31 May 2016

Seeing Beyond The Horizon


We as people have our perceptions and ideas of how things should be, or conception of how things are.

We have an ideal perception of what any certain definition of a word or thing could be.

When we think of the word “nice” for example, images, feelings, memories or certain activities may come to mind.

This may happen with any given word or idea.

After my mom's spirit left her body, I have a new and fresh perception of what death is... and 'how' death is.

Having seen the arduous process of the body coming to its end, and being present moments after her last breath (my eldest sister witnessed my mother's last breath), I have a keen sense of this reality as never before.

I know how quickly the skin loses its color, and goes pale.

I felt the rush of emotions, fluctuating like a violent storm, within me.

The anguish one reads in inspirational texts and from the writings of the faithful makes more sense to me now.

I've known college professors who have passed away.

Distant and close relatives as well.

Having now lost both the patriarch and matriarch of the generational family... and with the first-hand experience with my mother, those previous experiences strengthened my resolve with her who was previously closest to my heart.

So when I read historical accounts, searching for objectivity among biases and ideological perceptions, I see a strengthening and resolve woven into the fabric of life.

I don't see so much categories of tribes, peoples, religions and outer dividing identities.

I see human beings.

I see men and women... and only these two minor differences between the creation of the human body.

I also see confusion between many as to the proper interpretation of life, of history, of religion and of the life-force which continues to feed existence into even the most wayward of people.

I see love and grace in abounding and immeasurable quantities.

I see people sadly resisting that which they were destined for.

I see people resisting the Authorship of their lives that can bring final resolve and peace to their hearts.

Yet every human being has opportunity (and has in times past) to acknowledge the very thing which men bicker and argue over to no end: God's existence and sovereignty.

I see, woven ever perfectly and subtlety, how God has truly authored the smallest details of life and reality as we can understand them... and it is an amazing thing to have such a view of His work!
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, 
so are My ways higher than your ways 
and My thoughts than your thoughts. 
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, 
and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, 
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 
so is My word that goes out from My mouth: 
   It will not return to Me empty, 
     but will accomplish what I desire 
       and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” 
- Isaiah 55: 9-11

30 May 2016

Tesla Inspiration Reshaping The World


All roads have been leading to Rome for two thousands years.

The western culture of Greece and Rome and those who inspired them has continued to forwardly replace the archaic, the stagnant and the obscure.

The western culture, although it has its cold novelty and highlighted human frailty in market and culture being ubiquitous, continues to include and blend into it the world's cultures.

And the future is one of further innovation, of unlimited energy and connectivity between people of typically diverse backgrounds, now forging a unity of mythic proportions.

So how can innovation and ingenuity, aiming for income while establishing newer orders of market dynamics, be seen as a good thing?

How about free energy in the form of a supercharger allowing travel to Italy from all surrounding European countries?

Smarter methods of acquiring capital and sustaining leverage is not a new idea, but one which shows how valuable new ideas coupled with old methods can be.

Building innovation without using the old methods of expensive information gathering, and what was firstly fictional ideas having become new technologies like self driving / safe navigation, have been on airplanes and ocean ships... now being realized in the private automobile.

Imagine electric everything travel wise:

All public transit: light and heavy rail, city buses, planes, etc.;

Private automobiles and motorcycles;

Utilities for home, commerce and industry;

Energy preservation: rechargeable battery power storage;

Clean energy production: solar.

Aside from a natural catastrophe, practical unlimited energy can be a reasonable constant since the sun's energy is and has been a constant source of energy that has developed the world as we know it.

Developing technologies of energy efficient light bulbs and appliances are continually aiming for lower energy consumption.

If a graph were to be visualized, the energy production and energy consumption of products would diverge; more available energy with less energy used.

A countdown to cleaner ecosystems and cleaner human health is evident in a foreseeable future.

As education and awareness continues to grow, so will sensitivity to environmental challenges.

Hope has, and is still, on the horizon.

26 May 2016

Gratitude Returns When Focus Returns


Emotion

noun

a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one's circumstances, mood, or relationships with others

instinctive or intuitive feeling as distinguished from reasoning or knowledge

mid 16th century (denoting a public disturbance or commotion): from French émotion, from émouvoir ‘excite,’ based on Latin emovere, from e- (variant of ex- ) ‘out’ + movere‘move.’ The sense ‘mental agitation’ dates from the mid 17th century, the current general sense from the early 19th century

Very peculiar how the definition has migrated away from an affect onto a crowd ( like from a speaker ) to internal subjective cognition.

