30 September 2016

Yesterday Not As Today Like Today Will Not Be Tomorrow



When we consider ancient societies, peoples and times... we usually suspect that our time today is so far removed and evolved (better) far and away from such archaic realities.

I am not so sure.

Much how, inversely, we are sometimes tempted to think that our past circumstances were better times than our present circumstances.

All a matter of perception and a limited view of things, I say.

We may look at our past in an idealistic manner, and since we didn't know as much while growing up or when we were younger as we do now, it is easy to perceive a more innocent past or 'easy going' time in our lives.

We personally know more of the world today, having had our share of personal mistakes and failures, and perhaps we cannot always see objectively our past experiences when comparing them to the present.

People sometimes project this same view of past histories and events, thinking the current 'modern' societies and cultures to be the very best example of man's development, suggesting that 'today' we are living at the highest moral or ethical reach.

Anyone with a clear view of past history knows this is certainly not the case, nor has every been the case broadly speaking, perhaps only in certain societies and only at certain times.

Our very life experience is much the same, having times of triumph and times of failure, times of overcoming personal challenges, and perhaps times of being swallowed up by such challenges.

All it takes for our minds to hold a certain idea of the past is to read a historical narrative written in a school book according to a distinct perception, and that particular paraphrasing is etched into our minds as 'true' and objectively accurate.

Scholars debate such mindsets and narratives all the time.

Take the term “barbarians” when thinking of the Roman empire.

All peoples who were not citizens or subject to Rome were labeled as “barbarians”.

Our minds conceived a dark, sinister and lawlessness society outside of Rome's domain with the labeling the hundreds of tribes / peoples / cultures who, at any given time over several centuries, were not subjects to Rome's imperial cultural stamp.

But insightful archeological and historical remains can paint another image outside of such a negative point of view.

“Pagan” was another term used in other times and empires when speaking of peoples outside one's common understanding and accepted societal norms.

These labels also carry over into religious perceptions, as well as ethnic and so on.

Some people have pierced through these false narratives, the divisive labeling of others, to arrive at a comforting clarity: we are all related, all belonging to a single human family, divided only by time and geography... and our ideas... and this mental division is slowly eroding away.

Although the same patterns of our collective humanity linger on with some citizens of any given nationalistic or religious mindset viewing those outside their common perceptions as 'pagans' or 'barbarians', we also see, as evidenced by past ideas, that not all people adopt the view that the past was better or worse than the present.

If the individual perceives their past as having been better than their present, they may not be making the best effort in growing along with life's changes.

Much how if today's society considers itself to be at the cusp of what is best when reflecting upon the past, such arrogance can only spell more misperceptions and faulty idealism.
The end of a matter is better than its beginning, 
   and patience is better than pride. 
Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, 
   for anger resides in the lap of fools. 
Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” 
   For it is not wise to ask such questions. 
Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing 
   and benefits those who see the sun. 
Wisdom is a shelter 
   as money is a shelter, 
but the advantage of knowledge is this: 
   Wisdom preserves those who have it. 
- Ecclesiastes 7: 8-12

29 September 2016

Not All Taxes Are Justifiable, But Simple Thievery


Mankind has been gifted all that is necessary for them to survive.

Creation itself provides the sustenance and the means towards productivity and further sustenance.

With man's hand does man feed himself after the natural order has done its part.

To drink from the bountiful spring man must bend down to scoop up the water.

Man has their part in exerting the effort and energy to sustain themselves.

In our earliest years, we had someone feed us, wipe us clean and dress us.

As time passed, we learned how to do these seemingly mundane efforts ourselves.

For some of us, we may return to a state of being fed, wiped and dressed prior to final check-out from the natural world.

In the mean time, we find ourselves doing our best as we navigate through our personal challenges, and the challenges imposed on us by those who would have us believe we need them in order to achieve sustenance... or need them for every single thing, possibly mundane, in life.

All of humanity does need each other, for it is within others that much of the world's understanding is realized, but 'how' this need is defined must be clarified.

There comes a time, if / when a person is able, that the individual must feed themselves.

There also comes a time when the parent / landlord / 'authority' / trustee needs to allow the child / tenant / subject / trustor to plow their own efforts.

It is by the people a government realizes its power, and efforts its responsibilities in the service of the people.

It is because of the existence of the people that a king realizes his position, for without a people there is no kingdom to rule, and thus no one to honor the king.

The reality of 'how' a government and a king enjoy their lofty positions should never be forgotten: supported by the day-to-day menial and comprehensive tasks of the many who sustain government / kingdom.

A government and king encourage, direct and manage people, but not solely for the government's / king's benefits, but for the people's benefit, ensuring a fair and productive relational dynamic.

When new technologies are realized, typically not discovered or realized by or from government or kings, but by and from the people further down the pecking order, and government or kings desire to also benefit from nature's bounty when no just cause can be argued, what would such efforts be called?

Stealing / thievery.

Here is a news article of a small government who unanimously passed a tax attached to solar panel users, using interesting terms and narrow justifications to receive revenue that would eventually dry up as people move from the archaic power grid to renewable and unlimited FREE energy.

When men have realized how to harness and utilize the sun's energy, and no government nor any earthly king can be thanked for creating the sun's energy, why do governments and earthly kings desire to also tax what God has blessed all mankind with?

