luck of the draw (bad or good) — forgive yourself for what is not in your power to do — Steven Kalas — and in praise of rhema-laden disciple of Jesus — Pastor Cathy Simmons

 

*

The blind will see and those who see will become blind.        John 9:39-41   Those who become blind also will blind themselves as  experts (ability  to see).   Thence those who become blind shall continue to remain ignorant.   — Chiasmus  

http://www.biblelimericks.com/?limerick=john-941-blind-seeing-seeing-blind

*

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+positive+attitude&qpvt=images+positive+attitude&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=182D7BA68D1CDA019D800D3D30C2E3B24D9DCBE1&selectedIndex=0

*

*

*

http://www.reviewjournal.com/life/family/best-approach-help-some-addicts-step-away

*

http://www.reviewjournal.com/steven-kalas/relationship-important-part-effective-therapy

*

She tells her story, and it’s my job to listen to the telling. It’s an awful story. Betrayal, injustice, abuse of power, exploitation — it’s not easy to listen.

Listening trips alarm systems in my body. My brain begins dumping chemicals into my bloodstream, changing the way I breathe. There’s a pre-emptive readiness in my musculature that I experience as tension. I feel anger and sadness, both vying for center stage of my attention. Competing fantasies include weeping, stepping outside to scream, sending her perpetrator a letter bomb and pouring us both shots of expensive bourbon. Right here in the office. Right here in session.

The latter fantasy explains why I don’t keep expensive hooch in my office.

She finishes the ugly tale. I lean forward with my most sincere Father Flannigan face and say in soothing intonations, “Take the deepest breath you can.” She looks up, smiles a tender, peaceful, beautiful smile and says, “I’m really OK.” To which I — Steven Kalas, Caped Crusader, Action Counselor, Man of the Hour — respond spontaneously and without a moment’s thought, “You’re right, it’s me who needs to take a deep breath.”

In the next moment, we both erupt in gales of laughter, both buffeted by the physical force of the irony ricocheting off the walls. It’s a cleansing irony. She ceremoniously hands me the Kleenex box and says, in caricature, “Would you like to talk about it?” I shrug and say: “I don’t know. How much do you charge?” And we laugh some more.

It doesn’t get any more real and honest than that. When I’m old and long-retired, I will remember that moment in my career. I will never stop sharing that story with interns and practicum students whose desire it is to learn this craft called Talk Therapy.

News flash for aspiring therapists: The idea that quality therapy is delivered to people in sheer objectivity and muted detachment is … well … absolute crap. Blank slate? Yeah, right. Run away screaming from any therapist who tells you they have no opinions, no prejudices and who seems deliberately wooden and removed from the interaction. It is not my job to be free of bias (as if that were possible), rather, to know my biases to the end that my bias does not intrude, interfere, countermand or impede.

Quality therapy is delivered in the context of a therapeutic relationship! Key word: relationship! Therapeutic benefit emerges — literally — in and proceeding out of the relationship. It is not a relationship of unilateral trust, rather, of mutual trust. It is a deep-seated sense of partnership. Even very sick people bring strengths to the table that have seen them through rough times. I notice these things, admire them and even learn from them.

A veteran therapist friend tells a simple yet powerful story about working with a patient who’d been sexually abused by several males in her family:

“She wailed, ‘Why Me?!’ It was voiced as a demand. She wanted an answer. And, of course, she feared she did something to deserve it. I simply answered, ‘The luck of the draw.’ She stared at me a moment, then shrieked: ‘The luck of the draw? That’s your answer?’ I nodded and said: ‘Yup. You did nothing to deserve it and, as far as I know, God doesn’t get pissed off at little kids and decide to punish them by giving them evil relatives who abuse them. To me that means it’s just the luck of the draw.’

*

After staring at me several seconds, she burst out laughing and I joined her. She left that session, smiling, shaking her head and marveling, ‘The luck of the draw.’ I might say that I’d come to this conclusion some time before about my own experiences.”

See, a therapist focused on textbooks and technique might have answered, all sincere and philosophical: “I don’t know. Why do you think this happened to you?” But patients deserve more than a Human Echo Chamber. They deserve more than nodding, staring and “Mmm.” They need human reparative interaction.

Another veteran therapist tells this story:

“I once treated a developmentally disabled teen, hospitalized for childhood schizophrenia. He did very, very well, and at the time we terminated therapy asked me, ‘You know why this worked so well, doctor?’ I said, ‘No, why?’ He smiled and said, ‘Because you respected me and I respected you.’ ”

Well, yeah. Of course.

With all respect to the practitioner’s training and expertise, maybe the heartbeat of effective therapy is 50 minutes of acutely focused, directed, authentically present and respectful human relationship.

*

*

*

*

https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/1-peter-48-love-covers-a-multitude-of-sins-center-of-grace-or-in-the-secular-sense-forgive-yourself-for-what-is-not-in-your-power-to-do/

*

*

*

*

The points are to establish love and emotional support as our idyllic commands, in a tragic and indifferent world.

*

*

*

*

*

Needless suffering is of this world, stuck in this indifferent and tragic life.

*

*

Indeed, true love endures. It’s just that people need to close the gestalt of being in love with the person who no longer loves you and get through their hurt, bitterness, disappointment and anger before what endures can be apprehended as the honored friend it is (self-respect) and not the cruel enemy it appears to be right after we’ve been dumped by the love of our life.

*

True love endures. That’s a good thing.

*

But true love is different from needless suffering for the rest of your life.

*

At the end of the day, we have to grow a self-respect sufficient not to want someone who doesn’t want us.

*

*

http://www.lvrj.com/view/love-can-endure-if-people-work-through-lost-relationships-144330465.html

*

*

*

*

*

Søren Kierkegaard says that life is full of absurdity, and one must make his and her own values in an indifferent world. One can live meaningfully (free of despair and anxiety) in an unconditional commitment to something finite, and devotes that meaningful life to the commitment, despite the vulnerability inherent to doing so. As sage Steven Kalas says, we’re here to love and be loved. That’s it. Dying people revel in who they became in meaningful relationships (soulmates)! Every other dimension of life — job, money, golf game, emptying the kitchen trash — is only important as it serves the end of how and why you are related to another soul.

