Our Daily Thread 3-23-13

Good Morning!

Happy Saturday! 🙂

Quote of the Day

“I doubt if a single individual could be found from the whole of mankind free from some form of insanity. The only difference is one of degree. A man who sees a gourd and takes it for his wife is called insane because this happens to very few people.”

Desiderius  Erasmus

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And since it’s his birthday……….

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Well I promised some pictures, so here’s a few of the Reading Pets. 🙂

reading pet expo 007 reading pet expo 021 reading pet expo 054 reading pet expo 065 reading pet expo 064 reading pet expo 057 reading pet expo 062 reading pet expo 016 reading pet expo 036 reading pet expo 004 reading pet expo 003 reading pet expo 025

Now I know what you’re thinking. “AJ, those pets aren’t Reading.” Well it turns out only some animals are smart enough to do it. The only pet I found actually Reading was this friendly fellow. He’s a Long-haired Whippet, and he was very sweet, and smart too. 🙂

I don’t know what he was Reading, but that’s a bug-eyed shocked face if I ever saw one. 😯

reading pet expo 052  reading pet expo 053

Now who has a QoD for us?

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105 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 3-23-13

  1. My pet rock is better looking than most of those, and better behaved than all of them.
    Much easier to clean up after.
    🙂

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  2. Chas, My mother, sister and brother-in-law are headed your way. Today, they are near New Orleans touring plantations. Then they will stop in Chattanooga before heading to Columbia. I figure they will pass just a little south of you.

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  3. Ricky, there ain’t no way to get from Chattanooga to Columbia.
    The mountains get in the way. You either have to go west to Asheville or south to Atlanta. Then over to Columbia.
    I would head south. They are expecting bad weather on the NC/Tenn border today and tonight. But once you get past the few miles crossing the border, I-40 & I-26 are fine highways. And the speed limit in SC is 70.

    As I said, both ways are long way around, and going south takes you around Atlanta. But, if they look at a map and think of going across country because it’s shorter, I would discourage that.
    I’ve said before:
    Don’t take short cuts in the mountains.

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  4. I am not familiar with the US-64 out of Cleveland, Tn. route. If they haven’t seen the eastern mountains, going to Asheville might be an interesting experience. Except for the driver, because as you’re crossing the border, there ain’t no time when the road is going the same direction your car is pointed.

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  5. Chas- I see you fixed your name so we don’t have to call you g2. And you’re statement about Georgetown made me wonder, so I went to ESPN to check the scores. I had G-town in the championship, losing to Louisville. It’s a good thing I don’t gamble or I would be out a lot of money. My bracket picks lost in half of the games yesterday.

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  6. Yesterday someone metioned reading dogs. It has been around for 15 or so years. It encourages a poor reader to read to the dog while a teacher is somewhere nearby. Often poor readers are self conscious and won’t read out loud. Just as it is important to read out loud to children it is important to hear the read out loud. I still remember the moment I was reading an old Trixie Beldon book and figured out the gaze-bo was a ga-ZE-bo. This from someone who will read the ingredients in the shampoo while in the shower.

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  7. We usually skip the reptile exhibit when we go to the pet expo out here. But my cat would love those lizards.

    I was reading last night that there are still a lot of potential problems with contamination in bagged veggies that you buy for salads. This article said even if it says it’s “washed,” you should wash it again. They can’t seem to get the bad stuff out (salmonella, etc.).

    I use a spray veggie wash on my raw vegetables, but I’ll admit I “trust” the bagged stuff that says it’s already washed and usually just throw it in the portable container to take to work for lunch. Guess I’ll start re-washing that as well, just to be safe.

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  8. Well I didn”t have Georgetown going far, but I did have ’em yesterday.

    Some of the others are destroying brackets all over. LaSalle, Ole Miss, Harvard, and Cal. are all still going having beaten better teams.

    It makes it alot more fun to watch though when underdogs win. 🙂

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  9. AJ- Yeah, more fun to watch, unless your team is the one to get beaten by an underdog. GO Wildcats! Beat Harvard!

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  10. Re: AJ’s pet expo- People in Pennsylvania need to learn how to pronounce words. Since when does “r-e-a-d-i-n-g” sound like ‘r-e-d-d-i-n-g”? Growing up, when we played Monopoly I always thought the Reading Railroad was one on which people read books.

