Isaiah 26:3-5

bible.com/100/isa.26.3.nasb

I added 2 more verses because they add an interesting “twist” on what Isaiah wrote.  In the Orthodox Study Bible which I have through Kindle (both Orthodox Study Bible and Kindle protected names), I have learned that what Isaiah said in these verses is much what Mary says in the Magnificat (Lk 1:52).

This happens more than once – that is, a prophet writes something and there is a connection in the New or Christian Testament or part of the Bible.

I have learned, and I suppose it is nothing new to many, is that the two parts of the Bible are “connected”.  The Hebrew, or Old, Testament or Bible, tells us stories of how people were told how to act and what to do, but they never seemed to keep it going. And, how God, even with all the problems people caused, still kept giving them hope and moving along.  God continued to teach the people lessons. That would fix things for a while and then off they would go, doing their own thing. All of the prophets kept telling the people that they better start shaping up or there was going to be a big price to pay.

The people didn’t listen. Doesn’t that sound familiar? Only now, we haven’t had some other country to take over and take all the citizens captive and keep them locked up and decimate their city. I wonder if that would help?

Or, have we?  We see countries attacking each other or revolutions happening and many other countries helping one side or the other. The wars just continue and there will be no peace until people start listening or reading or both.  What can we do?

We need to find peace within ourselves and with others. People are always going to be different or think differently; that doesn’t make them bad.  People are evil when they begin forcing others to act the way they want them to act.  Trying to convince people is not evil. But, if they don’t listen, there is nothing a person can do but pray for them and wish them well. But, another thing we must do is make sure what we are advocating is going to help everyone. Seek advice; pray much; the Spirit will help.

Thank you for reading.  May you be blessed always.

2nd Corinthians 5:7

FAITH IS ALL WE NEED

Whenever I see one of the letters from Paul, I always sort of laugh when I see it was one to the Corinthians.

Paul seemed to be having trouble with that group of people all the time. I often thought that if he did write a third letter to them, he would probably tell them that they really try his patience.  But, we all probably would try his patience.

Some of the communities which Paul wrote to seemed to have no problems understanding what they are supposed to do and the way they should act. I am sure, though, Paul was familiar with the Prophets and all the problems they had, but they never stopped, even when they were put in jail, threatened with execution, and numerous other ways to punish them because the people, the king, or whomever, just did not like what a Prophet was telling them.

Paul was no stranger to many of these things. Not only did he have problems with communities he was evangelising, but also with all the officials in the communities. And, then, after all that, while he’s telling the Gentiles they don’t have to follow the LAW, the other Apostles are  disagreeing with him.  So, off to Jerusalem for a council and getting some decisions about preaching to the Gentiles and the LAW.

So, what has that got to do with the Bible quote for today. Paul finally had to tell people FAITH is what is important; not what a person sees and sometimes not what a person hears.  God sorts everything out and fixes everything. All of us just need Faith. (In one of that adaptations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s books by Universal – The Scarlet Claw – the priest in the story has one of the best lines: “Aw, what you need is more Faith and less imagination!”  Not only less imagination, but keep your own thoughts out of the way.)  Just pray for more Faith and trust that God will work everything out.  May not be the way we would do it, but then, we are not God’s counsellors.

Thanks for reading.

Closing My Facebook Account and My Political “Say”

I am about to close and delete my Facebook account. Why? I am tired of all the ads which keep showing up in my time-line to buy things I really don’t want or need and that people whom I have “friended” say little about themselves, not in an egotistical way, and what has been happening in their lives, but don’t hesitate to put a bunch of political stuff up.  Also, it is recommended in About.com.

I tired of politics a long time ago. I tired of the lying media several years ago – I know it’s called editing, but when a person says something in an interview and the statement is aired in such a way that it becomes something entirely opposite of what the person said, to me, that’s lying.

I am going to be political here, which I don’t relish: Since there has been so much posted in Facebook about how bad Socialism is, I would like to call attention to four countries which have Socialism and seem to be doing very well: Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and, my favourite, Finland. Why is Finland my favourite? It is the ONLY country to pay the US the debt it owed due to the war and the US help to keep the Soviets out. And, Finland did that in less than the 20 years it was given to pay that debt. It’s A SOCIALIST country, folks. If that little country, with all the threats it received and all the problems It had with USSR, can be socialistic and, contrary to what Donald the Trump says, a very good friend to the US,  what is wrong with the United States of America that It can’t have some socialism?

