Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Norwegians are coming!!!

Probably you can hear the roar of the crowd in Arizona from where you live. The rhetoric is escalating, tempers are flaring, really stupid things are said, isn't about to go away.
The line of the party of the first part is this; to determine whether someone is legally or illegally in the country is tantamount to racial profiling. Which is to say that if one is Hispanic (Mexico, Central and South America, etc) they are going to be unfairly treated.
Let me think: the drug cartels,  those who murdered the farmer in Arizona, the family whose home has been broken into more than 20 times; with respect to Texas, California, Arizona, New Mexico, etc., from whence cometh the crowd? From the South. So, if I understand this correctly, that would mean they are Hispanic.
We are not being overwhelmed by Canadians, Russians, Brits, or Norwegians.
The problem is not as simple as illegal Hispanics, the problem is evil; people who live without regard for their neighbor, whatever their color and accent. All apples look the same until you take the first bite. It just happens to be an irrefutable fact that in the case of Arizona (as we speak) all Hispanics are being contaminated by the crimes of the few (or several) whose corrosive disregard for community, dismantle and/or destroy the all-too-delicate balance of peace, safety, and civility in the citizenry.
So, to answer the indelicate question, "Does the new Arizona "law" encourage racial profiling?" Yes! Now for the kicker; "Are those who come North across the border largely of one race?" What's your answer?  I will posit that there is no answer to the problems posed by our nation's weak fences. A Robert Frost moment: "Good fences make good neighbors." [ The Mending Wall] e.c.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The 12, 13, 14 Tribes of Israel

Can you name the sons of Jacob (Israel)? Neither can I. What I have writen I knew about, but did not know. It's really very interesting to compare the names of Israel's sons and their literal meanings. Here they are in order of birth;
Reuben       "See, a son"
Simeon       "Heard"
Levi            "Attached"
Judah          "Praise"
Dan             "Judge"
Naphtali      "My Wrestling"
Gad             "Troop or Fortune"
Asher          "Happy"
Issachar       "Wages"
Zebulun       "Dwelling"
Joseph         "He Will Add"
Ben-Oni      "Son of My Sorrow"  named by Rachel
Benjamin    "Son of the Right Hand"  renamed by Jacob (Israel)
Each of these names and their literal meanings were taken from the record in Genesis in the NKJV. For background, Joseph had two sons while in Egypt and in this order; Ephraim and Manasseh. Jacob set Manasseh over Ephraim when he blessed them [Genesis 48:20].  Before he died Jacob called his sons together and spoke to them saying, "...that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days:" [Genesis chapter 49]. Moving to Revelation chapter seven which speaks of the sealing of the 144,000, twelve names appear in this order:
Judah       "I will Praise The Lord"
Reuben    "The Lord has Looked on My Affliction"
Gad         "A Troop Comes"
Asher       "I Am Happy"
Naphtali   "I Have Prevailed"
Manasseh  "God Has Made Me Forget"
Simeon     "The Lord Has Heard"
Levi          "My Husband Will Become Attached"
Issachar     "God Has Given Me My Wages"
Zebulun     "God Has Endowed Me"
Joseph       "God Has Taken Away My Reproach"
Benjamin   "Do Not Fear"
The meanings here differ from the transliterations of the names and include what the mothers said as their sons were born. The tribe of Dan is missing. The fate of Ephraim is described in Hosea.
The words of Jacob were particularly engaging where he tells his sons what is going to happen to them in the "last days." Regarding Dan (absent in Revelation) Jacob says; "Dan shall judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel. Dan shall be a serpant by the way, a viper by the path, that bites the horse's heels so that its rider shall fall backward. I have waited for your salvation, O Lord! Judges chapter 18 tells of the beginnings of the Tribe of Dan slipping into idolatry.
What is the point of all this? And you may rightly ask; it is the story of the children of Israel who, without God as their King, and being without a king, they "...did what was right in their own eyes." [Judges 21:25]. I'm not smart enough to be able to offer a reliable explanation of these events. On this one, each one has to go figure for themselves. Perhaps the best conclusion is this: it describes today. e.c.

