Saturday, November 27, 2010

Worry - Worry - Worry

Money or the lack there of is a source of worry for a great many people. It is most understandable that a person with no income except charity has good cause for worry about where the next meal with come from. The other side of the coin is that the wealthy also wind up worrying about money. They worry about losing it or some one stealing it.

How much is enough so that we have what we need to live but do not need to worry about money? Contentment with our life is to me a good goal. At a time when we had very little income we understood the value of tithing and giving to those in greater need. Charity, contentment, and clarity all come from recognizing that our life is a gift from God and that sharing it with God’s other children in love is the goal. Love God, love others, and love self in that order and money worries go away.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Bent Out of Shape

Life sometimes leaves us bent out of shape. As it rains on the just and unjust alike life happens to us and we experience disappointment or rejections. An illness comes and leaves us weak and arthritis becomes our daily companion. A close death leaves a vacuum and grief overwhelms us. People we thought were trusted friends betray us. There are days we can't find the strength to get up and move ahead. We wonder if life is worth living or not.

Jesus once told a crippled man "to rise take up his bed and walk." After that it was his choice. He could lie there and keep begging wondering if he had been healed, or he could get up and walk.

We too must make a choice. We can stay in our despair or with God's help we can get up and get on with the life God has given us. That is often very difficult but the key is making the choice and seeking help from God  as well as others. Choose to focus positive thoughts on God's gifts to you and how you might best use them. 

Like the wood of a bentwood rocker you can be bent into shape instead of out of shape.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Listening to each other

Communication is often difficult because we misunderstand one another and respond too quickly. The response is then misunderstood as well because it was about something different than we think we said. So often we don’t have all the details and assume information that is not correct. This process is exacerbated when we can not see each other face to face and ask the right questions. It is important that we can ask one another, “What do you mean by that?” and elicit an explanation. Done with respect it will enhance our communication.

I believe that my opinions are correct or I wouldn’t hold them.  However I have been known to change my opinion when presented with new facts. In listening to the variety of opinions in our community I can learn and serve the community better. So can we all.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Blatant False Advertisement

We received our December issue of the Smithsonian yesterday.Near the back was an advertisement that shocked me! The claim was that a coin for sale that was minted by one of the three kings that attended the birth of Jesus. The title reads: "Discovered: Three kings silver coin from the time of Jesus's birth."

It turns out that the coins are silver drachmas minted by the Persian King Azes II who ruled between 35 BC and 5 AD. He did not travel to Jerusalem to see Jesus. There were no "Kings" that went to see Jesus. The Gospel according to Matthew says that some Maji [astrologers] from the East. It was a song. "We Three Kings"  that made them kings. We don't know where they came from as east could mean anywhere across the Jordan river.

If the seller presented this as they should have as a "Persian silver Drachma from about 35 BC," it would not sell as well as linking the coins  to Jesus' birth. As they say there is a sucker born every minute.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Eighth Day of Creation

The book of Genesis tells us that God created the heavens and earth in six days and rested on the seventh.

Now comes the eighth day and we say what happened next? At that point the book begins to tell about human activity but we also learn that God was still busy overseeing creation perhaps even adjusting things a bit here and there.

Astronomy tells us that new stars are constantly being created so one might conclude that God is still working on creation even now. One would not want to limit God's activity so we can not say that God has stopped creating after the sixth day. As a matter of act the bible only says that God rested on the seventh day. 

This of course brings up the idea that perhaps God has created other beings in other places in God's image like us.  They may not look like us but still have the spirit with in them. We have to say we don't know but that it is a possibility.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Living the Bible

Saint Origen who lived from 185 to 254 AD and was Bishop of Alexandria was trying to live by the teachings of Jesus as literally as possible. I is said that when he read in Matthew 19:12, “There are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of Heaven.”  he took it quite literally and castrated himself.

Later on in his Christian life he became a preeminent theologian of the Christian Church and was an ardent advocate of the figurative interpretation of the scriptures.

If you try to take everything in the bible literally and live by it you can make some grievous errors in interpretation.