Tag Archives: bible quotes

God-centered model of existence

You are appreciated

Global Golden Rule

Guest post from Progress Planet

The Golden Rule exists in many religions. Some have the positive form “Do unto others as you would want others to do to you,” and some have the negative version of the rule “Do not do unto others what you would not want others to do to you.”

It would be amazing to see how the world’s religions could be better instruments for world peace by emphasizing this more.

Karen Armstrong has revived interest in leveraging The Golden Rule as a platform for peace, and is well worth watching:

And, here is a great comparison of the versions of The Golden Rule so we can easily read and compare them:

Christianity All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye so to them; for this is the law and the prophets. Matthew 7:1
Confucianism Do not do to others what you would not like yourself. Then there will be no resentment against you, either in the family or in the state. Analects 12:2
Buddhism Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful. Udana-Varga 5,1
Hinduism This is the sum of duty; do naught onto others what you would not have them do unto you. Mahabharata 5,1517
Islam No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself. Sunnah
Judaism What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellowman. This is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary. Talmud, Shabbat 3id
Taoism Regard your neighbor’s gain as your gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.Tai Shang Kan Yin P’ien
Zoroastrianism That nature alone is good which refrains from doing another whatsoever is not good for itself. Dadisten-I-dinik, 94,5

 

How Selective are We?

Being Faithful to Yourself

court house at christmasIf we didn’t think and talk about worthless topics, we would be prone to more epiphanies. The epiphanies naturally expand into experiences and we feel a secret victory.

In the encounter of life, good and goodness become more hearty and persistent as it reduces the activity of evil. The threats of evil rivet our attention on actions that secure the good and we become “faithful over a few things.” We are being prepared to be “put in charge of many things.” (Matt. 25:23)

Are you a child learning not to worry your parents or care takers? Are you a husband or wife learning not to demand unrealistic expectations? Are you a partner learning not to take another for granted? Are you an employee or employer learning to serve humankind with honesty? Remember, for all the days you forget to take a stand for good, you alone will make amends.

Mistakes are made however admit the wisdom gained instead of justifying the mistake and correction will be less harmful. Another mistake will not remedy the first mistake.

Progress requires work, mental and physical work, and the time to work is now. Only with straightforward effort, undistracted by self-righteousness or self-pity, will you win.

Do not blame others if your spiritual progress is vague. To follow faithfully is to practice what the teacher teaches and not expect the teacher to do your work for you.

Every great woman and man can be found on the trajectory of patience and perseverance. Faithfulness is entered by first purifying your thought and then putting thought into words and words into deeds. These steps will be slippery or mucky however your sincerity and humility will find a reward and strength in exalted purpose.

Human hopes deceive. Human philosophy, ethics, and scholastic theology mislead. Physics and quantum energy fields are insufficient to enlighten. Having one God and an undivided affection for spiritual reality will draw you to that which is worthy and worthwhile.

Being faithful to God is being faithful to your spiritual light. Spending too much time on the cares of the world or on manipulating the pains and pleasures of the flesh will diminish your wealth of spirituality.

Truth will cost you your fears, beliefs, false devotions, intriguing data, and lame formalities. Be willing to pay the price of Truth so you can be move forward with God and feel the exclamation, Job well done.

We Don’t Have a Bossy God

Granted, I can be bossy, but if someone doesn’t do what I tell them to do, I don’t start a plague or cause terrible times to befall on them.

I pretty much move on in the direction I feel I am being inspired to move in and pray for peace for all of us.

However, I’ve noticed that God is plastered with the reputation of being not only bossy but cruel. This idea of a bossy heartless God is a meme that has penetrated the millenniums.

A meme is an idea that spreads from person to person within a culture. Thankfully, memes can be advanced and improved upon to the point that they are healing.

Let’s look at the culture of Bible readers.

I grew up reading the King James Version of the Bible and its 10 commandments stressing “THOU SHALT NOT.” This idea of a God standing around barking orders, ready to punish any disobedience, is still a prolific meme in society. Human beings are constantly told by spiritual leaders that they must obey God otherwise trouble comes.

But, when I read in the English Standard Version, “YOU SHALL HAVE,” a peaceful smile comes over me.

I shall have one God.

God made us to have one God. God made us to be and have the image of God before us. God made us to take the name of the Lord seriously, with respect and love. God made us to remember the Sabbath and work for holiness. God made us to honor our parents. God made us to save life. God made us to be faithful. God made us generous. God made us able to bear true witness for our neighbor. God made us to appreciate others and what they have.

God is Love. We are God’s image.

Dead or Alive

So, in the Bible we can read about the children of Israel asking for a King.

Samuel the Prophet selects Saul to be King. But, Saul turns out to be a dud. Sort of self-serving.

David is chosen to be the next king, and he waits patiently for King Saul to either get his act together or bury himself in his poor decisions. Saul decides on the later. But, before Saul dies, he gives his daughter, Michal, to David for a wife.

After Saul is dead, King David continues to serve God and the people the best he can.

Michal “despised him in her heart.” (II Samuel 6)

King David could feel her contempt and  sees she is the “dead burying the dead.” (Luke 9) But alas, he continues to care for Michal’s physical needs.