Monday, April 26, 2010


The news was on and seemingly none of it was good. Arizona wants the National Guard on the border to save them from the invasion coming from Mexico. Chicago is calling for the National Guard to help quell and control what they are calling "war zones" where hundreds are being killed by warring gangs. (Remember the words of EW who wrote, "Who will be warned...out of the cities?" [CL 14.5]
The news anchor announced that we could now get a free Fox News "app"lication for our I-Phone...except that we don't have I-Phones. But that has nothing to do with, "Why?"
Here is the point: Why would anyone want to put themselves into the stream of evil deeds and evil words that are being piped into our mind every minute we spend watching and listening to the world. Do I need to keep count of the moment-by-moment details of evil events around the world? Lord, spare me that. At this address there is serenity: It is quiet and there is quietude, but we know it won't last.
Sandwiched  between stories bombing IBM research facilities in Switzerland, anger in Arizona (the 30% who don't like the new law),  killings in Chicago, 10% unemployment in Iowa, and driveling un-news from D.C. (all point to the neutering of a once strong nation) comes sponsored assurance that with the right car, perfect makeup, and more brilliant hair color, your world can be perfect. Everything will be fine even as we have to step over the bodies of society's unfortunates, and avert our eyes from scenes that insist looking good is not life's most important issue. There is a nudity to the news that renders much of its content obscene.
For today...while Today is still ours, Paul (conditionally) advises us on what we should watch, listen to, and contemplate: "Finally brethren (and sisters), whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things." [Philippians 4:8].
Think on these things. e.c.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Four Conditions

For our morning worship we are reading Preparation for the Final Crisis, which was written by Fernando Chaij and published in 1966. The book integrates Scripture and comments from EW. After quoting from Joel Chapter two Chaij cites EW who says; "A revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs. To seek this should be our first work. There must be earnest effort to obtain the blessing of the Lord, not because God is not willing to bestow His blessing upon us, but because we are unprepared to receive it. Our heavenly Father is more willing to give His Holy Spirit to them that ask Him, than are earthly parents to give good gifts to their children. but it is our work, by confession, humiliation, repentance, and earnest prayer, to fulfill the conditions upon which God has promised to grant us His blessing,: I SM pg. 121.
Who does not have sins to confess? Who does not feel the humiliation of choosing to do wrong, knowing what is right? Are there any so righteous that they have no need to repent? And which of us has no need of earnest prayer?
We know the answers. I know the answers.
While it is called Today is the day to be ready for Christ's coming; either to us individually (at our death) or to this world in clouds of glory. Who will answer His call? Who, like Isaiah, will answer God's call to go and tell (the) people. Isaiah responded, "Here am I! Send me." [Isaiah 6:8 and 9].
The times tell me that it is time to shut away the voices that clamor in our heads and listen for the still, small voice of God in our hearts. e.c.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sunbreaks, wind, rain, and the Holy Spirit

Sunbreaks are what Washington State meterologists call a momentary break in the rain that lets the sun give a vain promise; a promise of blue skies and warmth. If the sky is cluttered with white-to-gray clouds, and if the wind starts to blow, you'd better put on the raincoat or head for shelter.
I think of Washington State weather metaphorically; as a windvane and anemometer that tells me which way the (religio/political) winds are blowing and how quickly bad weather is approaching.
There is a temptation to take off on a political tangent; somehow thinking that what I think (write) will cast a shadow of influence and make things all better.
(NOTE) when I started this post the sun was shining, a man was paddling a kyack (in the sun), the limbs  on the cedar trees started whipping around and it has been pouring rain for the last minute or more.
(Back on topic). Perhaps more than any other people, Seventh-day Adventists should be able to clearly read, understand, apply, and share what they know from reading the signs of these times. For good reason, I continually refer to the trail of events in this newest millenium as signs of events. (The wind and rain just stopped and the sun is shining again).
If I had to choose between waiting for the bus and missing the bus, I think you know which it would be. It's a lot like my childhood when we took the bus everywhere (we had no car). When the bus started down the hill at 42nd street I could see it from 37th.
Longing for the return of Christ is only slightly like standing in the rain (troubleous times) on a wintry day (end times) waiting for the bus to appear (the return of Christ) at 42nd.
What is God's greatest attribute? Mercy, gets my vote. We are waiting in the rain for the bus, but there are family and friends we know and people we don't know whom we want on the bus. The bus is on schedule but to us it seems delayed; like it broke down at 72nd or 64th street.
Time is running out. The world is watching "Dancing With The Stars" while we are urging them to listen to what God has to say. (Somehow they don't seem to appreciate the interruption).
 Am I speaking for the Lord at every opportunity He gives? Are you?
The bus is coming! The bus is coming! I think I see it! I hope I see it!But if I'm not seeing clearly; if it just looks like the bus...I will stand here in the rain waiting for the wind (pneuma) [Holy Spirit] and for the bus. Stand with me. God has given us His umbrella (The Word).
It's up to us to open it. Blessings. e.c.

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Fungus among us...

