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Archive for September, 2009

Brrrr…Cold …

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Right now in Montreal it is a nippy 7c outside. For you who don’t do metric that would be 45f. It is cold, wet, and dark outside. The rains have gone for the evening I think, and the trees have shed a fair amount of leaves to the ground since yesterday.

We got a lot accomplished today. When money comes the house bustles with activity. We did some food shopping this morning, paid some bills, spent over $100.00 at the pharmacy for pills for the month, thank God we have insurance through school that covers 80% of our our purchases.

I broke out my winter coat from the closet last night because I needed to take it to the mender around the corner. He does all my big time mending that I cannot do myself. So instead of paying over $100.00 for a new jacket, he is going to replace the zipper on my coat at the cost of $40.00. Not bad.

Like I said it is dipping into single digits here at night. Last night for the first time this season I actually turned on the HEAT in the bedroom. Today hubby was fiddling with the living room heater. The rule of thumb here is that when we reach the point of a weeks worth of (below 10c) temperatures that I shut the windows for the last time and we put the plastic on the windows. Because up here on the 17th floor, when the winter winds blow, they blow right through the window panes. Hence the need for extra strength plastic covering.

I have successfully navigated another week of classes. I only have class on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Along with class reading I have a shitload of books to read for my Gnosticism class, that class alone may kill me because of the amount of reading I have to do for this term.

I started a new drug for my Type 2 Diabetes, Januvia (100 mg) once a day.

JANUVIA is a once-daily pill that, along with diet and exercise, helps lower blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes. JANUVIA is a type of prescription medicine called a DPP-4 inhibitor (blocker). DPP-4 blockers enhance the body’s own ability to control blood sugar levels.

Because JANUVIA stops working before your blood sugar gets too low, it is not likely to lower your blood sugar to a potentially dangerous level (hypoglycemia). When your blood sugar levels are at a healthy balance, JANUVIA doesn’t have an effect. When JANUVIA is used with a sulfonylurea, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can occur. To avoid this risk, your doctor may prescribe lower doses of the sulfonylurea.

Sulfonylurea:

Sulfonylureas are oral medications that help lower blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes. Medications in this class include:

  • Glucotrol and Glucotrol XL (glipizide)
  • Diabeta, Glynase, PresTab, Micronase (glyburide)
  • Amaryl (glimepiride)
  • Chlorpropamide
  • Tolbutamide
  • Tolazamide

I take Diabeta before my meals. I will have to keep my eye on that.

Oh well, I guess I should eat something before I fall over. I cheated and ate two Tim Horton’s doughnuts and drank a double double during class tonight. I was a little sick to my stomach getting ready for class, which was strange. I never get the heaves like I did this afternoon.

Talk to you soon.

More to come, stay tuned…


Taking care of me …

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Today, I took care of me.

I went to bed early last night, after repeatedly rereading an email I got last night and weeping a bit, and after watching Madonna over and over again … This morning I got up and went to drop labs.

Here is hoping the universe is on my side and the numbers are still up there. I want to believe that taking ‘all these pills’ every day is doing something for me.

I guess we will see…

I got a fast bus on the way up the mountain and got in and out of the clinic in record time, then I made the downhill bus too, and I didn’t have to wait for my return bus, so I didn’t have to walk down the mountain on foot.

Tonight’s class on Gnosticism was a mind bender. We read some texts from the New Testament:

  • The Gospel of John Chapter 1
  • 1 Corinthians Chapters 1, 4, 8, 12
  • Ephesians Chapter 4
  • Colossians Chapters 2 & 3
  • 1 Timothy 1, 6
  • 2 Peter Chapters 2 & 3

In our reading of these texts we were supposed to notice any particular wording or phraseology that might have a Gnostic shadow in them. And if you read these passages, you will see them. Especially in the letters of Paul, Paul is writing to the church in Corinth because they have asked certain questions of him about certain people in their midst. It’s all very interesting.

There is the “Anathema Iesous” -vs- “Kurios Iesous” …

Is this a Christological statement?

There is more I could write on this but I do not want to transcribe all of my notes here like I usually do. Read your bibles and join the discussion.

I am hoping in the coming months to make a train trip to T.O. to see a friend, which is something that I am hoping will happen before the holidays. I could not be happier to know that he is not so far away. What a blessing…

That was my day today …

Let us pray for Adam who’s cancer is on the move again.
Let us pray for Carmi, who lost his father last week.
Let us pray for each other, because we should.
And let us be better neighbors, because that is what Jesus told us to do.


