Category Archives: bible truths

Why I can love the sinner but not the sin

“No one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. And then he will plunder his house.”

Mark 3:27 provides a basis for separating the person from the evil. The “strong man” is the devil, a demon, and Christ Jesus cast out demons or evil spirits, leaving behind healed individuals.

The “goods” of evil are depression, jealousy, fear, for examples. Christ is my authority to bound evil and plunder those goods. To bound evil is to immobilize jealousy, fear, and self-doubt. This weakens the devil and strengthens us to clean out our house and experience a freer consciousness.

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In a foreign land?

The prophet Jeremiah points to the benefits of following God from the start, rather than veer off into idolatry and spiritual apathy to be brought back on track through suffering.

Jeremiah warned Judah that Jerusalem and the holy Temple would be destroyed due to their spiritual apathy. The people didn’t heed the warning. The temple was lost and the people were captured and exiled to Babylon.

However, even in captivity, in a foreign land, the Israelites learned they could worship God. Of course, the spiritual apathy had to be overcome and attention given to divine spirit, but it was possible.

If we find ourselves in foreign territory, whether physical or mental, God is with us. Truth is with us. Spirit and love is with us.

Mentally, new ideas come to mind. The ideas may feel foreign, but it’s okay. God is with you, helping you understand the idea.

Jeremiah 30: 18-19

“Thus says the Lord:
Behold, I will restore the fortunes of the tents of Jacob
    and have compassion on his dwellings;
the city shall be rebuilt on its mound,
    and the palace shall stand where it used to be.
19 Out of them shall come songs of thanksgiving,
    and the voices of those who celebrate.

 

Don’t burden others with superficial

Religion has repeatedly cleaned its face after getting dirty by wallowing in creeds and dictates. I just read in the book Acts, when Christ’s disciples reversed the dictate to circumcise.

We have the mind to check our hearts. To purify our intents and image forth love and truth.

Acts 15: 1, 6-8, 13- 19-20

But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”

The apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter. And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, and he made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith.

13 After they finished speaking, James replied, “Brothers, listen to me.

19 Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, 20 but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood.”

Quoting from science & religion to God:

Superficial loyalty is flawed.

Tyranny and arrogance need constantly to be cleaned out of church temples and codes. The vanity of superficial worship needs to be purged. It is more important to welcome the stranger at the church door than to build a fabulous edifice.

Spirituality isn’t in limited supply. It isn’t controlled by a person or organization. The spiritual idea and its healing power can’t be monopolized.

It is with spiritual sense that we discern the heart of infinity.”

This cleansing is happening. I reported on two women, from two different religions, who came together to host an event to provide refugee relief.

Who am I praising?

In Psalms 65 I read about giving praise to God.

I wondered, do I give praise to God? Or to a recipe?

Do I praise Spirit, or rituals?

Do I give praise to divine Mind, or human minds?

Verses 1 through 4 of Psalms 65 reads as follows:

Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion,
    and to you shall vows be performed.
O you who hear prayer,
    to you shall all flesh come.
When iniquities prevail against me,
    you atone for our transgressions.
Blessed is the one you choose and bring near,
    to dwell in your courts!
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,
    the holiness of your temple!

I keep reading and discover promises of wonderful results when praising God:

By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness,
    O God of our salvation,
the hope of all the ends of the earth
    and of the farthest seas;
the one who by his strength established the mountains,
    being girded with might;
who stills the roaring of the seas,
    the roaring of their waves,
    the tumult of the peoples,
so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs.
You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy.

 

 

Recommended book on Angels

“Angles take different forms when they appear. Some say they seem like ordinary people. Others say they could be mistaken for mighty warriors. But a man named Isaiah described the angels he saw as, well, very strange looking indeed.” Angels in the Bible Storybook, by Allia Zobel Nolan

I got this book for myself in the audio version. I listened to it before falling asleep, and enjoyed its simplicity and honesty. It’s written for adults and children.

I ordered a hardback edition to have at our home. We can read it to our granddaughter when she comes to visit. The Storybook is illustrated nicely by Alida Massari.

My book, from science & religion to God, defines angels as God’s messages to us. They are messages of love, forgiveness, strength, purity and progress. We can feel surrounded by angels.

angel book

 

Lion or lying?

We read in I Peter 5:8, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” This knowledge oftentimes leads me to pray for more courage to stand up against the world, as if the world causes my problems. However, when no healing results, I switch out my prayer and stop lying to myself.

I very well could be dealing with my own apathy, not a lion.

I pray for courage to become less apathetic.

It’s the story of Joseph that taught me this lesson. It’s not the story of the personal Joseph, but the story of how he was connected, more specifically to Moses and the Exodus of the children of Israel.

The personal Joseph has been put down as a hero who saved the people of Egypt and Israel. Joseph has also been put down as a villain who enabled a population to be dependent and enslaved.