This past week, I had an emotional tidal wave hit me.

Some plans that I had my heart set on did not pan out.

Other things which had been amiss for some time were still amiss, and were still out of my control.

I still haven't realized all of the lessons from this week's character failures ( my weak character failures ).

I also have yet to learn the lessons ( I learn the lesson when the lesson isn't repeated ).

I have learned to keep my words to a minimum when a dark cloud attempts to shade my light, for when I unleash many words out of emotion, sin is not far off.

I have yet to learn to navigate new triggers that may cause heavy emotional fallout when new issues are pressed upon current things that have been challenging me for some time.

And what always gets me is the difficulty in praying to the Lord when I should be praying most.

What I do find helpful when the prayerful words and humility aren't available ( when the heart is overwhelmed ), is reading what has already been spoken from Above:
That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in Him in accordance with the truth that is in Yeshua. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. 
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. 
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. 
- Ephesians 4: 20-32
When I read His message to me, including this particular passage, I am reminded of many things.

One is the reality of what has already been established.

What God has established trumps my temporary emotional state and current disappointment.

Now reflecting on the past week and my choices, I learn I had lost sight of these realities.

I had also grown ungrateful for the many good things He has brought to me and has brought me through.

I have learned that I was focused on the little things.

24 May 2016

Beautiful Empty People Waiting To Be Filled


Mankind desires to love and be loved.

People yearn for acceptance and to be included.

One way people sense inclusion and acceptance is in reflecting people and things they admire.

The most obvious sign is by appearance; clothing, mannerisms, speech, attitude.

It shouldn't be surprising then when women layer on makeup in attempting to reflect some ideal of beauty.

Same goes for the man who surrounds himself with expensive things to bring value to himself.

For a woman who is already accustomed to having the makeup, to go a day without anything put on her face would be quite difficult.

Same for a man to take public transportation who is used to traveling in his expensive car, or to patronize the dollar menu at a fast-food eatery when he is used to filet mignon and caviar.

The external things, although serving a purpose in themselves, are usually absorbed into the psyche to support and supplant a concept of value

Yet the values in society can be vacant of the order society's building blocks have been built upon.

Vanity.

We all have a taste of vanity.

Even the most hardened religious zealot is replete with vain aspirations regarding the manner they religiously carry themselves around other zealots.

Certain sects of Islam vainly argue over how many times a 'true' believer is to pray throughout a regular day; their justifiable external evidences somehow implying an internal righteousness and bringing a sense of God's acceptance of their efforts.

Certain sects of Christianity argue over a plethora of issues having little to do with love for one another and being gracious and understanding of others; their vain quibbling over words somehow marking others as unrighteous or unsaved, making themselves feel secure and saved.

The philosophy of those too afraid or too uninformed to acknowledge a God may agree with other philosophies; adopting a vain religious rhetoric denying evident eternal attributes, reflecting the conceit they may point out in believers.

Sadly we see the world in default worship of itself, of things made by man's hands - from the money used to buy and sell things, to the imagery of others unconsciously imitated by so many... all in attempts to find that love and acceptance that every human being cannot deny they want, but are confused as to how to realize it.

19 May 2016

How Deep Is Your Love!?


Some songs reach you in ways others cannot.

And it is the manner in which we interpret songs that bring different meanings to our hearts.

This particular song can be assumed to be intentionally expressed between a man and a woman's love for one another (man speaking to a woman or vice versa).

But when interpreting it as a conversation between two, it can be seen yet another way.

As I've shared in other articles regarding popular music, I can't help but interpret lyrics according to the way my heart has been fashioned from Above.

I have included “[A]” as coming from Above, or God as the speaker, and “[B]” as from below, or the human's perspective and the human speaking.

Please listen to the video as you follow along reading the interpreted lyrics.

