Monday, April 27, 2015

His Holiness the Dalai Lama & Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Dharamsala, HP, India, 23 April 2015 - The Upper Tibetan Children’s Village School was host to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, his good friend Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Team Joy this afternoon. As they drove there from His Holiness’s residence the streets were lined with smiling people eager to catch a glimpse of them.

On arrival at TCV His Holiness and the Archbishop were escorted into the small library adjacent to the basketball court. Amidst the neat bookshelves and displays of projects the children had done writing about ‘joy’, several students, girls and boys, recounted their own journeys from Tibet to the school. The first, who had come with her grandmother, leaving the rest of her family behind, broke down in sobs and tears. Archbishop Tutu’s daughter, Mpho, stepped forward to hug and comfort her. She completed her tale, but when the next student too was overcome with emotion His Holiness intervened, suggesting:

“You should think about how as a result of coming here you have been able to receive not only a modern education, but also to learn about our rich culture. You’ve been able to study our language. This is the best language for explaining the profound traditions of Nalanda University. This is something to be proud of. And yours may be the generation that can rebuild Tibet.”

The final student to make a presentation spoke of his appreciation for what he had received and how he tries to take joy in everything.

The children, who filled the basketball court, sang a song in Tibetan celebrating His Holiness’s 80th birthday as he and Archbishop Tutu emerged to take their seats in the middle of the throng. They then followed it up with a Tibetan rendition of ‘If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.’

When His Holiness was invited to address the gathering, he turned to the Archbishop and said that since he teases him so much about his English, on this occasion he would speak in Tibetan. He stated that although our various religious traditions have different philosophical viewpoints, they share a common message of love and compassion. This is clearly reflected in the Archbishop and is why he admires him.

Commenting on the hardships faced by the parents of the students who were present His Holiness said:

“We received immense help from the Indian government. The world helped us. Because of the kindness we have received you have the opportunity to study today. Please, work hard. We Tibetans are going through a very difficult time, but we still have our own language and culture. Please take full advantage of your educational opportunities.”

Archbishop Tutu acknowledged His Holiness, the beautiful children and those in the crowd who were not children.

“It’s a great honour and privilege to be here. You are beloved throughout the world and we want to say to you, young people, that it might not seem possible to you that you will one day return to a free Tibet. But we in South Africa lived for many years under a system of injustice and oppression. Many of our leaders and young people went into exile. It seemed as if the chains of oppression would never be broken, that our prisoners on Robben Island would never come home. And yet,” and he let out his characteristic high pitched chuckle, “it happened.”

“In 1995, our beloved Nelson Mandela and the others were released and the exiles came home. One day, you too, all of you, will see your beloved Tibet again. You’ll be free of the oppression that has driven you here. The Chinese government will discover that freedom is actually cheaper than oppression.”

He spoke of the deep honour he feels to count His Holiness as his friend and that the world feels the same way. He continued:

“I want to thank the Indian government and the Indian people who opened their arms to welcome you, because they preserved for us a great treasure that would otherwise have been lost.”

Looking round at the students, he exclaimed:

“Look how beautiful you are! One day you’ll be dancing and singing in the streets of Tibet.”

Students were then able to put questions to the two spiritual leaders starting with one to His Holiness asking whether we can ever hope to live in a violence free world. He replied that there are many different kinds of violence, including exploitation and corruption.

“If you are thinking about serious physical violence involving war and people killing each other, then yes, I think we can eliminate that if we make the right effort.”

Archbishop Tutu was asked his advice about the way people seek happiness in material things. He answered that more and more people are realizing that they will not get real satisfaction from things alone. He said you can have many possessions while your heart remains empty.

“I meet many young people from well-off homes who go out to help others and find a much greater satisfaction in that.”

When His Holiness was asked about how he controls his anger in daily life, he replied that when he’s angry he shouts. He told a story of an occasion in 1956 when he was watching the driver and mechanic who looked after one of the cars that had belonged to the 13th Dalai Lama. While working on it he accidentally banged his head on the car. In anger he then deliberately banged it against the car again and His Holiness wondered: “What’s the use of that?” He remarked that anger destroys our peace of mind.

“Reciting ‘manis’ won’t help, even reciting the refuge prayer won’t help. Training our minds is the only solution.”

Asked whether joy could really be a source of world peace, His Holiness replied:

“I think so and that’s why people should have a clear understanding of how to create joy. Doing harm to others may bring some temporary satisfaction, but being helpful to them is the only real source of lasting joy.”

Archbishop Tutu was also asked how true joy and happiness can be achieved and he answered:

“If we think we want joy for ourselves that’s short-sighted and will only be short-lived. Real joy is the reward of acting to bring joy to others. Deep joy is what happens when you show love, care and compassion to others. You can’t get it any other way. You can’t buy it.”

In reply to a final question about the environment, the Archbishop said:

“We have to remind people that this is our only home and if we treat it badly we’re done for. The ice caps are melting. The summers and winters are too long. We need to say ‘Yes, something is wrong’. People are beginning to hear what many religious leaders are saying, that this is our only home and we have to care for it.”

A band on the stage led the whole crowd in singing, ‘We are the world’. Archbishop Tutu got to his feet, dancing and swaying to the music. At the end he took the microphone and led everyone in singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to His Holiness as a large cake ablaze with candles was placed before them. He called for children to come and help His Holiness blow the candles out. The cake was cut and as it was distributed among children and guests, His Holiness, the Archbishop and Team Joy returned to McLeod Ganj.