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  11. Seen on FB this morning:

    “If you are reading in the New Testament, and do not recognize that it is explaining something about the Old Testament, fire your pastor.

    “If you are reading in the Old Testament, and do not recognize that it is foreshadowing something in the New Testament, find another church.”

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  12. Well Donna, that just about covers it.
    I have told you my new favorite TV channel is History 2.
    We have been watching The Bible series and also the other night they had a program on the lost gospels of Thomas, Judas, Peter, and Mary Magdalene. They talking about the Council at Nicea that Constantine convened and a lot of other stuff.
    I have told Paul that The Bible series is taking a bit of creative license with the story but not changing it in any fundamental way really. They are leaving our some details and adding some. I also feel the same way about the “Lost” Gospels. Reference was made to them through the years and I think they are good for filling in the details we may be missing in some areas, but I don’t think they would change my beliefs in any significant way. History usually turns out the way it is supposed to.

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  13. I haven’t watched The Bible series, but it sounds like it’s drawn a pretty large audience including people who aren’t believers.

    I still say the book is better than any movie. 😉 But glad to hear it’s having some impacts.

    (Your mention of the “other” gospels reminded me of a conversation I had years ago with a young intern in our newsroom; I suggested he read the gospels and he brightened up, saying, “Oh yes, I’d planned to read the Gospel of Thomas!” “Um, that’s not a gospel” I said).

    But the Gospel of Thomas, for whatever reason, is the “favorite” among securlar liberals who want to suggest they know the scriptures. Go figure.

    OK, comic relief and talking animals time.

    Have I posted this talking dog video here recently? Sorry if I have (I think I posted it on FB about a week ago). This was going around a couple years back and is too funny. I hadn’t seen it in a while.

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  14. The thing about the ‘lost’ gospels is that they were not really lost at all. For some reason people want to take Dan Browns explanation (and others) for how the bible was determined to finally take shape.

    Let’s try this example: You know people who started an association of some kind. During that time letters of all sorts were passed around to bolster the members and remind them of what it is all about. Various false letters are also sent out, reportably from this organizations. Some of these are to undermine the organization; some to make someone look good etc. Whatever the reason, they are causing distress, because the newer members of the organization are not sure which is true and which is false.

    Various people close to or knowledgable with the organization get together and determine which is true and which are false. They agree that some of these letters are completely false. There may not even be much discussion, because the group knows the letters were false. However, others outside of the group inisist on those letters coming from the original members of the organization.

    I would take many of those shows on the history channel with a grain of salt.

    As far as the newest bible movie, I am quite put off. I notice it does have a disclaimer that says the shows are “in the spirit of the bible’.

    Oh, to get people to read and study the actual thing!

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  15. Kathaleena, I still maintain, after having read all of Dan Brown’s books, that they are found in the FICTION section, not the History section. They started out being a good suspenseful fiction book. Towards the end they followed too much of a formula for me. Light poolside reading, not theological discussion material. I was actually more offended by The Shack until I think it was Pauline encouraged me to read it through for what it was.
    My view of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost has not significantly changed since I have been an adult. I was terrified of a vengeful, rathful God as a child. He was “out to get me”. As an adult I view him as a loving parent who laughs at me when I deserve it, punishes me when I deserve it, and loves me through it all.

    I am having a real problem right now with wondering if some of what I am experiencing is punishment for past actions. I don’t know. I would much rather have the God that laughs with me than the one who punishes me…but isn’t that what all children want?

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  16. And I still say that Dan Brown’s books can be dangerous, as can anything else. One of the women who comes by here a lot, looking for what she will not grasp, believes she is a descendant of Mary Magdalene and Jesus, thanks to her reading of that book and her own confusion.

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  17. Kim, if you have asked for forgiveness, you are not being punished for past actions. They are past and gone in the sea of God’s forgetfulness. Is. 43:25.
    We may carry the effects of past sins if they have caused harm, e.g. accidents, disease, etc. But the sin has been forgiven and God does not punish for forgiven sin.
    No where in the NT can that be supported.
    Unfortunately, we can’t forget them. Sometimes, when I get pensive, I look back with chagrin on some things I’ve done. But I never suppose that I’m being punished for them.

