Archive for the ‘Childhood’ Category

word-of-wisdom-1-2.jpg

 

Today, focus is on the place of Jesus Christ in our youth becoming complete, mature, and spiritual persons.  The most balanced, competent, and well-adjusted people we meet are also well-rounded persons who are well-grounded persons.  Only through individual commitment, effort, and perseverance can we acquire adult knowledge and life experience.  While our careers and professional lives seem to require only the mastery of information and skills that are academic, secular, and technical, there must be specific spirit content for finite human makeup that comes only from divinity.  GOD must be in the life as more than abstraction, conjecture, speculation, and theorizing.  The lasting contentment, prosperity, and satisfaction in life are established primarily through godly communication, interaction, and continuing relationships.  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information appears) posted the following:

 

Why is it important for me to accept Jesus? Can’t people just pray me out of Hell?

I am a college graduate with a Bachelor’s degree. I just recently received a contract with one of the top international schools in the world in Barcelona. I will be moving to Spain in September and I am just so excited to be moving there for a couple of years.

This is the best thing that’s ever happened to me, that nothing else matters or is important right now.

So why should I make room for Jesus in this newfound life? He can’t possibly be more exciting or amazing than this…….

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:  Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises:  that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.  And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;  And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;  And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.  For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.  Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure:  for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:  For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  (2nd Peter 1:  2-11, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Acorns Become Oak Trees? (02/09/2017); Plantings of the Lord (02/10/2017); Benefiting From Your Childhood? (11/18/2016); As Newborn Babes…. (10/13/2016); Learning From A Spirit? (08/25/2016); Abstractions, Atheism and I.Q. (08/18/2016); The Cross and Critical Thinking? (04/13/2016)

 

“Anonymous”, to have salvation every man or woman must engage Jesus Christ in ongoing relationship.  Apart from the direct operations of divinity, the instruction of clergy, our parents, and other caretakers do not result in our becoming mature spiritual persons.  Correctly understood, their efforts center on meeting our carnal, material, and social needs, and supporting us as we take our first “baby steps” to our own personal relationship with GOD.  The culture of the young as they are growing and learning emphasizes and encourages diversity, excitement, individuality, and novelty.  However, minor children all reach a stage where the remainder of their lives will be spent as adults, and there can be no “do over” of childhood.  Multiple shifts must occur as they prepare to enter the adult world of work, sexual challenges, and life companionship through marriage as well as what it means to manifest honor, integrity, respect, and trustworthiness.  Crucial lessons must be shared on succeeding as a team, recovering from losses, making unselfish sacrifice, and displaying restraint and self-discipline.  The terms for adult accomplishments and life relationships are always described by such features as accountability, commitment, duty, and responsibility.  Thus, ones goals are framed as contentment and satisfaction (instead of celebrity, fame, wealth), and are achieved by displaying balance, consistency, stability, and thoroughness (attention to detail).  As created beings and living creatures on the earth, all men and women must encounter disappointments, “growing pains,” frustrations, and the challenges of sin.  (The finite human tools of intellect, logic, philosophy, and science can not eliminate sin; and so there also are sinners who hold Ph.D. degrees and Phi Beta keys.)  For men and women to become complete persons who express faith, and may become productive serving GOD as priests and kings through Jesus Christ, they must receive a fresh endowment of spirit content from the makeup of Deity.  Then, their spirit as “new creations” will be nourished through fellowship with other believers, observing sacred practices, and continuous study of the holy writings.  Consider the following points using language from the Bible:

(1.)  1st Peter 2:  1-5, King James Version (KJV):  1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,  2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:  3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.  4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,  5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

(2.)  Malachi 3:  13-18, KJV:  13 Your words have been stout against me, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee?  14 Ye have said, It is vain to serve God:  and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?  15 And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.  16 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another:  and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.  17 And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.  18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

(3.)  Matthew 16:  24-27, KJV:  24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.  25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it:  and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.  26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?  27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Romans 8:  5-9, KJV:  5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:  for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Merchandise-Disclaimer.png

