Thursday, October 19, 2017

The #Bible: Disciples' Toolbox (an #Instruction #Manual, a Bag of #Seed, #Pruning #Shears, #Source #Directory ...)

My friend tells me that The Holy Bible is 'a manual she has to consult to make sure she's living her life right.' (Well, she might not have mentioned "The Holy Bible" at the time; but we were talking about Lord Jesus Christ and the fact that He's the Son of God who sacrificed Himself for the life of Humanity—something that many learn from The Holy Bible.)

That makes me think of a few things: First (mostly because 'the dissenting voice' in the back of your mind is already making this noise), there's the idea that many 'dissenters' (atheists, believers from 'churches with conflicting views) have: that 'The Bible is a Disciple's Toolbox' full of "tricks to dupe the congregation out of their worldly wealth"; and it might even look that way sometimes ... with the most-popular church-leaders living in the biggest mansions at the highest brackets of their economies*.

(Most church-leaders' excuse there? Jesus Christ Himself said "No loving father would give a stone or a snake to his hungry son if he asked for a piece of bread or a fish." And one of Christianity's 'central tent-pole's is that Our Father is 'the king of the universe'—it's almost impossible to believe that if We His Children aren't living 'posh lifestyles on the dole,' no?

(But then Lord Jesus Christ Himself also said to expect a lot of pain-&-suffering.... either way, 'the size of this side-track' shows you one reason 'dissenters' aren't welcome in the church—the reason-why there's a church (sorta like the reason why I started this blog-post) isn't "to make sure everybody's got their theology right," as much as it is 'to bring the whole congregation together and -one step into the future!')

That brings me to 'the reason-why I started this post'—it's a little-bit 'to make sure everybody's got their theology right,' but more 'to remind you that everybody's theology is right (for that individual person at that minuscule moment).'

'Everybody's theology is right' because The Holy Bible's only rule is very basic—so basic that I can't even accurately describe it ... it would be like telling you 'what a fingerprint is' by describing 'my fingerprint' (it would give you an idea of 'what your own fingerprint is like,' but my fingerprints may have some characteristics that would make you think I'm describing 'something that's not a fingerprint at all!).

The way Lord Jesus Christ put it, the only rule is Love. 'All the other rules' were more like "applications of that rule to all the other interactions in life."

The true sense of the word "Bible" is "Paper, Scroll" (Biblio-).

So The Holy Bible is a manual for life in about the same way 'an algebra-textbook is a manual for unicycle-ing on a tightrope'—the textbook is going to tell you some crucial things about it, but it'll miss a lot of the secrets you'll need to learn!

Still, 'anything Jesus Christ tells His whole church' should be found in The Holy Bible. And one of the most-important things He tells us is 'that the Kingdom of God is a garden—the quality of one's life being a mark of the quality of the Seed planted, our obedience in heeding Instruction, our ability to draw nutrients from many Source (to be used as the Directory indicates), and to know that Father God's Shears cut us up only to Prune us (that our yield of fruits will increase).

The true sense of the word "Manual" is "Hand" (shows you where the true 'hand of God' is, and also explains why a manual is also known as a "handbook).
The true sense of the word "Instruction" is "On + to Pile, Build" (to Spread).
The true sense of the word "Seed" is "to Sow."
The true sense of the word "Directory" (Direct) is "Guide, Book of Rules; Apart + to Move in a Straight Line" (I thought it meant more 'a list of contact-information' than a "how-to reference" ... then again, maybe 'how-to contact the right sources' is all you need to know!)
The true sense of the word "Source" is "Up from Below (Sub-) + to Keep in a straight line" (Rule, Reign).
The true sense of the word "Prune" is uncertain beyond "Cut Back"—maybe "to Round Off," maybe "Layer of a Vine" (Prop).
The true sense of the word "Shears" is "to cut" (also the name of "a Device for Raising the Masts of a Ship").

I want to repeat that we are not "given" the pruning shears, but rather we are told what they do to two kinds of 'branches.' (That passage reminds us that Our Father is the one who uses the pruning shears; and we know  what happens to people who try to do jobs other than the ones assigned!

*Though these leaders & ministers seem to be living posh lifestyles of the rich and famous, 'the lives that most of us see them living' are more like "prison-sentences"—their activities have to be planned far-far-far in advance, and they then (usually) lack the freedom to 'pull out of a scheduled appearance to make another one elsewhere!'

That's why U.S. Presidents don't think anything of it when they 'sit & read a storybook to children' or 'hold a golf-tournament' at the same time as they ought to be 'helping serve hurricane-aid' or 'leading troops on the battlefield.'