No man created the earth, nor the waters, nor the sun's energetic rays of light... yet some men desire to legitimize their positions and their opinions by taking from others and calling it 'right' or 'just'.

Perhaps such men need to also bend down and make their effort in drinking from the natural springs, instead of having others make the effort and also have to give them to drink from their efforts.

27 September 2016

There Exists A Free Lunch, But...


The topic of money, finances and economics is a challenging topic to discuss.

Every person has a different view on life.

When considering money and how to use this invented tool, attitudes can change when this is the subject of discussion.

I know my demeanor changes when discussing money, for past personal reasons.

I desire not to repeat my past failures.

I also desire not to teach / forward / encourage failures onto others... but some must learn the hard way.

I've learned many lessons the hard way.

The tool of money has become something more than the tool of barter than it actually is.

For some, money is their god... though they may not perceive or acknowledge such a concept.

For others, money is a 'means to an end'... but is that end ever realized?

I was asked recently what the purpose of life was if people are free to commit evil... with this evil spills over onto the lives of the innocent.

Without darkness, can we identify and appreciate light?

When all is said and done, and the material world is no more, what would have the past sufferings and disappointments in life mattered when entering eternity?

The spirit world is something quite distinct and different from the material world.

If heaven is a place of peace, tranquility, love and light, and eternity is greater than the few years we have in the flesh, why become distracted the few years we are growing among weeds when the greenest pasture awaits us?

This is why wisdom is of greater value than 'things' that are commonly considered 'valuable', like gold and certain other metals or material things.

With wisdom, one can turn nothing into something.

Through wisdom, what is derived from nothing can turn into a useful tool.

Without wisdom, a time of 'prosperity' can later turn into a time of calamity, destroying heart, mind and soul... yet some lessons must be learned first-hand.

What is to be said about education without apprenticeship?

What is said about knowledge without wisdom?

A skill can be developed and still all income can be lost when a craftsman ventures into the world of investments.

Have you ever heard of a sports figure who, after acquiring millions of dollars in salaries, somehow becomes bankrupt when they stop playing sports?

Or an older couple who, after a lifetime of diligently saving and being very disciplined with their spending, somehow loses their nest egg to a 'trusting' fast-talking salesman?

A financial education is not so much an effort aiming for millions of dollars and becoming a callous business person.

A financial education should enlighten someone, granting a glimpse into the reality that the world is a marketplace, helping the economic student to look beyond their monies, investments, market cycles and the manner of producing an income.

Becoming wise regarding monies is not about making lots of money, it is about keeping as much as you can from what you earn.

'Paying Yourself First' is one popular concept.

A pitfall of gathering savings is, when a compulsion arises, that savings soon departs.

Discipline is a word to consider.

Discipline should trump emotion and the compulsion to spend.

Discipline builds a retirement.

Discipline leaves a gift to the next generation.

A wise and disciplined investment can produce returns that can last several generations.

The aim, I think, shouldn't focus on becoming the wealthiest person among peers, but one who doesn't have to worry much about finances.

Such a person can be a backstop for their friends and relatives; realizing the true use of wealth, a proper tool to be used for good.

The heart-felt and conscientious approach to using the tool of money properly can produce much good, granting eternal and temporary returns for both the giver and the recipient.

24 September 2016

Turbulence At 32,000 Feet

Matthew 5: 16



I know of a man who had quite an eye-opening experience recently.

This man was traveling by plane to a family event by himself.

Being the last man onto the plane, he traversed almost the entire length of the aircraft to arrive at his seat near the very back; a favored window seat.

This man prefers the window seat to an isle seat, or any other seat.

The window seat satisfies his curious eye, allowing him to gaze out onto God's extensive fields on long boring flights.

The view from above is a rare sight, and this man doesn't like to miss anything, being known to take pictures and videos of odd and amazing scenes alike from a plane's window.

Arriving to his seat's location, the man notices another man sitting in the isle seat in his row.

The man also notices a young boy, about ten years of age, sitting in the middle seat.

No one likes the middle seat.

While getting situated, the man notices the child making an effort to peer past him and out the small plane window at what is going on outside.

The man recalls how as a child the window seat made life easy for his mother, keeping him preoccupied and entertained while looking out the window.

The man asks the boy if he would like to trade seats with him.

The boy doesn't respond, but nods his head in a fashion unfamiliar to the man; not a yes 'up and down' and not a no 'side to side'.

The man asks again, this time using hand gestures asking the question with simple words.

Same silent response and unfamiliar gesture.

The man mentions something to the man sitting in the isle seat who is observing the exchange.

He tells the man about how he always preferred the window seat as a child, and figures this young boy would also like that preference.

Both men share a brief chuckle while the boy remains silent and likely unaware of what is being said.

Prior to the plane taking off, the man uses his electronic device in the hope of translating the message to the boy in the boy's language.

The man makes a guess and shows the boy a Google search result for "Cambodia", and asks the child if he speaks Cambodian.

The child corrects the man's guess by responding with "Nepali."

The man then looks up and shows the boy the translation of "would you like to trade seats so you can look out the window?" in Nepali.

The boy gestures that he cannot read Nepali.

