In praise of Norwegian missionary Marie Monsen, mother of China House Church Movement, and in praise of Father Giuseppe Girotti, WWII Priest Martyred For Sheltering Jews, Beatified In Italy

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Marie Monsen 1878-1962

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+marie+monsen&qpvt=images+marie+monsen&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=CCB63B682B204B57D596322FB5EC415BDA5C63DC&selectedIndex=0
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http://makinghistorynow.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/mothering-the-churches-the-courage-of-marie-monsen/

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Marie Monsen (1878-1962) is a name held in high honour among Christians in China, yet she is barely known in the West, even in her native Norway.

In 1900, a nationalist uprising in China, the ‘Boxer Rebellion,’  had seen many foreign missionaries slaughtered. Suspicion and fear were everywhere. Even so, Monsen travelled alone to Henan province in September 1901, to work for the Lutheran China Mission Association.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_China_Inland_Mission_missionaries_in_China#Other_Protestant_agencies

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protestant_missions_in_China_1807%E2%80%931953#Boxer_Rebellion_.281900.29

Soon after her arrival, a bad fall left her unconscious and concussed for a number of days. Then came bouts of malaria and doctors thought she would die, but God spared her for 31 years of fruitful service.

Two things marked out her ministry as different from most other missionaries. First, her devotional life. She had an uncanny sense that the Lord was directing her, speaking clearly in words that seemed almost audible. She sensed that God intended to move powerfully in China, and she prayed fervently for 20 years until it began – a revival that is still continuing and is being called ‘the biggest revival in history.’  In order to serve her Lord better, she remained a lifelong celibate. She also endured severe trials with fortitude and trust.

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Then, courage. She was fearless, traveling hundreds of miles through bandit-infested territory to share the gospel. Once, the ship she was on was captured by pirates. She was no respecter of persons: she would tell church leaders to their face that they were hypocrites! A present-day house church leader writes: ‘She didn’t speak smooth words to impress the people. Instead, she brought fire from the altar of God.’ She took the emphasis off the human wisdom so prized by Chinese, and showed each person they were individually responsible before God for their own inner spiritual life. For this she was greatly loved, and church leaders saw her as ‘mother in Christ’.

Monsen was bold enough to say no to prospective baptism candidates on occasions. She discouraged ‘cultural’ emotion (Chinese weep easily). She cared nothing for numbers, but wanted to be sure each soul had left the way of destruction and truly encountered God. Don’t gather unripe fruit was a maxim of hers.

In his best-selling book The Heavenly Man, Brother Yun tells of how Chinese believers were incredulous to find that Marie Monsen’s grave in Norway was unmarked.

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http://asiaharvest.org/wp-content/themes/asia/docs/newsletters/65-March2002-HenanProvince%28Part1%29.pdf

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In 1999 a

Chinese house church leader, Brother Yun,

happened to be speaking in the city of Bergen,

Norway. His hosts asked him if he would like

to visit the grave of Marie Monsen. Yun was

excited to have a chance to thank God on

behalf of Henan’s Christians for the blessing

this small woman had been to them.

Their car pulled up at the graveyard, and

they walked around for a few minutes, hoping

to see her name on one of several hundred

tombstones. Not being able to locate Monsen’s

grave, they strolled to the office for help. After

flicking through records the graveyard

administrator told them, “Marie Monsen was

indeed buried here in 1962. But her grave was

left untended for many years, so today it is just

an empty lot with no headstone.”

Yun couldn’t understand how a woman so

loved and respected thousands of miles away

in China be treated so shamefully in her

hometown?

Brother Yun said, “In Chinese culture the

memory of people who did great things is

cherished for generations to come, so I never

imagined that such a thing could happen. The

local believers explained that Marie Monsen

was still held in high regard and that they had

honoured her memory in different ways, such

as the publication of her biography decades

after she had died. But to me her unmarked

grave was an insult that had to be made right.”

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With a heavy heart Brother Yun sternly told

the Norwegian Christians, “You must honor

this woman of God! I will give you two years

to construct a new grave and headstone in

memory of Marie Monsen. If you fail to do

this, I will personally arrange for some

Christian brothers to walk all the way from

China to Norway to build one!”

“Many brothers in China are skilled

stonecutters because of their years in prison

labor camps for the sake of the Gospel. If you

don’t care enough, they will be more than

willing to do it!”

On September 1, 2001, exactly 100 years

to the day since Marie Monsen had first

arrived in China, more than 200 Norwegian

Christians gathered at the graveyard in

Bergen. They held a memorial service and

thanked God for the life of Marie Monsen.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_Monsen#Monument_in_Bergen.2C_Norway

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brother_Yun#The_Heavenly_Man

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Liu Zhenying nka Brother Yun born 1958  in exile from China, devotee of Marie Monsen & Scot Oswald Chambers (author of heralded devotional My Utmost for His Highest)

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oswald_Chambers

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Utmost_for_His_Highest

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Oswald Chambers of Scotland 1874-1917

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+oswald+chambers&qpvt=images+oswald+chambers&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=A7F19361EC78C77A8D4CDB67AE99679F2CBD3D69&selectedIndex=3
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Like Marie Monsen, here is missioner Margaret Emma Barber   –

 

http://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/in-praise-of-china-christian-capstones-yu-cidu-dora-yu-1873-1931-margaret-emma-barber-1966-1930-their-acolyte-ni-to-sheng-watchman-nee-1903-1972/

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Chambers and Monsen saw the ascended messiah Christ as the ladder (stairway to Heaven) between heaven and earth, in that Christ bridges the gap between Heaven and Earth.   Jesus presents Himself as the reality to which the ladder points.   As Jacob saw in a dream the reunion of Heaven and Earth ( Genesis 28:10-19 )  —  Jesus brought this reunion, metaphorically the ladder, into reality.    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob%27s_Ladder#Christianity

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Jacob’s stairway to heaven

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob%27s_ladder

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Once you have a meditative life you start to see that the world is really far different than what it appears to be,   e.g.    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob%27s_Ladder_(film)#Production

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A person must have an “inner citadel” to which one can retreat. Living from this inner place of peace and equanimity — a place which no person or external event can penetrate — gives one the freedom to shape one’s life by responding to events from a rational, calm headspace.    Find your inner citadel.