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  18. Mumsee, I had a great aunt who thought Scarlett O’Hara was a real person and was her grandmother. Now she and my great grandmother were full sisters but somehow I am not a descendent of Scarlett.

    IF Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married, and IF they had children those records would be so obscured by now that NO ONE would be able to figure out IF they were a direct descendent.

    You know I lot of people who believe in reincarnation were always someone famous. (she says with a scoff). No one ever wants to admit they are the direct descendent of a horse thief and a scullery maid. They always are some sort of royalty

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  19. The things we have done, the good and the bad, can certainly have ramifications. I would not call it the punishment of God, just that He allows the consequences of our actions to play out. But the forgiveness is complete.

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  20. I’ve only read one of Dan Brown’s books. Historical fiction is fiction, but the historical facts must be facts. If Michelle were around, she’s set us straight on that.
    Now. Science fiction doesn’t need to be scientifically correct.

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  21. She believes that she has a special relationship to God, He speaks special words to her, gives her special dreams. I tell her that if they disagree with Scripture, they are not from Him and not to be taken in by the father of lies.

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  22. Once again, what kind of God would create a being unable to recognize His existence? (Speaking of myself, a person with not the slightest belief in God.) I have read the Bible. Obviously a book of myths. I doubt I will watch the movie. If we had a way of looking back in tine and seeing what actually happened in Palestine a couple thousands of years ago, I would be interested in watching that. However, as most people have already made up their minds and don’t want to be confused by facts (whatever the facts are), I suspect an accurate film documentary would not be popular. It would, I am sure, be quite violent and brutal. We know enough about history to be fairly sure about that. For example, at one time, they actually nailed people to crosses. (Not having invented electric chairs, and poison gas pellets, etc. for “humane” executions.)

    How can we stand ourselves? How can Jesus stands us? I guess he can’t. That’s why he hasn’t returned. “No more tours/travel tips there, Dad.”

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  23. As for our ancestors. I have pointed out several times that most of us are descended from someone who had it so bad in the old country that he & she risked everything to leave and come to an uncertain future that had to be better than it was back there.
    Not any noblemen in my genes.

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  24. All of us are capable of recognizing His existence. Some choose not to because they don’t want to believe somebody is telling them what to do.

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  25. But God sometimes will discipline us — cause us to go through a difficult thing or time — to get us back on track. And as fearful as that thought is, it is often during those times that we draw near (again) to Him, we experience a new awareness of His love for us. Not fun, but ultimately it is for His glory and our benefit (and we can see that afterward, sometimes even in the midst of it as we flee back to Christ in our difficulties).

    My beef with Dan Brown’s novel (you know, the “one” that caused such a stir) was that it was quite boring. I love suspense novels but this one eventually just lost my interest, I couldn’t figure out what the appeal was. Meanwhile, reading through page after page of his lecturing (that’s what it was, make no mistake the author had an agenda) about how Christianity was a hoax. I don’t think I finished it. But I tried!

    OK, I had several moments of panic this morning when I could not locate my W2 form. I finally found it so I “think” I have everything I need.

    And, Kathleen, thanks for the discussion on the “other” gospels. You’re right — the church with the guidance of the Holy Spirit sorted all of that out quite early on. The canon of Scripture was something that was set based on what the churches long had recognized as authoritative manuscripts (and dismissing those that clearly were not authoritative).

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  26. Distracted, anyway, either way, they are serving someone because this creation is not about us. We are not the most important thing.

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  27. I am definitely suppressing the truth. More likely, I am recognizing it. We will find out, won’t we? Somebody is very, very wrong. We had some unseasonal snow and I can see it on the ground outside my window. Even though I feel kind of chilly, I do feel some warmth under my feet. Oh, it is the hellfire licking at my feet. After my little mini-stroke a week or so ago, the neurologist wants me to go in for an MRI. (I’ve already had two cat scans.) No doubt all that examination of my brain will demonstrate as you and I already know: There’s no there, there..

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  28. Hmm. Well, Supressing and recognizing aren’t the same thing at all, are they? 😉

    I’ve only had 1 MRI and all I can say is it’s important to keep your eyes closed inside there. Just sayin’ — it’ll freak you out if you open them, even ever so briefly (like I did right after they told me to keep my eyes closed!).

