Sunday, September 27, 2009

Website & Services Update!

Well, I found some time this weekend to make a few changes to my website over at and I still have a few things I plan on getting accomplished either this evening or sometime during the next week. So far though the three biggest additions to my site include the following:

#1. I have, as I said I would, changed the Services page and removed my previous methods of communication in exchange for a web based version of a chat client I've used for years, called IRC. Using this feature will not only allow people to chat with me personally but with each other. Community is one of the strongest things we can built as people and that is one of my goals in addition to ministry and counseling.

#2. I've also finally added a contact page. I was putting it off because it meant that I would have to make another set of IM accounts to add to my growing list of online identities. However, I took the time today to create those accounts and have also put up an E-Mail address for people to use should they wish to write me. I'm holding off on a snail mail address though until the need for one actually presents itself, at which time, I shall obtain a PO Box.

#3. Even though I have decided to do the bulk of my online work for free, I have also decided to allow people to make donations should they wish too. I believe this to be a great alternative to charging regularly for anything because it gives a great deal of freedom to the individual on deciding how much if any they'd like to give. As of now, the only way to do this is via Pay Pal and I have set up the links appropriately.

I would also like to take a moment to pass along an update to those who don't know, that I have started a daily devotional via my FaceBook account called Spirit Walk Devotional. This is something I've been planning on doing for a while but only just recently got around to. It's based loosely on the "Our Daily Bread" series and so far, it's been a treat to write. I don't write it seven days a week, just Mon - Fri mornings. This way, my weekends are free for other tasks like website updates, more involved writings, and updating my blog.

In the future, I plan on integrating the devotional into my website, but that will have to wait for another time. Right now, if you would like to view my devotional, you'll have to add me as a friend on facebook. Just do a user search for MinisterButler (all one word) and you'll be set.

It's a slow process but I'll get everything the way I want it eventually. Right now, I'm pretty satisfied with the basics and don't really need anything beyond that. We'll see how it keeps shaping up though! Be blessed and take care!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

It's All About YOU!

I recently read a website written by someone with a very unique personal view and approach to spirituality. Not unlike myself, this person offered their own individual experience and desire to help others and up unto a point, I was pretty intrigued by what I was reading. That is until I ran across a section which implied that running into self was one of the most hindering road blocks to the spiritual journey because when we get hung up on self, we lose site of God. I clicked the little X button right then and there.

I have said this now many times and I still stand by it firmly! To understand self is to understand God, to recognize self is to recognize God, to pay attention to self is to pay attention to God. This is where so many groups make their first mistake, they put the focus of a spiritual journey on trying to obtain something that is far from reach, claiming that in order to close the gap between us and God, we must turn away from focussing on ourselves because it is selfish.

The truth of the matter is however, we *cannot* begin to find God until we begin to find ourselves. How can we know a God whose image we are made in if we don't even know ourselves? If we can't bring ourselves to do the things that please us, help us to grow, make our lives better, and yes even make us *happy*, how on earth can we expect to commune with a divine creator who reflects all of those things?

People come to a faith often times broken, seeking someone or something larger than themselves to help fix them. You see, this is what society has taught us through the ages, that we *NEED* something larger than ourselves, a being more powerful than we are, to bring our lives back from a dark point and give them meaning, give them purpose, give them forgiveness.

Because so many of us are unable to focus on ourselves, we can't find any of these things within us on our own. We lose purpose easily, have a hard time finding meaning, and do I really need to go into how hard it is for people to forgive themselves? We're told that's because we must seek God to instill those things upon us. So, we pray and we tithe, sing our hymns and read our texts, never being aware of the fact that these efforts are the very things that keep us from moving ahead.

It's all about you! First and foremost we *must* be OK with that. It isn't selfish and it isn't arrogant, YOU are the most important thing in life and you cannot recognize that in others until you recognize it within yourself. If you are not where *YOU* need to be then you are not going to be in any position to be where others may need you to be. If you are not happy, if you are not any of the things you would like others around you to be, then it's time to realize that you need to start focussing on yourself.

Also, don't be afraid to temper your humility with a certain amount of pride. Yes, I am aware that looks backwards but you read it right. Humility is a wise thing to have but don't forget that too much of it will get you humiliated. As an individual you must also be STRONG and stand upright and proud of who you are, the things you accomplish. Too much humility extinguishes our sense of self pride and worth. It also makes us look weakly upon anything we do which diminishes the positive impact that accomplishment can have on us.

In my life, a lot of people have mistook my own strength as a case of too much ego. I acknowledge my ego is there but I don't deny it it's proper place in my life. When kept in check, an ego can be a healthy thing, it keeps us confident and our ambition strong. A properly nurtured sense of self worth though should also bring with it a desire to see that in others. The truly egocentric person strives to keep all of those things for him/herself, while those with a healthy measure of it, wish to see others grow and succeed right along with them!

So you see, self is not a road block to spiritual enlightenment. Rather, self is the vehicle that makes that journey. If we don't give that full recognition and acknowledgement, then we risk having accidents and wrecks along the way. Don't sell yourself short by giving in to the idea that you must discard yourself and rely upon something else to come and fill you with ideas and concepts you are perfectly capable of producing yourself.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Who Or What Is God?

