Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year - invest wisely in love.

  How should we plan our New Year resolution.

Deuteronomy 8:18
  “And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
I Corinthians13:3
 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profits me nothing.

My New Years resolution is not to give more to needy, I already give what is bearable. I plan on just learning to Love more. There is a distinction, some people give to prove to themselves they are willing. I once did this gave every last nickel to the poor. The next day I was poor and what was proven, the poor were still needy and God was not pleased. It is impossible to please God , even the bible teaches this. He only is appeased by Love. It was a good lesson as such but only self serving.
A lot of preachers will prey upon the gullible and ask them to donate all their money in church, a lot of the elderly are vulnerable. My own parents retired live on a small monthly check, each year their health insurance and utilities go up, taxes rise. I had to supplement their food on several occasions and found out they being very spiritual but not practical were giving beyond their means.
 Relatives , pastors evangelist all took advantage of them, they were over 80 years old, it came to the point were they had no money to pay taxes and could have lost their home. I sat down with them and we came up with an acceptable financial plan , they are much happier learning to have balance in their spiritual lives. My mother now gives of her time, her love more. I want to say give what you are able comfortable, time and energy is giving. Watch over the elderly to make sure they are not being taken advantage of.
  The bible speaks of those who take advantage of widows in their grief and this can extend to any elderly. I invest in commodities , some may say it is being greedy or not christian. I prayed about this and when Jesus was with the fisherman , he told them where to cast their nets. I actually pray for God to guide me in what to invest in, it is in the end going to be used for His glory. I am not here to please others or satisfy their greed. Fact of the matter- the bible is my financial guide, guide for holy living and peace of mind.
 My wife and I both work 50 plus hours a week , we are grateful. She is a health care aid , and I always tell her she is doing Gods work helping the truly needy. While some ministers give a sermon on helping the indigent or mentally challenged she actually does it every day. I take care of my son every day with down syndrome, bath him, brush his teeth, shave him and make sure he is fed every day. We go to church together, shopping and belong to a community workshop.
 My point is balance is needed, God wants us to have peace of mind - not be in poverty. Those that try to control you and seize your pocket in the name of Jesus, are not of God. Many catholic priests live on less than 18k a year and pay taxes, they have taken a vow of poverty. Even though I am not a catholic it is not a sin to take a priest to dinner, or offer a ride. Some local ministers of independent churches live on less than minimum wage. I know because have been there, why not give a red envelope with a twenty in it. In martial arts - we often gave a red envelope to the Sufi for teaching us self defense as a love gift.
  In the New Year pray for balance, ask God how you should invest not only monetary but time. You can never please God, love is the only profit He cares about.  

Friday, December 30, 2011

Servant or Savant

 Often we are told we must serve others, because Christ was a servant. A servant is not the same position as you would think. Some are servants because they have sold their bodies to another for money or their particular status tier is a peasant. It may be a social tier such as in India where caste and class of social levels are accepted and lived by. Imagine you fall in love with some one and they have similar feelings but you are of different caste. You are not permitted to share your love because of social dogma. Families make deals and then find you someone they believe will do- acceptable to their culture.

Philipians 2:5-7  Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
John 15:15
Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