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  29. The extra “gospels” are much older than the rest of the New Testament, and they were never accepted by the Church … even long before Constantine. There is a strong misunderstanding of what happened at that council. They did not decide what books were to be canon (for the most part), they simply put a stamp of approval on what had already been accepted for many, many years.

    These new “gospels” are absolute forgeries, and irrefutably NOT canon.

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  30. In other words, they were written WAY after the actual happenings and were never accepted by any but a few fringe kooks. 😉

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  31. Donna. Thank you for the advice about the MRI. You know how obedient I am. If there were a God and there were a Satan, you know where I will end up. Actually, I will end up as nothing but ash because I will be cremated as about the simplest, quickest, and least expensive.

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  32. These new “gospels” are absolute forgeries, and irrefutably NOT canon.

    After Coolidge died, Dorothy Parker asked, “How can they tell?”

    As far as “forged” gospels and “true” gospels (given that they are all made up myths), how can they tell the difference? I really can’t believe you are saying this stuff. But there it is, right in front of me, on my LCD screen. So it must be true.

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  33. Dear Random,

    Since the Gospels in the Bible were written well within the life-times of the witnesses, I think they are reliable.

    How do you know that Julius Caesar existed? (The writings about him are from well after his life-time.) How do you know about any other figure in history … were you there?

    You go by the eye-witness accounts and any archeological supporting evidence.

    There are more eye-witness accounts, more extant written copies, and writings from closer to the events for Christianity than for any other ancient historical figure/movement.

    Why wouldn’t we believe them, if we are willing to believe any other historical happening?

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  34. Ricky, AKS Anonymous. A wise decision. Biltmore house is worth seeing once. Some, like Elvera visit it more often.
    I’m sorry we can’t have better weather. The flowers aren’t likely to be out.
    If they go to Columbia, they will go right past Hendersonville.
    As soon as they pass Hendersonville, they will start going down the mountain.
    By a quirk of geography, they leave the mountains at the SC line.
    If you talk to them, advise them to stop at the SC welcome center, even if they don’t need to. There’s nothing else for 55 miles. 😉
    Also, don’t buy gas before getting to SC if at all possible. It could be 20 cents cheaper in SC.

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  35. To those of you who read Random’s comments, if he mentions anything about his health and how he’s doing, would you mind repeating it for the rest of us who can’t stomach reading them? Thanks.

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  36. Chas, Thanks for the tips. I will pass them on.

    The last time our family visited Biltmore house, we were in a nearly new 1964 Pontiac GTO. We have a great picture of the GTO with the house looming in the background.

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  37. Linda,
    Random is to go in for an MRI one of these days, though he has had two CAT scans. I don’t know what the difference is but his neurologist must. I don’t have a neurologist.

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  38. Lynn and I are eating lunch– she’s two tables away. One table away is my writing teacher who explained today that while writing historical fiction, pay attention to one expert and don’t worry about controversial facts if they get in the way of your story.

    When I gasped and said, “you mean LIE?” He laughed.

    “No, just choose the facts that you prefer, as long as its an expert.”

    We’ll discuss this later today!

    Weather is gorgeous in the Redwoods today.

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  39. Tammy, exactly: “They did not decide what books were to be canon (for the most part), they simply put a stamp of approval on what had already been accepted for many, many years.”

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  40. Random: Thank you for the advice about the MRI. You know how obedient I am.

    Hey, me too. Hard-headed, that’s me. As a kid, I even stuck my hand in the car door once when my mom warned me it would hurt. AND I put my hand on the iron, same scenario.

    Honestly. I was a hard, hard case.

    I figure you are, too. So I’ll tell you again not to open your eyes. But I did. And you probably will, too. 😉

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  41. But I grew up and I still have both my hands. That is a wonder.

    Taxes dropped off. Groceries bought (I have a mission casserole to make tonight for church, taco casserole this month!).

    The CPA says he’s going to a 2-day seminar later this year to learn all about obamacare and how it potentially will affect all our taxes.

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  42. And the son of one of his clients decided to go to dental school rather than med school. Because … Well, you know why.