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http://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/to-love-and-to-be-loved-are-mystical-desires-a-la-carl-jungs-archetypes-jungs-forebearers-were-mystics-plato-apostle-paul-augustine/

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/16/this-ancient-blueprint-fo_n_5312209.html?utm_hp_ref=gps-for-the-soul&ir=GPS+for+the+Soul

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http://www.reviewjournal.com/steven-kalas/making-peace-worst-case-scenario-provides-clarity

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Let’s say you’re in a terrible fight with a loved one — friend, family, mate. You’re not on speaking terms. It feels right to shun the loved one. It feels like justice, not to mention self-protection. So, imagine: The last conversation you had with this person is the last one you’ll ever have. See how a clarity of values suddenly sharpens focus? However painful is this conflict, would it be worth that? It better be, because forever is a long, long time.

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http://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/i-have-this-other-relentless-competing-identity-too-a-sin-nature-entitled-hedonistic-self-preserving-frequently-aggrandized-capable-of-blithe-selfishness-and-disturbing-disregard-the-un/

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Jesus prays to Jesus’ Heavenly Father (God) and for Jesus’ disciples and  for all believers  -

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+17&version=NIV

Jesus Prays to Be Glorified

17 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:

“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

Jesus Prays for His Disciples

“I have revealed you[a] to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of[b] your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by[c] that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.

13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by[d] the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

Jesus Prays for All Believers

20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you[e] known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

Footnotes:

  1. John 17:6 Greek your name
  2. John 17:11 Or Father, keep them faithful to
  3. John 17:12 Or kept them faithful to
  4. John 17:17 Or them to live in accordance with
  5. John 17:26 Greek your name

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http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/psalms/139.html

Psalms 139 is the most excellent of all the psalms of David.

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http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/jamieson-fausset-brown/psalms-76-150/psalms-139.html

Psalms 139:1-24 . After presenting the sublime doctrines of God’s omnipresence and omniscience, the Psalmist appeals to Him, avowing his innocence, his abhorrence of the wicked, and his ready submission to the closest scrutiny. Admonition to the wicked and comfort to the pious are alike implied inferences from these doctrines.

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http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/gills-exposition-of-the-bible/psalms-139/

John Gill preached in the same church as C. H. Spurgeon over one hundred years earlier. Yet most people today have never heard of John Gill. This is unfortunate, since his works contain priceless gems of information that are found nowhere except in the ancient writings of the Jews.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Gill_(theologian)

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http://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/04/08/new-age-spirituality-aka-integralevolutionarytransformational-not-to-be-confused-with-christianitys-i-am-exodus-314/      (C.H. Spurgeon)

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Whitefield

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John Gill’s acolyte George Whitefield,  one of the founders of the evangelical movement.   In 1740, Whitefield traveled to America where he preached a series of revivals that came to be known as the “Great Awakening.”

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Henry

Matthew Henry also was an alter ego to George Whitefield

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C.I. Scofield  & James Strong also followed Matthew Henry

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrus_Scofield

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strong%27s_Concordance

James Strong (1822–1894)

 

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http://www.patheos.com/blogs/peterenns/2014/07/inerrancy-doesnt-describe-what-the-bible-does-some-comments-from-my-ets-talk/

Peter Enns, current theologian

Inerrancy for me is a model of Scripture that does not describe well what Scripture does. Perhaps in our current moment, God is not calling us to reinvigorate a defense, become entrenched, or formulate more complex and subtle defenses of what we feel the Bible needs to be, but to teach future generations—in the academy, the church, and the world—better ways of meeting God in the Scripture we have.

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https://www.raptureready.com/resource/carradine/aa-20.html

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Consecration is the duty and act of man; sanctification is the second gracious work of God in the soul. Consecration is a blessed attitude; sanctification is a holy state.

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/08/father-giuseppe-girotti-beatified_n_5274176.html?utm_hp_ref=religion

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Father Giuseppe Girotti, an Italian priest who died in a Nazi concentration camp for assisting Jews during the Holocaust, was beatified on April 26 in a ceremony overshadowed by the double canonizations of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II the following day.

giuseppe girotti

Cardinal Severino Poletto conducted the martyred priest’s beatification in Alba, Italy where Girotti was born.

His beatification comes roughly a year after Pope Francis authorized a decree recognizing Girotti as a martyr who was killed “in hatred of the faith.”

giuseppe girotti

A frier and scriptural scholar, Father Girotti was living in a Dominican convent in Santa Maria delle Rose during World War II when he began building a network of contacts in support of the persecuted Jews. The Gestapo arrested him on August 29, 1944 and eventually sent him to the Dachau concentration camp.

giuseppe girotti

On Easter 1945 Father Girotti was reportedly killed by lethal injection, according to L’Osservatore Romano. His prison mate carved “St Giuseppe Girotti” on the side of his bed after his death.

In his homily during the beatification, Cardinal Poletto said that Father Girotti “learned to love and be charitable to his brothers, especially the poor, the sick and those persecuted in particular for reasons of race.”

Photos courtesy of the Order of Preachers

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giuseppe_Girotti

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Blessed Giuseppe Girotti, O.P. (19 July 1905-1 April 1945  age 39), born Alba, Cuneo, Italy. A Dominican priest, opponent of the Italian Fascist Government of Benito Mussolini, and protector of Jews from the Nazi Holocaust he died at Dachau Concentration Camp in 1945.

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He was declared Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem in 1995

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and recognized as a Catholic martyr and declared Venerable by Pope Francis in March 2013.

After his ordination in 1930 Girotti studied Sacred Sacred Scripture at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum in Rome and the École Biblique in Jerusalem under the guidance of Marie-Joseph Lagrange.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Girotti worked as a theology professor at the Saint Maria della Rose Dominican Seminary in Turin. Following the Nazi occupation of Italy in 1943, he saved many Jews by arranging safe hideouts and escape routes from Italy. Caught in the act of assisting a wounded Jewish person, Girotti was arrested on 29 August 1944, and sent to Dachau. He died at the camp on 1 April 1945.

Girotti was beatified on 26 April 2014 by Cardinal Angelo Amato. His memorial feast day was assigned on 1 April, the day of his death.

