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Monday, January 29, 2007

“Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable.”
~ The Wizard of Oz

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

what's your song?

"Fear is the opposite of faith."
~Bono

last Bono quote and shortword for a while, but this one hit a little close to home when i found it, and now is screaming at me. speaks a lot of truth...somedays, i guess more than i want to hear.

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Monday, January 22, 2007

mr dante's wild ride


























this weekend i dreamt that my wife bought me tickets to
"HELL- THE THEME PARK" for our anniversary!

it was a huge rollercoaster which took you through all of dante's circles of hell as outlined (and, in many published versions illustrated) in his epic poem divine comedy pt. 1: inferno. each circle had a ride within the ride and everyone received passports which would be stamped along the way.

what say you to this, dr freud?

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Saturday, January 20, 2007

blindness

"Every age has its massive moral blind spots. We might not see them, but our children will."

~Bono

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

world forum


(from 'monty python at the hollywood bowl'... "world forum" gameshow sketch)

Eric Idle: Well, now we come on to our third round. Our contestant tonight is Karl Marx and our special prize is this beautiful lounge suite! Uh, Karl has elected to answer questions on workers' control of factories, so here we go with question number one. You, nervous, Karl? Just a little. Well, never mind pal, have a go! The development of the industrial proletariat is conditioned by what other development?

Karl Marx: The development of the industrial bourgeoisie.

Eric Idle: Good! Yes, it is indeed! Well done, Karl! You're on your way to a lounge suite! Now Karl, number two. The struggle of class against class is a what struggle?

Karl Marx: A political struggle.

Eric Idle: Good! Yes, it is indeed. Well done, Karl! One final question, and that beautiful non-materialistic lounge suite will be yours! Ready, Karl? You're a brave man. Your final question: Who won the English Football Cup in 1949?

Karl Marx: Uhuh, the workers' control of means of production? The-the struggle of the urban proletariat?

Eric Idle: Uh, no, it was Wolverhampton Wanderers who beat Lester 3-1.

Karl Marx: Oh, shit!

***

after posting this as a comment in the box of another blog, i got thinking about this sketch further.

how does this represent the approach of many of us towards those of different traditions or different faiths?

i mean, this is poignant social commentary. i like to rail against ethnocentricity from time to time. here, karl marx, author of the communist manifesto (which is, by the way, a surprisingly short book) is taken to the mat, not on the subject of political theory or ideology or even economics, but on british football.

rather than learn from each other, history asserts that most of our species are more interested in establishing sociocultural dominance.

so do we call it soccer or football?
world forum indeed!
***

"I think I'll call it America"
I said as we hit land

I took a deep breath
I fell down, I could not stand
Captain Arab he started
Writing up some deeds
He said, "Let's set up a fort and start buying the place with beads"
(bob dylan's 115th dream, 1965)

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

hard love

"help me meet people where they are, regardless of how they treat me."


since i'm not making a lot of sense this week, i'm going to try again with a shorter and timely message for me. i found out this week, the challenge hasn't been meeting people where they are, regardless of their actions. it's been trying to treat people the way i would want to be treated when i was approached. a few have experienced the 'nasty wrath' of cinder this week, much to my chagrin.

the bottom-line for me...loving is hard...in truly giving it away and also being open to receiving it when offered.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

playing interference

third-party protection from life's issues...what truly comes from it? any real benefits...or the inadvertent interference with what's inevitably supposed to come across someone's path?

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Monday, January 15, 2007

a house of prayer for all nations

during a visit to Lanka Bible College, in Sri Lanka this summer, we were taken into one of the prayer rooms which they have available on campus. we walked into this room, which had a globe suspended from the roof, in the middle of the room. it hung over top of this compass which was on the floor. you could look at any continent on the globe, turn to the wall it faced and you would find all the prayer requests for the people and countries found there.

i was taken aback by the devotion and love these new friends had, for Christ and for the world around them. they talked about the importance of prayer, for all nations and all people, especially our enemies. as i was allowed to experience life amongst these friends, i realized how trivial life can a lot of times become in the western world. we so often miss the mark, so badly that we never know there was one to hit.

because we have so much, we often choose not to rely on Christ's strength and adhere to His guidance, because we simply feel we can do it just fine on our own. conflicts and hardships are seen in newspapers and on television, but often heads are turned and the emotions of the heart turned off. so much needs to be done in this world, and could be done, but daily choices are made to not allow it.

if a country in the midst of civil war can have people on their knees praying for us daily, the least we could offer is the same in return. we need to begin to seek guidance, to know how to best use the resources which have been placed in our control...both locally and abroad.

the question which comes to mind...how can you expect people to pray for and help someone overseas, when most won't even offer that to the people in their own neighborhoods, cities and countries?


