We Have Some Suggestions For You

Recomended stamp. We have some suggestions for you.I will readily admit that the New Message from God community has a number of big goals for the future. But we also recognize that not everyone will be interested in what we have to share. We recognize that we may encounter, uh, less than enthusiastic responses from time to time. And in the event you don’t respond with interest and resonance, we have some suggestions we would like you to consider. These suggestions for all people were given to the attendees at the 2014 Encampment. I have some comments about these suggestions.

We have some suggestions for you

1. Quiet time each day to consider the wisdom of your thoughts and actions. [Step 9 of Steps to Knowledge teaches “In stillness all things can be known.”]

2. Make no opinions about anything unless you have spent considerable time studying the problem and its many conceived solutions. Ask yourself if you are really certain about something or are only guessing. [Would you bet your life on it?]

3. Do not waste your precious time and energy complaining about something if you are not prepared to take action regarding it. [Time spent complaining might be better spent studying the problem.]

4. Forgive those who seem to err against you or the world. Ask yourself what genuine need they are attempting to express and fulfill by their behavior. [Their errors give birth to their Knowledge.]

5. Make sure that everything you own really serves you. Travel light and create time for more important things. [I consider this to be a short version of the New Message practice/attitude called the Deep Evaluation.]

6. Consider that you have Four Pillars that are upholding your life:

  • The Pillar of Relationships
  • The Pillar of Health
  • The Pillar of Work & Providership
  • The Pillar of Spiritual Development

To be happy and successful, you will need to build each of these Pillars and not sacrifice one for the others. [You may wish to consider the New Message revelation “Building the Four Pillars of Your Life.”]

7. Reduce your energy use by 25-50% to save your community and the world from depletion and ruin. [Resource depletion is one of the big ongoing disruptions known as the Great Waves of Change.]

8. Honor your parents and try to understand the circumstances that determined their decisions and behavior. [I think of this as a special instance of suggestion 4.]

9. Know that there is a New Message from God in the world, and that it is here to uplift a struggling humanity, beginning with the individual. [As in you. As in me.]

We have some suggestions for you. I hope this helps.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

Упрощение Жизни, Этим Стоит Заниматься.

For English version click here.

Упрощение жизни всегда было понятной и заветной установкой для меня, и я этим занималась по каким-то внутренним чутьем.

А недавно начала читать книгу Маршала Виана Саммерса «Большие Волны Перемен» и всё встало на свои места. Оказывается, упрощение жизни – это не просто предпочтение, прихоть какая-то, а необходимость в наши дни.

Есть такие простые правили, которым следует соблюдать, если я хочу ориентироваться в грядущие бурные времена. И это не горе-предсказание, а трезвый взгляд на окружающую действительность. Не требует особенных сил и ума, чтобы понять что, то что происходит сейчас в мире к ничему хорошему не приведет.

Значит, надо предпринимать меры.

Упрощение жизни – вот чем стоит заниматься

И конечно, можно только начинать с себя. Я читала сегодня такие полезные советы о том, как упростить жизнь, и, как мне кажется, они очень тут кстати и хочу поделиться.

1. Очистите свой мозг – Если вы чувствуете перегруженность и стресс, вы должны освободить свой мозг от вашего внутреннего списка дел и другого эмоционального багажа. Освободитесь от всех мыслей о том, что вам нужно сделать, что вы ещё не сделали и всех тех чувств, которые исходят из этого. Ваша цель очистить свою голову. Освободить её для того, чтобы приступить к планированию и принятию мер с большей ясностью и меньшим негативом.

2. Избавьтесь от влияния вампиров – Избавьтесь от тех отношений, которые сосут из вас энергию. Будьте честны в оценке. Кто помогает вам, а кто тянет вниз? Кто съедает ваше время и ничего не даёт взамен? Кто заставляет вас чувствовать себя хорошо, поддерживает вас, а кто держит вас в напряжении? Любой, кто добавляет ценность вашей жизни пусть останется, другие – пусть уходят.

3. Слушайте своё сердце – Отпуская прошлое и давние отношения, вы можете освободиться от эмоционального багажа, который отягощает ваше сердце и дух. Простите и забудьте. Задумайтесь, почему вы продолжаете лишать себя будущего, живя в прошлом? Прошлое прошло, вам нужно строить своё будущее!