Tomorrow will see the final day of the conversations that are to become the ‘Book of Joy’.

Click here to see the original article and photos

Symptoms of Spiritual Pollution, Part 3

Continued from: 
Symptoms of Spiritual Pollution, Part 1
Symptoms of Spiritual Pollution, Part 2

In our continuation on the blog series Spiritual Warfare from the last time I discussed the critical aspect of Submission.  I first started off the blog series with Reverence for the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, which I laid this out so that you will understand and learn that one must fear God.  The second part was that to truly understand God you need to submit to his ways and thus not your or other human’s ways.

God is a loving God, yes but God is also a God of wrath!  Time and time again the Holy Bible discusses the wrath and penalties from God.  Just because you know and have accepted Jesus Christ as your savior does not mean you comply with the Kingdom plan.

To truly comply as a person you must submit to Jesus Christ and make him the Lord of your life. This is why the battle of Spiritual Warfare takes place.  This is a pure test to see if the person will truly follow and serve the Kingdom of God as they are called to do, or are they just wanting to “go with the flow” and the “ways of the world”.

Today I will discuss the third aspect which is Dependency.  Webster's online describes DEPENDENCY as follows:

1.  Dependence
2.  Something that is dependent on something else; especially: a territorial unit under the jurisdiction of a nation but not formally annexed by it
3.  A building (as a stable) that is an adjunct to a main dwelling

When it comes to dependency as relating to God we need to focus on point two (2) from above, something that is dependent on something else.  As humans we are to be dependent upon God for all our needs.  Sadly, our ancestors Adam and Eve chose to cast this dependency aside when both were tricked to eat the "forbidden fruit".

As a result of our ancestors actions many people, as well as fellow Christians feel they do not need to be dependent upon God, because it is God who created them with an innate desire to be creatures who can do all as long as they give God some sort of credit.

Sadly, this is where we get in trouble and thus the Demons know this about us. As humans we desire to control and thus we have been given an illusion so to speak.  Wikipedia describes human’s innate drive to not be controlled as follows: "The illusion of control is the tendency for people to overestimate their ability to control events; for example, it occurs when someone feels a sense of control over outcomes that they demonstrably do not influence.”

The effect was named by psychologist Ellen Langer and has been replicated in many different contexts.  It is thought to influence gambling behavior and belief in the paranormal.  Along with illusory superiority and optimism bias, the illusion of control is one of the positive illusions.

This is where we as humans get into trouble because we will not give the control to the Lord Jesus Christ who is truly in control, yet we profess him as Lord but we do NOT make him the Lord fully over our lives.

Our God is awesome God and our God is huge as well.  It is this very God who is the one who holds every molecule in this universe together.  God is the one making your lungs work, and your heart beat.  Thus you can’t lift your arm without His empowerment.  Everything you have is a gift from God.

But while God is a generous provider, none of God's gifts become or are your property.  God's gifts are all loans to the person which God could suddenly take back at any time.  Your intelligence, your health, your joy, your strength—they are all loans from God.  Given this knowledge, what can you truly do apart from God?  Absolutely nothing.  Which means you are dependent on God for all things, but many refuse to submit to God and become dependent in this manner and that is why they face issues from the Demonic forces.

In the Church, a person is taught to think this is some kind of amazing aspect or gift if you can detect the presence of demons.  This person is spoken to that they have “the gift of discernment”, if you can sense some evil aura around you or around others. However, discernment is about wisdom.  How much wisdom do you truly have if you won’t or refuse to grasp the super obvious truth that you are dependent on God for all things?

How misguided are you to think it is you who can do anything apart from God?  How dense are you to miss how awesome God is and that it is you who will never be anything more than a powerless molecule who was created to love and to serve the One who made you?  Sadly in the Church, it is stupidity which is exalted as wisdom, while true wisdom is adamantly rejected.  In the Church, a person is taught to memorize a whole list of the glorious powers and attributes we must obtain through the Lord Jesus Christ.

As parishioners we are taught to think that we are incredible creatures who God depends upon to make Him feel complete.  We are taught that our happiness is God’s top priority (prosperity gospel and feel good gospels) and that God lives and exists to only bless us.  This is all just lies—a smelly pile of manure, which we use to fertilize our growing egos that God exists to please us humans.  Therefore those people are already receiving the doctrine of Demons - which we have been warned of.

God does not need us, we need God. Read in the bible in which God stated his great displeasure with us humans, Genesis 6:7 states, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.”  Right there this is a stern warning from God that we are to be in reverence, submission and dependency upon him but our egos get in the way.

Understanding that our absolute dependency on God is what slams us out of our Narcissistic Personna and drives us back down onto our faces in front of Him saying, “Apart from you God I can do nothing, and I am nothing.  All that matters is you God being pleased with me and that I glorify you in my life.  It is your approval as the only reward that I seek.”

So is this the attitude that is being cultivated in you when you sit around contemplating your wonderful life?  You best prepare for a massive spiritual onslaught from demonic forces then as one would deserve this because of not wanting to be dependent upon God at all.

I will continue with the next aspect of TRUST in a blog next time.

Rev. Bradley Luoma, Exorcist