When I was a child, I spoke as a child; and one of the things we used to say as a play on words was, "there's a fungus among us." We thought it sounded funny, and it did, but not anymore. You see, there exists this fungus, usually found only in the tropics, that somehow came ashore in British Columbia some years ago. It used to be that it was dangerous only to people who were really sick and whose immune systems were compromised. All that has changed.
It has mutated to the point where it now is hosted by the healthy as well as those sickly. The fungus is easily inhaled and is found...guess where...mainly in forests, among the trees, and in the soil. Just the other day I was walking (the dogs), taking deep breaths of the cool, invigorating air, and thanking the Lord that we were living in a quiet place among the trees.
What to do? Well, I'll keep taking walks, keep taking deep breaths, but with each exhalation send along a prayer to God to "come quickly" and put an end to these things. I'm not afraid, just alarmed but mostly encouraged as I ponder world events in climate, geology, volcanology, disease, hunger, strife, local and national politics, and realize that I am living at the time of the end of all things.
It is sobering and requires one (me) to put away those things that are not upbuilding; that do not point me to Christ; that do not make my mind a better place for the Holy Spirit to dwell. If I live, I live. If I die, I die. But whether I live or die I do so in the Lord. So there's a fungus among us. Today I have put my "nephesh" in the hands of the Lord. Am I to fear with each breath I take?
More important than the breath going into our lungs, that some stray fungus may tag along, are the words that ride on the air we exhale. Speak words of kindness, encouragement and love to those you meet today and let's leave our breath with the One who gave it.
Take a deep is a bumpy ride. (see link below).
Shabatt is coming. Thank you Lord!. e.c.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A History

Well, instead of blogging this morning I spent two hours loading years of family photos into my FaceBook album. It was lots of memories and really fun to do. Anyone interested in the shapes and shapening of the mind of The Essayist is invited to view. Enjoy. e.c. Here is the link...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Update...Thoughts on worship

Recently I wrote a response to the question, "What is worship?" I've been thinking more about this and believe it can be more simply stated while at the same time growing in profundity.
The elements of Revelation 14:6-7 remain. To worship is to grasp (as best we can) who and what we are as sinners and redeemed, and to grasp (also as best we can) Who God is as Creator and Redeemer. The mind(s) that reach for these understandings will be compelled to " still and know that (He) is God") [Psalms 46:10].
Think on these things. e.c.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Priorities...2nd Edition

And then there was e-mail! And someone asked, "That's good?"
Today's e-mail glut was quickly unglutted with my Secret, Dick Tracy "Delete" key that came in Friday's mail.
But one thing was kept; a forward of an opinion piece by retired, Texas, Constitutional Attorney, Michael Connelly. I read it, then took the dogs for their morning walk.
If one wishes to get excited about the goings on in the world and in our nation's capital, there's plenty of fodder for feeding. While the dogs were walking and sniffing I was thinking and sniffing my way through the question; "As a Seventh-day Adventist Christian, what should be, and (most importantly) what is, the focus of my witness?"
Connelly writes about the Health Care issue and points out what he considers to be examples of the Congress ignoring and overstepping bounds of authority. I wondered aloud, "What if they are trampling on the Constitution? What if it is true that their motive is one of amassing power and authority?  Are these of critical mass that should occupy the prayer, study, and efforts of the Church?" I answered, NO!
I will explain: We know that a time of trouble is coming such as never was on the earth [Daniel 12:1]. We know from EW that this nation will eventually set aside the principles of freedom upon which it was founded and that the combined forces of The Beast and Apostate Protestantism will try to force all mankind to worship the Beast and his image. Further, we know who is the Beast and what is his mark. These were known to the 15th century reformers and is taught by many churches today; not just Seventh-day Adventists.
Therefore, if Connelly is correct that health care legislation is a power grab that violates the constitution, then we should see this as a warm-up before the "real" game gets underway. And if it is a warm-up, our hearts should be warmed by the realization that the final game for the "championship trophy" is about to start. We should remember that Christ is coming soon. We should remember that while it is called Today we ought not to harden our hearts.
And what is the trophy? It is the Church Triumphant in Christ Jesus. It is His people purified and dressed in His Righteousness. It is a Church that has come out of tribulation, led by His strong arm, that will stand on the sea of glass [Revelation 4:6]. is not the time to be distracted from our purpose and objective: To tell the truth about the character of Jesus, His government, and His governance. We do not have time to allow ourselves to be drawn into debating the evil governings of those who would be leaders, but are not. Actually, they are followers; the problem is this; most are following Satan who will soon dress himself in white, pretend to be truth, and, if he could,  gladly deceive the whole world.
Don't be turned aside from the Objective. Connelly may be correct but that is none of our (assigned) business.
The following link will take you to Snopes, to Connelly, and to other opinions. e.c.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

What is worship?

Yesterday the question was posed, “What is worship?” And if this was the sum of what I got from the message it was quite enough…more than enough…to engage one’s thinking. When the question was posed my thoughts went elsewhere, and have been there until whenever is “now.”