The man tries again to convey the offer, now attempting to read the message phonetically, in a form of Nepali all his own.

The man is clueless as he attempts to read a language whose words he has never heard pronounced out-loud.

The boy is simply sitting there watching the man speak yet another foreign (possibly nonexistent) language to him.

The man is trying his best at pronouncing the words correctly and he thinks he recognizes a word that looks like the word for "seat", and repeats that word along with gestures.

The message is eventually understood by the boy and a yes response is realized.

The switch is made.

The boy begins to gaze out the window and seems quite amused, placing his hands on the plexiglass as he takes in the entire experience. (there is an outer glass window, some space, and an inner plexiglass window)

The man is happy.

After a short time passes, a woman walks up and reaches past the two men in order to hand the little boy a cup of water.

The man realizes the child wasn't traveling alone after all as he initially thought, but that his party is sitting elsewhere and they were all unable to sit together.

After the woman takes her seat, the man turns around to capture her attention and motions to her, asking with his hands if she'd like to switch seats with him.

She herself turns around and flags down a stewardess instead.

The man explains to the stewardess his idea of trading seats with the woman so she and her relative (the boy) can sit together.

The stewardess says that most likely the woman would rather stay where she is with the other relatives.

The woman has an isle seat, but at the very back row which most likely does not recline.

The man thinks maybe she would rather have a non-reclining isle seat than a middle seat that reclines, but he thinks that's just his thinking, most likely not what she is thinking at all.

After some time, the snack cart rolls by and the boy points to a sizable package of mixed chips.

The man seems unable or perhaps unwilling to explain to the boy that those chips do come at a cost; not the free smaller portions of snacks passed out to everyone.

But it seems the man already had in mind what he was going to do.

Without hesitation, the man asks for the chips and also orders a premium drink for himself while also asking about one of the sandwiches on the menu.

The stewardess hands over the chips, takes the drink order and notifies the man that unfortunately all the sandwiches have already been purchased.

He then asks about a cheese and cracker item on the menu.

She says only the snack items are left, that cheese and cracker item also having been sold out.

She also apologizes stating that the airline company, in attempting to reduce the amount of food items that go unpurchased, limits the amount of menu items on any given flight.

People sitting in the back of the plane sometimes have a limited selection to choose from since some items are sold out by the time the cart arrives to the back of the plane..

She suggests contacting corporate if this is an inconvenience.

The man, half jokingly, asks if he can be recompensed in some fashion for this inconvenience.

She says she usually does not comply with such requests, but obliges with a smile and says the drink will be free.

The man happily thanks her, surprised that his request was positively answered.

Moments later, she realizes the purchased snack bag was for the child and asks if the child is his.

He says no, but that the snack was what the child wanted and so he complied.

She then exclaims that the act of kindness was very nice of him, adding that she would like to offer him the drink for free.

When the other flight attendants arrive, she loudly expresses her joy from the small act of kindness the man had offered the boy.

It seems the flight attendants also noticed the man had given his window seat to the little boy.

After a few more words of praise from the stewardess who had taken the order, she promises to grant more items, complimentary, in response to the kindness.

By now the man is very surprised, looks humbled and seems a bit embarrassed, not expecting and quite shocked at such a response and flood of gifts from the stewardess.

He thanks the stewardess for her kindness.

She brings the man several more premium drinks, two more snack items from the menu (one of which he requests the boy to receive), and the gentleman sitting in the isle seat also receives several premium drinks and a snack box.

The entire row is quite happy and content.

One of the stewardesses, the one who was called over when the man asked to trade seats with the boy's relative, stops by to ask if the man has children of his own, to which he replies “not yet”.

She smiles and continues on her way.

After some time, the man sitting in the middle seat asks the man sitting in the isle seat for an opportunity to make his way past him so he can use the lavatory.

The stewardess who asked the question about having children of his own, seemingly impressed with the man, asks to speak to him when he is up walking to use the washroom.

She calls him aside, asks him where he is from and introduces herself.

But this man is a married man, faithful to his God and also to his queen; his wife.

His response is overheard by the stewardess who asked if the boy was his child.

The man's response was brief and courteous, yet plain and professional... and he quickly says “nice to meet you” and makes his exit.

The interested stewardess did not seem too excited after hearing such a brief response from the man that didn't reciprocate her enthusiasm and interest.

In the man's heart, the man is realizing how, what seems to him as a simple and seemingly insignificant act of kindness, can bring his Father much glory in ways he couldn't initially understand.

He also realizes how such acts, while surprisingly may beckon praise from strangers, can easily cause a man's pride and arrogance to cloud his better judgment.

The man understands he did not 'do' any 'good thing' in order to win anyone's praises or admiration, but simply followed what his heart was guiding him to do.

The man quietly returns to his seat after using the restroom.

The man sits in his middle seat, praising the Lord in his heart while also praying for all people around him once again.

After a short while, two gentlemen sitting next to each other, begin a conversation that weaves in and out of politics, religion, war, culture, self perceptions and self denials.

The four hour flight-time dissipates into mere moments as a new friendship is struck between these two prior strangers.

The boy had fallen asleep for the rest of the flight.

21 September 2016

Love Is Witnessed And Realized

Matthew 5: 44

The lessons of life one can learn while listening and letting someone speak... are priceless!

