In a blog post of July 19, 2014, I declared my ambition to become the “Nemesis of the morning glories” in the garden out behind my church. My plan was to spend four hours per week specifically weeding the morning glories in that garden.
On Monday, October 20, 2014, I wrote, “The morning glories are vanquished. As of today, they are under control throughout the entire garden.”
From a 03/31/08 e-mail to my supervisor at the dollar store. This was a young man who had never had a paying job before, and thus certainly no experience in supervision; and I had a mind to give him some pointers on the nature of leadership. Previous conversations had already established that he regarded himself as a devout Christian.
The most recent terrorist threats we’ve seen have come not from Muslims overseas or Muslims in this country, but from Christians in this country.
On January 14, Duke University announced its plan to broadcast the Muslim call to prayer from the tower of its chapel every Friday. Franklin Graham posted on Facebook, requesting that donors withhold donations to the university it reversed that decision. A firestorm of controversy followed.
In the January 13, 2015 Washington Post, Valerie Strauss calls attention to an obscure Supreme Court case that she says may have a greater impact on the educational achievement of black children than any other case since the 1954 Brown v. Board decision.
She republishes a lengthy analysis of the situation by Richard Rothstein. She often republishes Richard Rothstein’s articles. As usual, Rothstein has assembled a mountain of data in support of his position; however, unfortunately, a mountain of data matters little if one’s premises are wrong.
1As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him.”
The disciples want to place blame. Their posture can be referred to as fault-finding, judgment and condemnation. Jesus calls attention to the opportunity to heal, to do good, to make a beginning.
On Tuesday 12/02, my therapist asked for a thumbnail summary of my overall situation.
I said, “I have goals, I’m taking concrete steps toward those goals, and I have a ton of hope.”
I know no way to account for this but the exact scenario I set forth in “Chaos overwhelms the poor:” I pay attention only to the concrete here-and-how, and to what I myself can do. (Related: Here – Now – Can.) From the farthest reach of my right fingertip to my right, to the farthest reach of my left fingertip to my left: within that range lies all my responsibility, everything that I can control. Here, the world appears orderly. Here, I can order and manage my affairs. Here I have power. I can act effectively. I can easily find hope.
I originally wrote this as an introductory passage for “What the New Testament means to me.” I wound up leaving it out as I didn’t think Ezekah would care for a whole lot of abstraction.
As I view the world right now, I see three elements: (1) What Is, including the material (seen) world, the spiritual (unseen) world, and all possibilities of events that can possibly occur. I may as well call this “God.” (2) A single set of principles that govern existence and all events that can occur. What we call the laws of physics are an example of these principles. I may as well call this “God’s will.”
(3) Human activity. It may be that there are no commandments, and no such thing as sin. Rather, God’s will is inviolable; and it is how we interact with What Is, inevitably in accordance with those principles, that brings weal or woe. If we act this way, we can have a world of harmony, beauty and joy. If we act that way, we’ll have a world of poverty, violence and bloodshed.
So far, there is neither need nor room for teachings of John and Paul that deviate from Jesus’ teachings in the Synoptics: no need nor room for a Son of God, perfect sacrifice, “belief in” Jesus, or heaven or hell — aside from the heaven or hell we create for ourselves in this life, here and now.
“What the New Testament means to me” points to ways to create, in effect, heaven on earth. The opposite path is described in “A living hell.”