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/11/13/what-is-not-in-our-power-to-do/

*

*

https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/forgive-yourself-for-what-is-not-in-your-power-to-do-love-yourself-no-matter-the-external-rejection-from-others/

*

*

https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/03/22/limerence-falling-in-love-is-a-powerful-spontaneous-projection-of-self-the-experience-is-cosmic-and-powerfully-bonding-steven-kalas/

*

*

https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/02/22/im-here-to-love-and-be-loved/

*

*

https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/but-now-theres-nowhere-to-hide-since-you-pushed-my-love-aside-my-head-is-saying-fool-forget-her-my-heart-is-saying-dont-let-go-hold-on-to-the-end-thats-what-i-intend-to-do/

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/01/16/human-beings-are-created-for-relationship-without-you-there-is-no-meaningful-me-how-i-experience-my-life-is-in-the-end-inseparable-from-how-i-experience-you-said-yet-another-way-were-h/

*

*

*

*

*

Human beings are created for relationship. Without you, there is no meaningful me. How I experience my life is, in the end, inseparable from how I experience you. Said yet another way, we’re here to love and be loved. — sage Steven Kalas

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

Sometimes the worst pain comes from feeling abandoned (estrangement) and unloved (alienation). That happened to me when my marriage of more than three decades ended. When my wife walked out on me, she took my sense of self-worth with her.

*

Without her to validate me as a human being,

*

I began to think I wasn’t worth anything at all.

*

It is very hard to let go of your past. For years I held on to my old life, refusing to let go. I just couldn’t see any other life worth living. Letting go of your past is a long, hard process, and for me that process isn’t over yet. In some ways, it’s just beginning.

*

But here is why it’s important that we put in that time and effort — because if we live in the past, we will never discover our destiny. Destiny, promise, potential, purpose — all of these are things that have to do with the future, not the past.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/antoinette-tuff/three-steps-to-turning-pain-purpose_b_4979660.html?utm_hp_ref=gps-for-the-soul&ir=GPS%20for%20the%20Soul

*

*

*

*

Yes, one who lives authentically and in the moment suffers persecution, taking a line from exemplar Christ. http://biblehub.com/2_timothy/3-12.htm

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bruce-davis-phd/saint-francis-and-pope-francis_b_4967289.html?utm_hp_ref=religion

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/17/life-advice_n_4979765.html?utm_hp_ref=gps-for-the-soul&ir=GPS+for+the+Soul

*

*

After all, metaphorically, we are poured out (blood on the cross) and broken (the body of redemption). http://www.jesus.org/following-jesus/communion/the-body-and-the-blood-of-christ.html

*

Greatest New Testament prayer – http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+17&version=NIV – and the rhema (partaking of Christ in each of us by the holy spirit ) — http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=ephesians+3%3A14-16&version=NIV

*

*

*

*

*

*

“For me, there’s hardly a gnat’s whisker of difference between the psychological idea of healthy individuation and the Christian idea of salvation. Both include the lifetime journey of authentic living.”

*

*

*

Title quote from Steven Kalas http://www.lvrj.com/living/living-authentically-a-challenge-worth-embracing-89350462.html

*

*

*

*

*

https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/12/the-choice-is-not-whether-to-have-or-not-have-a-worldview-in-which-you-place-faith-the-only-choice-is-whether-we-are-willing-to-choose-with-intention-clarity-commitment-sage-steven-kala/

*

*

https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/22/we-dont-need-to-belong-to-any-religion-to-hear-the-universal-invitation-what-would-happen-if-we-decided-to-live-more-expectantly-what-would-happen-if-we-suspended-our-deep-beliefs-about-the-way-th/

*

*

https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/by-putting-aside-our-selfish-interests-to-serve-someone-or-something-larger-than-ourselves-by-devoting-our-lives-to-giving-rather-than-taking/

*

*

*

*

*

https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/03/13/salve-to-our-crisis-of-meaning-repugnant-narcissism-bildungsroman-a-literary-genre-that-focuses-on-the-psychological-and-moral-growth-of-the-protagonist-from-youth-to-adulthood-coming-of-a/

*

*

*

*

*

*

I stand incredulous before the sheer number of people reporting/experiencing symptoms of depression. I say again, I don’t believe our ancestors experienced the same proportion of depressive symptoms. Possible explanations for this phenomenon: Crisis of meaning, for example. An increasingly vacuous culture, with significant evidence of devolution. Or, perhaps depression/depressive episodes is in part provoked by the emotional self-absorption of moderns – the observable, inexplicable delay of real emotional conversance and maturity in modern people. — Steven Kalas

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/03/11/love-desire-and-thriving-connection-arent-mystical-gifts-given-and-withheld-by-a-genie-in-a-bottle-these-gifts-are-cultivated-every-day-by-life-partners-whose-wish-is-for-the-gifts-to-thr/

*

*

*

*

*

Hope (as in salvation/inner joy-peace) beyond suffering is what moves us to suffer for the good of others.

*

The spirit of fear (self-conscripted insecurity/ego defensiveness)(smallness ergo self-inflated importance to mask our insecurity) is selfishness, whereas as examples the fear (respect) of God & the Wrath of God have selfless-altruist outcomes.

*

Which is why deepest thinker/soulful pilgrim Steven Kalas intones that authentic Christianity/Christian mysticism are incompatible with today’s “hip” New Age outcomes of narcissism/me-me-me mentality.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_mysticism#Biblical_influences

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_mysticism#Modern_era

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Age#Late_20th_century

*

*

Do you know that theologian Martin Luther’s tabletalk (intimate heartfelt dialogues with others) helped inspire Luther’s deep comprehension of Scripture (selfless sacrifice for the good of others)? http://www.ccel.org/ccel/luther/tabletalk.html

*

And that mysterious and mystical exemplar Christ’s tabletalk with diverse/divergent ones from atheists to believers — inspire our deepest connection with compassion for others??

*

*

*

*

*

Platonism (the mystical) was considered authoritative in the Middle Ages, and many Platonic notions are now permanent elements of Christianity. Platonism also influenced both Eastern and Western mysticism.

