Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Boring


The secret of being a bore is to tell everything. Voltaire

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Temptation of Christ

“And He Showed Him all the Kingdoms of the World and Their Splendor”

The Diablos takes Jesus to a very high mountain and shows him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. He tells him it will all be handed over if Jesus simply falls down before him.

Jesus’ mission is to restore the creation. I don’t believe he was tempted by power, but by his sincere hearts desire for the good of the world. This would have been an easy way to restore it. Yet it would force him to disobey God in another matter. This is where the fault lies.

I believe America has been taken atop of a very high mountain and shown all the kingdoms of the World. We have a sincere desire to see the world liberated. Perhaps this is even a godly ideal. Yet by what means will we attempt to bring about that liberation?

From Mirror Mirror


i found this quote as i was going through some old files. It's from the book "Mirror, Mirror":

“You are bitten with the usual human rage of wanting,” replied the dwarf, munching on a bone that looked unsettlingly like a human digit.

“Nonetheless,” she said, “I am a human, or used to be, and I don’t see any shame in it. I want to see the place I come from.”

“Don’t we give you all that you need?”

“I have clothes, I have a book of devotions to read and a small Spanish guitar to play. I have food of exactly the equality and variety I can imagine but no finer, nothing to delight me by its novelty. If I am to be restricted to the apprehension of anything I’ve known in my previous life, then let it at least include memory. I want to see Montefiore again.”

“Aren’t you happy here?” asked the dwarf, a bit morosely. And then more slyly, “Were you ever happy there?”

“I was something there,” she said. “Aware of something sad, but real. Living on the forward edge of any ordinary day. Things happened. I don’t know how to answer your question about happiness. Happiness doesn’t signify. Can you give me what I ask?

…He walked to the middle of the room and said, “Were you to get what you want, poor thing, you wouldn’t want it. Isn’t the wanting richer?”

“I don’t know what is richer,” she said. “It’s not a question that interests me.”

Sunday, February 10, 2008

"Yes, We Can"

The Dol brought this Obama "Yes We Can" Video to my attention. My wife and i watched it and both came close to tears. It's very moving. Still i was reluctant to post it because i'm not much of a nationalist. i am for all countries and all people. i don't believe America to be a Christian nation, nor do i think it should be. Though i wish that all people, everywhere would love and serve God.

i like Obama. At the same time i don't believe this country and the Kingdom of God have much to do with each other. My faith effects my politics, but my politics don't effect my faith. i have no allegiance to any politician or political party. The Kingdom of God knows no borders and it's not limited to any one people group.

That being said, i like this guy. Though he does not stir my faith, he does kindle my patriotism...and i think that's something a president should do.




By Comparison:

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Conservative?

I do not know which makes a man more conservative—to know nothing but the present, or nothing but the past.
- John Maynard Keynes

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Making Christian - Nation Two Separate Words

Just before memorial day last year a gentleman in the congregation reminded me that there were many among us who served in the armed forces and that it would be nice to do a little something to remember them. In other words, "make sure have all the servicemen stand up and say a good word about their sacrifice for our country."

i appreciate our servicemen and the awful price that was paid for our freedom. At the same time i'm not very nationalistic. i see America as being one nation among many. Most of all, i see the Kingdom of God as the only kingdom i'm seeking to advance. i don't believe God has favorites, and i do believe my kinship to my Arab brother in Iraq, sealed through like faith, is more binding than any nationally based relationships i may have.

i like Obama. i vote. Yet i am not filled with hope for this nation. i do not like that the American flag stands at the front of our Church, just across from the Christian flag. i'd feel differently if there were flags of other nations there as well.

i don't like recognizing military service in a church service either and this year something will have to change. i feel as though i compromised my values last year and i don't think i have the strength to do it again.

May God restore the souls of all those lost due to war, famine, persecution, and turmoil; from every tribe, tongue, and nation.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Pagan Christianity

i was at Barnes & Noble the other day when i happened upon a book called "Pagan Christianity" by Frank Viola and George Barna. The book explores the roots of modern day church practices and governance. In short, through biblical and historical research it puts forth a case that our Sunday morning gatherings are based on pagan origins and practices.

i haven't read the whole book yet, but the couple chapters i read shook me to the core. Is the modern version of a "Pastor" really biblical or is it more in line with the rhetorical philosophers of old? How has having paid professionals actually weakened the Church, creating spectators rather than active agents for change? Are we neglecting our calling to care for the poor and marginalized by spending the tithe on buildings and salaries? Why do the vast majority of Christians prefer it this way?

Anyhow, when i get the book i'll likely do a chapter by chapter synopsis of it. Until then, check it out for yourself.

i think the book offends both paid clergy and the parishioner, equally challenging the modern day practices of both.

Inheritance?

If you knew of a way to use your estate, following your death, to greatly benefit humanity, would you do it and leave only a minimal amount to your family?
-from the Book of Questions