I propose that the answer comes in several parts and that the foundation of the answer is found in the first of the Three Angel’s Messages.

“Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people—saying with a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come, and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.’” [Revelation 14:6 and 7 NKJV]

The word “then” (NKJV) is used extensively in chapters 11, 12, 13, 14…etc, as John introduces scene upon scene. Merriam-Webster online defines “then” as adverb, noun, and adjective. In these verses it functions as an adverb; to introduce. Interestingly, KJV uses “and”  which appears over 8000 times in the KJV and is translated “then” only 20 times. NIV also uses “then” to introduce sequential scenes.

Speaking of which, one wonders about the sequence of the two parts of the first angel’s message. Is the sequence a prioritization or a continuum whose parts are of equal importance? Whichever it is, preaching the gospel is given first place and perhaps first priority. I believe it is a priority, and here is why; the gospel is the story of the redemption of mankind and Jesus the Christ is that story from its beginning to the rapidly approaching end.

The command, “… fear God and give glory…” prepares the way for the concluding conjunction, “for.” It is the same as saying “because” which is used in the NIV. (It is the same in the 4th Commandment, which in the latter 1/3 begins with the word [For] and for the same reason.) The angel is explaining why it is that God is commanding us to do certain and specific things. He is not like the parent who exclaims, “Because I say so!” Who hasn’t heard that?

Only after explaining (brief as it is) why we should “fear” and “give glory,” do we hear about worship. It has been implied (fear and give glory) but now becomes clear and specific. We are to worship God (Jesus the Christ) because He is the Creator [Hebrews 1:1-3; Colossians 1:15-17; John 1:1-3] of all things.

Many object to the fear aspect in, “fear God and give glory to Him”. The Greek word used here is phobeo which is the root of the word, phobia. It is a temptation to substitute the more gentle, “respect God” for the seemingly harsh, “fear God” though the Greek word phobeo does not easily allow such a substitution however more appealing it may be to our ears.

To answer the question, “What is worship?” I will opine: Worship is first our acknowledgement of God; that He is. Secondly, it includes a realization of “what” He is as in character as Redeemer, Judge and Creator. The first of the Three Angels Messages lays out the credentials of God in Christ as a foundation for fearing Him, giving God glory and worship. e.c.

Friday, April 16, 2010

It's Only A Little Volcano

It's an old song, and the church has sung it many times; times prosperous, times impoverished, times of war, times of peace..."Lift up the trumpet and loud let it ring, Jesus is coming again..."
It's an old song, and some singers have gone silent; HMS Richards, his son, HMS Jr., and many others. Most, if not all, of the King's Heralds are silent.
It's an old song, and because it continues to grow older, there are those who are tired of waiting and have joined the world in mockingly saying..."All things continue as they were from the foundation of the world [2nd Peter].
As volcanos go, it's only a small one and yet clouds of destructive ash have grounded passenger jets, stranded passengers, and is grinding away at airline earnings at the rate of 200 million dollars a day. But all things continue as they were...
There has been a significant and noticeable spike in earthquake activity around the world. That's not news. But the scientists say that these things are to be expected and are merely another cycle. Perhaps through these things God is saying to the world, "I AM." To the Essayist, these events portend something far more attention getting than ... just another cycle...
It's an old song, but we need to keep singing. The world is saying, "Shut up! In recent hours a federal judge declared the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional because it addresses the nation, calling for an everybody-national-kind-of religious act. We can't have that! It's offensive. (There are states where there are no laws against zoophilia) [look it up].
We have two cherry trees and both are in full blossom. But where are the honey bees? Nobody seems to know. Something is killing them off. They are so small; who needs honey bees. I heard one apiarian [bee keeper] say that it takes several hundred [bee] trips to a watermellon blossom to bring the mellon to full fruition. Interesting.
So here we have a small volcano, small honey bees, and their presence and absence have the potential to antepenultimate, penultimate, or ultimate (decimate is too small; only ten percent) back yard gardens and a nations's food supply. (I am my own dictionary here trading a transitive verb (decimate) and posing adjectives as neologistic transitive verbs).
Less fruits...more expensive food...that would get attention. Online MSNBC has NBC national news commentator Brian Williams saying, "With everybody wondering what's going on with our planet these days..." as he introduces Tom Costello (Washington correspondent) who does a piece on the effects of volcano ash on jet engines. It's bad. Engines shut down. Very bad.
Let's take another look at the sequence; a small volcano, small particles of volcano ash, small honey bees, and the result: tens of thousands passengers stranded, airliners grounded, airfreight dependant commerce grinding to a halt, airlines losing 200 million dollars a day, nobody knows when the small volcano will stop, a huge neighboring volcano has a history of erupting next, and maybe we won't have many watermellons this year. Also bad.
Jesus says, "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid..."
Keep singing. Jesus is coming again. e.c. Link to Brian Williams.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Tax Man Cometh