*

While Aristotle became more influential than Plato in the 13th century via Aquinas, St. Thomas Aquinas‘ philosophy was still in certain respects fundamentally Platonic (mystical).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platonism#Christianity_and_Platonism

*

Aquinas placed more emphasis on reason and argumentation, and was one of the first to use the new translation of Aristotle’s metaphysical and epistemological writing.

*

This was a significant departure from the Neoplatonic and Augustinian thinking (the mystical) that had dominated much of early scholasticism (early church fathers).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scholasticism#High_Scholasticism

*

*

*

https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/09/15/augustinian-mystic-martin-luther-aquinas-cognition-john-calvin-and-yet-bertrand-russell-apostle-john-are-augustinian-plato-logos-analytical-acolytes-huli-au-upside-down/

*

https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/augustine-acolyte-original-sin-john-wycliffe-1320-1384-was-the-impetus-to-luthers-protestant-reformation-a-century-later-for-this-reason-wycliffe-is-called-the-morning-star-of-the-reformatio/

*

https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/02/26/in-praise-of-pastors-calisto-violet-mateo-of-our-god-reigns-ministry-at-1289-kilauea-ave-hilo-suite-h-phone-808-961-6540/

*

https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/ouvre-nearly-half-a-century-of-deepest-passion-i-can-see-it-in-your-eyes-that-you-despise-the-same-old-lines-you-heard-the-night-before-and-though-its-just-a-line-to-you-for-me-its-true-a/

*

*

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/carlgregg/2014/03/the-life-tradition-versus-the-death-tradition-in-christianity/

*

*

*

*

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/14/kurt-vonnegut-xavier-letter_n_4964532.html?utm_hp_ref=books

*

Acclaimed author Kurt Vonnegut Once Sent This Amazing Letter To A High School –

*

Dear Xavier High School, and Ms. Lockwood, and Messrs Perin, McFeely, Batten, Maurer and Congiusta:

I thank you for your friendly letters. You sure know how to cheer up a really old geezer (84) in his sunset years. I don’t make public appearances any more because I now resemble nothing so much as an iguana.

What I had to say to you, moreover, would not take long, to wit: Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.

Seriously! I mean starting right now, do art and do it for the rest of your lives. Draw a funny or nice picture of Ms. Lockwood, and give it to her. Dance home after school, and sing in the shower and on and on. Make a face in your mashed potatoes. Pretend you’re Count Dracula.

Here’s an assignment for tonight, and I hope Ms. Lockwood will flunk you if you don’t do it: Write a six line poem, about anything, but rhymed. No fair tennis without a net. Make it as good as you possibly can. But don’t tell anybody what you’re doing. Don’t show it or recite it to anybody, not even your girlfriend or parents or whatever, or Ms. Lockwood. OK?

Tear it up into teeny-weeny pieces, and discard them into widely separated trash recepticals [sic]. You will find that you have already been gloriously rewarded for your poem. You have experienced becoming, learned a lot more about what’s inside you, and you have made your soul grow.

God bless you all!

Kurt Vonnegut

*

*

*

*

*

*

https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/it-hurts-to-be-treated-as-a-means-to-an-end-the-hurt-is-a-sign-of-our-health-our-self-respect-not-a-sign-that-anything-about-us-needs-to-be-fixed-from-sage-steven-kalas/

*

An overprideful person “swallows one’s own stomach.” Such nature entails endless self-aggrandizement and vanity, and ensures incomprehensibility at the moment it compels authenticity/truth.

*

It is true, the strength behind the leader is the person who mystifies me, the so-called unspoken one, like baby brother Andrew was to Peter [Bible].

*

God has no use for pride, such that the meekest of the meek went on to lead, like Moses/Gideon.

*

Look at King David. Lowly Nathan chastened shell-shocked David. Look at Joshua/etc. All unheralded/unsung heroes. Tremendous symbolism of “never judge a book by its cover.”

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/01/03/writing-and-eventually-dying-a-good-death-expressing-sharing-love-to-the-end/

*

*

*

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+of+a+writer+in+deep+thought&qpvt=images+of+a+writer+in+deep+thought&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=FC4083F995FD47F1E3C39EAC4D1A970867E60C12&selectedIndex=89

*

*

*

https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/21/i-write-to-live-authentically-having-been-is-the-surest-kind-of-being-per-great-sage-viktor-frankl/

*

*

*

I write to live authentically — “having been” is the surest kind of being, per great sage Viktor Frankl

*

*

*

*

Usually, to be sure, man considers only the stubble field of transitoriness [the “now”]

*

and

overlooks

the full granaries of the past [reflective lookback] –

*

wherein he had salvaged once and for all his deeds, his joys

*

and also his sufferings.

*

Nothing can be undone, and nothing can be done away with.

*

[for example, I dream of being loved & wanted in the most beautiful way, & even if this dream is not reality, such thought/”unction” comprises my strength & “positive/right” attitude, even in the starkest moment of despair/seemingly hopeless predicament/state of nonexistence-nonbeing closest to death itself, having been forsaken all the way around —

*

which is why Jewish Viktor Frankl’s dream amid the Holocaust even when facing down the death chamber/firing squad was “the angels are in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory.” Ohh, so true!!]

*

I should say ”having been” is the surest kind of being.

*

http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/2782.Viktor_E_Frankl?page=2

*

*

‘Instead of possibilities, I have realities in my past, not only the reality of work done and of love loved –

*

but of sufferings bravely suffered. These sufferings are even the things of which I am most proud, although these are things which cannot inspire envy.’ “

*

From “Logotherapy in a Nutshell”, an essay” Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

*
*
*
*

The reality of life is the luck or unluck of the draw [a crapshoot] —

*

“fair” & “unfair” are nonexistent in life’s vocabulary —

*

life “just is.”

*

Thence, how I deal with setbacks is the key to existence, not the external factual triggers [to despair/hopelessness of predicament].

*

*

*

*

*

https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/11/17/all-those-moments-of-life-will-be-lost-in-time-like-tears-in-the-rain-time-to-for-me-time-to-deal-with-myself-alone/

*

*

http://www.lvrj.com/living/54285947.html

*

*

In this gaping hole of despair & hopelessness of one’s predicament is a crushing emptiness and an aloneness that can make you lose your mind and a sadness that can make your heart question the wisdom and the relevance of continuing to beat — a sadness no person thinks one can bear alone.