I recently met a man who shared some of his travel experiences with me.

He mentioned meeting the head of local government in a country identifying wholly as Muslim.

This government chief had heard that a white Christian man was in the area visiting orphanages, and desired to meet with him.

This man says the first words from the chief was “You and I are supposed to hate each other.”

The man responds “Why?”

“You are a Christian and I am a Muslim. Aren't you here to tell us that we are wrong?”

“No.”

The next three hours between the man and the chief were spent building a dialogue on many different subjects resolving to a better understanding where none previously existed.

The chief had never met a 'white' person, nor a Christian, before.

The likenesses that the two shared helped bridge the gap of perceived unreconcilable differences.

The man also shared how his local driver, whom he spent several days chatting with as they traveled to different places throughout the country, was moved by their conversations and the man's activities.

At the end of the visit, the driver exclaims “I have learned that I can love Jesus and also love Muhammad.”

The man and myself further discussed inter-belief dialogue and how previously held misperceptions can be corrected through love, patience and the effort in finding similarities between parties.

The driver also mentioned that his wife was part of a an Al-Qaida sect of Islam, and that mentioning some of the conversations with the man would be problematic.

The man eventually met the driver's wife, and he mentions seeing her visibly having a challenge when meeting him.

There were many lessons the man learned from the driver, the chief and the visit overall.

I mentioned how easily we, as human beings, are sometimes taught certain things which would cause us to prejudge others, having us arrive at ill-conceived conclusions and hampering our learning.

I mentioned how children can be taught to mistrust, dislike or be suspicious of identities or people having different views than theirs... and these ideas are perpetuated for generations.

All that we as human beings know are things taught, and thus learned, but is dislike or hate inherent in a child's mind or heart?

Hate is taught and learned.

Love can also be taught and learned... and love triumphs over all things.

Love breaks through ideological strongholds, fear and perpetuated hate of others.

Why and how is this possible?

Because God is love.

20 September 2016

Learning Cool, Ignorance Expensive

1st Day Of Shcool

Has public school been a good thing, bad thing, or has it made no difference at all?

The answer would depend on who is asked.

The conspiracy theorist will run off a list of ills produced by government sponsored public schools.

I used to see through this paradigm, quite ignorantly and arrogantly as some of my past writings may reveal.

Schooling, or 'education' being a clearer term, used to only be afforded to the wealthiest people or to those who had the time and resources available to teach their children.

Learning a trade, or a skill, has always been one form of education, but the education would usually begin and end there.

Learning how to write, for example, was a valuable commodity in what eventually became the modern cultures of today.

Only a certain class read books and penned letters to one another.

Verbal communication becomes second nature, yet to convey the intricacies of verbal speech into words is a difficult thing to teach when both parents are illiterate.

Vocations have opened up to many more people than only those who, according to familial descent or apprenticeship, would have opportunity to participate in a specific market or trade.

When looking at ancient structures, the skill-set to produce enormous geometrically intricate buildings was not conceived by illiterate peasants.

It was, most likely, the illiterate peasants who built the structures, their only commodity being their bodies (labor).

Yet, right now at the tip of your fingers are the 'secrets' to building such structures... as well as entrance to countless libraries full of books that can teach you what only a small segment of society throughout time had opportunity to read, let alone discover and learn.

Public libraries are not found in all places on earth, but where they are found, those who can read have little excuse for their lack of know-how.

And where no actual building exists, where there is internet access there is a wealth of knowledge awaiting the eager and diligent mind.

Public education has realized its intended aim: to broaden the market's reach, to engage a population's workforce and develop a thriving culture that meets its own wants and desires.

The educating of the public has brought us all closer, teaching us the ability to communicate with each other, to understand our collective past, and to hopefully learn how to love one another as no other time in history has realized.

19 September 2016

Take Comfort: You Are Loved Deeply

Isaiah 43: 4

I occasionally find inspiration in what I see on my walks around town.

I take pictures of images that spark thought and reflection.

The image I included with this blog post speaks volumes to the reality of the world around us.

What do you see?

Concrete, sand, and a sprouting plant, right?

What else do you see?

I see yet another a lesson; another teaching to contemplate.

Have you noticed how creation, in due time, triumphs over what mankind makes with their hands?

The world in which we are but transient creatures eventually takes back what we've done with it.

That concrete will eventually return to a mix of sand, limestone, shells, chalk, shale, clay, slate, iron ore and slag.

In due time, that sprout will eventually grow and break that hard concrete into pieces.

Isn't this how our life is also?

When tough times come, doesn't our resilience and resolve help us break the things that bind?

The world is a beautiful place, yet it does have its share of evil, darkness, cold hearts and wicked minds.

If parts of the world, and some of the people around us, are like that slab of concrete and we are that seemingly weak and fragile sprout... what will come of the man and woman who perseveres?

They shall triumph over what seems to now be strong and overpowering.

They shall break what seems impenetrable and brutal.

They shall grow strong and turn what is currently a slab into fertile ground for God's faithful.
When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way, 
   He causes their enemies to make peace with them. 
- Proverbs 16: 7
How is the sprout to deal with the hard slabs of people's hearts around them?

Do we become like them?

