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Archive for November 18, 2008

Thought from Finding the Perfect Church…

Because the simple act of prayer – asking God for those things that weigh heavily on our hearts, must be followed up with a period of silent “Listening” for God’s voice to speak to you. Because sometimes we get the answer… ‘keep praying, not today, NO!’ Cookie cutter Christianity is too easy. You must live your faith actively in community, that is one sure way to find Jesus in the field.

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Start with your garden
Plant it, Till it, and let it grow
Listen to your heart song
and share it with the world
Take off the blinders on your eyes
and see the world in its imperfect state
Find Christ in the field and walk with Him
talk the talk and walk the walk
practice your faith in ACTION
in time your heart will soften
and you will see God
and you will find that

‘Perfect Church’

is but
‘Perfect Union with Christ’

AND

One day
A church will find its way to you

Because you will be ready to serve…


Anger and Resentment…

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“But you are not who you were – once ago. This is who you are today.

Acceptance is the key to all my problems…”

This is part of a comment I left on Adam’s Blog yesterday. Sometimes when I leave comments here and there I go back to reread what I wrote because sometimes I cannot believe that I could be that wise. Someone on that comment thread said I was wise, I guess that comes with sobriety. I am not who I was once ago, and in recovery, I can’t get it all back, all at once, as it once was. This is who I am today…

I had a drinking dream today, I still remember it now. I was with friends and I had one too many shots and I was falling down drunk on the sidewalk. And I was looking up at them and one of my friends had that “look” on his face like, “I can’t believe what you did, you’re such a lush!” Then I woke up – a little bit disoriented and I rolled over and looked at the clock, ok it was 2:30 in the afternoon and today is Tuesday and I knew I had to get to the diner for coffee and I got up and started my day.

I do my morning, well afternoon meditation and I log onto the computer and check my daily reads. I check on the posts that I commented on the day prior to see what people have to say, then I log into Face Book. I like that page because at the top of the page is a question…

“What are you doing right now???”

Now I know who is on my friends list, and there are sober people on my list so I can write stuff that normal people don’t write about. So I wrote, “I had a drinking dream and I am going to my meeting!” and I get comments from my friends about my recovery. That is a good thing.

The subconscious mind is a funny beast. It is thinking when I am sleeping and today it wanted to drink. I could see the drink, I could taste the drink, and I could feel the emotions coming from my friends. I felt bad, and sorry. I was talking to some friends after the meeting and Sean said to me that it is good to be reminded about the fact that I cannot drink. Normally… Even with seven years of sobriety, I still dream about drinking. It never leaves you. That is the fear, that I might loose the fear to drink and one day I might drink.

With the loss of my two friends at our home group, it now falls upon my shoulders to make sure we have supplies, cookies, milk and so forth. Last night I went to buy cookies, $16.00 for four packs of cookies plus $3.00 a week for milk rounds out my spending of $100.00 a month on supplies. I can’t afford another $100.00 out of my pocket so next week the group will have to either pony up the cash to reimburse me for the spending or we will do without cookies from now on. I have to go buy coffee and cups for the month and that is going to cost me more out of pocket, but meeting supplies come out of the budget and prudent reserve.

I am learning about feelings in my sobriety. I am also practicing what it is that I preach. Am I living what I am saying? Can I back up what I am saying to others over these blogs and in life, with my actions in my life? I’ve been following a number of people over the last few months, Adam is recovering from Cancer treatment and I’ve tried to be a voice of wisdom for him in remembering that you cannot ask for more than your body can give you at any one given moment. And who you were then, is not who you are today. Sometimes I scare myself with some of the wisdom I have collected over the past few years, that is now coming to fruition in my life, that I can share it with others.

Acceptance is the key to all my problems…

We talked about anger and resentment today. A very “delicious topic” as Doug shared. You know I don’t get angry a lot. You know when I get angry? At the grocery store. People shop in packs. They block the aisles as they stand there and stare at food on the shelf and I imagine them saying to themselves, “What do I need to buy, and do I need to buy this?” In the meantime I want to get past them and I am in a hurry to get somewhere – it seems all the time in the grocery store. We have a method to shopping. We know what we need, where to find it and how to get to the cash quickly.