  In Phillipians we see Jesus came in the form of a servant , actually a human. God became man, that we could become more divine. In John he says - he no longer calls us servant - for the servant knoweth not. A person that knows is called a Savant. We can almost say we are transformed from a servant to a savant. First we must become the servant, making ourselves nothing. Then the savant or friend of Christ. Many will make it to the servant level, they will prostate themselves before God become humble servants. They will live as monks or nuns feel that the lower they bow , the better their chance of getting to heaven.
  I had this mentality , would constantly fast wrap myself in clothe - pray for days . Almost a deprivation of social contact limiting myself to only scripture studies. Lived on a remote island for an entire year like this- others on the island knew I was involved in self deprivation trying to find God. Often would douse my body in Johnson baby powder to keep down the smell. I had hair down to my back and a beard to my chest. I remember having mystical experiences and read the bible cover to cover , then by subject.
  Then the Lord spoke and rebuked me, I was stunned. He wanted me to no longer be a servant but a friend. He wanted me to be a savant, we would become friends. Not as one equal with God but as one who knows a servant does not know the will of his master. His relationship is distant , he is humble but not knowing of his masters business. A savant knows the Lords business, he knows Gods will and does it. Jesus desire is not for us to constantly be as beggars, but to draw us unto the Father. As the Holy Spirit draws us to Jesus, Jesus draws us to the Father.
John 14:6-7 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If  you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
 Jesus later says to call no one Father on earth but only our Father who is in heaven, in Matthew. Jesus goes further in saying we are to call God our Father, even in the Lords prayer we are taught to say, Our Father who art in heaven. He doesn't say Our Master who art in heaven. Father means we are children, Master means we are servants. Jesus constantly tries to bring us into that relationship with God. First by example then by teaching. Should we pray to Jesus or the Father, or to the Holy Spirit. This is often a question asked by believers, Jesus said to pray to the Father. The prophets and the apostles call upon the name of the Lord, a prophet often says Thus Saith the LORD. As we need an advocate before God , the Lord is our savior and advocate. He stands with us and walks with us. Immanuel-God is with us. Isaiah prophesied of the Messiah, “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace”. In that respect we recognize that Jesus and the Father are one, we will also become unified as Christ promised. That is were I may differ from some. I believe in the unification of all believers in Christ as Jesus spoke- even a greater mystery than the trinity. God dwells in each believer as they are his spiritual children. That is how the prophet says Thus Saith the Lord. He is filled with the Lord, he is speaking with a divine authority as if God is speaking . All throughout the old testament and new prophets were the voice of God.
 Only understanding the Lord is also spirit can this be possible. This verse in Galations speaks to me solidly of my relationship with God. Sometimes my spirit cries Abba, Father and why do you call on the Father. Probably because of the verse below.
Galations 4:6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Imagine yourself.

 Some people might say , Well put yourself in my shoes.

 I actually prefer to go barefoot but certainly not in someone else's shoes. If you imagine yourself in someone's position , it may just happen. Never let someone drag you down . How many times have friends or family brought you down. Matthew 7:6 Do not cast your pearls before the swine.
Other spiritual powers would love to see you wallow in their mud. Share Gods word that will lift them up or if they reject that, then they will reject you anyway.
  If you want to imagine something- imagine yourself a child of God. Imagine wonderful things and places you want to be. Imagine a mansion , truth is that is what waits for you. I sometimes feel not worthy of such things , but it is not about being worthy.  Do not dwell on those stinky shoes but on this:

Romans 8:17  Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Romans 8:37-39 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Odyssey

