Posts Tagged ‘Uncategorized’

Taking A Deeper Look.

June 22, 2008

KEY SCRIPTURE

Exo. 3:1 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. 2 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. 3 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. 4 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.

ALLEGORY: 1. symbolic work: a work in which the characters and events are to be understood as representing other things and symbolically expressing a deeper, often spiritual, moral, or political meaning.

2. symbolic expression of meaning in story: the symbolic expression of a deeper meaning through a story or scene acted out by human, animal, or mythical characters the poet’s use of allegory.

3. genre: allegories considered as a literary or artistic genre.

4. symbolic representation: a symbol of something.

In the KEY SCRIPTURE we’re able to see what must be described as God’s call on the life of Moses. Allegorically the flock represents followers  (Prv.27:23) or disciplines (teachings) of the priets of Midian, a land representing a mid-point in the spiritual journey of Moses. In  Gen. 25:1-6 Abraham a son named Midian (strife, contention, division, and disunity) from his second wife Keturah, and he moved this son and his five brothers east of Canaan.

So, Now Moses kept the flockreveals that Jethro the Midianite is training the Hebrew Moses in leadership to prepare him to become a priest, albeit maybe for the god Baal-Peor (“Lord of the opening” whose idol is called Chemosh Chemoshhttp://reslight.net/divinenameinnt.html).

Then, however, Moses goes far into the desert (“the backside of the desert“) which may smbolize the depletion of this spiritual training (deserts water which represents spirit), and the beginning of his relationship with YHWH at Horeb mountain! Certainly, it can be seen that the “burning bush” represents a breakthrough for Moses. We find in this story of Moses that he is in yet another stage of infancy, which in this case was spiritual. Many of us struggle with the prospect of rearing infants and children, so to shed light on the issue of CHILD ABUSE we should learn to raise our kids as God raises His servants!

 

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“A Strange land!”

June 2, 2008

 KEY SCRIPTURE

 Exo. 2:18 And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, How is it that ye are come so soon to day 19 And they said, An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and also drew water enough for us, and watered the flock 20 And he said unto his daughters, And where is he? why is it that ye have left the man? call him, that he may eat bread. 21 And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter. 22 And she bare him a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land.  

“PAXSON FOR THREE!” That phrase has a familiar ring to it for a lot of people who experienced the years when the Chicago Bulls were the toast of the town. Leading the way of course was Michael Jordan and his mind-boggling, jaw-dropping, gravity-defying act, which was later accentuated with an outstanding post-up game, and a masterful display of long-range shooting! And alongside him there was Scottie Pippen, the highly versatile “point” forward, whose play on both ends of the court earned him a spot as one of the 50th greatest NBA players of all time! There was also the hard-working Horace Grant, the youthful-yet-deadly shooter B. J. Armstrong, and a superb supporting cast of various specialists with scintillating skills.

However, let us focus on Bulls guard John Paxson who, is best known for his play during the 1993 NBA Finals. In Game 6 at the America West Arena in Phoenix, the Bulls were down by two as Paxson took a pass from Horace Grant and buried a three pointer with 3.9 seconds left, giving the Bulls a 99-98 lead. The victory was then secured by a last-second block from Horace Grant! In his NBA career, John started 369 games, and averaged 7.2 points and 3.6 assists per game.

To some extent, when relegated to a lesser role we become “a stranger.” Paxson, a long-time starter for the Bulls, joined them in 1985, and had to perennially endure a ferocious battle for his spot. He finally, lost his starting job to B. J. in 1993, and it had to feel strange to be a new bench player. Psychologically, entering into a game now as a reserve, after being a career starter, had to make him feel like he was in a “strange land.” General speaking, others’ expectations for a starter is certainly unlike those for a reserve; the expectations of the starter himself also differ generally from those of a reserve. After being demoted, with little time left in the game, and with most of the familiar names not being involved in the end of the play, ol’ number 5 made the biggest shot of his professional career!

Accomplishing any major goal: (1) usually require that we get some major instructions and training, and (2) is a product of our will. To stimulate our will we must be inspired, or “get it” (see the light) so that we can accomplish the mission our will is confronted with. Before we can finally realize how to engage this mission (or our methodology), we need intuition to bring our objective into a sharper focus. Our desires may give us a general idea of what it is we want in our lives, without actually giving us the solution(s) necessary for its manifestation(s). We can either be selfless or selfish in our desires based on our maturity level. However, do realize that what happened for a “selfless” Paxson could happen for you! “Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart (Psa 37:4).”

