Image by Keith DeVinney, US Navy
I’m going to be travelling over the next few weeks. So this post is a brief one.
About a year and a half ago we wrote a post about Mack Wolford, a Pentecostal minister in West Virginia. Pastor Wolford believed Christians should handle poisonous snakes as a test of their faith. And if they were bitten, as he was several times, their faith should save them from death.
In his last service, the day after his 44th birthday, Pastor Wolford was bitten by a timber rattlesnake, refused medical treatment, and died a painful death that night.
Today I read about another pastor, Jamie Coots, in Kentucky. Last weekend he too was bitten by a poisonous snake, refused medical treatment, and died.
Apparently snake-handling is a common practice among some religious sects, though it is illegal in most of the United States. The practice is supposedly a test of faith, the belief being if your faith is strong enough God will protect you from being bitten—and if you are bitten he will save you death.
Pastor Coots reportedly once said publicly “If the Bible told me to jump out of an airplane, I would.”
While I admire his faith, I question his common sense. There are laws other than what we might perceive as divine law—such as the law of gravity.
This brings up the question, at least in my mind, “What is God?”
Is God a divine energy or entity who controls every aspect of our human lives? Or is God something other than that? Does God want us to play with poisonous snakes as a test of our faith in him/her? Does God ask us to jump out of airplanes without a parachute? Do we create our own realities, or does God do that for us?
In this video Abraham discusses those questions.
What other subjects would you like us to talk about in these posts? Please email me.
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Ultimately God would not tell you to jump out of an airplane. She doesn’t care what you do, nor would She tell you do do anything. God allows all things to be. It is called unconditional love.
I agree, Tiat — that was the point of our post.
I definitely do not believe in any God who would tell me to jump out of a plane, handle a snake, mutilate my body or go through any other such testing.
God, for me, is the spirit of Unity and Oneness that draws and holds everyone and everything – all beings – together through Love. God is also That which inspires, encourages and supports us on our journey through Life so that we might become everything that we can possibly become, if we believe in our selves and in each other and in our individual uniqueness as representatives of the One in manifestation.
It is we who “test” our selves, and each other, whenever we lose sight of who and what we really are. And then we make up stories about being tested because, in our self delusion, we do not want to accept and own accountability and responsibility for our ‘sins’ – our shortcomings; our falling short of our highest ideals and greatest potentials. And no parachute of fabric can save us from such falls. Only we can save ourselves by striving to become who we were meant to be. Each of us striving, with a little help from our friends.
Thanks very much, Karl.
As my spirit guides, and many others, have said “God is all that is.”
I lked what you wrote, Carl.
Thank you very much.
One thing I would say is that for me the word striving implies “strife”. I’ve had quite enough of that energy in my life to last several lifetimes! From a place of alignment with Spirit/GodForce/Source of all that is I make the decision to simply BE who I AM, the authentic ME, and simply allow my. thoughts, words, choices to flow out of THAT.
I AM THAT I AM.
If what you mean by striving is ‘ doing your best’ then I am in with you. Kindness toward ourselves as we go, and extra encouragement when we stumble.
But for me, I don’t much want to strive for anything. I want to allow the spark of my desire, my vision for how I want to be, my true self, to be fueled by a passionate love for me that makes me wake up excited for another day to shine my Light so that my love can touch the hearts of others wherever I go. But it all starts within my own heart.
The God within is Me Loving me.
Thank you, Martha.
Thanks for your thoughts Martha. I agree with your view. Language, unfortunately, isn’t always adequate to convey our thoughts and feelings clearly without further explanation. I don’t think of “striving” as necessarily involving “strife” although it certainly seems to for many (most?) people. But I think the strife comes with the self-imposed testing that people go through.
For me, “striving” evokes an awareness of what it is I really need and desire at an essential level – the true desire of the Heart. There is a constant “calling” and inspiration that draws one forward on one’s spiritual journey. When one hears that call and recognizes it, it is unavoidable and irresistible. So I think my concept of “striving” is to hold a constancy of awareness of this inner voice and following my inner guidance without distraction and diversion by superficiality. And it seems to me that’s pretty much what you were addressing in your choice of words and concepts. Other people seem to mean the same thing when they say “follow your bliss,” although that can be less than clear unless one understands what “bliss” means.
Martha, you’re already there. Blessings and love.
