22 July 2017

Ten Building Blocks For Mankind - Part Two

 

Continuing from Part One.

The Ten Commandments as found in Exodus:
“I Am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 
“You shall have no other gods before Me. 
“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments. 
“You shall not misuse the Name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses His Name. 
“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but He rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. 
“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. 
“You shall not murder. 
“You shall not commit adultery. 
“You shall not steal. 
“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor 
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” 
- Exodus 20: 2-17
On the surface, the argument against having the Ten Commandments removed from government property seems irrefutable enough.

On the surface it reads like a religious memorial and, resembling such, has no place on government (secular) property.

The secular argument is that secular government is supposed to represent all people, even those who do not believe or follow God / a god, or identify with any particular religion or moral code.

However, the law of the government, whether interpreted as moral or ethical (or not) is not only enforced, but expected to be obeyed by all people.

THIS is that what these commandments really represent.

Most of the world's religions espouse a single 'god', and the majority of ancient cultures that have influenced modern societies always beckoned an ideology based on a god or gods (divine order), speaking to mankind's dilemma of desiring to do what is right, yet wrestling with the fact that man does wrong.

Are the commandments only an ancient religious relic needing to be buried and forever forgotten?

Although the diatribes on social media surrounding the argument are largely instigating and divisive, the world has a great learning opportunity that may bring opposing views closer together and an appreciation for what has been established on earth.

A greater understanding is at-hand.

What most ancient civilizations have wrought through their ideas of divine order is a common desire to be at peace within society, hopefully with those outside society, promoting peace and mutual respect, lawfulness and an ordered society.

Such societies, although still far from perfect today, have reasonable desires considering the manner the not too distant past was experienced in absence of a code such as these commandments.

Many places on earth still thirst for a semblance of human rights and the enforcement of what these commands signify.

This is one outcome the Ten Commandments have produced.

Where one person desires not to have a bunch of rules restricting them from living their life, one can attempt to imagine a world without rules.

Let us try to imagine a world without some of the commands mentioned.

Imagine a world where murder is not outlawed or answerable, but instead can be easily justified for many reasons.

Or imagine your neighborhood being a place where stealing was a constant reality.

Aside from you fighting to keep your home from being occupied, or your possessions from being stolen away, you have no one to help you enforce the idea that stealing is wrong and dealt with by law-enforcers.

What if whoever was in charge answered to no one, but made up the rules as they went along.

Today they decide to take your house for no reason, and all your possessions, and then your family and finally your life (kill you).

They justify this not by the code expressed in these commands, but reasons all their own.

Only a strongman would be able to possibly withstand such tyranny and arbitrary rule...unless, of course, you were the strongman with the bloody blade in your hand.

This is exactly what happens when rebellion arises and current lawful systems are ignored, abandoned or suspended.

A recipe for outright chaos and disorder is the recipe for a society without such basics as stealing and murder being held to account.

Those who have enjoyed living in a civilized society that upholds the law have an expectation of enforcement of these commandments.

In the better societies, these laws are applied equally to all people with few or no exceptions.

The idea of all people being subject-to and equally accountable under the law, and such as these commandments, is the reason law and order exists and has existed in those places the rule of law has been honored.

What do these commandments speak to if not the value of life, the respect of others, even the weak or indifferent?

This work of valuing all human life as priceless (what these commands evoke) is yet to be realized universally on earth...and sadly has been ungratefully overlooked and mocked by those who are nearsighted and have enjoyed their legacy.

Some people assume that mankind would have eventually arrived to a place of law and order without such ideas as these commands.

This is why theories are a late development on the scene of human history with reality the fact, not supposition.

What does history show?

The world has been formed by these commands, and due punishment for its violators has long been prescribed.

Yet still many people mock and ridicule the governance they are protected by.

Sadly ignorant and nearsighted are the rebellious.

Some presume that the moral code found in the Ten Commandments would have somehow developed without God...or without a mutual respect for the law.

This is why a bribe may buy certain individuals in certain places at a certain time, but will not buy all people throughout all places throughout all times, since the law of conscience has infiltrated the hearts of men by these commandments.

Some desire to remove themselves and their governments from the belief that an all-knowing Judge will condemn the wicked either on earth and / or after death.

What is unrealized is that this code has already been intertwined into society like two hydrogen molecules are attached to one oxygen molecule in forming water.

This law is the water that has permeated the stone hearts of mankind and formed a groove in such hearts to allow for proper adjustments to mankind's carnal condition.

Mankind and life on earth cannot exist without water, thus why these commandments were authored.