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  43. I went for an MRI (back, neck, shoulder) and was told to keep my eyes closed. I didn’t and immediately know what it felt to be buried alive in a coffin. I guess I shook long enough that the tech brought me out and laid a towel on my eyes. That worked well.

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  44. hwesseli, I know, such a crazy feeling, isn’t it?? I had no idea the “ceiling” would be THAT close to my face. Yikes. I made it through (mine also was for neck/shoulder areas); I concentrated on a few Bible verses I’d been learning & the tech also talked to me a lot, telling the next segment would take 2 minutes, then an 8-minute segment, etc. It helped just hearing that voice from the outside.

    It’s weird because I don’t consider myself to be claustrophobic — but that should brought it out in me. Scary feeling of your head being really trapped with NO wiggle room!

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  45. On FB: ‘The early Christians did not say ‘look what the world is coming to!’ but ‘look what has come into the world!’ (Carl F.H. Henry)

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  46. Deciding canonical works has an interesting history. In terms of the Roman Catholic and later Protestant canonical works its correct to suggest that the canon was fairly solidified even before Nicaea but its also true to suggest there was still some questioning after Nicaea. Revelations sparked the most debate but the letters of John, James, Jude and Peter were also questioned. The translations by Jerome producing the Vulgate Bible and its lasting popularity were responsible for setting the canon. However, it wasn’t until the Council of Trent that the Catholics settled the question. Some Protestant leaders also questioned the canon eg Martin Luther regarding the Epistle of James.

    By looking at the eastern churches we can see that the question wasn’t as settled as we think. Coptic, Ethiopian, Armenian, Assyrian etc all have or had slightly different canons. There we find the gospel of Clement, the third letter to the Corinthians and a rejection of some of the epistles and Revelation.

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  47. Michelle,

    Ha! 🙂

    I like the writing teachers thinking. It reminded me right away of this quote from another writer.

    “Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.”

    Mark Twain

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  48. Tammy, I am glad that trying to convert me gives you something to hope for.

    I don’t know for sure Julius Caesar existed. However, nobody made any supernatural claims about his activities. He led armies that killed lots of people. He was assassinated by political friends and rivals who feared he would gain too much power. All those claims are credible, if not absolutely certain. If you wish to believe he ( Caesar, perhaps like Elvis Presley) is still alive, who am I to argue with you?

    My suspicion is that Jesus Christ lived and was nailed to a cross by Roman authorities in cahoots with conservative Jews. I don’t consider that assertion absolutely certain, but nothing about it strikes me as impossible.

    I find it quite difficult to believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin. I can imagine (without solid evidence) various other explanations for the story being believed, spreading and lasting. I find it quite difficult to believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead after a crucifixion. I can imagine (without solid evidence) various other explanations for the story spreading and lasting. I am not sure of the point of either of these stories. I don’t want to die, but I don’t think living forever would be desirable.

    I can think of other reasons for not believing in God, but if I express them I quite likely will be banned from this web site. I have been spoken to strongly about “attacking God.” While I don’t believe the entity called God exists, if He does, I suspect He can take care of Himself quite well and if He notices me at all, He regards me with amiable and indifferent contempt.

    At least one person (with whom I once was on good terms) spoke not long ago about not wanting to read what I write, but asking about my health. I can imagine that person (and perhaps quite a few other people) contacting the moderator and asking for me to be banned from posting here. I am sorry she may be in such anxiety and distress about her faith, but I appreciate her concern for my well-being.

    My daughter and her wife are here right now, and my granddaughter and her favorite grandmother (who is married to a Methodist minister in Colorado who told me he is an agnostic) are due to arrive shortly. Then we will go over to our religious neighbors for dinner. They are wonderful people in many respects (even if they believe religious nonsense). They have managed to accept my daughter and her marriage to another woman. It’s sad that most of you can’t. Probably your kids are pretty close to being able to.

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  49. The discussion about truth and writing is interesting. We analyze past events in part by analogy and comparison with what we know of more recent events. The process is uncertain.

    I don’t think the people who were compiling past religious documents such as the Bible (Koran, etc.) said, “I am going to make up a myth and it will be a falsehood.” I think the process by which these documents were created was much more complex and subtle.