 

Advertisements

Teachable-Spirit.jpg

 

Today, focus is on making the transition to adult Christian belief through study of the Bible.  Agreeing with the Scripture from Solomon (Ecclesiastes 11:  9-10, King James Version (KJV):  9 Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes:  but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.  10 Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh:  for childhood and youth are vanity.), many condemn childhood as a period that does not bear spiritual fruit, and is vain (i.e., lacks spirit substance from GOD).  Rather than deny and despise the life lessons from childhood, born again believers are encouraged to receive added benefit from their own past by “seeing with new eyes.”  The foundation from childhood should include some sacred knowledge, however, more than this there also will have been charity (unselfish love), gentleness, gratitude, faith, humility, patience, resilience, respect, and trust.  Christ who presents the image of immortal, immutable, unchanging divinity has been given as the model for created beings and living creatures to be in personal relationship with the Father.  Diversity, inconsistency, and the many differences among their levels of achievement and growth make it that believers apart from Christ are not sufficient as standards for one another.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “JohnnyBravo” (Level 2 with 600 points, a member since November 17, 2010) posted the following:

 

How do I avoid letting the childhood indoctrination creep on back as I attempt to read the bible cover to cover?

I’m trying to end this chapter of my life. I need to read the bible through from beginning to end to give myself closure.

Update: I notice as I read Genesis that I’m slipping back into old Christian ways of reading the bible. I start to make excuses for why God does what he does, etc. It happens automatically.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;  Every man’s work shall be made manifest:  for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss:  but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.  (1st Corinthians 3:  11-15, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Choice, Duty, and Obligation? (11/17/2016); Birth, Self-will and Sin? (11/13/2016); Unguarded Chocolates? (11/07/2013); Jesus Rose? (11/08/2013); How Children Learn (11/09/2013); Issues for Children’s Church (04/06/2013); Outgrowing Childhood Prayers? (04/07/2013); Confessing Only to GOD? (04/08/2013)

 

“JohnnyBravo”, in Christ there is only one truth for both young and old, child and elder, that may be presented in multiple ways to fit their level of growth and maturity.  When Moses assembled the people at Sinai to hear GOD proclaim his law for covenant, even babes in arms and the sucking child were called.  Adult Christian believers ought not abandon their earliest lessons; they are to build upon them, and continue to grow acknowledging their foundation from GOD.  The key to having a fresh experience of the ancient truths recorded for us in the holy writings is to acquire during our own times a fresh endowment of spirit content from the makeup of GOD.  Finite tools of carnal reason, intellect, logic, and science may not be relied on.  Sinners who become “born again” will receive deposits of divine Spirit through baptism as well as by gathering in fellowship with other, more mature believers (church attendance); praise, prayer, and sacred practice (we say, observing sacraments); private study of the Scriptures; and unselfish service to benefit others.  Even as born-again believers, members of the church must “grow up again” and encounter the “growing pains” of life experience before they can be fully mature.  All believers are to gradually become ripe for harvest at the coming of Jesus, and display the same inseparable aspects of divinity that appeared within Jesus Christ upon the earth.  Included are faith, gratitude, holiness, joy, longsuffering, meekness, eternal purpose, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Consider again how some of this is stated using language from the Bible:

(1.)  Romans 8:  5-9, King James Version (KJV):  5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:  for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

(2.)  Romans 12:  1-3, KJV:  1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  2 And be not conformed to this world:  but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.  3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

(3.)  1st Peter 3:  4, KJV:  4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

(4.)  1st Corinthians 13:  8-13, KJV:  8 Charity never faileth:   but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.  9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.  10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.  11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child:  but when I became a man, I put away childish things.  12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face:  now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.  13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  Romans 8:  25-28, KJV:  25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.  26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities:  for we know not what we should pray for as we ought:  but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.  28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Merchandise-Disclaimer.png

