Make $$$ Selling Ads

Category Archives: questions

on my side

Breathing-Fragile-Life choice contentment courage forgiveness God healing hope Hope humility insights Joan Winifred justice lamentations of the heart leadership never giving up! patience positive qualities power prisoners questions reality sovereignty spiritual food study Transformations trust Truth

IF there is an “ALMIGHTY” God/Ultimate Designer/Architect of the Universe/Creator of Man & Earth/Yahweh/Supreme Sovereign/Maker of TREES…True God of LOVE…”s–l–o–w to anger and  a       b     u     n      d      a      n    t      in loving-kindness”…merciful and Freely Forgiving…:) who cannot lie!!…

do i want “Him” on MY side??!

there are frequent/rare times in life…when over/underwhelmed, betrayed, rejected, bored…lonely, lost, depressed, sick, sad, grieving…tortuous to the soul/tough times; all of us have faced these in varying lengths and in varying degrees/forms…for me, just “thinking” , approaching life/challenges/disasters/disappointments/death differently/(outside typical boxes) from Others: for example, obviously—IF You read my blog—i tend to be more spiritually minded v. secularly/academically/mathematically/materially minded..etc..my meditation/analization processes tilt toward..(spirituality)…Spiritual/Biblical Truth…my obsession.

it’s the stable/anchor place of deeply satisfying-comforting answers that completely/repetely nourish my mind/heart/kidneys and which make the most sense to imperfect-limited me.

a Biblical character i admire a lot…”Joseph”…an excerpted article: check it out IF YOU:) so choose: “Please Listen to This Dream w August 2014:

How did Joseph get into such a terrible predicament? And what can we learn from the faith of a young man who was victimized and rejected by members of his own family?

Joseph came from a very large family​—but not a happy and united one. The Bible’s portrait of Jacob’s family stands as vivid proof of the negative effects of polygamy​—an entrenched practice that God tolerated among his people until his Son restored the original standard of monogamy. (Matthew 19:4-6) Jacob had at least 14 children by four different women​—his two wives, Leah and Rachel, and their maidservants, Zilpah and Bilhah. From the start, Jacob was in love with his beautiful Rachel. He never felt such an attachment to Leah, Rachel’s older sister, whom he had been tricked into marrying. A bitter rivalry persisted between the two women, and that jealousy carried  over to the children of the household.​—Genesis 29:16-35; 30:1, 8, 19, 20; 37:35.

Rachel was barren for a long time, and when she finally gave birth to Joseph, Jacob treated this son of his old age as special. For example, when the family were on their way to a dangerous meeting with Jacob’s murderous brother, Esau, Jacob made sure that Rachel and little Joseph were given the safest position at the rear of the household group. That tense day must have made a deep impression on Joseph. Imagine how he felt that morning as he wondered, wide-eyed, why his aged but vigorous father was now walking with a limp. How amazed he must have been to learn the reason: His father had struggled the night before with a mighty angel! And why? Because Jacob wanted a blessing from Jehovah God. Jacob’s reward was the change of his name to Israel. A whole nation would bear his name! (Genesis 32:22-31) In time, Joseph learned that the sons of Israel were to father the tribes of that nation!

Later, young Joseph faced tragedy firsthand when the dearest person in his young life left him all too soon. His mother died while giving birth to his younger brother, Benjamin. His father grieved deeply over the loss. Imagine Jacob gently wiping the tears from Joseph’s eyes, comforting him with the same hope that had once comforted Jacob’s grandfather Abraham. How touched Joseph must have been to learn that Jehovah would one day restore his mother to life! Perhaps Joseph came to have even deeper love for the generous “God . . . of the living.” (Luke 20:38; Hebrews 11:17-19) In the wake of the loss of his wife, Jacob always had tender feelings for those two boys, his sons by Rachel.​—Genesis 35:18-20;37:3; 44:27-29.

Many children would be spoiled or corrupted by such special treatment; but Joseph learned from the many good qualities of his parents, and he developed strong faith as well as a keen sense of right and wrong. At the age of 17, he was working as a shepherd, assisting some of his older brothers, when he noticed some wrongdoing on their part. Was he tempted to keep the matter quiet so as to gain their favor? In any case, he did what was right. He reported the matter to his father. (Genesis 37:2) Perhaps that brave act confirmed Jacob’s high opinion of this beloved son. What an excellent example for […] youths to think about! When tempted to conceal the serious sin of another​—perhaps a sibling or a friend—​it is wise to imitate Joseph and make sure that the matter is known to those who are in a position to help the wrongdoer.​—Leviticus 5:1.

