Monday, May 29, 2023

God and Marriage

 



ACCOUNTABILITY IN MARRIAGE TO GOD

Lack of accountability to God for what you’ve been doing to your marriage and your marriage partner is one of the reasons why divorce is rampant these days.

You’re living in a world in which injustice and vengeance are rampant. Living in the midst of this storm of unfairness may cause you unhappiness and even your own lack of faith in God.

But seeing the lack of accountability in others should, on the contrary, enhance your own accountability not only in your marriage but also in your everyday living. God is forever just and will bring judgment and justice to all—at His own timeline.

An illustration

In 1984, Archbishop Valerian Trifa was deported from the United States after being accused of being a Nazi supporter, who not only had incited attacks on Jews, but also was responsible for executing many Jews in World War II.

After World War II, the former Nazi supporter came to the United States as a refugee immigrant. He assumed the name of Valerian Trifa, and he was ordained as a priest of the Rumanian church soon after his arrival in the United States. He rose quickly to the rank of bishop and then archbishop, who lived in comfort in a 25-room farmhouse on a 200-acre estate maintained by his church.

Then, a dentist, who was a Nazi survivor, recognized the Archbishop as the Nazi supporter. The case against the Archbishop was reported in the media, and then pursued for more than a decade long by some survivors of the Nazi, Jewish organizations, journalists, as well as by the Justice Department of the United States. Their joint efforts helped focus public attention on those Nazi war criminals who were living in the United States.

At first, the Archbishop vehemently denied his former identity, despite some handwriting experts had confirmed that his handwriting was identical with that in some of the execution orders he had carried out while he was a Nazi supporter. As luck would have it, with the advancement of forensic science, some experts could incredibly still retrieve some DNA from those execution orders with the Archbishop’s own saliva on them. That was his undoing, and his final judgment.

In 1982, the Archbishop was ultimately ordered to leave the United States. But he had spent two years trying to find a country that would give him refuge. In 1984, Portugal admitted him, and he finally settled in Estoril, where he died at the age of 72 of a heart attack.

So, believe that God is merciful, but also a just God, who’ll judge injustice and any wrongdoing according to His own timeframe.

So, living in the presence of God is showing your accountability to every aspect of your married life. So, be faithful to your marriage partner to receive the blessings of God in your marriage.


Getting Married to Make You Happy?

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Losing Your Money

Making money is all about your being and your doing: being who you are and doing what you can with what you have.

Not knowing your true self and not doing what you are supposed to do, and yet wanting your money, and even lots of it, leads to your “money fantasies”, such as becoming a professional gambler, lining up for hours to get your Power Ball, and even engaging in burglary or bank robbery.

No matter what, you may lose your money at some point in your life, and that is a reality. Remember, the opposite of "gain" is "loss", and what goes up must also come down, and this is a universal truth.

LOSING

Even if your life is a bed of roses, it must also have some thorns to go with it. What goes up must also come down. Gains are followed by losses. That is the natural cycle of all things.

While pursuing your careers, you might have encountered your discharge or unemployment, and while making your money in your businesses or financial investments, you might also have been overwhelmed by your money losses.

Freedom

Free yourself from “money miseries”—living from paycheck to paycheck; not making both ends meet; always seeing your lack and deprivation when compared with others.

Remember this: Even wealthy celebrities went broke, and you are not alone. For example, Mike Tyson, a boxing champion, earning over $300 million dollars, ended up in bankruptcy in 2003; and Michael Jackson, a recording artist, dancer, singer, and songwriter, earning over $500 million dollars, was heavily in debt when he died in 2009.

So, fight the good fight to recover, restore, and rejuvenate yourself from the bondage and wreckage of losses. 

Bondage

Money is emotional, especially when always feeling the lack of it. Yes, money can cause many mental problems, including depression.

With more money, you can live rich. But even with less money, you can still live richly, and free yourself from the bondage of lack.

But how to live richly if you have less money? The answer is thrift, which is an alternative lifestyle to consumerism, materialism, and over-consumption in this material world you are living in.

Thrift may help you work less, and not more. Many people are not paying with their money; instead, they are paying with their time from their lives. Are you one of them? Are you doing two or more jobs just to earn that extra money to spend more

Thrift may promote your positive consumption values. Are some or most of your purchases aimed at your instant gratification, or just enhancing your self-esteem, making you feel rich, such as wearing a designer’s dress?