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Lutheran Marie Monsen would empathize with author Marilynne Robinson on Calvin’s understated ethic  –

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/12/marilynne-robinson-christianity_n_5310407.html?utm_hp_ref=books&ir=Books

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Calvin has a strange reputation that is based very solidly on the fact that nobody reads him. I found that he’s a beautiful theologian. I was, and continue to be, struck by the power of the metaphysics and the visionary quality of his theology, which no one seems to have any awareness of.

Q: Can you explain what in Calvinist theology was so profound to you?

A: One of them certainly was the importance of human consciousness. He’s also a humanist; he’s terrifically admiring of what the human mind does. He says we have completely fallen away from the glory of God, and look what we are, and then he describes this glorious creature. The implication is that if we were to be in our un-fallen condition we would be spectacular. He allows for the reality of great evil. He was living in the 16th century, which was a brutal period. He was ready to grant the dark side of reality, and completely lyrical about what is splendid about it, including the stars and including human consciousness, human presence, most profoundly.

Marilynne RobinsonMarilynne Robinson

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The Bible as wondrous positive encouragement    -

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http://www.patheos.com/blogs/peterenns/2014/07/jacob-l-wright-on-the-bibles-prehistoy-purpose-and-political-future-video/

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The thesis of Wright’s course is that the Hebrew Bible is “a pedagogical project of peoplehood.” Its authors worked in response to the defeat of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. They collected earlier writings and shaped them into a “road map” for a new form of political community, one that could survive without statehood and territorial sovereignty.

The Bible is, according to Wright, best understood not as religious scriptures but rather as an educational curriculum that creates, shapes, and molds a people in the aftermath of defeat. This suggestion seeks to come to terms with the diversity of the biblical writings: its historical narratives, laws, songs, laments, poetry, and wisdom collections.

This quote from the video below illustrates Wright’s position:

Perhaps what we need in our societies is a bible. Not the Bible, but a canon of shared texts, a body of writings that represents our diversity, a corpus of narrative, poetry, and songs that we and our children and future generations can internalize and draw upon as they engage in public discourse. Today there is widespread opposition to the notion of canon and national narratives, as they have historically tended to be discriminatory and prejudicial. But canons need not be closed, just as a narrative need not be simple, linear, or singular. The advantage they afford is they bring deeper historical dimensions to our societal debates and they allow us to appeal to a common set of texts. To be effective these new bibles must approximate the richness, complexity, and diversity of the Bible that we studied together, including story and song, law and wisdom. They must include diverse traditions. Above all they must stimulate reflection on what it means to be a people and inspire a sense of kinship, solidarity, and love for neighbor.

 

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http://www.reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/steven-kalas/trust-risk-taken-not-acquired-skill

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If I trust you, I give away power. Now you can care for me, protect me, nurture and sooth me, love me, contribute to my well-being. Or you can trick me. Cheat me. Humiliate me. Exploit me. Hurt me. Watch my heart starve to death for want of your love, support and friendship.

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Same goes with you trusting me.

We can learn about trust, but we don’t, strictly speaking, learn to trust. We decide whether to trust. We choose.

It is impossible NOT to trust something or someone. Refusing to ever take the risk of trust is itself a risk. To wit: We risk believing that the calculated, safe and secure, autonomous and independent life will provide meaning, joy and satisfaction. If you have talked to as many hospice patients as I have, you know how few people think this risk pays off.

What we can learn is better, wiser discernment skills. We can ask better questions. Who is more likely to deserve our trust? And how do we measure this? What signs and energies do we observe over what amount of time before we trust?

In the end, perhaps, the greatest risk of trust is whether we will decide to trust ourselves. Yes, some entrustments will make us rue the day. We will be hurt and disappointed. But we trust ourselves enough to know we will survive to trust again. And again and again.

The only way to trust that zip lining won’t kill you is to let go of the platform and notice you don’t die. Instead, you fly like Peter Pan.

Same goes for love, family, friendship, peace, joy, meaning, learning, growing and just about anything else worthy of being called human.

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reversal of expectation — harumph (disbelief)!!  (in praise of Mr. Harumph  — ergo Cliff Livermore)

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harumph

image

harumph

Interjection An expression of disdain, disbelief, protest, or dismissal; a huff, grunt, or snort.
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When asked if “addiction is the price of fame (fame means rumor/gossip), talent,  and celebrity status (to celebrate, a positive uplifter),” Robin Williams responded: “It’s the price of drugs, actually. Most of the time with drugs if you’re famous, they give them to you. It’s good for business to say that they get you high.”     Robin Williams: ‘Celebrity itself is a drug’

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Robin Williams: ‘Celebrity itself is a drug’

Before his death, Williams opened up about drugs in Hollywood.
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My incredulous mind-blowing moments with Mr. Harumph, Cliff Livermore:

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Me:   “So what, brah’ (“brother” in local lingo), you no (don’tunderstand people — dis’ why you no (don’t) belong to groups — ergo Ohana Church’s leader Ezekiel Tomaselli who banned Cliff because of Cliff’s ‘intemperate attitude’ — like you should????”

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Cliff (in Cliff’s sonorous stentorian bellow!):   “Well, no, actually.   My problem is that I do understand.  And that I know why I understand (why I don’t belong like I should).”  Harumph.   (Cliff’s immensely Jesus change agent-driven brilliance e.g. Cliff’s intuitive grasp of the ascension of Christ  — yeah, this is Cliff at Cliff’s mystic best, baby-O!!)         :-)

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Just like the counterintuitive notion of:   How can our messiah Jesus die if our messiah Jesus has come to ordain a new kingdom on earth by overthrowing Roman rule???   (cynical fleshly minds could not process/intuit Christ’s ascension a la Apostle John or mystic Jesus change agent Cliff Livermore)

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Sinai, Zion   —  Mount Sinai or Mount Zion?     Thanks, Cliff!!

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Attitude is everything!!   In praise of Cliff Livermore    –

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To unbelievers in Christ, Cliff Livermore reeks of excessive self-absorption and blowhard excretion.   Biblical Simon here fits Cliff’s “outer” description.

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http://www.lawofliberty.com/sermons/Resources/01-fromsimontopeter.pdf

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“For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing — foolishness – but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”   (1 Corinthians 1:18)   

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Paul’s words in Romans 1:14:

“I am debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to foolish  (e.g. ‘unbelievers’).”

