Dr Caroline Leaf – Still Contradicted by the Latest Evidence, Scripture and Herself

I often tend to overlap my studies of science (specifically in the psychological realm) with my studies of The Bible and spirituality, and as this post describes, more and more people are falling into similar spaces that- on the surface- appear totally accurate and enlightening. On the other hand, if a person isn’t well versed in these subjects below Scripture or Neuroscience, it can be disastrous.

I encourage people to research these things for themselves and come to their own full understanding before coming to the conclusion that Ted Talker is providing factual information and treating it as literal gospel truth. Otherwise, a lot of people might find themselves living in a hopeless situation full of disappointment- which apparently is what most people in her (Dr. Leaf’s) audience are trying to avoid, hence the quest for this knowledge. They are seeking truth. But beware of false prophets… they profit from your lack of understanding.

After reading Dr. Pitt’s entries, I felt compelled to open my Bible. Each time I open my Bible, I do so with a clear and open mind and heart. I typically never intend to choose a passage unless I am seeking out answers to specific questions. Tonight, I opened my Bible as I randomly do and my eyes saw the words “False Prophets” immediately. If only I were lying- but with everything I am, I assure you this is the truth. And so, I felt compelled to reblog and share this with you. Whatever you get from this, take it straight to your heart.

Matthew 7:15-18: A Tree and Its Fruit

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By THEIR fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.”

Dr C. Edward Pitt

Leaf Cognitive Neuroscientist

Dr Caroline Leaf is a communication pathologist, world renowned author, public speaker, and self-titled cognitive neuroscientist. Her influence continues to grow. She is regularly invited to speak at some of the world’s largest churches. She spoke at her first TEDx conference in February, and she’s about to host her own conference for the second time. She has more than 120,000 Facebook followers, with many more on Twitter and other social media platforms. And she continues to top the sales charts of Christian best sellers.

She is a self-marketing machine.

But there are cracks appearing. More and more, people are realizing that beneath the facade of her numerous Instagram posts, happy snaps, and the allure of popular success, Dr Leafs teachings on science and the Bible don’t match up with actual science and good theology. While many in the church adorn themselves with her teaching, a growing minority are starting to…

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Bad Credit? No problem!

Today is Halloween day, which has always been a personal favorite. I babysat last night for some friends who visited a haunted house. So I watched Sing and Toy Story until one a.m. and then laid my head down around two.

This morning as I was having my coffee, I was thinking about something that apparently scares me the most- being broke. I thought about the possibilities of what I would do in a different situation. Then I realized how many people I know who openly talk about things like this on a regular basis.

The truth is, I am surrounded by men and women who are gifted in the art of carpentry and yet the majority find themselves settling for prefab or manufactured homes solely based on cost. If given the opportunity to purchase a plot of land, I wonder what these people would build with their own hands. Many who have been awarded this opportunity have built impressive structures, built to withstand tornadoes.

I cannot count the number of people I know who have openly expressed their ideas for saving energy, or using natural materials in building. One engineer carved his home out of the side of a mountain, and the steel beam work and air system is outstanding, while the natural rock formations on the exterior are just breathtaking. There are so many brilliant minds and callused hands around this region and the vultures in suits are circling above.

I dream of building my own house some day and passing out candy to the kids who make it past the magnolia tree.

Happy Halloween.

Cold Air

As a nature loving explorer who doesn’t mind critters, the winter months involve things I’m never quite prepared to embrace. One of those things includes cold air. Being very small and having fractured my spine on two separate occasions, cold air tends to be quite painful in the literal sense. I am hoping that my upcoming therapy sessions will help to alleviate my extreme anxiety while I am driving, which in turn, should help relieve some of that physical ache.

Growing up, while I read and watched shows about Hank Williams, it never occurred to me to pay much attention to his death. In those days, I was far more interested in his music and how he wrote such sad songs based on his circumstances. Only when I had turned thirty and learned Hank didn’t make it beyond twenty-nine did I realize how prevalent those circumstances were in his habit of numbing the pain by way of whiskey (like so many before and after him), which subsequently resulted in his untimely demise.

Mr. Williams experienced severe back pain that often kept him from making his magic in front of an audience. Upon learning of his condition, Hank reportedly said, “Cure me or kill me, Doc. I can’t go on like this.” Even after surgery, Hank still struggled with the pain, like so many of us to this day.

And like Hank Williams, we find ways to numb the pain. This, I feel, is why seasonal depression affects so many people all over the world. Extract the hustle, bustle, stress, pressure, fear, conflict, guilt, regret, and whatever else we are tortured with during the holidays, you still find evidence there is a population (and growing one, at that) of folks who are just very plainly having difficulty going on like this: desperate for any relief from anywhere.

