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0718 A Warning against Herod
Luke 13:31-33
At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, ‘Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.’ He said to them, ‘Go and tell that fox for me, “Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work. Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed away from Jerusalem.”
#1128 2019-07-17 22:00:25

All I can say Chad is that it looks pretty straight forward to me.  Many should be worried.  When do you think we finally find out if we made it?  Second coming I'm guessing.

#1127 2019-07-17 19:31:48

The narrow way parable is obviously directed toward the Pharisees. They had high earthly importance but in Heaven, the lowly and downtrodden are exalted and the Pharisees will be least. If you have earthly riches you already have your reward. 

I'm not worried because that is not the point. If we were mean spirited and Pharisitical like to others, then I might have some concerns.

#1126 2019-07-17 16:04:51

I don't think we can come up with anything definitive in this forum. What are differences are mostly related to are differences in our personalities and backgrounds. But this makes sense If you have 2 people or more in a group with different backgrounds and they are allowed to think for themselves and they exercise that ability in a discussion, disagreements will ensue especially when considering literature, especially Biblical literature. 


#1125 2019-07-17 11:56:47

I should have said OT and NT passages. I see you got my point. 

#1124 2019-07-17 11:34:15

Jude is NT

#1123 2019-07-17 10:13:08

Gary, I guess you feel justified now that you have made a point. You have taken excerpts from the OT to make it, neither of which have anything to do with what I said.  What I would like you to do is make your comment as if you live and speak as a modern Canadian living in a relatively progressive society, not as some type of quasi Biblical scholar pretending to be an oppressed ancient Hebrew. 


#1122 2019-07-17 09:35:12

O  God, a violent society filled with "pride" seeks to despise me, for they do not know you. Turn your face upon me, O Lord, I pray, and have mercy on me, for you are full of mercy and truth. Give strength to your servant and show me a sign for good, that those who hate me may see it and be ashamed of their hard hearts, and turn to you for help and comfort, as I do.


from Psalm 86

Re:1118.  Who says; "Remember that we are not the intended recipients of this writing. The Gospel and Epistle writers had no idea of us that were coming along 2000 years late."  Oh it was Chad.   God Knew.  The truth of Scripture never changes.  See Jude 1: 3-4   

#1121 2019-07-17 09:33:41

It is disturbing but unfortunately, it is the way things are. My way or the highway mentality. If they (those that you referred to in your post) read like trained scientists or historians they would quickly discover the Bible is not a history and certainly not science. There are are no dates or reliable time frames there are a few verifiable facts but we know most of the writing was written for and with a certain society in mind with a strong cultural bias and rhetoric.

Today we attempt to understand the Bible from a jumbled inconsistent sometimes incoherent modern perspective. One of the problems of many is that some want to limit the Bible so it has a meaning that justifies and reinforces their own level of limited comprehension and very strong biases. They think the Bible speaks to them but not to anyone else, especially if they don't agree, which is fine until they want to impose that limitation on the rest of us as you have suggested, Lou. 

The Bible is a good book to study for our own edification and maybe if we are lucky some interesting conversation. 


#1120 2019-07-17 07:50:20

Chad, that is a very good summary of what we have been saying all along but the great majority of Christians insists on reading scripture as a history and science book that has the final divinely inspired answer to everything and are willing to impose their views on the rest of the world.

#1119 2019-07-16 22:17:17

I would make an amendment to your prayer Gary.

May those that follow him seek out, discover and embrace the truth found in the Gospel.


#1118 2019-07-16 21:02:57

A good way to think of the Bible or the New Testament at least is that it functions much the same way as a parable does only much longer.  We shouldn't worry too much about the details, for instance, how accurate they might be, but we should pay attention to the teachings and principles that are contained in the message. 

So we are left with making a go of it as best we can. Remember that we are not the intended recipients of this writing. The Gospel and Epistle writers had no idea of us that were coming along 2000 years later. They were dealing with a fledgling Church of mostly illiterate and confused people that had various factions vying for their allegiance.

Actually not much has changed in that regard.

#1117 2019-07-15 19:16:24

God our Father,
Your light of truth
guides us to the way of Christ.
May all who follow Him
reject what is contrary to the gospel.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen

#1116 2019-07-14 13:58:03

Re: today's reading.   "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."   So we should enjoy whatever we do on Saturday or maybe Sunday.

#1115 2019-07-14 12:30:31

Who Is The Restrainer? – Grace thru faith

I put this on the forum.

#1113 2019-07-10 17:43:37

Theory? Please explain, on Forumx, what you mean. Jesus must have been in a mood that day because that doesn't fit with what he says anywhere else.

#1112 2019-07-10 07:07:07

Lou today's verses must fit right in with your theory, Jesus seems to be saying anyone who follows him, look out for trouble from non believers.

#1111 2019-07-09 11:10:59

New activity at :https://dubelou.com/Forumx/

#1110 2019-07-09 07:57:29

Christians have been interpreting the Bible literally when it suited them and fighting each other over it since the very beginning. Some, on the other hand, take it that Jesus meant what He said and try to live accordingly. An inner attitude of detachment, of selling all our possessions, is what is called for.

Reading what the Bible is meant to tell us about our road to salvation instead of reading it literally is what we are supposed to do. 

#1108 2019-07-08 17:43:49

I didn't say that everything has to be taken literal.  You guys said nothing can be taken literal.  See it works both ways.  As to today's reading you still have to be smart and plan for retirement, Jesus is talking about hoarding and worshipping your wealth.  Put your faith in God but be smart about it.



#1107 2019-07-08 16:44:52

Today's passage Luke 12:33-34 is more than the description of an event Jesus is telling us to do something. Gary, how do you deal with this since you say the Bible has to be taken literally? The same goes for most of the Sermon on the Mount.

#1106 2019-07-07 20:08:32

What concerns, I don't have any concerns.   OM

#1105 2019-07-07 19:52:04

Off to the cottage for a week.  Gary, I don't think you get the idea of the lilies of the field. I don't have time to address your concerns now so I' ll try to respond when I get back.

#1104 2019-07-07 14:10:06

‘Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

This is from today's reading, what a glorious promise for the faithful.  All encompassing, one body in "Christ!

#1103 2019-07-07 12:39:31

Luke 10:10-12: Wiping the dust from their feet.
How can we understand such a hard threat? Jesus came to bring an entirely new thing. He came to recover the community values of the past: hospitality, sharing, communion around the table, and welcoming the excluded. This explains the severity of the words used against those who refuse to accept the message. They are not refusing something new, but their own past, their own culture and wisdom! Jesus’ plan for the 72 disciples was aimed at digging up the memory, recovering the community values of the oldest tradition, to rebuild the community and renew the Covenant, to renew life and thus to make God the new great Good News in the life of the people.

   Sounds good to me, if it's good enough for Jesus it is good enough for me.  And there is enough dust to go around.

#1102 2019-07-07 12:33:56

“Lord Jesus, send your Spirit to help us to read the Scriptures with the same mind with which you read them to the disciples on the way to Emmaus. In the light of the Word, written in the Bible, you helped them to discover the presence of God in the disturbing events of your suffering and death. Thus, the cross which had seemed to be the end of all hope became for them the resurrection and source of new life.  Amen

#1101 2019-07-07 11:09:49

Re: 1098.  I am afraid you have lost your way Chad.  There are many things in the Bible you can take literal.  Eternal separation from God just one of them.  I think the term eat, drink and feel Mary came from your lips. ;-)

#1100 2019-07-07 10:06:18

We are taught all our lives to plan ahead and to always be prepared to be quiet so the teacher preacher can speak certainly don't talk back and heavens sake don't challenge. Those in authority knows best, conform to the expectations. Embody societies fears and anxieties. 

Don't do things that are not worthwhile. Arts are OK but can you make a living at it. Accounting and programming and the trades are things that will let you support yourself and be a contributor and you don't want to be a burden on society.

Don't trust yourself believe us we know what you should do.

We have been so brainwashed that we have become the brainwashers ourselves. 

We can not see or consider alternatives because they have been beaten out of us and we and anyhow we definitely want to return to our routine and safe societal bubble where we quietly belong. Don't make waves whatever you do.

Christ is saying that is all poppycock. Live, you are free to express yourself however you want this instant. Don't think just be and rejoice in the creation and your uniqueness in it.

Christ's advice is kinda scary and seems risky and makes us feel more than a little uncomfortable.

Gary, if you want fast do it, you don't need justification from anyone or any other authority.

Oh, by the way, don't we all have to be somewhere or doing something useful right now. Get back to that routine and that prison and remember that you are the jailer and the jailed at the same time.

Christ was a pretty radical guy.


#1099 2019-07-07 07:52:40

When I set this up a few years back I must have thought 'Anxiety About Earthly Things' important enough to be offered two days in a row. 

#1098 2019-07-07 00:30:53

We should remember not to take the Bible literally. What do the forty days represent? Who spent 40 Years in the wilderness. The Nation of Israel is founded after wondering in the desert for 40 years Christ's Ministry starts after 40 days in the desert. There are other symbols and metaphors that are used to glue together similar stories or they are used to have the same story repeated.

#1097 2019-07-06 22:06:04

Most religions have some form of fasting, and of course, Jesus fasted for 40 days.  It is good to give the body a break once in a while.  Several times a month I do a fast where I eat for an eight hour period and fast the other sixteen hours.  Recommended by my doctor, it feels good.

Your right Jesus never mentioned fasting but hinted after He was gone they could fast if they desired.




#1096 2019-07-06 21:46:06

I don't think you can quote a verse where Jesus ask anyone to fast. In the Gospels, John the Baptist is the only one who does.

#1095 2019-07-06 21:32:26

Gospel Reading - Matthew 9:14-17

The disciples of John approached Jesus and said, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast much, but your disciples do not fast?"

I never noticed before, it was the disciples of John the Baptizer who first brought up the question of fasting.

#1094 2019-07-06 15:48:12

https://dubelou.com/Forumx/ was suggested to you a while back

#1093 2019-07-06 12:47:34

 The gospel of Jesus Christ is not to br forced upon an unwilling world.  To put it bluntly, people have had their bellyful of our sermonizing.  They want a source of strength for their lives.  We can recommend it only by making it actively present in our own.  The operative principle is 'less is more.'  

 Shortly before his death, the Marxist leader Lenin sais,  "Give me ten men like Francis of Assisi and I will rule the world.              Brennan Manning--1992

 He said this 30 years ago, is it still true today, likely.  


By the way do we still have a forum?


#1092 2019-07-06 11:17:17


Frye says;

The primitive conception of wisdom is the permeation of the individual life by the communal tradition and prudence. But there are different degrees of absorption of that: and complete absorption comes at the point of complete spontaneity. That is why I said that the figure of wisdom in the Bible suggests the little girl with the skipping rope, and why Jesus places a child in the middle of his disciples, not as a symbol of uncritical intelligence, but as a symbol of genuine wisdom, where the absorption has gone to the point of complete spontaneity. There are many Eastern religions, like Taoism in China and some aspects of Zen Buddhism, that also stress the recovery of the child's spontaneity, that complete integrity of the rhythm of thinking and of doing as the goal of what they are teaching. In practically all of our ordinary life, the action comes first, and thinking about the action comes a second or two later, as in T.S. Eliot's The Hollow Men, where the shadow falls between the idea and the response. That split second of time between acting and thinking about acting is part of what is meant, in Christianity at least, by the Fall. It's the shadow thrown over life that is bound up with the passing of time, and that makes it so difficult for us to live the purely spontaneous life exhorted by the Sermon on the Mount, where the comparison is drawn with lilies of the field.

#1091 2019-07-06 10:10:50

We all die as paupers. We came with nothing we go out with nothing. So that should be a good enough reason to live for the fleeting now. Because as Jesus and others have said I only have this moment to live and that I can not possess or alter and soon I won't have that. So if I'm not in the moment where am I? I think Jesus is saying give praise, revel and live to be intensely aware and be mindful this very moment that He has given us. You see, it is fleeting and already gone and I was planning my day's activities and wondering how you would react to this post.

He is also making it clear that he would be leaving his disciples shortly so they should enjoy him to the fullest while he was still with them.

#1090 2019-07-06 08:01:01

In Matt 6:25-34 the emphasis is on the word worry and on what we are to strive for. Like the birds and the grass, we have to play our part which is to serve our neighbor (everybody and everything else) and to do that we have to feed ourselves.and plan for the future. We are called to offer all our work to God and to keep our eyes on the Kingdom of God and not on earthly wealth.

#1089 2019-07-05 22:21:50

I like it, Gary.  Everything works in the world of the imagination. Man can be God God can be a man with no justification other than a writer's convincing words and our willingness to be convinced. The Bible actually exists in the minds of its readers. 

#1088 2019-07-05 16:03:25

Re:1085  Check out the pic I just posted, might relate?

#1087 2019-07-05 12:05:56

Feel free to use my prayer of gratitude modify it if you like.

Dearest God 

I didn't realize that my time was so short.

I was sleeping, now I am too late awake 

Dust is all we are and all we are going to be.

Everything else is a meaningless and fleeting illusion.

What lies will I tell myself? What lies should I believe?

Please tell me I will live forever with the hope of endless meaninglessness. 

Better to be dust I think.

Oh, our poor egos suffer so much ahead of their final silence.

There will be no questions, why should there be, and certainly no answers. 

I don't have to worry someone or something will pick up the remains.

Even if it is just to deal with the terrible tench.

Life goes on. then death then life goes on

I can't face that finality, can I? But of course, I have no choice,

For a moment my eyes were open.

Soon death. 

Quickly tell me what lies should I tell myself? What lies should I believe?

Thank you, God,  Amen 

#1086 2019-07-05 11:01:16

Luke 12:13-21 can be read as a warning against building bigger barns, metaphorically, which probably often led to RC's being poor and Protestants being prosperous often leading to conflicts.

It's a matter of attitude and of what we hold as important.

#1085 2019-07-05 10:54:17

The other day I drove past the Union Cemetary and I laughed at the huge stone gravestones that marked some of the graves.  What size Grave stone would you like? My father and my grandfather are on top of my fridge. is it too late to build a monument for them? If, and I really don't mean to suggest anything morbid but either of you predecease me I would be happy to put you on my fridge top.

Yes, the big day is coming and quickly I might add, fire or dirt?

Really important people don't need gravestones. Good people of modest or little means are forgotten quickly. We probably fit that category. The marker of the unknown soldier is the quintessential gravestone.  

We can possess stuff but is it ever really ours?

This is the perfect Gravestone inscription I think.

We are fairly confident he was here for a while but maybe he wasn't.

Really Who Cares?

#1084 2019-07-05 08:13:47

There is an expression you can't take it with you. Our runaway Capitalism is based on obsessive greed, and obsessive greed will destroy everything if left unchecked.

#1083 2019-07-04 22:29:14

Yes very much so. All these lines have been given to me by Anglicans.

I just wanted to add some levity. I think the Holy Spirit was being a little sassy with me ;-) 

#1082 2019-07-04 20:37:13

Chad I take it the list applies to you?

#1081 2019-07-04 19:36:11

Wozzer you really are excited even Lou was moved to comment. Now that our enthusiasm is boiling over what did you think of my play list ;-)

#1080 2019-07-04 19:27:25

The Holy Spirit speaks to everyone, few hear, and even fewer respond. How many times is the spirit of God mentioned in the Old Testament!

#1079 2019-07-04 17:53:56

This is a very difficult question to answer correctly, because the word boring is very relative. Some people are bored by routine while others thrive on it. Some people are bored by comic books while others love them. Some people find religion boring, and others find it exhilarating. But the Christian life is not a series of routines, nor is it entertainment, nor is it religion. The Christian life is just what we are. One might as well ask us "is breathing supposed to be boring?" or even "are your feelings boring?" The fact is, life can be boring—for both believers and unbelievers. What some people mean when they ask this question is "in order to be a good Christian, do I have to give up everything fun and meaningful and exciting?" Not at all.

It is what you make it. Mosy exciting time of my life was when I found God for real at age 40.  Wouldn't have it any other way, especially when I read Romans and see how the other half lives.   g.

#1078 2019-07-04 16:49:08

Let's imagine the Gospel writers being like the rock musicians and avant-guard poets of their time. Dissatisfied with the status quo and singing the dissidence to the right-wing establishment. Looking at it that way you can see that most Christians are missing the boat. Most people do not want the radically new even if they know the status quo is not at all right. It is familiar and seemingly safe and somewhat routine. Most Christians are bored out of their skulls and they don't have a clue why. It is because they want security and the illusion of control and certainly not the truth, risk and freedom that comes with the truth. 

I'm thinking of creating a new band called the Christian Dead Heads. Here are some song titles to work with. What do you think?

I go to church to be told what a good guy I am

Don't make me think or I'll leave.

I can't tithe because I don't have the change 

Please turn down the music I came here for rest.

Those other bad guys spoiled the world for me.

I hope God knows all the bad guys I know I do.

I wish I could remember the sermon message

My watch says this is a lousy sermon

Everybody could do better by sleeping in on Sunday

#1077 2019-07-04 12:15:40

I agree with you, Gary.  They were energized to evangelize Christ and what Christ stood for to the best of their abilities their efforts were the seeds that germinated the result was Christian Church. To be of any use we must understand the true meaning of the Gospel. Unfortunately, we are left with words, grammar and metaphor so we must be careful. We must be the most responsible when we evangelize. Read Charles Templeton's book and you will be made aware of many of the potential pitfalls that wait for you.

Lou is taking a well-earned sabbatical to contemplate the Desert Fathers.  

#1076 2019-07-04 11:51:58

The 12 seemed to be energized after the death of Jesus. All but one I believe were killed for sticking to their story of a risen Christ. Same goes for Paul.



Where's Lou??

#1075 2019-07-04 10:57:15

I wonder about the Holy Spirit and how its guidance works. I can see where taking today's reading taken to heart as the literal truth could lead to problems. It's fine to be guided by any means including the Holy Spirit but I feel I must take the utmost responsibility for my actions and realize the full consequences of those actions. I can't blame the Holy Spirit for my shortcomings or wrongdoing. The Holy Spirit will always and only guide me through Christ's teaching. Obviously, the Holy Spirit cannot be at odds with Christ. 

#1074 2019-07-03 23:39:17

Charles Templeton was a very intelligent man. He was like so many intelligent and literate people do they leave the church to pursue other things worthwhile and more fulfilling. I admire the man. To my knowledge, Pat didn't know Charles Templeton so to make a judgement like that is not indicative of his usual balanced approach. 

Gary, I know you wish Charles Templeton all the best in his new life may he rest in peace. He's truly a Canadian icon. Someday you may be a Canadian icon as well.

#1073 2019-07-03 18:41:09

You mentioned Charles Tempelton once, I remember Pat saying that he would possibly be a person who would come very close to the defination of turning your back on the HS.

#1072 2019-07-03 16:10:26

Why would we turn our back on the Holy Spirit.or any of the other Trinity? We are accountable for our actions. But of course, we have to take responsibility for our actions. I don't think, putting the actions of others on our shoulders and getting all saddened and depressed about their imagined shortcomings doesn't accomplish much. We have a choice we can be the light of God or we can hide our light behind the (what's the use) depressive statements and negative thoughts about others.

Lighten up buttercup. ;-)

#1071 2019-07-03 15:48:48

I don't know why anyone would denounce Jesus or the Holy Spirit, or God for that matter, especially Christians. So I think that today's passage is directed toward Jews. 

I know some that denounce Allah and expect no consequence. Of course, anyone that would do so is missing the point. Mocking, denouncing or belittling anyone is blasphemous. 


#1070 2019-07-03 15:46:19

I will just take it at face value and try not to turn my back on the Holy Spirit, or God, or Jesus for that matter.  We must be accountable to a higher power for our actions.  Of course a large part of humanity does just that, turn their backs on a higher power which I call God.  So sad!

#1068 2019-07-03 13:03:41

From Frye

The sense in Christianity as a faith beyond reason, which must continue to affirm even after reason gives up, is closely connected with the linguistic fact that many of the central doctrines of Christianity can be grammatically expressed only in the form metaphor.  Thus, Christ is God and man; in the Trinity three persons are one; in the Real Presence, the body and blood are bread and wine. When these doctrines are rationalized as conceptions of a spiritual substance and the like, the metaphor is translated in metonymic language and “explained.” But there is a strong smell of intellectual mortality about such explanations, and sooner or later they fade away and the original metaphor reappears, as intransigent as ever. At that point, we are back to the world where St. Patrick illustrates the doctrine of the Trinity with a shamrock, is the use of concrete paradox that enlightens the mind by paralyzing the discursive reason, like the koan of Zen Buddhism. The doctrines may be “more” than metaphors; the point is that they can be stated only in a metaphorical this-is-that form




  1. a paradoxical anecdote or riddle, used in Zen Buddhism to demonstrate the inadequacy of logical reasoning and to provoke enlightenment.




n. pl. me·ton·y·mies

A figure of speech in which one word or phrase is substituted for another with which it is closely associated, as in the use of Washington for the United States government or of the sword for military power.

#1067 2019-07-03 12:03:39

Today's writing does not support 3 in one concept but it does support the Holy Trinity. I suppose someone could have said well if we have 3 entities we worship how can we claim to have one God and only one God we worship. That was quite a tangle or paradox if you look at it from a literal or logical perspective but from the imaginative figurative and mythological perspective, there are no limitations anything goes if it is generally accepted and if it doesn't affect he elite of the society in a negative way. Some sects like worship the Virgin Mary and all the Saints as well. I think we could look at it as a hierarchy of Saints.

I think more to the point the Jews would not go along with this nonsense and these ideas would stand out as a striking difference between Judaism and the Jesus Cult. We had the Trinity and saints and they vehemently rejected the concept and attack those that might let their minds wander over and ponder these new words being proclaimed. They truly believed in the one God Jehovah and the prophets all this other baloney was total blasphemy. 

Of course, all religions and ideologies have a this is right that is wrong, boundary. And will oppress or dismiss those that don't comply or those that think differently.


#1066 2019-07-02 19:11:22

Re 1063  Why not just treat everyone as you would like to be treated. Lead with love, not with words. They will get it.

#1063 2019-07-02 18:02:04

‘Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.

From today's reading, we should share the good news and acknowledge that we are Christians to all we meet. Don't be a Peter.

#1062 2019-07-02 17:56:49

Re: 1059


"It is a revealing statement, I believe what the author is trying to convey is that we need to view ourselves through God's eyes, and how can one do that without getting familiar with Him by reading His Word and get to know Him intimately, sadly very few are willing to take the risk."          -Andy-


#1060 2019-06-28 21:32:56

St Teresa may have used a little bit of hyperbole here to make her point. She doesn't seem to be all that humble herself. I would have read other things she has written but at first flush, she seems a little overbearing.

#1059 2019-06-28 18:49:40

We shall never learn to know ourselves except by endeavoring to know God; for, beholding His greatness we realize our own littleness; His purity shows us our foulness; and by meditating upon His humility we find how very far we are from being humble.

(St. Teresa of Jesus)

#1058 2019-06-28 17:48:47

Could be Gary, shine brightly! 

I'll be off to the cottage shortly. I'll be back next week sometime. You will probably see my comments when I return.

Happy Canada Day!

#1057 2019-06-28 15:52:15

You never know, maybe for someone who would never pick up a Bible, I may be the only light shining in his/her world.

#1056 2019-06-28 11:49:20

We are to be the conduits, outlets and action, in the world, of the energy, emanating from God's Love to us. 

Light is the perfect metaphor.

Frye says 

Since divine revelation can only manifest itself to human beings through human beings, this radical faith lays emphasis upon human creative power as the necessary agent of this recreation.

#1054 2019-06-28 07:28:44

The World English Bible translates the passage as:

15: Neither do you light a lamp, and put it under a measuring basket, but on a stand; and it shines to all who are in the house. 16: Even so, let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

That calls for action, to get out and help wherever we can.

#1053 2019-06-27 14:48:57

I like the Sign of Jonah stuff but to me they put too much emphasis on Mother Mary.  I will keep this link for a while.

#1052 2019-06-27 14:34:23


The above-mentioned site unpacks the OT references and significance of each in the Sign of Jonah. 

The analysis is based on the passage from Matthew which in turn is the bases of a Divina Lectio.




#1051 2019-06-27 10:36:45

The sign of Jonah is a message for the Pharisees. Jesus's negative response to Pharisees is coded in a compilation of OT stories metaphors and symbolism that the Pharisees would know well. Cleverly the Gospel writers created a foreshadowing of the cross and resurrection with a double entendre. In not answering the Pharisees he answered them. The sign Christ is referring to is the Ressurection. Of course, this is a case of double vision it is the Gospel reader, such as ourselves, that is being informed of the Ressurection with use of foreshadowing in an episode written after the fact. 

The reader sees this in their imagination as an actual occurrence unfolding in real time. So what we really have is the residue of the recreated story that gives us the words to contemplate. Not reality, but a carefully crafted imagery created 2000 yrs ago that has been passed on for us to consider.

As Barry Gibb said, It's only words but words are all I have to give to take your heart away. 


#1048 2019-06-27 08:36:51

I don't know how many people hear God's word and obey it, but I know you are posing a rhetorical question that has no real answer. The narrow road is a metaphor. I think it could refer to the difficulty for most of us have in understanding the Bible. I would suggest that most of us don't have the wherewithal to comprehensively comprehend or decipher this library of books. So we rely on others to tell us what they think we should know.

We obey laws or commands, but the Bible is much more than blind or unthinking obedience. Because it is mostly a figurative metaphoric poetic and at times symbolic language that is written in a rhetorical style most of it has to be unpacked carefully and considered as a series of integral parts of an interrelated whole. It isn't a simple construct. So when it is said that people should obey God's word I think it really saying listen up I really have something of the utmost importance to reveal to you and you must believe it. I'll help you by giving you stories that you may resonate with you that you may remember I certainly will not give you facts and figures or concrete evidence, that you can hold in your hand just stories that you can hold in your mind.

Of course, a horse can be led to water but it is up to the horse to drink it, this is especially difficult if the horse is deaf-blind and not that smart.

I think we are more like magpies than scholars. We look for shiny things that attract our attention and are easily collected and overlook and discard what may be less attractive and much harder to obtain. Most of us haven't taught how to think or consider anything in depth for ourselves. 15 minutes is eternity isn't it,  so years of study is just simply out of the question.

#1046 2019-06-26 22:33:36

Luke 11:27-28  In Wednesday's reading how many people hear God's word and obey it?  I guess that's why they call it the narrow road, Andy has lost weight so he will pass through!

#1045 2019-06-26 22:28:15

Re 1040  I was referring to the verses back a few days ago about getting the unclean spirit out of your house and keeping it clean so the 7 unclean spirits that return cannot enter.  I think Jesus is referring to the way we live our lives. If we open our live to sin, drink too much, gamble too much, whatever your weakness is, it can take over your life 7 fold.  I know it is not too clear but you may get my drift.

#1044 2019-06-26 11:34:45

Referencing #1043

Are we not complicit with our sin and the tyranny we witness if we feel unable or helpless to take action against it. 

What are the consequences for us and others? 

I wonder do we have examples where people of Christ were witnesses to sin or tyranny and lacked the will power and the imagination to take any action against it.

We can use our imagination to create all sorts of excuses for not pursuing justice or assisting or even worse scapegoating others. 

So 1043 is a positive way of seeing it and 1044 is a negative way of seeing it. Thoughts???

#1043 2019-06-26 10:06:47

Lou, the way I understand things at this is this; We are free to imagine any way all ways to advance Christ's vision of an improved world by being a beacon of positive possibilities for our fellow man and by resisting all forms of tyranny and negative behaviour(sin). 

let's let the word work in us and for us, let's be continually inspired, challenged and motivated by it, and use our wonderful imagination to create ways to understand and apply it in a positive and loving manner.

It will be a different experience for each of us because each of us is unique with different gifts and potential.

#1042 2019-06-26 07:44:38

Yes, we are to accept salvation then do the best we can to better ourselves and the world around us, not to earn salvation but because that is what our faith moves us to do as James wrote.

#1041 2019-06-26 01:59:20

Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!

We must consume the word and use our imagination and our shared imaginations to contemplate and to grow in understanding of the vision created by the word, and then recreate that vision and project that better world on to the world as best we can.

I see It as a dynamic process cyclic or better still an outward-moving spiral through time and certainly not static. We need to be constantly changed by the process.

#1040 2019-06-25 18:11:51


Here is your site.

House as a metaphor for our bodies is possible I suppose. What passage are you referencing?

I don't think he is suggesting that you should shower regularly. 

Does 1 Timothy 1:5  help or are you thinking of something else?


1 Timothy 1:5

The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

#1039 2019-06-25 16:09:11

I was going to comment on the verses but will wait till the morrow.  Chad how do you get on "Thinkspot" I think it is Jordon Peterson's site, or one of them?

Do you think when Jesus is talking about the house, He could be talking about our bodies, keeping them clean and pure ?

#1038 2019-06-25 14:00:26

Excuse me for monopolizing the site. I will release the suppression mechanism on your devices after this post so that you can make comments.

Considering my last post I will suggest the converse is true. That intolerance, lack of imagination, irrational thinking and fear of entertaining anything different from an accepted norm will lead to tyranny or at least the desire for tyranny and rule by a tyrant that will suppress the will and expression of those that are different from the norm. In extreme cases, it is either conformity silenced expression or death. 

OK, I have lifted the suppression mechanism and you are allowed to comment.

#1037 2019-06-25 12:24:11

This is a splendid example of how tyrannical thinking overwhelms rational thought and leads to intolerance unbearable oppression and cruelty.  


#1036 2019-06-25 11:00:41

I think in today's writing the unclean or evil spirits are metaphors for the Pharisees who have taken control of their society. They have distorted the meaning and the true spirit of the scriptures and have corrupted a whole generation with their false teachings and fear-mongering tactics. In this generation, the cruel become tyrants and the fearful become victims. Even if people are momentarily freed from the tyranny for a brief time the corruption and evil will overwhelm them again if there is no permanent reprieve shelter or viable alternatives available. 

The number 7 is another significant symbolic and routinely used in scripture but beyond that, I see no other specific relationships demonstrated in this passage. 



#1035 2019-06-24 22:21:03

Here is the crazy thing although Jesus was no fan of the Pharisees' behaviour, we know he forgave and loved them unconditionally. What kind of man can take spikes in his limbs and forgives those that are harming him? Jesus is a hard act to follow.

#1034 2019-06-24 16:47:41

We see the Church elite, in this case, the Pharisees. They were totally corrupted by their power and greed and their false sense of importance. Whenever and Wherever we find examples of this, accountable to none, tyrannical idealism and behaviour we will also find strife and suffering. Tyranny spawns the most stupid and arrogant actions.

#1033 2019-06-24 15:37:07

The passage in today's writing gives us some interesting analogies. There is the presence of the prince of evil in Christ's midst  It is easy to see the polarity contrast of the demonic realm and the realm of Heaven. but Jesus goes on to split these polarized opposites and create additional polarities, and don't we see this polarization has played out through history and it is quite evident that it is still being played out today.

Christ saw that there was some confusion being deliberately propagated as to what was demonic and what was divine. His parable articulates a defence of his actions in the most roundabout way, but many of his parables were multi-layered and deliberately puzzling. 

We let these things wash over us and continue on with the narrative.  

I will add it is quite clear that the Pharisees represent the demonic side.

#1028 2019-06-24 11:20:25

I posted Thomas Couture's painting Romans of the Decadence on the Post a Picture.

I think we should take heart as Christians because each one of us can be a light onto the world.

We don't need more Christians or muddled and or corrupted Christianity.

I as an individual need to focus on work towards being more Christ-like in a world that shunned Christ and his teachings. 

I can't speak for others.


#1027 2019-06-24 09:47:13

Men manage to misread, confuse, be intimidated by, shun, appropriate and corrupt the words of their prophets, philosophers, intellectuals. Christianity is like a chameleon lizard it that it needs to adapt. and be acceptable and usable in and for corrupt societies.

Christianity is what we want it to be or what we want to make of it. It is no longer the fledgling religion portrayed in the New Testament. I feel it has reached its pinnacle and fulfilled its purpose and is in a state of decline. Of course, the printed Bible that it developed from will remain as is and was.

So I can ask any Christian what Kind of Christian they are and they will give me some fictional version of something they think they are or they think they should be. Of course, they will have the correct and perfect answer.

#1026 2019-06-24 08:46:45

Romans of the Decadence by Thomas Couture, ca. 1847.
If we are tempted to despair by the growth of immorality and paganism in society, we must remember that Christianity originally flourished in an utterly corrupt society.

I found this quote under a picture by Thomas Couture and it kind of fits with what is going on in society today.

I like today's verses, may comment later.

#1025 2019-06-24 07:36:13

When a subject is repeatedly brought up even in as a joke or to wind someone up it means there is some subconscious fascination or problem with it. Wanting to punish the rich caused by a subconscious craving to be rich ( as a parable ). 


#1023 2019-06-23 22:31:39

Mike is Mike. I think my assessment stands. Like I said before you reap what you sow and if you don't sow for whatever your reason you are left empty minded.

#1022 2019-06-23 20:28:05

I'll pass Chad but thanks for the invite.  I only go where I think Jesus might go.

Now back to the verses.  By the way I love the way Mike can wind you guys up.  Most of the time he is right on.  Check out the picture page.

#1021 2019-06-23 19:33:31

It is all on what you focus on. For example, 1.1 million or more people attended the Raptors Parade and ceremonies. There was shooting close by that directly involved 4 people and that is what a lot of people focused on. You can find negativity anywhere you look for it there are always going to be those who thrive on our negativity, disgust, and overinflated sensitivity. Let' go the Gay Parade next year and take an active part in the festivities so we can put some of these preconceived ideas to rest.

#1020 2019-06-23 19:21:07

We will have to agree to diagree on the LBT issue.

#1019 2019-06-23 18:33:49

We shouldn't forget that coming out and gay parades are responses to gay the bashings by Christians and others that they had to suffer in the past. I agree that some of their displays are too much.

#1018 2019-06-23 18:24:25

There must be a reason that Mike keeps bringing that up and we are not helping him find an answer. For some reasons, he applies the Bible view that it must be absolutely true because scripture says so, to scientific pronouncements. He seems to expect presenters to introduce every thought with 'we're not sure but we believe that' or such disclaimer. He doesn't seem to accept that ' as far as we know from the evidence so far that is the way things work but we are always trying to look deeper' is implied by the way the scientific methodology works.

He must have a problem with the connection between science and religion that we fail to address because we can't understand where he is coming from. I'm not sure how literal is his reading of the Bible, it seems to vary.

BTW do we, you and I, keep coming up with some notion/problem. I think that we usually respond to Gary or Mike input but I could be wrong.

#1017 2019-06-23 17:45:07

Gary, I missed the parade. I'm assuming you were thinking of the Gay Pride Parade and I'm presuming that you are finally having pleasant and positive thoughts about acknowledging and celebrating others.

It's a march to celebrate formerly oppressed people with different lifestyles and growing acceptance and remembering those that have sacrificed so much to keep the movement alive and thriving. It is also designed to encourage a festering mental burden and burr in the pants of those that are still ignorant or still suffer from Biblical illiteracy.

Thanks for bringing it up, Gary

One day you and I can go together to appreciate the festivities.

#1016 2019-06-23 15:49:31

Contemplating yesterdays discussions with Mike, it seems to me and I say this tentatively, I don't think is against knowledge or intellectuals, I think he is against what he perceives as arrogant know it alls that state things with what he feels are with unfounded confidence and authority.

He seems stuck, but content with this world view.

Of course, in an ordinary conversation, we don't talk with absolute authority we are reliant on others and other sources for our knowledge. It can take decades to be the foremost authority on any subject. and most of us chose to be generalists. Generally, we don't question the information we receive electronically, in everyday banter and especially in gossip and that at times can be detrimental misleading and manipulative. Some have no idea what critical thinking is never mind how and when to apply it.  But I know this for sure, to learn something new or challenge a point made and possibly change our understanding of things it takes effort. If there is no effort there is no reward. 

So I think Mike is on the right track when he questions authority content evidence and facts. But, he may be off base if he doesn't follow up work needed to answer those questions with his own inquiry and research. 

The question, how do you know that, should be turned around and stated, why is it I don't know that, or how can I know that?

This is my assessment and understanding. It isn't meant to be critical. Feel free to critique this assessment.

#1015 2019-06-23 15:41:37

In today's parable, Jesus is telling us, in his metaphorical way, to reflect God's love when we interact with others with our love, acceptance, respect, honesty and generosity. 


#1014 2019-06-23 15:03:19

You guys must be at the parade!

#1012 2019-06-22 14:25:38

In our meeting, this morning we discussed the differences that Christians can claim that can demonstrate they are in fact different from the society they live. You have heard it said we are in the world and yet not of the world.

I understand that during the period that the Gospels and Epistles were written. There were turmoil and strife within and between the various religious factions. I think we see this clearly in the writings. There was a perceived need to dramatically differentiate one from the other on all fronts but most of the conflict at that time seems to have come from the Christian Judeo split. It seems to me that the writers of the New Testament with good intention wanted to widen the Gap and exploit any differences that would strengthen that wedge.

I think that this tendency has been reinforced and exaggerated for far too long. We can where and why this tendency was created but we now need to strengthen bonds and collaborate with others. To me at least, it is quite apparent that we are all God's Children. 

The important thing is not that we are a Christian and someone isn't It is rather because we are Christians we have learned the value of loving our fellow man including those that may not be Christians.

#1011 2019-06-21 10:34:12

I like your response, Lou. 

I think this important because this seemingly simple prayer brings to mind some monumental and perplexing issues. Because he was asked Jesus was and still is teaching us how to pray. He gave us the basic mechanics and possible content of prayer. So in that manner, he answered their and our request. We have memorized and continue to use this prayer with slight variations for thousands of years. It is a ritual not unlike Communion. It is one of those things that identify us as Christians. 

I don't think the content needs to be analyzed because it is more or less like a psalm or mantra or maybe a poem something you repeat that we can give a somewhat formulated meaning or not beyond its the sound of its utterance. The utterance brings God to mind in a collective or individual way at the moment.

I think Jesus may have suggested that words are not necessary nor even complete thoughts nor even conscious thoughts at all, but of course, Jesus had to use words to communicate his methodology. Now we know how to pray and we understand the concept or prayer we can pray however we prefer. The words are meaningless to God or tertiary at best and are certainly not required, silence is just as valid, the idea it is to be with God in our thoughts.

#1010 2019-06-21 07:24:30

tn Or “into a time of testing.”

sn The request do not lead us into temptation is not to suggest God causes temptation but is a rhetorical way to ask for his protection from sin. Some interpreters see this as a specific request to avoid a time of testing that might lead to a crisis of faith, but occurring as it does toward the end of the prayer, a more general request for protection from sin seems more likely.

#1009 2019-06-20 15:06:20

Regarding Martha and Mary, What are our priorities we all have mundane chores to do, but we must be careful not to let our routines and chores choke off being present for more important things in our life. If Jesus asks you what did you do for me and your fellow man. Our answer shouldn't be I had all my domestic chores done every day in a timely manner no matter what and demanded that others do the same. Resentment can fester if we are overly concerned about how others chose their priorities.

#1008 2019-06-20 10:17:32

I like your quote from Longfellow. 

I see what you mean by circumstance. In first aid training, we were taught that the first thing to do is assess the situation for risk factors so that we are not putting ourselves or anyone else at additional risk. Of course, every situation is different but our willingness to help our fellow man is the same.

We only have the present moment to act in order to make a better world as Longfellow suggests.

At any rate, it is nice to have you back and participating in these discussions Gary.

Getting back to Lou's comment about taking our attitudes with us. I for one can be very negative at times and I usually make myself or others miserable because of it. If I am in a good mood others pick up on it and we all have a better day. The lesson is to keep positive and have a positive outlook even when I maybe don't feel all that positive. Emotions are fleeting and can be controlled but our principles should be solid. I project the neighbourhood I want that neighbourhood to be. Making a better world begins with me.

#1007 2019-06-20 09:34:31

In today's reading it underscores the fact the many of us don't take the time to listen to Jesus. either through prayer, meditation or just sitting quietly reading the Bible.  We rely on too many outside sources and our mind gets clouded with other peoples meaningless opinions.

#1006 2019-06-20 09:29:16

Look not mournfully into the past. It comes not back again.

Wisely improve the present. It is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future, without fear.

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I guess what I am saying is if you see 3 or 4 guys beating someome, is it the best choice to jump in and get beat yourself.  Maybe there are better options like calling 911?  

I noticed in the good Samaritan help came after the fact of the beating.

#1005 2019-06-20 07:39:58

When a home buyer asked his agent if the neighbors were friendly in the area the real estate agent replied "the same as in your previous location. In other words: the world is whatever color you color it. 

#1004 2019-06-19 23:01:39

Gary, I don't feel threatened or fearful when I go about my daily business. 

You said, 

It's a dangerous world out there, do you not think it depends on the circumstances?

I agree, circumstances influence our behaviour but so do a lot of other factors.  Why do you think the world is so dangerous, Gary?

#1002 2019-06-19 22:03:59

#996 2019-06-19 09:21:10

"Go and do likewise"


It's a dangerous world out there, do you not think it depends on the circumstances?

#1001 2019-06-19 18:35:51

Yes, Templeton did say he would miss his Jesus. We don't know what he meant by that. I'm sure Moses was exalted or the transfiguration is meaningless. You are likely right Gary so let's pray God will in his infinite wisdom and unlimed mercy forgive those that we feel are not worthy of his forgiveness. 

#1000 2019-06-19 17:53:21

There is Heaven and Hell, or a good place and a bad place, or being with God or eternal separation, whatever you want to call it.I think the Bible makes it plain, Jesus makes it plain, God makes it plain that not everybody is destined to enter the promised land, not even Moses.  That being said, heaven is wide open to those that choose this wonderful unmerited gift. 

Charles Templeton in his last days was to have said "I miss my Jesus", who knows maybe he repented and was forgiven?  

I bet if we google will everyone get to heaven we will get many, many different opinions?  

#999 2019-06-19 13:28:24

Gary, what do you think of what I just posted? You only asked the question you did not offer an opinion or respond to the previous post. What's up my Bean Town buddy?

#998 2019-06-19 10:45:28

Speaking of God's love where is Gary?

Hey, Gary are you still there? You disappeared on the 15th. If I recall you were wondering about a hypothetical person who rejects God. Now I wonder some things. Did this person accept God first and then reject him. Are we talking about Peter who denied Christ to save his own bacon or I guess I should say skin? Are we talking about a guy like Charles Templeton who eventually realized that his type of Christianity was a sham? 

I think we are to forgive them and ask God to forgive their sins and shortcomings as he has forgiven us and as he forgave Peter and Paul for their transgressions.

#997 2019-06-19 09:40:44

Great response Lou. I think this parable sums up everything that we have been reflecting on and expressing lately. This parable demonstrates how Love transcends all boundaries. We are not to let superficial or arbitrary differences throw us off our task of spreading God's love.

#996 2019-06-19 09:21:10

"Go and do likewise"

#994 2019-06-18 11:22:12

I think Einstein said it much more succinctly than I did Lou. 

Today's reading, in my opinion, gives us the true meaning of how to apply the Gospels to our daily lives. The first two commandments are the commandments of love. If we get these two right all else falls into place. Truly comprehending and adherence to these Gospels passages allows us to enter and engage with the world In the most profound way.

I can see the benefit of the desert brothers focusing on the love of God and the other and I can appreciate the discipline it requires.

That is why we need to take time to meditate to focus on the radical idea of Love and how we can get to a point where we continually and naturally apply it to ourselves and all others.

I can see Einstein's thought reflected in this idea.     

#992 2019-06-18 07:36:33
  • "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."
  • "I want to know God's thoughts ... the rest are details."
  • "Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile."  Albert Einstein 
#991 2019-06-17 10:57:30

It struck me that both Luke and Matthew used exactly the same phraseology which would give a strong suggestion that there is a Q to be unearthed.

What is revealed is a love story that requires very little intelligence to comprehend at its basic level. Children and those with a child-like mentality will accept it easily. The disciples were a witness to it unfolding first hand.

I think the message is to us the audience after the fact. The writers want us to believe the story as true as it was written with the authority sanctioned by God without using our intellect and or our experience to question or criticize it.

I think it is quite true that the Gospels were not created to advance their readers intellectually. However, I would say that we shouldn't get the idea that critical thinking should be suspended, suppressed or thrown out the window, and that learning and the sophistication and intellectualism that stems from it is a bad thing just because it might be implied from time to time in the Bible.

Remember that we are reading a sophisticated figurative language presenting a rhetoric argument (kerygma) in a narrative form. Just because we accept a Gospel on some level doesn't mean that we need to discard other thoughts that we know to be true.  

#989 2019-06-17 07:30:20

Matt 11:25-27 is a call to be open and receptive to God; to ask why as children do and be willing to accept the answer. God reveals himself but we are too busy describing him and even telling him what to do that we can see or hear him.

#988 2019-06-16 13:11:08

I agree, Lou. there is an attempt to dampen the over the top enthusiasm with a dose of real purpose and focus. I think what this suggests there needs to be a balance with unbridled enthusiasm and disciplined duty and focus. Both are needed but In my opinion, one suffers without the other. 

#987 2019-06-16 12:29:48

 I think the last sentence is the important thing. Securing a place in heaven is what is important not the curing of diseases and not the defeating demons. Get enthusiastic about what's important. 

#986 2019-06-16 11:51:36

Luke 10 language is full of metaphoric language and symbolism I think that we should just sit back and enjoy Lukes imagery and creative storytelling. This is the same kind of intense enthusiasm, dare I say hyperbole, that is portrayed in Acts. Don't we see a similar kind of enthusiasm when people return from Flame or the Cursillo program? In my opinion, Luke did a good job of capturing and encapsulating this enthusiasm in this passage.


#985 2019-06-15 17:19:10

That isn't my concern Gary, The person who rejects our version of God may love his fellow man and see God in a different light, every individual is unique and is allowed to come to God in his own manner. Our job is to love and support them and not to coerce or judge them unfairly or prematurely. The Thief on the cross with Christ repented in the last hour. 

We have enough to work on in our own camp. We should invest all our energy and effort into our shortcomings and sins before we judge someone else with our self-centred values and biases.

Jesus said as much and I think he had it right. Look at how the prodigal son was treated when he returned to fold.   

#984 2019-06-15 15:52:50

And what do you think happens to the onr who reject Him?

#983 2019-06-15 13:25:37

I think that Luke's passage this morning expresses the entanglement of the Gospel (God) to us to the other. The three must work in tandem or the arrangement is dysfunctional. The arrangement should be totally interdependent.

I would go as far as to say that this arrangement could work as a small t trinity in its own right.


#982 2019-06-15 12:09:00

I agree with you Lou, All that I post I hope is in that spirit. My comments should be taken as my thoughts alone triggered by any passage or comment. I agree we have to accept what is written in the Gospel but not necessarily on the interpretation, especially when it is a literal interpretation of the text or how a passage may have been interpreted in the past. I may not appear tentative at times, but I am always open to challenge and correction. I think the forum works well this way, unfortunately, we seem to be the only ones engaged. 

Here is that Cornell site I was talking about this morning.


#981 2019-06-15 08:28:15

My purpose with these posts is for us to share what the passage means to us with no intention of having it accepted but only that it may trigger some thoughts in others.

#980 2019-06-14 22:06:04

I think we lose the sense of the passages Luke and Matthew if we take them literally. I suspect that the cities named are not all that important or their importance is not obvious to us from the content and context of the surrounding verses. What seems to be clear and important is the need to repent and the threat of consequences if one doesn't.

We must remember though that we and others need to have the choice to accept or reject these passages. I don't think everyone understands this basic but very important concept. We are not to coerce or force compliance with our interpretations. We must allow our neighbour to discover and come to God in their own manner and timeframe. In all cases, we must let go of the need to be right control and judge others. Regardless of how our neighbour responds to these verses especially when they are unclear to us. We are to love them and support them no matter what they may think at any given moment.  

#979 2019-06-14 15:52:23

I think Jesus is talking about the Tyre and Sidon of the OT and not the ones He visited after saying that.

What is a city supposed to do to show repentance? Families were converted as one unit then I suppose why not cities.

What is He telling us?

Note that Marc and John don't mention that episode, so what was Q's message, to whom?


#978 2019-06-14 13:04:41

I find it interesting and a bit perplexing that Jesus via Matthew and Luke would exalt whole cities and condemn others and vehemently condemn one in particular. The ones condemned were just north of the Sea of Galilee Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum. The two that were exalted were located on the Mediterranean coast Tyre and Sidon. His reason for condemnation was those cities were unwilling to repent.

It seems he was addressing both John's and his own disciples, he sent John's disciples back to report his message to John.

It makes sense to me that both Luke and Matthew writings are addressing their own audiences after the fact and the acceptance of their words was the same for them as it is for us now and that is an expectation or a dictate to repent or suffer severe consequences. 

I wonder if this strong arm twisting violates the required free will when it is administered harshly by those that have taken or take the message literally and without mitigating it in the light of other teachings and principles proclaimed by Christ.  

#977 2019-06-13 16:27:29

Just listening to Drew's sermon on John 17.  Will comment later

#976 2019-06-13 16:06:36

Silly me the title of today's reading is the Commissioning of the 70 derived from Luke 10. So Lou, don't worry about my question of your prompting.

#975 2019-06-13 14:16:39

What put you on to the number 70 Lou?

Back to some thoughts re 973. Drew has some thought about how we can fit into this call for discipleship in his sermon called "stepping up". Just to warn those with a limited attention span it is over 30 minutes in length. I know Anglicans typically do not like sermons over 12 minutes in length !5 minutes tops. Drew touches on this a bit. One of the main themes in the sermon is unity. He draws mostly from John 17 for his inspiration and talking points. Please watch this and give me your thoughts.


#974 2019-06-13 12:02:02

Seventy has a stunning meaning in theBible. The word “seventy” is used 56 times in the Holy Bible. The numberseventy (70) is made up of two numbers — seven, representing perfection and ten representing completeness and God's law.

#973 2019-06-13 11:19:43

In Matthew's Gospel, the disciples are given instructions on how to proclaim the Good News. They were to live in poverty and by getting their basic needs met by the goodness of others.  All Jesus gave them was words of advice and guidance. The disciples had these words his teaching and the Holy Spirit to proceed with their task and almost all of them became tortured martyrs. 

So when the rich man asked if he could be a disciple he wasn't prepared for the task and Jesus knew it.

I think the desert monks were fully aware of the extraordinary effort, devotion, self-cleansing and discipline that was needed. They were also very much aware of just how difficult it was and said so.

So I must be honest with myself I'm not going to be a monk or a disciple any time soon.

#972 2019-06-12 16:30:59

There are some legitimate people that have wonderful and amazing healing abilities. I think we do what we can to alleviate or eliminate illness to give comfort and hope and uplift spirits. Healing is usually a process, being with and supporting a person in a convalescence maybe all we can do. We are God's agents in the process. I don't know if it comes from above, to me it seems like it comes from within.

#971 2019-06-12 15:15:31

They were also told to cure the sick, I wonder if this was just cold's and flu's or if the had the healing touch given from above?

#970 2019-06-12 12:27:54

The disciples, unlike the apostles who were sent to villages of the Jews, are sent to town and cities of Samaritans and Gentiles. They are told to preach in the city square to as great a crowd as possible not door to door. Why are they told to "eat what is set before you"? Would that be needed if they were visiting uncle Moses? 

#969 2019-06-12 10:27:08

I suspect this town is a Pharisee stronghold note the metaphor of the town compared to Sodom of the OT which would be understood only by those that knew the OT stories. Luke is very much aware of the divide and the hostility that stems from it. I think this passage is about the split of allegiance that was widening in the Holy Land, remember Saul was persecuting Christians to the point of stoning them to death before his conversion.

#968 2019-06-12 07:11:17

Tough words today near the end of Luke.  There would be a lot of dust shaken off my sandals today if I was in charge of spreading the word of God, with love of course.




#967 2019-06-11 17:04:32

yeah, sort of. Duty comes into it but letting go in the main thing. There is a connection between this and what I'm sure you remember me saying that survival of the fittest in evolution doesn't mean survival on the strongest but survival of the meekest because the meek is the one who adapts, work with, to the environment instead of fighting it. The ten commandments were an attempt at nudging people in that direction and Jesus emphasized that they were to be internalized, we are not to even have the thought of committing murder or wanting the neighbor's property. All the stuff we have is on loan to us including our body. 

#966 2019-06-11 16:29:15

What I think you are saying is that we are to work towards an unconscious competence so that our thoughts and actions are on an automatic pilot and are natural and genuine without ulterior or self-serving motives. I do the right thing because it is the right thing to do not because I am afraid that if I don't I will risk a penalty or I'll miss my reward. We have to get it right in the here and now because that is all we have to work with.

What do you think??

#965 2019-06-11 14:40:40

I agree, Chad, that it is a matter of attitude. It's how possessive we feel about our stuff. He doesn't want us to stop being human, on the contrary, He wants us to be fully human. Something like that shows when a performer forgets about himself and what he hopes to get out of it ( and that applies to everything we do).  It is impossible to tell if someone is living up to that even impossible to tell if we are ourselves. To help explain what I mean: I think Bill Gates is. The young rich man was not expected to give away his riches only to be totally willing to do it, something like Abraham, his son, and the goat. You see that runs through the whole Bible, with a lot of tangents, but we are told over and over again to put God first and we will be handsomely rewarded. We have better make sure that we don't do it to be rewarded.

So seen one way, you are right that it is not easy and we can't even tell if we are there. The one who knows he is saved like the one who thinks he knows everything has better think again.

#964 2019-06-11 13:29:05

I agree Lou it is a question of degree, We are not in a monastery nor do have an inclination to move there. Remember even the monks had temptations and worldly desires despite the fact they were isolated in the desert. I don't think Christ is asking us to stop being human. It makes more sense to me that the Gospel is saying don't get carried away with ungodly thoughts actions or possessions and make sincere efforts to refocus on our goal to follow Christ and his teachings if and when we get off track. It is problematic and even harmful when our earthly desires temptations and attachments cloud and weaken our spiritual efforts.

Being realistic balanced and mindful may be the key.

#962 2019-06-11 12:31:38

I don't agree with #960 but then I do if I put on my materialistic hat. I think that Matthew did mean it, not in the immediate instance of not bothering with burying the dead but like the whole life of Jesus as told in the Gospels is telling us we are to drop everything and follow God. RW in the talks we've been following says the same thing just a different way. All major religions say the same thing they only differ in how they say it.

He repeatedly said to give up live, family, friends, and possessions. He did all the way to the cross. It's a matter of attitude, of how we feel about things. It doesn't mean to live in poverty but it means detachment from people and things. It shows in a way when one spontaneously says 'the car' instead of 'my car'. 


#961 2019-06-11 10:43:45

There are some youtube videos with Henri Nouwen presenting his ideas. From what I have gathered so far makes me think that he takes a basic and simple approach to his ministry. I'll post one if I find it stirs my imagination.

#960 2019-06-11 10:19:59

We must remember that the words Matthew used here are rhetoric and figurative, however,  I think they were deliberately provocative and used to make us think about our priorities and where we presently fit God into our primary concerns. We are comfortable and maybe too comfortable and we have designed our society to satisfy our comfort with trivial and meaningless distractions and useless stuff. We are bombarded continuously 24-7 with stimulus and stresses that numb, confuse and distract us. This makes it very difficult to concentrate and focus on our most primary concerns including God and our spiritual life.

I think the questions are; what can I give up or suppress of my egotistical needs and my earthly possessions to help me be more mindful of and therefore closer to God and what are my priorities and should they be changed?


#959 2019-06-11 07:46:33

Matt 8:18-22 The Cost of Following Jesus 

Detach yourself from material concerns and attach yourself to the Lord. Considering the return on your investment the cost is well worth it. 

#958 2019-06-10 20:14:14


#957 2019-06-10 18:28:03

On a lighter note I am reading a devotional book called "You are the Beloved"  by Henri Nouwen.  I left a link here, maybe he deserves a spot on the web site.  Much like Rowan, Henri talks much about solitude.




#956 2019-06-10 15:23:28

I passed on this web site to Mike but he said Rowan was way over his head like David Reed.  I did tell him there was other stuff on the site.

#953 2019-06-10 11:42:14

You may be familiar with this web site. It is loaded with biblical scholarship and insight. 


#952 2019-06-10 09:47:29

This is the way I see it.

Christians have ignored Christ teaching through the ages. Out of respect and love, we should leave people alone who have different views especially if they do not want to hear what we are preaching. 

There are usually other evils such as exploitation, fear, ignorance, aggression and oppression that were blatant and at times hidden motives that cloud or appropriate Christ's teaching.

The disciples were suggesting a genocide for the Samaritans not unlike the flood God used to wipe out those that were not obeying his will. We, unfortunately, like the disciples have this default setting that is a major obstacle to fully appreciating God's teaching and plan for us.

#949 2019-06-10 07:25:57

In Luke 9:51-56 Jesus forbids his disciples to punish peoples for refusing to receive Him.

#948 2019-06-09 13:15:52

It is becoming more apparent as time goes on that the current version of capitalism and the power that is created by accumulated wealth is serving fewer people and is being designed to serve even fewer people and so it is doomed without reform. One reform that is possible is dictatorships where democracy is shattered and everyone is enslaved. A move towards socialism is a better option. 

The church is realizing this, especially in poorer countries.   



#947 2019-06-09 12:31:06

In today's reading, we are asked to forgive others as God forgives us. It is difficult to match God's mercy and forgiveness but that is what we required to do. It is tough being a true Christian because the bar is set high and the expectations are uncompromising. We can not claim ignorance when we know full well what is needed and are just reluctant or too self-centred to do what is asked. 

I for one have a lot of work to do. I have to remember that most of the disciples gave their lives attempting to be the real deal. I know I am nowhere near that courageous. How can I be critical of anyone else when I am so far off the mark.

#946 2019-06-09 11:24:39
#945 2019-06-09 11:15:50

I think the lesson is worth printing as well.



      We are confronted by the problems of life and we seek consolation and help from some outside source, but the wise find these in the inner realm. They retire within themselves. This outer material life becomes much more beautiful, it acquires new grandeur when it is connected with the inner spiritual life. The drudgery we too often feel arises because these two spheres of living are unrelated. We escape from this sense of drudgery by uniting the inner and outer, and we do this through faith.

#944 2019-06-09 08:46:55

      All-loving Spirit, Source of my life,

      May my heart rest close to Your Divine Heart.

      Fill it with Your pure joy.

      Grant unto me unswerving courage

      And a trust that cannot be shaken or destroyed.

      May I lean wholly upon Your guidance and look to You alone for protection

#943 2019-06-08 23:59:08

Gary, it seems like your mother worked very hard to give the necessities of life to her family. It seems she was able to keep you up to the living standards of your immediate neighbourhood. I am tentatively assuming that you may have been in a very precarious and vulnerable state if your mother was unable to work. What would have happened if you mother for whatever reason was not able to work?  I know it is speculative but could you hazard a guess?

#942 2019-06-08 20:35:24

Couldn't edit so part # 2 of 941  Although my family was poor, single mom working two jobs, we never lacked food or clothes.

#941 2019-06-08 18:19:34

Most of our families were poor when we were kids but we didn't realize it till we got older and looked back.

#940 2019-06-08 16:34:26

I may be wrong but I have this thought that Peter wanted Jesus to come up with some appropriate punishment to deal with his troublesome sinner. Instead, Jesus said to forgive him endlessly. I wonder if Peter was disappointed. It seems being right isn't good enough for Jesus he wants us to go farther when we are dealing with others.

#939 2019-06-08 16:18:18

Gary, That is somewhat the same list that I came up with when I realized that I was just stereotyping and generalizing. There is little or no evidence to support these stereotypes. But they are strongly imprinted in our minds and they are often openly repeated and generally accepted carte blanche. The poor are very easily scapegoated and dismissed as unworthy and given a "justifiably" lower social status.

After some thought, I find what seems to be the common cause of being poor is the circumstances a person finds themselves in. Hardly anyone wants to be poor except maybe for some monks that have sworn themselves to poverty. Many want or wish to be rich but hardly anyone wants to be poor. There is so much stigma attached and so much shame felt. Who of us would want to be caught standing in line at the food bank?

I have been mindlessly cruel and mean-spirited without consciously being aware that I was doing so. I was just by going along with the flow and accepting well-established stereotyping and generalizations.  

What I found more than a little disturbing was that I picked the poor to consider first so I'm wondering just how far off base I will be when considering other groups. It appears there is much to consider and many ideas and assumptions that I hold that need to be challenged and dealt with.

#938 2019-06-07 12:43:28

Listening to Rowan today on leaving and self critiicism.

#937 2019-06-07 12:38:25

Re; 931 I agree there are too many factor's in why people are poor.  I have heard it said that if you took all the money from everybody so that everyone started out even, in most cases the same ones who were rich and successful would likely rise to the top again, something about drive and ambition.

My thoughts on the a lot of the poor in Western society is brought on by laziness and lack of ambition. One example is the imigrants come here and in some cases take the lowly jobs that the rest of us don't want, maybe because we are too proud. Welfare in our country is abuses by many.

#936 2019-06-07 12:30:58

15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector. 18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

So, this is about someone that has sinned, so, in verse 16 you take 1 or 2 people with you. These are the two or three discussed in verse 19 and 20, so it is people from within the church, but not the church, nor even leaders in the church.

And it is dealing with the church discipline, and if these people are in agreement then God is with them."

  This guy says we cannot take these verses from Matt. 18 out of context and must read the verses before, does this make sense to you?

#935 2019-06-07 12:15:18


#934 2019-06-07 12:14:28

Today's reading re; Matt 18

That passage has created grief and disillusionment than I think Matt intended. Obviously, this passage cannot be interpreted literally. 

I heard it said that the answer may be no as if that is an option but that is only an option with a literal translation of the passage and even then it doesn't fit.

#931 2019-06-07 08:47:55

I asked myself the question. Why are the poor poor and I was surprised at how many stereotypical thoughts and attitudes that came into my thoughts. All of them untrue or only partially true at best.

The real answer is I don't know, but I am quite ready to make some errant assumptions based on what I have been told by others.  

#930 2019-06-06 20:08:59

I think it may go deeper and further back. All through our lives, we have been told stories. For example, don't go swimming for an hour after you eat. It is a fallacy there is no evidence that supports this. One of the disturbing stories that some people still believe is that the measles vaccine causes autism. I deliberately chose stories that have been debunked years ago. I'm saying we are susceptible to myths that are not true and may have negative consequences to our spiritual growth. We must be brutal in our self-assessment.

#929 2019-06-06 19:10:39

All Anglican churches have policies that deal with conflicts in pews. These policies reflect the Gospel teachings. It is always best if the parties can resolve their differences without intervention, There are some grievances that must be escalated and some may even require legal authorities to be involved and criminal charges laid.

Like Luke suggests there is a process to be followed. The trick is to find the proper methodology that deals with the issue properly.

#928 2019-06-06 17:41:24


Flee from what's easy, from following the crowd, from consumerism, from passing judgment on others. Flee to the stillness of God.

#927 2019-06-06 15:05:26

Matt 18:15-18 ‘If another member of the church sins against you"

Both Luke and Matthew make it plain that they are referring to relationships between fellow Christian brothers there is no call to make it say anything more than that.

RW suggests throwing a blanket over our brother's sin so that God will also forget ours. Lou

#925 2019-06-06 14:48:13

In the current edition of the online Anglican that focuses on the Pentecost this coming Sunday, there is an article that considers speaking in tongues. Interestingly enough both the Arch Bishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and our own Rev David Reed a former Pentecostal both pray in tongues. Rev Reed says that the practice is waning. It seems that being in a remote area of Canada is more conducive to the Anglican parishioners speaking in tongues than in the more populated southern parishes. I found the article interesting. 


#924 2019-06-06 14:36:20

In Luke's reading today as we have discussed before, how do we interupt what is a sin?

#923 2019-06-06 08:53:50

From today's reading particularly from John. 

If we do not forgive the sins of others they will remain a burden on our own heart and will cloud and darken our thoughts and actions. Forgiving frees us from this anguish. 

I found it interesting that Desmond Tutu said that if he had been brought up as a white South Africa he no doubt would have been in favour of apartheid. it is also interesting that he realized that he was conditioned by apartheid as much as the whites who were the perpetrators and the oppressors. He said that when he was a child he saw a white priest respectfully recognize his mother who was a domestic worker. He found this shocking and eye-opening. This went against his conditioning but it made him question his conditioning.

That is what we should do question our conditioning and assumptions? What of our conditioning and our assumptions does not stand up under sincere and severe scrutiny, and what of our conditioning and assumptions is an obstacle to our spiritual growth? 

#922 2019-06-05 17:32:27

I think we need to withdraw to the desert at times in our mind and meditation because we are constantly bombarded with urgent unimportant issues and distractions. We need to create some quiet time to sort out urgent important and non-urgent important issues, the truth, and God's plan and developing our potential in that plan. We must be attentive calm and discerning. The noise and negativity in our electronic globalized world can be so distracting, nerve-racking, energy eroding, and even debilitating. We must not lose sight of the Great Commandment and Great Commission. 

#921 2019-06-05 15:23:40

The way I see it is that we are to, first of all, acknowledge own sins and repent then share the Gospel leaving it to God to take it over from there. We are to love our neighbors as brothers not as human beings, that being the condescending way and not what Jesus meant. For examples of how it's done look up to Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela, not to the African Church. 


#920 2019-06-05 15:08:20

Rev. Dr. David Reid's last sermon is about God be patient and supportive us in our weakness and our search for understanding. Just like we should be supportive and understanding of others. None of us is perfect but by not being overly discouraged or defeated but by plodding along with the Holy Spirit and openness to seek the truth no matter the source and no matter how uncomfortable that may be, we will progress never to perfection but to a more mature state. However, we must be extremely careful that we are listening to the truth and not to the wolf or our, easily manipulated and sometimes whimsical ego.


#919 2019-06-05 13:31:20

I wonder do I have it right, do we not have to come to the Father and all that entails and requires first and let all other children of God find him in their own time and in their own way with our love and support.

I don't see our spiritual maturity as ever being a done deal but it seems to me to require much effort particularly in seeking out and dealing with our own obstacles shortcomings and the courage to relinquish the destructive ways of the ego and by continuing our ongoing diligent search for truth and God's true path for us. While we are doing this we at all times we are to love others as ourselves.     

#918 2019-06-05 12:50:56

Gary, it is so good to hear from you. I'm glad that you are our silent and to some degree our engaged partner. 

#917 2019-06-05 12:15:40

I think this video covers the ideas of the Desert Fathers as expressed by Desmond Tutu and the Elders including Nelson Mandala and Jimmy Carter and prominent others. 


#916 2019-06-05 11:53:07

We have that book somewhere, The Sayings of the Desert Fathers, if only I could find it.  g.  PS: don't worry about me, I am following.

#915 2019-06-05 11:17:28

Re: 912  I love them all as human beings and would pray that they all come to Christ, period.

#914 2019-06-05 10:20:26

In the writing, the little ones could very well be youth and young children but metaphorically it can also stand for the Beatitudes. The Weak, the Oppressed. the Persecuted The Sick The Poor, The Refugee and all others that are oppressed, not respected, not treated fairly, or are considered less than equal in some manner. 

I was looking for a new way of considering the Bible especially the New Testament. I'm so glad that you found these You Tubes Lou. Rowan Williams is a great orator and preacher and has fully researched these Monks and their words not just in an objective scholarly way but also in a respectful and loving human way. The Eary Desert Monks were on to something profound in their take on the Bible and how they responded to it. All the Bible passages I have read since have reflected or reinforced their basic approach to life and their spirituality.

Like you said Lou it has taken this long to get here and we still have so many things to address conquer and relinquish. 

#912 2019-06-05 08:13:25

"do not despise one of these little ones" Who are those 'little ones'? The poor, the sinners, the LGBTQ, the Latino, the Muslim.

#911 2019-06-05 08:05:33

I want to make sure you didn't miss the 'and much more' in my previous post. We're barely at the foot of the mountain while, or is it whist, he's well above the tree line. The trees standing for all the obstacles that were mentioned a few posts back. 

#910 2019-06-04 21:31:00

Rowan Williams says the same things we say and much more it doesn't sit well with him. I could be wrong but that can be the only reason for not finding a free thirty minutes a week.

Yes, Gary, have a listen and tell us how you disagree with what he says.

#907 2019-06-04 21:11:22

I wonder where Gary is. I think we lost him on Rowan Williams first talk. He said he didn't have enough time. Gary drop us a line just to let us know how you are doing.

#906 2019-06-04 15:42:19

Reading John 14 through the Desert Brothers filter gives us an appreciation of the interrelationship between all aspects of God and ourselves and our responsibility we have to both God and our fellow men.


From the lectionary page

#905 2019-06-04 09:27:54

It works both ways not only are we to give others the time and freedom to find God in their own way without creating obstacles. We are to find God by addressing the obstacles before us most of which are mostly self-made and/or self-inflicted. Yet like Jesus, we can not be passive we are to take a stand against injustice and champion the weak and the vulnerable. 

#904 2019-06-04 07:59:56

Chad raises a very good point.

Too often we place obstacles that keep others from God instead of bringing them to God as is our intention.

RW tells us to be free to let God give through us instead of imposing our set of belief on others. 

#903 2019-06-04 01:05:03

Today's reading about harming youth is very apropos given the report that was just issued. The Church went along with policies that violated vulnerable children and families.

That is why it is so important to be in tune with what the Gospels are actually teaching us and to be wary of those who say they represent the truth of the Gospel but in truth are lying either intentionally or by following the misguided crowd that in turn are chasing falsehoods. We are not to be coerced no matter the source or to be intimidated by the title they may hold or represent. We must stand back and search for clarity and truth even when the current is overwhelmingly flowing against us.

If we are not diligent we will allow atrocities, such as those covered in the report, to happen in our silence and we will be complicit in our ignorance. 

#902 2019-06-03 19:41:02

Today the report from the missing aboriginal girls and women. The authors were careful to use the word genocide in their conclusion. The government has received the report and we get the idea that they will address the concerns of the report although they have failed the women and girls miserably in the past.

Isn't this is a result and a good example of what happens when there is no love and even hatred is directed at a neighbour (others).

The fact that the church is implicated is very disturbing.

It is extremely important how I think and I behave as an individual as well as how I behave and think in my society.

The Desert brothers Brothers were sensitive to social pressures that demanded that they should join a bandwagon. They knew to stand back and follow the path of love and truth. 

#901 2019-06-03 09:04:17

In light of RW talk, today's reading shows that disciple wants praise from Christ for trying to stop someone (an outsider) from speaking for Christ. Instead, Christ mildly rebukes him saying, those who are not against us are for us. 

We have to be careful, don't we? There is such a compulsion for quickly reacting and doing the "right" thing and being praised for it or being self-satisfied because of our efforts. We get clouded in our self-delusion and fantasies and by doing so we miss the point and the reality of the situation. 

#900 2019-06-02 23:37:34

I'm still working on the Self Discovery video. I will listen to the next 2 tomorrow. 

We are strange beasts in that we have to learn who we are. Following God and the truth is of paramount importance but doing this is easier said than done. 

There is a lot of ideas expressed in the self-discovery video that I need to revisit.

These tapes are pure gold, Lou.

#899 2019-06-02 18:22:44

The call by today's Gospel reading "whoever receives one whom I send receives me' is being ignored if they speak Spanish or Arabic or are deemed to be sinners. 

R.W. is true to the message of Christ in the Gospel. When Christ describe what the good news is it is about people being looked after not coerced into following the law:

When I'm done typing I will tackle 'Staying" then we should continue exploring what he has to say.

#898 2019-06-02 17:20:47

You are so right Lou. Christ didn't criticize Pharisees for their religious beliefs but rather for their bad will and negativity they bestowed on their fellow man. He was demonstrating God's love for his fellow man by healing comforting teaching no matter who he encountered but he never intruded or disciplined anyone except on very rare occasions. His interventions were always personal and welcomed. He would have done the same for the Pharisees if they had given him the chance, but they were too blinded and deafened by their tyrannical power and sense of themselves.

Christ is asking us to give our lives up for our fellow man as he did. That is what the message from the desert suggests, isn't it?.