Perhaps because of Joseph’s courageous stand for what was right, Jacob bestowed an honor on the boy. He had a special garment made for his son. (Genesis 37:3) It has often been called a striped coat or a coat of many colors, but there is scant evidence for such renderings. Likely, it was a long, elegant robe, perhaps reaching to the extremities of the arms and legs. It was probably the kind of garb that a nobleman or a prince might wear.

“When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they began to hate him, and they could not speak peaceably to him.”  (Genesis 37:4) Their jealousy may be understandable, but Joseph’s brothers were unwise to give in to that poisonous emotion. (Proverbs 14:30; 27:4) Have you ever found yourself seething with envy when someone received attention or honor that you wanted? Remember Joseph’s brothers. Their jealousy led them to commit deeds that they would come to regret deeply. Their example serves to remind Christians that it is far wiser to “rejoice with those who rejoice.”​—Romans 12:15.

Joseph surely sensed his brothers’ animosity. So did he stash his fancy robe out of sight when his brothers were near? He might have been tempted to do so. Remember, though, that Jacob wanted the robe to be a sign of favor and love. Joseph wanted to live up to his father’s trust in him, so he loyally wore the garment. His example is useful for us. Although our own heavenly Father is never partial, he does at times single out  his loyal servants and favor them. Furthermore, he asks them to stand out as different from this corrupt and immoral world. Like Joseph’s special robe, the conduct of true Christians makes them different from those around them. Such conduct sometimes incites jealousy and animosity. (1 Peter 4:4) Should a Christian hide his true identity as a servant of God? No​—no more than Joseph should have hidden his robe.​—Luke 11:33.

a dreamer of dreams…

It was not long before Joseph had two extraordinary dreams. In the first dream, Joseph saw himself and his brothers, each binding a sheaf of grain. But then his brothers’ sheaves encircled his sheaf and bowed down to it as it stood erect. In the second dream, the sun, the moon, and 11 stars were bowing down to Joseph. (Genesis 37:6, 7, 9) What should Joseph do about those strange and vivid dreams?

The dreams came from Jehovah God. They were prophetic in nature, and God meant for Joseph to pass along the message they contained. In a sense, Joseph was to do what all the later prophets did when they related God’s messages and judgments to His wayward people.

Joseph tactfully said to his brothers: “Please listen to this dream that I had.” His brothers understood the dream, and they did not like it one bit. They answered: “Are you really going to make yourself king over us and dominate us?” The account adds: “So they found another reason to hate him, because of his dreams and what he said.” When Joseph related the second dream to his father as well as his brothers, the reaction was not much better. We read: “His father rebuked him and said to him: ‘What is the meaning of this dream of yours? Am I as well as your mother and your brothers really going to come and bow down to the earth to you?’” However, Jacob kept thinking the matter over. Might (Yahweh) Jehovah be communicating with the boy?​—Genesis 37:6, 8, 10, 11.

HATED…Ouchy-wawa! 🙁

Not long afterward, Jacob sent young Joseph on a journey. The older sons were tending the flocks up north near Shechem, where they had recently made bitter enemies. Naturally, Jacob was concerned about his sons, so he sent Joseph to check on their welfare. Can you imagine Joseph’s feelings? He knew that his brothers hated him more than ever! How would they like it when he came to them as their father’s spokesman? Nonetheless, Joseph obediently set out.​—Genesis 34:25-30; 37:12-14.

It was quite a trek​—in all, perhaps four or five days of walking. Shechem lay about 50 miles (80 km) to the north of Hebron. But at Shechem, Joseph learned that his brothers had moved on to Dothan, which lay another 14 miles (22 km) or so to the north. When Joseph finally neared Dothan, his brothers saw him coming from a distance. Immediately their hatred boiled to the surface. The account reads: “They said to one another: ‘Look! Here comes that dreamer. Come, now, let us kill him and pitch him into one of the waterpits, and we will say that a vicious wild animal devoured him. Then let us see what will become of his dreams.’” Reuben, however, persuaded his brothers to throw Joseph into a pit alive, hoping that he could rescue the boy later on.​—Genesis 37:19-22.

Unsuspecting, Joseph approached them, no doubt hoping for a peaceful meeting. Instead, his brothers attacked him! Roughly, they stripped off his special robe, dragged him to a dried-out waterpit, and pushed him in. Down Joseph fell! Recovering from the shock, he struggled to his feet, but he could never climb out on his own. He saw only a circle of sky as his brothers’ voices receded. He cried out to them, pleading, but they ignored him. Callously, they ate a meal nearby. While Reuben was absent, they again considered killing the boy, but Judah persuaded them to sell him to passing merchants instead. Dothan was near the trade route to Egypt, and it was not long before a caravan of Ishmaelites and Midianites came by. Before Reuben returned, the deed was done. For 20 shekels, they had sold their brother as a slave.​—Genesis 37:23-28; 42:21.