Dedication

Madonna The Sticky & Sweet Tour HD Part 6

This, I think is my favorite segment of the Sticky and Sweet Tour and I am posting it as a dedication. I love this song… It’s on my MP3 player and I listen to it every day at the gym. Enjoy …


Blessings … (Monday)

Do you believe in Love

This post appeared on this blog back in 2007. Someone was looking at it just now and I mused that I should repost it because it is important to remember. I don’t usually go back into my archives very often unless I see traffic going to a certain post on any given day.

The universe gave me a blessing tonight. I wept…

Funny, I was sitting here on You Tube watching Madonna’s Sticky and Sweet Tour in Buenos Aires once again and I happened to check my mail and I got a letter from an old friend. The universe repays us for prayers and thoughts offered for one another – in one way or another from time to time.

I am totally grateful at this very moment.

“Reading, Meditation, Prayer and Contemplation, these make a ladder for monks (or anyone) by which they are lifted up from earth to heaven.”

“Reading is the careful (respectful) study of the Scriptures, concentrating all one’s powers on it. Meditation is the busy application of the mind to seek with the help of one’s own reason for knowledge of hidden truth. Prayer is the heart’s devoted turning to God to drive away evil and obtain what is good. Contemplation is when the mind is in some sort lifted up to God and held above itself, so that it tastes the joys of ever lasting sweetness.”

Guigo the 12th century Carthusian monk, explains the interconnection ‘Reading without meditation is sterile, meditation without reading is liable to error, prayer without meditation is lukewarm, meditation without prayer is unfruitful, prayer when it is fervent wins contemplation but to obtain it without prayer would be rare, even miraculous.’

Today some practitioners of Lectio Divina add a fifth step – to put into action their faith.

Material taken from Academic Course Pack, “Catholics Believe What?” by Steve Tyson.

I guess this is my topic for tonight. Since I could not come up with something to write about on my own, I decided to thumb through my Theology course pack to find a topic that I could write about, and this reading was of interest. I think I will meditate and contemplate these words and tomorrow I will share some thoughts on them.


The Gospel of Judas (Vs.2)

gospel of judas 2

This week finds us reading the Gospel of Judas, (second edition) for my Christology class. It is a very dense reading, there are more *Notes* on the text than my first perusal of this text a couple years ago when it was first published. Since more scholars have gotten their hands on the text, they have dissected the text to a greater degree this time around. I was going to publish the text for you to read, but I can’t because of copyright issues.

What I can share with you is taken from the reading we have for class this week, you can read the Gospel of Judas by going (Here). The Gospel is a short read, but it is quite explosive, which is why the book was never codified into the canon.

Bart D. Ehrman writes about the Alternate Vision of the Gospel of Judas:

The Unusual Theological Views of the Gospel of Judas

We have already noticed some of the key theological themes of this Gospel; The creator of this world is not the one true God; this world is an evil place to be escaped; Christ is not the son of the creator; salvation comes not through the death and resurrection of Jesus but through the revelation of secret knowledge that he provides.

These themes stand diametrically opposed to the theological views that eventually “won out” in the early Christian debates concerning proper belief – that is to say, in the theological wars of the second and third Christian centuries, when different Christian groups maintained different systems of belief and doctrine, all of them insisting that their views were not only right, but were the views of Jesus and his closest followers.

We have long known about these debates, and the Gospel of Judas allows us to see one side of them more clearly – one of the sides, in fact, that ended up loosing. Every side laid claim to sacred books supporting their points of view; all insisted that these views came straight from Jesus, and through him from God. But only one side won. This was the side that decided which books should be considered scripture and that wrote the Christian creeds that have come down to us today.

Embodied in these creeds are theological statements that trumpet the success of the “orthodox” party. Consider the opening of one of the most famous of these creeds: We believe in one God, the Father, the almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. This affirmation stands in stark contrast with the views set forth in the Gospel of Judas, where there is not just one God but many Gods, and where the creator of this world is not the true god, but an inferior deity, who is not the Father of all and is certainly not almighty.

We are now in a position to look more closely at some of the key teachings of this Gospel, its views about God, the world, Christ, salvation, and the other apostles who stand behind the creed that came to be accepted as authoritative yet who never do understand the truth.

