Category Archives: Bible

Love stands

build loveHuman organizations are built with prejudices; the fewer the prejudices, the stronger the organization.

Marriages are built with prejudices; the fewer the prejudices, the stronger the marriage.

Prejudices become outdated and are oftentimes replaced with new prejudices or a different quality of material such as fear or courage. Depending on the elements used, the structure stands or falls.

The Tower of Babel was built with a prejudice for homogeny. Everyone was to speak the same language, look the same, and act the same. It fell. (Genesis 11)

The Temple of King Solomon was built with spiritual obedience and pride of power. It eventually fell. (II Chron. 3)

The religion of love was built by prophets and sages and the common people. It still stands. The religion of Love has been through rocky times, hell and high water. But it still stands. I see and feel love, not built with hands, but by what I call God.

Genesis 1:31 (ESV)

“And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.”

 

 

 

 

 

June 18, 2014

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I Kings 10:1-9 (NIV)*

When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relationship to the Lord, she came to test Solomon with hard questions. Arriving at Jerusalem with a very great caravan—with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones—she came to Solomon and talked with him about all that she had on her mind. Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her. When the queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon and the palace he had built, the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, his cupbearers, and the burnt offerings he made at the temple of the Lord, she was overwhelmed.

She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true. But I did not believe these things until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half was told me; in wisdom and wealth you have far exceeded the report I heard. How happy your people must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, he has made you king to maintain justice and righteousness.”

Prov. 15:12-13

Mockers resent correction,
so they avoid the wise.

13 A happy heart makes the face cheerful,
but heartache crushes the spirit.

14 The discerning heart seeks knowledge,

Matt. 5: 1-11

Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.

He said:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

From 21st Century Science and Health*

Love is the source of might, immortality, and goodness, which shine through all as the blossom shines through the bud. God’s ideas are simple, yet great, and through a sharing process these ideas are strengthened, and found to be interconnected, as they have the same Principle, or Parent. Happy is the person who sees the need of others and supplies it, seeking his or her own supply in someone else’s good. All the diverse expressions of God reflect health, holiness, immortality—infinite Life, Truth, and Love.

Human belief is a liar from the beginning, not deserving power. It says to human beings, “You are disgusting!” and they think they are. Nothing can change this state, until the mindset changes. Mortal belief says, “You are happy!” and human beings are; and no circumstance can alter the situation, until the thinking on this subject changes. Human belief says to mortals, “You are sick!” and this assertion manifests itself on the body as sickness. A change in either a health-belief or a belief in sickness affects the physical condition. Bear in mind, it is as necessary for a health-illusion, as for an illusion of sickness, to be instructed out of itself into the spiritual understanding of what constitutes health.

Evil is conspicuously broadcast today, showing off itself in consumerism, materialism, and sensualism. Evil is struggling against the advancing spiritual era. The world may lack spirituality, and people may not be able to keep a promise or make a home happy, but human minds are demanding spiritual understanding and a reformed attitude.

As with any reform, a transition period will be felt. Transition periods are often unsettling and undesirable, however, why buck the trend when the reform compels us to find permanence and peace in a more spiritual devotion?

In his book, Survival in the Killing Fields,[1] Haing Ngor, survivor of the Khmer Rouge regime, acknowledges the special trust between he and his wife, which did not include quibbling. Hard feelings are avoided when spouses use common sense, have respect for one another, and do not become extravagant or lazy. Having money and possessions may remove some barriers to a happy marriage, but nothing can replace the loving care in a union.

Teaching children, at the earliest stages possible, the realities of health and holiness is extremely beneficial. Children are more tractable than adults, and learn more readily to love the simple truths that will make them happy and good. Children can learn that obedience to parents and guardians promotes self-control. Disobedience blights.

