Wednesday, April 18, 2012


 One of my favorite past times is reading about American History. Currently reading "Nothing Like It in the World"  by Stephen Ambrose about the Transcontinental Railroad given to me by a relative. I was also reading books about American presidents and behold Thomas Jefferson. One of the amazing things about Jefferson was that he was a christian , some believed he was an atheist. Jefferson had an issue with the bible, though - believing it to be partly inspired not forsaking it entirely. Whatever felt right in his discernment he kept whatever pages were not inspiring he tore out. Finally he ended up with the Jefferson bible - Yes , historians later found the leftover pieces that remained in his shattered bible and created it. You can actually purchase a copy of the Jefferson bible or find it online.
 How much of the bible remained after Jefferson got done with it - less than half. Now - he did this while he was president of the United States. Imagine him having a meeting with his generals discussing perhaps the American Indians or slavery , then walking into the study pulling out his secret bible - ripping out pages. Was it a way to take out frustrations , getting back at God or did Jefferson feel these pages did not belong in Christianity. I ask myself how did the bible become the book it is today. We know in fact it was translated from the Hebrew, to the Greek , to Latin and then German and English.
We know it also was translated into 100's of languages and dozens of versions but none so radical as the Jefferson bible.
 Each of us has a favorite verse or verses that we memorized. The 23rd Psalm is one of the most famous memorized chapters in the bible. I personally like the Psalms my absolute favorite gospel was the one that was never written. The unwritten gospel that Jesus lived by example. The one Jesus spoke about but never put to paper because it is about you. You are the gospel the unwritten word that is often read by others - we live by example. The only book that some may ever read is you. Don't get caught up in the translation because the only "trans" that matters is the transformation of your life. You are the reality and what is important in Jesus world. He passed this legacy onto all of us who follow in the footsteps of Christ - to be read.
 One lesson Jesus stressed in his ministry was to be obedient to God's commands and they were not burdensome. The transformation into a new being - this is being a christian. If you are not willing to change or have a personal walk with God all these written pages mean nothing. Lets not place all the importance on the written word - the Living Word is what matters.

Friday, April 13, 2012


 Everyone has a different taste for music it is almost like food. Some like the rock and roll , others pop or jazz , R&B  - classical and there are even many genres of gospel. What makes our toes begin to tap or gets us motivated is often found in music. Over the years I tried several instruments guitar , banjo, keyboard and others - my playing is not the greatest but do enjoy music. In church it is nice to hear a song of worship to get in the mood. Even before Jesus time music was always an important part of worship.The timbrel , the harp and the drum were always popular musical instruments and today various off springs of these banjo and guitar. The piano is almost a type of harp played with keys and pedals boxed in to produce a wider range of sounds.
 We are told in the book of Psalms to make a joyful noise unto the Lord.  Not everyone is musically inclined and sometimes we do not have the best voices for the choir. I do believe that God loves worship and it is an important part of being a believer. Even Elvis got his start singing gospel as did the late Whitney Houston and many others. Music is even popular in the Hindu and other religions. American Indians and African tribal drums were considered the most sacred items and possessions. Even in the book of Revelations there are harps played. There are some christian however that will argue music is not appropriate in church services that it should not replace silence. There is a time for silence and also a time for musical worship. Even the American Indians had the drums and silent time, their worship to the Great Mystery was often defined as silent and solitary.
 There needs to be a balance of both music and silence neither is without merit, to me they are like the day and night times. Usually in the morning the sun is up we hear the birds singing , the rooster crows in the new day. At night we can see the moon it is somewhat quiet except for the nocturnal creatures there are always a few crickets singing. Everything is in gentle balance the day and the night. The important thing is that we have the right attitude in all things. If we are in harmony with God and worship out of love it is right on.
 Music has been around as long as worship for a reason, it is an expression of love and appreciation.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Divine Madness

Divine madness-
This phrase was first coined by Socrates the famous Greek philosopher and teacher. He was the teacher of Plato , who later taught Aristotle. He recognized a voice beyond himself constantly keeping him from danger. He would term the voice "divine madness" which was a blessing to all mankind. It was a kind of intuition or sixth sense that we all seem to have.
 Now Socrates most famous saying was  " I know I know nothing " . Here was the most brilliant person of his age and made that profound statement. Socrates had no particular belief system and he would usually answer a question with a question. I know this is something that annoys me - why not give a direct answer. I think it was out of respect for others opinions - some ask a question and may already have an answer but just want your insight or want to see if you know.
 Socrates was not alone in "divine madness" for men throughout history have learned to hear the still small voice. Amazing how some who do not even believe in God recognize a power beyond themselves. Just because a person does not believe - God still exists. Yes- Socrates held a believe in re-incarnation believing there was too much to learn and experience in one lifetime . He also believed in the soul - that it was to be nourished and kept pure and that the unknowable god wanted him to be a philosopher.  We hear of all the famous philosophers Socrates, Plato, Confucius, Buddha and many more all recognized the power beyond their own. Now - I do not blame or fault them for not believing in God. For to believe in God we have to define who God is and since that is impossible we can only speculate.
 As a christian I follow Jesus but it was some time before the knowledge of the Lord or the Light came my way. I struggled for many years before reading the bible and committing to Christ. It was like a great burden was lifted and 35 + years later still believe. Will I ever know all the things of God- like Socrates " I know I know nothing". It was recently that many Christians are beginning to study other religions , perhaps because of the internet with all the knowledge at their fingertips. I enjoy doing comparative religious studies but nothing compares to Jesus.
 Especially like to study holy men of all religions - the gurus, the teachers , the saints and theologians. Yes- I know we should not look on men or woman but it is intriguing. People are amazing and I like to see what drives them. A religion is not as interesting as the people - anyone can write something on paper as to what they may believe or strive to become. The amazing thing about Jesus is that he never wrote a book or a guide. All that is known about Jesus was written by others and Jesus thought the Holy Spirit or comforter was sufficient to teach us.
 I often had a habit of talking to myself - funny but my guess is we all do to a point. Listening is very hard - the holy man is the master of listening. Listening and discerning not necessarily commenting on everything will help you throughout life. We are supposed to carefully choose our words and the impact on others, it is not easy to discipline the tongue yet alone the mind. My goal is to have the mind of Christ, whether it is ever reached is not important but that is my goal.
 Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Imagine if Socrates was able to find the Lord and have a conversation, it almost seems unfair that he was born centuries before. The "divine madness" that is hardly explained away in science, philosophy or even religion is the gift that God gave to everyone to protect us, help in survival and to some a two-way communication giving thanks for that love and protection. There are some who thank God at least a hundred times a day- then there are others who take God for granted. For this I respect the Hindu and the Muslim - they are constantly thanking God - taking time out to pray in the middle of their day. If we were to roll out a prayer mat at work it may be taken as "divine madness" yet millions do and it is a part of the accepted culture.
 God is not a subconscious , God is a higher conscious - much higher.