As Joseph was taken south along the road to Egypt, he seemed to have lost everything. He was cut off! For years, he would know nothing of his family​—nothing of Reuben’s anguish when he returned to find Joseph gone; nothing of Jacob’s grief when he was deceived into believing that his beloved Joseph was dead; nothing of his aged grandfather Isaac, who still lived; and nothing of his beloved younger brother, Benjamin, whom he would miss dearly. But was Joseph left with nothing at all?​—Genesis 37:29-35.

Joseph still had something that his brothers could never take from him: faith. He knew much about his God, Yahweh/Jehovah, and nothing could rob him of that​—not the loss of his home, not the hardships of captivity on the long journey to Egypt, and not even the humiliation of being sold as a slave to a wealthy Egyptian named Potiphar. (Genesis 37:36) Joseph’s faith and his determination to stay close to his God only grew stronger through such hardships.

It’s very commendable (and imitation worthy from my POV) Joseph never gave up hope, never became bitter; nor haughty when put in a powerful position, “Avrekh” , 2nd to Pharaoh…He didn’t retaliate, seek revenge/compensation for years of unjustly suffering…Amazing!! Joseph “continued” loving his Brothers (aka jealous enemies in His own household) exercising patience…which provided them opportunity for positive transformation. He forgave his brothers. Preserving many lives!

i like this song and video about Joseph:

questions for reflections:
what are my personal/individual hardships growing in me?!
negatives?! positives?!

am i getting bitter or better?!

am i being patient?

forgiving?

how will “accurate” faith/knowledge/Truth, forgiveness, hope, humility, gratitude,

God!…

get me through the ups and downs/the highs and lows

the reality of this fleeting/fast-paced life?

(whom does one turn to when even your own brothers/family hate/are against You?! How about God??)

p.s. life lesson:  don’t hate (nor love?) the messenger, eh?! 😉

Good Night/Good Day to You Reader:)

11/15/18 @ 12:16 a.m.

p.p.s.

I AM NOT ALONE!!! 

🙂

Published by:

Musings of a Mother

appreciation attitude book Breathing-Fragile-Life caregiving change choice communication compassion conscientious-ness control education humility Joan Winifred love mind food parenting questions safety spiritual food stress management

Peaceful Greeting(s) Fellow-Earthling(s):)

Thanks:) for making my post a part of Your day. Yes, I am a Mother…of four offspring…specifically teenagers! Some musings to follow. (My time constraints–today–do not allow for me to give the necessary attention/focus to writing all of these musings swirling in my mind. I may or may not turn this post into a series of connected content.)

From my limited-personal-point-of-view: it seems a lot of us, Earthlings, like to label/identify ourselves by our higher and/or highest values of which we feel proud…(parents or not or mature or not/younger and older alike). The parenting project/my particular parenting project is a shared endeavor with my husband of 27 years (we became parents by surprise about 8 years in)…an/one important work of mine in progress which initially seemed entailed 20 years…on average?! is one I DO NOT WANT TO FAIL!;(

Like any on the job training (kind of) position…there is learning curve and ups and downs, eh? The first kid is the guinea pig. I was the guinea pig in my family. What has helped guide this daunting process, for me, has been timeless and relevant ancient wisdom (e.g., Biblical).

In some ways, these are abnormal times in which we all live with normal parenting concerns/anxieties…aka trying to survive/thrive..do your best with what you got to work with. Do abnormal times call for unconventional or conventional parenting skills??…the parenting plan/purpose–well-adjusted, healthy-well-functioning physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually high-functioning mature, superlatively-educated, selfless, interdependent adult whom will contribute positively to community/society/brotherhood of humanity…may take longer than 20 years..eh?!;)

Seriously, at 49 years, i still have lots to learn…as Mother, Wife, Friend, Human, (etc. the uncapitalized..(pun? intended))…whatever other label(s) suit(?) me. My clothing of choice is agape love…as well as trying to dress in mildness and humility, meekness and self-control. (Writings, interactions and communications with kids and adults is like weather! You/One can be the hurricane, tornado, windstorm, rainstorm, dark cloud or ray of sunshine, rainbow, cool breeze, gentle/refreshing dew drop.)

the Doo-Wop…music to any situation…or writing…we all can add love.:) Musical tastes differ…as well as parenting styles.

IDK, may be? we all need a “monotone” message of “love” to keep humanity on happy track.

Is parenting more effective when it/(the process) is a selfless-labor-of-love?!…and not excluding tough love neither.