Truth’s immortal idea is hovering over the centuries, gathering beneath its wings the sick and sinning. My weary hope tries to realize that happy day when human beings will recognize the Science of Christ, Truth, and love their neighbor as themselves. I hope you realize God’s omnipotence and the healing power of divine Love, and what it does for humankind. The promises will be fulfilled. The time for the reappearing of the divine healing is throughout all time.

* Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com Text from 21st Century Science and Health, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

 

 

[1] Haing Ngor, with Roger Warner, Survival in the Killing Fields. (New York, NY: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2003)

Hurry, hurry, hurry, or not

With winter finally behind us, it’s a beautiful day here in upstate New York. We all had a good laugh when our neighbor said, “We better hurry and enjoy the day because winter will return soon.”

I catch myself hurrying more often than I’d like to admit.

But, when I do catch myself, I ask, “Is this an appropriate time to hurry?”

Hurrying isn’t terrible. We read in Luke 19:5, “And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.’” (ESV)

But, hurrying sometimes isn’t the best. Things get spilled or forgotten. We cut someone off. Or, we forget to take a nap.

Blogger, Cierra Cotton wrote about the importance of resting and being still in this hurried world, saying, “Resting is Biblical. I mean look at God, even He rested on the 7th day. If God who is Sovereign and all powerful took a day to rest than that means I definitely need to sit my tail down and rest. I’m learning to take time as I go throughout my day for “rest breaks.” Even if it’s just 5 minutes to take a deep breath, be still, and acknowledge God’s presence. Just to thank for all that He’s done so far and ask Him to give me strength to continue on with my day.”

I’ve also realized that the sheer act of slowing down to a normal pace, can be restful.

 

A paradox on the farm

Glenanore Farms raises meat goats.

When talking with the owners about farming goats, we couldn’t help but take pause when we came face to face with a paradox.

Most animal farmers, certainly here in upstate New York, put their heart and soul into raising their livestock. If a mother refuses a baby, the farmer will nurse it to life by bottle feeding. When an animal becomes weak, extra measures are taken to restore its health. The farmers always give their four-legged charges the best care, food, and water.

“Then we kill and process the animals for meat,” said the owner.

Mike Noonan with Glenanore Farms Boer Goats 2 cropped

May 21, 2014

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Jer. 31: 27-29 (The Message)*

“Be ready. The time’s coming”—God’s Decree—“when I will plant people and animals in Israel and Judah, just as a farmer plants seed. And in the same way that earlier I relentlessly pulled up and tore down, took apart and demolished, so now I am sticking with them as they start over, building and planting.

“When that time comes you won’t hear the old proverb anymore,

Parents ate the green apples,
their children got the stomachache.

Lev. 20:22-26 (ESV)*

 “You shall therefore keep all my statutes and all my rules and do them, that the land where I am bringing you to live may not vomit you out. And you shall not walk in the customs of the nation that I am driving out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I detested them. But I have said to you, ‘You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey.’ I am the Lord your God, who has separated you from the peoples. You shall therefore separate the clean beast from the unclean, and the unclean bird from the clean. You shall not make yourselves detestable by beast or by bird or by anything with which the ground crawls, which I have set apart for you to hold unclean. You shall be holy to me, for I the Lord am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine.

Heb. 11:1-10

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.

From 21st Century Science and Health*

Genetics is a prolific subject for human belief to attach theories to; but if we learn that nothing is real but the right, we shall have no dangerous inheritances and fleshly ills will disappear. It would be impossible to transmit disease or certain human traits if this great fact of being was learned—namely, that nothing inharmonious can enter being, for Life is God.

In proportion to our understanding of Christian Science, we are freed from the suggestions of physical inheritance or mind in matter.

Physical existence and human minds are enigmas. Every day is a mystery. The physical senses can’t tell us of what is real or what is delusive, whereas the revelations of divine Science unlock the treasures of Truth.

Human mind, acting from the basis of sensation in matter, is susceptible to suggestions. This so-called mind from which comes all evil, contradicts itself, and must finally yield to the eternal Truth, or the divine Mind, as expressed in Science.