Дальше можно читать тут.

А если вернуться к советам, приведены в книге «Большие Волны Перемен», то всё вышесказанное тут написано в двух словах.

“Наступило время, чтобы посмотреть, учиться, послушать и следовать. Смотрите на мир. Прислушивайтесь к его знакам. Прислушивайтесь к тому, что мир вас учит и обращаете внимание на то, что он показывает вам. Начинайте готовить свою жизнь, упрощать свою жизнь, облегчать свою жизнь».

Рекомендуется это всё осознавать с помощью так называемой Глубокой Оценки, где вы тщательно осмотрите и оцениваете все стороны вашей жизни и спрашиваете себя – нужно ли это мне сейчас или нет?

Когда я об этом читала, я улыбнулась, ведь оказывается, что упрощение жизни – это не уж такая причуда, а жизненная необходимость.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

Keeping It Simple Is A Valuable Concept

Keeping-it-simple

Keeping it simple is a valuable concept for me and I have armed myself with it in different ways at different stages in my life.

Lately, however, it has taken on new meaning and new value in light of what I have been reading in The Great Waves of Change by Marshall Vian Summers.

It turns out that keeping it simple is not just a preference, something personal, a way to live my life that suits me best, but is becoming a necessity, something essential, if I wish to successfully navigate the turbulent times ahead and help other people do the same. I hasten to add, however, that this is not doom-mongering on my part, but based on a sober evaluation of the world I see around me. It doesn’t take too much intelligence and insight to look around and wonder what the world is coming to. And it is pretty obvious, even to the casual observer, that the world is not coming to much, there needs to be some qualitative changes if humanity and the planet are to survive.

The Great Waves of Change point to a very valuable exercise called the Deep Evaluation.

I was encouraged when I discovered that my way of living of recent years, i.e. keeping it simple, abandoning pursuits I find counterproductive, energy-sapping, and unfulfilling, limiting social contacts to those I find most meaningful, prioritizing my time and efforts, and so on, was not so wacky after all but quite in line with the recommendations set forth in this book.

Here I read the following at the end of Chapter 4. The Freedom to Move with Knowledge:

“Now is the time to look, learn, listen and follow. Look at the world. Listen for its signs. Learn what it is teaching you and telling you about what is coming. Begin to prepare your life, to simplify (emphasis mine) your life, to unburden your life.

“So at the very outset, there must be simplification and clarification (emphasis mine).

“Your relationship with any thing, person or place that is not essential or that is counterproductive (emphasis mine) will rob you of vision, energy, purpose and meaning.

“So many people are living where they should not live and engaged in what they should not be engaged in.

“You must begin with the Deep Evaluation, and this evaluation will cover everything in your life.”

I smile in recognition, for this confirms what I feel I have always known: keeping it simple is a very valuable concept.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

“Oh, If Only I Had Watched More NFL Football…”

DeathbedNo, I’m not ready to let it go.  My self-criticism of my investment of time and emotion in watching and following NFL football is not yet complete.

Frank M Bass, Jr. Cuero High SchoolMy father, Frank M. Bass, Jr., was particularly proud of this picture.  The four stripes on the sleeve showed that he lettered in football in each of his four years at Cuero High School in south Texas.  The star on the sleeve denotes his being the captain of the football team.  We watched many Purdue University football games together. While I did not follow in his footsteps, I give him credit for not being bothered about it.  So watching a football game is a little love note to my father, who died in 2006.

I’ve been pondering about Step 33 of Steps to Knowledge, “I have a mission in my life to fulfill.”  I believe that people in general, and Americans in particular, have a certain discomfort in considering this idea.  The discomfort comes from thinking that if I have a mission in my life to fulfill, then it follows that I can’t just do whatever I want.  I have to evaluate my activities and involvements in the light of that mission, however dimly I grasp it.