At times–it’s quite difficult to put your own feelings/preferences aside–as Mother–in pursuit of best interests for my child. To be an effective/good? mother means i need to be less selfish. My kids’ need to learn/grow…and say about environment/ecosystem here in Florida. I hate snakes, my kids don’t. Will i allow my hate for snakes to override/ruin their relationship with snakes?

My peculiar set of worries/anxieties…of course, the parenting course…have impacted my teens. Am trying to keep it to a minimum. Striking the balance of helping them be aware of danger of i.e. snakes (including more important concerns)…respecting…snakes, life, love, family, community…choices and consequences, etc. both positives and negatives..at the same time acknowledging, we, parents cannot take (a) kid(s) and drop him/her off at the ocean without any preparation or swimming lessons…and expect them to float and not drown nor be eaten/bitten by sharks!!

Is parenting primarily life guard?! 

So many (mind boggling?) variables can shape our parenting styles. I tend to declutter or edit (meaning i despise complicated so-called solutions to simple problems)…living and parenting, to me, boils down to learning (simply?!;)) to be less selfish everyday! When each of us, parent and child, learn to put others’ interests ahead of our own…we tend to make wiser-longer-sighted-positive choices…that benefit more than self…in the moment. (A life time is more than moments…or more moments make up a life span.)

As a spiritually-minded parent, I have always tried putting spiritual things/endeavors first…meaning also: have attempted to instill “spiritual” over material values in my kids…this excerpted reading explains some of my reasons why much better than i can articulate:

17. Why is the life of those who make no room for the Creator not truly meaningful?

17 Contrast this with what people have who, even though not being morally corrupt, make no room for the Creator in their lives. They may have the honor and the material possessions that they desire, perhaps find a measure of satisfaction in helping the needy and enjoy cultural activities and wholesome pleasures. Yet, they must admit the inescapable fact that nothing in this world has any real permanence. No one is immune to accidents, disease or death. Possessions will neither protect against these things nor can they be taken along when life ends. (Psalm 49:6-20; Ecclesiastes 5:13-15; 8:8) Well-meaning efforts to help fellow humans may come to frustration because of unfavorable circumstances. So it might well be asked: How meaningful can a life be if the ultimate future it offers is just the grave? How can it be good if it actually works against a person’s eternal future?​—Compare Ecclesiastes 1:11, 15, 18; 2:10, 11; 9:11, 12. [excerpted reading: Making the Right Choice: Choosing the Best Way of Life, Chapter 1, pp. 11-12]

Sticky note Scripture:

Do nothing out of contentiousness or out of egotism, but with humility*(or lowliness of mind) consider others superior to you, 4 as you look out not only for your own interests, but also for the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3, 4)

Questions for reflections:

as parent, partner, friend, fellow-breathing-fragile-life aka human:

am i contentious or egotistical?

am i humble?

am i willing to learn from Others (including younger life and older life)…meaning do i have the mindset that Others are superior to me?

am i just looking out for my own best interests?

am i looking out for the best interests of Others?

how will being less selfish help…any/all situations/interactions/communications/relationships/circumstances??

 

11/03/18 @ 2:28 p.m.

Published by:

Being Selective

Breathing-Fragile-Life change choice conscientious-ness control courage education Freedom God humility insights Joan Winifred knowledge logic mind food motivation power questions spiritual food study Truth

Greetings:) Truth-Seeking-Reader.

Truth is a value i hold nearanddear (Not a typo). Since youth “Truth” (pursuing/acquiring/living it) has been my main objective, purpose, vocation, occupation!…obsession?-lol;)

For me, and obvious to any Regular Readers (Thanks for Your Time!:)), my priority is Spiritual/Biblical Truth…which trickles to other Truth topics…i.e., Science, health, etc.

Through the years, have had countless conversations with various Folks (the 🙂 and the 🙁 the pleasant, the disagreeable) from all walks of life, all walks of education, culture, religion including Agnostics and Atheists.

Every One is a teacher; for sure. Both positive and negative…conversations aka transmissions of knowledge…teach…(and possible mold).

Who is molding me?

A reocurring concern/cluster…family of spiritual questions bubbling to the surface among thinking, caring, loving people…seems to be:

Why is there evil?

Why would God allow suffering? When will it end?

IF God is all knowing and all powerful, did God “create” evil?

IF my life is predestined…why bother? (changing, trying, etc.)

Hoping this reading i’ve enJOYed (in the past) will help You now (and in the future)…resolve/reconcile…touch these seemingly tough topics of discussion.

Is Your Future Predestined?

Many people believe that their life and future are predestined by a higher power. They feel that from conception to death, we all follow a script already written in the mind of God. ‘After all,’ they say, ‘God is all-powerful and all-knowing, or omniscient, so surely he must know every detail about the past, the present, and the future.’