There is but one Spirit. We are never God. Our spirituality is made in the likeness of Spirit. We reflect God. In this scientific reflection, the Ego and the divine Parent are inseparable.

Happiness is won as good has ascendency over evil and the spiritual over the animal. The attainment of this spiritual condition improves our progeny, diminishes crime, and gives higher aims to ambition. Every valley of materialism must be exalted and every mountain of selfishness must be brought low, that the highway of our God may be prepared in Science. The offspring of heavenly-minded parents inherit more intellect, better balanced minds, and more reliable health.

Life demonstrates Life. Person reflects Life, Soul. The immortality of Soul makes person immortal. If God, who is Life, were parted for a moment from person, during that moment there would be no divinity reflected. The Ego would be unexpressed, and the Parent would be childless—not a Parent.

God, the divine Principle of our spirituality, and person in Mind’s likeness are inseparable, harmonious, and undying. God is the parent Mind, and God’s children are spiritual offspring.

 

*The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. ESV® Text Edition: 2011. Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Text from 21st Century Science and Health, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

Diversity within Christianity

Here in the United States, we have the First Amendment to guarantee “free exercise” of religion. That right to practice religion, added to the traditional image of America as a “melting pot,” tallies up to the assumption that the American religious culture is diverse.

But new evidence changes this perception of American culture.

Pew Research Center reports that the “U.S. doesn’t rank high in religious diversity.”

The study measures the world populations who practice mainstream religions of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Folk, Unaffiliated, and other.

Singapore was discovered to be the most diverse religiously. Taiwan, Vietnam, and Suriname follow. The report said, that 95% of American’s fall in two categories: Christian or unaffiliated.

Basically, the U.S. ranks 68th in religious diversity, out of 232 countries. In other words, the U.S. is not diverse as defined by unique religions. We are a bunch of Christians who hold a diverse set of beliefs.

The common notion that accepts Americans as religiously diverse is probably perpetuated by Christians ourselves.

Which is understandable. If your Christianity is being attacked by another Christian, as not in line with Jesus Christ, you don’t take the time to admire the accuser’s beliefs that are similar to yours.

But then, life experience teaches us that intolerance breeds hatred and ignorance and isolation, so we try to hold our tongues.

Moreover, we can open our eyes for a new view of diversity.

The diversity within Christianity stays the human ego from accumulating in numbers and becoming a tyrant.

The diversity within Christianity shows our potential and ability to embrace one another, be grateful for one another, and heal our prejudices and apathy.

The diversity within Christianity expresses the flexibility and charity of said religion.

Surprise birthday cake

Chocolate-Cake-TidyMomOh wow, a surprise birthday party. I can’t believe it.”

“Chocolate cake too?”

“I wasn’t expecting chocolate cake or a party.”

Let’s stop here for a second, and look at this mentally.

Does the cake need to be eaten?

Is eating the cake expected?

Is eating the cake a requirement?

Probably not. Probably. And, no.

Now, exchange cake for pain.

When pain surprises us, do we react with disbelief or nonchalance?

Do we eat up what is served to us, whether it’s in the form of arthritis or plantar fascia?

Basically, self-control and wisdom are impersonal. They apply to cake and pain.

As our expression of self-control and wisdom becomes more secure as we turn down cake, and pain, we don’t need or want.

From Eccl. 11

“Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment. Remove vexation from your heart, and put away pain from your body, for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.”

From 21st Century Science and Health, “If thinking doesn’t shift out of the vicious cycle of believing in a temporal life, life is very disheartening and we feel cursed. Error hides behind a lie and excuses guilt, but can’t be concealed forever. Even the attitude that tries to justify or hide guilt is punished. People who avoid justice and deny truth tend to perpetuate sin, bring on crime, jeopardize self-control, and mock divine mercy.”

Gal. 5

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

 

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