Note: when [B] is repeating what [A] is asking (how deep is Your love), it is not questioning, but expressing in wonderment how deep in fact is Your love.
[A] I know your eyes in the morning, son 
[B] I feel You touch me in the pouring rain 
[A] And the moment that you wander far from Me
I wanna feel you in My arms again 
[B] And You come to me on a summer breeze
Keep me warm in Your love, then You softly leave 
[A] And it's Me you need to show
How deep is your love? 
[B] How deep is Your love, How deep is Your love
I really need to learn
'Cause we're living in a world of fools
Breaking us down
When they all should let us be
We belong to You and me 
[B] I believe in You
You know the door to my very soul
You're the Light in my deepest darkest hour
You're my Savior when I fall 
[A] And you may not think
That I care for you
When you know down inside
That I really do
And it's Me you need to show
How deep is your love?  
[B] How deep is Your love, How deep is Your love
I really need to learn
'Cause we're living in a world of fools
Breaking us down
When they all should let us be
We belong to You and me 
[B] And you come to me on a summer breeze
Keep me warm in Your love, then You softly leave 
[A] And it's Me you need to show
How deep is your love?  
[B] How deep is Your love, How deep is Your love
I really need to learn
'Cause we're living in a world of fools
Breaking us down
When they all should let us be
We belong to You and me 
[B] How deep is Your love, How deep is Your love
I really need to learn
'Cause we're living in a world of fools
Breaking us down
When they all should let us be
We belong to You and me 
[B] How deep is Your love, How deep is Your love
I really need to learn
'Cause we're living in a world of fools
Breaking us down
When they all should let us be
We belong to You and me

18 May 2016

Gift + Passion - Self = Life


I study a variety of subjects, gleaning the surface at times for a day or two, other times delving deeply for months.

Some subjects most likely will never leave my side.

Certain subjects I look into out of curiosity and by choice, other subjects I am compelled to explore in order to understand, to communicate them better with others, etc.

It is great when curiosity and compulsion meet harmoniously; your interest being challenged and your curiosity being fed.

When I began studying the bible in my early twenties, I was led by the hand into the subject matter.

I was curious to find out what the message was for me; wondering if God was calling me.

I was also afraid to learn certain things about it and myself; the self being challenged to stand down.

Neither Today, nor tomorrow, can I claim to understand every literal meaning or interpretation, besides the revelations that can only be understood beyond literal interpretations

But the journey of revelation over the years has been quite inspiring and joyous to put it mildly.

Yet, there is an area which lays far beyond simply 'knowing' what something is saying.

Plenty of people can regurgitate and repeat the things they read.

Shakespeare is read and repeated in universities, as are plenty of other famous authors the world over.

Yet the bible is something quite distinct and altogether different when comparing it to intriguing literature.

Aside from a history book, and an instruction manual, it is actually something much more than can be perceived.

The book, letters or pages that comprise a bible are not magical or mystical on their own.

That is merely ink, paper, and binding... materials of no significance.

It is the message found therein which makes it such an amazing composition.

And this message sometimes falls on deaf ears, although the hearer has perfect hearing.

The understanding falls outside the view of perception of even the most educated and learned of scholars.

It doesn't take a genius to learn and live out the instructions of the bible.

It takes a willing and soft heart to Live out the message.

I've seen people living out the message of faith, hope and love without being able to quote any portion of the bible.

They somehow have it written on their hearts.

And what is even more astounding and provocative is that such a heart isn't something achieved on one's own.

You can't order a soft heart over the internet or find it at a specialty store.

A soft heart is a gift from Above; from the Author of the bible's message.

Yet, we also have a part and small role.

We have a choice in 'how' we go about receiving a soft heart.

We can beg and plead in prayer to Him who hears those calling His Name.

We can also follow through with better choices (repentance) over past choices, experiencing the process of faith in humility.

Another striking and scary reality is that many people can recite the words found in Scripture, yet they hardly reflect the Author.

When these folks speak on their own, when not repeating what they read, they could sound like someone very different than is exemplified in the bible.

May we be those who are gifted the heart and the ears to live out and mirror the Message of the ages.

17 May 2016

Handling The Winds Of Change


The following is a message to the faithful believer who looks to a home not of this world:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. 
- James 1: 2-8
The video is a decent visual analogy regarding the Way for the faithful.

The imagery reflects a bit of what is mentioned in the passage in James.

The current affairs the winds of media blow throughout the land can be challenging for the person traversing love for all and accepting the individual despite an individual's unacceptable lifestyle.

Why is not accepting of questionable views and moral standings confused as hatred?

Isn't it possible to love a wayward person?

If so, why then are those who desire not to fall into depravity singled-out as a problem?

Perhaps this passage can answer these questions:
Therefore, since Christ suffered in His body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is the reason the Gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit. 
- 1 Peter 4: 1-6
Friends and family: as the winds continue to shift and blow against you, do not forget to always stand in love.