Forging on to the New Year - we hear rumors about 2012 being the end of the world. We first hear of the word Odyssey when the epic poet and writer Homer writes his sequel to the Illiad , the sequel is full of strange creatures and cannibals - mystical potions filled Homer's imagination. Homer's was such a great writer his stories were often believed , some even shaped Greek culture and the gods he created were brought to life and statues made and worshiped.
 Then there was George Orwell who wrote Animal Farm and 1984, of course animals did not take over mankind and 1984 come and went. Then we had Arthur C. Clarke  who wrote 2001 Space Odyssey which he starts out in the forward saying there are enough stars to give every one on earth present and past their own star to be a private heaven or hell. Of course 2001 came and went  NASA has since lost funding we never did make it to the stars. We thought it was enough to set up a lab in space and play chess. Perhaps prove that man can live in anti- gravity for sustained periods of time.
  Then someone picked up on some ancient idea that since the Mayan calendar ends in 2012 it must be the end of the world. They even made a movie 2012 which was pretty good almost as vivid as Homers and Arthur C. Clarke's Odysseys. We have somewhat of an attraction to the unknown  some believe in the aliens of the Odyssey but do not believe in God. A writers epic over the Bible , some even believe that perhaps the Bibles Revelation is such an Odyssey. The Bible has been studied by literally thousands upon thousands of scholars. Many devoting not a leisurely afternoon of reading but their entire lives to the book.
  The Bible states no one knows the end of times. Mathew 13:32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
Matthew 24:36 But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
 Jesus is saying he does not even know the hour only His  Father knows. This may come as a shock but how can anyone know the end of humanity , any angel or according to scripture even Jesus. Anyone who prophesies or builds their church on this lie , that they know the end of times is a liar. We are told of signs in the book of Revelations , some things about horseman and the price of oil and wheat will rise. Revelations 6:5-6 Implies extreme inflation Yes the price of oil has more than quadrupled in (2) years, the price of wheat gone up seven times. I keep track of this because it is one of my hobbies - trading commodities.  I confess have taken profit from God's word but not millions do not read the bible just for profit but it is profitable. Food will continue to rise because it is in the scriptures, I do not know the end of times. If I said so, would be a liar but do know that inflation will be rampant in 2012.
 How can we survive inflation, you can learn to live with less. Do not believe your pensions and money will be enough. If someone said to you a box of corn flakes which was 19 cents, when I was born would be almost 4 dollars - they would call you an idiot. Yet , starting in 1908 it had just gone from 10 cents to 19 cents in 50 years-not so bad only double. In 1955 to 2011 went up twenty times in price. On the current trend a box of corn flakes if they are still available will cost in 2050 almost 100 dollars. This is not prophesy but simple mathematics, if you are twenty years old now and plan to live to seventy years old, that would be something to think about. Not trying to be scary , but we cannot live on the current food staples it would just be too expensive. I predict you will see other sources of protein and grain substitutes. You will not know what is in the food only its nutritional value unless you grow it yourself.
 We will see more seaweed and lichen products , out of thousand of species only 4% of mushrooms are edible but only a few species of lichen are not edible. This includes various types of fungus and red algae also they have anti-biotic properties which prevent disease, Yes -reindeer food is the future that is what they eat. What I am saying is we have been sold a commercial mindset by TV etc. that will be challenged in the future. We are way behind in food science and production.
 We think that disease , earthquakes or nuclear warfare will be the end of civilization-perhaps  , I say the next trial will be starvation and thirst. We are already seeing starvation on an increase not in third world countries but in the USA. You see a  lot of the newer food stores becoming popular among the poor and middle class with dented cans and nearly outdated foods. We see dumpster diving on the rise not for clothes or spare parts but FOOD. Why don't we see new food sources being explored why is the FDA working with companies to prevent these from coming to market. Why are they trying to make vitamins a prescription drug.  Why, why , why are people starving because of money --- the root of evil. The more we print , the more people will starve.
 Can Jesus help us by multiplying the fishes, making the bread feed a multitude. Maybe if we each eat what we need and are not gluttons. Recycle the food , stop plowing it under to raise the prices. When gas was just heading out of control, the consumer commercials were selling us SUV's and Hummers. Why was the government  giving a tax break for heavy load vehicles, instead of fuel efficient ones. We see more commercials on super size specials for fast food. When I was a kid there was no such thing as a Whopper or Big Mac. What is going on here gluttony just before the food prices go through the roof. Yes - our minds are being brainwashed into gluttony. This is the future or we can change it and turn off the TV. Vote out the magnates that are constantly raising the debt ceiling and printing more dollars so we can buy less. I do not like politics - do not even like to get on the same worldly plane . I want to stay on a spiritual plane and in order for our children and grandchildren to survive we need to get out the survival book , the Bible. Teach against gluttony and basic principles of the loaves and fishes, we need to give the fish a chance to multiply, quit polluting the water. Quit eating Big Macs and Whoppers, it takes too much grain to grow livestock. - learn to grow food in  a garden. Quit depending on others, the guy in the clown suit or the one who thinks he is the king-  Jesus is the King-Do not live in the Odyssey . The Bible  still the best guide for healthy living, finance  and peace of mind for  the New Year.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Remember George at Christmass

 Every Christmass, I remember Jesus Christ first whom we celebrate his birth, and also remember the sacrifice of all the colonial soldiers , men and woman who supported our first president George Washington  to win our freedom and form our great nation at Valley Forge during Christmass which is not far from where I live.