The two fundamental molecules that make water have always been found together, as the search for what is true from what is false (love being true, hate being false...right being true, false being false).

One cannot have water by removing either hydrogen or oxygen, thus one cannot have what is correct by removing what is right.

Today, far too many people unwittingly advocate for the removal of oxygen, thinking they'll enjoy the reality of water in some other manner, much how they desire to remove what is true in order to pursue their own definitions of truth...and societies repeat the breaking apart as in times past.

The desire for a separation of church and state can be arguably justified because of the many crimes religious institutions have caused...no argument in defending the crimes of the religious.

But let us consider: is a rudimentary code that has been the foundation of lawful and ordered societies, or the inspiration of its Author, to blame for the misdeeds of certain individuals or their defunct understanding of the code and its Author?

No.

Yet, this is what people argue against all the time, ignorant to the fallacies and nearsighted conclusions to history's message.

Notice that in Christ, the Author of these commandments has been made known.

Christ is the very definition, expression and explanation, of Love manifested.

Yeshua / Jesus is Lord.

It is Yeshua who has declared “I Am the Lord your God” and “You shall have no other gods before Me”.

Perhaps it would be easier to now look over those Ten Commandments when realizing that Christ is the One who further commands to love your enemy and bless and do not curse.

The world would look very different today if, for example, it was another ideology which came to dominate the world as Christendom has.

A simple look at any other current civilization's development that doesn't fully embrace the consciousness of Christ would reveal their shortcomings and their myriad stagnation.

It is by no coincidence or empty chance that another societal development supplanted the kingdoms of men.

Why is this?

Look where tyranny continues with an entrenchment in archaic manners...places where the God depicted (as revealed in Christ) is absent, denied, or substituted for some other idea besides Yeshua as the Lord of these commandments.

This is a clear example of Providence and Prescience.

God's protective power (Providence) and the Word (the foreknowledge) that has formed our reality (Prescience).

Some desire to remove the notion of God from everything public, or from government, and they have no idea what they are doing or who is acting in and through them...that rebellious spirit who desires to wreak havoc, not further peace.

To change this longstanding reality some of us enjoy and thrive under would be to deny the very fabric of what has molded the civilized world and made it civil and life tolerable.

21 July 2017

Mediums And Messages

These Two Images / Mediums Contain Messages.
Interpretation May / May Not Follow Intended Messages

I eventually focused on Mass Communication in college after studying music and religion and other subjects.

I decided not to retake the English writing test to receive my degree.

I failed the first and only time I took the exam, most likely due to the stress of losing the patriarch of the family; my maternal grandfather Leonardo Severo Garcia.

It is ironic that I currently write as a profession.

Perhaps in the eyes of some people, not having a degree immediately disqualifies my opinions as only that; mere opinions without substance.

I did learn a few things, like finding adequate support for any given argument.

It was more a personal political decision and an aim from pride (two less-than honorable justifications I now see as immature) not completing what I started.

I had my mind (and heart) set on starting my own business the final two years at the university and justified the eventual success of that pursuit as proof I didn't need a piece of paper hanging from a wall to qualify me for success.

A personal / political issue in my mind.

I did complete all the undergraduate work with a decent grade-point-average, so it really wasn't much of a revolutionary stance I was taking.

A braver effort would have been no college at all, but my mom begged me to go...and I'm glad I listened to her.

An education can be quite priceless.

More valuable if the teachings are learned and lessons understood.

I think lots of folks receive an education, but don't learn much.

The education I acquired developed in me its intended purpose: some competency (if I may)...and other things I'm sure.

I learned some invaluable lessons while studying media and how suggestive it can be, whether covert, overt or otherwise.

It's all psychological.

I was quite impressed and surprised when realizing how the world has been influenced by modern media for some generations now.

It doesn't take much to get the ball rolling...a gigantic snowball starts out tiny, much like a hurricane starts as a breeze.

Media has existed since ancient times in different forms and in lesser degrees.

An example of an old media form was a king's decree posted at central locations throughout the realm; public squares and similar.

Media is the manner messages are disseminated.

The “Medium is the Message” was coined by Marshall McLuhan, a professor of media and its affect on people's thinking.

Recently meeting a 12 year old grandson of a friend, I noticed this pre-teen playing a video game on his phone.

I couldn't help but notice how the game was quite political and insightful regarding Today's challenges, despite the humorous way these issues are presented.

This was the game.

Much how political realities were taught to me in junior high school through the university years, it wasn't until I tasted real life for myself that these teachings began to become lessons.

“Real life” meaning when I entered the workforce as an adult, and later starting my own businesses and dealing with adverse attitudes, prejudice, an unpredictable market, and so forth.