Hopeful Faith? Wrong! HopeLESS Faith? Wrong! Right Faith? #Regardless! @CopelandNetwork #Hope #Regard

I prayed that I would get married. Maybe I will one day; but I'm currently 36 years old*, so it most-likely won't be 'the typical courtship-&-wooing marriage.'

Anyway, that fact (that I prayed I'd be married, and that my prayer-request hasn't been "fulfilled" yet) is kind of another form of "sacred cow"-Scripture (misinterpreted Bible-verses that lead to misinterpreted situations & not -to fruitful, abundant "life")

That's another reason I feel encouraged to correct my friends whenever they ask that 'we pray that their wishes are fulfilled or -that sufferers find comfort or -that diseases are cured or -that money is provided or -etc.' ... I'm tempted to flat-out respond, "No! God doesn't 'answer your prayers'; 'your prayers' chime in with his voice (that's been singing since the beginning)!" (i.e. You know "God's will is/was/will-be done," and so you pray to help move yourself to 'the sweet spot'—where you can best serve it & -be served by it.)

... Reminds me that most Christians' 'prayers' ought to be more "meditations" (lament, maybe; praise, definitely) than "requests." That's the way I read "Our Father" (The Lord's Prayer)—as if it's saying "yes, these are the things Our Father is and -does" rather than 'oh gorsh! I sure hope you are- & do these things for us pretty-pretty-pleeeeeeeeeeeeeez!'

My 'prayers' are answered–whether or not I ever pray them, whether or not I ever 'avail myself of their fulfillment'–whether 'the way I want them' or 'a better way' ... ... Regardless!

The true sense of the word "Regard" is "(intensely) Look, Heed" (Guard).
The true sense of the word "Hope" is uncertain beyond "to Trust, Confide, Assume" (maybe connected to "Hop" in terms of "Leaping in Expectation.") 

My faith in 'God' is so strong, I don't even have to watch 'God' to know "the will of 'God'" is done!**

*Interesting Fact: The younger a person marries, the more likely it is that they will get divorced. Of course that's only 'according to statistics,' and statistics are only right 100% of the time (with a 100% margin-of-error); but you can see 'how that's so'—younger people expect more out of marriage-partnership, and elders are more-likely to accept the fact that 'marriage is just getting/being a witness to make sure you/they are as good as you/they say you/they are' (or whatever other reason they call marriage "settling down.")

** At least in that last line (maybe everywhere else too, but the popular meaning needs to be changed); The being I'm talking about when I say 'God' is not "our daddy who sends us gifts from his castle in the clouds" so much as it is 'the "Amen to Life" part-&-parcel with every living being in the Universe.'

Monday, October 16, 2017

Problems with #Faith - The Truth Doesn't Need a #Word of to Give It #Power @CopelandNetwork @POTUS @VP

In a sermon linked from KCM's article about faith-filled words' domination over the world, Brother Kenneth Copeland reminds us how to gain mastery over the forces of reality. But (as the sermon & its attached notes might explain) faith-without-action is dead.

I know you know that, and everybody else does too. Brother Copeland even makes that clear in his 'Six "I"s of Prayer' (six statements every prayer has to at-least imply): I believe. I will. I take it. I have it. I thank you for it. I forgive if I have aught against any.

(That's right; you don't just 'ask for it In Jesus' Name Amen' and wait for a special-delivery, but you go out & do as God commanded with faith that 'the prayed-for thing' will be available when you have the need to go and get it!)

Case in point: The 'moron-in-chief' (a title I still haven't heard the White House staff deny). According to the video below, America has 'lost faith in him' (I hear he never had 'a majority' of our faith, but the video seems to say there's even less now), but we all "have faith" that he is going to continue to do 'the job'—not very well, but sufficiently until Pence & Trump's Cabinet declare him unfit for the office ...

That's the kind of faith I have in God—not 'faith that God's gonna make everything just-the-way-everybody-likes-it,' but 'faith that everything will be the way God wills it to be (whether I- or anybody else-likes it or not).

The true sense of the word "Power" is "to Be Able" (Potent).
The true sense of the word "Word" is "to Speak, Say" (Verb).
The true sense of the word "Faith" is "to Trust, Persuade, Confide" ("Faith is: the being able to cleave to a power of goodness appealing to our higher and real self, not to our lower and apparent self. [Matthew Arnold, "Literature & Dogma," 1873]).

Then today I watched an episode of Concepts of Faith, where Charles Capps' daughter & his wife were talking about 'how words of faith affect your health.' And 'the daughter' (I don't remember if it was Annette or Beverly) remembered how a teacher one day told her that people shouldn't say they "have" a sickness or an injury (e.g. I have had a sprained ankle, I have had a brain-injury, etc.), but rather should say something more like 'this-or-that part of my body is doing something strange.'