Stand also in honor and in truth.

Sometimes a peaceful countenance speaks louder than the desire to condemn people whom you know not their future development.

Leave room for grace and repentance, as God has done countless times for you.
The hearts of the wise make their mouths prudent, and their lips promote instruction. 
Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. 
- Proverbs 16: 23-24

16 May 2016

Popular National Identities: Human Brands


Branding is quite the modern phenomenon.

Yet, to “brand” something according to today's understanding of that marketing term is nothing new.

Religions are a brand.

Several brands exist within religious thought.

Nationality is an ancient brand.

Tribal identity is yet another ancient brand predating nationality.

Concepts and ideas can blend into one another.

Although the term “brand” is speaking specifically to a business concept, the blending of identity with a particular brand brings the human perception to the forefront.

Think of how a certain hat / headgear beckons a feeling of identity in someone or a group of people.

Same with footgear and any wearable / attachable accessory.

Certain types of clothing also beckon identity weaved into branding.

They are reflecting an ideal; a particular brand of what they perceive and interpret to invoke, promote or become.

Some people think themselves to be “good” or “righteous” according to the clothes they wear, including head and foot gear... and others are deemed "bad" and "unrighteous" according to the inverse.

This external perception is internalized according to the stamp of branding one has received or has adopted.

But try and convince someone ( or yourself ) to see past the branded identity.

Difficult, nearly impossible, somewhat plausible... and maybe never to be experienced while clothed with this world's material veneer.

Every time, empire, people, culture, society, movement, religion, tribe, individual has / had their specific or generic brand in terms of reflecting that brand onto themselves and themselves into that brand.

The brand becomes the ideal.

Regardless of the sophistication of any organized group - whether government, religious, public or private group – the ideal brand can be constant or can change over time.

Depending on the individual's or nation's or public's specific interpretation of their ideal brand, the concept of what is right or wrong, good or evil, acceptable or despicable, swings according to relative definitions of the truth according to perception and branded ideal.

If your brand teaches you to love your enemy, while your enemy's brand teaches them to hate their enemy... no wonder truth can become a relative interpretation dependent on one's branding... and the "truth" is lost on those claiming to intimately know the truth.

13 May 2016

100 Years In The 4th Century


A hundred years could literally be a lifetime in terms of a human life.

When counting how sentiment could change the course of history as the world would understand it, it is a very short period of time.

What started out as an obscure and misunderstood movement based on faith in the unseen and love for one's fellowman - and this love extending towards love for one's perceived enemy - would eventually become a state protected faith that has never left its position as the most influential ideology the world has ever known.

The years 300 to 400 A.D. would witness the faith in Yeshua as Lord and the King of heaven and earth arriving from a seemingly insignificant location in a brutal empire, to achieving spiritual and temporal authority over that empire; transforming the lives of millions of people then, and billions upon billions of people henceforth.

What began as a ridiculed, demeaned, martyred and harassed sect from within a perceived-to-be superstitious religion, would eventually topple an indifferent mindset built upon strength in tradition and conquering force.

The achievement of love triumphing over tyranny came not at the edge of a sword, nor by deceit or compulsion, but by the spilling of blood on the part of the subjects and not the subduers.

Long is the list of named martyrs in the leadership positions of the early church.

Much longer is the unknown list of the peasants, countrymen and women and their children who have saturated the roads and valleys of Rome's strong reach with innocent blood.

Yet these names are only unknown to the inhabitants of the earth, for each name is written in heaven on the roles of heaven's scrolls.

The year 303 experienced an unnamed edict to continue the subjugation of Christians with the following specific directives:

Destroying of churches and burning of the Holy Scriptures; confiscation of church property; banning Christians from undertaking collective legal action; loss of privileges for Christians of high rank who refused to recant; the arrest of some state officials.

By this time, the faith had permeated the hearts of men and women throughout every class and social stratum of the empire.

This feat of patient perseverance on the part of the faithful continued forward however severe the penalty was in following the Son of Man that was proclaimed to have risen to life after being murdered; the Son of God.

Yet a few years later in 311, the Edict of Toleration would see the faith being accepted and recognized by the same government who tried unsuccessfully for nearly 200 years to stamp it out.

Two years later in 313, the Edict of Milan would legalize the faith of the disciples of Christ ( called Christians ) as a legitimate 'religion' alongside the many religions of the state.