If socialism is so bad, why haven’t those four countries dumped it? There are intelligent people there. Also, did you know that at least three of those countries ranked in the top ten as the happiest countries in the world?  Socialism must be terrible, it makes people happy.  We can’t have that. Might lower the prison population and put the US in the top ten best-educated (we now rank 51st) and happiest country in the world.  Heaven forbid!  Also, Canada ranked in the top ten happiest.

Yes, I am certain there are countries which are socialistic and which have failed, but I would bet none of them is in the ten happiest countries in the world. And that the governments didn’t live within their means (much like the US has been doing for the past 70 plus years, so we could wage wars and prop up dictators, which, by the way, has been done by BOTH major political parties ). Any political-economic system can fail, just as capitalism has in the past and, as far as I am concerned, is failing now. (Also, I exclude social systems as Communism, Naziism, and Facism as legitimate socialistic systems.) I have had my say and I doubt many will read this anyway, but, for those who do, if you want to make comments, please do.   In the meantime, I shall go back to listening to Ancient Faith Radio podcasts and Sacred Scripture reading, oh, and reading Bishop Barron’s (the new Episcopal Bishop of Los Angeles) blogs, which I recommend.

My Eyes

CHRIST IS RISEN

 I just wanted to give an update about my two cataract surgeries.  If I did not have help from my sister and brother-in-law, I think I would just now be able to have the surgery for one eye.  As it is, the left eye was done in November, 2013, and the right eye was done in April, 2015.  Has been so strange when going out with no glasses, that I had a pair of sun glasses made – the shade is not strong, just enough to cut down the glare, which I am not used to yet.

The world does look so much better now; that is, the physical world.  I see beautiful greens, blues, reds, and oranges.  With some of the family I made a short trip to Dagupan (it’s on the Philippine Sea).  The Bougainvillaeas were blooming in a bright violet colour, no red or white, and trees were blooming in yellow and orange.  Just very wonderful to see so well.

I thank God that the surgeries went very well and that the surgeon was A#1, best in the country, and that my sister and brother-in-law have been so kind to me.  I am still recovering from the right eye surgery, which is coming along so well that the surgeon said I only needed to see her if I had problems.

DEO GRATIAS!!

Greed, Lust, and TV (last of 2)

I started writing this when my laptop decided it was time to give up and began burning up. Now, I guess I must find a way to get my personal stuff and all the application software which is mine and I downloaded from various vendors off that machine. (I have learned that the laptop is just dirty inside and needs to have the cooling fan, and other stuff, dusted and cleaned. We’ll see.)

To get to the topic at hand. I think I addressed the Lust issue enough in my first writing.

Reading Fr. ted’s Blog today (Wednesday, November 26), I see that I am not the only one talking about greed. As I have mentioned, I think TV, which has been such a great influence on us all (and, don’t let anyone tell you TV is not influential), that we believe that what we see is true and must be a part of our lives.

The commercials we see seem to say that if we don’t buy what is being advertised, we are not part of “everyone”, i.e., we are not conforming and we must conform. Therefore, we must spend more money on ourselves. But, where does that money come from? For many of us, it means that we either use a credit card ( borrowing on future income), or we deprive some one else of something, including what we actually owe.

For some, it means delving into illegal activities. This seems to be especially true for those who are at the lower end of the economic spectrum. What we see, and begin to believe, is that to be a part of society, we must do whatever we can, including those illegal activities, which seems not to be considered illegal by so many, since they help us to achieve what is necessary to be a part of our community.

And, wealthy people don’t always help. I don’t know how many of them are really interested in others. The most I even hear about wealthy people is that they feel they are paying too of their income in taxes. They want more spendable income. Since many wealthy keep 94 to 95% of their income, I think they shouldn’t complain and help others. But then, there is the parable about the poor beggar who sat outside the wealthy man’s house. He never got any help, did he? (Lk 16:20-25)

As I was reflecting on all of the possession I have and was complaining about my living conditions, I remembered something about Jesus – “…the Son of man has no place to lay His head…” (Matt 8:20, Lk 9:58). I wonder if I could be that trusting of people. Probably not; but what about Faith and Trust in God? Can I accept that people will help me? I don’t think so because, again, TV teaches us that we must depend on ourselves and, if we expect others to help us, we need to be in the same “class”. That means owning lots of things, which are supposed to justify our existence. So, when we own all those things, we don’t need to depend on others. Hmmm, sounds like a Catch-22 to me.

I have a long journey ahead and lots more praying to get all that TV teaching out of me. And, I think many of us need to turn off that TV and start reading. Start reading the Bible is a great way to begin. That’s what I have been doing and it is a great help.

(Stay tuned for the saga of the Burning Laptop.)