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Category Archives: leadership

Sticks & Goads

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Yes, there are Sensitive Ones among us Humans. I can be pretty tenacious/stubborn and overly-sensitive, at times. (Especially when  a younger woman.)

Metaphorical/symbolic sticks & goads can be helpful and useful; at critical times in life for us stubborn ones, e.g., me, to keep headed in the healthy/life-preserving direction…when a little too slow to accept/learn an “essential” life lesson for our/my own good/safety.

This goes without saying: am NOT endorsing bullying nor violence: domestic or otherwise whatsoever!!

Taken in context to time of history and surrounding entirety of movie/culture…a classic, The Quiet Man…Watch the movie to put the following—Funny to some of us—clip in context: some may find it offensive, however.

BTW:  She ditched him first and made Hubby walk 5 miles alone; i think trudging through a downpour rain and unfamiliar terrain. Plus giving him grief, etc…as probably only a beloved wife can…way before this scene. (He had been extremely patient and quiet prior.)

i find it funny/odd/curious–the old woman saying…”here’s a stick to beat the lovely lady with.” No!! i don’t believe in physical beatings!! Not men beating women nor women beating men!! It just “strikes” 😉 a funny chord to me/my ‘dark’ sense of humor (on my unsuspecting modern-mind when the old woman interjects with the unexpected surprise stick!), and when taken in context to movie, and with regard to my own personal stubbornness…(perhaps, making things more difficult/complicated than necessary. Some of us stubborn minds may need to be dragged along a little to come to our senses about Truth.) and also, as a new/young wife learning humility when Hubby was graciously/kindly trying to share something very useful that could/would teach me something of value i needed to learn..yep, i can be a know-it-all..ready!;) {In case You Reader:) didn’t figure that out by patiently reading my ramblings…on, and on and on. 😉

i’ve come to appreciate some symbolic sticks of sorts (Divine Leadership)…Am always working on acquiring humility, patience and trying to listen more…and to Hubby. Male perspective/insight/competent-loving leadership is very important to me which i deeply RESPECT; and very helpful/useful i’ve  found as a female.}

Anyway stuff read about kicking the goads…(Divine Leadership)

The goad is compared to the words of a wise person, words that move the listener to advance in harmony with the wisdom heard. (Ec 12:11The figurative expression “kicking against the goads” is drawn from the action of a stubborn bull that resists the prickings of the goad by kicking against it, resulting in injury to himself. The expression, therefore, denotes resisting or rebelling against rightful authority or a condition that cannot be altered, doing so to one’s own injury.

This is exactly what Saul did before becoming a Christian, by fighting against the followers of Jesus Christ, who had the backing of Almighty, Jehovah God.​—Ac 26:14; compare Ac 5:38, 39. [excerpt: Insight on Scriptures “Goad” Vol. 1]

Self-reflection:  Am i kicking against warnings and wise words…arrogantly or unintentionally?! both? 😉

Further excerpted reading IF YOU:) so choose:

Are You “Kicking Against the Goads”? w 2003:

IN BIBLE times, an oxgoad​—a long rod, usually tipped with a sharp metal spike—​was used for driving and guiding draft animals. If the animal stubbornly resisted the prickings of the goad by pushing against it, what was the result? Rather than gaining relief, it only inflicted pain on itself.

The resurrected Jesus Christ spoke of goads when he appeared to a man named Saul, who was on his way to arrest some of Jesus’ disciples.

Out of the midst of a blinding light, Saul heard Jesus say: “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? To keep kicking against the goads makes it hard for you.” By maltreating Christians, Saul was actually fighting against God, pursuing a course that could only harm himself.​—Acts 26:14.

Could we also unintentionally be “kicking against the goads”? The Bible likens “the words of the wise ones” to oxgoads that prod us to move forward in the right direction. (Ecclesiastes 12:11The inspired counsel in God’s Word can motivate and guide us correctly​—if we let it. (2 Timothy 3:16) Resisting its proddings can only harm us.

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Pipers

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Adorable 🙂

Hans Christian Anderson:

“If you looked down to the bottom of my soul, you would understand fully the source of my longing and – pity me. Even the open, transparent lake has its unknown depths, which no divers know.”

“Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”

“Where words fail, music speaks.”

“Sharp knives seemed to cut her delicate feet, yet she hardly felt them, so deep was the pain in her heart. She could not forget that this was the last night she would ever see the one for whom she had left her home and family, had given up her beautiful voice, and had day by day endured unending torment, of which he knew nothing at all. An eternal night awaited her. ”

“My life will be the best illustration of all my work.”