This particular edict interestingly requested for prayers to the God of heaven and earth for protection of the Roman state, as well as the restoration of property and payment to the believers for crimes committed by the state.

Near the end of that century in year 380, the Edict of Thessalonica became the crowning moment for the faith among the religions and beliefs of its time.

Despite a turbulent time among the greater churches regarding different understandings of the Mystery of God in Christ, the faith became the official state religion.

This edict beckoned all people, whether high or low, citizen or subject Rome, to acknowledge the God of heaven and earth.

This was convincingly the repeating of a previous pattern witnessed with Moses and Pharaoh, Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar, and surely other times before and since both privately and publicly unaccounted.

Daniel and Isaiah seem to have spoken of the events leading up to this particular century 800 years prior:
He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped Him.   
His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. 
- Daniel 7: 14
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders.   
And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.   
Of the greatness of His government and peace there will be no end.   
He will reign on David’s throne and over His kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.   
The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. 
- Isaiah 9: 6-7
It surely is an amazing realization and wonder when considering how the zeal of the Lord Almighty has guided men since the very beginning of creation up until Today.


His Name shall be forever praised!

10 May 2016

The Year 1492


This year, the last of the Arab Muslim population was expelled from Hispania ( Spain ).

This same year, Christopher Columbus is commissioned by the Spanish monarchy to explore a new path to the west Indies... leading to the unexpected founding of the Americas.

In a nutshell, the empire / effort to purvey the Islamic ideology begins to retract on itself.

By the same token, the western Christian ideology continues to spread throughout the world.

For all the positive and negative contributions both ideologies have forwarded onto the history books of the world, this year is quite the turning point.

As the influence, power and reach of the Islamic ideology dwindled, the Christian ideology continued to forward its influence, culture and strength.

Would the Christian ideology had come to ruin if not for the further expansion to the Americas and the continued development in medieval Europe and elsewhere?

This question is asked to beckon thought among revelation.

The thought wasn't a possibility according to the testimonies of the covenants.

Would the Americas have grown with a Muslim ideology instead of a Christian one had the Muslims not lost their foothold in Hispania?

Since God is Sovereign, and He alone authors man's movements and eventual achievements, this question was obviously not in His will.

Looking back at history and man's efforts, it was in God's will for the Muslim ideology to rise out of the Arabian desert.

The Muslim ideology and identity served its purpose.

The manner of the purpose being second to its outcome.

Just like God can raise a man of peace as well as a man of war, we see all events and purposes being brought into submission under God's ultimate authorship of earthly events past, present and future.

The role of the human being is participation... although some men would conceive they are the authors of their fate.

Many men perceive themselves as participating on the side of God ( the outcome of His will )... and this is, on its surface, quite true.

We see Pharaoh was used by God for a certain purpose.

Pharaoh was destined for destruction in the Red Sea along with his military.

We see God's plan always at work despite the momentary pain that one man or ideology may inflict on another man or ideology.

For many men, they believe they are on the 'right' side of God's plan... yet these many cannot perceive their role as today's Pharaohs, despite their zealous efforts and innate desire to bring glory to God in some way.

God achieves glory through all men, but sadly not all men realize God's glory in themselves.

09 May 2016

Attempting To Measure Love


How special are you?

How valuable are you?

Is there a monetary amount that can be placed upon a human being?

We see examples of people being slaves, of being rented out for low reasons.

But what is the view from Above?

How are you seen when God looks at you?
You have searched me, Lord, 
and you know me. 
You know when I sit and when I rise; 
you perceive my thoughts from afar. 
You discern my going out and my lying down; 
you are familiar with all my ways. 
Before a word is on my tongue 
you, Lord, know it completely. 
You hem me in behind and before, 
and you lay your hand upon me. 
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, 
too lofty for me to attain. 
Where can I go from your Spirit? 
Where can I flee from your presence? 
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; 
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, 
if I settle on the far side of the sea, 
even there your hand will guide me, 
your right hand will hold me fast. 
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me 
and the light become night around me,” 
even the darkness will not be dark to you; 
the night will shine like the day, 
for darkness is as light to you. 
For you created my inmost being; 
you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; 
your works are wonderful, 
I know that full well. 
My frame was not hidden from you 
when I was made in the secret place, 
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 
Your eyes saw my unformed body; 
all the days ordained for me were written in your book 
before one of them came to be. 
How precious to me are your thoughts, God! 
How vast is the sum of them! 
Were I to count them, 
they would outnumber the grains of sand— 
when I awake, I am still with you. 
- Psalm 139: 1-18
How much love does God have for you?