*

On some days, very much to wish it would stop beating.

*

To die of unrequited love. Van Gogh didn’t shoot himself in the head. He shot himself in the heart. He saw reality so deeply and clearly, yet could not ultimately disconnect his heart [“be not of this world” — self-respect despite this indifferent and tragic sentient life] from this reality or the other people in it.

*

Van Gogh died because, in the end, he could not differentiate himself [self-respect] from the Collective Unconscious [our indifferent & tragic lack of empathy/compassion in our broken/flawed sentient nature] into which he was compelled to wander.

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

My own epiphany, but I always was a wanderlust, dreaming of beautiful landscapes and never-seen places. Last night I dreamed that my long ago deceased uncle from Kona [symbolizes the love which my ohana/kazuko progeny Minnie/Donna still have for me] showed me a breathtaking vista of a mountainscape ahead of us as we gazed from the seashore toward the distant horizon. This “awesome dream come true” despite my 3 other Hilo family members having ignored me yesterday at McDonald’s in Hilo. I could’ve unconsciously nightmared over forsaken-ness, but such did not manifest. Wow!

*

*

*

*

*

*

https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/11/24/sharing-grief-puts-a-healing-distance-between-us-and-the-pain-this-is-why-storytelling-matters/

*

*

sharing grief puts a healing distance between us and the pain — this is why storytelling matters

*

*

*
*
*
*

Share the suffering. The opportunity to tell the story of our suffering to a compassionate and skillful listener is helpful beyond measure. Simply in the telling and retelling, we begin to shift perspective, to put a healing distance between us and the pain.

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/because-in-the-end-great-journeys-of-integrity-are-walked-alone-sage-steven-kalas/

*

*

http://www.lvrj.com/living/10174701.html

*

Great journeys in emotional maturity are walked alone

*

When another man’s life forces you to behold your own smallness, all you have to do is retro-narrate pathologized stories about him. Just like that, your world is a safer, happier place.

Your friends who are simply gone? You force me to behold, J.K., something I hate to think about:

*

All great journeys in emotional maturity are ultimately walked alone.

*

The archetypal picture here is probably Jesus, whose friends agreed to accompany him into the garden of Gethsemane that night to pray. Jesus is scared. Anxious. Asking God if there isn’t some other way. He looks to his friends for support and encouragement.

And they are sound asleep. And Jesus asks a rhetorical question into the silent night air: “Will no one stay awake with me?”

As a matter of fact, no. Tonight Jesus will suffer, and he will suffer alone.

How to maintain some sense of respect and optimism for humanity? I can only tell you what I do.

When I’m feeling low, when I’ve lost track of why I keep putting one foot in front of the other, when I am sick and tired of paying the price for living out values about which no one else appears to have much if any investment, when I can no longer argue with Protestant theologian John Calvin who used the word “depraved” to describe the essential nature of human beings …

… well, J.K., that’s when I think of people like you [who suffers alone in ennobled integrated fashion to care for his incapacitated wife].

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

http://www.lvrj.com/living/9380491.html

*

Mystery surrounds deep connections we make with others [making friends with “Alone”]

*

An old friend writes from far away. Oh, not that old. She’s 48. I mean we’ve been friends a long, long time.

There’s this bond between us. A connection. I felt it the first time we spoke, which is funny because the first thing she ever communicated to me was disdain. I was 23, so I reached into my repertoire for managing repartee with beautiful women and selected “boyish cockiness” for my retort.

When you’re 23 and male, boyish cockiness is pretty much the extent of your repertoire.

But that was it for us — bonded. A connection that has survived time together, protracted times apart, even years of no communication whatsoever. The friendship has survived love affairs — not with each other — marriages and becoming parents. We’ve been drunk together. And sober. It occurs to me that I’ve never seen her cry.

She was 20 when I met her. Once, on a whim, she sent me a picture of herself at age 5. I smiled. Somewhere inside myself I knew her then, too. Recognized her. In some alternative past, she and I played together in a sandbox (until she made me cry because she was so bossy). Like the bond between us contains secret passages that defy time and space.

She writes to me: “I get you, Steven Kalas.”

Her words strike me like thunder. Truly awestruck, like the way you fall into a spectacular sunset, or the way you stop breathing when you’re standing in a barn at 2 a.m. watching the birth of a calf. I’m focused in a point of time, staring at my monitor. It’s like she’s right here. Right now. I have a friend who gets me. She sees me. I jumble a few words and she says, “Oh yeah.” She not only understands, but understands why and how things matter to me.

Amen.

Then I have this other friend. Or did. Or thought I did. Could’ve sworn we were friends. Soul mates. Years we were friends. Across passion and victory and folly and failure. Across celebration and loss. This friend knows me. And doesn’t know me at all.

We’re not connected anymore.

And I know as much about why we’re no longer connected as I do why I’m still connected to the other friend. Which is to say I don’t know anything at all. And I’ve been railing against the disconnection, like, if I protest loudly and long enough, my erstwhile friend will snap out of it and be connected to me again.

I’ve decided to stop railing. Sad, yes. Probably sad forever. But pounding on it serves all the purpose of pounding on a grave. Why would I look for the living among the dead?

See, both connections and disconnections deserve the same responses. Awe. Respect for the mystery. Even I, a man who believes his gifts and his calling to be teaching people how to be in relationship — well, I can’t tell you much of anything about why some connections happen and some connections don’t happen and still others disintegrate.

The most terrible thing my therapist ever said to me was also the most important: “Steven, we’re alone. No one has anyone.”

Yikes-oi. (Sorry. This sort of thing happens when a GoyBoy tries to express himself forcefully in Yiddish.)

I hated what she said. Railed against it. Argued with it. She had thrown existential sand into the gas tank of my fine-tuned DeLorean of delusion. And my pricey car would go not one mile farther.

My therapist was right. And, as with every other time when she is right, it’s time for me to grow up. We’re alone. No one has anyone.

Strangely, this new truth, while initially a scalpel slashed across my chest without anesthetic, did not burden and depress me for long. Surrender to separateness and aloneness quickly began to create a new space in me. A space for … for …

… relief. A kind of peace. And, most precious, gratitude and humility. Relationship is a grace. A kind of miracle. Human communion emerges as a gift. An unmerited joy. Yes, there are ways of living more conducive to forging and maintaining lasting relationships than other ways of living. I’m not saying there’s nothing we can do. Just that, in the end, I no longer think I have earned or deserved the people who stand in the inner circle of my life.