Do we respond as they would deal with us?

Behold, there are many ways that we are tempted to deal with others... and then there is the Way that God has ordained for us, the Way written and traced by His hand.

Patiently await what He will bring forth for His faithful:
Their rulers will be thrown down from the cliffs, 
   and the wicked will learn that my words were well spoken. 
They will say, “As one plows and breaks up the earth, 
   so our bones have been scattered at the mouth of the grave.” 
But my eyes are fixed on you, Sovereign Lord; 
   in you I take refuge—do not give me over to death. 
Keep me safe from the traps set by evildoers, 
   from the snares they have laid for me. 
Let the wicked fall into their own nets, 
   while I pass by in safety. 
- Psalm 141: 6-10

15 September 2016

Remember to Remember

Isaiah 8: 3a

Emotions are tricky sometimes.

Our emotions can tell us many things about ourselves, providing great lessons.

Emotions can also make us doubt things we may know for and whole-heartedly believe.

An emotion unchecked can cause us harm, even taint a day's experience.

An escaping emotion can cause the recovering addict to fall back into a destructive habit.

A deceptive emotion can prompt a forbidden contact to someone from the past.

Are all emotions negative triggers?

Not at all.

Seeing or hearing something that inspires a good thought, or good deed, is obviously a good emotion.

Seeing kindness said or done to others can spur good words and deeds to be forwarded.

Reading a kind or thoughtful message can plant a seed of positive, loving and warm emotions that can pay dividends forever.

If we have a solid foundation distinguishing what is right from what is wrong, we can reflect the emotion against this foundation.

Yet even the best list of 'do's' and 'do not's' do not always clear a mind engulfed in an emotional storm.

The list is clear, the law is perfect, and the message is true, but a murky emotion sparks the struggle.

It is the heart and mind that becomes murky due to a flood of emotion.

So when an acquaintance, friend, colleague or someone you've been reaching out to in love and kindness begins to withdrawal their heart from yours, be careful not to allow your sentiments cause you undue sorrow.

Not all human beings have open hearts ready to commune; to share their innermost pains, desires, hopes and fears.

Although all others may shy away from allowing the light to shine bright from their hearts, their reluctance is no excuse for the faithful to hold back, diminish, shrink back and become hardened.

The human being was made to interact with other human beings.

This was the second observation from Above in regards to mankind, the first being that had been created was 'very good'.

Although mankind has all of creation to interact with and enjoy; oceans, lands, animals, plants, etc., mankind finds depth in the obviously cognitive interaction with their fellow man.

I use the term 'obviously' regarding deep interactions because the human being is physical and can cognitively understand other human interactions most clearly, as a reflection of one's heart, soul and mind.

What is not always clear, and dependent on several factors, is the interaction and the depth, between man and God.

Yet this chasm of cognitive dissonance was bridged by Immanuel, who is proclaimed to be Yeshua the Christ.

The closest any human being will ever come to understanding, knowing, sensing, seeing and embracing the Almighty God, is in the Messiah.

Although a faithful man on a journey, who may at times feel alone and without partner or helper, and the feelings of loneliness may overwhelm... his mind and heart reminds him that he is not truly alone since God lives within him by His Holy Spirit.

His cognitive sense, dependent at times on the physical world and his personal experience, may be overwhelmingly challenged by the emotions of this world's coldness, its rejection and pessimism to love.

But what he has realized through private experience can never be forgotten.

For the individual who has spoken with God, not only 'to' God as most do in prayer, but in clear conversation with the Creator of heaven and earth, the Way the Truth and the Life, the same manner as we read past patriarchs, prophets, kings, priests and disciples have, all of the faithful can rest assure when emotions arise in them.

The faithful are reminded by the list, law and testimonies that their Father in heaven views them as very dear to Him, loved by Him.

The Father asks the faithful to be patient when afflicted by either emotion, doubt or disappointment.

The Father asks the faithful to remember they are not alone; for He is your Rock and Strength.

The Father reminds His faithful that they live in His heart.

Praise His Holy Name all you saints!

12 September 2016

Advocate of Love, Unity & Mystery


“If you love Me, keep My commands. 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. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see Me anymore, but you will see Me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I Am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I Am in you. Whoever has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me. The one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love them and show Myself to them.” 
- John 14: 15-21
- “keep My commands”

Who is Yeshua to make or give commands?

Is not God the only One who can make commands / eternal laws?

- “He [the Father] will give 'another' advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth”

Why does Yeshua say the Father will give “another advocate”?

Does this imply that Yeshua is also an advocate, or perhaps the first or previous advocate?

- “be with you forever”

Will the advocate exist only temporary?

How long was Yeshua's physical presence on earth?

- “the Spirit of truth”

Why is the advocate termed 'the Spirit of truth'?

Who proclaimed 'I Am the Truth'?

Could the advocate then be the Spirit of whomever proclaimed that statement?

- “the world cannot accept Him [the advocate], because it neither sees Him nor knows Him”

Why can't the world “accept” the advocate?

Why would the advocate be unacceptable to the world?

- “it [the world] neither sees Him nor knows Him”

Is the advocate visible?

Is the advocate perceivable?

Why will the world not “know” the advocate?

Is the advocate not understandable?

Is the advocate familiar to the world?