Divine correction, love, and punishment are topics, today.  For many Christian believers, correct sacred knowledge regarding divine judgment has been provided in the home through their experience as children.  There must be discipline (i.e., training) of both awareness and self-will that will establish conscience, because the operations of sin repeatedly are directed against and through the gateways of awareness and self-will.  When parenting, benefits to ones child include admonition, chastisement, scolding, and spanking as aspects of vital instruction.  To quickly and permanently clarify the danger, destruction, and pain that result to themselves and others from disobedience, disrespect, and defiance of authority by the child, affection, logic and reason are applied in balance with corporal, physical and visceral experiences.  The child is to be held accountable for consequences and effects from their own attitudes, behavior and conduct; and should be helped to understand that their parents and others are not to feel the hurt that properly is their own and no one else’s.  Consider again the following from the Bible, and the comments appearing below:  Job 5:  17-18, King James Version (KJV):  17 Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth:  therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:  18 For he maketh sore, and bindeth up:  he woundeth, and his hands make whole.  Also,  1st Corinthians 11:  31-32, KJV:  31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.  32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.  Proverbs 9:  7-9, KJV:  7 He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame:  and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.  8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee:  rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.  9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser:  teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.  Revelation 3:  18-20, KJV:  18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.  19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten:  be zealous therefore, and repent.  20 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.  The writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Silver” (Level 1 with 63 points, a member since October 20, 2015) posted the following:

 

What if God didn’t punish us for our sins?

I am Christian. I always read in the bible that God punishes those He loves whenever they sin. I realize that it right that God does it because it disciplines them but what happen if you sin and God didn’t punish us does that mean He doesn’t Love us anymore?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:  But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.  If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you:  on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.  But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.  Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.  For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God:  and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?  And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?  Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.  (1st Peter 4:  12-19, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Why Punish Innocence? :  (05/22/2015); The Death Penalty for Sins? (11/30/2014); A Dispensation To Benefit (12/01/2014); Expulsion from Eden (05/05/2014); Blasphemy Against the GODhead (05/06/2014); Beyond Punishment (03/21/2014); A Guarantee of Heaven? (03/22/2014)

 

“Silver”, GOD is a spirit who has put forth all that exists; assigns value to all (we say, judges; resolves conflict through application of sacred law); and who maintains the universe through routine operations that are diverse, interactive, and mechanical as well as through sacred processes that are intimate, organic and personal.  Understanding all the facets and manifestations of divine love therefore requires that a believer apply all the inseparable aspects of the imparted, indwelling Spirit they contain following water  baptism (i.e., death of ones inborn spirit; burial; rebirth from divine DNA, so to speak).  Those who are “born again” are called the children of GOD, for they receive features from the character and nature of divinity such as faith, holiness, longsuffering, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  For such believers, GOD is held to be the Father in a peculiar relationship where the active presence of Deity is continuous.  The born-again believer must “grow up again” (we say, mature, “become perfected”) by meeting specific life challenges for those living upon the earth.  Through Jesus Christ, Son of the Highest, the Son of Man, mankind undergoes permanent change to establish eternal life that includes accountability, acknowledgment (we say, worship), commitment, correction, duty, and exclusive devotion to GOD.  Here are a few points from the holy writings that speak to the place of punishment in the new life:

(1.)   Proverbs 23:  12-14, King James Version (KJV):  12 Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.  13 Withhold not correction from the child:  for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.  14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

(2.)  Isaiah 13:  10-12, KJV:  10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light:  the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.  11 And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.  12 I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.

(3.)  Isaiah 48:  8-12, KJV:  8 Yea, thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not; yea, from that time that thine ear was not opened:  for I knew that thou wouldest deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb.  9 For my name’s sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off.  10 Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.  11 For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it:  for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.  12 Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.