Who knows, maybe the real love note I could give to my father would be to fulfill my mission in life.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

They Took Their Money And Their Risks

Mercenary Team On Lost What do you think of mercenaries, people who kill people and break things for money?  The Scottish poet Hugh MacDiarmid wasn’t shy about telling people how he felt:

It is a God-damned lie to say that these
Saved, or knew, anything worth any man’s pride.
They were professional murderers and they took
Their blood money and their impious risks and died.
In spite of all their kind some elements of worth
With difficulty persist here and there on earth.
(Another Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries)

I am sharing this with you because I am continuing my evaluation of my relationship with watching and following American professional football, as part of the Deep Evaluation practice/attitude of the New Message from God. Before I go any further with this, let me clarify something about the Deep Evaluation practice. I am offering no opinions whatsoever about anyone else’s involvement with football, or anything else, for that matter. I freely accept the possibility that someone else’s involvement with football might be a positive influence on them, making them a better person than they would be otherwise.

I vividly recall a conversation I had with a person who was a little less football-literate than I was, during the glory days of the Dallas Cowboys in the early 1990’s. They asked if any of the star players of the team (quarterback Troy Aikman, running back Emmitt Smith, wide receiver Michael Irvin) actually came from Dallas. None of them did. In fact, very few NFL players actually grew up in the city of the team for which they play. The person said “Oh, so they’re kind of like mercenaries. They don’t have any particular loyalty to their city, but they offer their services to the highest bidder.” I freely confess to being annoyed by this comparison, but on further review, I was much more annoyed by my lack of a snappy comeback at the time.

One might argue that football players don’t try to kill people and break things. But aren’t both mercenaries and football players making a tradeoff between money and risk? I recall a time when Troy Aikman was asked where the Super Bowl was going to be played after receiving a major concussion (one of ten concussions in his NFL career). He said “Henryetta?” (as in Henryetta, Oklahoma, his home town). The National Football League recently agreed to a $765 million tentative settlement over concussion-related injuries among its 18,000 retired players.  Have we agreed to the principle of a tradeoff between money and risk?  Are we now merely negotiating over the amount of money and the amount of violence?  Should I reduce or expand my investment of time, attention, emotion, etc., in this enterprise?

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

After Further Review, Put Down The NFL, And Slowly Back Away

Joe Flacco, MVP of 2013 Super Bowl, Super Bowl XLVII

About a year ago, I wrote in this space about a practice or attitude adopted by students of the New Message from God called the Deep Evaluation.  This brief description of the Deep Evaluation comes from the book The Great Waves of Change:

“The deep evaluation is really an evaluation of what you are giving your life to and what you are assigning in life to be your chief influences, for every relationship represents an influence. This power of influence is very significant, but most people are not aware of it or its consequences.”

A human being is free to choose his influences.  A human being is not free not to choose what she assigns to be her chief influences.  A human being is not free to not experience the influence of whatever he assigns to be his chief influences.  I have a hard time arguing with this.

Somehow, I have a connection inside me between this time of year, and Deep Evaluation activities.  Last year, the subject of scrutiny was my relationship with Twitter. Since my last post about Twitter, I’ve only tweeted about 800 tweets, an average between 2 and 3 tweets per day, instead of the 18 tweets per day I was tweeting.  What is the scrutinized involvement now?  Watching and following American professional football.

I was a Dallas Cowboys fan when the team went 1-15, and there was a quarterback controversy between Steve Walsh and some other guy I’m having trouble remembering…oh yeah, Troy Aikman. I was a Dallas Cowboys fan when Troy Aikman led the team to three Super Bowl victories in the span of four years.  I have been at the zenith and the nadir of the fan experience.

But that’s not the point.  The point is “What influence does NFL football have on me?”  As I ponder this, the answer I get is “It whets an appetite for warfare, conquest and victory.”  If I live in a world with a collection of warring tribes, and I wish to be a unifying influence on those tribes, maybe I should be less emotionally involved in an activity where people vicariously participate in tribal warfare.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

Make A New (Twitter) Plan, Stan

I said, “Hey, you know, breakdowns come
And breakdowns go
So what are you going to do about it?
That’s what I’d like to know” – Paul Simon, “Gumboots

If you’ve been reading the last few posts, you’ve been reading my critique of my relationship with Twitter.  If our positions were reversed, I’d be thinking what Paul Simon was saying to his friend in a taxi headed downtown.  I’d be thinking, “What are you going to change about the way you use Twitter?”

