Really, who would have wanted to add to the clamor that the US election was and still is. It is good enough to have stayed silent on the matter. I am comforted that some of the facts of life are being stated clearly now, having been obviously repressed before by those who consider themselves above speaking straight. I have learned a thing or two about deceit, malice and guile, in media and in my own communications, and feel that somehow by engaging I have done the thing of the fall of the garden of Eden. I have come to know good and Evil. It can't be undone.
There are just two insights I wanted to jot down before I forget. One has to do with letting your hair go grey, or "au natural" or "silver". Mine actually is silver under the layers of brown color. Once upon a time my hair was dark brown, for real. Once a upon a time.--It only takes an hour to color your hair but it takes months to get the color to go and still have hair. It is a journey, and maybe I will write about it next time. One person who inspired me was Christine Lagarde, Manager of the International Monetary Fund. She is the most high profile woman I have seen pictures of that wears her silver extremely well. I can live with that. You need something pretty on your ears, and other bling (but not too much) and the right amount of make-up (not too much, but definite), and an up-to-date hair-cut. I am working on it. Yesterday, I was offered the Senior's Discount.
The second thing on my mind is, before I forget, is how people say "I so very much want to live in the moment." And other people say: "I am walking with the Lord." And then others ridicule: "People live with their imaginary friends." And others say: "I am always craving intimacy". And then there is the Christian greeting: "The Lord be with you", and "And also with you." And then some people like to talk about a "presence". And some say: "May the Force be with you." And then others talk about their muse and their daimon. The daimon does not sound very good, and to be honest, the people who have talked about their daimon, have also been the deceptive ones.
There I have noted it down, but that's all the time for right now.
In my old age, (I am exaggerating), I have found that I have some trouble with joints on the left side. The Alberta Health care system provides for some face to face counselling on health related matters, and my counselor encouraged me to get involved with yoga classes. I progressed from the extremely gentle Realignment Yoga, to the Power Yoga offered at lunch time. With some practice, I am finding that I am actually quite flexible. It is a lot of fun and I feel that the yoga class is my candy dessert exercise class. I am also feeling that I am getting stronger in ways that help me move, during day to day demands on the body. I can feel that my muscles and joints are there for me when I need them. This is a great blessing.
In sitting and thinking about it, it occurred to me that there is something similar in the spiritual realm. Many people nowadays, have very little knowledge of the Bible, the Bible stories, about faith in God, about the Ten Commandments and the Creed, daily and weekly worship. They have become very, very weak in this area. And they don't know it. Until they muscle up and practice it, they are not aware of what they are missing, of what is not there for them when they are in crisis situations, or ethical conundrums, how to teach their kids, or how to pray. They need to take their Bible class, the way they take their yoga class.
They will suffer a spiritual breakdown, a psychological breakdown, an existential breakdown, fall into cynicism, skepticism, nihilism, drug addictions, anxiety, neurosis, etc. and not quite know how it hit them. Their spirit is weak and untrained, like my body was weak and untrained. I don't want to say that I am better than those people. But I work at keeping the message of hope, love, grace, forgiveness, in my mind, through going to sermon, to communion, and reading my Bible. Also, we are all going to age, lose everything and die. How are we preparing for that? How will you cope and how will you cope when your loved ones die? --Sit in lotus position? Hardly.
Some might think that the Eastern Yoga and consciousness raising provides a kind of spirituality.
I find that all the business with calming yourself and getting into your body and out of your mind, is a healthy exercise. I don't pray or chant to any gods, etc. I focus on the stretches and what I can stretch better, and how I can get circulation into tissues that don't get a lot of circulation. It's good. Thinking more about what you are doing and why you are doing it, is also a healthy exercise.
I would recommend, however, to all those who think that yoga and mindfulness is the answer, that they are missing out on forming their spirit.
Don't just shape your body, shape your spirit, too. Read your Bible.
It has happened to me several times now that someone thought that the various "versions" of the Bible are all different and products of various edits over the years. Every time some editor (I don't know who they would mean) has picked away at the literature, there is a new version.
Some rabbi, whose talk a friend of mine liked on Facebook, went on for about half an hour tying to distinguish the "a son of man" in Daniel, from the "the Son of Man" of the Gospels. In the middle of that he laughed in scorn at the King James "version". First of all, it was a great travesty to go from "a" son of man to "the"son of man. Then it was ridiculous that there could be "versions" of this.
We must be grasping at straws, me thinks. Messianic Jews find this passage extremely compelling.
The fact is that the manuscripts are ancient and have been treated with reverence and care. The different versions, deal with changes in our contemporary language and expression. All try to be faithful to the original.
For an example of different "versions" of the Bible see this: http://biblehub.com/
for the Bible in different languages and editions.
--------------- Also from Facebook below: Comedian wrong about the Bible.