There are many other verses that should be carefully considered, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Hebrews 12:  4-8, KJV:  4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.  5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:  6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.  7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?  8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC


New Disclaimer

 

Today, Scripture and points are shared on name-calling and offensive words used by Christians when witnessing to others.  Early church believers were first called “Christians” (“little Christ-s”) in Antioch as an expression of mocking and scorn.  The process of spreading the Gospel, then and now, is one of drawing believers by displaying beauty, humility, love, and wisdom generated from the Spirit of GOD, and is not about persuading unbelievers.  Properly understood, when performing the work of the church, Christians are endowed with legitimate authority from GOD to admonish, correct, scold, and use sharpness among those committed to Christ, who already are within the body of believers.  Interpersonal and secular exchanges that are not guided through the Holy Spirit occur on a level of selfish interaction, and may include displays of ungodly attitudes and conduct such as anger, confrontation, mocking, scorn, temper, swearing, and verbal abuse.  Like all feeling persons when they are attacked and provoked, Christians may respond moved by emotion rather than with doctrine, principle, or reason.  Consider the following and the points appearing below:  1st Corinthians 5:  9-13, King James Version (KJV):  9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:  10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.  11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.  12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?  13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “1, 3 DimethyloOzelah” (Level 1 with 81 points, a member since November 25, 2014) posted the following:

Christians! Which do you find more offensive? Some who calls you “deluded” or someone who says you are “ignorant”?

Both of which many would regard as appropriate terms to describe the types of people who believe in the kinds of things that Christianity teaches such as virgin births, human sacrifice, resurrection, miracles, talking snakes and donkeys, god, the devil etc.

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing:  the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.  (John 6:  63, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Answer a Fool? (06/04/2015); Not Yet Delivered From Racism? (12/21/2014); Racism Is Not From GOD (12/22/2014); About Deluding Yourself?  (09/22/2014); Delusions and Revelation (09/23/2014); The Bible and Stupid People? (07/17/2013); Destroying Justice? (07/18/2013)

“1, 3 DimethyloOzelah”, what you seem to be speaking of we used to label “name-calling” as children, and being adults we label as “invective” (abusive or violent language used to attack, blame, or denounce somebody—Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.).  As kids we learned on the playground that “being called out of your name” (i.e., addressed or spoken about using some phrase or word other than the name you were given by your parents) could suddenly appear as a challenge, a cut, a deliberate insult, a jab, or “put down.”  We found name-calling could hurt our feelings, make us angry, and overwhelm us with frustration.  Generally, we sought to arm ourselves in the war of words with “comebacks”, and began to develop “style”.  You learned to recognize your opening, pace yourself (wait for it), use good timing, and make strong delivery (thrust home!).  More than this, you learned to reply with a false appearance of disinterest and indifference (it’s water off a duck’s back), nonchalance (cool), and wit common to those two grade levels above yours.  Thus, early battles could be turned in your favor by answering smartly with the secret weapon of rhyme until all became masters of “ Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!”

When we finally began to reflect upon the words of the rhyme, we also began to realize that what we say to others as well as what we say to ourselves without speaking aloud (discursive thought) does have great power, can do great damage, or can be used to build up, edify and inspire.  What, when, where, and how we speak can determine the duration, substance and value of our finite life experience.  Though we chaffed at home when forbidden to say the word “hate” (not only as an expletive, even in casual conversation), we quickly understood that we were to nourish a peculiar consciousness within ourselves.  We correctly sensed that our self-esteem and equality as persons were being addressed, and we were being further armored against all name-calling, racial slurs, and language to disparage, intimidate, or heap scorn upon us  (e.g., black, colored, darkie, dummy, Hebe, fool, pickaninny, punk, sissy, Spick, whore).

While growing up, older siblings often indulged name-calling as a form of correction for younger children.  Their parents, adult caretakers, and their peer group repeatedly used warnings, threats, name-calling, and appeals to pride in order to “call out your best” as well as to energize, motivate and spur alertness, attention to detail, competitive spirit, diligence, renewed effort, enthusiasm, careful listening, obedience, and thoroughness.  Unfortunately, the seeds also were introduced and sown that could yield a harvest of anger, bitterness, distrust, division, family breakdown, resentment, and separation.