I just give thanks.

We’re alone. No one has anyone.

*

Human beings cannot be possessed. They cannot be apprehended. They can only be respected and enjoyed. Or respected and bid farewell. Relationship is mystery.

Who really sees you? Who gets you? If you need more than one hand to count those people, you are rich beyond your dreams.

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*
*

*

*

Individualism as ego overpride is not the solitary reflection of an authentic life –

*

http://www.lvrj.com/view/steven-kalas-we-are-individuals-in-consequential-relationships-162688016.html

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

http://www.lvrj.com/living/culture-s-approach-to-suffering-only-prolongs-pain-129608658.html

*

*

And, for those kinds of sufferings/losses that can never be entirely healed, to bear it. To find meaning in it. To turn that suffering into some transformative work in the world.

*

And the truth is this: The human journey includes suffering. No one comes to ask for help who isn’t suffering.

*

*

But, here’s another truth: In any given time in your life, the number of people who actually, really, honestly want and

*

are willing to grant you an engaged and healing audience for your suffering/loss is …

*

small!! Or nonexistent!!

*

*

*

*

Even people who sincerely love and adore you might find themselves ambivalent about really engaging and listening to the part of you that suffers. See, the people around us have egos, too. Their egos mobilize to protect them just like your ego does. “Cheer up … get over it … God has a plan … everybody is doing the best he or she can … don’t cry” — the felt motive for these messages is to help you.

*

But each of these messages also contains the anxiety of the messenger:

*

Please stop bothering and disturbing me by suffering.

*

And that’s what most modern people do. They try to stop suffering. They “get over it.” They build layer upon layer of pretense and persona over their wounds, because it’s, well, the sociable thing to do. Most of us, then, suffer unconsciously. Because that’s the way we’ve been taught to suffer.

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

http://www.lvrj.com/living/9146411.html

*

Lots of people don’t want to be present to sadness — their own or anyone else’s.

*

Other people would like to be present to their bereaved friends and family, but don’t know how.

We live in a culture where grief is treated as a disease to be “cured,” or a weakness cursed of shame or self-loathing.

Contrarily, grief is the holiest of human journeys.

One of my favorite Friedrich Nietzsche quotes is, “Everything holy requires a veil.” Now, modern Americans might think he means that we should keep things covered up because those things are shameful. Nope. He means that some things are so beautiful, so huge, so powerful, so naked, so intimate, that to gaze casually upon them would be injurious to their meaning and value. Injurious ultimately to us.

Grief is such a thing.

I concur with your observation that people around us are largely inept at befriending us in grief. Yet I also encourage people like you to remember to veil (protect and value) their grief. Keep the circle of confidants small. Pick two and no more than five people who will hear the depths of your pain.

There are two ways to read your question at the end. Literally you ask how you might numb the heartache. But I’m guessing you aren’t being literal. In fact, it’s not a question at all, is it? It reads more like an indignation. Like, how dare anyone ask you to numb the heartache! How dare the medical community suggest drugging your bereavement!

See, J.R., you know how precious your sadness is. A breathless, crushing burden, yes. But precious.

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/08/17/alienation-i-dont-belong-and-estrangement-getting-dumped-because-i-dont-belong/

*

*

alienation [I don’t belong] and estrangement [getting dumped because I don’t belong]

*

*

*

Alienation & estrangement – the results of Loss [e.g. getting dumped] by your beloved [lifemate/soulmate]

*

*

http://www.lvrj.com/blogs/kalas/_Retirement_leaves_time_for_pondering_self_relationships.html

*

*

Question: What do all people seeking release from personal despair have in common?

Answer: They are suffering some combination of alienation and estrangement.

Alienation means a crisis of belonging. We are alien. We don’t belong.

Estrangement means the painful disruption of the bonds of relationship. Interpersonal injuries and injustices. To become estranged is to become a stranger to the one we love and by whom we are loved.

I’m saying your use of the word “misfit” sounds like a crisis of alienation and estrangement.

*

*

*

*

*

http://www.reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/steven-kalas/western-religion-breeding-ground-neurosis

*

When it comes to the question of the usefulness of guilt in shaping and inspiring a thriving human identity, I would say Western religion is, at once, beautiful, nutty and (potentially) pathological. Healthy religion knows these dangers. And psychologically healthy pilgrims embrace what is beautiful while keeping a keen watch on what is nutty or pathological.

Guilt is beautiful, holy, vital and important when it is healthy guilt. And healthy guilt is nothing more or less than the name of the grief we feel when we abandon our own values.

*

The grief of estrangement and alienation.

*

Healthy guilt, however miserable it feels, contains within itself a holy longing for reconciliation. (One prayer during the rosary, for example, is asking God to “give me a contrite heart.” Meaning, “Please give me the courage to let my heart break over the ways I have hurt others, etc.”) Catholicism — its rites, rituals and symbols — bears much beauty into the world to facilitate the blessings of healthy guilt, healthy shame.

The nutty or potentially pathological side of guilt happens when people, families or institutions (especially the church) peddle guilt to us with darker, perhaps unconscious motives. If you, for example, are threatened by another’s genius, gifts and “light” (envy!), then one way to dodge the threat is to instill in that person a grave, crippling self-doubt. An anxious, paralyzing self-consciousness forcing a default posture of apology to the world for daring to be him/herself.

Or, people/institutions instill guilt because they are projecting sadism. That is, they are reveling in the humiliation of sinners. Yes, some of our accusers are having a grand time!

Control, humiliation, hierarchy, authority, power — when discussions of guilt bear these darker motives, run away quick!

*

*

*

*

Deepest reverential silence  

*

Elijah calls out to God to show Himself.   God does not manifest in the earthquake, nor the fire, but in a still small voice  — the might of the Holy.

http://biblehub.com/1_kings/19-12.htm

*

The deepest inner quiet is more powerful than any outward manifestation   — noise is not organic righteous activity — but simply an external show  — yet the inner voice grows as living proof of God.    Not just being, but doing  — from the inside.   