I’m going to tweet a little less.  I’ve tweeted 37,608 tweets in roughly 5 years and 7 months, which averages to 18 tweets a day.  How much less?  I’m going to limit myself to an average of 9 tweets a day, so that my current use and cold turkey meet each other half way.

I have vastly reduced the number of people I follow.  Before this assessment started, I was following about 10,500 different accounts.  Yes, it did make it hard to get to know anybody all that well.  How many people am I following now?  28.  How many of the 10,472 unfollowed accounts noticed being unfollowed?  Six.  Those six are part of the 28 I’m following.  I’m also following some close friends and some news sources I regularly read.

I’m going to limit the number of people I follow in a given time period.  What’s the number and time period?  One new follow per day.  You might say “But there are so many splendid people to follow on Twitter.”  There are indeed, but my plan is to let the pressure to follow someone build, let them become more luminous in my inner sight, until it is intuitively obvious to the most casual observer that I should follow them.

I’m going to construe Twitter follows as an invitation for conversation.  For example, I was recently followed by Dr. Dwight Webb, Professor Emeritus in the Counselor Education program at the University of New Hampshire.  With a few moments of Googling, I discovered that he is the author of a book titled “50 Ways To Love Your Leaver.”  I never would have discovered this if I had been obsessing on having more followers.  I sent him an email saying a little bit more about myself than what he would find in my Twitter flow.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

Is It An Itch For Influence, Or The Will To Contribute?

I confess that over the course of my life, I have experienced great ambivalence, swirls of mixed thoughts and emotions regarding the subject of being influential to others.

I recall attending Promise Keepers conferences in the 1990’s and 2000’s.  One of the things they pointed out was the great power of relationships.  For example, in the New Testament, the young man Timothy (who went on to become Bishop Timothy and St. Timothy) had the apostle Paul as a mentor.  Paul and Barnabas could be said to be colleagues, allies, partners.  And Paul had Timothy as a protege.  The Promise Keepers taught that, other things being equal, it was a good thing for a Christian man to have a mentor, an ally, and a protege.  I had no snappy comeback for this on scriptural grounds.  But when I looked at my life, and the difficulties I had experienced, I had a hard time believing that anyone would want to be like me, or follow in my footsteps.

I started blogging in 2003, in the hopes of sharing some of the things I learned from reading the Bible, and some of the things I was learning from my experience as a college professor.  I confess that I was a sucker for measures of influence in the blogosphere, visits, comments, links, trackbacks, permalinks, being included in people’s blogrolls.

Twitter not only has its own metrics for influence (retweets, favorites, follows, etc.), but it allows third parties to slice and dice the data generated by Twitter interactions to create their own metrics for influence (like Tweet Grader and Klout).  I’m not quite as much a sucker for Twitter influence metrics as I was for blogosphere influence metrics, but I wonder if I’m being helpful.

On some days, I consider my desire for influence as an itch, something of which I have yet to be cleansed of by my practice of Steps to Knowledge.  On the other hand, maybe it’s a good thing to aspire to be a good influence, maybe it’s a godly thing to aspire to be a godly influence.  There are any number of portions of Steps to Knowledge which talk about undergoing preparation to be of service, a contributor, in the future.  This seems to be part of mine.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

Exactly Who Is Influencing Me, Exactly?

You don’t have to be a great scholar of human nature to notice that a person’s choice of companions has a profound impact on their destiny.  Wise King Solomon wrote “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” (Proverbs 13:20, New International Version).  The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.'” (I Corinthian 15:33, New International Version)

When Twitter was launched, it had a relatively humble vision, at least in public.  One idea of Twitter was that it might be nice to know little things (and by “little things,” I mean “things that can be expressed in 140 characters or less”) about people you liked, and to share little things about yourself to people who liked you.  It would be like having your friends with you even they weren’t in the same room with you.  Leisa Reichelt coined the phrase “ambient intimacy” to describe this phenomenon.  The mockers said “Nobody cares what you had for breakfast, dude!” But if I like you, I might be willing, even happy, to invest three seconds in what you had for breakfast.