Grad Course pack, pgs. 89-90, Bart D. Ehrman


Sunday Sundries …

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It’s raining in Montreal tonight. The clouds rolled over the city quite early today and it was drizzly all day. I got up with not much in mind to do but the universe had other plans for me.

I’ve been working on my paper for Gnosticism over the weekend, reserving books at the library through the wonder of electronic gadgetry I was able to do all my hunting online from home yesterday. One of my books came in and I had to go pick it up. I now have a copy of the Coptic Gnostic Library to start reading on my topic which is: The Role of Sophia in Gnostic Cosmonogy. Sounds deep doesn’t it? I’m rather a bit intimidated by the whole task.

I had to gather 20 sources for my paper which is difficult because our library is not so up to date on its books on the whole for Theology. They are still collecting books from other places and libraries. I did at least find ten books that I imagine will be useful to me in my topic study. The other ten sources are coming from articles from the vast electronic library Data Base. We have the ability to access sources from a wide assortment of articles from all over the world from the best learning institutions. I still have to write up my bibliography that’s due in a weeks time. I have them on file on my desktop all I have to do is get hubby to sort them out for me since he is the bibliophile in the family.

After I hit the library, I decided to go to the gym, since it has been a few days since I have put in a workout. It was blessedly calm which was nice for a change. I got a full workout and lift in because the weight side of the room was quiet today. I am thinking that I should hit the gym a little earlier than usual to get around the crowds that are there between 3 and 6 in the evening.

I have been doing a lot of writing to my friends as of late. The boys have been keeping me on my toes on a number of topics. I guess I can share with you some of what I have been writing to one of my boys far far away. He writes on his blog and I get snippets of what is going on in his head at any given moment from his sentences on Face Book. He wrote one last night that said:

deepest scars2_web copy

The scars you can’t see are the hardest to heal.

With that in mind, before I went to bed last night I wrote him. We have been talking a lot over the past few months and I usually nail him with my emails when he most needs them. Ministry takes many forms with this electronic format. So here is what I had to say about scars …

Scars are testaments to what we have seen in our lives. Some wear them like badges of courage, others to warn new comers that pain is part of the past. I have found some things out over the past 42 years. I have some pretty deep scars. I know that in the past it took me years nursing them back to life, took up a lot of my time and energy. And it disabled me as well.

We all have scars. They are part of life. Here is where we practice the art of letting go once again. The longer we lick our wounds, the more time they will take to disappear. Nursing an open wound does no good in the long run. You have to let it scab over and heal of itself. Which means we have to let the scar go physically and emotionally, but for some, that is a tall order. Some people like to hang on till the bitter end. And that turns them bitter and catty.

There is an unspoken time frame that we should employ for getting past things. One day at a time. We cannot rush a healing because the universe heals on its time not ours.

The longer we hold on to the past, the longer it holds us back from moving forwards. With one foot in the future and one foot in the past, we are vividly pissing on the present.

Every time you mention the scar – you dig at it with your fingers and your brain. This then engages your emotions and they get caught up in the rut. Then you go back through the whole cycle again. Reliving, Refeeling, and paining yourself.

I know, for me, that it took years to get over some of my pain. And I had to relearn how to engage in society through some really painful therapy over months and months. Eventually, I got bold, and I got angry, and I got up off the floor and stopped licking that wound. I sat in my shit for a long time before I was angry enough to say, “I have had enough.”

That was the last time I was pained so bad it stunted me in the year 2000. It took me over a year to get through it. Because it nearly killed me and I was scarred for life. But once I decided to get up and get angry, I turned that negative scar energy into positive healing energy.

This was  HUGE lesson for me … I will share it with you.

You know, when we hurt, we generate energy. When we are happy we generate energy. The energy that is produced when we are in negative space is greater than the energy that we produce when we are in positive space. Because when we are happy, we don’t have to expend a lot of energy to smile. But it takes a whole hell of a lot of energy to nurse negativity. And that zaps us of positive energy.

Living with Aids brings with it lessons for life. At one time I was sad and suicidal. Then I was taught this lesson. If I pointed that negative energy (inwards) and turned it around, that I could boost my energy production well past what was needed. If you point negative energy in a positive direction it would change you physiologically.

Well Pointed Energy is 200% pure healing energy.

Scars and old emotional baggage are rife with energy. Negative energy. The trick is, is to harness that negative energy and point it in the direction you really need it. It works.