WHAT do you think? Does God foreordain our life course and ultimate destiny? In other words, is free will genuine or just an illusion? What does the Bible say?

Total or Selective Foreknowledge?

The Bible leaves us in no doubt as to God’s having foreknowledge. He knows “from the beginning the finale,” says Isaiah 46:10. He even used human secretaries to record many prophecies. (2 Peter 1:21) What is more, those prophecies always come true because God has both the wisdom and the power to fulfill them in every detail. Hence, God can not only foreknow but also foreordain events whenever he chooses to do so. However, does God foreordain the destiny of every human or even the total number who will gain salvation? Not according to the Bible.

The Bible teaches that God is selective when it comes to foreordaining the future. For example, God foretold that “a great crowd” of righteous humans would survive the destruction of the wicked at the end of the present system of things. (Revelation 7:9, 14) Note, though, that God did not give a specific number for that great crowd. The reason? He does not predestinate individuals. God is like the loving father of a large family. He knows that at least some of His children will reciprocate His love, but He does not predetermine the number.

Compare God’s use of foreordination with the way he uses his power. As the Almighty, God has absolute power. (Psalm 91:1; Isaiah 40:26, 28) But does he use his power in an uncontrolled manner? No. For instance, he held back from acting against Babylon, an enemy of ancient Israel, until the time was right. “I kept exercising self-control,” God said. (Isaiah 42:14) The same principle applies to his use of foreknowledge and foreordination. Jehovah exercises self-control in order to respect the free will that he gave us.

God’s control of his powers does not limit  him or render him imperfect. In fact, it magnifies his greatness, and it endears him to us, for it shows that his sovereignty truly is exercised not only with omniscience and power but also with love and respect for the free will of his intelligent creation.

Is God to Blame??

On the other hand, if God predetermines everything, including every nasty accident and vile deed that has ever happened, could we not rightly blame him for all the misery and suffering in the world? Thus, upon closer inspection, the teaching of predestination does not honor God, but casts a pall over him. It paints him as cruel, unjust, and unloving​—the very opposite of what the Bible says about him.​—Deuteronomy 32:4.

The Choice Is Yours

By means of his servant Moses, God said to the nation of Israel: “I have put life and death before you, . . . and you must choose life . . . by loving Jehovah your God, by listening to his voice and by sticking to him; for he is your life and the length of your days.” (Deuteronomy 30:19, 20) Had God predestinated each Israelite either to love him and gain life or to disregard him and merit death, His words would have been both meaningless and insincere. Do you believe that God, “a lover of justice” and the very personification of love, would act in such an arbitrary way?​—Psalm 37:28; 1 John 4:8.

More Questions:

HAVE YOU WONDERED?

▪ To what extent does God exercise foreknowledge?​—Deuteronomy 30:19, 20; Isaiah 46:10.

▪ Why would God not predetermine everything, including the bad things that happen to people?​—Deuteronomy 32:4.

▪ What will ultimately determine our future?​—John 17:3.

God’s purpose and man’s plan(s)…

By means of the Bible, God is, in effect, saying to us: ‘This is my purpose for mankind and the earth, and this is what you should do to gain everlasting life. It is now up to you to decide whether to listen to me or disregard me.’ Yes, how perfectly God balances his powers of foreordination with his respect for our free will! Will you choose life “by listening to [God’s] voice and by sticking to him”? [excerpted reading AWAKE! 2009, Is Your Future Predestined?]

Tackling evil…

Normally, people want to be peaceable, honest, and kind. Why, then, do we often see violence, injustice, and cruelty? Horrific news reports are common. Is there someone trying to make people act badly?Read 1 John 5:19.

Did God make humans with an evil tendency? No, Jehovah God created humans in his image, with a tendency to imitate God’s love. (Genesis 1:27; Job 34:10) But God also dignified humans with free choice. When our first parents chose to act badly, they rejected God’s example and became imperfect. We inherited the tendency to sin from them.Read Deuteronomy 32:4, 5.

God wants us to resist our bad tendencies. (Proverbs 27:11) So he teaches us how to avoid doing wrong and how to find real happiness. At present, though, we cannot imitate God’s love perfectly.Read Psalm 32:8.

Although evil abounds now, God is permitting it for a limited time to allow all to see its sad consequences. (2 Peter 3:7-9) Soon, however, the earth will be filled with happy people who obey God.Read Psalm 37:9-11

[excerpted Where Did Evil Come From? Bible Questions Answered]

Humans:) we have the power of selection. We can choose to use…any talent, gift, knowledge, circumstance…for the good, better, best.

9/30/18 @ 10:56 a.m.

Peace & Purpose:)..to You Reader.