When sharing ones faith and spiritual beliefs, individuals are little different than siblings or nations that pursue their own agendas for productivity.  Where a nation’s goals include building and preserving sound and lasting relationships for mutual benefit, cooperation, peace and shared survival, it is wise to avoid accusations, name-calling and the many inflammatory devices that break-off dialog, communication and exchange by continuing conflict and unpleasantness.  To truly achieve a legitimate purpose, both the speakers and hearers must be committed to making necessary changes that may only come to light as they maintain an ongoing process of sharing, learning, respect and growth.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  Consider the following points from the Bible that are relied upon by many Christian believers:

(1.)  Proverbs 18:  20-21, King James Version (KJV):  20 A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.  21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue:  and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

(2.)  Proverbs 9:  6-10, KJV:  6 Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.  7 He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame:  and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.  8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee:  rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.  9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser:  teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.  10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom:  and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

(3.)  Proverbs 26:  17, KJV:  17 He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.

(4.)  Proverbs 26:  4-5, KJV:  4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.  5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

(5.)  Matthew 12:  35-37, KJV:  35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things:  and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.  36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.  37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Some count verses such as these to be nuggets of truth from a higher mind and regard them no fit substitute for the full pay load.  Even so, as you reflect, may you find this fragment to be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Customs, divine law, Sabbath, and tradition are topics, today.  Also, there is more on why parents are careful to share the Gospel with their children.  The “Yahoo! Answers” writer using ID “Jordan” (Level 1 with 51 points, a member since April 28, 2014) posted the following:

 

I was thinking how people say they have the authority from God to change the sabbath and that we aren’t…!? 

…suppose to live by the law anymore because it’s done away with.
Well I was reading in Matthew today and came across this passage….
Matthew 13:36-43
….41 The Son of man shall send forth His angles, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity. Iniqiuty is lawlessness i.e. Torahlessness.
And also how come Jesus preached so hard against people keeping the traditions of men and not the commandments of God?

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  Why the Gospel for Our Children (05/13/2014)—(5.)  Children in Christian homes are not being given a horror story intended for amusement and entertainment that focuses upon the  betrayal, torture, and death of one man.  Rather, they are being given the keys for correctly experiencing and understanding the issues for survival, the operations of divinity throughout the universe, and eternal life for all men.  Children may embody both the accomplishments and failures of their parents, may perpetuate both the blessings and curses that come upon their parents, and may further propagate either the good works, or the sins of their parents.  As a divine instrument, children connect finite and eternal being.  Through their offspring, the living continue despite their decease, and sacred institutions are made stable and sure.  Dynasty, inheritance and legacy all serve as devices to affirm, complete, and preserve covenant, law, judgment, promise, prophecy, and intimate relationship with GOD.  Children are not to be a sacrifice—damage or loss willingly endured to display commitment, respect, and submission; something of value destroyed in order to turn away divine wrath, to express reverence, or petition for lenience—offered and transferred to GOD upon an altar.  They are to be living evidences, and vessels of spirit matter and truth from GOD.  Often, the life challenges against children (e.g., injury, poverty, sickness, separation) are no different than those that come against adults.  Thus, many life lessons must be shared with our young while they are growing, not after they are grown.  Consider again the Scriptures:  Genesis 18:  16-19, Exodus 3:  14-15, Psalms 127:  3-5, Jeremiah 3:  19, Ezekiel 37:  19-28, Acts 2:  38-39, Romans 9:  8, Galatians 4:  27-29 and Revelation 2:  18-25, KJV.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:  Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.  When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.  For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:  (Proverbs 6:  20-23, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  To Keep It Holy (02/23/2014); 7 “Godly” Sins? (02/24/2014); About Sabbath (10/16/2013); We Shall Behold Him (10/17/2013); Money-changers in The Temple? (06/23/2013); Believers and the Cross (06/24/2013); Newness of Spirit? (01/04/2013); Two Different Testaments? (01/05/2013)

 

“Jordan”, here are a few points important to many Christian believers:

(1.)  As the “expressed will of GOD,” divine law is eternal, immutable, permanent, and unchanging.  However, correct application and response to the law may vary in accordance with the needs of created beings and living creatures, changes among and within the spheres of existence as well as the continuous revelation of divinity.

