Posts by kennieb

Orthodox Christian, born in Phoenix, Arizona, on April 10, 1942; Chrismation on August 15,1989, at Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco. I lived in San Francisco and the Bay Area for more than 40 years, where I worked in banking and garbage(or, are they the same?). My education includes both formal and self studies. I studied at different universities and a seminary. My self-study has been with two Roman Catholic priests of the Byzantine tradition, a doctor, and sales persons. My studies were mostly in business, apologetics, Theology, and philosophy. Want to know more? Read my blogs, please, or ask me.

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.)

Greed, Lust, and TV Commercials

After telling people to read my blog, I have not been writing anything. I guess that might be because typing is not easy any more. The arthritis in my hands, especially the left one, makes typing difficult. So I am getting Dragon Naturally Speaking installed on the computer, then I can just speak and it will “type” for me. Also, My eyes are not getting better, yet, and looking at a screen is not so easy, especially if the screen is white. Some one suggested that I turn down the brightness, but then I cannot see anything.
The internet is especially hard to read because all the pages seem to use a light background with even a lighter colour for the font. If these developers were intelligent, they would understand that not everyone, including younger people, can read what is on the page without squinting. I do use larger fonts for myself and I set the screen to have larger than normal items. Sort of messes up how the screen looks sometimes – items fall off the page; little things like that.

A few days ago, or was it weeks ago, I made a comment on Facebook about television commercials. About the only things I watch on TV are on Animal Planet, Discovery, and Discovery Science, and the news, especially BBC. Unfortunately one is not immune to Wall Street and the commercials sneak in. And I do mean sneak – not like the past when there would be a “break”. Now, when the appearance is that the news or whatever is continuing, about five seconds in, I realise it’s a commercial. Then, again, maybe that is age sneaking in.

My comment was how much commercials appeal to one of the seven deadly sins, especially lust. I received some comments back, which apparently try to justify these actions in commercials through longevity or the “everybody does it” reasoning. I am happy that our medical science never kept up that approach. I do not think I would enjoy being bled to cure a fever or having leaches put on me to heal a broken bone which discoloured the skin. But, this seemed to be the reasoning people were giving and using extensively to justify almost pornographic material being directed at the viewing public, including children.
Some remarks even suggested that all the deadly sins were in the Bible, thereby giving some sort of legitimacy to what is happening today on television. I can only say, again, just because these things were happening 5,000 years ago, maybe more, does not make what is done now a good thing to do. They were in the Bible usually because the writers, being inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote to tell everyone to stop before something really serious happened. The people did not listen and look at some of the troubles they had. King David, beloved by God, sang more songs (Psalms) of repentance than anything else. Look at Psalm 50 (51). He laments and repents of what he did to Uriah. He even states that a broken spirit and contrite heart God will not despise, because God will not accept his offering of a young bullock. And, how would you like your entire country being taken some place else and everyone made slaves?
Just because there are murders and lust and greed, and other sins in the Bible does not mean that God condoned them. As I wrote above, these things happened to the detriment of the Israelites – not always but most of the time. Did not want to get into the Bible so much as to the seven deadly sins. Yes, I know they come from the Bible, but many people who are not so inclined to be reading the Bible seem to recognise lust and greed.
The problems of the current world economy can be attributed to greed. Even news commentators have mentioned that. And, I do not want to hear or read that it is God’s wrath causing these problems. God does not have to get involved. We do this ourselves. It is rather obvious, at least to me that, when people can only think of themselves, there are problems somewhere along the way.
Once when I was in a meeting of staff members at a banque, which shall remain nameless, the Human Resources representative was telling the people that if they did not like the way the banque was being run, they could go elsewhere to try to find a job. The problem was, that while inflation was at 4%, salaries were being increased by only 2% with an effective increase of .75 to 1% (do not forget taxes). When asked why, the representative responded by saying that the banque had experienced greater expenses and losses than anticipated. To which, some one in the group said, then let’s fire the CEO and save lots of money. That brought great laughter from all except from the HR rep!
Is it not true that the CEO is paid these high salaries to take responsibility for expenses and losses? That is what I was taught in business classes. But, then. what do I know? I am just a human being, trying to be a good Orthodox Christian.

Thank you for reading.
(If you would like a recorded copy of this blog, please send me a message either through the comments or at my email address (kebowles [at] gmail [point] com) with Greed, Lust, and TV Commercials in the subject line and “recorded blog” in the body. Thanks, again, for reading.)

Studying What I Am Passionate About

I read that I should write a blog about my most passionate subject. That is difficult for me because many passion is Philosophy and Theology. These are two subjects which usually have lots of opinions and, if not presented very well, can seem quite boring. So as not to get into too controversial items which could causes many negative comments and angry remarks, I’ll tell you that mostly what will be here were my ruminating about what progress I am making to learn more.

I shall be studying Orthodox Christian Philosophy and Theology and Bible study. I hope to share things I learn and from whom I learned them. That is the current day teachers who have either spoke about what they learned. Of course,I shall necessarily be reading the Fathers both ante- and post- Nicene.

Thank you for reading.