakers, and Wannabes, Brennan Manning and Jim Hancock introduce us to a character they call "The Poser." They argue that The Poser (a person who pretends to be someone he is not) lives in all of its. I saw a lot of myself in the following story in which Jim recounts the images The Poser created for him-images that woul

What Is a Prophet?

Excerpted from Prophecy: What the Future Holds For You By Sylvia Browne, Lindsay Harrison The one thing he couldn't argue with, though, was that, whether he knew how it had happened or not, he'd cured himself somehow, and thanks to some follow-up hypnosis sessions, the cure became an obviously permanent one. If he really did have a gift that would allow him to offer diagnoses and remedies to people, how could he live with himself if he refused to at least try? 

In The Midst of the Ordinary

Excerpted from The Promise of the Second Wind: It's Never Too Late to Pursue God's Best By Bill Butterworth, Dean Merrill "Okay, guys, let's spend a little time looking at Philippians 2," says the brown-haired man with the glasses at the end of the table, pushing back his coffee mug to make room for his Bible. That's the signal of Charlie Spicer, moderator of our Friday morning men's group, that we need to transition from casual jokes and football talk to some spiritual

Your Faith Has Cured You: Receiving the Healing

Excerpted from God Stories; Inspiring Encounters with the Divine By Jennifer Skiff When I was twenty years old, I was in a serious car accident. I remember looking down from a place of love at a team of medical people frantically and roughly working on my lifeless body in an operating room. I seemed to be accompanied by a presence that I could not see but which was beautiful beyond words. I was being given a choice of staying or going back to my body when I received a m

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kamurj in Religion and Spirituality

Shakti - Tapping Into the Energy Within

Excerpted from Shakti Mantras: Tapping Into the Great Goddess Energy Within By Thom Ashley-Farrand Para Shakti Para Shakti is the Supreme Force that exists throughout the entire manifest universe. Scientists have been carefully studying its principal attributes, heat and light, for as long as we have inquired about the nature of the cosmos. But for all its investigation, modern science knows only a little about light. It cannot even be said with

Half Of Americans Switch To Another Religion

By Margarita Nahapetyan Nearly half of adults in the United States have changed religious faith at least once during their lives, most of them in their early twenties, according to findings of a huge new survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public life. The survey, "Faith in Flux: Changes in Religious Affiliation in the U.S.," is a follow-up to another major study that was carried out last year by the Pew Forum. According to 2008 a

Reversed Tarot Cards: Relationship Predictions

Excerpted from The Oracle of Love: How to Use Ordinary Playing Cards to Answer Your Relationship Questions, PredictYour Romantic Future, and Find Your Soul Mate By Lee Ann Richards Throughout this book, you'll see constant references to the cards being read Upright and Reversed. These two terms, "Upright" and "Reversed," refer to the position of the card on the table. "Upright" means the hearts on the fare of a Heart card are pointing upward. On the "Reversed" cards, th

Spirituality - A History of Human Awakening

Excerpted from God and the Evolving Universe: The Next Step in Personal Evolution By James Redfield, Michael Murphy Evolution entered a new domain with the appearance of humankind. Intelligence, communication skills, and other attributes of animal life advanced dramatically as our species formed newly creative social groups, harnessed fire, developed new tools, learned to speak, and tried to make greater sense of the world around them. As their capacities developed, our

A Spirit Woman's Vision of Transition and Change

Excerpted from Tree of Dreams: A Spirit Woman's Vision of Transition and Change By Lynn V. Andrews Oddly enough, I awoke one morning in my little single-walled cabin and opened my eyes to discover that the cabin was filled with light. I saw the Buddha walk through the door. Why the Buddha? I couldn't imagine, but there he was. He was smiling, and he asked the strangest question. "Where's the Buddha? I'm looking for the Buddha." "You're looking f

The Shawmut River Baptist Church

Excerpted from Spirit and Flesh; Life in a Fundamentalist Baptist Church By James M. Ault, Jr. It was well over a month after first meeting Frank Valenti that I attended Sunday worship at his church. I had been occupied finishing up interviews with right-to-lifers and parents involved in the Fourniers' Holy Family Academy, and participating in our research seminar at Brown University. The seminar, the first offered by the university's new women's studies center, was mad

Living a Year of Kaddish - Fall

Excerpted from Living a Year of Kaddish: A Memoir By Ari L. Goldman Sometimes I think of my whole life as a search for my father. After my mother left him, my father was a distant presence, physically and in some ways emotionally. For the occasional weekends and Jewish holidays my brothers and I spent with him, Dad would drive in from Hartford in his old Chevy and pick us up at my mother's house in Queens, not lingering for a minute more than absolutely necessary. Those

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Sensory Purification

Excerpted from Dark Night of the Soul By Saint John of the Cross, Mirabai Starr In the first verse, the soul sings of the path she followed as she left behind attachment to herself and to created things. Through radical humility, she has died to her old self. She tells of living a new life-sweet and delicious-in love with God. The soul calls this going forth a "dark night," which is pure contemplation. The negation of the self and of all things unfolds passively within

