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 on: January 04, 2014, 08:58:30 AM 
Started by Justicia et Pax - Last post by Justicia et Pax
That's awesome!


Thanks Alan! I'm pretty excited about it - just hoping it all happens. It would be the trip of a lifetime!  Grin

 on: January 04, 2014, 07:46:44 AM 
Started by Justicia et Pax - Last post by Alan
That's awesome!


 on: January 03, 2014, 03:00:04 PM 
Started by Justicia et Pax - Last post by Justicia et Pax
Please allow me to wish you all the above and please accept my apologies for the delay in posting. It has been a busy time for my family, with traditions to observe and my sister being at home!

I hope it is a happy and holy year for all of us. I myself am excited, though somewhat scared, for what this year could bring.

I'm not sure I've told any of you but it looks like I am going to Israel for Holy Week 2014!  Grin  Grin  Grin My mother and I have put down our deposits and will fill out forms in due course.

Anyway, wishing you all the very best year possible!

Love and prayers,

Shan Smiley

 on: December 30, 2013, 06:23:01 PM 
Started by Alan - Last post by Alan
I'm discussing four related ideas: listening to God, doing what He says, learning about Him, and worshiping Him.

God said this to humans about Jesus, from the cloud at His baptism:  “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”[/COLOR]

Or in Mark: “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

At the transfiguration, God spoke from a cloud: [COLOR="Green"]“This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”[/COLOR]

In the conversation at Cana, Mary speaks first to Jesus, then to the servants.  The last thing she is recorded to have said (excepting apparitions -- I'm not counting that) is:  “Do whatever he tells you.”

OK, so we have a) listening to Jesus, and b) doing whatever He tells you.


For me, "listening" can come in many forms, and through the Holy Spirit, not only just the written word but even life circumstances and how our hearts react to them.  Can I listen to the carefree bird singing along, and imagine Jesus saying, "I give you My peace, not as the world can give?"  Or watching a baby laugh and laughing deeply within your heart, at the innocent joy that the Lord offers us all?  What about silent prayer?  What about work done with love?  If we can "hear" or "see" or even "imagine" God in these contexts, we will have constant reminders of His love.


Next is doing what He says.  Love one another.  Love your enemy.  Forgive others.  Repay evil with good.  These things are clearly what demonstrates our faith and what purifies us and trains our heart into understandings we can't learn from another person telling us about.


The third thing I want to throw in is "learning about" Jesus.  That is, learning scriptural accounts of His life, and Church teachings involving His circumstances, His mother, the saints, and pretty much any academic learning about our faith.

As long as we do things with love, then:

First, listening for the Lord and His handiwork at all times, being aware of His gifts with every breath we take, brings wisdom.  Second we have doing His works of love, guided by the wisdom.  Third we have the scholarly knowledge which helps us a) communicate truths of our traditions and teaching to others in the world and in the future, and b) help put into context what it is we hear from or about the Lord through our life experiences from trials to celebrations (with passion).

I separate these out, because IMO these are three working parts of the puzzle that fit together well, in order to bring us a wonderful relationship with our faith, the Church, the Lord, and at the same time ourselves and others.  Leave any one of them out, and I think it makes the others much more difficult.


Finally, a comment:  none of the three involve actually "worshiping" Jesus, because He came as a servant, and called us "friends."  When He was called "good" He rebuked the person who called Him that.  So we celebrate now with Him in heaven as He is risen, but when He was on earth I didn't see Him asking anybody to "worship Him" per se.  I say the best way to worship Him is to a) listen to Him like God said to do, b) do what He says like Mary said to do, and c) learn about Him from the Church.

Of course we love to sing praise, and as a church musician I love to play music praising Jesus.  And it's great that we recite prayers.  Talking and singing about our praise for the Lord is wonderful, but without actually listening, doing, and learning, our praise IMO is not as full and our prayers may not be as heartfelt -- or more like heart-understand. Wink


 on: December 29, 2013, 10:43:17 AM 
Started by Alan - Last post by Alan
I'm getting pretty frequent vibes about wanting to tell some of the missing points of view we don't hear much in a number of the Gospel stories, where it sounds like it's preachy and moralistic but only because it's viewed through the lens of a preach-conditioned observer.

Like the bit about Peter denying Christ.  I think there was a purpose to it, and I'm not sure that Jesus telling Peter of the upcoming denials wasn't as much of a "suggestion" or outright plan.  Jesus could have said, "I will be killed but you need to stay alive.  Deny you knew me and they will not kill you; trust that I will see you after this is over."  That way we normally hear it sounds more like, "Peter, you don't even realize how much you suck -- you think you're so holy, and you are about to Deny God three times!"

There's a song I dedicate to this one:  Alan Parson's Project, "Don't Let it Show"

I like reframing Gospel messages.  Maybe we can play online "psychodrama" and insert some lines for the various characters.  Grin


 on: December 28, 2013, 03:32:10 PM 
Started by Alan - Last post by ncjohn
I'm not at all sure why the 9 didn't return. I'm not totally ready to write them off as ungrateful, though it does seem like something is amiss if you receive a gift like that and don't go back to seek out the one who gave it to you. I guess it's possible that they went to show themselves to the priests as they were told and that the priests advised them not to go back, having heard things about this "dangerous" healer, or that they sent them on to someone else to show them.

I do expect regardless though that there was still multiplication going on with those other 9. You don't have something like that happen to you and not start telling everyone you run into about it. Which means a lot of other people were hearing about the healing Jesus did which likely drew a lot more people to at least seeking him out to see what was going on.

 on: December 24, 2013, 08:53:12 AM 
Started by Alan - Last post by Alan
In the last few months I haven't been posting much here, but I've been posting much elsewhere and have been learning a whole lot and changing a lot.  The world is like a different place now than even recently -- and then that happens again.

I'm ready to support Good Thinking and help in the rescuing of people from Bad Religion and helping them find their kingdom(s).  The kingdom Jesus showed us we have!  Grin


 on: December 23, 2013, 05:52:28 PM 
Started by Justicia et Pax - Last post by Alan
Thank you so much, and I wish the same for you! <3


 on: December 23, 2013, 02:19:28 PM 
Started by Justicia et Pax - Last post by Justicia et Pax
I will be away from the Internet for the best part of the next 3-4 days. So wishing you all a very merry and blessed Christmas. May God's peace prevail during this time and extending best wishes to all your families and loved ones  Smiley

God bless,

Shan  Smiley

 on: December 21, 2013, 02:44:28 PM 
Started by Alan - Last post by Justicia et Pax
I look at the quoted word as entertainment and/or training. It's not a field guide or handbook. Whipping out a Bible and quoting it in order to speak on your behalf (but with authoritay) is a bit like responding to a challenge to arm wrestle by showing your opponent a photo of the machine you used to train.

 Grin  Grin  Grin

Oh Alan. You have NO idea how much I grinned upon reading the above. Spot on!  Tongue

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