Remember George at Valley Forge.
This was not just a fable.
A week before Christmass no meat
for the table.

One fourth the army had died from starvation
A great sacrifice to birth a nation.
In all his armys agony and despair.
They drew their strength from the leader they had there.

He was taller than most and stood out among the ranks,
The father of our country, whom today I will give thanks.
Instead of giving up and letting their hearts roam.
He crossed the Delaware river, and chased the enemy home.

Here we welcome all people, the tired and the poor.
But it took a lot of sacrifice a revolutionary war.
When we sit down at Christmass dinner and on the feast we gorge.
Remember our troops, our freedom and George at Valley Forge.

Saint Eule

Friday, December 9, 2011

Captain or Captive

 When it come right down to it - you are either captain or captive. I do not believe God wants us to be captive. To feel imprisoned by sin or constantly reminded of it. We have conquered sin , at least Jesus Christ did - we just need to believe it. How can it hold us captive there are many ways but these are the most common.
1. Not believing in Gods grace and accepting that the gift is free. Some people just do not like accepting something that is free, they think there is a catch - nothing is for free. Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: This means without merit - we did not earn it , so we are free because Grace is free. It is not a matter of being worthy.
2. We still feel temptation, how can we be holy. Well that is because temptation is all around us , our thoughts are continually being challenged. 1 Corinthian 10:13 There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it.
 Temptation is nothing to be ashamed of , we are all tempted God promises to us a way to bear it.
3. We feel not responsible for our condition or salvation. We feel others are responsible for our sins perhaps our parents or economical circumstances. We need the help of a priest or someone with a collar to give us absolution. This is the caged bird syndrome, we are taught we need a key to unlock our cage even though we are free. I am here to say no one is responsible for you but you it is OK to speak to a minister who is filled with the Holy spirit but your sins were pardoned by Jesus Christ, he paid for our pardon on the cross. We will all stand before Christ and the truth is Christ will stand with us, not any man. Roman 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
We cannot be condemned if we are in Christ, anyone who tries to bring you into the cage avoid.
4. We have fallen , we disobeyed .  All fall short of Gods glory- we are saved by believing in Jesus divine grace not our own. We will eventually grow and defeat fear , and doubt- it does not happen overnight - it may even take a lifetime. Until such a time we rely on Gods grace.Gal 1:6 I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
There is another gospel , one that does not teach grace it foments in sin. It denies Jesus, it is like quicksand eventually will take you under- but Jesus forever holds the olive branch to save you from sinking- you just need to grasp and hold on.

  The Captain is someone who take responsibility for the ship, just like you take responsibility for your destiny. Making a clear choice to follow grace, to believe in Christ that he died that we may be free from sin not held captive.
 John 8:3 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

 We also need to recognize Jesus promised a helper , the Holy spirit to guide us on our journey. The scripture says he will never leave us or forsake us. Yes- I believe Christ died once and for all and His grace is sufficient- without the help of the Holy spirit it would be impossible to grow in faith. He leads us into obedience, He cleanses us continually and teaches us faith. The Captain needs a navigator the sea is rough .
John 16:13  But when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.
 Interesting the Holy Spirit will not speak of himself. He will speak only of the Lord- Jesus Christ that is how we discern which spirit is talking. For as there are many false prophets there are many spirits among us. Be a Captain not a captive- Peace. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Faith or Faust