A question that has been asked by mankind since the dawn of civilization and a question that we may never fully be able to comprehend in our lives. Does God exist as nature? Is God a physical being or a spirit? Does He or She have any expectations of us as individuals? While I don't think we can ever fully comprehend the essence of spirituality, I believe the journey itself is what brings us closer to the real meaning or being behind God.

My personal belief, and the one that is reflected and fuels my websites ambitions, places the answers to these questions on our own shoulders. By that, I mean to say that I believe *we* are God. Every religion throughout the world describes mankind as beings created in a God's image, in the likeness of the creator. So, if we are like God then logic would dictate that God is like us. Likewise, creation itself is said to be a representation of God's creative mind or a representation of God's imagination.

If we truly accept these concepts, then it would mean that "we" refers to not just humanity but animals and nature as well. This means that EVERYTHING is God and EVERYTHING is a projection/representation of God's mind and thoughts. In other words, every aspect of life as we know it and every individual being with his/her unique personality is a direct representation of a distinct part of God's mind. So, if we are a *part* of a creator's mind that in essence makes us one with the creator, meaning we ARE the creator.

I also like to refer to existence as the creator expressing himself or herself indefinitely, in an infinite array of possibilities, all of which in their roots do so to further the creator's ability to express universal and unconditional love. What I mean, through "life" the creator in constantly seeking to experience love in EVERY conceivable way possible. An interesting twist to this is the fact that every religion i know of speaks of God as actually *being* love.

So, again, if this is true, then God is constantly seeking to experience himself/herself. This can be somewhat confusing but if you follow me, it explains the nature of spirituality all together. If we are God, and if God is on an constant mission to experience himself/herself and on a constant mission to experience love, then what is spirituality? The search for understanding, the constant seeking out of God, the search for answers, the desire to experience more. See how it's connected?

Put simply, our desire as a race to be spiritual people is a direct projection and representation of God's desire to experience himself/herself and the infinite possibilities of the creator's love. God wants to know how far he/she can stretch the possibilities of love through himself/herself. For instance, God wants to know how to find that creator's love through struggle and strife. How do you find the road to that, through every challenge "life" has to offer?

This puts a real new twist on concepts such as good and evil doesn't it? Let me explain, how would say, the thief find their way back to a spiritual peace and creator's love? How would the suffering do the same? It blurs the line just a little doesn't it? Try this one, what would be the easier path to a creator's love, condemning the dictator to eternal suffering, or forgiving the trespasses of this life and using the next to try and find the right way?

Think about every single person on the face of the planet. Try to wrap your brain around the idea that every single individual one of us is a representation of God trying to experience himself/herself's universal love through billions of unique and individual ways. It gives one a great deal to contemplate.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Services and Operation Update

Well, I know it's been another large gap between posts for this blog,but as i've said many times I do maintain a full time job and my time does get occupied pretty quickly with that and other aspects of my online work. So, I hope anyone who reads my stuff will bare with me! A point in time will come where I post on a regular basis again, I promise!

Anyway, this post doesn't have any helpful spiritual tidbits in it I'm afraid, except to say that it would be my most profound wish that others seriously interested in helping others will follow my lead and example. I've been giving a great deal of thought for a long time now to the way my website and services work. To put it mildly, I'm not thrilled.

Both the keen and bitwine services are semi ok for what they are. At first, I thought both would be great ideas because each make seeking out my counsel quick, easy, and for the rates I've listed on both, affordable I think. What I don't like, are the types of people each service can attract, in other words, time wasters. I get more requests for psychic readings than anything else...folks, I am NOT Ms Cleo! Callin me for your free readin probably won't get you anywhere.

I also get fakers who just use the three free minutes to do nothing but cause trouble or spout out stupid stuff for the sake of giving themselves amusement. These things have been a confirmation sign of a deeper truth that I've known for quite some time. I've had a very hard time justifying charging people money to get my spiritual insight for ages.

Even when I was a pastor, accepting money from a small church that I knew was struggling financially, tinged my conscience with more than a touch of guilt, especially when the money was never what I did it for. Donations never bothered me, if people feel like giving then it would be rude of me to deny them the pleasure some people receive from gifting.

I say that because it's true even for me. If I feel motivated, moved , or touched by someone spiritually, I always give financially if I can. However, many people who pursue the things I do with a sincere heart, can attest that money means little to them when it is compared to the feeling you get when you know you have made someone feel better.

Spiritual pursuits are not where I want to make my fortune. I have a good job, I have a writing hobby, and I still dream of breaking into the music industry someday. If I should decide to write a book on the subject, then yeah I won't hesitate to try and get it published and sold. If someone wants to pay me to do lectures or workshops i wouldn't turn down the money.

To take that down to the level of everyday people though? No, I can't justify it any longer. So, over the next few months, my website services section will be disappearing and reappearing as a free services section. I'm going to leave the merchandise section up for now, I may end up writing something someday I wish to put up there, it isn't doing any harm sitting there anyway.

As a positive irony to this action, there are an infinite amount of ways to reach me freely than there are through paid services, all of which give me greater control when it comes to dealing with fakers and harassment. I've already got a few ideas that I'm working on in my mind, it just may take a bit for them to come together.

I have helped more people in my life freely than I ever have through charging for my counseling and advising. That has been and shall always continue to be, my main objective. So, to that end, the paid services shall stop immediately. Be well and blessed, I shall be in touch soon.