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Our Heavenly Father tells us in John 15:16:

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and I set you that you should go forth and bear fruit.”

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Jesus died on the cross to accomplish redemption and then victoriously resurrected from the dead. Right after this, He told His disciples,

“Go therefore and disciple all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19)

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Whether or not we feel like speaking for Christ, God  commissions us to witness for Him to everyone. In this, our preference or opinion has no place. His Word clearly charges us to go and disciple all the nations.

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Biblical Jonathan’s love for David exemplifies the highest regard which believers in Christ have for cogent disciple Cliff Livermore.

[DOC]What do Relationships Affect Us the Way that They Do

disciplescorner.com/MyDocs/DGR.doc

Developing Great Relationships by Bob La Forge (Apr 12, 2010) – Kindle eBook | Shopping Online

 

 

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Alexander Pope’s couplets are “to die for!”  (of everlasting comfort).

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Next to Shakespeare, Pope is  Great Britain’s greatest writer/literateur.     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Pope

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Remember Pope’s couplet   “to err is human, to forgive is divine?”      http://www.quotecounterquote.com/2010/12/to-err-is-human-to-forgive-divine.html

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If not for William Tyndale’s translation of the Bible from Latin to English 30 years before Shakespeare was born, for which Tyndale was murdered by the Roman Catholic Church (the Papacy is God, not God himself), there would be no Shakespeare or Pope, both of whom composed their greatest body of work based on the Body of Christ (the Bible).

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Which leads up to today’s greatest couplet-eer, Cliff Livermore!!

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 Not only does Cliff cockle on about his coupling art of creation — crudely coined by others as  coitus –

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Cliff’s story of his life is right here in Cliff’s mind-blowing couplet (pair of sentences)  a la the great Alexander Pope   –

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1.  Curt, I don’t give a rat’s ass (to whom you liken me in Scripture — ergo Simon Peter)!!

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2.  I don’t have an identity problem!!!!    (I belong to Jesus!!)

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Wow!!!!!           :-)

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from Cliff Livermore’s wonderfully realistic and sensible editor/clarifier   –

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Exactly!!    I also have compared Cliff to Simon Peter.

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God chose Cliff, not the other way around.

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Excellent description of Cliff!

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Yes, this is the Cliff we know and love. We have to reel him in sometimes, but he is very good to repent and start over.

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“Because the guy (Cliff) can’t help himself!!”                 :-)  

http://www.reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/steven-kalas

The original foursome dissolves. And Frankie Valli spends the next years recording and performing to pay off Tommy’s debt.

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And that’s when the jolt happens. Frankie’s girlfriend barks, “Why would you be a friend to a guy like that?”

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And Frankie barks back, “Because he can’t help himself!”

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And I think about that verbal exchange for days on end.

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See, my industry (behavioral health) coined ideas like “codependency” and “enabling” and “boundaries” to admonish us never (or virtually never) to rescue someone from destructive or irresponsible behavior.

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But this moment makes me think there is more to love than pop psychological reductionism.

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What if real love knows us?

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Even our gripping, pernicious character flaws?

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 And what if real love doesn’t so much “give a pass” to those flaws

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as it does — accept those flaws as part of what and who we love?

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What if real love is obliged to the bond of friendship despite the flaws?

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In some cases, because of the flaws?

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There remains a sense of something owed.

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This is not codependence or enabling or poor boundaries.

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This is love.

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Makes me think of a friend of mine who thinks another friend of mine is a not-very-nice person. I understand the first friend’s point of view, and even in some ways agree. But once, long ago, this not-so-nice person extended to me an act of such unmerited kindness and encouragement, forging a bond between us.

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The matter is about trust    –

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God and the devil will often tell us the exact same truth. And it is true. But their respective motives for telling you this truth will be radically different.    You can trust God (redemption via Grace) or you can trust Satan (you are the Parasite’s host).

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from Cliff Livermore’s editor/clarifier    –

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This is a very good point. I have thought about this many times. I’ve been in the bondage of co-dependency but on the other hand, sometimes you join people not to change them

but because you just love them (like God loves us all).

Sometimes this can well be redemptive.

 

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from Cliff Livermore’s cogent editor/clarifier    –

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I actually feel very bad about something I did. My query to you about Cliff was not intended to go to him…and I hope it didn’t make him angry/hurt. I really just wanted an opinion about how a a narrative might be received if it’s framed one way or another way. My (copy reader)  feels that I shouldn’t have sent anything at all on the matter… so my apologies if I have started something that shouldn’t have gone around. I probably dug myself in deeper by including Cliff in the response to you, as I didn’t want to leave him out once he’d been included.

Sorry for any trouble,
(Cliff’s editor/clarifier)

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My main concern about sending  out drafts willy-nilly before due time is that the miraculous/mystical parts of it might be reworked for someone else’s agenda and thus derailed.  (my reaction: Scripture annotation is our indestructible capstone  — no one can rework Scripture  — no one)

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On the other hand, I hate to only preach to the choir, which will happen if we assume too much scriptural detail throughout.  (my reaction:  First, you demonstrate belief — in signs of legalism/being superhuman;  then you exhibit A/B/C — as in outcomes of angst/betrayal/critical mass –tipping point toward annihilation;  finally, you offer the Holy  — as in spirit  — for restoration of immortality and revocation of death;  pagan fairy tales do not heal us for being human  — our honest frailty is of God, not the sign of annihilation/extinction).

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I am glad you are Cliff’s good friend!

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Also that you question assumptions and ask us to see things through another lens.

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To (Cliff’s editor/clarifier) on your supposition about Cliff Livermore’s frail countenance:

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being human   — honest frailty is inherent in our DNA

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Cliff emboldens on being everyone’s Exhibit A of redemption.    Cliff does not want to be everyone’s pagan fairy tale  — where miracles manifest, then belief in the superhuman takes hold.   Drama’s correct endpoint is love forevermore springwelled by faith (Jesus’ blood of our new creation/Jesus’ living water of God’s holy spirit e.g. 1 Cor. 15:10).   Faith, then signs.   Not the other way around — not signs, then faith (idolatry).

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Cliff had what I secularly describe as an orgasmic experience of being honestly human when I told Cliff last week that

Cliff belongs to Jesus in spite of Cliff, not because of Cliff.