Published by:

The GREATEST MAN Who Ever Lived: Killed! (Part 1?)

fake "holy" days Joan Winifred questions review study things i learned

What makes You sad? What makes You cry?

It’s super sad, to me, when anyone is killed! (A life/process cut short/stolen/time taken.) Innocent ones have been martyred (by many torturous “mean”s) throughout human history…literally..(and nowadays: virtually or in the media/social or on film).

Sunday evening, Hubby, our Girls, (and me) watched “portions” of–(Bill O’Reilly’s so-called “history” book..yeah, HIS story? book about the Carpenter’s son brought to film)–Killing Jesus on National Geographic channel. (Actually, I was hoping to catch an Alaskan Bush People episode instead.) And as a person (46 years old–from youth to maturity) who has read about/studied/researched/investigated in-depth/thoroughly pursued (learning) knowing this person of interest, this “perfect” example of great compassion, this great teacher thereof, Jesus,…I was curious (to say the least).

This post is NOT a movie review nor a book review…exactly/per se. (Do random excerpts of books & random excerpts of movies count for review??) May be? You’ll call this post: HER story. (Read on as i eat my own words–“Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover!” Tasty?? -lol:)

Hey! i guess, it takes something..some kind of something…(no vocabulary word is coming to mind…insert Your own) to render a  passionate follower/fan of Jesus…stale/unimpressed by a movie that deflates climatic/awe-inspiring accounts of incredible feats/miracles of compassion and sacrifice as totally anti-climatic!!  (Dare i! say, this movie was Anti-Christ?!) I’m not knocking the actor (who played Jesus)…tough role; for sure. (Perhaps, i should of watched the entire thing to form a more positive feel for it. The feeling i do get is: most likely, saw the better portions. (The ones that kept me from channel surfing or falling asleep.) The ones that needed/”attempted” to grab/attract the attention of a person who didn’t need “any” attention grabbing/attracting to begin with…(before watching bits of Killing Jesus…Did the movie murder it for me?).

I’m “kinda” knocking the compilation/filter/script/presentation of filled in glaring gaps and omissions (on film from what i did watch) in Jesus’ life put forth and withheld (that couldn’t help notice/acknowledge). Probably because of being a person familiar/well-acquainted with the historicity of the Nazarene aka The Sage from Capernaum, The Prince of Peace, Humble Washer of Feet, Healer of Lepers, Gregarious Great Teacher…

He presented matters of great weight and depth with simplicity, brevity, and clarity. He illustrated his points with things well known to his listeners (Mt 13:34, 35)—to fishermen (Mt 13:47, 48), shepherds (Joh 10:1-17), farmers (Mt 13:3-9), builders (Mt 7:24-27; Lu 14:28-30), merchants (Mt 13:45, 46), slaves or masters (Lu 16:1-9), housewives (Mt 13:33; Lu 15:8), or anyone else (Mt 6:26-30). Simple things, like bread, water, salt, wineskins, old garments, were used as symbols of things of great importance, even as they were so used in the Hebrew Scriptures. (Joh 6:31-35, 51; 4:13, 14; Mt 5:13; Lu 5:36-39) His logic, often expressed through analogies, cleared away misguided objections and put matters in their proper perspective. (Mt 16:1-3; Lu 11:11-22; 14:1-6) He aimed his message primarily at men’s hearts, using penetrating questions to cause them to think, arrive at their own conclusions, examine their motives, and make decisions. (Mt 16:5-16; 17:24-27; 26:52-54; Mr 3:1-5; Lu 10:25-37; Joh 18:11) He did not strive to win over the masses but endeavored to awaken the hearts of those sincerely hungering for truth and righteousness.—Mt 5:3, 6; 13:10-15. (Excerpted: Insight On Scriptures, Vol. 2 Jesus Christ–Master Teacher)

Excerpts seen of this “particular” movie (Killing Jesus)/take on Jesus…left him a silent stranger to me…and did, in my opinion, unjustly Kill “the Greatest Man who Ever Lived”..again! (FYI: The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived is 1 fav book of mine about Jesus.)

(Perhaps ? I am being a bit dramatic, okay, yeah!…how could any film do Jesus justice?? And most movies seem unable to fully capture the essence of any book. May be? for someone less familiar (or unfamiliar), this was an “okay” (adequate) introduction to Jesus.)

This is what Bill O’Reilly says:

To say that Jesus of Nazareth was the most influential man who ever lived is almost trite. Nearly two thousand years after he was brutally executed by Roman soldiers, more than 2.2 billion human beings attempt to follow his teachings and believe he is God. That includes 77 percent of the U.S. population, according to a Gallup Poll. The teachings of Jesus have shaped the entire world and continue to do so.