 Today, I was in a real good mood not knowing why perhaps it was a good nights sleep or maybe just not caring about troubles. It rained most of the day and it seemed like things at work were more chaotic than usual with many requests. Still nothing penetrated my inner spirit - it was a great day. I was not taking any drugs or anything but felt a little different. I think after going through a lot of trials it was just the light at the end of tunnel feeling. Spent last week in the hospital but I won't go into details just that it was not good. I had surgery and you know it was ok. The doctors and nurses kept asking me if I was in pain but honestly felt fine as they were cutting away. It was nice to have faith to rely on and especially when you need it.
  What is faith - to me . Perhaps it means something else to you. To me it is not just believing but experiencing , to go beyond what we think is possible. Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  Now I just took this from scripture but faith results in substance and evidence. If we practice faith it will produce substance - it could be a material thing, though I do not long for these. It means more to me to have peace of mind and balance than a new car or material wealth. Even though God has blessed us, it takes very little to make me happy. It is more important to focus on contentment than gain.  
 We had a large meeting the other day and there were over a hundred persons in the room, I was listening to some complaining. I had just gotten back from surgery the day before and quietly thought how some like to complain just for the sake of it. They hardly had a reason , after a few hours realized most of the grief we bring on ourselves, by setting goals that are worldly. My goal was not to complain for as long as possible, at the end of the day felt great- goal achieved.

 There was a man in literature who complained a lot, he was never satisfied. He ended up making a pack with the devil. His name was Faust as some of you may know. Faust wanted material wealth and power and would do anything to achieve this. In the end he was still not happy but was left with a debt he owed , his soul to the devil. It is important to note this was not just a story there are many Faust in this world- who make such pacts. They are never satisfied , one sign of a Faust is the complaining. They have the new car but complain about the trim or the gas mileage , well maybe they should have not bought a hummer. They complain about the heating bill but live in a three story home or about all the grass to mow, did you really need 5 acres. If you had a townhouse maybe you would have time to read your favorite novel and relax.

 In reality if we can get by with less and have peace of mind , we are better off. I am not saying do not get the things you need or even desire but have balance. Especially around the holidays which used to be about reflecting on Christ now it was turned into a spending frenzy by many. I can say we can easily get caught along with the crowds, I have been guilty of this also. Exercise control and contentment in the end when the mail comes it may just be a greeting card not a bill. My gift this week was just being here and am grateful for that. - peace.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Eucharist - or Lords supper

 The Eucharist or Lords Supper as called by some is given as a sacrament at most churches , some at almost every service as in the Lutheran and Catholic services. Some churches less frequently but usually involves reading of scriptures , prayer and sometimes lay ministers are allowed to participate in handing out the sacraments.
 In the catholic faith it is believed that the wine is truly turned into the blood of Christ and the bread the actual body a belief called transubstantiation.  They believe also in this miraculous event that it remains in substance the body and blood of Christ.
 In the Lutheran faith it is believed the bread and wine are turned for that period of time the believer partakes only, if there is any leftover afterwards it was not used in the sacrament therefore it just remains normal bread and wine a practice call consubstantiation. Only what is consumed is of Christ.
 In Anabaptist it is only symbolic of the Lords Supper and nothing is actually mystically transformed.
Some believe that only the pastor or priest can perform the rite and decides who is worthy of partaking. Others believe it is open to all , and no one should be refused as an act of grace.
 The Lord says to do this as often as you like in remembrance of me. So, it is encouraged for us to take part in the sacraments as often as you like according to christian faith. I have a communion set and we sometimes have communion as a family at home, since my son has downs syndrome it allows him to join in at home, and practice the faith. He always folds his hands and says a prayer and I bless the sacraments being an ordained minister years ago , it also keeps me in practice. We enjoy having the sacraments at home and in church , if there are guest at home will ask them if they want to join in also.
 My only comment would be this concerning the various beliefs, does it matter if Christ is present in the bread or wine - to me it is more important that Christ resides in our hearts and minds. I do not doubt however that it is possible as God is omniscient to be present whenever or wherever he wants. So in that sense the bodily presence is possible in the Eucharist. Does a priest have a mystical power to perform the transformation - I guess we are all one with Christ if two or more agree and ask in His name then it is . Can a Catholic priest give absolution or a Lutheran minister - my faith is in Christ who died on the cross , his grace is sufficient to me. I would not want to feel like a caged bird waiting for a minister to hear my confession who says he or she has the keys to my cage to be free. God 's grace is sufficient for me , and the Holy Spirit continually cleanses me from sin. Some may need the help of a priest I do not know as never felt that way. I do know the sacraments give a sense of peace and have spiritual value, I believe should be practiced whenever we have occasion to, lets not get caught up in the mystical arguments but appreciate foremost that Christ is present in us.