Of course, I took a spin from an erudite gifted wordsmith (another autobio author Pali’s copy reader)  — who used the word God instead of Jesus in my anecdote here.   Cliff’s climactic endpoint — beet-red face band-aided by the widest grin this side of the Pacific Ocean!   Aha!! Gotcha, Cliff!!

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I never forget the Book of Esther (4:14).     Mordecai reminds Esther:   If you’re not willing or able to be used for good by God, God will pick someone else who shall do God’s work.   I thank nurturant Lester Chun for summoning Esther.

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Cliff Livermore asks Jesus to heal people.  Cliff does not have any power to heal.    Still,  I’m not going to ease into a chair & be useless to all around me.   I try to make a difference for the better, instead of my not lifting a finger to comfort another.  I help Cliff.  I’m available.

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Help includes standing in the gap (Ezekiel 22:30), so to speak, however absurd & tragic it appears (risk of false hope/expectation).

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But there’s a big difference between carrying a cross (Luke 9:23) and being crucified on one  — namely,  nails.

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Being crucified with Christ means to nail thru one’s soul to the point of death (of sinful self).    Thank you, Christian mystic and pastor Robert Gomes.

 

 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-c-crosby-dmin/the-three-nails-in-christs-cross_b_2980159.html

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Like Nora Lam (For Those Tears), Cliff Livermore is not afraid of men, and shall not die a martyr, because Cliff shall not die (spiritually)   –

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 in Nora Lam’s autobiography, China Cry, Neng Yee (Nora Lam)  claimed she was sentenced to death by firing squad but miraculously survived  –

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nora_Lam#Interrogation.2C_Firing_Squad.2C_and_Escape

China cry cover.jpg

In tribute to blind child from birth Anuhea of Papa’aloa  (Jesus, please heal her, per Cliff)

Jesus brought Grace & Immortality  — and God has the antichrist to destroy the antichrist’s own religion  — truth then separates from lie organically (alive, not dead)  — meanwhile, long (needful) suffering is about our enduring faith in God, whereas needless suffering is about our trespasses of the flesh.   Spiritual intuitive Grace/Knowledge/Wisdom, not New Age poppycock.

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Cliff is dangerous to the pharisees (today’s religious Christians) because Cliff’s mission is to impel the 2nd coming of Jesus by disrupting the counterfeit fleshly leaders, who self-inflict the demon of unbelief, the typical cop-out.

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Martin Luther:  Do not preach an imaginary but the true mercy. If the mercy is true, you must therefore bear the true, not an imaginary sin. God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong (sin boldly), but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides. We, however, says Peter (2. Peter 3:13) are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth where justice will reign.

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Like Cliff Livermore, traditional Christian theologians say that apostles Paul and James held the same beliefs:  James’ talk of works referred to works that God produced in Christians as evidence of conversion (as Paul himself assumes that works will follow faith).  Paul did not discount the importance of works (citing passages such as Romans 6 and 8) and James was not referring to ceremonial works of the Torah (citing the fact that at the Council of Jerusalem, James declared that only a small portion of the Torah should be applied to Gentile converts).    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_the_Just#Modern_interpretation

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Just as apostle Peter was the fishing (initial) ministry, &  apostle Paul was the completing (next in timeline order) ministry (complete the word of God),  and apostle John was the (3rd in timeline order) mending/healing ministry, just the same apostle James was the subsequent  transition ministry (Jews first came to Christ, not the Gentiles)      http://www.ministrybooks.org/books.cfm?xid=6DIC2S93YCXON      Grace exemplified via John & then Peter (Gentiles)

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Cliff’s sardonic “play church” Christian fight song is M I C K E Y, M O U S E

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The problem with Cliff, per Pharisees, is that Cliff is in the driver’s seat  — “play church” isn’t what’s going to continue “coming down the pike”   — yet.    Rather, the inbreaking Kingdom of God shall be here in due time, and Cliff is cracking the false foundation stones of the Pharisees to herald the Kingdom of God.

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In Mark 3:22, the Pharisees accuse Jesus of driving out demons by the power of Beelzeboul, prince of demons, the name also appearing in the expanded version in Matthew 12:24,27 and Luke 11:15, 18–19. The name also occurs in Matthew 10:25

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beelzebub#New_Testament       (the worst of the worst — the overarching deadliest sin of overpride)

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Just the same, the Pharisees (religious Christians) accuse Cliff of being the agent of Beelzeboul.     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beelzebub#Christian_demonology_and_occult

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Beelzebub as depicted in Collin de Plancy‘s Dictionnaire Infernal (Paris, 1863).   (Lord of the Flies)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_of_the_Flies#Plot

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hope soars heavenward

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1IzUbFMDGc

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Cliff Livermore’s narrative articulates predicament which compels us to connect with each other

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Obsession vs. redemption.   Sign (stop sign) vs. symbol (metaphor  — Bible’s vine & branch).   Annihilation vs. immortality.  
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Universal appealing narrative is about us  — it illuminates our own lives.  Narrative also discloses truths that shape or misshape our psyche.
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As such, Cliff Livermore’s narrative details the unconscious desire and dilemma to be liberated in self, as one falls into the bondage of self.  The bondage of self has no redemption.   Liberation in self gets out of the self and into Jesus.  Therein redemption abounds.
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When the human ego conscripts the language, the work and the mantle of self-respect, you start to feel really good and right about discarding people from your life.
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And then you can know that you were right, because you don’t have any friends at all.
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Self-respect and self-importance — not the same at all. But they can feel the same.

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Why can’t I be like you or in sync with you?

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Because then there would be no need for a me, just you and you alone.     

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http://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/idyllic-imperatives-in-this-tragic-and-indifferent-life/

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kate-forsyth/fairy-tales-book_b_5813154.html?utm_hp_ref=books

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to Pali, a writer in Christ  (if the book is about Pali, and not Christ, “forget the book, baby!”)  –

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Backdrop to Pali’s book:    The inbreaking power of the New Jerusalem is the key to Pali’s autobio, not the fantastic occurrences therein.

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The most important textual part of your book shall be the annotation/footnote/reference portion.

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Example:   You experience a miracle — you come back from the dead, so to speak.

