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Lightning “Rods”

You Reader🙂— most likely– are familiar with the idiom/expression: “lightning rod”…one useful on-line description/definition:

A lightning rod (US, AUS) or lightning conductor (UK) is a metal rod mounted on a structure and intended to protect the structure from a lightning strike. … The main attribute common to all lightning rods is that they are all made of conductive materials, such as copper and aluminum.
(Negative) Examples of What Not to do… a necessary…for weighing consequence/survival, eh?

(1)  don’t wanna be a Nim”rod”

or (2)
a he”rod”…who??

The family name of a dynasty that ruled over the Jews by appointment from Rome. Herod the Great was famous for rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem and for ordering the slaughter of children in an attempt to destroy Jesus. (Mt 2:16; Lu 1:5) Herod Archelaus and Herod Antipas, sons of Herod the Great, were appointed over sections of their father’s domain. (Mt 2:22) Antipas was a tetrarch, popularly referred to as “king,” who ruled during Christ’s three-and-a-half-year ministry and through the period up to Acts chapter 12. (Mr 6:14-17; Lu 3:1, 19, 20; 13:31, 32; 23:6-15; Ac 4:27; 13:1) After that, Herod Agrippa I, grandson of Herod the Great, was executed by God’s angel after ruling for a short time. (Ac 12:1-6, 18-23) His son, Herod Agrippa II, became ruler and reigned up to the time of the Jewish revolt against Rome.​—Ac 23:35; 25:13, 22-27; 26:1, 2, 19-32. [New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, Revised Version 2013, Glossary: Herod.]

{hmmm, (joan) better be nimble 

and humble, huh?!}

points considered/discussed at mind gym last evening:

Herod…Acts 12: “On a set day, Herod clothed himself with royal raiment and sat down on the judgment seat and began giving them a public address.22 Then the people who were assembled began shouting: “A god’s voice, and not a man’s!” 23 Instantly the angel of Jehovah struck him, because he did not give the glory to God, and he was eaten up with worms and died.”

Herod readily accepted glory that should be given only to God. How that differed from the immediate and emphatic rejection of undue praise and honor by Paul and Barnabas! We should not desire glory for whatever accomplishments we may have in Yahweh’s  service. [excerpted reading:  w 5/15/08 highlights: “Acts”]

Acts 14:  “However, when the apostles Barʹna·bas and Paul heard of it, they ripped their garments and leaped out into the crowd and cried out:15 “Men, why are you doing these things? We too are humans having the same infirmities as you have. And we are declaring the good news to you, for you to turn from these vain things to the living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all the things in them.”

The Bible strongly suggests “humility”
and not self-exaltation as the most appropriate/wisest way to go in life.

Humility leads to “happier” consequences.

Readings about “Wisdom” personified from which to learn:)

Wisdom has much to recommend itself. “Happy is the man that has found wisdom,” for it is better than silver, gold and precious stones. It brings with it length of days, riches, glory and pleasantness. One of the reasons why all this is true of wisdom is found in the attitude it takes toward pride. Thus the personification of wisdom says: “Self-exaltation and pride . . . I have hated.” Why does wisdom hate pride and self-exaltation?—Prov. 3:13; 8:13.

Wisdom is concerned with the fitness of things, with having them right. It knows the value of order and harmony. Wisdom is able to be objective, to view the facts impartially and to reason upon them clearly. It is interested in efficiency and results. Wisdom therefore hates pride because pride flies in the face, as it were, of all this.

What is pride? The word comes from roots meaning “stately,” “handsome,” “valiant.” Among its definitions is “inordinate self-esteem.” A certain amount of self-esteem is necessary, even as the apostle Paul shows: “I tell everyone there among you not to think more of himself than it is necessary to think; but to think so as to have a sound mind.” Pride shows unsoundness of mind. It is an exalting of self, a taking of oneself too seriously, a thinking too highly of oneself. Pride is an emotional state that is not subject to reason and is therefore folly.—Rom. 12:3.