    The closest recent events and creations we have — and the comparison is by no means all that certain — are creations such as THE BOOK OF MORMON and Scientology and DIANETICS. What we do seem to know about the creation of those two fairly recent “religions” raises disturbing possibilities about the actions and motivations of people who create religions.

    Power, money, and lots of sexually willing partners seem to be powerful “inspirations” for people with charisma, questionable ethics, and powerful motivation to dominate. None of that may apply to people such as Jesus, Mohammad, Buddha, etc. .

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  50. I didn’t mean to open a can of worms. I do thing the other “gospels” and letters are interesting from a historical standpoint. I have tried reading them in the past when I taught Disciple Bible study and I found them confusing, boring, and hard to read.

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  51. We went to see Oz today. It was closer to the book. There was no cursing and no sex. Now, it was implied that Oz was a scoundrel but still no sex!

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  52. Random says,

    “I can imagine that person (and perhaps quite a few other people) contacting the moderator and asking for me to be banned from posting here.”

    OBJECTION!

    Assumes facts not in evidence……

    Not to mention, as you say, imagined.

    So….

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  53. Random, You know that I adore you. I always have and if I haven’t fallen into disfavor I believe I am on your Doomsday Email List. As much as I adore you I also ignore you. You have been a broken record for years now. What have you got to lose? Give up. Admit there is a God and live out the time you have left in peace.

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  54. Since Nicholas is on his med and I am at home picking him up, we have had no reports of bad behavior from the schools. Judy and me are tryign to review our bills to see if it may be best if I do not work or find a job I can work from home.

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  55. Kim, I appreciate your adoration. It is probably very sensible for you to ignore me. Probably most people on this web site are ignoring me. As far as I can say, religious belief is coming less and less common, but I don’t know if it will drop to less than 50% of the population in my lifetime.

    In much of the past, religious belief was often very harmful often leading to conflict,and violence, unnecessary guilt, overpopulation, and harmful superstition. To be fair, religious belief has led to frequent kindness, and seems to help many people cope with the difficulty of mortality and the difficulty of living in a universe that provides no purpose for living.

    A person can mount a strong argument that religious belief (despite its flaws and lack of empirical evidence indicating it is true) has benefits that outweigh its drawbacks. I don’t find the argument convincing, but quite a few people obviously do.

    Human beings are the meanest SOBs on this planet, so there’s a serious possibility that we will survive for a while. If there is a God, it’s well past time for him, her, or it, to manifest itself and make me look stupid.

    If you encounter an sensible empirical evidence for the existence of God, let me know. I have been alive over 25,000 days or so since I was born and I have never seen the slightest tangible evidence of God’s existence. Nor have I seen evidence that God, if He existed, is good. (I had a marvelous dinner and evening with my family at our religious neighbors’ house today, my daughter, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter all seem to be doing fine.) So my cynicism and hostility toward religion is not based on personal bitterness. I will die and I think I am reasonably reconciled toward the inevitability of it, and reasonably well prepared for the difficulty and inconvenience of it, so my comments are not based on personal bitterness or personal despair. One of my values is to understand and face truth.

    I know that most or all of you think facing truth is believing in and obeying God. To me, facing truth is understanding that there is no God, no external rules, no external meaning. I was amused today. A couple of days ago, I lost my personal cell phone, and looked everywhere for it to on avail.

    While we were walking outside today, my daughter found the phone lying in small snow drift. It obviously had fallen out of my pocket while I was getting out of our SUV. Although I keep it in a protective cloth cover, it was obviously soaked from being in the snow for two days.

    I let it dry out inside the house for several hours. I tried turning it on (not expecting it to work). It turned on, to my surprise. I can’t test it now. We have no cell phone coverage where we live. So I won’t really be able to test it until tomorrow when I go into town to the gym, and/or take the ferry to my HMO to get my MRI.

    However, I was delighted to find it. “It’s a miracle!” I hollered to my family. To my daughter, I chortled, “I am so grateful to your wife and to you, I am putting you in my will.”

    They laughed, because they know they are in my will already. What do you think? Will my cellular phone work tomorrow? Should I believe in God if it does? Will God call me on my phone? What will he sound like?

    Morgan Freeman? John Huston? Charlton Heston?

    Listening . . .