Thrift may encourage your savings. It may give you more space to save, thereby instrumental in protecting you from negative income shocks, such as an unexpected unemployment.

Yes, living richly with thrift may turn you from bondage to freedom.

FREEDOM with BONDAGE shows you how to free yourself from your bondage to the flesh that gives you the "freedom" to make the wrong choices and decisions in your everyday life.

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Sunday, May 28, 2023

The Immune System Recovery

 

THE IMMUNE SYSTEM RECOVERY

 

Your Creator has given your body an immune system that protects you from disease and infection. Sadly, your immune system may attack itself in the form of autoimmune diseases, which can affect many parts of your body, including your nerves, muscles, endocrine system (the system that controls your body’s hormones and other chemicals), and digestive system.

 There are more than 80 types of autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosistype 1 diabetes mellitusrheumatoid arthritis, and myasthenia gravis, among many others.

Many of these diseases associated with autoimmunity are often chronic, requiring lifelong care and monitoring.

Most of these diseases strike women more than they do men, particularly women of working age and during their child-bearing years.

 Essentially, autoimmunity can affect almost any organ or body system. The exact problem you may have with autoimmunity depends on which body tissues are targeted by your immune system. For example, if your skin is targeted, you may have skin rashes, blisters, or color changes; if your thyroid gland is affected, you may feel extremely tired, sensitive to cold, and muscle aches; if your joints are attacked, you may have severe joint pain, stiffness, and loss of function.

Risk Factors

 (1) Stress is a major factor triggering the onset of an autoimmune disease, especially if you already have an over-stressed or a weakened immune system. As you age, your stress may increase with increased limitations on your life. In order to cope with daily living, you need to conquer your stress, which may lead to depression and anxiety, which are commonly associated with aging.

(2) The genes you inherit may predispose your susceptibility to developing an autoimmune disease.


(3) Viruses may also contribute to the development of an autoimmune disease.

 My Myasthenia Gravis

 Myasthenia gravis is one of the many autoimmune diseases, which, according to contemporary Western medicine, offer no known cure, except controlling or suppressing their many disease symptoms. This book is based on the author's own experience of battling against his myasthenia gravis: how he stopped all his medications through a holistic approach to controlling and managing the disease. This book provides insight and well-researched information that he would like to share with those who are afflicted with myasthenia gravis or any other autoimmune disease.

 This book covers every aspect of holistic health to cope with autoimmunity: body detox, diet, lifestyle changes, exercises for muscle weakness, and mental relaxation techniques for vision problems associated with myasthenia gravis.

THE IMMUNE SYSTEM REWCOVERY

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Consciousness of Living


Consciousness of living

“Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.” Pope Paul VI 

To live well, you must always be conscious of your living.

Simplicity in Living

Consciousness of living a simple lifestyle is the key to happiness and longevity. In this day and age, living in this complex world of technology is not easy: The complexity of this world has taken a toll on the human mind, creating undue stress, as well as many emotional, mental, personal, and psychological attachments in the material world. For these reasons, profound human wisdom in living is essential to overcoming stress and letting go of all attachments. Simplicity is the first step towards detachment, which holds the key to unlocking the door to happiness. Live a simple lifestyle, deleting all the trimmings of life and living, as well as all the attachments that may have a negative impact on your mind.

Epicurus, the Greek philosopher, had this advice on how to lead a pleasant life: avoiding luxuries, and living simply. The explanation is that luxurious living may make you into a “needy” person whose happiness always depends on things that are impermanent and easily lost.

The late Robert Kennedy once said: “Sometimes I think that the only people in this country who worry more about money than the poor are the very wealthy. They worry about losing it, they worry about how it is invested, they worry about the effect it’s going to have. And as the zeroes increase, the dilemmas get bigger.” 

Can you live a simple lifestyle to help you let go of all the trimmings of life?

When you were in your younger days, you might have had many attachments to life that define who you were, such as the car you were driving, the designer dress you were wearing, or anything that defined your social status. Can you, at this point in your life, let go of all these attachments and just lead a simple life? 

Living in simplicity is living a humble life, which is emptying your toxic cravings and attachments.

“All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.” (Ephesians 2:3)

Attachments create your ego-self that not only separates you from others but also gives you your pride, instead of humility.