The profound and important issues being messaged through the medium of that game to a generation that will be managing the world very soon was surprising to me.

I wonder how long it will take my friend's grandson (or his generation) to learn the lessons after the initial teaching.

20 July 2017

Clear Waters After Confusing Currents


Love is so much more than the initial feelings one senses when seeing an attractive person.

I think far too many people never shed the fear of intimacy in reaching for the trust in weakness it takes to open up one's heart.

Nobody likes or enjoys rejection.

Many people, I think, live in the shallow end of the pool and are only getting their feet wet.

People usually mistake sexual attraction for 'love' and other such things that mislead our perceptions.

Much how financial security is misinterpreted as actual security in another person, and so on.

When I met my wife, hearing her voice was what triggered a holy notion in my heart.

It was as if the timbre of her voice resonated with the soulful strings God had formed my heart out of.

Her beauty became secondary, although it initially made me notice her.

I had prior experiences confusing outer beauty as inward goodness.

And after several dismal experiences, I began to imitate the cynical world.

Do after the initial wonder seeing and hearing my wife-to-be's voice, fear was the initial culprit that tempted me into doubting God would grant me one of His daughters.

I thought I only deserved more pain, more deceit and more stone hearts covered in beautiful flesh.

I had chased after plenty of daughters from this side of heaven.

The faith it took for me to believe His heavenly gift to me was to become the greatest challenge to my man-fashioned character, after the most impressing challenge of being holy in a fallen and deceived world.

I had fashioned a character initially after the Perfect Man, Christ Yeshua the Lord God of Israel and heaven and earth...after breaking to pieces the first man that I imitated (the sons of this world).

After falling from grace (an expression that poorly describes a time in the desert, for His grace was still all encompassing but not perceived by my fleshly eyes), I went back to building upon the slippery slopes of earthly sand.

It seems I had to go back to eating pig slop and dog vomit to once again appreciate what was good from bad.

Bitterness in order to taste what is true from false.

Emptiness after being filled once again with innocent Truth from the false gods of this world.

Those gods that men desire to call 'God', and easily submitting to...while not submitting to the Living God.

Easily is dismissed the reality that a man died and rose to life, for a semblance of spirituality that is void of anything filling the void in the heart.

When men throw to the ground anything that is strikingly true, like our mortal manners compared to His Holy Way, men are apt to think that they do not sin any longer, or than sin no longer exists.

It was death that was vanquished, but sin is still a constant for all of mankind.

It is this grip of denying His eternal Word, which would otherwise resound in all hearts the world over, willingly by both men and God.

It shall resound by His will and Way, and shall play a beautiful song in those who have been brought into His will, while sadly shattering the hearts of those who have denied His Way...which is Yeshua Christ....and called their ways righteous while mocking His Way as religious.

18 July 2017

[God Lift Us] Up Where We Belong

Love Desires To Be Found...And To Find You!

Click and listen...and read / sing along with the lyrics below.


God is Love...
Who knows what tomorrow brings
In a world, few hearts survive 
All I know...is the way I feel
When it's real, I keep it alive 
The road...is long
There are mountains in our way
But we climb a step every day 
Love [God] lift us up where we belong
Where the eagles cry on a mountain high 
Love [God] lift us up where we belong
Far from the world we know
Where the clear winds blow
Some, they hang onto used to be 
Live their lives, looking behind 
All we have is here and now 
All our life, out there to find 
The road...is long
There are mountains in our way
But we climb a step every day
Love [God] lift us up where we belong
Where the eagles cry on a mountain high 
Love [God] lift us up where we belong
Far from the world we know
Where the clear winds blow 
Time goes by, no time to cry 
Life's you and I 
Alive Today 
Love [God] lift us up where we belong
Where the eagles cry on a mountain high 
Love [God] lift us up where we belong
Far from the world we know
Where the clear winds blow 
- “Up Where We Belong”
- Sung by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warmes
- Written by Buffy Sainte-Marie, Jack Nitzsche, Jennings Will 
One of Love's definitions:
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is Love. This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His One and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us. 
- 1 John 4: 7-12 

17 July 2017

Ten Building Blocks For Mankind - Part One

What Came First? The Chicken Or The Egg?

What's The Big Deal About The Ten Commandments?

Recently a man destroyed a monument showing the Ten Commandments, and his argument was that it violated the separation of church and state clause in U.S. law because it was on public (government) property.

A similar incident occurred in Oklahoma in 2014.

Perhaps some people fear losing their current identity, whether it be national, religious, both, or something else.

