Saturday, February 17, 2018

thoughts on prayer

As a person of faith in an almighty creator, I have to say one thing to those who deny the power of prayer. God doesn't stop bullets or prevent bad things from happening, at least not in a reactive way. He gave us free will and two hands to make tools and choices. But prayer is for the spirit, an adjunct to the physical being. It is not to be taken separately as a physical "tool". Rather, it is meant as a tool for the spirit and heart.

To those who have no faith, you are missing the point. It has been proven scientifically that prayer can help people recovering from illness or injury more quickly and keep people alive longer who are otherwise terminal. Psychology Today reported on this here. You can read about a study from NIH here.

The power of prayer lies in the hope and peace it brings. These have been known to increase brain chemistry for the positive, decrease stress, and help provide a balance in the body that is healing. Belief in a loving God also provides a positive influence for those who truly have the word of God in their hearts (not the hypocrites who say one thing but live another or who judge others when it is only God's place to judge us, nor the extremists who have forsaken the true word of God in the name of selfishness and distorted the teachings of true love and forgiveness.)

In a world where humans are increasingly rejecting God or at least the teachings to love one another, it's no surprise that we are seeing more violence. Perhaps if we all came together in unity and prayer instead of wallowing in self-righteousness and arguing, our world would be a better place.

Don't deny the power of prayer. Many times, miracles have happened because someone believed. The energy we create because of our beliefs and actions can be used for good or bad. It's up to each of us to decide. If generating positive energy comes from prayer, it ought to be embraced and shared.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

life is full of plot holes

I like some movies that maybe weren't popular in their genres and probably scored low or moderate on Rotten Tomatoes. I think about reviewers saying how bad the plot holes are, plot holes that I tend to overlook that really aren't too obvious, or a deus ex machina.

Some movies and books make me hate them for the plot holes, but then there are usually so many problems with the characters and plots in general that I can't overlook them because nothing works.

And then I realized something--some things that seem like plot holes really are not. In fact, they are more true to life than a perfectly explained and wrapped up logical plot. Let me explain...

Something looks like a plot hole because it isn't explained or not foreshadowed or contradicts what has been established. Entertainment is about drama and luring us in with emotions, allowing us to see and feel something other than our own daily routine. But entertainment comes from certain perspectives. Books allow us into characters minds but is still a limited perspective. It is based on a character's interpretations of events and other characters, or even the writer's/director's perspective (what the writer or director wants the reader to think). They are limited, just like our real-life experiences are limited.

Not all plot holes are plot holes but are, rather, simply misdirection, lack of information, or wrong interpretation. Unless we're omniscient or telepathic, we can't know everything--thoughts, purposes, emotions, plots, etc.--all of the time. That's what a story is about. It's the not knowing that keeps us reading/watching with these stories, continuing to find out what happens and where it all leads (climax and denouement).

And a clever writer/director can play with that.

In real life, we can't anticipate everything. There are certain predictable factors, but not always and not everything. Sometimes, something isn't what it appears to be or something happens that we didn't know could happen. For that factor, life is full of plot holes. It doesn't make sense, but when something happens to us without any explanation, we can't deny it, because we lived through it.

Ever experience something that fits the phrase "too crazy to be real" or something like it? Sometimes that's how life works--unexplained phenomena that totally don't make sense given our unique experiences or anything established previously.

Well, I say life is full of plot holes and surprises, and I think that's why so many of us can overlook the minor issues in fictional stories. And there really is a "God in the Machine" (Deus Ex Machina).