“It is only with the heart that one can see clearly, for the most essential things are invisible to the eye.”

Morning reading:

We should love, not in word or with the tongue, but in deed and truth.​—1 John 3:18.

practical application:

We should be willing to perform acts of love for our brothers “in secret,” or out of the limelight, when this is possible. (Matt. 6:1-4) We should also take the lead in showing honor to others. (Rom. 12:10) Jesus set the pattern in honoring others by performing the lowliest of tasks. (John 13:3-5, 12-15) We may have to work hard to develop the humility needed to show honor to others in this way. Even the apostles could not fully understand Jesus’ actions until they received holy spirit. (John 13:7) We can show honor to others by not thinking too much of ourselves because of our education, material possessions, or privileges […] (Rom. 12:3) And rather than envying those who receive praise, we rejoice with them even if we feel that we deserve equal honor or a share of the credit for what was done. [excerpted: w 17. 10 9 “Love in Deed and Truth” pars 9 & 10]

1/16/18 @ 8:26 a.m.
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Icon

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I
CON

I “con” = Con Artist?? 😉

My brain goes there…to corny play-on-words. (Not meaning to personally disrespect artists/any artist working with the (?) sacred.)

(I respect art and artists. )

My mind “respectfully” asks:  Are icons  in “deed” (oops, there i go again) counterfeits, fakes?! Ch-e-e-r-fully check out the following.🙂

“Images were unknown in the worship of the primitive Christians . . . The admission of images into the church in the 4th and 5th centuries was justified on the theory that the ignorant people could learn the facts of Christianity from them better than from sermons or books.”— Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature, by McClintock and Strong, Volume 4, pages 503 and 504.

hmmm, wow…’theories’ everywhere about everything, eh?…wonder IF an ‘illiterate monkey‘ thought up this one: “ignorant people could learn the facts of Christianity from  [images] better than from sermons or books.”
Goes without saying pictures are teaching tools…however, any tool can be properly used and improperly misused, huh? (In our day and age, today’s “tool” of media manipulates to ‘only’ teach “Truth” &  “Facts” ?!)
“Ignorant” to what?? The Dishonesty and Corruption of the Church Fathers?!
Here’s a “fact”…keeping the “masses aka us ‘regular’ folks” aka the ones not HIGHLY ESTEEMED AS EXPERTS..dumb…or dumb ’em down so they cannot easily fact check/THINK for themselves…why?? or Why not?! teach people to read..or improve literacy skills or help them learn a different language say Latin…so they can be educated enough to check scripture/read for themselves and engage in comparative inquiry (True v. False) against any religious-false “oral” dogma spewing from less-educated or less-than holy priests with unholy motivations.

Appalled by a Lack of Education

Cyril Lucaris was born in 1572, in Venice-occupied Candia (now Iráklion), Crete. Possessing fine talents, he studied at Venice and Padua in Italy and then traveled widely in that country and others. Embittered by the factional struggles within the church and attracted by reformation movements in Europe, he may have visited Geneva, then under the sway of Calvinism.

While visiting Poland, Lucaris saw that the Orthodox there, priests and laity alike, were in a deplorable spiritual condition as a result of their lack of education. Back in Alexandria and Constantinople, he was alarmed to find that even the pulpits​—where the reading of the Scriptures was done—​had been removed from some churches!

ERRONEOUS PRACTICES/HUMAN TRADITION

In 1602, Lucaris went to Alexandria, where he succeeded his relative, Patriarch Meletios, in that see. He then started corresponding with various reform-minded theologians in Europe. In one of those letters, he noted that the Orthodox Church maintained many erroneous practices. In other letters, he stressed the need for the church to replace superstition with “evangelical simplicity” and to depend on the authority of the Scriptures alone.

Lucaris was also alarmed that the spiritual authority of the Church Fathers was held in equal esteem with the words of Jesus and the apostles. “I can no longer endure to hear men say that the comments of human tradition are of equal weight with the Scriptures,” he wrote. (Matthew 15:6) He added that, in his opinion, image worship was disastrous. The invocation of “saints” was, he observed, an insult to the Mediator, Jesus.​—1 Timothy 2:5.

Aversion to the Roman Catholic Church:

Those ideas, along with his aversion to the Roman Catholic Church, brought upon Lucaris the hatred and persecution of the Jesuits and those in the Orthodox Church who favored a union with the Catholics. In spite of that opposition, in 1620, Lucaris was elected patriarch of Constantinople. The patriarchate of the Orthodox Church was at that time under the domination of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman government would readily depose a patriarch and admit a new one for payment of money.

