Monday, May 30, 2011

The Lords Prayer

  If you are a Christian or a Muslim the Lords prayer is mentioned in the Christian bible and in the Quran. Some will say it was borrowed, I believe the Lords prayer was given to all mankind and should not be a point of dispute. The Lords prayer has a universal quality that should be practiced and enjoyed by all.
 Early in my life I used to teach as seminar on the Lords prayer. Yes- an entire seminar devoted to this inspirational prayer. I always believed that if we pray for the world, then for the community , our families, then our own needs seem quite small. I remember going to various places in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Kentucky teaching that seminar with all the poster boards explaining prayer. We cannot be effectual in prayer without first learning the Lords prayer. Whether you are a Christian or a Muslim many times you are called upon to say a blessing for the meal or a family wedding or event. Remember to always honor God first and thank him and ask for his blessing upon the occasion. Gods mercy is greater than his wrath- this is taught in all religions. 

   Lords Prayer
Our Father who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be thy name;
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us;
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory.
Forever and ever.- amen

 Let there be peace, there is no glory in war.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Edict and the Verdict

 Two simple words only separated by a couple letters  yet both are a decree. One is a religious decree another a judgement or court decree.

 The Edict often is handed down by a holy guru in hindu religion based on the interpretation of their ancient scripture it is often a prescription. Sometime a prescription of self denial or pain, it can also be prescription to ease the conscience of a believer who may feel his karma is out of place. Karma is a true principle of law , what we reap we will sow. I devoted a whole section of my blog to karma. The Hindu practices also have another swing to karma. If we do not reap in this live, we will reap it in another or in the afterlife. So, it is very important to settle your karma now in the hindu faith. Sounds reasonable but as a christian we  do not believe in multiple re-births, we become born again in this life and  believe that christ settled all our debt on the cross.
 The Edict in catholic faith is surprisingly very much the same, a edict or decree can get you out of a marriage and allow you to marry again in the catholic church. It was by holy decree the church used to control the people , they feared the edict more than the law of government. Church law during certain periods of mans history was more powerful than any governing law by royalty or any parliament. To be  excommunicated was by far a worst judgement than even death. Martin Luther was excommunicated yet in the Lutheran church we often say we be believe in one holy catholic church, it is part of the catechism of believers. Lutherans still hold to the unity of a catholic church but deny the pope as elder as in early time the papacy authorized the sale of indulgences, which were writs of paper of forgiveness for sins for profit. That has long since been abolished but still it is use as a reformist draw card.
 I myself attended the lutheran church and it was very closely aligned with catholic beliefs because my wife being a catholic, we often attended catholic church. My sons are both baptized catholic as to ease any doubt. So, I am familiar with both catholic and lutheran , including the catechisms, liturgy and teachings. The lutheran minister wears a collar just like a catholic priest. Both drink alcohol of choice lutherans seem to take to beer as Martin Luther's own wife did the home brewing. Martin often stated the only sin concerning beer is bad or poorly brewed beer and often blessed his wife when the brew came out just right. The catholics also enjoy their selection of spirits (alcohol). Both teach not to over indulge or become  public nuisance. I personally try to  avoid soda which with all the sugar is more harmful. Actually, do not have cable TV or most earthly pleasures but that is just my choice. I can put that money spent on cable to a better use (grandkids education) or cause. For those who avoid use of all intoxicants, it is commendable as the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit not to be abused. I do my best to keep to that as a principle not condemning anyone who believes otherwise, that is personal. What is more indulgent a beer or eating excessively to obesity hmmm.