Freedom and Forgiveness

Excerpted from Benedict's Dharma: Buddhists Reflect on the Rule of Saint Benedict By Patrick Henry Freedom is as elusive as it is desirable. Monastic values at first glance seem the very antithesis of freedom. Living according to a rule, even a rule understood as a trellis and not as a straitjacket, goes against the grain of a culture that celebrates individualism. Commitments tend to be provisional. As Norman Fischer pointed out, "Everybody is so conditioned to 'Let's

What Does the Pope Do? Religious Leader

Excerpted from Conclave: The Politics, Personalities, and Process of the Next Papal Election By John L. Allen, Jr. While religion is still a powerful force in shaping culture, it no longer controls the culture in the West. The dominant realities of the modem period are secularization and pluralism. Institutions such as the media, education, social services, and the courts operate independently of ecclesiastical control. Governments no longer compel membership in a parti

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kamurj in Religion and Spirituality

Inner Darkness - How I Lost the Mormons

Excerpted from Leaving the Saints: How I Lost the Mormons and Found My Faith By Martha Beck, Ph.D. I hear a rustling sound from the coat closet, and for a moment I stop breathing. My mind produces a quick succession of catastrophic images: Miranda wrestling boredom, claustrophobia, and cramped muscles until she can no longer stand it, then bursting out of her hiding place, gasping for air and space. My father startled into a fatal heart attack. An all-Mormon jury convic

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On Retreat with the Exercises of St. Ignatius

Excerpted from Thirty Days By Paul Mariani 1:00 P.M. Up at six in almost total darkness. Slipped on some pants-brand-new ones, in fact-to go down to the bathroom and noticed ink stains on my right pocket. The cover of one of my new pens had come loose and now my goddamn pants are ruined. So much for thoughtful, efficient packing. When you go, do not bring an extra cloak or sandals or money. Thus Jesus, speaking to his disciples as he sent them out on their first mission

The Priest - Exorcist as Hero

Excerpted from American Exorcism: Expelling Demons in the Land of Plenty By Michael W. Cuneo, Ph.D. While fascinating in its own right, evangelical and charismatic deliverance ministry never really succeeded during the 1980s in capturing the imagination of the broader American public. Deliverance inspired no blockbuster movies or bestselling books; there was no William Peter Blatty or Malachi Martin waiting in the wings to convert it into a full-fledged cultural icon. I

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The Hidden Years - What Jesus Meant

Excerpted from What Jesus Meant By Garry Wills For me, the most convincing pictures or sculptures of the Annunciation to Mary show her in a state of panic. Arturo Martini and Dante Gabriel Rossetti show her shrinking off from the angel, looking cornered by him. Lorenzo Lotto shows her turning entirely away from the angel, as if about to run from him. But the most striking images occur in fourteenth-century paintings-by, for instance, Lorenzo Veneziano and the Master of

The Case Against Classical Paganism - and Why It Was Wrong

Excerpted from God Against the Gods By Jonathan Kirsch The biblical condemnation of polytheism, when stripped of its rhetorical overkill, rests on a single theological offense: the pagan commits an unforgivable crime when he or she prays to any god or goddess other than the Only True God. Although some of the biblical authors delight in describing (and, of course, denouncing) the exotic and provocative rituals of paganism, the manner of worship ultimately matters less t

Religious Tolerance - A Brief History of a First-Rate Place

Excerpted from How Muslims, Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain By MarĂ­a Rosa Menocal The momentous events of eighth-century Europe were first set in train by the death of Muhammad, the Prophet who bore the Revelation of submission to God that is Islam. The story of Muhammad's transformation, from ordinary citizen of Mecca to charismatic military leader and radical founder of a religious and civil order, played itself out in a corner of

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Embracing the Infidel; Stories of Muslim Migrants on the Journey West

Excerpted from Embracing the Infidel; Stories of Muslim Migrants on the Journey West By Behzad Yaghmaian, Ph.D. The border guard at the train station knew just enough English to demand a bribe. If I wanted to get back on the train and cross the border from Turkey into Greece, it was going to cost me. I could not believe what I was hearing. "Five hundred dollars!" The man at the desk didn't take his eyes off the book he w

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kamurj in Religion and Spirituality

What is Religion?

Excerpted from Religion By Martin Forward The answer to the question 'What is a religion?' seems obvious. A religion is: Hinduism, Buddhism or Jainism; Judaism, Christianity or Islam; Confucianism or Shinto; one of the primal, original faiths of humankind, still found in Africa, North America and elsewhere; or one among other self-contained systems of faith. If, however, we remove the indefinite article and ask 'What is

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Tips on How to Throw an Unforgettable Holiday Party

Excerpted from An Idiot Girl's Christmas : True Tales from the Top of the Naughty List I was walking by the TV last week when an episode of a local lifestyle show caught my eye. The featured guests, two police officers, were explaining how several factors were essential to make your holiday party a successful one, and that's when I eagerly pulled up a chair to watch uninterrupted. Oh, good, I thought, they're going to fork over the recipe for J

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Advent

Excerpted from Sermons to the People : Advent, Christmas, New Year, Epiphany By Saint Augustine of Hippo Fools Confound Philosophers "It had to be easier for those who lived in the time of Christ; they could believe that He was born of a woman," the Heretical Hecklers could object, "but how about us? Who'd believe us if we make the same claim?" "That's easy," I'd respond. "You can find it in the Gospel Christ preached it

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