As the first one was so powerful, two years later I did a second vision quest, at a location I had been to before. When I got there I realized there were people there and so the VQ would not be possible (one is supposed to be alone) but decided to sit up on the beach all night anyway. I had a flashlight with me based on advice about the location, which was cheating already. All I saw was a raccoon on the driftwood logs I was leaning on behind me. Just before dawn I heard branches behind me breaking, followed by a thud and a grunt. A moment later there was another grunt down by the water line followed by a splash. Training my light toward the sound I saw the biggest bear I had ever seen outside of a zoo. I had gotten a bear on my first VQ but no where near as large. I slid up onto the logs and sat expecting to be a dead man at any moment. I decided to come off the logs and turn on my light and slowly walk away from my site, letting the bear know I was not a threat. Found a small rock to stand on and spent the next hour and 15 minutes in emotion running from fear to anger. The bear was at my site eventually my attitude was “I’m going to come over there and kick some bear butt.” After I started to walk further away I saw the bear was not there. I began to doubt my experience til I saw the bear print in the sand. I packed up in a hurry and headed for the trail over a long 3.3 mile boardwalk. Since I was in a hurry I did lousy job with my back pack. Kept having to stop and readjust it as the straps dug into my shoulders. Was on the boardwalk, stopped, adjusted my pack, said, “despite the rain the and bear and the people I had a really good time!” Pause. I was growled at, and looking off the trail I now saw the biggest cat I had ever seen in my life outside the zoo. Sitting and looking right at me, and I could see teeth. I got loud, big, turned and continued walking thinking I had “stumbled” on a cougar. I would walk, then stop and listen, and hear something 10 yards off the trail stop a fraction of a second after I stopped. This went on for a time with me knowing I had three miles to walk alone in the forest (Olympic National Forest). Eventually what happened was I stopped hearing snap crackle in the woods, I heard it under the boardwalk, one step behind me. The boardwalk was up off the ground a good deal. Eventually a couple came headed for the beach to run as it was about 7 in the morning. “I’m being stalked by a cougar” I said. “Didn’t you hear me, what did you think was going on?” “We just thought you were having a really good time.'” was the answer. They followed me back to the Ranger Station.
I thought I was one with nature, I felt betrayed, had believed I was going to die. The message is that there are never ever any gaurantees, about anything. Also, cougar and bear are the most powerful/dangerous animals in this part of the country, and so it was like coming face to face with one’s own power. Finally, I set the energy for a VQ, and the fact that they were real animals does not make them any less than a “vision” animal. In fact they were sendings.
Thank you, Tiat.
I read your story with great attentiveness, humor and affection.
These power animals don’t show up for no reason. So in addition to your insight about power, I am wondering – have you asked Spirit to show you what messages they came carrying for you? And what in you magnetized them to you in order for you to see something about yourself you were wanting to see?
Martha, the point is, everything is a mask. We wear masks to stay safe, and there are no gaurantees of safety. I work with my power animals fairly regularly and I know that in this instance they are working with me on acknowledging my own power. On knowing that ultimately I am safe as I am God, Goddess, All That Is. So I am moving beyond the personality structure of Tiat via Non-Duality. The key is acknowledging our masks, seeing that they are there and allowing them to be there until they begin to fall away. Everything is a mask.
Thank you, Tiat.
So for you the experience was about being shown your power, dropping your mask, allowing yourself to feel safe and moving out of duality into oneness?
Sounds good to me!
A very powerful and quite amazng story!
With your encouragement, I am posting my comments I wrote to you privately first. I deal with this duality all the time, and my take might not make sense to anyone else.
First thought I had was a line from the movie Matrix, “There is no spoon”. In this context means yes, in physical reality there are laws like gravity and things that bite that we’d better pay attention to. I am the snake handler in my family, btw….my husband won’t go near them. Had a rattle snake a few years ago, discovered under a wood pile we were cleaning up. They are rare here, but not unknown, and I knew better than get too close. I made everyone else get away, then encouraged him to move along. Most people would have destroyed it, but I respect all life. Have since learned there are people would have removed him to a safer place without killing him, so that would be my choice if there is a next time.
Though I took that snake as a sign for me too. Many of us fear our own power, as I have myself. But there is a distinction within me…the personal I or ego self that is focused in 3D physical reality is one level, and the me that is eternal is another.
We are also God. So is the snake. And when we are in conscious connection with the divinity of our own nature…we know there is no spoon.
When I did my healing journey, on a day I woke up blind and so ill, I was fearing death…I let go of the world, and went within. Didn’t know if I’d be coming back to this plane or not, but yes…I jumped, in faith, did what I had to do.
What I learned showed me who I really am, at essence…and when I am in that expanded, connected to all things version of ‘me’…I am part of All that Is. That is what I define as god. And from that perspective, there is no death…there is no spoon.