“Focusing on status gives us pride, and not humility.
Hoarding worldly riches deprives us of heavenly assets.

An empty mind with no craving and no expectation helps us let go of everything.
Being in the world and not of the world, we attain heavenly grace.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 2)

But with humility, we may see who we really are, not what we wish we were, and what we really need, not what we want. Humility is self-enlightening.

“Ever humble, we see the mysteries of all things created.
Ever proud, we see only the manifestations of all things created.

Only the mysteries, and not the manifestations,
show us the Way to true wisdom.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 1)

Live a simple life, especially as you continue to age, and you just don’t die!

Simplicity gives your clarity of thinking to see the wisdom of living in the present: the past was gone; the future is yet to come, and only the present is real—a gift from the Creator, and that is why it is called “present.”

"Simplicity is clarity.
It is a blessing to learn from those
with humble simplicity.

Those with an empty mind
will learn to find the Way.

The Way reveals the secrets of the universe:
the mysteries of the realm of creation;
the manifestations of all things created.
The essence of the Way is to show us
how to live in fullness and return to our origin."
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 65)

Clarity of thinking may let you have the true human wisdom to know your true nature, thereby ending your craving and hence your self-imposed suffering.

In the present moment, with clarity of mind, you may begin to see the ultimate truths of the self, others, as well as everything around you. More importantly, you may see your past follies in identifying yourself with your thoughts that have created your ego-self, your present futile efforts in striving to protect your ego-self, and your future futilities in expecting that your ego-self will all its attachments will continue to exist in the days to come.  

Living in the present is an awakening to the realities of all things. It may afford you an opportunity to look more objectively at any given situation, allowing your mind to think more clearly, to separate the truths from the self-deceptions that might have been created in your subconscious minds all along.

Focusing on the present moment liberates you from projecting your desires into the future as expectations that necessitate your over-doing to guarantee their fulfillment.

“Therefore, we focus on the present moment,
doing what needs to be done,
without straining and stressing.

To end our suffering,
we focus on the present moment,
instead of our expected result.
So, we follow the natural laws of things.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 63)

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Friday, May 26, 2023

What Is True Wisdom?


“Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.” -- Albert Einstein


“Follow your instincts. That's where true wisdom manifests itself.” -- Oprah Winfrey

True wisdom is much more than knowledge or intelligence. It has much to do with the processing of information by the thinking mind. It requires much clarity and concentration of the thinking mind to see things as they really are, and not as what they are supposed to be. Accordingly, being knowledgeable may suggest smartness but not necessarily true wisdom of an individual. After all, humans are all limited in their capacity and capability to acquire knowledge, which is often unlimited. Therefore, to use what is limited for the unlimited is irrational. True wisdom, on the other hand, is empowering the thinking, which is potentially unlimited, to apply the limited knowledge acquired to understand the true nature of the self, of others, and of the world around.
True wisdom is innate and inside each and every one of us, but you just have to look inside you, just as Eckhart Tolle says in the beginning of his book The Power of Now:

“A beggar has been sitting by the side of a road for over thirty years. One day a stranger walked by. ‘Spare some change?’ mumbled the beggar, mechanically holding out his old baseball cap. ‘I have nothing to give you,’ said the stranger. Then he asked: ‘What’s that you are sitting on?’ ‘Nothing,’ replied the beggar. ‘Just an old box. I have been sitting on it for as long as I can remember.’ ‘Ever looked inside?’ asked the stranger. ‘No,’ said the beggar. ‘What’s the point? There’s nothing in there.’ ‘Have a look inside,’ insisted the stranger. The beggar managed to prey open the lid. With astonishment, disbelief, and elation, he saw that the box was filled with gold.”

Look inside! True wisdom is already inside you, but you just have to look!
Yes, looking inside is the key to understanding true human wisdom. When you look within yourself, you may become awakened and even enlightened.

THE POWER OF NOW

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau


Thursday, May 25, 2023

Adultery in Marriage

 



 

INFIDELITY IN MARRIAGE

 Tiger Woods, one of the world’s most famous and wealthiest golfers, was caught with his dark secrets of infidelities and lies in 2009. At first, he vehemently denied and even concealed them. But, eventually, he was more forthcoming and apologetic to his fans and his family at several press conferences:

 "I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves. . . I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect. . . I was unfaithful, I had affairs and I cheated. What I did was unacceptable. I hurt my wife, my kids, my mother, my wife's family, my friends, my foundation and kids all around the world who admired me."