“Whatever is real cannot be threatened.
Whatever is not both mobile and social does not exist.” – Me, in 2010

As Twitter became the Next Big Thing, it became a marketplace of influence.  If you aren’t actively making the case at Twitter for your business or your religion or your political ideology, you’re leaving influence on the table.  So having more followers became more important, and being followed by the people one considered influential became more important.

I mention this to mention that I have had a number of different strategies for choosing who to follow on Twitter.  Sometimes I followed people for no other reason than that they followed me, or retweeted me.  Sometimes I used a random-walk strategy, seeing who else the people who followed me were following.  Sometimes I followed the cool kids, the people with the most followers, related to a given topic.  The most recent strategy I’ve used is to follow people who a) follow me, and b) have something in common with the me I advertise in my Twitter bio; Christians, political conservatives, people in the autism community.

I assess my Twitter follow strategy as something that reinforces the definition of myself in my Twitter bio.  If someone wants to do that, I’ve just shown them a successful strategy to adopt.  On the other hand, if you are questing for the mystery of your life (like I am), you may wish to consider being a little more flexible.

I assess my Twitter follow strategy as relatively uncritical, because I’m using someone’s Twitter bio as an overly important piece of information.  It should be noted that when someone follows you on Twitter, what you see is their Twitter bio.  Therefore, a person’s Twitter bio is their best hope to get someone they follow, to follow them.  It doesn’t say anything regarding the consistency of the person’s actual Twitter flow with their Twitter bio.  I believe it would be better if I looked at the last few tweets of someone to see if their tweets match their bio, if their tweets represent a flow I would like to influence me. I therefore assess myself as inadequately thoughtful as to who I want to influence me.

I am currently pondering what my new follow strategy will be, and how rigorously I will follow it.  I might just take my own suggestions.  Wouldn’t that be something?

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

Exactly How Am I Being Influenced, Exactly?

In the previous post, I introduced that New Message from God practice/attitude of the Deep Evaluation.  I promised to share my evaluation of an involvement that has been going on for the past 5 years.  The involvement is…Twitter.

Let the record show that this is not an evaluation of Twitter, but only of my interaction with it.  I readily accept the possibility that some people’s involvement with Twitter has led to quite different results than mine.

I am pleased to have had the opportunity to hear Evan Williams, one of the founders of Twitter, speak at the 2007 International Conference on Weblogs and Social Media. Twitter was exactly one month old at the time, but was already generating significant enthusiasm from the 2007 South by Southwest conference.  I not only joined enthusiastically, but I returned from the conference and told whoever would listen that Twitter was going to be the Next Big Thing.

“Well, a redneck nerd in a bowling shirt was a-guzzlin’ Lone Star beer,
Talking religion and-a politics for all the world to hear.” – Kinky FriedmanThey Ain’t Makin’ Jews Like Jesus Anymore

As of today, November 13, 2012, Twitter reports I have a total of 37,564 tweets.  Some of these are retweets of other people’s tweets, but I don’t know how many.  I believe it is a relatively small percentage.  What was the content and vibration of my Twitter flow? Flailing in helpless rage, especially from 2008 to 2010.  Pointing out persecution of Christians around the world, mostly, but not completely, from Muslims.  I want to believe that the flow got a little kinder and gentler in 2011 and 2012, because of my study of Steps to Knowledge, but I can’t really say for sure.

At this point, I’m recalling the dream of Horatius Bonar (1808-1889), Scottish churchman and poet.

Bonar dreamed that the angels took his zeal and weighed it, and told him that it was an excellent zeal, that it weighed out at 100% – all which could be asked.  He was greatly gratified by the result.  Next they wished to analyze that zeal.  They placed it in a crucible and tested it in various ways with this result: 14 parts were selfishness, 15 parts sectarianism, 22 parts ambition, 23 parts love to man, and 26 parts love to God.  He awoke humbled, and determined on a new consecration of his life to God.

I’m not exactly sure what the results would be if the angels were to conduct a vibrational assay of my Twitter flow from March of 2007 to the present.  All I know is that it’s something of which I’m not particularly proud.  All I know is that if there were any people who changed their minds about any political issue because of something I tweeted, I don’t know about it.  All I know is that if there were any people who attracted to Christianity by something I tweeted, I don’t know about it.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.