Perhaps some people also fear intimidation or the suggestion of adopting an identity they reject or think they do not relate to.

Perhaps some people would like to form a new identity.

Are identities developed from out of the air, or derived from previous ideas?

An overtone sometimes repeated: for God and a country, is evoked by some to reflect a particular cultural identity in America...although that phrase is older than America; the ideals that formed that phrase are ancient.

Since before the reformation and the later revolutions in Europe, there has been a popular movement to remove any connection between the church and the government in western cultures, or God and the cultures that a belief in God have developed.

It is a challenge arguing either for or against any particular form of popular government since the kingdom of God is beyond human imagination.

Man has desired to manifest what is unseen - the invisible kingdom within - in material forms like a nation-state or some other thing.

Much harm has been done in the name of religion, and this is the concern the reformation and revolutions have argued.

Very difficult to justify the wickedness religious people have done in pushing their religion through a government apparatus.

The Ten Commandments were established for ancient Israel.

We can read how that ideal ebbed and flowed considerably...eventually being graduated into the Roman empire through the Christ expression, continuing to saturate the entire world Today.

What is challenging is the attempt to remove certain foundations from the world's laws.

Some people desire to extract any notion of God (or religion) from their lives, especially in the public realm.

But what is usually overlooked is the manner the Ten Commandments have influenced the entire world in ways unimaginable.

Some people argue that man's natural evolution would have led mankind to form laws preventing murder, or thievery (two of the commands).

I think this is wishful thinking and in the realm of “what if”; theories of man.

Men are free to theorize, but to rationalize outside of reality can in one instance be called creative, while in another instance an obvious form of denial.

Such a notion is nearly impossible to fully determine since culture cannot be separated from historical development.

Can an image be fully seen and understood when not having a certain piece of a puzzle?

Some people do try and argue such things.

The piece of the “puzzle” that some people desire to remove is the bedrock that all laws are derived: God.

Could the issue be that deep down in our carnal hearts, one cares not obey those ten commands?

Yet at the same time, the rational person desires most of those commands to be enforced by the state.

It is a matter of benefit to those who would desire protection, and also a moral disconnect for those who would benefit by disobeying any or all of them.

If you were being tried in a court of law, and you were innocent of the charges against you, you would NOT want someone to give false testimony in order to find you guilty.

Haven't we all been tempted to lie in even the most unimportant of situations?

How about lie to prevent severe embarrassment or humiliation to our person...or prevent a situation that would cause us great loss?

The Ten Commandments as found in Exodus:
“I Am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 
“You shall have no other gods before Me. 
“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments. 
“You shall not misuse the Name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses His Name. 
“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but He rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. 
Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. 
“You shall not murder. 
“You shall not commit adultery. 
“You shall not steal. 
“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. 
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” 
- Exodus 20: 2-17
Continued in Part Two

13 July 2017

A Bird's Nature Warns Of Danger

Matthew 6: 25-26, Galatians 3: 7-14, Romans 12: 9-21

The attempt of some scholars to label as “Abrahamic” the religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam as sharing a core identity, is part of what can eventually bring forth a greater common ground between people who identify with these three religions.

Yet there is a misunderstanding already present when grouping together these three very distinct interpretations of God.

I personally consider the label “Abrahamic religion(s)” to be an obvious misnomer that may mislead people who are not learned regarding the details.

Yes, the three religions lay claim to Abraham in a major way.

But do mere claims legitimize, or qualify as support, an argument?

In a positive manner, the misnomer is a method to forward dialogue.

The effort is agreeable as a method towards building mutual understanding aimed at peaceful ends.

No argument with this.

From a learned Christian's point of view (if I may), such a misnomer may be confusing to the unlearned.

There is a common misunderstanding, even among certain scholars, but surely in the news media.

What is commonly assumed about the three religions is:

“all three (Abrahamic religions) allow for, or teach, killing / violence / corporeal punishment”.

Absolutely False.

This misunderstanding is only true for two of the three religions when looking at the primary sources (Old Covenant / Hebrew Bible in Judaism, New Covenant / Gospel and letters in Christianity, Quran and Hadith in Islam).

I am not ignoring the later development in certain Christian religious groups that hypocritically allowed for violence, but the fact is that no such allowance is found in the primary sources...nor founded in the first three centuries of Christian history.

I am also not blindly laying blame to Judaism or Islam.

The primary sources literally (and has been interpreted) allow for violence (even killing)...and their reasons are explicitly explained.