Lucaris’ foes, mainly the Jesuits and the all-powerful and fearsome papal Congregatio de Propaganda Fide (Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith), kept slandering and plotting against him. “In the pursuit of this aim the Jesuits employed every means​—guile, calumny, flattery and, above all, bribery, which was by far the most effective weapon for winning the favour of the [Ottoman] grandees,” notes the work Kyrillos Loukaris. As a result, in 1622, Lucaris was banished to the island of Rhodes, and Gregory of Amasya purchased the office for 20,000 silver coins. However, Gregory was unable to produce the promised sum, so Anthimus of Adrianople purchased the office, only to resign later. Amazingly, Lucaris was restored to the patriarchal throne.

(makes me wonder how many??! offices of influence: religious/governmental or otherwise won…have been “purchased” through the centuries and currently…and by “clean” (?) currency/money (?) traded/exchanged by clean hands?)

Lucaris was determined to use this new opportunity to educate the Orthodox clergy and laity by publishing a translation of the Bible and theological tracts. To accomplish this, he arranged for a printing press to be brought to Constantinople under the protection of the English ambassador. However, when the press arrived in June 1627, Lucaris’ enemies charged him with employing it for political purposes, and they eventually had it destroyed. Lucaris now had to use printing presses in Geneva.

Respect for The Bible and Its Power to Educate:)

Lucaris’ tremendous respect for the Bible and its power to educate fueled his desire to make its words more accessible to the common man. He recognized that the language used in the original, inspired Greek Bible manuscripts was no longer comprehensible to the average person. So the first book that Lucaris commissioned was a translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures into the Greek of his day. Maximus Callipolites, a learned monk, started work on it in March 1629. Many of the Orthodox considered translating the Scriptures outrageous, no matter how obscure the text otherwise might be to readers. To appease them, Lucaris had the original text and the modern rendering printed in parallel columns, adding only a few notes. Since Callipolites died soon after delivering the manuscript, Lucaris himself read the proofs. That translation was printed shortly after Lucaris’ death in 1638.

In spite of Lucaris’ precautions, that translation roused a storm of disapproval from many bishops. Lucaris’ love of God’s Word was more than evident in the preface of that Bible translation. He wrote that the Scriptures, presented in the language that the people speak, are “a sweet message, given to us from heaven.” He admonished people “to know and be acquainted with all [the Bible’s] contents” and said that there is no other way of learning about “the things that concern faith correctly . . . save through the divine and sacred Gospel.”​—Philippians 1:9, 10.

Lucaris sternly denounced those who forbade the study of the Bible, as well as those who rejected the translation of the original text: “If we speak or read without understanding, it is like throwing our words to the wind.” (Compare 1 Corinthians 14:7-9.) In concluding the preface, he wrote: While you are all reading this divine and holy Gospel in your own tongue, appropriate the profit derived from its reading, . . . and may God ever lighten your way to that which is good.”Proverbs 4:18.

“Confession of Faith”

After he had initiated that Bible translation, Lucaris took another bold step. In 1629 he published at Geneva a Confession of Faith. It was a personal statement of beliefs that he hoped would be adopted by the Orthodox Church. According to the book The Orthodox Church, that Confession empties the Orthodox doctrine of the priesthood and holy orders of all meaning, and deplores the veneration of icons and the invocation of saints as forms of idolatry.”

The Confession consists of 18 articles. Its second article declares that the Scriptures are inspired by God and that their authority exceeds that of the church. It says: “We believe the Holy Scripture to be given by God . . . We believe the authority of the Holy Scripture to be above the authority of the Church. To be taught by the Holy Ghost is a far different thing from being taught by a man.”​—2 Timothy 3:16.

The eighth and tenth articles maintain that Jesus Christ is the sole Mediator, High Priest, and Head of the congregation. Lucaris wrote: “We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ sitteth on the right hand of His Father and there He maketh intercession for us, executing alone the office of a true and lawful high priest and mediator.”​—Matthew 23:10.

The 12th article declares that the church can stray, mistaking the false for true, but the light of the holy spirit may rescue it through the labors of faithful ministers. In article 18, Lucaris maintains that purgatory is a mere figment: “It is evident that the fiction of Purgatory is not to be admitted.

The appendix of the Confession contains a number of questions and responses. There Lucaris stresses first that the Scriptures should be read by every one of the faithful and that it is harmful for a Christian to fail to read God’s Word. He then adds that the Apocryphal books should be shunned.​—Revelation 22:18, 19.