As far as the Exodus, there is no conclusive historical evidence that it’s massive movement even occurred, but again, I learn my lessons from the bigger picture, the myth of it all, if you will.

Joseph, an Israelite, was sold into slavery as a teenager. In a zig-zag almost unbelievable way, he ended up ruling the land of Egypt for Pharaoh, because he had a dream that there would be seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine.

During this famine time, Joseph’s family was moved to Egypt so they too wouldn’t starve to death. After the famine, Israelites lived with Egyptians. I can only guess that the Egyptians felt relieved the famine was over and the Israelites felt appreciative for being saved. Years passed. Centuries passed.

Maybe resentment crept in, but the Egyptians started feeling impinged upon and began asking the children of Israel to do jobs around the place. I suppose the Israelites could have done the jobs out of appreciation, but it dawned on me that at some point a few of the Israelites probably felt like the Egyptians could do their own work. Bucking the majority of Israelites who wanted to keep the peace, the few went along with working for Egypt.

The asking quickly became demanding and the Israelites became slaves. Resentment or not, apathy to keep the peace played a role in this high action saga. I tell myself, this wasn’t a case of the Egyptians kidnapping the Israelites and enslaving them, it was a case of the Israelites becoming so lethargic, even though their physical bodies were actively at work in the fields, they were so spiritually lazy that they were basically self-enslaved.

By time Moses came on the scene, the Israelites were fully isolated in Egypt. They had no energy or ambition to seek and stand with their God. They were visionless, except one woman who birthed Moses and took extraordinary measures to save him.

It was a lot of rig-a-ma-roll, but Moses grew up and eventually led the people of Israel out of Egypt and the saga continues.

Anyway, if I catch myself following a peaceful routine and even planning my day so that routine remains, I try to snap myself out of the pending apathy. I do not want to use spirituality to make a comfortable mortal life. I do not want to try to use spirituality to preserve a past. There is no such thing as a peaceful mortal life.

Spirituality is powerfully useful to reveal mental and interconnected peace. Our physical situation is peaceful only when those around us are peaceful to an increasing degree also. I can’t isolate myself from others and I don’t want to isolate others from me. With this in mind, I pray and find there is no famine of spiritual ideas to move forward and respond to this human life with courage and confidence in God, Truth, Love.

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Value of compromise

Sometimes we get good ideas and later find out they weren’t so good.

Sometimes we follow through on ideas and find out they were better than we ever could have imagined.

Sometimes an idea comes about purely by accident or twist of fate.

Here’s a few examples:

  1. A Post-it note is a small piece of paper with a strip of low-tack adhesive on the back that allows it to be temporarily attached to documents, walls, computer monitors, and just about anything else. The idea for the Post-it note was conceived in 1974 by Arthur Fry as a way of holding bookmarks in his hymnal while singing in the church choir. He was aware of an adhesive accidentally developed in 1968 by fellow 3M employee Spencer Silver. No application for the lightly sticky stuff was apparent until Fry’s idea. The 3M company was initially skeptical about the product’s profitability, but in 1980, the product was introduced around the world. Today, Post-it notes are sold in more than 100 countries.
  2. If you can’t eat just one potato chip, blame it on chef George Crum. He reportedly created the salty snack in 1853 at Moon’s Lake House near Saratoga Springs, New York. Fed up with a customer who continuously sent his fried potatoes back, complaining that they were soggy and not crunchy enough, Crum sliced the potatoes as thin as possible, fried them in hot grease, then doused them with salt. The customer loved them and “Saratoga Chips” quickly became a popular item at the lodge and throughout New England. Eventually, the chips were mass-produced for home consumption, but since they were stored in barrels or tins, they quickly went stale. Then, in the 1920s, Laura Scudder invented the airtight bag by ironing together two pieces of waxed paper, thus keeping the chips fresh longer. Today, chips are packaged in plastic or foil bags or cardboard containers and come in a variety of flavors, including sour cream and onion, barbecue, and salt and vinegar.

I have found the idea of compromising to be beneficial. Of late, we had to deal with the Constitution Pipeline, a large natural gas company that offered unfair prices to landowners for an easement. It took patience and perseverance, however the “higher ups” at the profit making Constitution Pipeline Company finally came to the table and a dialogue with landowners began. A better easement agreement was established. It could be better, but compromise was an excellent start.

While the exercise of compromise could be taken too far, it definitely should not be disregarded. It can expand our minds to new ideas that bless humanity.

But more important, I’ve realized that we compromise whether we know it or not. The stance of not budging or not compromising, can actually cause us to compromise our integrity or open-mindedness.

I remember thinking the Bible carried the most authority when it came to understanding eternal life. I didn’t bend (compromise) when it came to thinking the Bible must be read. Then I read in Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health, where she described the Bible as “a sufficient guide.” Only sufficient, not absolute. This idea relaxed and opened my mind to new thoughts, new books, new ways of expressing the infinite goodness we have available to us.

 

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