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  56. This is the day Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem presenting himself to the Jews as their king. They strowed palm branches in his path, and shouthe HOSANNA.
    A few days later, they shouted “Crucify him”.
    I once preached a sermon on “The Man Who Crucified Jesus”.
    It wasn’t the Sanhedran, it wasn’t Pilate, it was the man in the crowd who shouted “Crucify Him!”
    He later went home not realizing what he had done.
    I don’t know what this picture is that you’re getting.
    It ain’t me.

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  57. Alarm Dog woke me up. He decided it was much too dreary outside for him to be up alone. Now that his “bidness” is taken care of he is on the back of the sofa napping and I am on my first cup of coffee.
    For some reason when the weather is overcast or raining or storming on Palm Sunday or Easter I feel it more.
    Have any of you ever read Max Lucado’s Six Hours One Friday?

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  58. I think Random is trying to get banned so he can tell his “congregation” all about how the mean, unenlightened Christians couldn’t stand the “truth” and banned him. So, AJ, what ever you do don’t ban him.

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  59. Personally, I would not rate finding a cell phone as a miracle. More one of those, take better care of your stuff deals and gravity works. A miracle, to me, would be more along the lines of healing the quadriplegic or the blind or rising from the dead. Something outside the course of normal events.

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  60. Random, put the cell phone in a bowl of uncooked rice.

    I’ve heard (and this must be true because I saw it on an NCIS episode once) that the rice will absorb the moisture out of the phone.

    Palm Sunday … only a week until Easter. 🙂

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  61. The big-picture miracle: God spoke the universe into being and sent His son into the world, to live among men, to call them to himself & atone for their sins, to make the (spiritually) dead alive.

    Amazing grace, when you think of it: that we, who were so naturally deaf, who were so utterly dead (not merely ailing, but DEAD, as it says in the Scriptures) in our trespasses and sins, were — in an ordained moment in time — spiritually reborn and were given ears to hear. Now that’s a work of God. 🙂

    And it is breathtaking.

    A dead man can’t make himself alive again, try as he might. It is only by the work of Christ and the Holy Spirit, only by His grace alone that grants us faith to believe. It is a gift.

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  62. I think Random is trying to get banned . . .

    I am? Quick, TJ, please ban me so I can be a martyr. Actually, my “congregation,” are shunning me. They were upset when I described us as “the only cult on Whidbey Island that dares call itself a cult.” Are they justified in being upset because I made fun of us? Did Jesus display a sense of humor? If so, do the jokes appear in the authorized canon, or in one of the dubious gospels?

    Well, here’s an argument that Jesus was indeed funny.

    http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/deeper-walk/features/28558-jesus-was-funnier-than-we-think

    I am not sure about the argument presented. Perhaps I needed to be there.

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  63. This is passion week. “Jesus is passionate about you” was the theme today.

    We have an insert with the activities of “Passion Week”
    Sunday: Triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
    Monday: Weeps over Jerusalem and clears the temple
    Tuesday: Olivet Discourse
    Wednesday: No record in the gospel
    Thursday: Last supper, prayer in the garden, arrest
    Friday: Trials and crucifixion
    Saturday: Pilate has tomb sealed.
    Sunday: He has risen, just as he said.

    I started to mention this in SS, but I didn’t want to start brouhaha.
    I don’t believe that Wednesday is not recorded. I believe that the events of Thursday were actually Wednesday and that Jesus was crucified on Thursday.
    He had to spend three days and nights in the tomb to satisfy prophesy. No matter how you count it, Friday to Sunday doesn’t add up. He would have spent two nights and a day in the tomb.
    The tradition of a Friday crucifixion originated in the middle ages. That is because Mark, (15:42) says that the crucifixion took place on the day of preparation, the day before the Sabbath. They thought, and I thought for years, that this was Friday, the day before Saturday. However, Sabbath, to the Jews, is not just the seventh day of rest. It is any day in which a Sabbath is observed. The Passover fits that description. So, we have a crucifixion on Thursday, Sabbath Passover on Friday and the Sabbath, seventh day, on Saturday. Jesus is raised on Sunday before daylight.
    It never made sense to me that a day was missing from the Holy Week. It never made sense to me that a late Friday burial and early Sunday resurrection consisted of three days and three nights. (Matt. 12:40)
    Not that it will ever change. It’s too much a tradition. We will always celebrate Good Friday as if it happened that way.