The fourth question asks: “How ought we to think of Icons?” Lucaris answers: “We are taught by the Divine and Sacred Scriptures, which say plainly, ‘Thou shalt not make to thyself an idol, or a likeness of anything that is in the heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath; thou shalt not adore them, nor shalt thou worship them; [Exodus 20:4, 5]’ since we ought to worship, not the creature, but only the Creator and Maker of the heaven and of the earth, and Him only to adore. . . . The worship and service of [the icons], as being forbidden . . . in Sacred Scripture, we reject, lest we should forget, and instead of the Creator and Maker, adore colours, and art, and creatures.​—Acts 17:29.

Didn’t discern everything erroneous..(Hey, we’re all imperfect, eh?;) with lots to learn yet…from womb to grave.)

Although Lucaris was not able to discern fully all matters of error in the era of spiritual darkness in which he lived, he made commendable efforts to have the Bible be the authority on church doctrine and to educate people about its teachings.

Killed for killing it–ignorance.

Immediately after the release of this Confession, a renewed wave of opposition to Lucaris arose. In 1633, Cyril Contari, the metropolitan of Beroea (now Aleppo), a personal enemy of Lucaris and supported by the Jesuits, tried to bargain with the Ottomans for the patriarchal chair. However, the scheme failed when Contari was unable to pay the money. Lucaris retained the office. The following year Athanasius of Thessalonica paid 60,000 silver coins for the office. Lucaris was again deposed. But within a month he was recalled and reinstated. By then Cyril Contari had raised his 50,000 silver coins. This time Lucaris was banished to Rhodes. After six months, his friends were able to secure his restoration.

In 1638, however, Jesuits and their Orthodox collaborators accused Lucaris of high treason against the Ottoman Empire. This time the sultan ordered his death. Lucaris was arrested, and on July 27, 1638, he was taken on board a small boat as if for banishment. As soon as the boat was at sea, he was strangled. His body was buried near the shore, then exhumed and thrown into the sea. It was found by fishermen and later buried by his friends.

Ludicrous Lucaris?! “living” lessons..🙂

“It should not be overlooked that one of [Lucaris’] primary aims was to enlighten and uplift the educational level of his clergy and flock, which in the sixteenth and early seventeenth century had sunk to an extremely low point,” states one scholar. Numerous obstacles prevented Lucaris from reaching his goal. He was removed from the patriarchal throne five times. Thirty-four years after his death, a synod in Jerusalem anathematized his beliefs as heresies. They declared that the Scriptures “should be read, not by just anyone, but only by the ones peering into the deep things of the spirit after having done appropriate research”​—that is, only the supposedly educated clergymen.

Once again, the ruling ecclesiastical class suppressed efforts to make God’s Word available to their flock. They violently silenced a voice that pointed to some of the errors of their non-Biblical beliefs. They proved to be among the worst enemies of religious freedom and truth. Sadly, this is a stance that in various ways survives even to our day. It is a sobering reminder of what happens when clergy-instigated intrigues stand in the way of freedom of thought and expression.

[reading excerpted (my highlights red & purple) : Cyril Lucaris—A Man Who Valued the Bible w 2/15/00]

Questions for Reflections:
What do i value/highly esteem?
Theory?
Tradition?
Truth?
Divine/Accurate Education?
Spiritual Light?
Spiritual Darkness?
Human’s Word?
God’s Word?
Scripture? or Aprocrypha?
Freedom of Thought & Expression?
1/12/19 @ 6:26 p.m.
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Lis(z)t..ening

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The way we listen…(or not) or rather the “quality” of our hearing?…it’s not just the working mechanisms of non-deaf ears…it’s the focus of our hearing…how we listen…perhaps, IS how we speak/respond.

We discussed in our previous compassion conversation the role our limbic system plays in assigning emotional priority to auditory input and how our desire(s) determines our listening. Basically, we listen (pay attention/heed) to what we “want” to hear–what has Top Emotional Priority to us individually.

To examine our listening skills, perhaps, we should examine our emotional priorities?! Because listening is learning and unless we can broaden our emotional priority (to include concern for others)…our learning (i.e. compassion) and listening will be limited at best.

Are our desires selfish? Unselfish? For example, if #1 (me) is my top emotional priority then i listen/pay attention/learn and/or practice what will benefit #1! or if my top emotional priority is unselfish and/or concern for other fragile-breathing life…i listen (pay attention and learn and/or practice) what will benefit not just myself, but all breathing-fragile life! [compassion-conversation-2]

Does the heart hearing offer the mind-mouth’s musings?