**i wrote this one before Christmas...i look at the last question and it's really ringing true, especially with the writing of the MacLean's article which claims North Central to be Canada's worst neighborhood. i think getting on our knees for the people in our own neighborhoods and cities, is the first step in a long process towards being present in our local mission field. it's the essential step towards becoming a unified force and also towards being out there in the way He wants.**

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

So you think you can interpret?

These are the lyrics to a song - figure one of these out - and you're that much closer to being a better interpreter!

^ = 2 or more vowels beside one another (kind of like a 'jot' or 'tittle')

' - means it starts with a vowel (a 'jot' more or less)

GD 'S ' CNCPT, B WHCH W CN M^SR, '^R P^N, 'LL SY 'T 'G^N,
GD 'S ' CNCPT, B WHCH W CN M^SR, '^R P^N - Jhn Lnnn (translate this!)

'V JST S^N ' FC, ' CNT FRGT TH TM 'R PLC WHR W JST MT
SHS JST TH GRL FR M, 'ND ' WNT 'LL TH WRLD T S^ WV MT - Th B^tls (translate this!)

WHN TH SCND WRLD WR, CM T 'N 'NDW FRGV TH GRMNS,
'ND W WR FR^NDSTH^GH THY MRDRD SX MLL^N,
'N TH 'VNS THY FR^DTH GRMNS NW T^, HV GD 'N TH^R SD - Bb Dyln (translate this!)

3 passages to interpret and see if you can get the meaning - all from songs.

Of Interest: Matthew 3:9 records an original Hebraic text that was translated into Greek - and it made more sense in Hebrew. John was doing a play on words from a 'singular ' (children) word to 'plural word' (stones) - which were 'baronias' and 'barona' - so basically he meant God can make a new children out of mere 'speak'.

Another thing of interest is even the greek language includes the word for God - TH (Theda) - was the literal beginning of TH-EOS (God) - one might say this language also had this aspect built into their culture.

Have fun!

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Friday, January 12, 2007

Do you know the Alpha-bet?

Can you decipher the following passage?

WHVR LVS DSCPLN LVS KNWLDG, BT H WH HTS RPRF S STPD. (PRVRBS TWLV:N)

I have been studying the development of the alpha-bet (AB the first 2 letters of the alphabet) and the Jewish scriptures. Did you know the Jewish scriptures, in Hebrew, have no vowels and the way they discerned meaning was by the inflections the words would have had (they added in the vowels). This led to a variety of Jewish traditions discussing interpretation (ex: Talmud).

Can you still make out the sentence and the where it is found in the bible?

Just something for us to think about - since most of Jewish tradition and Early-Christian tradition was passed on in oral syllabics like this (sometime in song or prose) - then written down. Y B TH JDG.

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

love making


and in the end
the love you take
is equal to the love
you make
(lennon/mccartney)

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Action Group - Good Deed fo' tha Day


Shovel the walk today, I know we put this off, but maybe it's high time we do this. Or if you have a snow-remover machine-thingy - help a neighbor out today!

Tired of the wife doing all the dishes, not really, let's help the significant others in our life today do something small like this (maybe even a massage dare I say)

Jay X (the significant other of someone)

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Monday, January 08, 2007

I Thessalonians: Love in the Face of Persecution

Chapter 1: Introduction

Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy are greeting the church in Thessalonica. They thank God for the faith, labor, and perseverance as followers of this gospel. Paul reminds them of the gospel he brought and how they have imitated his behaviors in face of struggles. Thessalonians also have quite the report amongst their surrounding communities, in that other regions mention (to Paul) the Thessalonians have turned from idols to serve Christ – so they are speaking to one another about this faith.