And then her mother interjected, "What about those mornings where you wake up & you're not feeling wonderful—with a headache or a stomach-ache?" And the daughter replied with one of those 'I just live by faith & not by sight (or sound or feeling)'-responses.

(Of course you know what she probably actually does—calls-in-sick and rests while thinks shift back into balance ... maybe taking some properly-prescribed drugs and/or drinking more- or less-water to help it.)

But the answer reminds me of an episode of StarTalk, where astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson told us that the Earth & Moon are bombarded with 'bajillions' of asteroids/meteors/meteorites every year. Makes me wonder why neither the Earth nor the Moon are shifted out of orbit yet ...

The Capps-daughter also mentioned the Bible's reminder that huge ships are steered by little rudders. I think, "Yeah; but if a huge wave shoves your ship sideways, what're you gonna do?"

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Life Is Good, but ?Only? If You #Honor YOUR Father & Mother; but wasn't Jesus a Son of Levi? @ShepherdsChapel

Watching a recording of Shepherd's Chapel's chapter-by-chapter, verse-by-verse Bible-study this morning, I learned that America's ancestry (or maybe 'the popular European colonists'' ancestry) was actually from the Hebrew tribe of Joseph (a.k.a. Zaphnathpaaneah).

That branch of the family-tree that goes all the way back to God isn't traced past Joshua (Oshua) son of Nun. Searching to see if there's any American connection to the Hebrew lineage, I find some research on The Lost Tribes—particularly the Native-American ancestry (more like 'suspected ancestry') & Brit-Am/British Israelism ... not to mention a kinda-sorta Dutch.

Then I 'surf' over to the 'Tribe' (okay, "House") of Joseph, and read that–after they were split into the two half-tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, and conquered by the Assyrians & banished into exile (where they were lost forever in the murk of history)–The Church of God in Christ discovered that Americans are direct descendants of Manasseh—if not by blood- & historical-lineage, then at least by the prophecy of Jacob ... which said that Ephraim & Manasseh are to father the greatest nations in the world (Ephraim being the father of Great Britain).


So ... hmm ... maybe I've been going-about 'the idea that you should check "the teachings of the church" against "the words of Jesus"' the wrong way; Jesus wasn't 'our brother' so much as He was 'our cousin.' Doesn't change the fact that we all can count God as 'an ancestor,' but maybe it puts Jesus in a different context—the same way an American saying "Our President" (to other Americans) might be talking about any of the 45 people who have filled the office so far.

"Honoring" God as our father without honoring Manasseh and/or Ephraim (of Joseph Z.) might dishonor our father!

The true sense of the word "Honor" is unknown beyond (words that mean) "dignity, distinction, position; Victory, triumph, office, reputation."
The Biblical usage is from the Hebrew kab·bêḏ.

That is–as Jesus honored Abraham, Isaac & Jacob/Israel through His life (in the tribes of Judah & Levi)–we ought to  continue their eternal victory through our lives in the tribes of Manasseh & Ephraim!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

True #Rapture (the Real, Top-Secret 'Good News') @KenDavisLive @CW_TheFlash @AwesomEmergency @IMDb

That's the word that best fits this feeling I'm feeling—the feeling you get when you realize how things are fitting together (the little dopamine-boost that helps sell jigsaw-puzzles).

The true sense of the word "Rapture" (Rapt) is "a Carrying Off, Abduction, Snatching Away" (Spiritual Ecstasy, State of Mental Transport).

Ken Davis was 'a bully trapped in a nerd's body'; he was picked-on by more-athletic kids, but he enjoyed 'making fun' of slow-thinkers. He tells of this one summer-camp he went to, where he would follow another guy around—making fun of the guy's uneven gait and poorly-pronounced words and distinct lisp.

Ken tells of the last day of camp, when everybody was packed & ready-to-go-home & standing in a group, waiting for dismissal. And that slow guy approached the group announcing, "Good Newwwwwwzh! Good Newwwwwzh!"

The 'Good News' he announced—I'm sure you know it, so I don't repeat it 'out loud' here (I tell it to you in every word I say, but only in the same way I tell you 'I have to breathe-in before I speak').