You can imagine, how much energy it takes to keep me going on a daily basis, pills, work, school and all… It takes a lot of energy I can’t produce on my own. Today I have learned how to harness energy. We can take from the universe what we can, we add it to what we have, and we take the past, scars and all and we focus supercharged energy with pin point precision.

Voila … pure healing energy… Stuff you can’t buy in a store.

I encourage you to NOT wear your scars on your sleeve. They are unsightly. You know they are there, and with careful care and attention (not too much attention) you can let them rest even while you are going on with your life. The longer you let them rest, the more often you will forget about them and one day you won’t feel them at all. That takes time I know. But every day we must live. If we choose to live in the past we will be stuck in the past, until we let it go.

I learned another lesson in recovery that I am going to share with you here.

I go to the same meeting every week, every month and all year long. People come down a staircase into the room where we meet. And wouldn’t you know it – everybody walks around with a NEON SIGN lit over their heads, that everybody can see but themselves. It took me years to learn this. We all have our signs that we carry over our heads, which tells the world what kind of mood we are in and what we are feeling. It’s there – people may not know about the sign, but I do.

I’ve watched the same people coming and going for years and I’ve watched their signs change over time. Miserable and sad people really like to project misery. And you know that misery loves company. I stay away from those people. I let them heal – and the sign changes.

Now that I have made you aware of the sign, you know about it now. The one over your head. Unbeknowst to you, that sign has been showing all this time. I wonder what it has been showing the world?

Makes you a little self conscious doesn’t it???

That sign tells us what you fail to mention. What you are feeling deep inside. What is eating at you at that very moment. Now that will change. Because I’ve made you aware of the sign. That sign is directly attached to our emotional center. What are you going to do about that now???

Food for thought my young friend… food for thought.

Wounds must heal on their own, We should stay away from licking them. Scars heal over time – they always do. Move On – Let it Go – this seems to be a recurring theme here. You have a neon sign over your head, what does it say today? Look for other’s signs and see if you can detect them. That may take some time to practice. The past is the past… we don’t have to carry it forwards. unless you are a masochistic person who likes pain.

These are some really good lessons to learn for all of us. You could not read this information in a self help book or magazine. Life experience is the best teacher – you can’t buy it – you have to live it. So now I guess I have to go find something to eat for dinner and sit down with my book and do some reading.
More to come, stay tuned …

Thank God for technology…

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I set my alarm clock last night to get up early to head over to the library and do my bibliography. So I got dressed and sat down to check my mail, and decided to reset my pass code to get into the library system from home. It worked. So I took an hour to gather my books and articles from EBSCO and filed them.

Now I have to sort them and write up my bibliography according to the Society of Biblical Literature style sheet, which is going to take a little work. At least I got the bulk of the research work done. I have till the 5th to get this done.

I also have a book report to get done so I requested a few titles to be reserved for me at the library in the coming week. I think I am ahead of the game now.

Let us pray …


Things to do …

sleeping boy

Tomorrow is Saturday and I will not spend it in bed as I did today.

I must get me to the library to work on my bibliography.
I must get me to the library to work on my bibliography.

Then I may go to the gym and work out.

It’s 4 a.m. and I am going to bed now…


Prayers …

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Not a lot going on here. Lots of studying, and tomorrow I am attending a funeral for my friend Carmi, his dad died last night. We offer our prayers and condolences.


Anaphora of St. Peter

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Theotokos “Of St Peter

From the archaic Maronite liturgy Sharrar, Extract (3rd. Century)

The celebration of the eucharist has had an incalculable impact on the Christian experience and understanding of salvation, as it has been prayed, proclaimed and consumed in an uncountable series from the earliest days of the faith until now. Eucharistic liturgies have lent themselves in particular to the understanding of Jesus’ death as a sacrifice on our behalf. This is from an early Syriac liturgy and, usually, is addressed to Christ.

Priest: We make memorial, Lord, of your passion, just as you have taught us; for on that night when you were handed over to those who crucified you, Lord, you took bread in your pure and holy hands and gazed up to heaven towards your glorious Father, you blessed and signed it, consecrated and broke it, you gave it to your disciples, the blessed apostles, saying, “This is my body which is broken and given for the life of the world, and is for those who partake of it the source of pardon of wrongs and forgiveness of sins; take and eat of it, and it shall be to you for eternal life.”

Likewise over the cup you gave thanks and praise in the same way, and you said, Lord, “This is my blood of the new covenant which is shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins; take and drink of it, all of you, and it shall be to you for the pardoning of wrongs and the forgiveness of sins, and for everlasting life.” Amen.