When not inspired we may feel like we have “a hole in our soul.” Perhaps the feeling is one of anger, or maybe even hunger for that “missing ingredient”. The best way to overcome this is by partaking in “The Bread of Life (Jhn. 6:48-52).” Eating this “Bread”, a.k.a. the Word, which was “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (Jhn. 1:1)”, prepares you for “the works of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent (Jhn. 6:29).” God “sends” those who are filled with Bread, even as He sent Jesus, because they are anointed for His “work”! “And He that sent Me is with Me: the Father hath not left Me alone; for I do always those things that please Him (Jhn. 8:29).” Heb. 11:6 states “… without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” To battle confusion, emptiness, trepidation, etc., we need to add to our faith:

1. VIRTUE

1. goodness: the quality of being morally good or righteous 2. good quality: a particular quality that is morally good . 3. admirable quality: a particular quality that is good or admirable, but not necessarily in terms of morality 4. cardinal or theological morality: any of the cardinal virtues, such as justice or moderation, or of the theological virtues, such as hope or charity 5. chastity: the moral quality of being chaste, especially in a woman 6. worth: the worth, advantage, or beneficial quality of something 7. effective force: the power or efficacy that something contains to do something (archaic); 

2. KNOWLEDGE

 

 

 

1. information in mind: general awareness or possession of information, facts, ideas, truths, or principles . 2. specific information: clear awareness or explicit information, for example, of a situation or fact 3. all that can be known: all the information, facts, truths, and principles learned throughout time;

3. TEMPERANCE

1. restraint: self-restraint in the face of temptation or desire;

4. PERSEVERANCE

1. determined continuation with something: steady and continued action or belief, usually over a long period and especially despite difficulties or setbacks 2. Christianity: Calvinist concept of divine grace: in Calvinism, the belief that God’s grace brings selected people, the elect, to salvation (Jhn. 6:37); Roman Catholic belief in God’s grace: the Roman Catholic Church believes that God’s grace lasts to the end of somebody’s life if that person has maintained his or her good works and faith (Jhn. 5:29);

5. GODLINESS

1. devout: devoted to or worshiping God (formal) 2. divine: fit for God or a god, or having godlike qualities;

6. BROTHERLY KINDNESS:

1. showing the affection a of brother: the showing feelings that a brother might be expected to have toward his sister or brother 2. ability to behave kindly: the practice of being or the capability to be sympathetic and compassionate 3 compassionate act: an act that shows consideration and caring;

7. LOVE

1. eros sexual desire 2. phileo non-sexual affection, friendly 3. agape self-sacrificing;

 all seven which may represent the “fullness of God” (II Pet. 1:5-7, i.e. the seven daughters). Notice how what starts as a “mustard seed of faith (Mat. 17:20),” eventually becomes that ultimate expression of God called agape love (I John 4:8, 16). This love sometimes make us put other people’s problem before even our own, making us more effective leaders (“How is it that ye are come so soon to day?” in KEY SCRIPTURE). So, it is evident that being self-sacrificing shouldn’t be so strange to us!

 

God’s Purpose, Pattern, and Promise!

April 27, 2008

 KEY SCRIPTURE

Exo. 1:15 And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: 16 And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live. 17 But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive. 18 And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men children alive? 19 And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them. 20 Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty.

While God’s purpose for us is to: (1) live a life that pleases Him (Rev. 4:11); (2) to “be fruitful and multiply, and have dominion (Gen. 1:28)”, His pattern includes (1) creating, (2) classifying, (3) empowering, (4) expanding, (5) regulating, (6) galvanizing, and (7) resting. It should be realized that we have to undergo this seven-step process in order to achieve our ultimate purpose! As pertaining to this story, let’s examined the first four steps. After creating Man, God reveals His “chosen people” (Gen. 9:26), calls Abram, and promises that “all families of earth…” are blessed thru him (Gen. 12:1-4). As Egyptian slaves the Israelites now seek a Deliverer, NOT just to free the Jews, but to also further God’s purpose so that all can enjoy God’s promise.