Perhaps you saw the recent online blurb about the owner of a carwash who owed the IRS four cents! Maybe it was done as a joke born in the twisted volumes of IRS evanescent policy; perhaps it was intended as a message to the rest of us. Frankly my dears, I don't know.
Anyway, two IRS agents showed up at his place of business and demanded payment. He paid. The cartoon accompanying the story depicted two men, suit and sunglass clad, holding the caricature upside down, shaking pennies from his pockets.
If it was done as a joke, unfunny as it was, the IRS was spending taxpayer money for a laugh. If it was a message (and this is what I believe), it comes as a prophesy of more aggressive collection tactics. Interestingly, riding on the tail of health care reform, and more interestingly, given the mandate that the IRS is set to add 16,000 people to enforce citizen's compliance to purchase health care insurance, it does not bode well.
Here in Washington, a state which already taxes 158 services and commodities (one of the higher number of the 50 states), three more items were selected for additional taxation: beer, soda pop, and candy. Perhaps this is an Obama et ali way of encouraging more healthful living. (I don't really believe that.)
It's cloudy today with light, intermittent rain.
Lord, let me spread a little sunshine in this sad world. Amen. e.c.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

While it is called, Today

"For man also does not know his time: Like fish taken in a cruel net, like birds caught in a snare, so the sons of men are snared in an evil time, when suddenly it [death] falls upon them." [Eccl. 9:5]
For some reason I have been thinking about death. Not because I am ill, not because of an imagined tragedy, and not because I am aged. Most of my thinking has to do with the eventual separation that comes with death: The death of a husband; the death of a wife.
What follows are two poems I wrote; the first in 2006 following the death of my mother, and the second in 2009.


One heart went still today
      One of many
Her final breath flew heavenward
     To sleep that breathless sleep
My mother rests in the arms of God
     A quietude not too long
When this one among the many
     Will answer God's wakeup-morning song. e.c.


What is love, if not spoken
     What is promise, if one is broken
What is time, if not spent
     With the one whom God has lent
From years of youth to end of age
     Till final touches turn a page
And we wait with patience not known in life
     When God calls again a man and wife.

I know not when time is spent
     Nor when one heart is torn in two
I think not of time and sorrow
     Finding joy today...not waiting for tomorrow
For what is love, if not oft spoken
     And to keep a promise forever unbroken. e.c.

As the writer of Hebrews quotes and encourages; "Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts." [Psalm 95:7, 8 and Hebrews 4:7]
Today, tell someone you love them. Blessings. e.c.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Gayle and Ted Haggard: Interview

I was alarmed awake this morning. My wife was listening to a streamed interview of Ted and Gayle Haggard that took place in February this year. You may recall that Haggard, pastor of a 14,000 member church in Colorado Springs, was accused of homosexual liasons.
Gayle has written a book, "Why I stayed," which my wife bought and read and of course, she being the librarian and I being the nearest and only subscriber, received a thorough review.
The reason this is posted is because to watch and listen to the interview is to be permitted an intimate look into the heart of a sinner. It is not particularly easy to watch but evokes difficult feelings. Not necessarily because we are guilty of the same or similar sins, but because we are sinners who have been forgiven and often we need reminding of what it means to be forgiven, and equally important, to know and practice forgiveness. If the link below to her website does not work (and when I try to link they seldom do), just Google her name: Gayle Haggard, scroll down to "Great Lakes Church Interview." You can't miss it. Try not to miss this interview. (Put the cursor at the head of the link and do a (Ctrl-click). We hope you are blessed. e.c. & j.c.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Negative Theology (Apophatic Theology)