Whenever you eat of this holy body and drink of this cup of life and salvation, you should be recalling the death and resurrection of your Lord, until the great day of his coming.

People: We call to mind your death, Lord.

Priest: We worship you, the Only begotten of the Father, the firstborn of the divine Being, the spiritual Lamb who has descended from the heights to the depths to become a sacrifice of forgiveness for all humanity, to take away their wickedness by your own will, to bring forgiveness through your your blood to sinners, and to make the unclean holy though your being sacrificed: give life to us, Lord, by means of your true life, purify us by means of your spiritual cleansing, grant that we may acquire life through your life-giving death, and may we stand before you in purity, ministering to you in holiness and making this offering to your divinity; may the good pleasure of your majesty be pleased at it, and may your mercies be poured out upon us all.

Yes, we beg of you, Only Begotten of the Father, through whom peace has been uttered to us, child of the Most High through whom those on high have been reconciled with those below, the Good Shepherd who laid down his life for his sheep, rescuing them from ravening wolves, O compassionate Lord who cried out on the Cross gathered us in from wandering after vanity, El, the God of spirits and of all flesh, may our prayers be raised up to you, and may your mercies descend in response to our supplications; may this offering which we make in memorial of your passion on your altar that gives forgiveness be accepted in your presence; may your divinity be pleased at it, may your will be fulfilled by it; through it may our wrongs be pardoned and our sins forgiven; at it may our departed be commemorated; and may we give thanks to you, worshiping and glorifying you and your Father who sent you for our salvation, and your living and holy Spirit, now and always, Amen.

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The ‘Te Deum’ is a Latin hymn traditionally ascribed to Ambrose or Augustine, but which is more likely to be by Niceta, Bishop of Remesiana, in modern Serbia (d. c414) It may may have been composed as part of a liturgy; it has certainly found a home in various liturgies, notably those for Matins, from an early date.

You are a glorious King, O Christ, the Father’s eternal Son, yet at your coming to take upon you the human nature that you would release, a virgin’s womb had no dismay for you. Drawing death’s sting, you opened the kingdom of heaven to all who would believe. You sit at God’s right hand, sharing the Father’s glory; and we believe that you will come and judge us. We beg you, therefore, help your servants, since you have redeemed them with your precious blood. With the saints be our lot in eternal glory.

Save your people, Lord, bless the race of your choice; guide and support them always. Day by day we bless you; we will praise your name for ever, yes, for ever.

Out of your goodness, Lord, Keep us from sin today. Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us. Lord, let your mercy rest on us, for we put our trust in you. In you, Lord, we place our confidence; may we never be disappointed.

‘Te Deum’ extract (late 4th century)


Seat of the Soul II … Saturday

Do you believe in Love

Don’ t let anyone tell you that being a graduate student is a piece of cake, because it isn’t. There is a LOT of reading to do every week. I am working on this one reading for Gnosticism that is truly kicking me in the ass. It’s pretty bad when you have to sit in front of the computer to read because you have to look up words in the dictionary because you’ve never seen them before in any reading you have had.

Am I feeling a little intimidated, Yes I am.

I find that my Christology readings are a bit lighter on the mind than Gnosticism. But I still have a ways to go before I finish up this piece for next Tuesday night. I have to get to work on my bibliography and my book review for the same Gnosticism class. If I wait another week to start I will fall behind too far. I’ve been spending time every night working on my academic reading with an infusion of Harry Potter when my mind turns to mush.

There is just so much academic reading one mind can take before the mind shuts down and I can’t intake any more academic information. And I am supposed to synthesize this reading and be able to make sense of it by class time. Oh, no pressure what so ever …

There is a car alarm that is going off downstairs and nobody seems to be hearing it but we can hear it up here. It has been ringing for the last hour or so steadily. What a nightmare, turn the fucking thing off already …

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On a much lighter note, Jason from “Check In” came by and left a comment on his post called Seat of the soul. It is getting a fair amount of traffic. So I wanted to continue the writing on that topic tonight.

Where is the soul? Can we locate it? Does it inhabit a place in our bodies? Does the pineal glad have anything to do with it? In Egyptian death cult lore, before the Pharaoh began his journey to the stars – his heart had to be weighed and judged. You find many references to lore concerning the body, the soul and the eternity of life in ancient cultures. Every culture on earth has their take on this topic. Each religion deals with this eternal question in the scriptures.