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What is the point of the miracle?    (God convinces you of God’s Glory)

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How does the miracle impact folks other than you? (you are destined to propagate unto others Genesis 12:3)

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What Bible verses describe your experience?   Analogous to Resurrection: Bible Characters Raised from the Dead  ??    Is this related to spiritual dryness?   Spiritual dryness – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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What theological tracts describe your experience?   Augustine of Hippo:  “Why, being dead, do you rely on yourself? You were able to die of your own accord; you cannot come back to life of your own accord.”

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Augustine_of_Hippo

 Moving on at FinestQuotes.com

image
Resurrection: Bible Characters Raised from the Dead

Article that lists the people in the Bible who were raised from the dead
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Spiritual dryness – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In Catholic spirituality, spiritual dryness or desolation is a lack of spiritual consolation in one’s spiritual life. It is a form of spiritual crisis experienced subjectively as a sense of separation from God or lack of spiritual feeling, especially during contemplative prayer. P…
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New Age Spiritists (not Houdini –

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Houdini#Debunking_spiritualists

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiritualism_(religious_movement)

)  shall have a “field day” with Pali’s “miracles” lest Pali annotates via Scripture/theological tracts.     Pali shall avoid self-glorification.    How?    Use annotations to substantiate Pali’s bare words.

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avoid self-embellishment

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   —  http://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/02/06/jesus-earthiness/

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Do not fall in love with your own rhetoric like President Obama does:      http://www.c-span.org/video/?320054-1/qa-edmund-morris      (transcript at 00:09:18)

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from Pali’s copy reader   (the beauty of networking and the importance of annotation):

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It’s rare that someone shows me something I never noticed in the Bible before. I looked up the listing of people raised from the dead in scriptures and here is something I never thought of ever (where has my brain been all these years?)!!!!

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Mark 51-52
And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him:

And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked.
How could this NOT have been someone raised from the dead???? It’s at the right place to make such a point. The only other possible construction is that it was a homosexual thing….but what would be the point? It makes no sense in the context (but it’s what people would think today).No….there are other instances where Jesus cast out demons or did something for someone and suddenly they are following Him. It seems much more likely that something had just happened like this and the young man was immediately following him. And why were “they” laying hold of the young man? Seemingly the “young men” who laid hands on him were with the company of Romans, as those who followed Jesus had just forsaken him. It seems this young man with the linen cloth was the last to flee.But what a statement to have just before Jesus is taken! He raises somebody from the dead, restores somebody’s ear, the Roman soldiers fall down under a power, get up again….and what’re they going to do? But they have to take HIm in….and does it occur to them privately that they are only taking Him because He allows them to? Gee…there’s a lot embedded here!!!

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again, from Pali’s astute copy reader

(I’d rather be banished from a church for being upfront –fornication–  such correct banishment has happened to me —  than to be accepted by being pretentious a la counterfeits/ignobles Kohala Leroy of prolix/verbose pastor Eddie Pali’s genesis, & Minneapolis John Lee Lindell of “I never sin” infamy born 1935

http://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/i-have-this-other-relentless-competing-identity-too-a-sin-nature-entitled-hedonistic-self-preserving-frequently-aggrandized-capable-of-blithe-selfishness-and-disturbing-disregard-the-un/

 

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Kohala Leroy’s look-alike (Kohala Leroy E. is a bearded,  long-black hair color, pony-tailed  5’5″ 180 lb. 50 yr. old Chinese-looking local man born 1964 raised in Kohala)  –

 

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John Lee Lindell’s look-alike  –

 

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 —   Hi Curtis!     The usual introduction to the “Christian” life starts with salvation and ends in a blessed “burden of works.”    Many people have broken down because they begin with the spirit and then derail back to the flesh.

 

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I was in a small group once where one of the elders’ wives shared how she had been in the sanctuary of the building with another lady and was suddenly overwhelmed by a feeling that she didn’t want to live anymore. I too, have felt this as a Christian, and I think it’s to do with trying to fulfill our “duties” according to the flesh, i.e., the ridiculous parade of activity in organized religion. It is something the Lord has dealt with me through a process of making me unacceptable for “service” in the eyes of the institution. It has forced me to lean on Him and to look to Him for the truth about my true service.

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Do Christian people sometimes get sidetracked in the flesh? Do their fleshly misdeeds sometime look as corrupt as those of unbelievers? You bet they do! The consequences of  remaining in our flesh doing things by our own devices — whether they are “good” things or “bad” things–are devastating and the outcomes are unrest, depression, and feelings of worthlessness. But if we understand rightly, God’s Reality breaks down our fleshly strength since our carnality is worthless to start with. And in the end, our strength, our faith, our righteousness are ALL OF GOD. And so we look to HIS LIFE alone to effect our deliverance, our salvation from ourselves, the world, the dark kingdom.

Best,

(Pali’s copy reader)

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On the fad of others’ autobiographies (such as Pali’s) and the necessity of tamping down resultant ego amplification   –

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“Serrano: Yes. I wanted to be able to travel abroad, particularly in the United States. And you, Pali,  were able to …God knew you were able to fulfill that dream of my coming to the U.S. ….a lot of people followed. … The word that you heard from God. And you helped me to follow.”

Granted, Serrano’s surrender/glorious attitude to Jesus resulted in Serrano’s upward mobility by vessel Pali.    How does Serrano’s testimony relate to Pali’s miracles?   Do Bible verses link individual miracles (such as Pali’s) with Jesus’ blessings bestowed upon others (such as Serrano)?   Do theological tracts clarify blessings bestowed upon couplet (Pali/Serrano) shepherds and sheep?    These questions trigger  readers’ interest, not the individual miracles and Pali’s self-character-driven confirmations.

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from Pali’s copy reader:

I’m still thinking about this question. We had a similar question about Fred’s  African testimony. The recording was so full of extra noise that I just couldn’t figure out what he was talking about.  Pali  was so excited about putting it in, but the more that Jim and I discussed it, the more convinced we were that it just didn’t go even if the miracles were BIG in it.

I thought we’d have a fight on our hands with Pali  because Pali’s  heart was so set on it. However, the miracles according to Jim did not seem to connect with any larger purpose than just to awe somebody, they couldn’t be verified by anyone else, and they led back to a group of people who are big on miracles but there is no Cross preached. Fortunately, Pali said it was fine to scrap it! Just like THAT! Thank God.