 The Edict in Jewish faith was also a combination of religious duty and decree. One would have to say the rabbi had a lot of power interpreting scripture and making things kosher. If something wasn't made kosher by a blessing even in modern times jews could be shunned or condemned to other punishments. The rabbi spent an entire lifetime examining the law behind the scripture. Not much time understanding the principles behind the law. A taste of understanding is what I call it , the flavor of the law can lead to a feeling of compliance to duty and therefore aid the conscience.
 The Edict in Amish faith is somewhat the same again only the elders platform is the ruling authority. I live in a community of Amish. Often had business dealings with them, I used to own a couple cell phone stores and believe it or not was one of the first to sell mobile phones to the amish. They were allowed cell phone because not being apart of the electric grid. They always bought the dull grey phones not to be fancy as in their tradition. We would put on the ring tones of amazing grace or other hymns. They were not allowed to take government assistance. I had a friend who was amish as we both had handicapped children. Once his daughter was lost in a corn field and was found by a trucker roaming the highway, she was deaf and took seizures a special child he loved dearly. They made a necklace with a cow bell attached to avoid her getting lost again. They eventually lost their farm even though their child qualified for assistance, the medical bills were paid by selling the 200 acre farm. He and his wife went to live on an amish commune and I never saw him again. The elders chose his path for him and he followed their rule of thumb.
 We often will impose a personal edict upon ourselves, maybe it was a matter of honor or something we were taught as a child. I was fortunate to have been blessed with a very spiritual mother and father. They were not always that way , it took the hand of the Lord to bring them into faith and they do live by faith. My mother once saw a car accident and though it could have gone up in flames at any moment, she held the hand of the man trapped and prayed with him, telling him about Gods love trying to keep his mind of the pain of broken legs. She often will lead in prayer and I know personally of healing faith she had. She is very humble and many who know her ask for prayer.
 My father is interested in music and is trying at an elderly age to learn to read music as he never actually did before. He gets excited when understanding a musical composition as he never took the time to reflect on this - raising a family. Both were married 60 years a few weeks ago was their anniversary. They never taught us directly from the bible but would tell us right from wrong and lived as examples. I can say the only edict as a child was we were taught hard work and it was ingrained into us as children not to be slackers. I never dated much in high school , it was always working at the family business restaurant and garage, 7am till 11pm .We never had a telephone or color TV , my first bicycle I had to purchase myself from a junk man, Elmer Shin which was rebuilt for 5 dollars.
 Not getting off subject in childhood reflection, a edict  is a bondage not just  a decree that is imposed by religion. Often a edict has a good intention to fill a decree as interpreted by one of the many religions  and I mean many religions. Religion that is not Love, Hope and Forgiveness leading to Word , Thought and Deed is of man. They use the edict often for profit or control and some of these are a strong force today. I personally believe in Christ but I do adhere to karma , same as the hindu and they speak of Thought, Word and Deed which I also adhere just in different order. My wife is catholic we often attend the catholic church and most of my friends are of the catholic faith, but do not subscribe to all of the church doctrine. I consider the catholic church as part of the christian community as a whole , the catholic church had gone through a lot of changes - mostly for the good, surprisingly they believe doctrine of inclusiveness of all christian that accept christ are part of the catholic church, contrary to what you may have been told , they believe is is not a perfect union but a union. 
  I once spoke at a Jewish funeral and my wife read psalm 23, there are many sects of the Jewish faith as many as there are christian denominations. I am familiar with the reformed mostly and studied the old testament. They believe in Love, Hope and Forgiveness and Word , Thought and Deed but adhere to law more than God's nature revealed in Christ. They seem to practice a religion but without having a personal relationship with God , you are just practicing works. I speak of the bondsmen in my poem- the man by the well. 