I commented to Jason on his blog last night that I believe that we are born with our soul. I was pondering this thought in the shower just a little bit ago tonight. Does an unborn child still in the womb have a soul? Yes, I think so. It is said that a baby in the womb can detect the outer world and the voices of his or her parents. That would beg the question, does the soul begin at the moment of conception? At the moment of life?

If we believe in a God of our understanding, we could imagine that god breathes that soul into us as we take our first breath, in the womb. Maybe even before that, the soul is being wired into us as our bodies form before us. It is all so dynamic and sacred. I tend to think that God gives us that soul and it makes us who we are. Blessed are the little children for they see God.

I believe that we come with a soul. It is part of our wiring. As children of a greater God, that soul is in direct contact with all that is. Blessed are the little children for they see God. In retrospect over my life, I have paid attention to my soul, as had other people. What we do with that soul growing up, I think is just as important to how we treat it today.

Being in recovery for me has been a time of renewal for my soul. Because after years of abuse and neglect, my soul gets the tending that it needs. Over the last eight years in recovery, I have studied many topics in Religion and Pastoral Ministry.

I don’t think people think a lot about their souls. They are too busy going on with their days to sit and ponder the thought about soul. The only time that regular people consider the soul is when death occurs in their midst. Because then we are faced with the questions of reality and eternity.

In recovery we are asked to stop and take notice of our bodies and by extension and not by direct language, to consider the soul. With the art of meditation one can reach a state where we can detect and communicate with our soul.

I also believe, from first hand experience that people who face adversity, illness and their own mortality are intuitively aware of their souls. Because we are reminded daily about the fleeting ness of life.

The Gnostics would tell us that we need to break this connection to our mortal coils that the earth is evil as is everything in it. Gnosis is that understanding of that which is unknowable by mortal men and women. The soul is to be liberated from ones body to return to the heavenly realm where it can begin another emanation.

So where is the soul? Is it part of our bodies? Or a figment of our imagination, a process of neural interfaces and conscious decisions? Does the soul precede us and intercedes for us to the greater God of our understanding? I believe it does. Our soul, like an aura, precedes from us and reaches into the heavens like a thread to the almighty.

You may not agree with me and that’s ok.

I think our soul is always connected to God. And it is up to us to acknowledge it and to think and ponder it in our daily lives. A while back there was all that talk of the “seat of the soul” on Oprah, and book and study to go with it. I never got into that.

But I did get into religion and theology. The mystics were into prayer and God in ways we could not imagine. I can speculate that all holy people of God knew how to get in touch with God. And through their souls was a way to do it. A soul in prayer gets that direct line to God. I can visit that place often if I chose to. I get that feeling whenever I step into a church or holy place. My soul, without my prompting quickly aligns with the holy, almost like a first nature.

I believe that the soul knows what’s best for us, even if we are not paying attention to it at the time. People in active addiction or complete denial suffer the pain of their soul not being cared for. We have free will to choose what it is that we do every day. I think that free will gets in the way of what the soul needs to do for us, because sometimes we make really bad decisions. And in the end we pay dearly for those bad decisions.

Deuteronomy 10:12

Fear the LORD

And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul”

Luke 10:25-37
The Parable of the Good Samaritan

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?””What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

He answered: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.

But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Scripture makes mention of the soul and what you should do with it with respect to God and life. I believe that God would want us to make sure that our souls were pure and that we did our best, on a daily basis to remember our souls and to remember Him in our daily thoughts and prayers. Jesus was interested in how we treated ourselves as well as how we treated our neighbors. That is the crux of Christian practice today.

Everyone has a soul. And everyone feels for their soul like an entity within us that can be bruised and damaged by improper treatment by ourselves and by others. And this is what sets Christians apart from one another.

  1. Those who do NOT to tend to their souls
  2. Those who DO tend to their souls
  3. And those who tend TO the souls of others

If we as Christians tended to the souls of others we would treat one another with greater respect and dignity. We would not judge or condemn each other as is commonly practiced by Christians worldwide. We would not PUT words in the mouth of Jesus and suppose to know what he would say about any given situation or life path.

We know that if Jesus wrote anything down, it did not make it down through antiquity to us today. And we can at best speculate that the words of Jesus were set down in antiquity by a writer, but what writer? And are those words authentic?