Her attitude of personal significance as the daughter of a previous king precluded Michal from rejoicing with progress. Even though she went on to live her life, she was living in the past, burying the dead, and ultimately showed no newness, no value.

Setting a Good Example (S.A.G.E.)

A while back, I started having doubts about the trendy slogan: Set a good example. It isn’t that I disagree with the catchphrase and I will keep trying to set a good example; but to rely on setting a good example as if it is something I “do” isn’t watertight. Sometimes, when I do set a good example of being happy at work or not eating too much, my example annoys people around me and they get crabbier or hungrier. Why bother? Because I can’t get away from being an example. I don’t “do” an example, I “am” an example.

We are always an example. We are surrounded by other examples. And, in order to be a good example or have good examples inspire us, it is important to remember the example is not a cause or an effect. They only exemplify a cause and effect.

Breaking this down into plain terms, examples are illustrations of cause and effect, of good or bad, life or death, happiness or depression, healthy or sickness. Human logic says, the way to happiness is by setting a good example. Divine Science turns this upright; We are examples of happiness when we know happiness.

Next time I catch myself doubting the worth of setting a good example, or more importantly, next time I start thinking about all the people who did set a good example in this world and got whacked for their hard work, peaceful protests against injustice, or whistle blowing, I will sit back, look away from the examples, and get to know better industriousness, justice, and honesty. I will strengthen my conviction in the totality and power of good and its many examples.

12 “When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” (John 13, NIV)

Wine and Bread Making

Archeologists have found evidence of wine being purposely made as far back as 12,000 years ago. To say this wine was made successfully is not completely true. People did not understand the fermentation process until the invention of the microscope followed by the pioneering scientific work of Louis Pasteur in the late 1860’s when yeast was identified as the living organism and agent responsible for alcoholic fermentation. Today, winemakers kill off any yeast in the juice and use isolated yeast strains in pure culture form to make consistent palatable wines. Also, a baker’s yeast has been identified to be utilized for good bread making.

Yeast is naturally everywhere. We can’t see it, but it’s in our homes, on the trees and plants, it floats in the air and we breathe it every day. Although ancient wine and bread makers didn’t know exactly why, they learned to keep a bit of good wine or a portion of good dough around to be used as starters for new batches.

Yeast is a type of leaven. Nelson’s Bible Dictionary states, “Leaven was a common Jewish metaphor for an invisible, pervasive influence.” Christ Jesus warned his disciples, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” (Matt. 16:6, KJV) More modern Bibles have incorporated the discovery of yeast into their translations, for example “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” (NIV) The use of the word leaven signified that which could be seen, leftover wine or a piece of bread dough, however the word yeast signifies the need to beware of thoughts unseen.

We can see thoughts. We see thoughts of anger and happiness and as we fine-tune our ability to perceive thoughts, we allow our self to be influenced only by that which is conducive to our spiritual growth and understanding.

From 21st Century Science and Health, “Mortals evolve images of thought. They may appear to the learner to be apparitions, but they are mysterious only because it is unusual to see thoughts, although we can feel their influence. Ghosts and strange noises brought out in a dark séance either involve pranks or they are images and sounds evolved involuntarily by human mind. Seeing is no less a quality of physical sense than is feeling. Here it can be asked, why is it more difficult to see a thought than to feel one? Education alone determines the difference. In reality there is no difference between seeing and feeling a thought.

“The term ‘sixth sense’ has been used to describe intuitive vision, or knowingness, when really it is first sense. Our intuitive perception discerns essential facts. Science enables a person to read the human mind, but not as a clairvoyant. Science enables one to heal through Mind, but not as a hypnotist.

“How do we distinguish real thoughts from illusive thoughts? By learning what is the starting point of the thought. Real ideas flow from the divine Mind. Unreal thoughts, coming from the brain or from auras, are extensions of the human mind; they are an accumulation of imprinted mortal beliefs and experiences. Ideas are spiritual, harmonious, and eternal.”

Max McLean Reads the Bible without Anger

I frequently listen to Max McLean, narrator of the Listener’s Bible, on my iPOD, especially at night before going to sleep. McLean does an excellent job of blending vivid expression and theological comprehension to make listening to the Bible interesting and rewarding.

Last night, I was listening to the Psalms and a picture of clarity popped into life. McLean read from Psalm 95, “For forty years I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray, and they have not known my ways.’” This was supposedly God reminiscing about pulling the children of Israel out slavery only to have them not credit or respect God. So, the children wandered around in a desert for forty years while believing God was angry with them.

We interpret everything through the lens of our own mental attitude, and my attitude is such that I don’t have an angry God. Needless to say, the Bible appeared to contradict my sense of God as peaceful and just an all-around wise yet composed Being, able to guide all thought in a way that brings satisfaction, not anger.

Anyway, the picture of clarity was that as much as I view my own reality through my own mental attitude, the children of Israel did also. Their mental attitude however was whining about not having enough food consequently all they could sense was an angry God. God wasn’t angry. The human perception was annoyed, indignant, irate, therefore, that is what they automatically pinned on God.

Lessons learned: I can trust the view of a peaceful strong God that manifests an uncomplaining attitude. And, Max McLean did a bang-up job of recording the Bible.

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