(2.)  For many, the primary focus for relationship with GOD is deliverance from sin (we say, salvation).  Many others are seeking blessing, divine gifts and rewards such as authority, dominion, possessions, and prosperity.  Still others are focused upon achieving a peculiar level of fellowship and intimacy as children of GOD.

(3.)  How we speak of the law must change.  During the ministry of Jesus upon the earth, the expression “the law” often was used to speak of the covenants established by Moses.  The body of customs and traditions that surrounded the covenants (e.g., the convenience of money-changers on holy ground within the Temple courtyards) were practiced as if law, yet, only continued through such flaws of human character as ignorance, laziness, presumption, and pride.

There is a lot more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  The ministry of Jesus Christ focuses upon the essence and righteousness of the law (we say, Spirit), and so does not annul, condemn, or reject the law.  Otherwise hidden aspects, operations, and purposes of divine law are proclaimed, restored, and uplifted.  Included are atonement, correction, healing, rebirth, repentance from sin, resistance to sin, perfection, and sanctification.).  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your meekness and faith.

If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:  Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.  (Isaiah 58:  13-14, KJV)

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

In the course of a conversation, yesterday, I made a comment regarding an experience from my childhood, that I would visit the zoo some distance from my school, each day, and spend my lunch period there with a tiger.  A gift from India (now the largest democratic nation in the world), the rare, white Bengal tiger came to our country as a gift to the children of America though the combined work of the Maharaja of Rewa, John Kluge (a German-American billionaire), India’s Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, U. S. President Dwight David Eisenhower, and many others whose names I do not know.  I felt challenged to write a poem (see below) that would be simple, yet, confident, and would express somewhat the spirit in me as a ten-year-old boy.  I hesitated to use rhymed couplets (they often sour, sound silly, and become sing-song), however, I could not dismiss their demand for both restraint and understatement.

 

 

 

When Talking to the Tiger
[A Poem Recalling the Daughter of Mohan:
Mohini (Enchantress), the Princess of Rewa]

 

It would be rude to start or say
Please don’t eat me up, today

I only came to sit a spell
To visit and make sure you’re well

I know its hard, so far from home
Fenced in and caged so you won’t roam

Imagine what a fright there’d be
If you had come to visit me

We need not rush…yet I can’t stay
They give us only time to play

Or eat a lunch we have to bring
And, truth is, I don’t have a thing

Yours must be a careful diet
One that keeps you strong and quiet

Mine I get from GOD above
And so my meals are mostly love

As we get closer we can share
Our feelings and our thoughts as prayer

White tiger’s wisdom, and the claw
Can feed with me on sacred law

And I may learn in this your school
The way to wear my crown, and rule

Once we are free of all our fears
We’ll wipe away each others tears

I’ll brush your stripes with gentle touch
And we won’t have to cry so much

The stripes of poverty are the same
No matter what the country’s name

Our city is a jungle too
And dangers lurk outside this zoo

The stripes of poverty we bear
Have been the same, both here and there

No less than life’s diversity
That yolks us in humility

The gift to Adam, Noah too
That now is given me and you

Thereby the heirs of kings are taught
That freedom is not cheaply bought

Soon all the creatures living here
Will know our covenant is clear

That Michael’s heart is now your throne
Princess Mohini’s not alone

Should night come and you feel a chill
Just think of me as with you still

For in the dark you’ll hear me sing
The boy whose father is the King.

 

Signature Mark

©Michael Andrew Williams, 2014.  All rights reserved.