 The Verdict - I find it most important to understand judgement, by reading Matthew 7. We learn to with hold judgement but only to judge ourselves to be approved. That does not mean we are without sin because Jesus only showed us the cure, sin still exists. I am a sinner yet a christian, because sin does not rule my life but I am constantly in need of the Holy Spirit , his cleansing is continual like a well we draw water from to cleanse our bodies , we draw from the well to cleanse our soul. I know many will say Jesus died for our sins and think they can continue to sin for that reason. True Jesus did take on our sins at the cross. He also wanted to draw all men unto him, not just a few chosen. He died for all humanity to release them from bondage. How is it that we are later led into bondage by religion , hmmm. He also wanted us to learn of his divine nature and seek to follow him in living a holy life. Jesus said ,"Follow me." I often will have to go back to cross to seek this freedom from bondage. It is a continual process he died for sin once and for all, but I need the Holy spirit to continually cleanse and guide me- even in thought and sometime deed or a deed left undone.
 I find it interesting in Luke where there was a man who said to Jesus , I cast out demons, healed and did miracles in your name but yet the Lord said to him depart from me you worker of iniquity, I never knew you.  What ? here is a person who did miracles in Jesus name but he said, he never knew him. We can look at all the charlatans today that make huge bucks claiming to heal the sick and yes in Jesus name. God knows our heart and where our faith is at all times , we can fool ourselves but not God- we must try to live a holy life. Does this seem odd - We must remember always that all glory goes to God the Father. Even Jesus gave all glory to the Creator , God the Father. It is our also our purpose to communicate with God through the Holy Spirit.  Christ was to redeem us this is the Great Mystery of our faith that is different than other religions or beliefs. There is but one God the Father yet he revealed his divine nature in Christ, and continues to work in us through the Holy Spirit. We often pray in the name of the Father , the Son and the Holy Spirit. This separates us from the hindu, the jew, the many other religions of the world and philosophies. Jesus was saying to this man- you did all these things but continued to live in sin, is it possible to lead a thousand souls to Christ yet be rejected by Him. Obviously it is, our salvation is personal and it must never be taken for granted whatever your stature, even for a minister. We often hear of the big name evangelist that later admitted sexual misconduct, or priest pedophiles it  was more important to Jesus that they turn from sin than perform  service in His name.

He was not an entertainer or celebrity, superstar and did not want to be.
 John 12:47 [Jesus speaking]: "As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it."
 The most amazing truth about judgement while on earth is not that we are judged but actually
Jesus wanted us to judge Him. He wanted us to know his divine nature and make a choice, he allowed himself to be judged by men. He let the jews judge Him in particular to show us that the law would condemn even Christ himself. He taught us grace , not to live by edicts which lead to verdicts. We are to judge no one as Christ taught - but to show ourselves to be approved by showing mercy and forgiveness. 
 See there are really just two types of christian , forget about all the denominations and names. We are either Noah christians that forgive and find grace in the eyes of the Lord, or we are Aryan christians just like the two arks , written about in this blog. Aryan christians hate the gay, the sinner, the blemished, the mentally challenged, they are like the pharisee who put the law above grace. Think twice before you shun, ex-communicate or condemn someone to hell. Every soul is precious in Gods eyes, .

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Songbird

 The songbird is what wakes me in the morning, it is relaxing to hear. At night the cricket plays his fiddle knowing the bird is at rest. It is said, the music of the song bird is relaxing even to a child as he is prepared to receive a vaccination or needle. The Japanese prize their songbirds and treat them as family often taking them for walks in the park.
 Matthew 10:24-31 is one of my favorite verses in the christian bible. It explains how God keeps his eye on the sparrow, how much more does he keep his eye on us. Often we forget his all encompassing presence not just in church but in our back yard. I have always been a big fan of Mahalia Jackson - my two favorites are What a friend we have in Jesus and His eye is on the sparrow, she always seem to express my  same feelings.
 At night we often hear the cricket, I think of the diversity in nature each tiny creature singing and playing music. The cricket  makes a joyful noise at night , to some it may seem annoying but I enjoy this little guy. The insects in nature often can teach us things if we study them. We see the firefly and how magical they seem like fairies in the night time catching the hearts of our children. The bee how they pollenate the flowers and serve an important role in nature.
 I will say each day when waking hearing the songbirds sing it tells me the end of time has not yet come and the air is still breathable. The spider is even an amazing creature , how they can create a web often swinging back and forth on a single strand. We used to catch large cane spiders and place them on the wall in Hawaii for insect control without useing toxic chemicals.
 It is important we take time to not get to caught up in society and appreciate the little worlds around us. I  attached a link to His eye is on the sparrow by Mahalia. Who was herself a Songbird of inspiration.