Pali really is like Peter, as you said. Truly. He belongs to the Lord in spite of (and not because of) himself. :)

There actually was a question I wanted to ask you last evening and I forgot exactly what it was. But I’m concerned about Pali sending his transcripts to any and everyone. What do you think is the interest a non-believer would have in Pali’s story? Or, to put it another way, what do you think would make a non-believer want to read it?

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Do you think that non-believers will immediately relate to Pali’s humanity?

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from me in response to Pali’s copy reader’s questions below  –

A person of unbelief latches on to the word Fail   –

A person of unbelief does not believe in redemption.

Thus, “failure is not an option.”  There is no safety net

to rescue a person of unbelief if the person fails.

The problem is not just that we all fail sometime or

another.   The problem mainly is that we don’t know who

to trust when this (failure) happens.

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In this sense, we choose to be failures, because with no

safety net in place, we have nowhere else to go — which

is annihilation (of the soul and the deeper spirit) ergo

death/extinction.

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Which make us no different than an

ordinary demon, since failure is not an option there either

 —   because the demon has nowhere to escape but

stays welded in hell.

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You see, religious Christians do not discuss 1) Satan

2) repentance   3) sin   — as  Cliff Livermore correctly

does in Cliff’s narrative on our incredible Christian

odyssey.    The narrative is more about us, not just

about Cliff.   And when we fail, there is no safety net

to rescue us.   Here, Jesus catches Cliff in Jesus’ hands  –

and behold   — here Jesus then cups us in Jesus’ hands

as we all fall into the abyss, so to speak.   No science

can explain this.    No logic can extinguish this.  Hell

(legalism) rules by fear.   Heaven (Grace) rules by love.

                       —  –

So what is the upshot of all these passages? Do you mean that non-believers will immediately relate to Pali’s humanity?

Best regards,

(Pali’s copy reader)

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from me to Pali’s copy reader   –

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In praise of incredibly intuitive mystical pastor Robert Gomes    –

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Christian mystic  —  Pastor Robert Gomes look-alike    –

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Pastor Robert Gomes’ wife of unparalleled equanimity/balance/composure/compassion — Pastor Donna Mae Respicio Gomes look-alike   –

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I thank Christian mystic Pastor Robert Gomes for Robert’s insight here:   The catcher is the one who’ll say that the tree of knowledge of good and evil is (not are) the tree of humanity’s thirst for lust (of sex/fame/fortune), ergo that good and evil are inherent in us all like a cup of broth where you can’t separate the good portion from the bad portion of this one cup of broth.

Likewise, Jesus’ blood (for our redemption via Grace) does not separate the good part of the broth from the bad part  — instead, Jesus comes with a new creation, just as Jesus’ blood is not separated from Jesus’ water (holy spirit)  — so that the spearer at the Cross was drenched in both Jesus’ blood and water (of one accord — as in from one body — that of Christ).  

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Catch/grab us all, including those of us who possess the spirit of unbelief, by appealing to our DNA/innate senses of pain and despair  — we who suffer interminably amid our contemporary crises of meaning — breakdown of values  — and excessive self-absorption.   Me/me/me translate to hopeless contemptuous self-pity.  Pathetic needless suffering.

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The Fall of Man by Lucas Cranach, a 16th-century German depiction of Eden, with the tree of life (left) and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tree_of_life_(biblical)

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The   Ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament tree of life  literally means “wood of  life.”

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Just the same, as erudite pastor Robert Gomes intones,  man, as often as he eats the fruit, does well to remember the source of his life, and acknowledge that he lives not by his own power, but by God’s kindness and forgiveness.       The tree of life as the wood of life is the Cross in which we are crucified in Jesus as a new creation.    The old dies (the flesh), as the new begins (the spirit).

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tree_of_life_(biblical)#Western_Christianity

 

Leading theologian Augustine 400 AD of the early period (prior to Aquinas — Augustine was an ardent understudy of Grecian Plato) said that spiritual interpretation of Genesis does not rob Biblical narrative of its reality (City of God).  
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Aquinas 1200 AD of the scholastic period (Aquinas an understudy of Grecian Aristotle, Aristotle a Plato prodigy, Plato in turn a Grecian Socrates prodigy) took a pragmatic approach like Aquinas alter ego Aristotle (Aquinas’ Summa Theologica).   
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John Calvin 1500 AD, like Augustine and Pastor Robert Gomes above, took a sacramental approach —  man, as often as he eats the fruit, should remember the source of his life, and acknowledge that he lives not by his own power, but by God’s kindness and love. 
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This is the standing interpretation in modern Reformed theology as well   (Calvin’s Commentary on Genesis 2:8).  
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Thence, The tree of life is the wood of life as the Cross in which we are crucified in Jesus as a new creation.    The old dies (the flesh), as the new begins (the spirit).
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For a person cursed with the spirit of unbelief, there is only one conclusion 
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—  ultimately, you shall not come to terms with your own death.
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In line with brilliant, intuitive,  mystical Pastor Robert Gomes (revelation of the ascension of Christ)     –

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fountain#Themes

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fountain#Plot_summary

 

The Fountain‘s theme of fear of death is “a movement from darkness into light,  from black to white”  that traces the journey of a man scared of death and moving toward it. The film begins with a paraphrase of Genesis 3:24, the Biblical passage that reflects the The Fall of Man. Hugh Jackman emphasized the importance of the Fall in the film: “The moment Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, humans started to experience life as we all experience it now, which is life and death, poor and wealthy, pain and pleasure, good and evil. We live in a world of duality. Husband, wife, we relate everything. And much of our lives are spent not wanting to die, be poor, experience pain. It’s what the movie’s about.”   Director Aronofsky also interpreted the story of Genesis as the definition of mortality for humanity. He inquired of the Fall, “If they had drank from the Tree of Life [instead of the Tree of Knowledge] what would have separated them from their maker? So what makes us human is actually death.  It’s what makes us special.”

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Aronofsky said of The Fountain‘s intricacy and underlying message, “[The film is] very much like a Rubik’s Cube, where you can solve it in several different ways, but ultimately there’s only one solution at the end”   — “ultimately the film is about coming to terms with your own death.”