 

Today, I share an anecdote (intended to serve like a parable) cautioning believers to focus upon the meaning, purpose, divine content, and spiritual value of human events, rather than their appearance, fashion, and form.  Some of our most difficult and necessary life lessons as Christian believers come to us in the appearance of day to day life experience.

THE BATTLE AXE:  On Youth Doing Enough (02/06/2014)—Like other young people dwelling in the earth, Christian youth all will face challenges, disappointments, times of uncertainty, and “growing pains.”  Yet, they will be continually supplied with tools from GOD that make possible lasting victory over confusion, fear, frustration, and weakness.  While growth, learning and preparation to serve will be a shared duty throughout the entire experience for those who are followers of Christ, new believers and youth often must be given added encouragement and support suited to their levels of maturity and understanding.  So to speak, the eternal life of a believer begins at their baptism; and there is only one truth for all the children of GOD, no matter what their ages.  Even so, genuine authority vested in children often is not properly acknowledged and obeyed without conflict, and unpleasantness.  Moreover, those in such roles as apprentices, beginners, disciples, and students often require added guidance, nourishment, and support.  Usually, minor children, teenagers, and young adults are not called to perform independently or without adult supervision in the vital offices and work whereby congregations and faith communities are initiated, organized, and maintained as worship assemblies.  Within a body of believers, consecration, intercession, pastoral counseling, and many other sacred tasks require continuous and full-time attention that would result in imbalance for young people still in stages of development that are not yet stable and complete.  Scripture reports that, at twelve years old (the age of bar mitzvah), Jesus was eager to begin service to GOD the Father when he visited the Temple at Jerusalem.  However, the Lord had to practice restraint and self-discipline until the time year later that was appointed for his appearing in public ministry.  See again, Luke 2:  40-52, King James Version.

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:  By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also:  knowing that tribulation worketh patience;  And patience, experience; and experience, hope:  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.  For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die:  yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.  (Romans 5:  1-10, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  That We Might Know (01/07/2014); Unguarded Chocolates? (11/07/2013); Jesus Rose? (11/08/2013); Why Jesus Used Parables (11/03/2013); Denying Baptism to Others (11/04/2013); Issues for Children’s Church? (04/06/2013); Outgrowing Childhood Prayers? (04/07/2013); GOD in Schools? (12/20/2012); Naaman the Leper (12/21/2012)

Yesterday, I shared an anecdote with my neighbor and his visiting friend.  A question came up regarding companies that provide automobile insurance, and the discounted costs their customers must receive.  I talked about my time as a driving instructor, here, in the District of Columbia.  I could not find work at that time in my chosen fields of management consulting and college level teaching, so I decided I would put pride aside, and respond to a newspaper advertisement for teachers at a driving school in nearby Silver Springs, Maryland.  My older sister had worked for this same firm, and I was sure it would be a solution for me, at least for a short while.

The company advertised that it would provide training to licensed drivers.  Having eight years as a licensed vehicle operator (and miscellaneous experience behind the wheel as a “renegade”), I was given two in-vehicle orientation sessions (in a car filled with four other instructor candidates), and challenged to apply for an instructors permit in the District of Columbia.  This meant taking the same written test given to new license applicants (that I aced), and passing a commercial driver’s “road test” (the same one—Oh happy day!—given to beginners).

Much to my surprise, I flunked the first road test, and was embarrassed.  I flunked the second, and was shocked.  I flunked the same test a third time, and began to panic (that the license I already had would be revoked; and I would not be accounted as fit for the necessary job).  Upon taking the test the fourth time, I realized that this was the “training” new drivers were to receive.  I was shown that I had become comfortable driving by feeling, habit, and instinct; and I was not relying upon knowledge and a commitment to safe driving.  Like others in the driving public at large, I conformed to patterns of the cohort (groups of cars moving at the same speed, and in the same direction).  I was not responding correctly to the markers (on the ground), the signals (electronic indicators), and signs (postings above ground).  I passed the test, understanding that I had become aware of every mistake that beginning drivers usually make.