"The moment an atheist or critic of the Bible (or comedian, in this case) uses this ridiculous telephone canard, you can be sure they have zero idea what they are talking about, and are farting hot wind for rhetorical effect. The Bible did not come to us through a process of editing, rewriting, or multiple translations. Every, single reputable translation we have comes directly from spectacularly well-attested Greek and Hebrew manuscripts. And in general, the newer, more literal translations (ESV, NASB, etc.) are drawn from the very oldest manuscripts, which long predate the sources for older English translations, like the King James. And of course, the Bible's manuscript evidence is stronger than virtually any other work of antiquity, including the works of philosophers like Plato and authors like Homer, whom no one seriously disputes as authentic and essentially true to their autographs. In other words, when someone uses the telephone argument, you can dismiss them, and suggest they come back when they know what they're talking about." ~@Gregory Shane Morris
The other day, on some anti-Christian thread, someone made claims about how things about Jesus did not get established until so many centuries and so many commentaries after.
I said, why don't you just read the Apostolic witness.
To that thread came a man who is converting to atheistic Judaism who said that we should follow the rabbis and their well established commentaries. Reading things at face value was the worst and most dangerous thing to do.
I told him about the perspicuity of scripture. But that seems to be ok with nobody.
In the end it was me who was "stupid" and "insulting" and a whole host of things.
In German, my English translation follows: Diejenigen "Linken" und "Liberalen", die keinen Finger krumm machten, um muslimische Frauen vor Bevormundung, Zwangsverheiratung, Gewalt in der Familie und Ehrenmorde zu retten, wollen nun ihre freiheitlich-liberale Einstellung unter Beweis stellen indem sie das Tragen der Burka/ des Niqabs für ein Menschenrecht erklären. Nein, Frauenrechte sind Menschenrechte. Und Geschlechter-Apartheid ist ein Verstoß gegen Menschenrechte. Geschlechtertrennung ist die Einstellung aus der Zwangsverheiratung und Ehrenmorde ihre Legitimation beziehen. Es ist auch die gleiche Einstellung aus der Terrorismus entsteht. Denn einem, der den Lebensstil einer Gesellschaft ablehnt und verachtet, fällt es leichter, Gewalt gegen diese sündigen Gesellschaft auszuüben! My translation: Those who call themselves "left" on the spectrum and "liberal" don't lift a finger to actually rescue Muslim women from oppression, forced marriage, violence in marriage and honor killings. Now these same individuals want to prove their freedom loving, liberal worldview by declaring that the wearing of the Burka or Niqab is a human right. NO. The rights of women are human rights. Instead, Gender-apartheit is a violation of human rights. Forced marriage and honor killings are legitimized by this very segregation of the sexes. This view of gender-segregation also is the cause of terrorism because it rejects and despises the lifestyle of an entire society, but also because it leads more readily to the actual committing of violent acts against this "sinful" society!
The OT reading for today was quite a zinger. Jeremiah 23.
The Lying Prophets--"Who has stood in the council of the Lord?"--"I did not send these prophets, but they ran". "I am against those who prophesy lying dreams." "You pervert the words of the living God." "I will cast you away from my presence, you and the city that I gave to you and to your fathers."
16 Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, cfilling you with vain hopes. dThey speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. 17 They say continually to those who despise the word of the Lord, e‘It shall be well with you’; and to everyone who fstubbornly follows his own heart, they say, g‘No disaster shall come upon you.’”
18 For hwho among them has stood in the council of the Lord
to see and to hear his word,
or who has paid attention to his word and listened?
23 q“Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away?24 qCan a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. rDo I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord.25 I have heard what the prophets have said swho prophesy lies in my name, saying, t‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ 26 How long shall there be lies in the heart of uthe prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart, 27 who think to make my people forget my name tby their dreams that they tell one another, even as theirvfathers forgot my name for Baal? 28 wLet the prophet who has a dreamxtell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully.yWhat has straw in common with wheat? declares the Lord. 29 yIs not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and zlike a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? 30 aTherefore, behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who steal my words from one another. 31 Behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who use their tongues and declare, ‘declares the Lord.’ 32 Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the Lord, and who tell them and blead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when cI did not send them or charge them. So they do not profit this people at all, declares the Lord.
33 d“When one of this people, or a prophet or a priest asks you, ‘What is the burden of the Lord?’ you shall say to them, ‘You are the burden,2and fI will cast you off, declares the Lord.’ 34 And as for the prophet, priest, or one of the people who says, ‘The burden of the Lord,’ dI will punish that man and his household. 35 Thus shall you say, every one to his neighbor and every one to his brother, ‘What has the Lordanswered?’ or ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ 36 But ‘the burden of theLord’ you shall mention no more, for the burden is every man's own word, and gyou pervert the words of hthe living God, the Lord of hosts, our God. 37 Thus you shall say to the prophet, ‘What has the Lordanswered you?’ or ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ 38 But if you say, ‘The burden of the Lord,’ thus says the Lord, ‘Because you have said these words, “The burden of the Lord,” when I sent to you, saying, “You shall not say, ‘The burden of the Lord,’” 39 therefore, behold, I will surely lift you up3 and fcast you away from my presence, you and the city that I gave to you and your fathers. 40 iAnd I will bring upon you everlasting reproach and iperpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.’”