Who knows what "today" will bring. It started with a short biography of Charles Krauthammer, presently a political commentator on Fox News and political essayist for the Washington Post. Krauthammer cited Maimonides as one who led him away from his Jewish roots.
Next question; Who was Maimonides? A Jewish philosopher who lived in the 10th and 11th centuries, was deeply into Aristotilean philosophy, and who taught/thought that one's understanding of God could not come by human reasoning and affirming statements made about God. Thus, no positive statement about God (what/who God is...) could be taken as truth about God and that only negative statements (what He is not..."apophatic theology") can be considered true. (Apophatic and cataphatic theology are opposites...but this may be more than we care to know on a sunny Sunday).
Given the Jewishness of Maimonides, and if he too rejected Jesus as the Christ, it is probably a foredrawn conclusion that anything Jesus said of Himself (e.g. "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Light...") would be unacceptable on two counts: it is a positive statement of the God-Man rejected by men who rejected Jesus as the Christ and thus as God. Where John writes (1st John) that "God is love..." would be treated likewise.
Sometimes I try to read and understand things apophetic about Christianity; to get inside the mind of critical philosophers and those said to be theologians. It's then I realize that the search is fruitless for two reasons: I do not have the mind and training of a philosopher or theologian, nor, as I look more deeply, do I see anything to be gained that will make me more like Christ.
My wife and I then started talking about the differences between intelligence and wisdom. Bible texts began coming to mind; particularly those of Solomon in his proverbs. I have decided, as did Solomon, to pray for wisdom and discernment; for it is by these that we will be enabled to follow the words of Christ in Matthew chapter 24 where He says, four times, " not deceived..." The "wisdom" of this world and of worldly men, though they be thought wise, shall end up (perhaps) as having a part in the rapidly approaching unraveling of all things not built upon the "Rock" of Jesus Christ.
Have a blessed day. e.c.

Friday, April 9, 2010

What is the Maine point?

This is so stupid it's funny. The Maine Human Rights Commission is recommending that to limit phenotypical (what they look like) males or females to gender-specific locker rooms, sports, and...(I can't wait to say this) bathrooms...amounts to discrimination. The Commission is set to recommend that revisions be applied at all grade levels and that it include private schools.
Evidently a transgender boy was upset because he/she (pick one) was denied access to the "little girl's restroom." If we are wondering how far social inclusivism will go, we've just had another glimpse inside the minds of radical, social progressives. What more is there to say? The Maine Human Rights Commission has just gone naked in front of the rest of the nation. (Resist the temptation to point and laugh).

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Wanted! Critics, and Those Critical: Advanced Training Available. HS

Critics, the critical, and those adept at criticism always have a job. For the church is not perfect nor has she ever been so, that one would notice. And because the church is peopled with a sinner/saint delicate balance, indelicate comments and commentary are found in the church: Every church.
Of course, in the eyes of the unchurched or the used-to-be-churched, that is excuse more than adequate to remain aloof from "those hypocritical people." While critical remarks, glances, and body language are extant in the land, there are among the "trees," fragile plants that often are trampled in the rush to remark.
Everyone knows someone or one's who are a spiritual or emotional fragile flower, growing none-the-less in the garden of God.
Recovery is not a certainty if/when one is crushed by the weight of rude, pious, thoughtless, or just-plain-mean remarks.
Church was designed (by God) to be a place of shelter and recovery; but it was intended to be shelter from the world (a really mean place) and recovery from self and one's past. So to protect his domain and expand his influence, Satan has permitted some to become believers of parts of certain parts of Truth.
They know enough to be conversant in religiosity but absent in spirituality: a sometimes-smiling but always-deadly influence among the saints. Both those electedly wicked and electedly redeemed have one thing in common: They receive a mark in the forehead.
This mark is symbolic of the human forebrain (the frontal lobe) and lies just behind the forehead. It makes up 2/3 of the brain, has well defined neurolgical executive functions which include moral reasoning and decisioning. The significance of a symbolic "mark" on one's forehead comes clearer when we understand that the ideagram identifies whether we have chosen Jesus Christ or His (and our) arch enemy, Satan.
It's a little hard to imagine that every church has been infiltrated by those whose mind belongs to Satan and their heart to themselves. Anyone who goes to church long enough will eventually encounter and come to recognize a stomper from a stompee. Jesus describes what it is in one's spiritual genome that makes the difference between the two: "If anyone loves Me, he/she will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him/her and make our home with him/her." [John 14:23].
In closing, these words are for all who have been targeted by the devil and his minions: "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." [John 14:27].
Don't be afraid to turn the other cheek; ever!  Blessings. e.c.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Judgment! Something to Fear?

The phrases, "God is love" [1st John 4:16] and "The Judgement" might not seem to fit together; but they do. The Prophet Daniel and the Beloved Apostle John both speak of judgment; and who writes of God and His love more than John.  To put things in context, Daniel is wondering about the fourth beast which was "...exceedingly dreadful..." and he was particularly curious about impudent Little Horn [Daniel 7:19, 20]. In vision, Daniel sees things unfolding and says, "I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom." [Daniel 7:22] (The added words, in favor are deleted in this discussion).
Is there a Bible writer who writes more, or more eloquently of God's love than John? I know of none. John also writes of the Judgment in chapter four of his first letter; a letter of love to the saints that lifts up God and His love. Love and Judgment meet head-to-head in verse 17. Picking up the conversation in verse 15 we read; "Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he/she who fears has not been made perfect in love." [1st John 4:15-18].
Clearly, Daniel and John, whose writings are separated by centuries, have the same view of God and Judgment; it is a good thing, something to be anticipated rather than feared. According to John [v.17] love has been perfected among us for a reason; and the reason is so that we can enter God's judgment with boldness. And he adds, that if we are afraid it is because we do not love.
Suddenly, the First Angel's Message becomes one of added reassurance: "Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come..." [Revelation 14:7a]
Loving saints should pray, without fear, to be judged of God.
Blessings, and Peace. e.c.