In ancient Israel and the primary source of the Old Covenant / Hebrew Bible, there are specific directions for violence or physical justice within and without the Hebrew community, and these can be further studied in order to be understood in context, but this is not the scope of this particular article.

In ancient Islamic culture and the primary source of Islam (Quran and Hadith), there are specific directions for violence or physical justice within and without the Muslim community, and these can be further studied in order to be understood in context, but this is not the scope of this particular article.

In ancient Christian culture and the primary source of Christianity (New Covenant and letters), there are specific directions for peace at all costs, non-violence nor physical justice within and without the Christian community, and these can be further studied in order to be understood in context, but this is not the scope of this particular article.

The distinction between the three religions that are unfortunately lumped together as a single unity is very clearly seen when it comes to violence within and without the respective community...according to the primary sources (the believed-to-be inspired writings).

Opinions vary, but the primary sources are quite explicit and clear.

People are plagued with various identities, and this plague causes crises...and interpretations can vary wildly and liberally alter the meaning of a very clear message found in the primary texts.

This, I think, is the basis of division among all of humanity; dissonance within what is supposed to be unison.

The Tower of Babel is explained to be the beginning of division between humans who previously shared a common core language.

Notice in that article the various traditional and cultural interpretations regarding this Tower, showing that either the narrative was missing or has been changed.

This can be analogous to the manner people today, although being able to once again communicate through a common language, explains how their ideas can still be in conflict.

When love and peace seem to be a basic human desire, the manner people define 'love' and 'peace' varies widely in some instances...according to identity, religious programming, political affiliation, cultural values, personal tastes, etc..

There is a logical argument that is rationally undefeated when it comes to defining love and peace according to one of the primary sources of the three religions in question.

Sadly, human logic is limited according to preconceived value sets and identity based on specific understandings.

Where do you draw the definitions of love and peace?

Is there room for violence within your definition of love and peace?

If so, how do you rationally and logically resolve the obvious hypocrisy or contradiction?

12 July 2017

Finding Friends To Serve; The Purposed Life

My Friend's Shirt

Made a new friend recently.

I take a walk down to the coastline quote often, part of my routine that includes working up an appetite or digesting a meal.

As I'm walking along the sidewalk adjacent to the sand, a distressed person is looking for a Spanish translator.

Asking what the matter is, they point to a man I saw a few days before.

The translator seeker tells me this man came up to them saying they wanted to die.

I began speaking to the man in Spanish and explained to him what the concern was.

He excuses himself and apologizes for alarming them...and walks away.

I chat briefly with those concerned

I thanked them for their concern, exclaiming that we are all God's children and need to be loved.

They agreed.

Prior to proceeding my walk we shared blessings and a few other kind words.

Minutes later I found the man and told him those people were concerned and perhaps they misunderstood his words.

He is fluent in both English and Spanish, but I spoke to him Spanish hoping to meet him where he seemed most comfortable.

He said he was looking for someone to talk to.

I asked if he would like speaking to me.

He happily obliged and we sit on the low wall between the sidewalk and the sand.

We sat for some time.

My new friend had been experiencing an unhappy outlook on life, feeling overwhelmed with his current circumstances and only being able to see the trouble.

What eventually came out was that he had been wondering why God has been keeping him alive.

He expressed he is in anguish and discomfort, suffering from Parkinson's disease.

He understands it will only get worse (more trembling and breaking down of the body).

I did my best speaking about how this world is a temporary place; our physical bodies are part of this world's material composition.

This is why we all will eventually be extinguished in one way or another, like the plants and trees and even the things mankind makes with their hands.

We shared about our lives, the good and not so good we have done.

I eventually got around to pointing out that even in suffering God is at work; that suffering is also purposed.

We suffer for making bad decisions (lying, cheating, etc.); these are the consequences of bad decisions.

We cannot blame others for these decisions and cannot blame God for the consequences.

We also sometimes suffer for making good decisions (being honest, doing what is right when others do wrong, etc.); we experience and learn what Christ went through.

I learned from the man that he has lived a decent life, and although having been focused on negative things, God has continued to care for him even in old age.

I encouraged him to set his mind and heart on things Above; God and His will.

I asked him to search for the good that God has established on earth, helping him realize with many examples how the good outweighs the bad by a considerable amount.

I was able to see his attitude changed as he reflected on this reality.

We shared much more to with one another; more intimate things of the heart I won't divulge here.

I will mention this was the second time I came across someone who was near their wits-end and contemplating the notion of ending their life, even there at the beach that beholds a beautiful view of God's vast creation; an expanse where sea blends with sky.

As with the previous encounter, God's timing was without coincidence, but quite serendipitous and full of purpose.