 But Tiger Woods’ serial adultery and cheating made it difficult for his wife to accept his sincerity and true repentance. They were divorced in 2010.

 Maybe in one of his statements to the public, Tiger Woods was telling the truth of adultery:

 “I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to. I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me. I felt I was entitled, and thanks to money and fame, I didn't have to go far to find them.”

 Tiger Woods was awakened to the reality of accountability. With fame and money, he thought he could get away with anything. That was his self-awakening, but it came with a hefty price—a stain on his legacy.

The reality

 The purpose of a married couple is to glorify God in everything they say, do, or accomplish, and to be an expression of sacrificial love, grace, mercy, and justice to everyone—especially to each other and their children.

Biblical Adulteries

King David’s adulteries

In spite of his efforts in seeking God’s wisdom, King David also demonstrated his darker side of the sin of lust.

One night, King David saw Bathsheba, the wife of one of King David’s generals, bathing on the rooftop. Succumbing to his own sin of lust, King David sent for Bathsheba, and committed adultery with her. To gratify his lust, King David even purposely sent the general to the war front to have him killed so that he could marry the general’s widow.

King David eventually married Bathsheba. Although penitent for his sins, God punished King David, and their firstborn son died. 

King Solomon’s adulteries

King Solomon, the second son of King David, despite his profound human wisdom, violated God’s standards of sexual purity. His decision to disobey God and marry foreign women with their different gods led to his own idolatry. As a punishment for his sins, God divided Israel, and Solomon suffered bitterness and emptiness at the end of his life.

The difference between King David and King Solomon is that King David always lived in the presence of the Lord. So, King David always turned back to God with remorse and repentance, while King Solomon only distanced himself from God with no contrition and remorse.

So, living in the presence of the Lord always reminds you of your own accountability to Him, without which you will do anything and everything, thinking that you can get away with it.

The reality

Always live in the presence of the Shepherd. Always let the Shepherd guide you in the green pastures. Always let the Shepherd overcome your enemies of pride, lust, and deceit. Always let the Shepherd use His rod and staff not only to protect you but also to restrain and discipline you. Always let the Lord be your Shepherd throughout your marriage journey.

Adultery is a conscious and deliberate act to do just the opposite of what a marriage commitment requires. Adultery is prevalent because it has become the new “norm.” According to many, adultery is just a sin, not a crime, and everybody commits sins of some sort anyway. But adultery is a sin directly against God, who creates the marriage, joining the two as one. So, committing adultery is lack of accountability to God, and is unforgivable without judgment and repentance.

Getting Married to Make You Happy?

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Nothing Is Everything

 



ANYTHING IS EVERYTHING! EVERYTHING IS NOTHING! NOTHING IS EVERYTHING!


All About . . . .


"Anything Is Everything, Everything Is Nothing, Nothing Is Everything" is a miracle of life and living, based on the ancient wisdom of Lao Tzu from China, and the Biblical wisdom.

Live your life as if everything is a miracle. To do just that, you need the wisdom to know how your mind works--especially how it has created your ego-self that demands your attachments to the material world.

Learn how to be in the physical world, but not of the material world. More importantly, get the wisdom to know who you really are, and not who you wish you were. Knowing and understanding the truths of anything and everything may enlighten you so that you intuit the ultimate truth that everything is actually nothing, but this nothingness is your pathway to everything in your life.

The Outline of the Book . . . .

ONE: ANYTHING IS EVERYTHING

A frog in a well
Human wisdom and spiritual wisdom
Oneness of all life
Love and forgiveness
Gratitude and generosity
Sympathy and empathy

Compassion and loving-kindness

TWO: EVERYTHING IS NOTHING


Understanding is everything
The mind and the ego
Attachments and illusions
Control and power
Detachment and letting go

THREE: NOTHING IS EVERYTHING

The paradox
The Way
The miracle
The enlightenment

ANYTHING IS EVERYTHING! EVERYTHING IS NOTHING! NOTHING IS EVERYTHING!

Click here to get your copy.


An Excerpt from the Book . . . .