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tree_of_Life_(film)#Plot

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The film begins with a quotation from the Book of Job: “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the Earth?… When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”

A mysterious, wavering light, resembling a flame, flickers in the darkness. Mrs. O’Brien recalls a lesson taught to her that people must choose to follow either the path of grace or the path of nature. In the 1960s, she receives a telegram informing her of the death of her son, R.L., aged nineteen. Mr. O’Brien is notified by telephone while at an airport. The family is thrown into turmoil.

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In the present day, the O’Briens’ eldest son, Jack, is adrift in his modern life as an architect. One day he apologizes to his father on the phone for an argument about R.L.’s death. In his office, Jack begins reflecting and we see shots of tall buildings under the sky, Jack wandering in the desert, trees that stretch from the ground up to the sun high in their leaves and scenes from his childhood in the 1950s that all link together and lead back to the flame.

From the darkness the universe is born, the Milky Way and then the solar system form while voice-overs ask existential questions. On the newly formed Earth, volcanoes erupt and microbes begin to form and replicate. Sea life is born, then plants on land, then dinosaurs.[6] In a symbolic first act of compassion, a dinosaur chooses not to eat a weakened creature that is lying on the side of a river bed. An asteroid tumbles through space and strikes the Earth.

In a sprawling neighborhood in Waco, Texas live the O’Briens. The young couple is enthralled by their new baby Jack and, later, his two brothers. When Jack reaches adolescence, he is faced with the conflict of accepting the way of grace or nature, as embodied by each of his parents. Mrs. O’Brien (grace) is gentle, nurturing, and authoritative, presenting the world to her children as a place of wonder. Mr. O’Brien (nature) is strict and authoritarian, and easily loses his temper as he struggles to reconcile his love for his sons with wanting to prepare them for a world he sees as corrupt and exploitative. He laments his decision to become an engineer instead of pursuing his passion for music. He tries to get ahead by filing patents for various inventions.

Jack’s perceptions of the world begin to change after one of his friends drowns at the pool and another of his friends is burned in a house fire. He becomes angry at his father for his bullying behavior and begins to keep a running tally of Mr. O’Brien’s various hypocrisies and misdeeds, lashing out at his mother for tolerating such abusive behavior.

One summer, Mr. O’Brien takes a long business trip. While he is away, the boys enjoy unfettered access to their mother, and Jack experiences the first twinges of rebelliousness. Goaded by other boys his age, Jack commits acts of vandalism and animal abuse. He later trespasses into a neighbor’s house and steals her sheer nightgown. Jack is confused and angered by his feelings of sexuality and guilty trespass. He throws the stolen lingerie into a river to rid himself of it. Mr. O’Brien returns home from his unsuccessful business trip. Shortly thereafter, the plant that he works at closes and he is given the option of relocating to work in a thankless position within the firm or losing his job. He and his family pack up to move to the new job location. He laments the course his life has taken, questioning whether he has been a good enough person. He asks Jack for forgiveness for his harsh treatment of him.

In the present, adult Jack leaves work. Riding the elevator up, he experiences a vision of following a young girl across rocky terrain. Jack tentatively walks through a wooden door frame erected on the rocks and sees a view of the far distant future in which the sun expands into a red giant, engulfing the earth and then shrinking into a feeble white dwarf. Someone says “follow me” in the darkness, which is ended by the lighting of two candles. After emerging from rustic doors, Jack follows the girl and then a young version of himself across surreal landscapes. On a sandbar, Jack sees images of death and the dead returning to life. He is reunited with his family and all the people who populate his memory. His father is happy to see him. He encounters his dead brother, whom he brings to his parents. Accompanied by a woman in white and her younger self, Mrs. O’Brien looks to the sky and whispers, “I give him to you. I give you my son.”

Jack’s vision ends and he leaves the building smiling.

The mysterious wavering light continues to flicker in the darkness.

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There are to be found two classes of Christians. Some are content with the mingled life, half flesh and half spirit, half self-effort and half grace.

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Others are not content with this, but are seeking with their whole heart to know to the full what the deliverance from sin and what the abiding full power for a walk in God’s presence is, which the New Covenant has brought and can give. God help us all to be satisfied with nothing less.

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Chapter II, The Two Covenants, and the Second Blessing, …

Read Chapter II of The Two Covenants, and the Second Blessing from author Andrew Murray. Find more Christian classics for theology and Bible study at Bible Study…
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Intuitive pastor (revelation on the mystery of God)  Robert Gomes is of the New 2nd  Covenant.

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Remember when Cliff Livermore’s great editor chortled lovingly when I said that Simon Peter likeness

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Cliff Livermore belongs to Jesus in spite of Cliff, not because of Cliff  (all noise, no signal — except to Jesus)?

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 And Cliff reacted with a climactic beet-red face band-aided by the widest grin this side of the Pacific Ocean?!

Well, Pastor Robert Gomes belongs to Jesus because of Robert a la Biblical Joseph (humility/patience)   (all signal — no noise, on earth as are in Heaven, in praise of Jesus) .

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As both cogent Cliff and Robert Gomes chasten,

religious Christians do not discuss

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1) Satan

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2) repentance

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 3) sin           —

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as do Cliff and Robert Gomes in both leaders’

narratives on our incredible Christian

odyssey.

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The narrative is really about us, not

so much about Cliff or Robert.

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As both Cliff and Robert Gomes evoke  — the tree of life as the wood of life is the Cross in which we are crucified in Jesus as a new creation.

The   Ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament tree of life  literally means “wood of  life.”

The old dies (the flesh), as the new begins (the spirit).

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For a person cursed with the spirit of unbelief, there is only one conclusion  —  ultimately, you shall not come to terms with your own death.

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2 Responses to In praise of Norwegian missionary Marie Monsen, mother of China House Church Movement, and in praise of Father Giuseppe Girotti, WWII Priest Martyred For Sheltering Jews, Beatified In Italy

  1. Pingback: Jesus’ earthiness, and in praise of Jesus’ wondrous disciples Amos Kaua, & Bruce & Isa (pronounced “Eesa”) Sakamoto | Curtis Narimatsu

  2. Pingback: In praise of China Christian capstones Yu Cidu (Dora Yu) 1873-1931, Margaret Emma Barber (1866-1930), & their acolyte Ni To-sheng (Watchman Nee) 1903-1972 | Curtis Narimatsu

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