Much has been written about Jesus, the son of a humble carpenter. But little is actually known about him. Of course we have the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, but they sometimes appear contradictory and were written from a spiritual point of view rather than as a historical chronicling of Jesus’s life. Who Jesus actually was and what exactly happened to him are emotional subjects that often lead to contentious discussion.

Martin Dugard and I are both Roman Catholics who were educated in religious schools. But we are also historical investigators and are interested primarily in telling the truth about important people, not converting anyone to a spiritual cause. We brought this dedication and discipline to Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy, and in these pages we will do the same with Jesus of Nazareth. By the way, both Lincoln and Kennedy believed Jesus was God.

Sorry Bill (& Martin)…but, You got me laughing a little (at the above-highlighted) and thinking:) “Really O’Reilly?!”

Yeah, we may NOT take Your word for it …that Jesus “supposedly is” God (a Catholic/Non-Biblical teaching), but we might just accept it from (your soft-er/best-er sell-ers) Lincoln & Kennedy, eh?! (or from the popular poll of 2.2 billion opinions). If we cannot believe Bill, Lincoln or Kennedy, then surely–2 billion people cannot be wrong?? (about God?!) Do 2 billion opinions (aka “non-facts”) make 1 (O’Reilly) right (aka “accurate”)?! Is popular opinion “truth”?

Really-O’Reilly?! It’s a riot! to me, that You claim Not to be pushing a spiritual POV “whatsoever”? (even though, educated in religious schools (or rather is it: programmed by?) and professing to be Roman Catholic)…and that this book is purely “fact” based/well-researched or is it “really” a popular-opinion/tradition-based book?! Or is it pushing some (modern-day) political agenda in ancient carpenter costume (disguise)? Or is it just a follow-up (killer formula)…last two books killed it/made money/made hot lists?

Makes me wonder: 1 look at the cover: A Cross smacks/pops me in the face!…an immediate red-flag goes up in my mind:…a blatant Catholic/pop-ular Idol/doctrine is making me eat my words “don’t judge a book by its cover.”  (YUM) IF–these authors supposedly are not pushing a spiritual agenda/point of view/popular dogma about Jesus…What’s up with the Cross Cover?? Or the Cross Crucifixion in the movie?? Or showing the movie on Palm Sunday??

According to Greek scholar W. E. Vine, staurosʹ “denotes, primarily, an upright pale or stake. On such malefactors were nailed for execution. Both the noun and the verb stauroō, to fasten to a stake or pale, are originally to be distinguished from the ecclesiastical form of a two beamed cross.”

The Imperial Bible-Dictionary says that the word staurosʹ “properly signified a stake, an upright pole, or piece of paling, on which anything might be hung, or which might be used in impaling a piece of ground.” The dictionary continues: “Even amongst the Romans the crux (Latin, from which our cross is derived) appears to have been originally an upright pole.” Thus, it is not surprising that The Catholic Encyclopedia states: “Certain it is, at any rate, that the cross originally consisted of a simple vertical pole, sharpened at its upper end.”

There is another Greek word, xyʹlon, that Bible writers used to describe the instrument of Jesus’ execution. A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament defines xyʹlon as “a piece of timber, a wooden stake.” It goes on to say that like staurosʹ, xyʹlon “was simply an upright pale or stake to which the Romans nailed those who were thus said to be crucified.” (Excerpted: Did Jesus Really Die on a Cross?)

Crossing Out the “Christian” Cross: (further excerpts: Did Jesus Really Die on a Cross?)

Long before the Christian era, crosses were used by the ancient Babylonians as symbols in their worship of the fertility god Tammuz. The use of the cross spread into Egypt, India, Syria, and China.

If the Bible does not really say that Jesus was executed on a cross, then why do all the churches that claim to teach and follow the Bible—Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox—adorn their buildings with the cross and use it as a symbol of their faith? How did the cross come to be such a popular symbol?

The answer is that the cross is venerated not only by churchgoers who claim to follow the Bible but also by people far removed from the Bible and whose worship far predates that of “Christian” churches. Numerous religious reference works acknowledge that the use of crosses in various shapes and forms goes back to remote periods of human civilization. For example, ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and depictions of their gods and goddesses often show a cross in the shape of a T with a circle at the top. It is called the ansate, or handle-shaped, cross and is thought to be a symbol of life. In time, this form of the cross was adopted and used extensively by the Coptic Church and others.

According to The Catholic Encyclopedia, “the primitive form of the cross seems to have been that of the so-called ‘gamma’ cross (crux gammata), better known to Orientalists and students of prehistoric archæology by its Sanskrit name, swastika.” This sign was widely used among Hindus in India and Buddhists throughout Asia and is still seen in decorations and ornaments in those areas.