If one was to attempt a measurement of God's love for you, can it be measured at all?
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.  For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.  And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified. 
What, then, shall we say in response to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will he not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?  Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?  It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns?  No one.  Christ Yeshua who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?  As it is written: 
“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Yeshua our Lord. 
- Romans 8: 28-39

07 May 2016

Mystery Weaved In Language(s)



I find language to be quite fascinating.

The understanding of how people think comes to life when exploring words from certain languages and their meanings.

As people and cultures spread over the earth, their languages have evolved; adapting along with their travels and experiences.

And now, as the previous export of mankind has been slowly brought into unity, the manner how certain meanings and definitions having changed over time is quite extraordinary.

English is the current unifying language of the earth.

This particular language has absorbed terms and meanings from every corner of the globe, adding to an ever-growing vocabulary that is usually dictated by the common people, not always by the hierarchy.

Consider homonyms and how, according to the subject matter, a single word can have various meanings.

In the subject of art, the term “theater” means something very different than in the subject of war.

An art theater is the place a work of art is played out by “actors” for an audience to enjoy.

A theater of war is also a location, although the use of the word in the context of war contrasts the manner it is used in art.

The actors in a theater of war are also players, but sadly their actions are not for entertainment nor constructive in forwarding a meaningful message.

Although acting in a theater production is quite different from actors in a theater of war, the terms are both complimentary and contrasting in identifying both people and places.

Considering these things, let's look at the term “church”.

The modern and mainstream definition, perception and understanding of a church is believed to mean a building; a place where people gather to worship.

However, the original meaning that was messaged with what became the term “church” is something quite different.

Here are various secular definitions of church:

- a building used for public Christian worship

- a particular Christian organization, typically one with its own clergy, buildings, and distinctive doctrines

- the hierarchy of clergy of a Christian organization, especially the Roman Catholic Church or the Church of England

- institutionalized religion as a political or social force

These can be acceptable definitions, but it seems the meaning has been altered or changed, either purposely or due to men not knowing the originally derived meaning... or perhaps because of another reason.

The “origins” of the modern English term also speaks to where the secular understanding and meaning of the term originated:

- Old English “cir(i)ce, cyr(i)ce”, related to Dutch “kerk” and German “Kirche”, based on medieval Greek “kurikon”, from Greek “kuriakon” (dōma) ‘Lord's (house),’ from “kurios ‘master or lord’”

Context defines meaning, as we will see.

When looking at words, it would be wise to find out their original meaning according to the context in which they were initially used... yet the search isn't always a clear effort, nor easily understood.

But what is quite amazing is how, despite terms varying along with translation, the original meaning is still realized by some.

Paradox?

Prior to exploring the term further, here's a question:

Does a certain word capture the meaning of what is being messaged when context explains and defines meaning?

The answers are: yes, no, sometimes, occasionally, usually, never, it depends.

Context is key... and so is bridging the context with the message; seeing how the term was mentioned.

The main languages spoken in Palestine / ancient Judea circa the 1st century A.D. were Aramaic ( a regional mutual / intermediary language ), Greek ( from the previous Greek imperial conquest ) and Latin ( that time's imperial language from Rome ).

Meaning was transferred among the languages using different terms while not losing meaning, despite the use of different words.

The term “ekklesia” was derived from a compound ( two into one ) meaning [please visit the link for an insightful explanation].

This term turned into the English word for “church” we hear today.

Here is the context and meaning derived from the primary sources... and notice how other words are used in describing what the church is:
And He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy... 
Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of His body, which is the church. 
- Colossians 1: 18, 24
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.  And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 
- 1 Corinthians 12: 27-28
For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, His body, of which He is the Savior. 
- Ephesians 5: 23
We have a glimpse into a spiritual / supernatural teaching transcending the typical and physical explanation / definition of what the church is believed to be by the secular world.