One who is proud is not only fully conscious of his own good points but he imagines he has many that he does not possess. Still worse, one who is proud is as blind to his own weaknesses and shortcomings as he is to the good and strong points of others. The proud person of one nation sees only shortcomings in those of other nations. Pride frequently goes with educational advantages, achievement, fame, power or wealth. Among the most common forms of pride are pride of race, religion and nationality.

Noting the tendency on the part of imperfect humans to brag, (Yahweh) Jehovah God long ago counseled: “Let not the wise man brag about himself because of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man brag about himself because of his mightiness. Let not the rich man brag about himself because of his riches.” Why not? “For who makes you to differ from another? Indeed, what do you have that you did not receive? If, now, you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?”—Jer. 9:23; 1 Cor. 4:7.

Wisdom hates pride not only because pride is without logic and sense of fitness of things but, chief of all, because pride is the flouting of the authority of the greatest, wisest, most powerful and most highly exalted Personage in the universe. Pride causes one to oppose the divine will of (Yahweh) Jehovah God. That One “opposes the haughty ones,” and warns that “everyone that exalts himself will be humbled.” Pride makes us the enemies of the One that can do the most for us: give us everlasting life in happiness. No wonder wisdom hates pride!—1 Pet. 5:5; Luke 14:11. [excerpted w 1960, Wisdom Hates Pride]

 

BTW: OUCH.

am Learning & painFULLY 🙁 aware of my (obvious and not-so-obvious) personal physical, mental, emotional limitations/imperfections/weaknesses.

12/14/18 @ 8:41 p.m.

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Public & Private Recognition

It seems like…(at times (in this world/system of things/framework of human society))

the wrong-doers are rewarded and the right-doers are punished.

It feels like…(at times) the suffering (albeit temporary) distorts “good decisions” as “missed opportunities”…(an amazing/encouraging point about sacrifice(s) read/studied today, Sunday, @ the mind gym (w/fam & friends)).

Us humans have a natural need to be appreciated, respected, loved.  We humans also have the tendency to get off-balance…out of whack.  We can crave OVER

-the-top

adulation, adoration…inappropriate forms of worshipful recognition…that may not match our actual accomplishment(s).

Stuff read putting recognition in proper perspective for me:) Check it out IF YOU:) so choose:) (my highlights)

 Jesus’ day, some religious leaders had the wrong view of recognition. Jesus warned his followers: “Beware of the scribes who like to walk around in robes and who love greetings in the marketplaces and front [“best,” ftn.] seats in the synagogues and the most prominent places at evening meals.” He went on to say: “These will receive a more severe judgment.” (Luke 20:46, 47) By contrast, Jesus commended a poor widow whose small contribution was likely not recognized by others. (Luke 21:1-4) Jesus’ view of recognition was obviously very different from that of others.

The Greatest Form of Recognition…(is it from fellow humans?!)

What is the greatest form of recognition, and why?

What, then, is the greatest form of recognition that we can strive for? It is not the kind of attention that people seek in the academic, business, and entertainment fields of this world. Rather, it is the kind that Paul described for us in these words: “Now that you have come to know God or, rather, have come to be known by God, how is it that you are turning back again to the weak and beggarly elementary things and want to slave for them over again?” (Gal. 4:9) What a wonderful privilege it is to “come to be known by God,” the Supreme Ruler of the universe! He is willing to have an intimate relationship with us. As one scholar stated, we “become objects of his favourable attention.” When Jehovah acknowledges us as his friends, we achieve the very reason for our existence.​—Eccl. 12:13, 14.

How do we put ourselves in a position to be known by God?

Moses experienced such a blessing. When he pleaded with Jehovah to allow him to come to know His ways more fully, Jehovah replied: “I will also do this thing that you request, because you have found favor in my eyes and I know you by name.” (Ex. 33:12-17) We likewise can receive wonderful blessings when Jehovah comes to know us personally. But how can we put ourselves in a position to be known by Jehovah? We do that when we come to love him and dedicate our life to him.​—Read 1 Corinthians 8:3.