- “you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you”

How do the disciples know the advocate?

How does the advocate live with the disciples?

How will the advocate be 'in' the disciples?

- “I will not leave you as orphans; I will return to you”

Throughout the Gospel Yeshua repeatedly tells the disciples He will die and leave them, so why does He say He won't leave them as orphans?

How do you suppose Yeshua promises to return to them?

- “the world will not see Me anymore, but you will see Me”

How can only the disciples 'see' Yeshua after He is physically gone?

How do you suppose it will be possible for the disciples to see Yeshua when the other advocate arrives?

- “Because I live, you also will live”

Yeshua predicted He would rise from the dead; how will the disciples also live?

- “On that day you will realize that I Am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I Am in you”

In which way does Yeshua promise the disciples they will realize that Yeshua is in the Father, they are in Yeshua and Yeshua is in them?

- “Whoever has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me”

Is having Yeshua's commands enough, like 'knowing' what they are?

What does it mean to 'keep' a command?

How does a child 'love' a parent aside from telling the parent 'I love you'?

In a parent-child relationship, is obedience also like love?

09 September 2016

Rule The Law


When reflecting on past events from our lives, do we desire to imitate or repeat certain things?

Sure, the good things of course!

How about the not so good things, or the tough lessons?

That time you learned how 'not' to respond to an elder, a superior, or a loved one.

The negative experience, the fallout, or the consequences taught you a lesson, although you may have already 'known' what not to do.

You may have heard from parents or elsewhere that you should speak kindly, or respectfully, or not with angst or in a foul way to another person.

The aftermath brought forth the lesson and made the unwritten rule, or what you heard / read, real.

The experience completed your wonder if such a 'rule' or 'law' or 'do not do' was relevant or applied to you.

Regarding the manner one person speaks to another, it seems dependent on one's character, and perhaps how one may perceive themselves in terms of temporal power or relative wealth.

Depending on several factors, like what caused the verbal interaction, or what the self thinks of themselves, one's speech towards others may be different if the recipient of a verbal lashing has some influence or leverage over you.

This is not to say every wealthy or powerful person speaks harshly to others, whether those others are subordinates or even their own mother.

Same can be said about a very poor person; not every poor person is kind, respectful or humble.

We grow up with rules and laws of all kinds, many unwritten but otherwise verbalized or very much imbedded on our conscience.

Imagine a world without the rule of law.

Depending on your individual upbringing, you can perhaps appreciate rules growing up, or perhaps would have wished there may have been more rules.

Maybe it isn't the presence of 'rules' that creates order, but obedience and adherence to rules.

Imitation and example has much to do regarding obedience to rules.

Parents / guardians who do not adhere to their own rules, or the unwritten rules found on our hearts and conscience, shouldn't be surprised when their children disobey or fail to adhere to their or society's rules.

Every year thousands of new rules / laws are published and enacted in the U.S..

Do more rules make for a more ordered society?

Some would say that America has turned a dark certain corner, although laws are plenty.

Some would argue it is the social leadership, either in business or politics, that is a major contributor to some problems.

Others may add or point to social norms being rewritten, naturalizing the unnatural.

This isn't to say that yesterday, or yesteryear, was 'better' or more 'righteous' than the present time.

But perhaps the desire to widely publicize and present what used to be considered obscene or obscure is another factor.

Some people seem to flow with the climate change of ethical and moral swings.

Others do not fall for the changing winds and have a strong, even militant response.

Still others are not swayed, but adapt to the social changes in terms of loving humanity despite obvious depravity, yet keeping themselves and their homes in order no matter what happens outside the front door.

Have you noticed that although you may not know all the thousands upon thousands of rules in politics, or city ordinances, or religious groups, you somehow have a decent idea between what is right from wrong?

How does this come about?

Some rules, and thus lessons, are eternal.

As a child, you may have been warned to never touch a flame, or put your hand into fire, or something similar.

Some of us did it anyway, testing the authority, wondering if it wasn't as bad as the warnings stated it was.

Now as an adult, you don't repeat to yourself the rule of not touching fire.

Why?

You already know and understand the consequences, the pain, and the further issues that may come about.

But the moment you have a child, what are the chances you will repeat the advice, or command, to your children regarding fire?

Rules always apply, but rules don't always adequately address contemporary issues.

If we would always start and finish with the golden rule, the eternal law of love; to love others, even to love one's enemies, then the mountain of other rules, laws, religious or otherwise, could be not only easily understood, but adequately obeyed.

07 September 2016

What Is Good?

Ephesians 6: 17

Many men have justified their atrocities, wickedness and evil deeds using religion as a tool.

No religion has been immune of such efforts.

This blog post is not to promote any single religious view, per-say, but to clearly identify a point in time where justification for harm, violence, killing and strife in general, was ceased.

The effort to cease violence is not achieved so much by an adherence to any particular religious creed (although this can be perceived), but by a self-denial of one's human nature (one's natural instinct) to take revenge, or return harm for harm done.

This self-denial is not according to men, but according to God.

There is a great distinction between a righteousness according to God's salvation, and between religious obedience to rules and allowances having been developed over time by men in a hope to achieve 'righteousness' and 'perfect' their religion.

God's righteousness does not = religion's righteousness.