Going a step further, for those of us who believe and have been granted the gift of faith, the church is the manifestation of the kingdom of God; living in and through the faithful via God's Holy Spirit:
Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Yeshua replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.” 
- Luke 17: 20-21
And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth.  The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him.  But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you. 
- John 14: 16-17
Yeshua replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” 
“How can someone be born when they are old?”  Nicodemus asked.  “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” 
Yeshua answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.  You should not be surprised at My saying, ‘You must be born again.’  The wind blows wherever it pleases.  You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.  So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” 
“How can this be?”  Nicodemus asked. 
“You are Israel’s teacher,” said Yeshua, “and do you not understand these things?  Very truly I tell you, We speak of what We know, and We testify to what We have seen, but still you people do not accept Our testimony.  I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?  No one has ever gone into heaven except the One who came from heaven—the Son of Man.  Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in Him.” 
- John 3: 3-15

06 May 2016

Message To The Skeptic(s)



The skeptic asks for empirical evidence for God.

Empirical evidence ( please read description ) is a recent idea historically, after this methodology ( please also read ).

Both schools of thought, two methodologies of seeking the truth, are based on observation of what is currently known and understood.

Mankind has been observing the world around him since the first man opened his eyes.

But does mere observation really spell out the truth as you'd understand the truth to be?

Is what is 'real' only observable?

Dark matter is one of these interesting unseen, yet claimed to exist, realities.

By observing other 'seen' things, scientists have determined that something 'unseen' exists... yet there is no instrument or method to 'see' or measure this unseen thing called dark matter.

The same goes with what happens to some people regarding things of faith, and what others seem to miss, never experience, or deny according to their observations and understanding of what is seen.

Although mainstream testimonies from quite reliable sources testify to what is unobservable ( please read this amazing story ) exist and are plentiful, these testimonies are disqualified according to the two above methods of truth finding.

This is quite illogical, since there is no motive other than forwarding an experience that brought about an amazingly good thing.

Today, as in days long past, news of any type would reach your ears by the words of another human being.

From your understanding of the world, you may be able to determine if what was being said was true or false.

If it was from a reliable and notable source, perhaps it wouldn't be difficult to believe what you were hearing, if what you were hearing was somewhat unbelievable.

Yet, when an individual you knew to be quite despicable, tremendously violent or depraved, has their life turned around in a remarkable and good way, there may be something unseen that has occurred in them.

Perhaps it was what they heard, an ancient message passed down throughout the ages, that spoke to their heart... and thus changed them from the inside out.

Or perhaps the individual was raised in the Way from childhood and never went astray or purposely derailed their life; their life being spared many typical pitfalls.

The evidence the skeptic has been searching for is the evidence of what is termed the church.

The church is not a building; the people are the church.

The church is not a particular brand of branch of Christianity, but the very people who love their neighbor as well as their enemy; this is only completed by the peace brought by the Holy Spirit.

The people, in whom the Holy Spirit resides, is the physical temple of God on earth.

The sought for evidence is how the early church grew, not by decree but by love.

The church grew not by force, but by sacrifice and martyrdom of many men, women and children.

The church eventually absorbed its host empire.

That empire's hierarchy capitulated, not by force or intrigue but, by a force unseen.

The biggest evidence the skeptic has before them is the church's history, not of the shortcomings of men, but of the triumphs of peaceful men over the governments and systems of violent men from then until Today.

The church has blended into the world's societies, colored their cultures and adjusted their laws and policy, to bring the freedom mentioned in the Gospel to the world.

The church as brought all peoples from the outer perimeters into relation with one another.

The church has proclaimed, in the hearing of the peoples of the earth, the message from Above.

The message that God hasn't forgotten, hasn't been absent, but has always been working in ways invisible and unobservable by most people.

This God manifested Himself in the body of Yeshua, called Christ.

God became physically present in a human body.

The very creation made according to His likeness and His image long ago, God went as far as to be present in the body and humanity we all are experiencing.

Although men attempted to destroy this body, this temple of the Holy Spirit, they failed to do so.

For that physical body was raised back to life.

Although the heart was pierced and ceased beating, and the breath of life left the body, somehow by ways unknown, that body was resurrected.

Many individuals witnessed the glorious reality of a Man, once dead, walking upright once again, manifesting physically out of nowhere and going back into the unseen.

The hierarchy of that society attempted to covered up this testimony, yet this testimony of life has circumvented the earth.

It is this testimony which has come from a seemingly obscure part of the world and has conquered the hearts of men the world over.

The evidence of God and what He has done is very clear, in nature and in society... may this evidence be also found in you!

04 May 2016

Plausible Deniability



Do you think the secular mind would forward a testimonial account of the supernatural?

I don't suppose they would unless they actually believed the testimonial they heard / read about, or unless it was their personal testimonial / experience they were accounting for.