The Non-Christian Cross, by J. D. Parsons, explains: “There is not a single sentence in any of the numerous writings forming the New Testament, which, in the original Greek, bears even indirect evidence to the effect that the stauros used in the case of Jesus was other than an ordinary stauros; much less to the effect that it consisted, not of one piece of timber, but of two pieces nailed together in the form of a cross.”

Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words states: “By the middle of the 3rd cent. A.D. the churches had either departed from, or had travestied, certain doctrines of the Christian faith. In order to increase the prestige of the apostate ecclesiastical system pagans were received into the churches apart from regeneration by faith, and were permitted largely to retain their pagan signs and symbols,” [including the cross].

What about the gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (close friends/followers of Jesus)…authenticity? contradictory? historical accuracy? (Excerpts from: an Awesome article..(read back in 2000 & reread recently) The Gospels—History or Myth?

Author and critic C. S. Lewis found it difficult to view the Gospels as mere legends. “As a literary historian I am perfectly convinced that whatever the Gospels are, they are not legends,” he wrote. “They are not artistic enough to be legends. . . . Most of the life of Jesus is unknown to us, and no people building up a legend would allow that to be so.” It is also interesting that although noted historian H. G. Wells did not claim to be a Christian, he acknowledged: “All four [Gospel writers] agree in giving us a picture of a very definite personality; they carry the . . . conviction of reality.”

In his book Caesar and Christ, historian Will Durant writes: “That a few simple men should . . . have invented so powerful and appealing a personality, so lofty an ethic and so inspiring a vision of human brotherhood, would be a miracle far more incredible than any recorded in the Gospels. After two centuries of Higher Criticism the outlines of the life, character, and teaching of Christ, remain reasonably clear, and constitute the most fascinating feature in the history of Western man.”

What of the claims of higher critics that the Gospels do not meet the criteria of real history? Continues Durant: “In the enthusiasm of its discoveries the Higher Criticism has applied to the New Testament tests of authenticity so severe that by them a hundred ancient worthies—e.g., Hammurabi, David, Socrates—would fade into legend. Despite the prejudices and theological preconceptions of the evangelists, they record many incidents that mere inventors would have concealed—the competition of the apostles for high places in the Kingdom, their flight after Jesus’ arrest, Peter’s denial . . . No one reading these scenes can doubt the reality of the figure behind them.”

Historian Wells realized that there is a huge gap between the teachings of Jesus as presented in the Gospels and those of Christendom. He wrote: “There is no evidence that the apostles of Jesus ever heard of the Trinity—at any rate from him. . . . Nor did [Jesus] say a word about the worship of his mother Mary, in the guise of Isis, the Queen of heaven. All that is most characteristically Christian in worship and usage, he ignored.” Therefore, one cannot judge the value of the Gospels on the basis of the teachings of Christendom.

What about Contradictions? (further excerpts The Gospels—History or Myth?)

Critics have long claimed that the Gospels are full of contradictions. Historian Durant sought to examine the Gospel accounts from a purely objective standpoint—as historical documents. Though he says that there are seeming contradictions in them, he concludes: “The contradictions are of minutiae [trivial details], not substance; in essentials the synoptic gospels agree remarkably well, and form a consistent portrait of Christ.”

Seeming contradictions in Gospel accounts are often easily resolved. To illustrate: Matthew 8:5 says that “an army officer came to [Jesus], entreating him” to cure a manservant. At Luke 7:3, we read that the officer “sent forth older men of the Jews to [Jesus] to ask him to come and bring [the] slave safely through.” The officer sent the elders as his representatives. Matthew says that the army officer himself entreated Jesus because the man made his request through the elders, who served as his mouthpiece. This is just one example showing that alleged discrepancies in the Gospels can be resolved.

Further related reading: tidbits about Jesus: please see:

Easter, Eggs and Chocolate

“In” formed & Un-in-formed

Tweeting Bird: Say What?

Getting to know (and well/accurately) “any mind” can be challenging, huh?! Getting to know a person (Famous/Influential or Not)…What do You examine? What do You consider? Who do You ask? What do You read?…(The person’s writings IF available? Accounts from Friends? Accounts from Enemies? Accounts from Family? Legal Documents? Historical Documents? Reporting in Newspapers of the Day? Biographies, Autobiographies, etc., etc., etc.)

“These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves.”~Gilbert Highet

Let me close this post/book?/(her story?) with this:
For “who has come to know the mind of Jehovah (Yahweh/God), so that he may instruct him?” But we do have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16)

(published 3/31/15 @ 11:03 a.m. word count 2420+…whew!) ALRIGHT!:)

Published by:
Make $$$ Selling Ads