*

*

Analogously, deep calls to deep in the roar of the waterfall.     The mystery, mysticism, and miracles of Christ.    http://biblehub.com/psalms/42-7.htm

*

*

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+waterfall+mist&qpvt=images+waterfall+mist&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=56F31FE4019DED7F1345AEDA3885D9F777599DC2&selectedIndex=107

*

https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/06/23/tribute-to-jo-anne-silva-deep-calls-to-deep-in-the-roar-of-your-waterfalls-psalms-415-7-the-psalmist-comes-to-see-that-there-is-no-silence-the-answer-coming-from-god-is-deeper-than-words-god/

*

*

The psalmist comes to see that there is no silence; the answer coming from God is deeper than words. God is present, and speaking, but what he’s saying isn’t resting on the surface waters of life. This is a season where deep is calling to deep or, as Thomas Kelly phrases it, a time of going “down into the recreating silences.” — James Emery White

*

*

*

James Emery White:  The Silence of God  — Perhaps it’s not silence we’re encountering while we seek God, but rather a pregnant pause — a prompting to engage in personal reflection so that the deepest of answers, the most profound of responses, can be given and received. 

*

*

http://www.preaching.com/sermons/11545530/page-5/

*

Silence.

In truth, it was the deepest conversation we had ever had. God was moving within me,

*

communing and communicating with me on levels that I had never opened to him before. That night was the first of many such conversations.

*

*

*

*

*

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

*

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Night_of_the_Soul#Spiritual_term_in_the_Christian_tradition

*

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_Teresa#Spiritual_life

*

In the 16th century, Saint John of the Cross famously described not being able to talk with God  as “the Dark Night of the Soul.”      The 17th-century Benedictine mystic Fr. Augustine Baker called it the “great desolation.”         This also is known as spiritual dryness.

*

The term “dark night (of the soul)” is used in Christianity for a spiritual crisis in a journey towards union with God, like that described by Saint John of the Cross.

*

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, a 19th-century French Carmelite, wrote of her own experience. Centering on doubts about the afterlife, she reportedly told her fellow nuns, “If you only knew what darkness I am plunged into, a night of  nothingness.”

*

Contrary to the mistaken belief by some that the doubts by these  saints   expressed would be an impediment to canonization, just the opposite is true; it is very consistent with the experience of canonized mystics.

*

The term the “dark night of the soul“   describes a particular stage in the growth of  spiritual mystic masters.

*

While this crisis is usually temporary in nature, it may last for extended periods. The “dark night” of Saint Paul of the Cross in the 18th century lasted 45 years, from which he ultimately recovered.

*

Mother Teresa’s diaries show that she experienced spiritual dryness for most of her life.  Mother Teresa of Calcutta, according to letters released in 2007, “may be the most extensive such case on record,” lasting from 1948 almost up until her death in 1997, with only brief interludes of relief between.     

Franciscan Friar Father Benedict Groeschel, a friend of Mother Teresa for a large part of her life, claims that “the darkness left” towards the end of her life.

*

*

This is a form of spiritual crisis experienced subjectively as a sense of separation from God or lack of spiritual feeling, especially during contemplative prayer. Paradoxically, spiritual dryness can lead to greater love of God.

*

Such inability to communicate with God actually provides an opportunity to reach deeper in connecting with God, as seen in  the seed that fell on the rocks in Parable of the Sower, as well as to the Grain of Wheat allegory found in the Gospel of John.

*

Such “passive purification” bears fruit which are “the purification of love, until the soul is so inflamed with love of God that it feels as if wounded and languishes with the desire to love Him still more intensely.”

*

The theme of spiritual dryness also can be found in the Book of Job, the Psalms, the experiences of the Prophets, and many other passages of the New Testament.

*

Example of Old Testament Silence   –

*

https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/what-are-you-doing-here-elijah-there-are-multiple-ways-that-one-might-hear-this-question-it-all-depends-on-where-you-place-the-emphasis-in-the-sentence-the-simplest-meaning-may-be-i-am-surp/

*

“What are you doing here, Elijah?” There are multiple ways that one might hear this question; it all depends on where you place the emphasis in the sentence. The simplest meaning may be: “I am surprised to see you, Elijah. I did not expect you of all people to show up on my mountain.” That would emphasize the “you.” But if you focus on the “here,” it could imply that Elijah should not be here at all, but somewhere else. 

*

As Elijah hears the silence (yes, silence may be heard), he wraps his face in his robe, and exits the cave, the better to await a further word from his God. One more thing that we all need to remember. Elijah is far from alone and neither are we. “I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him” (1 Kgs 19:18).   Let us remember Elijah, let us listen to the silence in the midst of the world’s clamor.  — John C. Holbert

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/paul-is-a-mystic-he-thinks-mystically-writes-mystically-teaches-mystically-and-lives-mystically-and-expects-other-christians-to-do-likewise-paul-the-first-writer-in-the-christian-bible/

*

Paul is a mystic—he thinks mystically, writes mystically, teaches mystically, and lives mystically, and expects other Christians to do likewise.

*

Paul, the first writer in the Christian Bible; the very first theologian in the West, was a mystic.

*

And the earliest hymns of Christianity are about the Cosmic Christ—Colossians, Philippians, Ephesians and many more. So the original followers of the Christ path were mystics, cosmic mystics of the Cosmic Christ.  — Matthew Fox

*

*

*

*

https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/in-praise-of-mystic-christian-jo-anne-silva-i-recognized-that-our-seminaries-could-teach-us-how-to-think-and-even-how-to-apply-the-truths-of-scriptures-to-certain-situations-but-our-seminaries-did/

*

*

*

*

*

*

https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/05/24/richard-hays-echoes-of-scripture-in-the-letters-of-paul-pauls-readings-of-scripture-are-not-constrained-by-a-historical-scrupulousness-about-the-original-meaning-of-the-texts-esch/

*

*

Richard Hays’ Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul:  Paul’s readings of Scripture are not constrained by a historical scrupulousness about the original meaning of the texts. Eschatological meaning subsumes original sense….

*

True interpretation depends neither on historical inquiry nor on erudite literary analysis but on attentiveness

*

to the promptings of the Spirit,

*

who reveals the gospel through Scripture in surprising ways.