Private v. Public Recognition…contrasted in Bible:

Jehovah may give us recognition in ways we may never expect. Those who do good deeds purely to be seen by men are told that they will have no reward at all from Jehovah. Why? Their reward has already been paid in full when they receive praise from others. (Read Matthew 6:1-5.) However, Jesus said that his Father “looks on in secret” at those who do not receive due credit for the good they do to others. He notices those acts and repays each person accordingly. However, at times Jehovah rewards us in unexpected ways.

example: Mary

When it came time for God’s Son to be born as a human, Jehovah selected a humble virgin girl, Mary, to be the mother of this special child. Mary lived in the insignificant city of Nazareth, far from Jerusalem and its magnificent temple(Read Luke 1:26-33.) Why was Mary chosen for this privilege? She was told by the angel Gabriel that she had “found favor with God.” Mary revealed her deep spirituality when she later spoke to her relative Elizabeth. (Luke 1:46-55) Yes, Jehovah had been observing Mary, and he granted her this unexpected privilege because of her faithfulness.

In what way was due recognition given at the time of Jesus’ birth and when he was taken to the temple 40 days later?

When Mary eventually gave birth to Jesus, Jehovah did not honor any of the prominent officials or rulers in Jerusalem and Bethlehem by letting them know what had happened. Angels appeared to lowly shepherds who were caring for sheep in the fields outside Bethlehem. (Luke 2:8-14) These shepherds then visited the newborn baby. (Luke 2:15-17) How pleasantly surprised Mary and Joseph must have been to see Jesus honored in such a manner! Consider the contrast between Jehovah’s way of doing things and that of the Devil. When Satan sent astrologers to visit Jesus and his parents, all of Jerusalem became agitated at the news of Jesus’ birth. (Matt. 2:3) This very public announcement of Jesus’ birth ultimately resulted in the death of many innocent children.​—Matt. 2:16.

Forty days after Jesus’ birth, Mary was required to present an offering to Jehovah at the temple in Jerusalem, about six miles (9 km) from Bethlehem. (Luke 2:22-24) As Mary traveled with Joseph and Jesus, she may have wondered if the officiating priest would make some special acknowledgment of Jesus’ future role. Recognition did come, but not in the way Mary may have expected. Instead, Jehovah used a “righteous and devout” man named Simeon, along with an 84-year-old widow, the prophetess Anna, to acknowledge that this child would become the promised Messiah, or Christ.​Luke 2:25-38.

What blessings did Mary receive from Jehovah?

What about Mary? Did Jehovah continue to show her due recognition for faithfully caring for and raising his Son? Yes, he did. God had her actions and words recorded in the Bible. Apparently, Mary was not in a position to travel with Jesus during the three and a half years of his ministry. Perhaps as a widow, Mary had to stay in Nazareth. But even though she missed out on many privileges, she was able to be with Jesus at the time of his death. (John 19:26) Later, though, Mary was in Jerusalem along with the disciples during the days leading up to Pentecost when holy spirit was poured out. (Acts 1:13, 14) She was likely anointed along with the others present. If so, this would mean that she was given the opportunity to be in heaven with Jesus for all eternity. What a beautiful reward for her faithful service!

example:  Jesus
Jesus did not want honor from the religious or political leaders. But three times, Jehovah spoke directly from heaven, thus letting his Son know that he loved him. That must have encouraged Jesus very much! Just after Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River, Jehovah said: “This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved.” (Matthew 3:17) It seems that John the Baptist was the only other person who heard those words. Then, about a year before Jesus’ death, three of his apostles heard Jehovah say about Jesus: “This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved. Listen to him.” (Matthew 17:5) Finally, just a few days before Jesus’ death, Jehovah again spoke to his Son from heaven.​—John 12:28.

Jesus knew that people would call him a blasphemer and that he would die a shameful death. Still, he prayed that God’s will be done and not his. (Matthew 26:39, 42) “He endured a torture stake, despising shame,” because he wanted his Father’s recognition, not the world’s. (Hebrews 12:2) How did Jehovah give that recognition to Jesus?