In addition to whiskey, Hank’s other choices for temporary numbness involved extremely unhealthy and dangerous (especially mixed with alcohol) drugs, like heroin, morphine and cocaine. After a certain line is crossed, all it takes is adding a snowstorm and torturous car ride to do in even a famously creative, artistic, talented genius. And he will sing to us no more. He will only have left behind his entire being, who was desperately pleading for help to an audience who was only invested in devouring his broken heart.

Winter is a beautiful time of year. Creatures tuck themselves away, life lays dormant, all is calm. Naturally. When we would naturally feel inclined to just relax in a hot, Epsom salt bath, the majority instead is focused on creating a wild and wonderful atmosphere of bright, shiny, colorful things that blink and twirl and rock. Our eyes become permanently fixated on highly impermanent cardboard and wrapping paper. The traditions flow like whiskey. Anyone and everyone is invited to join in the chorus of praising, thanking the Almighty for our many blessings and toys.

My house made these attempts for years. We genuinely and thoroughly enjoyed participating in the annual celebration and my tight-knit family somehow pulled it off so that each and every one of us- from Papa Bennett at age ninety-three to my brother at age three- had a grand ole time. Good food, fun and carefree atmosphere, Scrabble, coffee, live steel guitar and piano playing, singing, movies, story telling, loud laughter, sentimental presents. We still make our attempts today, but it is evident to every one of us that is left, how slow and more challenging these attempts have become.

Since I was eight years old, I have numbed my back pain in a variety of ways. I have tried and cried and lived and learned. Winter is certainly the most wonderfully challenging time of the year, especially once I turned thirty. Working at relieving my body pain becomes a greater priority as I age. Ever wonder why people retire to the South? Or why your grandmother keeps fuzzy socks on her feet and the thermostat set to 82 degrees? Good. Don’t even bother.

Finding healthy alternatives to synthetic drugs and whiskey has been something I have researched and actively implemented for years. Prayer and meditation, as I’ve written about many times, also become more and more frequent and useful.

My prayer this winter is that I reduce my anxiety. Have fun shopping.

Freedom

Tonight I felt the need to share a piece written by the Equal Justice Initiative, covering the execution of Willie Smith, which occurred just one week ago.
https://eji.org/news/willie-smith-alabama-execution/

Please define justice.

Please define freedom.

Equality.

Matter.

Today I attempted to apply to UAB and the application process costs forty dollars, so I will wait until tomorrow. Mama worked overtime.

My tax dollars at work, too. Don’t I get a say? I will die happy knowing what mine was.

Bad Religion at The Tabernacle

War on Women, Alkaline Trio, and Bad Religion put on amazing shows last night at The Tabernacle in Atlanta, Georgia.

My daughter stood at the front of the stage, while I lounged in my balcony chair, like a senior at the back of the bus.

She got a Bad Religion set list after the show, and I giggled at the fact the word “encore” was typed and printed.

Go Braves (haha)!

On to the next show, comrades.

A Simple, Southern Man

There is a 2018 documentary about the legendary Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd called If I Leave Here Tomorrow, which became available on Netflix last month. I hadn’t seen it yet, but having been born and raised in Alabama, I felt like I knew enough about them and the music they wrote and performed. When I finally watched the documentary (I’ve reached the halfway point twice now, and still haven’t finished it), I was able to get a little more information as it features never before seen footage and never before published stories that made me appreciate the musicians and their art that much more.

My dad was in a classic rock band called High Noon, birthed in Mobile in the 1980’s- just like yours truly. They did a lot of cover songs, as well as original tunes, even cutting an entire album called It’s About Time. They played gigs every weekend, and would invite other musicians to pick and grin with them on stage- including members of Wet Willie (Keep on Smilin’).

Many of the stories my dad likes to recollect revolve around those times- the times before the happy accident came along and complicated those visions of almost fame. One of my favorite stories to hear involving the band is- without a doubt- my dad’s all time favorite story to tell. (I’ve heard it more than twice.) It involves a stage in Mobile, Alabama, a crowd of twenty thousand people, and the song Free Bird.

Free Bird is a song that probably almost every person on the planet has heard at least in passing. Nine minutes and eight seconds of pure, raw, hard, Southern rock. High Noon played several Skynyrd covers, but on this particular night, they took a chance. Twenty thousand mostly drunk or high (likely both) long haired Southern rock ‘n’ rollers were dancing their asses off and getting wild. Mobile’s finest approached the stage to tell High Noon- “Hey, we can’t control this crowd- wrap it up so we can all go home before it gets out of control.”

