Friday, July 24, 2015

Equal Opportunity Employer

Just got back from running my neighbor's 17 year old son around. He's looking for work. Talking to him yesterday, it was easy to see the dejection he was feeling about the process. So, as I am want to do, I got involved. It makes me feel good about myself. We will see how it plays out. I'm invested and will stay on it.

Now I have some errands to do for myself. My health has improved enough I can do things left unattended by Wednesday's/Thursday's onslaught. If there is one "gift" involved in suffering, it's when it stops, one is so grateful. Anything and everything is appreciated. Feeling NORMAL is celebrated!

As to Mother Teresa's caveat of one not accepting pain as punishment, see the post, To Sleep Perchance To Dream, 6-10-13. It is an interesting topic and I wonder how you guys feel about it. Do you think (even a little bit) you are being punished when you are beset with illness or disease? Weigh in and let me know what you think.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Quit Kissing Me!

Suffering, pain, humiliation, sickness and failure, is but a kiss of Jesus.

Once I met a lady who had a terrible cancer. She was suffering so much. I told her, "Now you come so close to Jesus on the cross that he is kissing you." Then she joined hands and said, "Mother Teresa, please tell Jesus to stop kissing me." It was so beautiful. She understood.

Suffering is a gift of God, a gift that makes us most Christlike. People must not accept suffering as a punishment.

~Mother Teresa

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Today has been an experience in suffering. How anyone can be against doctor assisted suicide is beyond me. Sanctity of life? Experience what sufferers do and tell me all about the sanctity of life.

But that isn't what I want to talk about. It is the reaction to Monday and Tuesday's posts. You can delve deeper into the 'why' of my view of Jesus and who he was (and wasn't) reading a number of posts, but Was There A Resurrection--4-27-14 is a good place to start. Use the blog archive to navigate to the post quickly.

Last, I want to welcome the Bahamas to the site. Came aboard Monday and actually has been back a few times since. First new country since Portugal. Welcome Bahamas!

Sorry, that's all I got the strength for.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Jesus Was Wrong

And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power. Mark 9:1

"Some of them that stand here..." Seems straight forward enough. No ambiguity. No pretense of waiting around a couple thousand years. "Some of them that stand HERE shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power."

Naturally, you should read the end of chapter 8 and what follows 9:1. It is important to strip away the "out of context" nonsense that Christians use to deflect anything that doesn't fit their narrative. And Jesus being wrong doesn't fit the narrative. How could he be wrong? He is the only begotten Son (capital S, not small s) of God. He is God actually, in a confusing, 3 in 1 trinity sort of way. And if God be wrong, I don't want to be right! Or so the attitude seems to be. The truth may set YOU free, but Christians don't seem to want to have much to do with it.

Listen, I knew yesterday's post would (metaphorically) strike at the heart of the Christian paradigm. I knew there would be a backlash. I knew I was "in for it." What I find fascinating is that its your text. It is what your God said. And you are upset with me for bringing it to your attention. Why?

You revel in the Gospel's description of Jesus denouncing the scribes and Pharisee's duplicity. When I show you yours, you vilify me. You want to present an attitude of taking the Bible literally, except of course, when you don't. And all of this would be fine, if only you would leave your God out of politics and quit trying to shove your morality down my throat.

So Jesus was wrong about the coming of the Kingdom. He was right about so many other things. He experienced the human condition and (somehow!) maintained his empathy and compassion. He saw that people are quick to point out problems in others, though slow to see those same problems (or worse) in themselves. He taught inclusion, both of women and social outcasts, something that was extremely controversial at the time. He spoke of forgiveness and he exemplified love. He said to love God with every fiber of your being and to love your neighbor as yourself. (Mark 12:30-31) That everything else was secondary.

For me that's enough.

Monday, July 20, 2015

He Ain't Coming

I think it time we address this; Jesus ain't coming back. It isn't as though we haven't been patient. We have. Still, we are fast approaching TWO THOUSAND YEARS of waiting, and at some point, you know, you just have to face the cold, hard, truth.

He ain't coming.

If you're actually familiar with your Bible, Jesus' has a lot to say about the "end of times." Nation rising up against nation, famines, and pestilence, and earthquakes--that sort of thing. He even says, "And many will be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another." (He sure got that one right!) The problem is, my dear Christian friends, later on, in the midst of the very same Mount of Olives discourse, he goes on to say this: "Verily I say unto you, THIS GENERATION shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." (Matthew 24:34)

He ain't coming.

Now, we can read the same in Mark and Luke, 13:30 and 21:32 respectively. [Luke is slightly different in that Jesus passes the Mount of Olives (19:37) but speaks to the crowd at the temple. 20:1] No matter, the point is all three of the Gospels relay pretty much the same words and event. Indeed, that is why they are called the synoptic Gospels. All three follow a recognizable and familiar story line.

He ain't coming.

So, here we have Jesus talking about the end of times, how to recognize that it IS the end of times, and that it is going to happen SOON! The people of THIS GENERATION will not pass (die) before the metaphorical shit hits the spiritual fan. Jesus has been extremely clear; It is going DOWN! Alas, it didn't. And hasn't. And we just have to come to grips with it.

He ain't coming.

Pat! Pat! You've taken it out of context. Pat! Pat! A day is like a thousand years in the eyes of the Lord! (see; 2nd Peter 3:8 and Psalm 90:4) Of course I have. How could it be otherwise? Because it HASN'T happened, I must be wrong, right? Well, go back to 2nd Peter, chapter 3 and see why a "day is like a thousand years in the eye's of the Lord." People have already started to complain: "And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation." (3:4) So Peter does his best to spin what Jesus said. Misdirection at it's finest!

He ain't coming.

Because a day doesn't have a single thing to do with a generation. THIS GENERATION. Jesus was addressing people in front of him. And those peoples' day wasn't a thousand years long. It was 24 hours. And Jesus wasn't talking to the Father about the end of times--one gathers that God probably knows the agenda. In fact, is the only one who does. (see; Matthew 24:36) So who exactly is Jesus talking to? Us? The message was meant for us? Really? That is what you believe? That Jesus was cryptically sending a message to OUR GENERATION one thousand nine hundred and fifty years later--even though he said "this generation" with a life audience in front of him? Boy, that Jesus is sure tricksy!

He ain't coming.

Well, you say, that's depressing as all hell Pat, whats to be done? If our bacon isn't going to be pulled out of the fire by divine intervention, (which it most assuredly isn't) what the heck are we supposed to do? One thing we can do is read the brilliant insight of John Dewy: "Men have never fully used the powers they possess to advance the good in life because they have waited upon some power external to themselves, and to nature, to do the work they are responsible for doing."

Yep, we become accountable. We take responsibility for our own mess. We stand up and say its starts with me. We actually change our...hmmmmm...on second thought...

God help us.