Monday, April 5, 2010

For The Day of The Lord

"For the day of the Lord of Hosts shall come upon everything proud and lofty, upon everything lifted up- and it shall be brought low- upon all the cedars of Lebanon that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan; upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up; upon every high tower, and upon every fortified wall; upon all the ships of Tarshis, and upon all the beautiful sloops. The loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of man shall be brought low; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day, but the idols He shall utterly abolish. They shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, from the terror of the Lord and the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake the earth mightily." [Isaiah 2:12-19].
If there  is any wonder what it is that Isaiah is writing about my Bible links the last verse quoted above with II Thessalonians 1:7-10 which reads "When the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance upon those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, When He comes in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired in all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed."
Is Christ coming soon? Sooner than we may think or believe. "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." [Revelation 22:20]. Blessings. e.c.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

No more criticism of the Pope!

For now, let the Pope have peace, and talk instead about the Head of the Vatican State. Politics are always fair game so we should not incur the wrath of many if we discuss Vatican State politics and policies.
Exhibit A news services

updated 5:26 a.m. PT, Sun., April 4, 2010

VATICAN CITY - "A senior cardinal defended Pope Benedict XVI from "petty gossip" on Sunday as the pontiff maintained his silence on mounting sex abuse cover-up accusations during his Easter message.
The ringing tribute by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, at the start of Mass attended by tens of thousands of faithful in St. Peter's Square, marked an unusual departure from the Vatican's Easter rituals.
"Holy Father, the people of God are with you and will not let themselves be influenced by the petty gossip of the moment, by the trials that sometimes assail the community of believers," Sodano said."
Heads of State are surrounded by spokespersons whose task it is to insulate their chief from criticism and to spin the news in order to portray his/her best profile and deflect media fiery darts. However, the words of Sodano are so blatently superficial and juvenile as to inflame the swill of accusations surrounding the Vatican. It is as though Vatican City hired a child to work the "Control  Tower."  Sodano's words might somehow be forgivable were they sung castrata.
It appears to me as though the Vatican State has been caught completely off guard, as legions of priests are scurrying around trying to figure out what to do...what to do...wringing their hands while defending, apologizing, explaining, apologizing, deflecting, and again apologizing. What is happening seems really quite simple; they are beginners at this game and having (almost) always held the holiest hand in the deck have easily trumped any enemy. But not now. There exists no plan-B for this problem, nor even plan-A.
This is unplowed ground for the Vatican and if the State wishes to regain any of its shredded respect, it should consider burying the bodies of the guilty in newly plowed ground rather than moving them like pawns on the board. It is like the Bible says, plow up the fallow ground. Fire the guilty.
Denial doesn't cut it; Bill Clinton did have sex "...with that woman..." and she had the forensic evidence to prove it. The streets of Vatican City are piling high with damning evidence; enough to bring traffic to a halt and hopefully, finally, bring an end to priestly traffiking in the souls of los innocentes. Contending with Sodano, I will posit that there is nothing "petty" about pedophilia.
Still just a little angry at the "gossip gaffe," The Mind of The Essayist will probably calm down......someday. e.c.

A McKinley Hill Easter

When I was a child I ate as a child.
When I think about where I grew up (presuming that eventually, actually happened) three places come to mind, McKinley School, McKinley Hill Community Church, and Parkey's Tavern. In some odd way these three were braided together to form the cord that ties me to my reality.
Easter was the time to color eggs, gag on those icky chocolate rabbits that were laced with marshmellow, and go to Easter Sunday breakfast at the church. But there was a problem: I always went alone (this was during grade school years) and I was always late; too late to go to the sunrise service at Wright's Park in downtown Tacoma.
No matter; I'd hang out at the church and watch the cook scramble dozens of eggs and fry enough ham to feed fifty hungry worshippers. The rule was, that to get food you had to go to the service at the park. Evidently I was young enough and looked hungry enough that the cook (and chief enforcer of that rule) looked the other way. It's possible too that she didn't notice me because I was the smallest kid in the class.
Anyway, memories of Easter have little to do with the Resurrection and everything to do with ham and eggs; eggs scrambled, eggs hard boiled, eggs colored, eggs deviled (on Easter??) eggs eaten in overabundance in the bliss of childhood ignorance. And nowadays: Oh my cholesterol; but I still like eggs. I just limit myself to one every month or so. Life is hard (boiled). e.c.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