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  64. The relative of several members of our church is a professional actor. He did a Gospel portrayal of Jesus this morning as the sermon. As you know I am pretty vanilla and traditional when it comes to my church service so I squirmed a little bit in the beginning. I found myself getting caught up in it and really enjoyed it. He was just dressed in jeans and a shirt and sipped on some “wine” and passed out some bread and told a few stories. All in all I would see and hear him do it again.

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  65. Yes, Random, Jesus had a sense of humor. Howe else could he argue circles around the Pharisees, Saducees and scribes? Also, spending three years with a bucnh of uneducated fishermen and rural folks ahd to include some funny situations. And, I am told that the term in the KJV “O ye of little faith” was actually a pet name Jesus had for the disciples: “You little faiths”.

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  66. Concerning the MRI, my son has been through two. The first time was to see if scoliosis would be progressing. He was put in and somehow he got to watch Shrek. Maybe he had special headgear for watching the movie during the procedure. I don’t rmember. I guess they were not having to look at his head so maybe that is how he got to watch a movie. I was in the room and it was pretty awful. The noise is tremendous. The room is so cold that they give a blanket to the parent staying. I kept wondering what it was like inside of the container/capsule for my son and if he was keeping as still as he needed to.

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  67. Janice, Oh, yes, I forgot about the NOISE. It is noisy. They do offer headphones w/music, etc., as a distraction, but not if they need to take images of the head and neck area, unfortunately.

    And there are more “open” MRI units for people who simply can’t go through with the test, but I suspect they cost a pretty penny out of pocket.

    So who is TJ?

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  68. We had another excellent sermon out of Romans this morning (Rom. 4:16) that included these points:

    “What they (our pastor’s secular friends) can’t seem to shake is an inherent knowledge that there is a God (Rom. 1). It may make them feel guilty, angry and they may scream in vehement disbelief. The only thing truly incontrovertible is the denial of something they already know to be true.”

    Amen. Do we not see that all around us, especially in the more ardent new atheists who are so vocal, putting up their billboards and screaming about various holidays?

    It’s like they have their hands over their ears — won’t hear, won’t hear, won’t hear — their constant & rather desperate obsession with God’s existence (or lack thereof) is so curious to me.

    Evidence of someone trying to convince themselves that nothing will hold them accountable (even though they *know* otherwise).

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  69. File under “Watch what you ask for”- The Illinois state tax form has a check box for those in a same sex civil union. It says to see instructions. On the instructions it says to fill in Schedule CU. It’s 29 lines, with 3 columns labeled Your federal return; Partner’s federal return; and “As if married” return. Yeah, making tax forms more difficult for those who want “equal rights”.

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  70. We had such a nice Palm Sunday service and Sunday School time. This morning before church I was again reading the story of the triumphal entry and how Jesus rode on the donkey (the young one, never ridden before). I then wondered about if Jesus had ridden a donkey before, and it dawned on me that before he was born and while he was in Mary’s pregnant tummy that he rode one with Mary and Joseph to the census and to the place of his birth.

    During the church service we had the Indian church plant community join with us so their pastor could perform five baptisms. We also had the palm branches to sway during the praise time. Our pastor has fully memorzied the Sermon on the Mount so he was dressed as Jesus, and he performed that beautifully instead of doing a sermon. The handbell choir did a lovely piece toward the end.

    The Sunday School children made Easter cards for people on the prayer bulletin. They make the most precious cards that will surely lift the spirits of someone who is ailing. I will have to get those mailed this week.

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  71. So I was at the dog park, sitting in a chair talking to someone, when I felt something on my shoulder.

    I turned my head and all I saw were two nostrils on a big black nose right next to my head. A large dog was behind me and decided to rest his chin on my shoulder.

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  72. TJ is an error on my part. I am demented. Demented people should not be allowed to use computers. However, God is allowed to create demented people. And demented people who believe in God (as Ree explained to me) . . .

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  73. Will go to Heaven. We demented people in Heaven regain their faculties? As no one has ever reported back from Heaven, it is difficult to know. Your guess is as good as mine. As more people guess your way than mine, your guess must be more true than mine. That is empirical evidence.

    Like

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