God is not religion, although people confuse these two terms / ideas / realities all the time.

Some people believe following a particular religion develops righteousness in the self.

Within Christianity, doctrines have been developed to justify war and revenge, yet Christ never taught, allowed or justified war, revenge or violence.

A sad contradiction.

Where is such a teaching justifying violence or war found in the Gospel or letters or early apostolic tradition?

It does not exist.

What does exist is the point in time peace entered the world and some people having been saved into this peace.

That point in time where revenge (eye for an eye) and violence had ceased was when Christ fulfilled the Mosaic law and the prior covenant at the cross.

A new paradigm was introduced: the kingdom of heaven and of God.

From the cross forward, according to the testimony of the Gospel and the early generations of the faithful in Christ, blessings were the response to curses, love and forgiveness the response to harm done.

This teaching of peace is evident throughout the entirety of the Gospel, the letters to the early churches, the traditions of the Apostles, and the first generations of the church.

Secular history reflects this reality in the early generations of Christ followers.

The generation of peace in the kingdom of God still exists Today, but just like the kingdom of God is unseen, the peaceful are not easily perceived by the human eye when looking at religions.

The Way historically came into contention when the church realized temporal power at the time the Roman state and the church were conflated in the 4th century.

Yet, this contention did not cause the faithful to waiver in their continued walk with God in peace and full faith of His salvation for them, even to the point of death and loss of position and property.

Initially the state capitulated to the faith.

The faith triumphed over the secular empire, not by force or in a battle between flesh and blood.

Yet sadly in due time, the secular temptations infiltrated the offices of the church and compromised the righteousness established by Christ.

Historically, the battle within church administration began to waver and favor political issues over the righteousness established and exemplified by Christ.

Church history throughout the regions the faith had reached shows an ebb and flow ever since, with some leadership returning to love, while other leaders falling away from love and resembling mere tyrants (no difference from the secular states the faith had absorbed).

But did God's kingdom fail?

Or did men simply continue in disobedience or weakness despite examples of faithfulness and righteousness being ever-present in individuals?

The faith continues to convert individuals throughout the known world Today, not by force, but by love, service and example.

The internal struggle to be righteous before God and before men is an individual battle (similar to the spiritual definition of Islam's term "jihad"), then as is now, being exemplified on a world stage for some, and hidden away in the personal lives of others who understand that God sees all the matters of the heart and mind.

How does this righteousness read?

Romans chapter 12 defines this righteousness.

What did the Author of this definitive righteousness have to say regarding the Way, the 'Straight Path'?
“If anyone hears My words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. There is a Judge for the one who rejects Me and does not accept My words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the Last Day.” 
- John 12: 47-48
The believer in God, who claims to love God and submit to God, has to choose between obeying:

- their state's laws

- their state's religion

- the interpretation of God's commands according to men's words and teachings

- or the very words taught by the Word of God

Are we to curse our enemies or bless them?

Are we to fight our enemies or love them?

Are we to spill blood for blood having been spilt?

Are we to take revenge for wrongs done towards us or the things we believe in?

According to Christ and His teaching of righteousness; the faithful allow God to be Judge.

But according to some men and their teachings, the kingdom of God, the kingdom of heaven and the teaching of peace is not yet found within them.

Some men continue to teach cursing others in prayer, invoking evil onto their perceived enemies, retribution killing, killing for infidelity or apostasy and, even going so far as to allow for falsehoods to be uttered.

Some men still promote and teach murder (killing) towards their fellow man, who have been created in God's image.

The kingdom of God is still unknown to them.

Peace is still far and away from their hearts, although their religion may be promoted as 'the religion of peace'.

How is peace to be resolved and found within the hearts of men?
Yeshua replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by My Father in heaven.” 
- Matthew 16: 17
Only God can reveal His Truth in the hearts of men; only God can enable a man to realize Truth, so they may believe.
Just then a man came up to Yeshua and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” 
“Why do you ask Me about what is good?” Yeshua replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” 
“Which ones?” he inquired. 
Yeshua replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’” 
“All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?” 
Yeshua answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.” 
When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. 
Then Yeshua said to His disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 
When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” 
Yeshua looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” 
- Matthew 19: 16-26
Only with God can men become righteous.

Only with God can men obey the teachings to not murder and not give false testimony.

Did God change His mind in the 6th century after revealing the Gospel through His Messiah?

Or did men make up for themselves a teaching that is in sharp contradiction to the peace, righteousness and love that was revealed in Yeshua Christ?

What do you think?

What does your heart tell you?

06 September 2016

Taste The Fruit of The Vine

Mark 2: 22

The foundations that God has long ago built, who can clearly identify each one?

Although some would argue what is mentioned in the bible (Old and New Covenant testimonies) is all one needs to know and understand in beginning their journey of walking with God, and I would agree.

Speculation, however, arises from the scholar's approach to things which historians cannot adequately cite outside of their own personal research of connecting the dots.

Prior to opinions being believed, speculation allows for the search of objectivity.

We all have our opinions, and not all of our beliefs stem from fact-based assessments, but from formulated thoughts rendered from the things we do believe in.

Doctrine.

Dogma.

Intrigue.

Interpretation.

Confusion.

