Book review: “10 curses that block the blessing”

Before I do my “mini” book-review… I was looking at a website about changing your language.  Cuss Control: http://www.cusscontrol.com/tips1.html.  It has some interesting suggestions of how to stop swearing:  “instead of B.S., choices range from lie, fabrication, nonsense and exaggeration to bunk, baloney, drivel, malarkey, hokum, hogwash and balderdash.”

Why start with that?  Well, because what comes out of your mouth is one of the primary curses that you put on yourself and those around you.  Yesterday, I had a weird experience.  I say weird, because it was definitely out of the ordinary!  Having read the 10 curses that block the blessing, I was speaking with Alexandra and she made a comment “I’m such a B***h” and I corrected her saying “don’t curse yourself”.  Just came out of my mouth, without thinking.  Another friend, that heard me, turned and said “oh, not another one that’s converted to Kabbalah”. 

And I admit, I was a little lost.  I’ve heard the word “Kabbalah” before.  I know it refers to a religion.  “Sounds” Jewish to me, but I really didn’t have any idea what I had supposedly “converted” to.  Luckily for me, Alexandra “knows all about it”.  She knows a number of people that have “converted” to Kabbalah.  And gave me a basic explanation… and there wasn’t anything in her explanation that I disagreed with. 

What most impacted me about her description of Kabbalah is that it is a way of life, not a religion.  Hmmm…  What does that tell you about how people see Christianity and the Church?  When they differentiate Kabbalah from religion, and indicate that it’s a way of life?  It’s that what Christianity was supposed to be?  A new way of living?  So, how did it move from being the radical, new way of life to becoming just a religion?  Food for thought. 

Anyway, my intention was not to discuss Kabbalah and whether or not Christianity is a religion or a way of life… My intention WAS to discuss that one of the points that I totally agree with them on is that the Tongue has the power of life and death.  What you say (whether you intended to say it or not, whether you were thinking when you said it or not) has an effect in this world.  What you say can bring things into existence.  Life a self-fulfilling prophecy.  When I say “I can’t do this”, am I expressing reality? or my attitude? or am I creating a reality that will result in my not being able to do it? 

Cogito, ergo sum (I think, therefore I am) is a well-known statement by Descartes from 1637.  Of course, he originally wrote it in French, not in Latin.  Obviously, what we think is what we speak.  Have a quick look at http://www.successconsciousness.com/index_00004b.htm.  Mmmm… What am I feeding my brain?  What happens to all those housewives that only watch soap operas?  Do our kids really grow up as killers from the comics they are watching?  I’m headed off track again…

Back to the book… I can’t even remember why I bought the book. I was in the bookstore on Saturday picking up some new audio-books to listen to in the car.  They definitely help pass the time of day, especially when the traffic is fierce.  And I love the fact that I finish the books so quickly that way, and listen to most of them twice before I already know what’s coming next…

But, when I was in the bookstore on Saturday, I decided I wanted to buy some books on personal finnacial management.  And for some reason, this book was sitting there next to “Keys to Financial Success”.  So, yeah, let’s take them both. 

Sunday morning Alessandro was sleeping in… I got up and went to the causeway with Susy, we got home, I did some chores, made breakfast, and he continued sleeping.  So, I decided to start one of the books… Kept going back to this one.  And since it looked like an easy read, I thought I might read the first chapter.  And then the 2nd, the 3rd… and before I knew it, I’d finished the book. 

Chapter 1:  “The Creative Power of the Tongue”.  It starts with these simple words The number one way a cruse can come on your life and block your blessings is in the words you speak to yourself and others.  Many times we curse ourselves by the words we speak.  Like the author, I don’t much believe in those Christians that go around with the “Name it and claim it” religion.  But I have been reading a lot of Proverbs this year (One chapter a day, every day, since last December, to be precise), and it clearly states “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit”. (Proverbs 18:21).  So, what does that really mean?  I do remember the story in the Bible of the 2 blind men that wanted to be healed, and Jesus says to them “According to your faith, let it be to you”. 

But I certainly didn’t remember the Old Testament story of the Children of Israel getting to the river Jordan, ready to cross into the “Promised Land”, and when they send out the spies, 10 of the 12 come back and say There are giants, they have really good fortifications, they have organised armies, there is no way we can beat them (well, I do remember that part), and God’s response to Moses was “As I live, just as you have spoken in my hearing, so I will do to you”.  Uhhh… what did you say?  As I’ve spoken, so will you do?  So, whatever comes out of my mouth, that’s what will be? 

Proverbs does say it in a LOT of different ways:  (Proverbs 13: 2-3)  A man shall eat well by the fruit of his mouth, but the sould of the unfaithful fees on violence.  He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction.

So, what have I been creating in my life? How have I limited myself and my ability through words spoken without thought?  Throughout the book, the author mentions Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…”.  I’m starting to wonder what I have destroyed in my life, through not thinking that what I say may have a full effect on my life.  Negative words produce negative results, but positive words produce positive results. 

