Category Archives: Bible

Watch what I want

A short time ago, I wrote a post about wanting a new Bible. Because I sometimes get tired of reading the Bible we have, with its gore, lack of respect for women, and acceptance of slavery, I mulled over the idea of establishing a new Bible.

I know that the Bible, in and of itself, shows how humanity has progressed, and how our idea of God has advanced out of a punishing power into love. But surely, by the 21st century, we could find literature depicting even greater strides.

Then the other night, we watched the 2015 movie, “The Brand New Testament.

Director Jaco Van Dormael, also writer with Thomas Gunzig, tells the story of God, living in Brussels, Belgium, with his family. God is typified as a mean, irrational human being, directing a horrible history for humanity.

His son, Jesus Christ, aka JC, already escaped the household and the story follows how the younger daughter, Ea, escapes to rewrite Scripture and change history.

She gathers six disciples or messengers. We get a glimpse of their life and future as Ea intervenes with her special powers to promote compassion and a trust in good in humanity.

The film seemed a bit ridiculous to me. One disciple left her husband to partner with an ape, as if to show that some animals are better behaved then humans.

After making that mental calculation, I laughed at myself. I was trying to see the deeper meaning behind the story. Exactly what humans have been doing with the Bible for millennia.

There are thousands of Bible commentaries, books that explore the meaning, history, and context of Scripture. They are valuable as noted by Mel Lawrenz in his post titled, “How to Use Bible Commentaries.

Anyway, my desire for a new Bible has been tempered. I will continue to appreciate translations and revisions and commentaries that recover original meanings.

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.

 

 

Our eternal strength

Reading about Samson, the Nazirite with long curls, I got to thinking he wasn’t very smart. He kept hanging with people who wanted to find his weakness. Samson point blank finally revealed that if his long curly hair was cut, he’d be weak.

As read about in Judges 16, Samson’s hair was secretly cut and his enemies then bound him after jabbing out his eyes.

Once his hair grew back, Samson did turn to God for strength and killed a lot of Philistines.

This hints that although hair wasn’t really his strength, he didn’t have to get rid of it. It’s like know money isn’t our strength, or possessions aren’t are strength, or job position isn’t our strength, and keeping God important in our life.

Moreover, we know that it’s the thinking that we’re dealing with.

Bounding or killing off people has never killed off hate, fear, and even disease.

Because those negatives make life miserable, it’s natural for humanity to strive to break the negative thinking apart and turn to infinite Mind. God is infinite Mind and our source of strength.

From 21st Century Science and Health:

“Fear, sin, and our neglect of spirituality is what brings on and feeds all sickness. Disease is always induced by a false sense mentally entertained, not destroyed. Disease is an image of thought externalized. The mental state is called a physical state. Whatever is cherished in human mind as the physical condition is imaged forth on the body.

“Omnipotent and infinite Mind made all and includes all. This Mind does not make mistakes and subsequently correct them. God does not cause us to sin, to be sick, or to die.

“Infinite Mind is the creator, and creation is the infinite image or idea emanating from this Mind. If Mind is within and without all things, then all is Mind, and this definition is demonstrable.

“Through spiritual perception we can discern the heart of divinity and thereby begin to understand the generic term person. Our spirituality is not absorbed in God. We do not become isolated or trapped in a vacuum. Our individuality goes on and on reflecting Life eternal. We each represent the totality of infinite Mind’s substance.”

 

 

 

Increasing Bible literature

I think, humanity needs a new Bible. Not that I dislike the Bible of today, it’s just narrow in scope.

Why?

  • The Bible is limited by the inadequate human knowledge and language.
  • The Bible as we know it today, was written by men who presumed the values of patriarchal cultures.
  • Discoveries are constantly being made, and because Truth is ever revealing itself, to everyone, in all parts of the earth, a new Bible is possible.
  • Women need biblical literature. And children will too.

 

Children’s book available now!

This is a true story of hope and assurance, by Cheryl Petersen.

12 black/white illustrations. 26 pages

Purchase at Amazon

front-cover-only

Fixing past mistakes

I make mistakes. Sometimes, I don’t know I make mistakes until much later in life.