On one occasion, I was dispatched to the home of a new driver, whom I was told was an older person who wanted only a few lessons that would fit her for an already scheduled road test.  When I arrived to her home for her first lesson, she opened her door, and fainted.  I was stunned!  I did not know what to do.  She fell against the door, shutting the door in my face.  I thought she might be dead from a heart attack!  At first I hesitated—I did not want to have to touch a cadaver—and I was sure, if I opened her door, I would be liable for breaking and entering (a person can end up in trouble for trying to help somebody!)  Finally, I decided I should check and see, and perhaps call for help.  Somewhat revived, she insisted she be given her one hour lesson.  So, on our way to the car, and before she could step completely out of her door, she fainted again—this time, into my arms!  I was stunned at the thought of what it looked like—me, with my hands and arms all over this woman on her front porch, and in her doorway!  Scandalous!

This lady insisted (who had only a learner’s permit) it was her right to take the city’s exam, and that I prepare her for her coming road test.  She introduced me to her husband (and insisted he be allowed in the car as her passenger during her lessons).  So, I decided I would spend the hour parked in front of her home describing the features of the vehicle, and the startup procedure.  No, no, no, no, no, no!  We must go out on the street; surely, the two steering wheels and dual brake system were all she would need for safety!  Reluctantly, I  submitted; and we went out to intersection at the end of the block (that happened to be one of the major arteries of the city).  Turning into a safe position, I told her to merely guide the car in it’s lane.  However, being in the left-most lane, when she saw the oncoming traffic, she threw up her hands, and covered her eyes.  I went off!  What are you doing!  Don’t you ever take your hands off the steering wheel!  How dare you cover your eyes when you are the driver of the car!

Thinking that, I have to accept my responsibility to my company, I figured I must acknowledge:  We are in this for the money!  After two or three sessions (she refused to pay for more), she legitimately insisted we assist her in taking the road test by escorting her to her appointment.  I counseled her that she was not ready.  Again, she insisted that she had a right to try, and to do her best. 

Once in a second vehicle with the examiner (one owned by the school I work for, however, not having the dual brakes and steering systems), the examiner directed her to start the vehicle, go up the ramp to the street, and make a left turn onto the thoroughfare.  I had been careful to caution this student that most beginners flunk their test at this very point.  Two stops are required:  one before entering or crossing the pedestrian lane (the sidewalk), and one before entering the vehicle traffic lane (the street).  By these two stops, the speed of ones vehicle is controlled, and the likelihood of collision is reduced.

To my surprise, this student acknowledged both these necessary cautions.  Even so, she flunked her test; and the examiner (the same one who had been my “instructor”) came down on me like a ton of bricks.  Mr. Jackson returned the vehicle to the test lot in less than 45 seconds!  Her left turn had been into the oncoming traffic lane, and she had exposed them both to the most fatal form of automobile casualty—head on collision!  Officer Jackson exploded on me:  How dare you put my life, the property and lives of others at risk!  How dare you bring this person here, knowing she was not ready, or able to safely compete the road test!  He was right, and I felt like dirt.

Just as the mechanics and processes of driving a car requires more than the application of feeling, instinct and intuition, becoming and serving as a mature Christian believer requires more than arrogance, audacity, presumption, and self-confidence.  Believers must be instructed in and practice divine truth as provided through the sacred writings, the performance of sacraments, and the pronouncements of fellow believers continuing with us in fellowship.  To teach beginners, believers all must think like beginners, yet, not continue in the errors of starting believers.  Also, experienced believers must be prepared to accept that all are not on their same level; and no one has a right to have more and receive more of the things given by GOD simply because they have desire or need.  More important are balance, commitment, contrition, conviction, faith, integrity, meekness, sobriety, and trust.

There is far more to be said, properly shared, and spiritually understood.  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.  (Proverbs 21:  21, KJV)

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC