Tuesday, May 27, 2014

On A Prayer

". . . Talmudic scholars teach that every verse in the Torah has forty-nine different interpretations, each equally valid. . .".  Spoken by Paul Merlowitz, a character in Dark Spector by Michael Dibdin, Pantheon Books, 1995.

If you say so.  As I reread this statement this morning, I am bombarded with thoughts of my own.  Suppose I have forty-nine thoughts?

Perhaps you are wondering why a Christian woman is concerned with the Torah, the Jewish sacred scriptures.  I am reminded of the shock on Barbara Walters' face when she learned that Christians are somewhat concerned with Jewish beliefs.  You see, books from the Torah are part of the Christian Old Testament, part of our Bible.

Don't you know Christians who are totally overbearing in spouting that their interpretation of the scriptures is the one and only right way to view them?  And here we are told that the Jewish Talmudic scholars, themselves, can see a variety of ways to interpret every single verse.

We follow God's teachings, His will, on a wing and a prayer.  Now that last word, prayer, is the answer.  "Lord, please open my eyes and my mind so that I can learn what it is you want me to learn today.  Lead me to understand your ideas and your will".

Christians do have one helpful key to understanding.  We are instructed that when the Old Testament and Jesus' words seem in conflict, we are to follow the words of Jesus.

Happy reading, more understanding --  on a prayer.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

But How Is Your Heart?

The Christian Bible suggests that we should sing and dance for joy.  Today's arrests in Iran because six young people did just that and posted the video on the internet, is an example of how warped religious zealousness can get.  Even some Iranians are saying a little leniency might be in order.

I'm reminded of the book/movie One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest where the psycho toxic nurse shamed a young mentally ill man over his sexual needs.  It resulted in his suicide.

History is rife with the toxic side effects of religious nuts and their habit of trying to force their uptight rules on others.  We've got stories of wars ranging from Christianity through Islam . . . from Protestants to Catholics . . . throughout the world.

I want to ask them all, but how is your heart?  Jesus noted that men were as they thought in their hearts.

Is your heart filled with love or killing?  Is it filled with compassion or with compulsion?  Which do you think your god or my God would want to feel emanating from you?

Really people, besides the fact that cramming your beliefs down someone else's throats is not very effective, it's not very smart.

What is effective is holding love in our hearts.  The forcing, raging and killing are not love.  You can catch more converts with the love.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Let's Not Quarrel

"So Abram said to Lot, 'Lets not have any quarreling between you and me. . .'" Genesis 13:8

God -- and Jesus -- want us all to love one another.  This is especially so when we are family.  So, having written this much of this article, I read part of the May 19, 2014, Time Magazine.  I read the interview with Barry Gibb where he talks of moping around the house after he lost his brothers and how hard it is to form a band around close family members.  He said, "When you're blood, the rivalry is pretty intense."  He said everyone wants to be the favorite.

I know he's right, but how I hate that.  I've already told you how I feel competition outside business and sports seems so unfriendly.  I guess I want unconditional positive regard from those who are supposed to love me.  I need them to read my work and urge me on even when they don't agree with me -- my brothers, my children, my grandchildren.

I need to be surrounded by family and friends who encourage my journey through life like I try to do for all of them.  I hope they don't feel I've failed them.

I pray they will like my work, but even if the don't like it, I need them to defend my right to do it.

Don't you all need the love and emotional support of your family and friends?  Don't you think God would want us to try over and over again to give others the support we want from them?  Let's give it another try, why don't we?