In this story, Egypt represents people who are unconcerned with Yahweh’s purpose, seeking prosperity with no regards to His promises, and is the world’s greatest civilization at the time. Their focus is bringing glory to themselves by afflicting the Jews with an ideology (belief system) of task-orientation. This system prioritizes the attaining of goals over the concerns of the well-being of people. Imagine the world of a toddler who spends the majority of his time in a care-free existence. Leisure would be the only aspect of life that would be “real” or relevant to him. As a parent you know that there’s a reality beyond his scope, and you have the duty to prepare him for it. You know, for example, that he will soon have to enter into the school system, and the question is what ideology will you employ (wittingly or not) to get him ready?

Utilizing a task-orientation system will force the child to “perform”, that is to say attend school, although it’s likely that he will do it in a perfunctory (robot-like) manner. There is little probability that the child would grasp the idea that this undertaking is for his betterment, but indeed is simply drudgery. So, as soon as he is able to overcome the fear of your “whip”, he most likely will seek to extricate himself from his perceived “predicament”. Conversely, by indoctrinating the toddler with a purpose-driven ideology, he is motivated to reap benefits by first becoming an asset. In one system he will find drudgery, in the other – rewards! In the first example there may be only little, if any, positively transference of high expectations, ideals, or standards. In the second instance the child is inspired to achieve his goal by taking the right direction, and realizes that his future gain is part of a greater initiative yielding greater compensation.

Egypt couldn’t allow Israel to have their hope for a Deliverer realized, so in the KEY SCRIPTURE we see that Israelite midwives are ordered to kill newborn Jewish sons. It should go without saying that to kill the “seeds” of a nation would kill its growth, averting it from its purpose of being blessed. Referring back to the toddler reared by task-orientation, imagine how he now has a son whose chance for completing school is also dismal. With the continuation of this cyclic occurrence it can readily be seen how it would negatively impact a community. Such a community would develop a virtual “slave mentality”, ceasing to want to be “fruitful and multiply”, while living only for handouts (personal, governmental, spiritual, etc.).  

It must be noted that the slave mentality starts with a slippage in spirituality, which is defined as the quality or condition of being spiritual or saintly. “Jesus answered them, ‘verily, verily, I say unto you, whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin (Jhn. 8:34). This mentality runs afoul of God’s desire of vitality, prosperity, and a peaceful posterity for us. On the other hand, God can bless us even when we’re in the bonds of physical slavery! Look at how He treated Shiphrah and Puah in the KEY SCRIPTURE for not following the Pharaohic decree to kill newborn Jewish boys. In Jhn. 10:28 Jesus said, “and fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Instead of fearing a mortal king, these two chose to follow “the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen (I Tim. 1:17).”

An important lesson that this story illustrates is that we are not righteous based on what we think is right. Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts (Prv. 21:2).” Additionally, it should be realized that Egypt considered itself spiritual with 1,500 gods and goddesses. 

(http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/religion.htm)   

He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered (Prv. 28:26).” When a thought enters our head we must use judgment to determine whether or not we should follow that thought. The guiding principle required for this endeavor is found in Mat. 6:33, which reads, “but seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” It’s written that only God is good (Mat. 19:17), that He is love (I Jhn. 4:8, 16), and that “love worketh no ill to his neighbour (Rom. 13:10)…” Read Mat. 22:36-40.

Another lesson is that… without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him (Heb. 11:6).” God is NOT a man (Num. 23:19), but a Spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Jhn. 4:24; Gal. 5:22-23) who influences thoughts; thoughts influences behavior; behavior habits, which creates our character. The fool hath said in his heart, ‘there is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good(Psa. 14:1; 53:1).” Wisdom has varying degrees, just as foolishness, which has its affect on our perspective, ideology, character, and even our religious beliefs. Entities incongruent (dissimilar) to God’s Spirit shall vanquish! But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it (Prv. 2:22).”

THE WORLD’S MAJOR RELIGIONS BY SIZE  

Christianity       1758.8        “Follower of Christ”

Moslem               935.0        “Submit to God”

Non-religious     866.0         Unbeliever

Hindu                  705.0         Duties, Rebirth, Karma, Soul Liberation, and Yoga

Buddhist              303.0        Enlightened; 8-Fold Path

Atheist                233.0        Secularism

Other                  219.3        Skeptic

Chinese              180.0        Ethical, Moral, And Social Values

Tribal                   92.0        Local-Driven

Jewish                  17.4        Laws, Commandments, Statutes, And Judgments

These figures, taken from the World Almanac 1992, are in millions, and shows that Christianity is the most popular religion, with love as its tenet. However, Jesus did say, “when once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open unto us’; and He shall answer and say unto you, ‘I know you not whence ye are:’ (Luk. 13:25)