Ruth Eastman’s “Butterflies and Becoming Real.” Are you one of those people who wander through life trying to find fulfillment in things, jobs, and people but never being satisfied? Through the butterfly cycle, we can gain insight to how trials and attitudes affect our maturing process. We learn the importance of “feeding” on the Word of God for nutrients we need for the “cocoon” stage or endurance times of our lives. As we mature as Christians we become more “Real” and that’s our goal. Designed for small discipleship classes, this book gives an in-depth look from life’s textbook, the Bible, to help us become all we can be.
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OP: Tell us a little bit about Religion 531 – The Master’s Course. What is it about?
Josephus: The lost message of Jesus.
OP: Why did you decide to write this story?
Josephus: I was raised a Catholic. In my early teens, I didn’t think what I was taught about the Church made much sense. When I would ask questions that drilled down into the ‘how’ or ‘why’ of the religion, exasperated nuns or priests could only answer my questions with ‘it’s a matter of faith,’ or words to that effect. As an adult, I started looking for my own answers, doing research on early Church history, reading about other religions, talking to friends who belonged to different churches, etc. I took a few college-level courses in Eastern Religions along with redoubling my readings of religion history. I also began reading the philosophy of Plato, among other ‘ancient’ writers. The more I read and studied, the more most religions and philosophies seemed to have the same core beliefs, differing only in the mumbo-jumbo and dogma that had developed over time with each one. Further research indicated that the ‘message’ of almost all great philosophers and religious leaders had been compromised by their followers, intentionally or unintentionally, through misunderstanding of the message, deliberate alteration of the message or suppressing key elements of what the message meant. I used what I believe to be the common core of the majority of religions to guide me for the rest of my adult life but kept it pretty much to myself. After I retired, I began to write down things I wanted my children to know – family stories, what I could remember about my parents and grandparents, what my childhood was like, etc. This prompted me to think about leaving something to them that would help them understand ‘what made me tick’ from a philosophical/religious/morality perspective. As I was writing this down, Religion 531 – The Master’s Course flowed out.
OP: What types of readers would be interested in this story?
Josephus: People who have lingering doubts about their religion, whatever it may be. My book is written from a Christian perspective, and the examples of how the original message of what became a ‘religion’ has been distorted, deleted and suppressed revolve primarily around Christianity, every major religion has suffered the same effects. Once a person learns the nearly universal message of most religions, whatever religion they practice will be much more fulfilling.
OP: What is special or uniquely personal about your book?
Josephus: Each of us has a goal, whether we realize it or not. Our task, our goal, is to learn about God’s Universe; to learn what brings us closer to God and what moves us farther way. Reaching God – joining with God – is our objective. Nothing else matters. Each of us is on our own path back to God. Just like there are many ways to travel from Albany to Albuquerque, God’s GPS can show each of us a different path back to him, based on what we need to learn. My path is no better than yours. It is only different. I may need to learn to deal with failure. You may need to learn to deal with success. I with health. You with sickness. I with poverty. You with wealth. Etc. There is no ‘wrong’ path, for all paths lead to God.
OP: What differentiates it from other books in the same category?
Josephus: Religion 531 – The Master’s Course is not a ‘religious’ book, although that is the category it fits into. It does not profess a belief in a particular religion. It does not contend that Christ or Buddha or Mohammed or Plato or anyone else had a better idea than the others. It illustrates the core beliefs of all were pretty much the same, and that those core beliefs are no longer what the ‘founder’ of the religion intended them to be.
OP: Have you published any other books? Do you plan to publish more?
Josephus: Religion 531 – The Master’s Course is my first book. I have two more I’ve started to think about, tentatively titled Religion 533 – The Economics Connection, which will discuss how different economic systems (capitalism, socialism, communism, etc.) conform (or not) to the principles put forth in Religion 531, and Religion 535 – Where Science and Religion Meet, which will discuss how scientific advancement actually draws us closer to God rather than more distant.
OP: How can someone learn more about your book or purchase it?
OP: Thanks for your time, Josephus! We look forward to learning more about you as you visit other bloggers!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
The ideas in this book are not mine. They are universal truths. I merely found them and wrote them down. My education and experience are not yours, nor are yours mine. We have not learned the same things in the same way. I have a technical bachelor’s degree and an MBA. So what? I have managed very large commercial and governmental IT projects. So what? Neither directly led me to my truth. Your education and experience, or lack thereof, does not preclude you from learning what your truth is. Perhaps this book may help you. It may not. My job was to present what I learned my truth is. Your job begins now.
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