Chapter 2: The Relationship

Paul mentions his mis-treatment in Phillipi and how he suffered for the gospel, as he once said would happen. Paul lays down in vs. 3-6 how he brought this gospel to them: not in error, impurity, deceit, flattering speech, with greed, or for glory (ego). Paul and others (called the apostles) came as gentle people – full of affection, sacrificing their lives, and working amongst them. All this so the Thessalonians would see a good example of the faith in Christ and how to live.

They received the ‘word of God’ as the literal words of God, not Paul’s (just what is this ‘word of God’ – OT, Jesus’ sayings?). They became ‘imitators’ of the churches in Judea, in both faith and in suffering (the faith of both is known to Paul – backing his unity claims of other letters). Paul mentions the Jewish community briefly and how they rejected the prophets and Jesus, filling up some sort of wrath (vary similar to Matthew who mentions these words coming from Jesus at some point). Paul has been to Thessalonica prior and hopes to return again, Satan stopped him a few times, but either way Thessalonica is part of their joy.

Chapter 3: Timothy comes to Thessalonica

Paul (and others) remain in Athens while Timothy goes to Thessalonica, to both report and strengthen the faith there. The report was good (Timothy has already come and gone back to Paul), Paul was comforted, and the people also want to see Paul again. Paul mentions he is ‘alive’ after hearing the faith report (he is also thankful) and that he wants to come and help build their faith even more. Paul prays for God to let him come back to Thessalonica, but if not, that they continue in love for one another (as they are in the habit of doing) and in ‘holiness’ (living un-blame able) until the coming of Jesus (a big thing in this letter).

Chapter 4: Paul’s instructions of hope

Paul is about to break into morals he passes onto communities but he mentions he got these commandments from Jesus (the words ‘the authority of’ are not in the original Greek – teachings from the original disciples?). Verses 4-8 mention Paul’s view of the ‘will of God’ in ‘holiness’ – abstain from sexual immorality & lust (unlike the rest of society) – which is ‘defrauding’ your brother in the faith and God sees this and will avenge it (so don’t commit adultery) – this teaching is from God. Love one another (as they have practiced into Macedonia so they don’t need urging on this) and live ‘quietly’ (mind your business & work on your behalf) so as to be in no need. Paul then breaks into the hope of this faith – the resurrection and life in the hereafter. Christ is the hope of those ‘sleeping’ and those alive – reward is to be with him (where he is) – words of comfort for those who lost loved ones. (Verse 17 is the one which stirs up debate about the coming of Christ and how it will look).

Chapter 5: Addition of more ‘eschatology’ & ‘morals’

Eschatology (verses 1-11) – Seems to be taken straight from the gospels with imagery about the coming as a ‘thief in the night’ and the end being ‘birth pangs of a woman’. The idea’s then switch to being ‘sober’ (sons of the light/day) and not ‘drunk’ (as those in dark), also being awake and not ‘sleeping’ – from many of the parables (ex: virgins and bridegroom). Verse 8 harkens back to Ephesians 6 (another one I considered an addition) and the armor of God. Verse 10 re-iterates the point of chapter 4 and the fact we have our hope in Christ (not wrath).

Morals (verses 12-22) – Labeled as instructions and to also esteem those who teach these things amongst you (which Paul didn’t say earlier in this letter). The morals of the community are this: live in peace with each other, admonish the unruly, help/encourage the weak, be patient with all, do not repay evil for evil (but that which is good for all), rejoice & pray always, give thanks for everything, do not quench the Spirit, examine prophecy carefully, hold fast to that which is good, and avoid appearances of evil (likely in religious ceremonies to other gods).

The ending includes a peace statement about God and that He will keep you blameless – he can do this who called you (vs. 24). Pray for us – holy kiss (?) – And have the letter read to all the churches – the grace of God be with you. The ending seems to be in chapter 4 and some of it was added to the end of chapter 5 (the grace part). It’s a Paul letter but some of it does seem added in by a church community after Paul (maybe one generation and they likely knew Paul – but again – I think the letter allows for this question).

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seesaw

life's like a seesaw...sometimes both sides glisten and catch the eye.
which side will be most eternally satisfying?

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Monday, January 01, 2007

empathy

"In the moral sphere, every act of justice or charity involves putting ourselves in the other person's place and thus transcending our own competitive particularity."

~C.S. Lewis

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