Matthew 26
 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body."

Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom."

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Trinity and the unity

  The Trinity has stood for ages the greatest mystery in Gods kingdom. Where does one begin to explain the most controversial subject in religion. The answers are in the scriptures we are told but yet- in interpretation it is left to the believer. The catholic differ from the orthodox on this view and actually split the east and the west churches on one word filioque. Often churches are split on trinitarian beliefs or not. In the catholic and many protestant beliefs the Holy Spirit emanates from the Father and the Son, in orthodox from the Father only. This schism was brought about by the Greek being interpreted into the Latin. The word filioque was added in the Latin and accepted by the catholic church. That single word caused an uproar in the Greek orthodox which held scripture to be unchangeable and they left the catholic body.
 When the Nicene creed was formed it was agreed by all that nothing would be changed from the original Greek under banishment or reprisal by anyone even a bishop or hierarchy. They had full justification for their action and thus left the west for a time to form their own orthodoxy or right way. Now there are some in protestant circles that believe in Jesus only, since Jesus said"I and the Father are one." Some also believe just in the Father because Jesus prayed to the Father and taught to pray in such a way in the Lords Prayer. The Holy Spirit was also said to have given birth to Jesus through Mary, so that leaves another often forgotten precept. So if Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary, is the Son of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit descended on Jesus as a dove at His baptism.
 The Islamic will say there is but one God , Allah the merciful. They are right God is one but we are also one united in Christ. Is not God omniscient ever present in all things, and can appear as He wishes. as a Spirit , as a man or even a dove or flame. He can even be a Word or create with just a thought. He is Almighty and yes he is merciful. Is his name Allah , in the ancient scriptures it states no one knows his name. He states I am who I am when asked by Moses, even Islam states no one can know his name and that Allah is just an adjective, as is Yahweh in the Jewish faith. In Christian faith we are told that the Son can reveal the Father to those he chooses - Matthew 11:27 All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”  I can say first hand this is true, that is what makes me study day and night otherwise I would just be a rebel like other men, the easy life to follow. The Lord is real, however he reveals himself but to me he came as holy, a consuming spirit , so much so that it was hard to be in his presence. Then he touched me without a word , the touch cleansed my soul ,it was only then could I behold his glory.
These are my words not ancient scripture.
 Jesus said"he would ask His Father to send the Holy Spirit" but Yet in the book of John Jesus breathed on the disciples and said receive ye the Holy Spirit. In Genesis the Spirit of God hovered over the waters and created the habitation of the world.
  Jesus was also part of creation in the beginning was God and the Word was with God. Many other verses place Jesus at creation. The word elohim was used a pluralistic word attributed to God. So, it is so The Father , the Son and the Holy Spirit are one and created as one. I guess it goes even further than that for Jesus said in John 17:21-22 That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that you have sent me.  Jesus is saying that we are also one with Christ. Many times Jesus spoke in a divine way , yet he was a man and when he died on the cross he said " Father why hast thou forsaken me." He felt a separation from the Father which is most profound of all. So they are one but each separate. As we are one in Christ but each separate this is the unity of the christian. We are also united in Christ that is even harder for the world to understand than the trinity.
 Except that when I was alone , the Holy Spirit came to me and I felt unclean, he touched me and then it was like we were one. I have felt that way ever since, even when praying to our Father who art in heaven. We are one in unity with Christ only when we may sin still being in the flesh there is a separation but he never leaves or forsakes us - he restores my soul keeping me forever in the palm of his hand. Just like Jesus felt that separation when he took upon himself our sin unto death and then he rose defeating sin and death. I feel confident this is our destiny to have eternal life in Christ.
 We will never fully understand  the trinity but this I understand fully and that is what matters- 1 Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who has called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered a while, restore, establish, strengthen, settle you. John 14:2  Jesus said"In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. This is the word of the Lord -amen

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Orthodoxy and the Traditional