I think Jesus would properly abhor what people do to each others souls. The message of real Christianity is lost on the minions of his followers. Those who think they know God versus those who do know God. And we come back around full circle to the question of soul…

How do you treat your soul? Do you nurture and care for it or do you ignore it as a waste of time? I think we pass our souls on the way up as we grow up, we pass it and walk on, and at times we seem to notice it in our rear mirrors and then we move on, and at times we stop and take notice of it and then we stop and tend to it.

Where is your soul?


Seat of the Soul?

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Do you ever find yourself asking this question???

Found on: Check-up Blog. A Med students journey.

I believe in a soul. I believe there is more to “me” than a body. Neurons, blood cells, respiratory gases; physical matter – certainly I rely on these to function, but they do not control me. I am not merely physical, a puppet to the unyielding forces of physics and chemistry.

Which leads me to the interesting, and unavoidable question: where is the interface between body and soul?

Human cultures have long asked this question. The Ancient Egyptians believed that the bodily residence of the soul is in the heart. Emotions, thoughts, and choices all take place within the heart, they thought. Although we’ve since discovered that these are actually functions of the brain, even today we still carry some vague association between the physical heart and the emotions of passion.

Also in the running for seat of the soul, historically, is the pineal gland. Its heavily-protected, highly vascularized location deep within the centre of the brain has led many new-agers, and occultists to wonder about whether it has a metaphysical role.

In the US at the beginning of last century, there were physicians who would weigh bodies shortly before death, and then immediately afterwards. The idea was that the difference between the two readings could give an approximate value for the weight of a human soul. The idea strikes me as strange, since my bias is to consider the soul immaterial (and hence weightless) by definition.

With the advent of modern psychology/psychiatry/neurology, I think we’ve since narrowed down the quest for the soul’s resting place to the brain. The brain is where decisions are made, emotions are experienced, and consciousness is maintained. Of course, the brain is an awe-inspiringly big place, with a lot of complicated activity. Where exactly is does the soul have its influence? And what form does that influence take?

Let’s say I that I make a conscious decision (any decision – the content doesn’t matter). As a proponent of free will, I would suggest that my decision is not simply the net result of neurons firing in my brain. Rather, in some place, and at some point in time, my immaterial soul must initiate a material effect on the stuff of my brain to exert its willpower.

What does this event look like? Does a particular neuron fire without stimulus? Are new neurotransmitters created from nowhere to initiate a decision-cascade? You may protest that these events break the laws of electrochemistry, and the conservation of matter (the laws of nature). But that’s precisely the point. Any decision-making mechanism that is bound by the laws of nature, would be incapable of making free decisions.

Yet more unanswerable questions distracting me from what I should be doing: studying neurology. Sigh.


Clouds…

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Every night is different – the light – the clouds – the sunset …


Dana Manchester …

Betty Buckley – Meadowlark

The first lady of Florida. Was my friend. When I was but a wee little gay boy, I met her at the Parliament House in Orlando. She was performing with the troupe one night and I was stunned. Over the years we met at different functions and at other clubs on the circuit.

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When I started my light man career, it was my pleasure to “light” many shows at different clubs where I had been employed. This particular piece of music, Betty Buckley’s “Meadowlark” was a favorite of Dana’s. When I worked at Ozone in Miami, she would get there early to do her prep and makeup and she would always ask me how the crowd was that night and then we would choose her music for the night’s show. This was one of my favorite pieces of music that she would sing for me, for us.

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I came across it last night as I was reliving some of my past through you tube videos. I hope you enjoy it too. Dana died some years ago from AIDS complications and it broke my heart to hear that news. So in her memory I present to you… Meadowlark …


Luke …

Do you believe in Love

Luke 7:36-50

Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman

Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”

Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
“Tell me, teacher,” he said.

“Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.”
“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”

Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

************

Who wrote this gospel passage? And where do we find the sayings of Jesus? Did he have this conversation and was it witnessed by someone who wrote it down? The Gospel of Luke falls in the years 80 to 85 in the common era after the death of Jesus. The four Gospels began to be codified in the year 200 of the common era.

Does Jesus have self knowledge – does he know who he is and what he is there for? If Jesus wrote anything, it did not make it down to us, so we have to think about the sources of where the words of Jesus came from. In recent times the authorship of the Gospels has been questioned along with the authenticity of the writing.

We will be looking at the Jesus tradition and the authenticity of the writings over the next few months as we study Christology and the history of the early church.