When Jesus was on earth, he prayed to have the glory that he had before, when he was in heaven with his Father. (John 17:5) The Bible does not say anywhere that Jesus hoped to get more than that. He did not expect a special reward for doing Jehovah’s will on earth. But what did Jehovah do? He honored Jesus in an unexpected way. When Jehovah resurrected Jesus, he gave him “a superior position” in heaven. He also gave Jesus immortal spirit life, something that no one else had received before!*(This reward may have been unexpected, because immortality is not mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures.) (Philippians 2:9; 1 Timothy 6:16) What an amazing way for Jehovah to reward Jesus for his faithful service!

Worldly influence?

Satan’s world can make us want to be famous and important. When this happens, we do not give our heavenly Father, Jehovah God, the recognition and worship that he deserves.​—Revelation 4:11.

What is the best kind of recognition? It is not the attention that many people try to get by means of higher education, success in business, or fame in the entertainment world.

Like Paul, when we came into the truth, we may have given up fame and success in Satan’s world. (Read Philippians 3:7, 8.) Maybe we gave up scholarships, good jobs, or opportunities to make lots of money. Or maybe we could have become famous or wealthy because we are talented in music or sports. But we rejected all those opportunities. (Hebrews 11:24-27) It would be very unwise to regret those good decisions and to feel that our lives would have been better if we had run after those things! Such an attitude could make us go back to the things of this world, the things that we had already decided were “weak and beggarly.”*(Other Bible translations use the words “useless,” “bankrupt,” “destitute,” and “miserable” instead of “beggarly.”)

Questions for Reflections:

am i known by people?

am i known by God?

whose recognition am i seeking?

am i slaving after weak, empty, spiritually bankrupt, worthless things?

am i slaving for spiritual riches and priceless things?

is private recognition (say from the Supreme Ruler of the Universe) enough for me?

am i seeking glory from men or God’s glory?

am i regretting any sacrifices (made in the past) for a good conscience (now in the present)?

what is a “good” decision?

what is a “real” opportunity?

the consolation prize?? or Grand Prize??

What will help us to look for Jehovah’s approval and not the world’s? We should focus on the fact that Jehovah always gives recognition to his faithful servants and that he often rewards them in unexpected ways. We can only try to imagine how Jehovah will bless us in the future! But for now, while we endure problems and difficulties in this wicked world, we must remember that this world is passing away. So any recognition from it will also pass away. (1 John 2:17) Our loving Father, Jehovah, on the other hand, will never forget our work and the love we show for his name, because he “is not unrighteous.” (Hebrews 6:10) He will certainly show that he approves of us, perhaps in ways that we have never even thought of! [Excerpted Article Readings: Whose Recognition Do You Seek? W July 2018]

9/10/18 @ 8:04 a.m.

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Every day we encounter people who cross our path…1. person to whom spoke today…haven’t met someone quite like this in a while…he was polite…trying to be “nice”?…and i do not want to be too judgmental, BUT…the word description popping in my mind is “ARR!ogant.”

which reminds me of this previously posted post…(perhaps, it was “good” for me…to speak with someone not so easily persuaded. The convinced talking to the convinced?!;) The not-so-easily pushed-over talking to the not-so-easily pushed-over! We both felt we were in the right.)

In case You’re wondering, ended (mind-duel) conversation on a nice-note…just before the impending (touche) SNAP.

8. humble & haughty  (published July 19, 2016 google plus)

     nice & naughty

(low/high minded)

“ta·pei·no·phro·syʹne” …(Insights on this word & Ancient Wisdom)…

Greek: “humility” and “lowliness of mind.” “It is drawn from the words ta·pei·noʹo, “make low,” and phren, “the mind.”

“[…] But all of you clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the haughty ones, but he gives undeserved kindness to the humble ones.” (1 Peter 5:5)

“One who humbles himself before God can expect to have God’s guidance.”