NOTHING IS EVERYTHING


The Paradox

”I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.” Plato

“The paradox of reality is that no image is as compelling as the one which exists only in the mind's eye.   Shana Alexande

“The thinker without a paradox is like a lover without a feeling: a paltry mediocrity.”  Soren Kierkegaard

“Nothing is everything” is a paradox. In life, there are many paradoxes. The way of paradoxes is the way of attaining the ultimate truths of anything and everything. Knowing and understanding a paradox requires wisdom to see different human perspectives in anything and everything.

Paradoxes may be the way to wisdom, to the miracle of life, and ultimately to enlightenment.

An illustration

Christopher Paul Gardner, an American  author, entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist, was very poor and homeless in the early 1980s. Sleeping on the floor of a public toilet, Gardner never dreamt that he would become a multi-millionaire one day. His inspiring life story was made into a hit Hollywood movie: “The Pursuit of Happyness.

Gardner was brought up with the belief that he could do or be anything that he wanted to do or be. At some point in his life, he was homeless; everything seemed nothing, just emptiness and nothingness, to him. But he was not hopeless. He continued to dream of wealth and success, and his dreams were not mirages. Because of his right doing and right thinking, he made his dreams come true.

Initially, Gardner made his living by selling medical equipment. He did not make enough money to make both ends meet, and his poverty made him homeless for a year.

Then, one day, Gardner met a stockbroker in a red Ferrari, who offered him internship because of his incredible drive and sustained enthusiasm. Thus he began his own successful investment career, and he subsequently even opened his own investment firm, Gardner Rich & Co.

More than two decades later, after the death of his wife, who challenged him to find his true happiness and fulfillment in the remainder of his life, Gardner made a complete career change. He was suddenly awakened to the notion that his fame, success, and wealth seemed like nothing to him then. His feeling of nothingness transformed him completely: he then became a philanthropist and a motivation speaker traveling around the world, focusing not on his own wealth, but on humanity and the needs of others to pursue their own happiness.

According to Gardner, life journey is always a process of lesson learning and forward moving: “People often ask me would I trade anything from my past, and I quickly tell them no, because my past helped to make me into the person I am today.”  Yes, nothingness could be everything to him.

On any life journey, mental focus is essential: focusing not just on the big things in life but also on the small things as well; appreciating what you have, rather than dwelling on what is your nothingness.

What seems to be nothingness in the eyes of the world, when properly valued and put to use, can become anything and everything in the eyes of the beholder. Gardner turned his nothingness into great wealth. His ultimate enlightenment came when he looked at his own wealth in a different perspective-as no more than just nothingness-when he began to refocus his life goals on humanity and on inspiring others to become who they really are.

The bottom line: with wisdom you may know and understand the “nothing is everything” paradox that opens the door to self-enlightenment.

The Way

TAO, the profound wisdom of Lao Tzu, is the way toward knowing and understanding self and others, as well as things and circumstances around self. It may or may not lead to self-enlightenment, but at least it may help you see things as they really are, and not as they should be.

"Not knowing the Way,
but pretending we know,
we remain ignorant, and suffer.

Knowing that we do not know,
we pursue its wisdom:
knowing its origin,
knowing its ending,
and knowing our true nature."
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 71)

TAO wisdom begins with emptiness, or more specifically, with an empty mindset.

The emptiness

Enlightenment has its origin from emptiness. Irrespective of whether or not attaining self-enlightenment, emptiness is the way to go toward attaining profound wisdom of living in this material world.

Emptiness is a way of human perception: looking at life experiences without adding anything to them, or without taking away anything from them. It is the thinking of the mind with no assumption and no presumption -- that is, only an empty mindset.

As previously mentioned, emptiness can be either positive or negative (the glass half-full, or the glass half-empty). Positive emptiness can only occur when you allow yourself to surrender completely to any given circumstance or situation without any previous attachment.

According to Lao Tzu, develop an empty mindset, which is more than just “thinking out of the box”: it is your reverse thinking to create your own empty box of thinking.

"An empty mind with no craving and no expectation helps us letting go.
Being in the world and not of the world, we attain heavenly grace.
With heavenly grace, we become pure and selfless.
And everything just settles into its own perfect place."
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 3)


ANYTHING IS EVERYTHING! EVERYTHING IS NOTHING! NOTHING IS EVERYTHING!

God and Marriage

  ACCOUNTABILITY IN MARRIAGE TO GOD Lack of accountability to God for what you’ve been doing to your marriage and your marriage partner is o...