*

In such interpretations, there is an element of playfulness, but the freedom of intertextual play is grounded in a secure sense of the continuity of God’s grace: Paul trusts the same God who spoke through Moses to speak still in his own transformative reading. Just as my lectionary commentary invites Christians to read the Bible as Jesus read the ‘Bible’ in his day (with a hermeneutic of love), Hays’ work invites us to embrace the same freedom to interpret the Bible that Paul with other ancient commentators claimed.  — sage Carl Gregg

*

*

*

*

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+4%3A24&version=KJV

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

In praise of rhema-laden disciple of Jesus   — Pastor Cathy Poai Simmons

*

*

Pastor Cathy Poai Simmons look-alike

*

Pastor Cathy’s look-alike female here  —

*

and timeclock 27 seconds to the end of the video   —

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

*

Pastor Cathy Poai Simmons has her down-to-earth beach ministry Lord’s Day every Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. at the beautiful palatial Onekahakaha bathroom pavilion in Keaukaha  — Kathy’s ministry — Jesus’ ministry — is the I am that I am sent Me  Lord’s Day evangelical service.

*

*

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Am_that_I_Am#Other_views

*

Samuel Taylor Coleridge predicates much of the theoretical frame of his Biographia Literaria on what he calls ‘the great I AM’ (that is, God the Father) and ‘the filial WORD that re-affirmeth it …’ (Christ, reaffirming his father’s statement’) ‘

*

…from Eternity to Eternity,

*

whose choral Echo is the Universe.’

*

Coleridge’s argument is that these two things together work to create the ground for all meaning, especially poetic and artistic meaning.

*

*

*

*

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/peterenns/2014/10/god-and-true-freedom/

*

Only love can know love, only mercy can know mercy, only the endless mystery

*

I am to myself is ready for God’s Infinite Mystery.

*

When I can stand in mystery (not knowing and not needing to know and being dazzled by such mystery),

*

when I don’t need to split, to hate, to dismiss, to compartmentalize

*

what I cannot explain or understand,

*

when I can radically accept that

*

“I am what I am what I am,”

*

then I am beginning to stand in divine light (Galatians 5:1).

*

We do not know how to stand there on our own.

*

This is what the saints mean by our emptiness, our poverty and our nothingness.

*

They are not being negative, but just utterly honest about their inner experience.

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

What God reveals to intuitive Christian mystic Cathy Poai Simmons

*

As erudite Pastor Cathy Poai Simmons intones, we are made in God’s image to be more than  indwelled with the Word of God (Scripture)  — that is, to pour out beyond in the Spirit of God by way of God’s holy spirit in us.   The significance of the Ark of the Covenant is not just to break us out of bondage,  but more so to enjoy Jesus’ throne of grace via Jesus’ mercy seat for us (our seat of grace)    — as we are touched deepest by the throne of God.        According to traditional teachings of Judaism in the Talmud, the tablets of stone (tablets of testimony)  were made of blue sapphire stone as a reminder of  God’s throne.  

 

*
The Tablets of Stone predict the coming of Jesus  —
*

Gospel of Luke (1:32-33):  “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

*
*

The Epistle to the Hebrews recounts the description of the Ark, Holy of Holies, and mercy seat (seat of grace), and then goes on to portray the role of the mercy seat during Yom Kippur as a prefiguration of the Passion of Christ, which it argues was a greater atonement, and formed a New Covenant (Hebrews 9:3-15).

*

The text continues by stating that the Yom Kippur ritual was but a shadow of things to come (Hebrews 10:1).

*

The continual sacrifice for sin became obsolete once Jesus had died. This is the whole thrust of Hebrews ch 10, but is especially clearly stated in v11-14. The Epistle to the Romans states that Jesus was sent by God as a propitiation (Romans 3:25), while, perhaps in a reflection on Ezekiel’s atonement ceremony, the Second Epistle to the Corinthians argues that Jesus had become a sin offering (2 Corinthians 5:21).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercy_seat#In_the_New_Testament
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propitiation#Propitiation_and_expiation 
*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

Three items in the Ark of the Covenant exemplify the Holy Spirit  –

*

Besides the Tablets of Stone (predictive of the coming of Jesus)

*
*
*

the Ark of the Covenant contained   1)  Aaron’s rod,    2)  the first Torah scroll as written by Moses,  and  3)  a jar of manna.

*
*

With our regeneration (& eventual transformation) in the Holy Spirit

(inseparable from the human spirit below, and the same as the raw spirit of the Holy in the Old Testament),

 

we have 1) conscience, 2) intuition, and 3) fellowship.

http://www.ministrysamples.org/excerpts/THE-THREE-PARTS-OF-THE-SPIRIT-CONSCIENCE-FELLOWSHIP-AND-INTUITION.HTML
 *

*

Conscience, like Aaron’s rod (typology-prefiguration-predictive relationship of the Old Testament to the New Testament — literal horizontal beam of the Cross  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aaron%27s_rod#Christian_use),  is for us to discern right from wrong, to justify or to condemn. Romans 9:1 compared with Romans 8:16 proves that the conscience is a part of our spirit   —      eternal security should never be presented merely as a matter of being once saved, always saved — with no regard for what you believe or do. The writer of Hebrews 12:14 states frankly that only those who continue living holy lives will enter the Lord’s presence.  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_F._MacArthur#Soteriology

*

*

Intuition, like the Torah scroll http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sefer_Torah,  means to have a direct sense or feeling in our spirit, regardless of reason or circumstance. First Corinthians 2:11 indicates that our spirit can know what our soul cannot. Our soul knows by reason or by circumstance, but our spirit can perceive without these. This is intuition, the direct sense in our spirit.  

*

Fellowship, like manna http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manna#Gathering (not to be confused with opposite Pacifica pagan mana),  is for us to contact God and to commune with God. This is shown in John 4:24 and Romans 1:9.    Godman means that God gave us Jesus so that we could comprehend God thru our own “kind,” so to speak, flesh/blood Jesus.    After all, God’s eternal purpose for us is to be like God.   God finishes what God starts, so that our regenerated spirit perseveres to avert having us reject God and to avert having us intentionally engage in continuous sin, including “deadly” sin.   