“Before a crash the heart of a man is lofty, and before glory there is humility.” (Proverbs 18:12)

“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:12)

“I am mild-tempered and lowly in heart.” (Matthew 11:29)

“Humility promotes peace. A humble person does not fight […] in order to establish his supposed personal “rights.” The apostle {Paul} argued that, though he had freedom to do all things, he would do only the things that are upbuilding, and if a brother’s conscience was bothered by his personal actions, he would refrain from that practice.—Ro 14:19-21; 1Co 8:9-13; 10:23-33.”

“It also requires humility to keep the peace by putting into practice Jesus’ counsel to forgive others their […] offenses against us. (Mt 6:12-15; 18:21, 22) And when one person offends another, it tests his humility to obey the command to go to the other person and admit the wrong, asking forgiveness. (Mt 5:23, 24)” (excerpted: Insight on Scriptures Vol. 1 “Humility”)

humility (and cultivating this positive trait) is “a” (1) solution to a lot of (self-inflicted) problems…and global issues (in my POV).

{life works like this..you either humble yourself or adversity or an outside (of yourself) force/source will.}

to be humble does NOT mean to be weak! it takes a strong person to forgive, tweak, change, pursue peace with all fragile-life. ( i.e. put anger aside or personal preferences)…Sometimes/(at times) it’s easy to be naughty…and hard to be nice!:)

valuing “compassion” (and the multi-wellness benefits it brings to everyone) forces me to evaluate my (heart/mind) choices today & every day:

will i be nice? (am i nice?)

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Epi-PEN

Epipens can save lives! Some of us carry them around in case of possible pernicious bug bites/bee stings, eh? (or in case of nuts?;)… You can infer a double entendre If You prefer.) There are a lot of “wacky” ideas circulating as Truth out there.

“Epignosis”…epi-“pen”  and aka writings regarding “accurate” “precise” knowledge. Unfortunately, not all learning put to pen is ep-ic! (could be septic?;)) Being a low-level skeptic could be useful/helpful…depends.

according to Greek scholar W. E. Vine, means “primarily a seeking to know, an enquiry, investigation. E·piʹgno·sis, according to Greek scholar Thayer, means “precise and correct knowledge.” And in the verb form, it means “to become thoroughly acquainted with, to know thoroughly; to know accurately, know well.” W. E. Vine states that e·piʹgno·sis “denotes exact or full knowledge, discernment, recognition.” He adds that it expresses “a fuller or a full knowledge, a greater participation by the knower in the object known, thus more powerfully influencing him.” [excerpted: “Why we need Accurate Knowledge w 89] (my purple highlights:))

My perspective: optimistic-realistic… yet Confiscation threat alert/aware/beware…i am NOT going to let my mind/my body/my health/my spiritual wealth/my now and my then be confiscated! Nowadays, all of us need to be readers-writers-researchers…investigators of Truth. We need to do our own intellectual/spiritual mind work everyday. Someone is always selling something. And I am Not quick to buy… impulsively.  And no! i am not cheap;) A cautious consumer…excerpted readings…

17th Century so-called Age of Enlightenment: “with all its outpourings of genius in art and science,” says Kenneth Clark, “there were still senseless persecutions and brutal wars waged with unparalleled cruelty.” Civilisation–A Personal View

“Bernard de Fontenelle, felt that human reason on its own would lead mankind to: “a century which will become more enlightened day by day, so that all previous centuries will be lost in darkness by comparison.”​—Encyclopædia Britannica.

What about the 20th Century? 21st? What about Art? What about Art imitating life? What about: the so-called number crunchers who may try to convince via biased? manipulated? statistical data…say that violence has decreased (and what about violent crimes, rapes, murders that go un or under reported?)?…however, MUCH of what is depicted as “normal” meaning “usual” “commonplace” behavior in movies…entertainment…media violence…is SHOCKING and not shocking because of desensitization/common prevalence on and off screen!!

Just Curious: who’s crunching/analyzing the numbers of:  How many block-busters?! mega-millions made (and through the years) off of violence portrayed as “art” in movies and on TV and elsewhere?!  As well as mega-stars made?!…(attribution violence).