God's Aerobaticists...The Swallows

The heaviest rains have stopped; insects are flying, and so are the swallows. It's hard to count, but there must be more than two dozen swallows flying low over the lake, feeding on bugs. Swallows are, perhaps, one of the most expert of birds at aerobatics; the art of quick and complicated in-flight  maneuvers.
Once, in the month of May we were sitting in the sun and noticed flying insects emerging from the ground all around us. In mere moments the swallows were there, darting through the air; inches above our heads. These masters of flight can turn on a dime and leave change. No need for insecticides and sprays when the swallows put on their display. Beautiful! Amazing! Day (swallows, dragonflies, etc) and night (bats) God has ways of dealing with flying insects that "bug" us. (There's a word from the 70's). Day and night, God has ways of dealing with temptations and weaknesses that bug us; flying in and around our heads. All we have to do is to ask and we will receive. Blessings. e.c.

Friday, April 2, 2010

A Crystal Cathedral...Not

News from the Vatican and around the world has slowed the spin of the earth on its axis as it watches, transfixed, the mudpot-like roiling in Rome and sniffs the noxious sulfide fumes of logrithmically multiplying stories of pedophilic priests.
There seems to be a high level, world wide plague of opacity in the affairs of State and Church; an obvious absence of openness, honesty (an almost obsolete word) and clarity.
As I see it, the problem is multifaceted; 1) church and priest self protectionism,  2) denial by transference (priests transferred to  another  diocese ), and 3) church leaders more engaged in recussitating Latin liturgy than helping to heal its wounded, innocent children.  While attempting to protect the reputation of the church and its clergy, the church ignorantly lit a fuse, decades in the burning, which when the bomb finally exploded, scattered debris in every land the church has trod. 
There is a certain terrible irony, that during one of the most holy weeks of the church, The Holy See has gone to ground, cashing in his capital as an infallible Head of State.
As New York Times Op-Ed Columnist writer Maureen Dowd has pointedly pointed out (NYT 28 March 2010; "A Nope for Pope"), "Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger...ignored repeated warnings and looked away in the case of a...priest who molested as many as 200 deaf boys. The church has been tone deaf and dumb on the scandal for so long that it's shocking, but not surprising, to learn from The Times's Laurie Goodstein that a group of deaf former students spent 30 years trying to get church leaders to pay attention."  (Perhaps Ratzinger prefered reading Karl Rahner [German Catholic theologian and intellectual] instead of troubling memos about little boys.) Doud concludes; "If the church could throw open its stained glass windows and let in some air...banish criminal priests and end the sordid culture of men protecting men who attack children, it might survive. It could be an encouraging sign of humility and repentance, a surrender of arrogance, both moving and meaningful."
Here are two concluding questions; and they are not anti-Catholic: Who among us is exercising SCHADENFREUDE? (joy in others' tribulations) and which of us does not worship in a crystal cathedral (a glass house). Put down the rocks and pray for the souls of those violated and those whose robes are "filthy garments" [See Zechariah chapter 3 vv. 1-4].
There is a Christ and He was resurrected. Thank You Lord!. e.c.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Wanted...God. Send Resume' to...

"I am the Lord thy God which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me." [Exodus 20:2]."
The world needs what it does not know: God. Mankind has always chosen its gods from a lineup; self, stuff, other's stuff, money, and of course is always open to suggestions...from Satan. I was wondering; if Earth were to advertize for a god and God were to send His application how would it read? what would it look like?
                                    God: Application Form
Date of Birth.................I AM
Name............................HaShem (YHWH)
Address.........................Orion Nebulae
Experience....................Infinite + 1
Qualifications................Creation of all things
Affiliations....................HaMashiach, HaRuach HaKodesh
Goals............................Eternal life for all mankind
In one-hundred fifty words or less, explain why this application is submitted to the Search Committee. "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me." [ Revelation 21:3].
"...Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God." [ Revelation 21:3].
Enclose latest photo......"he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father."
[John 14:9].
In order for God to qualify as our God, He is bound by His character to act within limits. That is to say, though He has all power He does not (in fact), cannot use Omnipotence (all power). To explain; if God is love...compared to merely demonstrating love, which is what we sometimes do...then He is bound to exercise that love in all aspects of His governance.
He cannot use force. He cannot coerce. He cannot compel. If He were to do any of these in any part of his any action or interaction with man, He would cease to be love and thus cease to be God. Therefore, what God does not do is as important as what he does.
Joshua, speaking to the children of Israel before his death said this;
"And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." [Joshua 24:15]
May the people of God stand with Joshua and choose the Only True God.
Blessings. e.c.