Talking is one means of learning. Listening is probably a better way of learning! Yeah, you’re correct, I need to listen more, eh? 🙂

Researchers have found that while the limbic system of our brain helps us focus on one thing while sustaining ability to hear various sounds–differentiating between many sounds becomes difficult when it involves simultaneously listening to human speech. When 2 voices compete for your ear to whom do you listen?!

I read this eye-opener point or rather ear-opener: “What we desire influences the way we hear!”  What do you desire? We select the speech we listen to/focus on depending on which one (person) we “want” to hear!

Do you pay attention?…

Part of our regulatory auditory mechanism, which tunes and de-tunes our attention process, is the limbic system. It is responsible for assigning more or less attention to a given auditory input. So, if there are multiple auditory inputs, the input most relevant to our conscious and subconscious mechanism receives top priority. When the limbic system detects new and/or more relevant information, it passes it on to the auditory cortex for processing. At the same time, a certain emotional association is assigned to it. ~The Hearing Journal/Role of Limbic System by Natan Bauman, PhD

Getting our emotions and/or desires under control or not, could hinder or help our learning!:) Let’s hope the voice that wins our listening (and/or affection) is a wise one and not a stupid one!:) Let’s hope this person (voice) is a “true” friend out for our best interests and not for his/her own! Is a True Friend a people-pleaser, ear-pleaser or neither-pleaser?! May be, we should “listen” to the unexpected/unsolicited voices that cross our path?! New, fresh voices could teach new, fresh things. (Of course, be careful/discerning.) [1-compassion-conversation]

i think this is an important point for teachers and students/students and teachers…love…teaching/talking with love and learning/listening with love…enhances the quality, speed? perhaps, pace of learning. When student cares and teacher cares–agape for fellow-fragile-life and when both care enough/enJOY/like/love topic under consideration…”real” progress is made (in pov).

Does a great teacher have great love??

“Never has another man spoken like this.”​—JOHN 7:46.

The Bible gives us glimpses of the impact he made on those who met him. For instance, Gospel writer Luke relates that people in Jesus’ hometown “began . . . to marvel at the winsome words proceeding out of his mouth.” Matthew reports that those who listened to Jesus as he taught in the Sermon on the Mount “were astounded at his way of teaching.” And John observes that the officers who were sent to arrest Jesus returned empty-handed, saying: “Never has another man spoken like this.”​—Luke 4:22; Matt. 7:28; John 7:46.

Those officers were not mistaken. Jesus was unquestionably the greatest Teacher who ever lived. He taught with clarity, simplicity, and irrefutable logic. He skillfully used illustrations and questions. He adapted his teaching to those to whom he spoke, whether they were of high station or low. The truths he taught were easy to grasp yet truly profound. However, these things alone did not make Jesus the great Teacher that he was.

Teachers of the terrible…(aka “terrible” and not terrific teachers)…

LACK GENUINE LOVE!

Among the scribes and Pharisees, there were doubtless intelligent men who possessed knowledge and the skills to impart it. What made Jesus’ way of teaching so different from theirs? The religious leaders of the day had no love for the common people. Rather, they despised them, viewing them as “accursed people.” (John 7:49) In contrast, Jesus was moved with pity for them, since they were “skinned and thrown about like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matt. 9:36) He was warm, sympathetic, and kind. Further, the religious leaders had no true love for God. (John 5:42) Jesus, however, loved his Father and delighted to do his will. The religious leaders twisted God’s words to serve their own ends, but Jesus loved “the word of God”​—he taught it, explained it, defended it, and lived by it. (Luke 11:28) Yes, love permeated the very being of the Christ, governing what he taught, how he dealt with people, and how he instructed them.

We enjoy talking about the things we love. When we speak about something dear to our heart, we become animated and our whole demeanor reflects enthusiasm and warmth. This is especially true when we talk about a person whom we love. Usually, we are eager to share with others what we know about that person. We praise, honor, and defend him. We do that because we want others to feel as attracted to that person and his qualities as we are.

After all, true worship is based on love for God. (Matt. 22:36-38) Jesus set a perfect example. He loved Jehovah with his whole heart, mind, soul, and strength. Having spent perhaps billions of years in heaven with his heavenly Father, Jesus knew him well. The result? “I love the Father,” Jesus said. (John 14:31) That love was reflected in everything Jesus said and did. It motivated him always to do the things pleasing to God. (John 8:29) It impelled him to denounce the religious leaders, who hypocritically claimed to represent God. It also moved him to speak about Jehovah and to help others to know and love God. [excerpted: Imitate Jesus–Teach With Love w July 2009]

Question(s) for Reflection(s):

Imitate Whom?!

(Whom Worthy of Imitation?)

1/10/19 @ 3:00 p.m.

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