In another story in that episode of What's So Funny, Ken's message came through loud-&-clear—the purpose of your life is not 'the Good News.' (And it's not 'to glorify God' ... God appreciates whatever glory we give him, sure; but "our glorification is as filthy rags.") It is 'to deliver a message.' And it can't be described; it has to be lived ... we are "the shining city on the hill-top, the light on the lampstand, the lighthouse on the edge of the stormy sea" (and I say 'we are' because it would seem narcissistic to say that "I am these things"; but–as much as you are–so am I.)
I watched that before I went to sleep last night. Then this morning I watched Flash Reborn—the season-opener of The Flash. Last season (as non-SPOILER-y as I can), 'some guy' went 'somewhere beyond our space-time,' and we "really" thought he would be gone forever; then some new 'baddie' popped-up & it seemed like the good guys needed to bring back 'some guy' from the 'somewhere beyond our space-time.'

So they did bring 'him' back, but he couldn't quite communicate with this world; he would only draw symbols on the walls and–when asked about them–would only respond in demented babble. They good guys had to sedate him & lock him in a special chamber designed to hold 'those kinda guys,' where he continued writing symbols on the walls and babbling dementia ... until 'some guy's girl' and 'some guy's girl's dad' had a 'realization' (giving me a shot of 'Rapture') and 'some guy's girl' saved the world by "having faith in his love."

(Awesome Emergency also reviews the whole episode.)

"'The girl' saves the world (or at-least the city) with her faith" the same way Christians "find salvation through their prayers"—though their prayers don't actually 'change God's actions' in any way, "the prayers are answered" because they are caused by the dangers from-which Christians know God will save them (just like 'the guy's girl' knew 'the guy' would save her from the danger, even though there was no real way 'the guy' could've known that 'the girl' wasin danger.)

What Christians 'Really Mean' when they say "Prayers" (All #Prayer is "#Yes God! #Amen God!")

I usually (almost annoyingly) feel compelled to 'correct' my friends (on FacebookTwitter, and online forums like myLotQuora & Google+ & Yahoo Answers) when they ask friends to 'pray for them' or -tell people 'how they're praying' or 'what they're praying-for' etc.

These 'friends' (and other 'childishly hopeful' believers like them) are the reason why people think God's answer isever No!

(Oh, I 'express my irritation' that these people seem to be going against the Words of Lord Jesus Christ: "Pray not in the synagogues nor on the street-corner nor anywhere that others can see"; but the root-purpose is the preservation of God's Holy Yes.)

The true sense of the word "Prayer" (Pray) is "to Ask, Beg" (Petition, Request ... the entry doesn't 'say' it, but a lot of the roots look very close to the word "Precarious").

And–if our prayer is 'approved by Jesus' (that is, "according to God's will" ... as the world would see it, "in the pattern of Jesus' successful prayers")–God's answer 'is' "Yes! Amen! to the glory of God's Kingdom"*

The true sense of the word "Yes" is "So + Be It" (Yea)—the Hebrew being (something like ... as we're not talking about 'the Old Testament') Ken  
"(And Thus, Wherefore, for This, after That, Of it, it Must be so, the More, in Like Manner, the Same, Well), the Greek being Nai (Truth, Even so; to Him, yes; to Them, Yes; of God, yes; that with Me there Will be yes, Indeed, Surely)
The true sense of the word "Amen" (which–Pastor John tells us–means the same thing in the Hebrew as in the Greek as in the English)  is "to be Trustworthy, Confirm, Support" ... 'Confirm,' giving new meaning to the Catholic sacrament of Confirmation—realizing that it's 'making the young-adult believer into an "Amen!"'

So 'true "Christian" prayer' (prayer 'of The Anointed One's Anointing) is not so much "a believer asking Father God for a blessing or miracle" as it is 'a believer replying to God's communication, trying to understand what God wants him to know.'

In other words–though 'prayer' seems to mean 'to Ask'–True Christian prayers are Answers to God's prayers!

The true sense of the word "Answer" is "Against + to Swear" (Front, Forehead).

Etymonline suggests the original sense was 'to Make a Sworn Statement Rebutting a Charge.' 'God's Word' (both "the Church-Approved Scriptures" and 'life as it is presented to you') levies the charge that we inevitably answer—with action or with inaction.

What most 'immature believers' call "God's answers to our prayers" areactually just 'final judgments we either hoped-for or can-live-with' ... sort of like 'the main character in Garth Brooks' "Unanswered Prayers"' (who prays for 'a certain girl to become his one-&-only wife,' but who actually ends up with 'adifferent girl whom he loves more than he ever loved the high-school-sweetheart!')

*The 'worldly skeptic' in me says "No, God made 'the declaration' before anyone-but-God knew you existed; and you're 'agreeing to what God said long-ago & -must've planned to happen now -etc.' ... sort of the way Americans 'fully agree with the Constitution of the United States of America'—if you don't 'fully agree,' there's nothing you can do to change it!"