I always use the express lane 10 items or less. And as ALWAYS, there is some jackpot joker at the express cash who is complaining about something, wanting a refund for something or they don’t have enough cash to pay for what they are buying and the cashier has to process refunding all that merchandise back into the system as we wait for them to do that. It NEVER fails…

On my way home – it is freaking cold out tonight. (-3c and snowing) although I didn’t see any snow falling on my walk home. I had to go to the store to get dinner. And I hit a pack of shoppers in front of the beer stacks, Christ get out of my way puhleese!!! Then I get to the cash and sure enough we hit the jackpot again, some girl was going to buy food. She swiped one card NSF, she swiped another card NSF, she swiped a third card NSF, finally she gave up and walked out of the store. And the cashier had to refund all the items that she had scanned again… OY give me a freaking break… ok, breathe…

This is about all the anger I had in my day today. I work diligently at not getting angry, my life does not lend to anger nor resentment. Which is good. Anger is one of those feelings that I tend to avoid. Resentment is another beast all together. Usually if I am resentful, about someone or something, I am spinning my wheels about someone who really does not deserve the time or space in my brain, and/or they have no direct impact on my daily life. I get resentful at people for reasons that are all about me, and when isn’t it all about me?

For the most part, life isn’t all about me in most cases.

Sometimes I resent some of the people who come to my meeting. Some of them are self centered and they are so antisocial that it makes me ill. People usually come to the meeting they get a coffee, they join the pre-meeting chat and say hello and they become part of the atmosphere. Then there are those who deign to speak to me (and that’s when it becomes all about me) and I have to stop and say “I don’t have to like everyone in the meeting and they don’t have to like me either. So Be It…

I don’t have to rent them Free Space in my head, with a resentment. I mean really, I don’t spend time caring about many people who come to my meeting. I don’t know, sometimes I get resentful over the most stupidest things. Just to keep the hamster in my head on its wheel spinning at 60 MPH… UGH!!!

God give me strength… There are no justified resentments…

Life is a lot easier when you don’t rent space in your brain to people for free…
I am powerless over people, places and things…
I can’t give away – what I don’t have myself.
But I do share what I have in my wisdom bank of time.

I am not who I was, This is who I am today…
I must remember what it was like, what happened and what it is like today.
I cannot get it all back, all at once, in the way I had it before.
Acceptance is the KEY to all my problems…
All I have is today, these 24 hours, and I should make the best of them.

This is who I am today !!!

In 21 days I will pick up my 7 year medallion. It is already in my bag. Nikki bought it for me. I opened the card today at the diner. 7 years. I had hoped, in the beginning of my sobriety, that I would be as fluid and as wise as some of the people I knew then, who had seven years or more of sobriety.

I wonder, Am I wise yet??? Some people think so…


Luke …

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What is the task of a historian? To define history. For Luke he looks at Greco-Roman and Jewish historiography.

There is no distinction between history and the writing of history.

Hermeneutics: interpretation.

Heresay, language (the use of language tells us that something happened). The text is written from a perspective, from an interpretation. Luke has source material he uses in composing his Gospel. There is no history apart from the historians interpretive mediation, he gives meaning to events. If you employ the 2 document hypothesis, Luke has Mark and Q to compose his gospel. But we also know that Luke had access to other sources as well beyond the two documents (Mark and Q).

You have a series of events that have been collected by a writer. Luke has a choice of what events he wishes to select – things talked about – facts/events, things he considers to be significant. He builds a PLOT in his Gospel to link the events he has selected to include in his book. Luke has a reason to write.

The Plot – puts an order to the events. (Cause and Effect) Historiography is not descriptive but reconstructive. Reconstruction is always linked to identity.

Defining Truth: The Truth is not the factuality of the events but the interpretation of the events by the historian.