“Alright, we’ll play one more and it’s over.”

After informing the crowd this would be the final song of the evening and then everybody needed to get on home, without even introducing the song, they began playing Free Bird to an already feelin’ good crowd that, upon hearing the first chord, went absolutely ballistic. They got about twenty-two minutes into it before the cops unplugged their amps, forcing them to abruptly end the best performance to their biggest crowd of their collective music career. And that was that.

Two and a half years passed and after my sister had been born, my mom had had enough of the parties and the drinking and the gigging and was ready to reprioritize. That’s when we moved five hours north. My ditch digging dad’s dreams of being a professional drummer for a Southern rock ‘n’ roll band were scrapped. He became a Deacon, and our lives completely changed. He didn’t know it at the time, but my mom would later settle in Jacksonville, Florida- the very birthplace of Ronnie Van Zant, the great Prophet and (forever, in my book) front-man of Skynyrd.

If I Leave Here Tomorrow allowed me to get a backstage pass to get to know a band I thought I knew well enough. I always appreciated their musical and writing abilities, but didn’t think too much about their views or personalities or personal lives. The documentary allowed a peak into this secret world of Skynyrd I hadn’t known before. I finally understood what my dad had been hyping my entire life. He had been desperately trying to get me on board this ship that I couldn’t be a part of first hand back in their hay day in the late ’70’s. I finally understood what he was talking about when he described the experiences in seeing them live (countless times). The crowd- the energy. The fact that a Rebel flag was the backdrop to a band playing for a crowd full of mixed races and faces. Based on the things I knew and studied in the classroom, this scene was confusing to me. I had always tried to get a picture in my head, but after seeing footage from the rock doc, I finally understood what I’d been missing my whole life. I also reflected on what (and who) I’ve been missing as of late.

The first half of the documentary more closely represents the South I know and love. When you are born of artists and musicians, you tend to gravitate to others like this. I’ve touched on this before, so if you’ve been reading, you know how important music is to my family and me. Something magical happens when you surround yourself with people like this- the diamonds in the rough who would rather quit school than give in and cut their hair to meet the school’s dumb requirements. We are the ones who fell through the cracks and landed in some trippy place, unknown to the others. We are the rebels with or without a cause, and either way- it don’t matter, we’re just here for a good time.

One thing that always bothered me about being born and raised here is that no matter how hard we try, we are misunderstood to anyone who was not born and raised here. It’s as though we’re trying to kill everyone with kindness, but instead give off an odor that says “We’ll kill you with guns if you trespass here.” This is not so for the overwhelming majority of us in Alabama. It sucks when one or two people have to go and pull the plug to a good time. But this is something I’m more aware of as time goes on.

I’d like to finish the documentary, and I probably will at some point. For now, I’ve reached the bit about Neil Young singing Southern Man and Ronnie Van Zant sitting at the edge of the swamp, writing a rebuttle in his mind, Sweet Home Alabama. I cried twice. Because I finally understood.

If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me?

Failed

I could not complete the thirty day song challenge. Lots of stuff going on at the moment. Schedule is keeping me from engaging online, but in that absence, I have decided to take a break from it all. I come and go in waves. I will keep writing.

Take care.

Smile

It is so hard to put my emotions into words which will convey the deepest levels of pain I have experienced in losing people I love through the years. It is equally difficult to describe the numb that comes along with masking these emotions for so long. I don’t think there is any true or proper way of grieving in all honesty, but I also think I have avoided grieving many people because I really never allowed myself to slow down and process these things.

One part of me holds on to the faith that every person I have lost (living or not) is still with me when I need them to be there, and- not only that- as the person I need them to be. A situation may arise when I’m excited and want to tell Person A as I did years ago. Another situation may cause me confusion and I need to ask for guidance from Person B. There are times I feel lost. In these moments, I think of my papa giving me step by step directions, complete with landmarks and doodles. This type of coping is applicable for many situations and feelings, whether I be completely alone in my room or at work or in a crowd of people. I always hold my people- when I knew them at their best- near to my heart.

Another part of me is so angry, and it is in this scenario when I isolate. I get so angry that I tremble and cry. I feel helpless. Life seems so unfair sometimes. It legitimately feels as though there is a curse and the reckoning began as I entered puberty. Isn’t that painful enough? No? You want me to lie in the ditch for twenty more years? Okay, then.

When you watch people you love die, leave, fall into depression, fall into drugs, fall into despair, fall into hopelessness, the most difficult thing to do is smile. But, it’s what he would have wanted.