Considering this, one shouldn't be surprised to not find any public record of what transpired 2,000 years ago in what is today called Palestine.

The destruction of the city of Jerusalem, the leveling of the temple, the slaughter and the defeat of the Jewish revolt was evident to anyone with eyes to see, and this is historically detailed and went on public record.

Yet, for any political entity to acknowledge anything that would challenge their authority and legitimacy would be problematic and self defeating.

For someone to claim kingship, outside of Roman affiliation or acknowledgement, was cause for death and something the state would deny outright.

Consider the reality of 'revision of history'; an unwritten policy every organized political system the world over seems to have committed.

Details of the Roman account and perspective of Christ, regarding the supernatural events, do exist, but are not compiled in any single place.

These have to be pieced together through a keen search derived from various sources.

Now, of course, this is the critical argument against supernatural testimonies; they are considered anecdotal evidence.

This type of evidence, although being first-hand experience, is insufficient to convince those who had not the experience, or who do not believe such things could happen in the first place.

There are many writings from those who walked with Christ, and many writings thereafter, of supernatural events... so many outside the primary sources of what is called the bible, it is quite overwhelming.

I don't mean an event like making it somewhere on time ( although for some people, this can seriously be miraculous for them ).

I mean events like outright healing and items appearing from out of no where, to mention two examples; things which are scientifically and logically impossible.

Still Today, many people have testimonies of experiencing things beyond the explanations of science and formal logic.

These are, as I see it, evidences which continue the ancient testimonies of the bible.

Myself, and many others, are of these people.

The problem for the skeptic and doubter is that these supernatural occurrences cannot be duplicated nor anticipated.

They cannot be repeated by human effort, or according to scientific method, or by experiment in establishing a physical law.

Since the faithful base their understanding of the world according to the Gospel testimony and, for some, first-hand experiences from witnessing God move in amazing ways, how then can those who neither believe nor contemplate the supernatural come to perceive something they deny or demand substantial 'evidence' from in order to believe?

Those who do not accept the testimony, or disbelieve it, do not seem to have a desire to consider the notion of things beyond their purview.

This is what science is always reaching for ( for what today may be impossible, tomorrow may be possible ).

Why not the same approach with the topic of this blog article?

03 May 2016

Objective History vs His Story Revised


Every regime and hegemony revises their history.

This seems to be done purposefully with precise censorship and a specific narrative.

It is also done with fanciful memories of glory, highlighting certain centric achievements while forgetting or justify the typical tyranny, genocide, theft and murder men commit as the means to achieving their end [goals].

Nothing new to see under the sun, no matter where the sun has shown.

Whether over the Arabian peninsula in the 6th century, or over Indian territories in the 8th century, or over the Americas starting in the 15th century... or any time before and up until today.

Practically every known group of organized men throughout times, in pursuing the building of nations for themselves, have blood on their hands.

Some started in this manner, with some eventually falling into this hypocritically justified evil.

What group of men or nation can take pride in the innocent work of their hands?

There is, however, One Man and a small group of men throughout times who can claim this feat, with this One Man alone able to boast about pure innocence in thought, word and deed.

The same idea of conquest is occurring today over Palestine, misdeeds and land grabbing being justified like times before, all according to well written revisions and edits in history.

But, thanks be to God and His wisdom, those who read past the narratives know very well how to identify objectivity ( not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts ) from subjective ( based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions ) opinions and propaganda.

How else were the indigenous peoples of the America's conquered if not demonized and called “savages”?

Yet, every people and nation has had their times of destruction and enslavement.

The English island, where those labeled Anglo Saxons are identified, had its time of serfdom and, before that, enslavement.

Men MUST rewrite their history, otherwise their efforts would be seen not being wholly coming from Above, but including dishonorable efforts from below.

Yet, it is the realization and perspective of this man, that God's plan always trumps the plans and efforts of men, no matter how noble or well-intended those human efforts are, no matter the argument.

Paradoxically, it seems, God weaves through man's failing efforts His perfect and good will.

This is usually realized once the blood on the ground has washed away, or falls beyond the memory of the currently suffering generation.

This is not to say God condones violence or anything short of His Perfection revealed in the One Man, but typical men do have choice... and this choice in the matter of life is difficult to deny.

Only the kingdom of God has been planted and built upon Righteousness, never by the spilling of blood of the conquered, but by the sacrificing of the sheep who follow the Prince of Peace.