There are 10 methods to writing his gospel: Luke employs 8 of these ten.

  1. Choice of a Noble subject
  2. Usefulness of the subject for his readers
  3. Absence of partiality (subjective writing) The victor always writes history
  4. Good construction of the narrative – there is artistry involved
  5. Adequate collection of preparatory material
  6. Selection and variety in the treatment of the information
  7. The correct ordering of the accounts
  8. The liveliness of the narration
  9. Moderation in topographic detail
  10. Composition of speeches adapted to the rhetorical situation

This is what Luke does:

Luke 1:1-4 Prologue:

Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

“many undertook – to attempt, to try.” Set down an orderly account – to arrange in order events – pragma – pragmatism – events – deeds – happening – things. “That have been fulfilled” Luke is interested in “things” Luke is looking for FULFILLMENT of the Old Testament. “From among us.”

Jesus’ Ministry: 27-30
Mark: written 68-70
Mt/Lk: written 80-85
Jn: written 90-100

As the information was handed on to us. (given to us) (Latin – the tradition) the handing over of a tradition.

What are eyewitnesses? One who saw a thing.
What did he see?
The fulfillment of what happened – the tradition as fulfilled – the tradition as how it was interpreted before as handed to Luke.

When Jesus dies in the Gospels, the disciples went back to the Old testament to create the New Testament. It is called a retrospective reading of the Old Testament. Jesus was the Messiah. The Old Testament legitimizes who Jesus was. Going back to Isaiah. Who prophecied about the Messiah and other things.

“Investigate” to follow closely – to verify – what was handed down to us as tradition. To put an order successively. To know the truth (Gnosis, Truth, Knowledge) To be secure in what you have learned?
Lukes Truth.

Luke’s Hermeneutical and Theological features:

Luke’s Hermeneutical programme – Luke 24:25-27, 44-47

25-27

He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

44-47

He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

There are two types of apparitions in Luke:

  1. Those that teach (Catechesis)
  2. Those given for the mission of the Church

1 Cor 15 – The oldest Credo in the Bible.

Luke 24:30-32 – Catechesis through the breaking of the bread and the reading of scripture.
Luke 24:44-47 verses 25-27 the 2 disciples on the road to Emmaus. This is how Luke wants you to read his Gospel. Jesus is the FULFILLMENT of Isaiah 61. (when Jesus reads from the Torah in the temple when he begins his ministry.)

Isaiah 61:1-2

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,

to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn…

The writers of the NT saw in the OT – Jesus, the writers are referring back to OT scripture.

Acts 13:27 – 13:26-27 Luke is passing judgment on a literal interpretation of scripture.

Brothers, children of Abraham, and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent. The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus, yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath.

If you employ a retroscpective reading of Luke’s Gospel you will understand the message of Salvation.

Acts 28:17-28

Paul Preaches at Rome Under Guard

Three days later he called together the leaders of the Jews. When they had assembled, Paul said to them: “My brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. They examined me and wanted to release me, because I was not guilty of any crime deserving death. But when the Jews objected, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar—not that I had any charge to bring against my own people. For this reason I have asked to see you and talk with you. It is because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain.”They replied, “We have not received any letters from Judea concerning you, and none of the brothers who have come from there has reported or said anything bad about you. But we want to hear what your views are, for we know that people everywhere are talking against this sect.”

They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. From morning till evening he explained and declared to them the kingdom of God and tried to convince them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe. They disagreed among themselves and began to leave after Paul had made this final statement: “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your forefathers when he said through Isaiah the prophet:

” ‘Go to this people and say,
“You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.”
For this people’s heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’

“Therefore I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!”

The Promises of God were made to the Jews – to Abraham and his descendents. But in this passage do they hear? The Good News has been sent to the Gentiles – they will listen.

There is a unity in the writing of the Gospel of Luke and of Acts. That you should read them as one collection of writing, even if the Gospel of John falls between them. Luke is using the Old Testament for his hermeneutics.

More to come …


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