From that moment onward…I was healed. I felt only joy and gratitude for the journey, even the illness, that had led me to the point that in desperation, I took the leap of faith.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch…the physical symptoms continued to abate from that moment forward over another couple of years. Some still linger, and yet I know in an instant I was healed. (Healing I define as the reconnection with Source/All that is). Just took my physical self some time to catch up. Expect that is because my life long beliefs/experience in physical living slowed me down.
I was told decades ago, that I walk in two worlds. Now I get that, and it is something I am still getting the hang of. Both views are equally real and valid, but I know I have a choice, and whenever I find myself faced with a situation that I am not sure how it will turn out…I go within. All is Well and I am reminded of that and so it is.
Thanks very much, Val. I appreciate it.
I really appreciate what you shared. It is very helping to me at this time as I am in a pretty strong health challenge currently with my physical heart.
The message I am getting is, “LOVE MARTHA, LOVE MARTHA, MORE LOVE FOR MARTHA ”
This is my path to healing. Your story reconfirmed it so thank you.
And if you or anyone who might feel moved to send me a blessing at this time, please SEE me in the LIGHT OF ME LOVING ME!
Thank you all with Love for all your beautful sharings.
From my experience, may I suggest that rather than “Love FOR Martha” you could view it as a flow of “Love THROUGH Martha.” As part of our divine heritage, we are individuated representatives of the One Being and the essence of this divinity and oneness is Love. And this Love needs to flow through each of us; through All and Everything.
One way I have conceptualized this is to consider myself as a lens. A lens can be situated such that it catches the rays of the Sun and concentrates them to provide brighter Light and produce heat. In a similar manner, we can concentrate the flow of Love through our selves and direct it with attentive intention, either within our selves or towards other beings or situations. When directed within, however, the Love still needs to be allowed to flow freely and generously to provide the greatest benefit. Especially when directed towards others, do this with an awareness that the Love doesn’t come “from” one’s self, but rather that it flows through one’s conscious presence.
There is no “filling up” on Love, no “getting enough” of it; there really is only allowing it to flow more fully and freely. The “Supply” is endless and boundless, and the freer the flow, the greater the flow; especially when being “given away” – meaning consciously directed towards others. This is why being of service to others is a universally recognized and highly regarded spiritual practice; it is the serving up of Love in a multitude of ways. And as the Love flows through, increasing one’s own radiance immeasurably, the benefits “rub off” so to speak, even as the Love flows on to do its “work” in the Universe. And can also be “reflected” back from others. But that is not the ultimate purpose or goal, it is a “side effect” so to speak of service. The more you “give Love away” … letting Love flow through you … the more Love you experience. When this is accomplished with no thought or expectation of reward, the service is most pure and the rewards become most bountiful.
May Love flow freely through you… May your physical heart be healed. And may your spiritual Heart expand immeasurably…
Namaste John/Spirit!! Thank you for the message and Abraham Hicks. I’ve been learning from their messages for years. Excellent group!!! Godspeed on your travels John
Thanks very much, Rene.
That concept is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard!
Oy Vey. Thank God for Abraham and other teachers of Universal TRUTH!
Thank you, Martha. It does boggle the mind. 🙂
First tell me if God is a He or a She and then I will consider whether or not to do what He or She tells me.
Thank you, George.
Sounds very much like the bible story in Genesis where ‘God’ tells Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac as a burnt offering to God. Abraham dutifully follows God’s orders and is about to slay his son Isaac with a knife when he is told to stop from the heavens and sacrifice a ram instead. For his blind faith he is well rewarded from God.
MAkes me wonder whether the snake ‘tormentors’ would go as far as homicide!!!!
Then there are the infamous cults where blind faith has gone too far, sometimes with tragic consequences.
People tend to put a human face on God. I believe this would go back as far as humanity started to worship deities. They give all control and responsibility over to God. After all, having to take self responsibility can be quite daunting for some. It is far easier to praise or blame an external force than to accept that WE ARE THAT FORCE!!
Blessings to you, John, and a safe journey.
Thanks very much, Sarah.
Loved the message from Abraham. And the photos on the video. Thank you, John.
Thank you, Gail.
In the most part our idea of God is limited. Until we see God not only within ourselves and everything else we limit our experience. To handle a snake isn’t faith it is denying the snake its nature. Any animal or person you handle without permission is going to get annoyed, people don’t usually bite and just say back off. A snake will bite. A dog, a cat, a bear even a bug will let you know it’s upset. It’s nature you don’t respect when you go against her and assume the snake has as much faith in you as you have in God. God doesn’t request faith, It doesn’t expect anything back from us. It only desires us to be ourselves, to enjoy our lives the way we understand life.
My one faith is no matter what I will always land on my feet. I have faith I am part of All That Is and I have faith that life is whatever I choose to make of it.
love and hugs
Thanks very much, Jeannie.