Chapter 2: “Loshon Hora – The Curse of Evil Speaking”  Once again, be careful what you say.  But, with a slightly different slant.  Karma (if that’s what you’d like to call it) – the curse of gossip and slander.  When you speak evil of another person, it will come back to haunt you.  You do reap what you sow.  You speak badly about someone else, and it comes back on you.  I’d never really given much thought or consideration to how many times the Bible speaks about gossip, but it’s up there with murder, deceit, inventors of evil things, etc.   I’ve always tended to quickly read over the “whisperers, backbiters, proud, boasters, gossiping and slanderers”… 

And, the worst thing is, it’s so acceptable.  What company doesn’t have gossip?  And it’s a great creater of division and discord.  It really does affect your ability to work with another person.  You’re always careful what you share with someone, because you don’t know who they will mention it to.  You don’t admit to your mistakes, because you don’t want everyone to find out about it.  You don’t work on establishing great relationships with others and sharing your problems, because you don’t trust others to keep it to themselves.  But am I trustworthy?  Do I spread gossip?  Do I fuel the fire?  Or am I a damp bucket of water for the fire of gossip? 

Chapter 3: “The high cost of anger”.  What haven’t I said or done in a moment of anger?  The worst thing about this, is that it is a curse (or rather family trait or learned character flaw) that is passed from generation to generation.  One of the issues that the author deals with in this chapter is the generational curses.  How you may not be the one to have started down a particular road, but you’re still heading down that road?  And what are you going to do to change the way you’ve been brought up?  What are you doing for your children and grandchildren to make sure that they don’t learn those very same ways that you were brought up?  When does it stop? 

Chapter 4: “The curse on your money”.  Nowhere in the Bible does it say that money is evil.  The “LOVE of money” is the root of all evil.  But not money in and of itself.  This chapter was really interesting as he challenges each of the “Christian” traditions and beliefs with respect to money.  Did you realise that money is mentioned more times in the Bible than heaven or hell are mentioned?  Money is mentioned more than 2,000 times.  But we all have this unfounded belief that money is evil and being prosperous would somehow be wrong.  Back to Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” We’ve based our beliefs on the traditions, rather than on what the Bible really says. 

Chapter 5: Witchcraft (It’s more common than you think) – when someone else speaks a curse on you.  Remember Chapter 1?  Well, what happens when someone else makes the comment without thinking?  A parent that says about their child “they will never amount to anything”, “that new wife of his, she’ll leave him some day”, etc.  It works both ways.  The same way that you can put a curse on another person, they can (unknowingly, unwittingly) put a curse on you.  Especially if they are someone in authority over you, someone that you respect, that you pay attention to what they say. 

Chapter 6: “Harming the Innocent”  This chapter was a little heavier “preachy” than previous chapters, since here he got into the issues of doing nothing when others are doing wrong.  He talks about the 7 deadly sins: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren.  But he focuses mostly on the shedding of innocent blood.  When we vote for leaders that send our sons off to war without just cause, when we vote for leaders that support abortion or that think that juveniles should be dealt with “lightly” because they have rights to, but then these young go out and kill others.  We put the political leaders in power, who are the ones that have let others shed innocent blood and so it is on our hands.  We live in the society that we choose to have, by turning a blind eye to what we are doing.  This chapter was a little harder for me to swallow and accept. 

Chapter 7: “The curse of unforgiveness”.  This Chapter was simply a reaffirmation of what I know to be true.  Any book that you read on personal growth and emotional intelligence will tell you to forgive others.  If you don’t want it to be “your problem”, forgive the other person and move on.  If they don’t let it go, it’s their problem, but you get over it.  Holding in anger or resentment will make you sick.  Not the other person. 

Chapter 8: “The curse of racism: A kingdom divided cannot stand”.  There is all sorts of “racism” or discrimination.  I often suffer from elitism.  I am better educated.  I “know” more.  Therefore, there is nothing that I can learn from “you”.  But that’s definitely not true.   And as I learn humility, I learn that I can be taught someone by everyone.  I am not better than anyone else.  Division and disunity will not create a better world to live in.  The crux of this chapter:  “Love thy neighbour as theyself”.  ALL of your neighbours.  Not just the ones you like. 

Chapter 9: “Legalism vs. the Law”.  How did he know I was a lawyer?  This is about the lifestyle.  It’s not enough to “obey the law”.  You have to want to in your innermost being.  It has to be a way of life.  Not just the letter of the law, the spirit of the law.  Living correctly because you believe in it, not just because you obey.  He’s very clear in this chapter that while it is true that Jesus’ death on the cross was to save all of mankind, it is NOT intended to give us total liberalism. There are two fundamental rules that must be followed at all times:  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” and “Love your neighbour as yourself”.  And they must be lifestyles, not things that you do while others are watching you. 

Chapter 10: “Honour your Father and Mother”  This is the ONLY commandment of the Old Testament that is conditional.  This commandment came with a promise (which is fulfilled only if you fulfill the commandment):  Honour your father and mother, that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.  Let that sink in.  If I want it to be well with me and to have a long life, I must honour my father and mother.  It doesn’t say “love” them, it just says “honour” them.  Respect them.  Show them the respect that they deserve for being my parents.  It doesn’t say “obey” them.  Just honour them. 

Anyway, irrespective of the “religious” nature of the book, it was an eye-opener.  Especially if your are into NLP and how you make things happen by changing the way you think, speak and act.

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