Mistakes are blunders, gaffes, misprints, or errors. They can also be misunderstandings, over-estimations or underestimations. I’ve made the mistake of simply failing to appreciate true values as expressed by people around me.

From 21st Century Science and Health: If mortals are not progressive, past failures will be repeated until all wrong work is erased or corrected.

Some mistakes can be fixed. I can fix a misprint on a webpage.

But some mistakes can’t be tangibly fixed. I can’t return to the past and appreciate the true values as expressed by people around me. To doggedly try to fix that past behavior is vain. It leads to guilt and shame. But, to pretend my mistake didn’t happen also leads to guilt and shame. And guilt and shame clog our thinking. This is when it’s time to live in the now.

From 21st Century Science and Health: Take the time to look past the fading, sensational pictures. Gain the true sense of life. Rest your gaze on the unsearchable realm of Mind. Look ahead and act as possessing all power from Truth and Love in whom you have your being.

Thankfully, we are driven to seek something greater.

I want to yield to something greater than a humanlike power. And this requires unclogged thinking.

The humanlike God is presented oftentimes in the Bible. Paul recorded in the book of Acts:  “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill.  In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.  For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17: 29-31, NIV)

But this wording doesn’t make God humanlike. Just like my past failures to appreciate truth don’t reduce God to being unable to lift me up out of a past mistake.

God is Godlike, Spirit, Love, Truth and powerful to lift up. And Paul, along with millions of other spiritually minded, stretched their minds to be Godlike.

Paul distinguished between humanlike gods and Godlike God, between mistakable humans and us as understanding individuals. We read in Acts: When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!”  Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker.  The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them.  But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting:  “Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them.  In the past, he let all nations go their own way.  Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”  Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them. (Acts 14: 11-18, NIV)

It’s a struggle between the human ego and the desire to stand with the divine Ego, or God. But I can live in the now and appreciate the good around me, carry that appreciation to the past and the future. I can because God is divine Mind, all-knowing Mind.

From 21st Century Science and Health: It is the prerogative of the ever-present divine Mind, and of thought which is in alignment with this Mind, to know the past, the present, and the future.

 

What do you want?

The stronger want will rule over the weaker want.

But it’s hard to know what we really want because we generally have so many wants.

We want mindfulness. We want happiness. We want health.

In all honesty, we also want status, ritual and money.

Due to the unsure human nature, those wants get twisted. We all know someone who compromised their integrity with the wants of self-interest and status. We all know someone who was intimidated by leaders for the want of money. Thereby, true wants don’t manifest and people have status and money, but live and move in a small cliques with even smaller effectiveness in the world.

From Ezekiel, “‘You say, “We want to be like the nations, like the peoples of the world, who serve wood and stone.” But what you have in mind will never happen.”

Our wants also get twisted after bad experiences and we then, don’t want. We don’t want to lack mindfulness, we don’t want to be unhappy, and we don’t want to be sick.

Starting from the “don’t want” scenario, our actions tighten into a vicious struggle against the enemies we have created; the self-created enemies of mindlessness, unhappiness, and sickness. We become defensive and isolated.

No doubt, human wants vary and vacillate, sporadically and according to circumstances. Their end results are death and the expectation of death. Therefore, we want to turn away from human wants and put our hope and faith in the want of Life, Truth, and Love, God.

“We want to keep our immortal consciousness open to spiritual existence and to our God-given powers.”—from science & religion to God

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus counsels on wanting life and love.

Want to feed. Matt. 15:32 Give people the help they need, not the help you think they are supposed to accept and give back.

Want to settle accounts. Matt. 18:23 Don’t expect others to meet your terms, listen to others with a mind that gives forth truth and life.

Want to serve. Matt. 20:27 Don’t want to be great, famous and popular.

“Our limited knowledge of matter and its energy is not mind or intelligence, it doesn’t coexist with Mind. Spiritual knowledge is what we want and it is gained through spiritual sense. There will be turbulences as the evidence of spiritual sense conflicts with the testimony of physical sense, but the storms will roll away and reveal peace. The supremacy of Spirit entitles us to antidote the chaotic existence of relativity with Truth and Love.”—from science & religion to God

closeup fall leaves elm street

 

 

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