 Studying the various christian and non-christian beliefs it stuck like a pin what is the difference between an orthodox belief and a traditional one. The orthodox meaning right thinking , right  belief, a conformity or approved way of thinking. Yet , they accept the mystical - often seen as abnormal orthodox beliefs are one of  two brothers.  There is a fine line between the vain imagination and first hand experience of founding faith. In my belief first hand experience is always accepted above a soothsayer or even a book. It is surprisingly the same in orthodoxy- the only religious thinking that places firsthand knowledge above traditional. Yet in its very definition it supposed to be conformity. The pin that struck me, was that orthodoxy accepts revelation . First hand knowledge is a precept in the orthodox belief system.
 The traditional belief system is another of two brothers they will deny anything contrary to their belief even if it is touched, tasted or seen firsthand by someone. Traditional thinking is actually contrary to revelation, and even if a person is told black is white , or a man is a toad they would accept it as so, because that is what they are told to believe. I spent some time studying the Jesuits , the society of Jesus formed by the catholic saint Ignatius  of Loyola. He was a traditional thinker , whatever the pope said was the truth. Yet - hundreds of universities were dedicated to his traditional thinking throughout the world, he promoted knowledge. He was the foremost defender of the catholic faith and the passionate opponent of reform. Revered even today as a saint by the papacy of course he saved the catholic church from losing many followers. He was a man of works , he fed the poor , helped the needy and was after all the founder of the society of Jesus, but did he sacrifice tradition for truth.
 Who is right and who is wrong- which brother. We see there was a time in history where the orthodox split from the traditional. The Greek split from the Roman way of thinking, they became two churches with two heads. Both consecrate priests and each has a vast following, can both be right. Ignatius of Loyola once said, if the both pope said black was white , then black is white. Man is not proven by works neither is truth. Tradition is not always right ,neither is Orthodox but orthodox does accept first hand knowledge over what is being told to believe. Tradition is not always wrong either as it was conceived from founding faith, but alas interpretations can be lost over time and can also be perverted by men of greed for power or lust.
 There is a fine balance between the Orthodox and Tradition that we must maintain. Revelation is not always new thought but sometimes a correction back to an original one. I maintain we should return to the scriptures and practice faith not blindly but as Jesus taught. Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? Then in Matthew 7:22 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.  
 This is profound- They have done all these things in thy name yet Jesus said he never knew them. Do not be fooled by tradition, accept only what you discover first hand and follow the scriptures ask for the holy spirit to reveal God's word. First we need to understand these persons were not necessarily the Jesuits many are truly followers of faith and obedient to the holy spirit. They were neither the Orthodox because they have among them followers of faith and obedience to the holy spirit. Faith and obedience is a personal commitment and relationship each of us has with God.Romans 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
 I can give an example of each denomination of a leader that has fallen, catholic - protestant all have fallen short of the glory of God, one is not held accountable for the sins of the preacher. I know Jesus is my Lord - I know salvation is personal, and have first hand experience the Holy Spirit is real. Still of all the vast knowledge never one even the wisest even touched the surface, Ecclesiastes 8:17 then I saw all that God has done. No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all his efforts to search it out, man cannot discover its meaning. Even if a wise man claims he knows, he cannot really comprehend it.
 So believing we are in constant revelation and understanding cannot accept a traditional belief system. Therefore deny all religions that corrupt founding faith and that are not open to first hand knowledge. All fall short - and can tell you this I know the difference between a man and a toad.
 I  devote my resources to understanding of the scriptures and would not sit in judgement of the Orthodox or the Traditional- no one is perfected and in the end they are still brothers. It should be recognized that we are constantly learning and should be prepared for correction when necessary. God never changes but our understanding does, we need to be open to any knowledge he is willing to impart. We also should recognize we will be judged according to our own commitment and obedience to Christ as stated in Romans and Corinthians.
 As we enter the advent season when we contemplate our faith a time of correction toward becoming closer to Christ, we need to light a candle and share our joy , our peace with others. I hope to attend a candlelight service and feel the warmth of christian fellowship. -amen.