Violence as art is big-business; don’t “unsuspectingly”sleep on like the rest! These nightmares are making millions and costing millions and more. IF violence has indeed decreased as claimed by some…why is that not being heralded/reflected/proclaimed profusely in our art?! our movies?! our books?! Where has all the pain-free, flower art gone?!

Notice…the missing “S”…in above-song title…flower to flowers…point…a landscape change…”a” flower to (many) flowers…leaving out 1 simple letter or 1 number…makes a difference, eh?! Makes an impression…just like artists create works of “Impressionism”…

Can numbers be an art medium for Statisticians and Actuaries just like words for Poets and Novelists?! Sure!

In addition to creating a visual object, an artist also aims to infuse it with a degree of intellectual content, in the form of symbolism, a moral or social message, or some other meaningful content. Thus, the famous American critic Clement Greenberg (1909-94) once stated that all great art should aim to create tension between visual appeal and interpretive possibility. The history of art is full of examples of interpretive content. [excerpted:  www.visual-arts-cork.com/fine-art-painting]

What about “Environmental Perspective”…

“Some artists use high and low placement to create the illusion of depth.” [excerpted SRA Art Connections, Florida Edition, Level 4, Unit 5, Lesson 2, p. 140, Rosalind Ragans, Ph.D., Senior Author]

High and low numbers…create!…context of which can send a message moral or otherwise. People make money from playing the numbers, huh? (No, I am not a gambler.)

Okay, yes, artists find inspiration in Happy/Good events/places, too!:) An artist’s eyes–personal views/lenses…from which to draw (pun intended):)…a fundamental consideration.

For consideration: how many newspapers sold/news programs watched??…best-selling books published delivering the gruesome details of “real” life heinous acts and crimes against humanity/compassion/God?!…it is probably impossible to precisely “count” all the precious life lost in every family, neighborhood, community, country; never mind those who are adversely affected in one way or another by violence everyday! Again, under/unreported violent crime as well as corruption and power mongering make data hard to decipher!:(…(and perhaps, easy to manipulate)…and difficult to completely trust in my POV.

(I am not saying don’t trust numbers…caution, discernment, thinking ability, math skill needed.) I like good news just check the source. (Do Your own math/check the figures.)

Art is a strong portal/indicator of culture/society/customs/norms/human experience, etc…as shown through the centuries. What does the art of current century contain?! Have we learned any lessons from all the violence??

“In spite of the recent triumphs of science, men haven’t changed much in the last two thousand years; and in consequence we must still try to learn from history.”​Kenneth Clark, Civilisation—​A Personal View.

PRO VERBS…teach:) obviously…

In Ghana, proverbial sayings often acknowledge the existence of God, and this is reflected in many Akan proverbs. Atheistic ideas have no place in Akan philosophy. For example, one proverb states: No one shows God to a child.” God’s existence is all too obvious even to child. This proverb is often used in reference to something a child will automatically learn with little instruction.

Another Akan proverb states: “If you run away from God, you are still under him.” Thus, it is an exercise in self-delusion for anyone to attempt to ignore God. Long ago, the Bible made a similar point, saying that God’s eyes “are in every place, keeping watch upon the bad ones and the good ones.” (Proverbs 15:3) We are all accountable to the Almighty.

Sometimes it is necessary to understand a culture to get the sense of its proverbs. For example, among the Akan it is considered bad manners to gesture with the left hand before others, especially older ones. This rule of etiquette is alluded to in the proverb, “You don’t use the left hand to point the way to your hometown.” In other words, one should appreciate what he has, including his origins. [excerpted Akan Proverbs–A Mirror on Social Norms, Awake! 2003]

 Yes, humans can learn to practice peace. We can choose compassion over violence. Good News of Our Capacities for Good!:) However, to say we can achieve real, sustainable progress…without fully appreciating our origins…or acknowledging God or the need for Divine Intervention/Divine Wisdom is delusional.  Man cannot solve the problems all on his own!…
To me, it’s like a very young, (unappreciative) kid finger painting on canvas…making some art, but who fails/refuses to appreciatively acknowledge that Daddy provided the canvas and paint with which to work and oh, and fingers too!

 3:30 p.m. 5/3/18

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