Bias.

Pride.

Division.

And where is Truth?

Truth is all around us, seen and unseen.

Truth is not hiding as some would suppose, but simply unclear due to our perspective, prejudice, pride and our pinhead opinions of what other people, cultures, times and histories have to show us.

When a person thinks that Christianity adopted something pagan or 'wrong' from the world in which the faith has sprouted, what has really occurred?

Was the purpose of Christ to turn the world into Hebrews, or religious Jews, or a continuation of animal sacrifice, worshipping in a temple made by man's hands, dressing a particular way and repeating an array of ritual and religious practice?

Was not Christ's purpose to turn the world into Hebrews / Jews internally?

Isn't this what has happened, although the untrained eye and heart may not perceive it?

But to those called heavenward, what do we in fact see?
“The days are coming,” declares the I Am, 
   “when I will make a new covenant 
      with the people of Israel 
   and with the people of Judah. 
It will not be like the covenant 
   I made with their ancestors 
     when I took them by the hand 
   to lead them out of Egypt, 
because they broke my covenant, 
   though I was a husband to them,” 
                                                          declares the I Am. 
“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel 
   after that time,” declares the I Am. 
      “I will put My law in their minds 
   and write it on their hearts. 
I will be their God, 
   and they will be My people. 
      No longer will they teach their neighbor, 
   or say to one another, ‘Know the I Am,’ 
because they will all know Me, 
   from the least of them to the greatest,” 
                                                             declares the I Am. 
“For I will forgive their wickedness 
   and will remember their sins no more.” 
- Jeremiah 31: 31-34
The old has truly gone... and the new has surely come!

Praise be forever to His Holy Name.

Praise the Name revealed from heaven, into which all men shall be saved!

04 September 2016

Prejudiced Rhetorical Questions

2 Corinthians 2: 17

What does a Christian look like?

Are they as obvious looking as a Muslim in traditional religious clothes?

Does a Christian resemble a Buddhist monk and what monks wear?

Do Christians only wear a certain type of clothing, like a traditional Muslim or a Buddhist?

What about ethnicity?

Is a Christian only from a certain ethnic group, or only from where Christianity was or is or has been traditionally the state religion?

Are Roman Catholics only Italians?

Are Presbyterians only English?

Are Baptists only white or black southerners?

What do Muslims or Buddhists or Atheists look like?

Isn't the commonality, and what should always be stressed, is that Christians, despite their external and doctrinal differences, proclaim Yeshua to be Lord?

Does that proclamation hold significant weight in only one way or various ways?

Could that proclamation be the last thing said prior to one's head being chopped off?

Could it also be the good confession of someone who has come to believe Yeshua is their Lord, and are about to be baptized into His Holy Name?

Doesn't it also mean so much more?

But again, do we see Christians only dressed in certain clothes?

Do we not see the clergy of certain Christian groups and other smaller Christianity-based groups dressed in uniforms?

Do 'the clothes make the man' as that saying goes?

Are people righteous, or 'good' according to what they wear?

If I wear white the rest of my life, is that some guarantee of my inner righteousness or a guarantee of my passage into heaven?

How about if I perform certain rituals perfectly yet still live a wicked life?

Can such rituals 'save' me although I still continue in perversion, murderous strife, the hating of people I do not even know, and judging others according to their heritage, their religion and to what I perceive from them?

Do some people actually believe they can enter heaven if they do such things?

Is God like our human nature, hating and fighting within as well as without?

Or are we trying to be like God in how we treat and speak to others?

Does God want us to be like Him or only like ourselves?

What is the example of God for mankind?

Is it a man who denied the idea of a God and instead sat around speaking thoughtful poems while accepting handouts so he can survive?

Is it a man who drew blood and forced people into either financial submission or into converting to his brand of religion, one whose tomb we can visit in the desert?

Or is it a man who taught love no matter what others do to you and, is believed to not only have predicted His death, but is believed to have also risen from the dead and went back to whence He came?

Is it ourselves and what we perceive as right from wrong?

Do you think some argue yes?

Isn't this quite remarkable and interesting and odd?

But do we who have tasted the fruit from Above know that the external realities do not equal the internal revelations?

So did the message of Yeshua Christ demand that people change their outward appearance over what goes on in their hearts and minds?

Did the Gospel message demand that certain rituals and rites be done only on certain days, only by certain people, or that prayer was a systematic public effort to be mimicked by all others?

Did Christianity start out as the depiction it is in later history, with inquisitions and burnings at the stake?

If not, why do people blame God or the Gospel for such atrocities of men who obviously were wrong and wickedly wayward?

Did the Gospel teach others to kill those who opposed its message?

Did Yeshua teach to strike down those who ridiculed Him or the Gospel message?

If one were to read the Gospel message, doesn't something quite uncommon to mankind (mankind's fleshly reaction to man) been revealed?

Can logic answer the literal interpretation of the Gospel message?

Doesn't man's logic fail to completely encapsulate the understanding that asks one to see past the physical world and perceive the unseen?

Are spiritual realities logically perceivable by man's logic and cognition when man desires observable proofs to evidence the spirit world?

If not, then why do men demand physical proofs of the spiritual world?

Isn't that an illogical demand when the spirit isn't a logical cognition?