*

*

*

*

*

*

The only “external” New Testament impressions consist of 4  prompts:   1) baptism  2)  Lord’s table  3)  breaking bread at the Lord’s table  4) sipping wine at the Lord’s table.  Not “cutting genealogy” (breaking generational curses) as several ethnic Hawaiian pastors exhort, nor sealing via Revelation 7:3  (“Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.”)

*

*

*

The “external”  New Testament  prompts not only correlate the Old Testament tablets of stone with the the first prompt of baptism (the coming of Jesus), on top of this the New Testament prompts correspond with the convergence of the human and holy spirit described above.

*

Just as Jesus ended for us the self/soul (soul consists of mind/will/emotion) at Gethsemane — not my will, but Thy Will (God’s Will) be done  — and just as Jesus ended for us the flesh (carnal lust for sex/fame/fortune) the next day at Calvary (Crucifixion),  so does the Lord’s table/Eucharist exemplify the spirit’s commitment to Christ in our spiritual intuition.

*

And so does the breaking of the bread exemplify our collective spiritual fellowship in the body of Christ in one accord (a new life in Christ).

*

And so does the sipping of the wine exemplify our spiritual conscience in choosing good over evil, no matter the cost of discipleship (crucify our sinful ways to be born in the spirit of Christ).

*
http://www.ministrysamples.org/excerpts/DENYING-THE-SELF-BY-DENYING-THE-NATURAL-MIND-EMOTION-AND-WILL.HTML
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eucharist

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/90-233/What-is-Sin

*

Psychologists reject sin because they want to exalt man, and they want to eliminate God.  So, because they reject sin, they have no explanation for why man is the way he is.  They misdiagnose him totally, so they offer really no help.  And what do we do?  We try to come up with harsher penalties, the, what is it, the three-strike law: three felonies in a row and you go to jail and they throw the key away.  We bring back the death penalty.  But nothing can end the reign of terror; nothing can end the reign of corruption.  You can’t do it with counseling.  You can’t do it with psychotherapy.  You can’t do it with Prozac.  You can’t do it, because the issue is sin.  The issue is: we’ve all inherited a corrupted nature.

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

Prefiguration (predictive relationship of Old Testament to New Testament)

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typology_(theology)

*

and Daniel’s prophecy (in relation to Luke’s prodigal son parable 700 yrs. later)

*

intone Jesus’ throne of grace ergo that

*

Jesus yokes equally  (not just the archetype believer/nonbeliever  conundrum)

*

the trip trigger being exhortation to Jesus’ disciples to use their God-given gifts in the service of God,

*

pointedly, to

take risks for

the sake of the

Kingdom of

God.

*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*

The landowner’s parable of talents (minas) enunciates the same principles.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_talents_or_minas#As_a_teaching_for_Christians

*

*
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornerstone
*

Book of Ephesians makes clear that Jesus is the cornerstone

*

of faith   (e.g. holy spirit in the process of regeneration, justification, consecration, sanctification, transformation, glorification)

http://www.gotquestions.org/ordo-salutis.html
http://fmcusa.org/uniquelyfm/doctrine/

 

*

*

*

*

*

*

Just the same, Nebuchadnezzar,  defiled as he was, still had God’s mercy and a chance to redeem himself with our Heavenly Father,

*

though Nebuchadnezzar,

*

like Red Badge of Courage soldier Henry Fleming,

*

ends as he began:

*

In self deception.

*

*

Although Henry Fleming “progresses upwards toward manhood and moral triumph,”  as he begins to mature by taking leave of his previous “romantic notions,”  the education of the hero ends as it began: in self deception.   

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

      

*

*

*

*

*

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

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_of_Babel#Genre

*

Though not to the extent/degree of God’s mercy toward Nebuchadnezzar, if one posits Nimrod’s explicit motive of cultural and linguistic homogeneity  –

*

God’s actions are not punishment for pride,

*

but a positive etiology (origin of a custom) of cultural differences,

*

presenting Babel

*

not 

*

as the cradle of civilization  –

*

rather, God was concerned that humans had too much freedom to do as they wished, so God brought into existence multiple languages.  Thus, humans were divided into linguistic groups, unable to understand one another.

*

*

http://www.theologyofwork.org/old-testament/genesis-1-11-and-work/god-works-to-keep-his-promise-genesis-9-11/noahs-descendants-and-the-tower-of-babel-genesis-101-1132/

*

Thus, while it appears that God’s scattering of the peoples is a punishment,

*

it actually might be a means/signature of redemption.

*

From the beginning, God intended people to disperse across the world. “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth” (Gen. 1:28).

*

By scattering people after the fall of the tower, God put people back on the path of filling the earth, ultimately resulting in the beautiful array of peoples and cultures that populate it today.

*

If people had completed the tower under a singularity of malicious intent and social tyranny, with the result that “nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them” (Gen. 11:6), we can only imagine the horrors they would have worked in their pride and strength of sin. The scale of evil worked by humanity in the 20th and 21st centuries gives a mere glimpse of what people might do if all things were possible without dependence on God. As Dostoevsky put it, “Without God and the future life, it means everything is permitted.”

Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov (1880), Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, tr. (San Francisco: North Point Press, 1990), 589.

Sometimes God will not give us our way because his mercy towards us is too great.

*

With today’s Vatican’s/Pope’s call for “one world religion,” on the analogous footing of  Nimrod’s explicit motive of cultural and linguistic homogeneity  (e.g. masons/illuminati

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_World_Order_(conspiracy_theory)#Illuminati  )  –

*

one crystalizes the thought of a singularity of purpose with potentially disastrous consequences — the Pope as god).

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

The Bible is all about love in endless abundance,

*

coupled however,

*

with innate principles of responsibility and faith.

*

Wow, the Jews had 700 yrs. head start to figure out God’s mercy and grace before the advent of Luke, and we Gentiles had 2000 yrs. to figure out Jesus’ throne of grace and our ubiquitous mercy seat (extinguish flesh, distinguish spirit)   — and yet none of us “gets it,” so to speak.

*

*

*

*

What do you have in abundance?

*

Out of that abundance, to whom might you be called to seek out and practice abundant generosity?

*

*

*

*

*

*

As Cliff Livermore’s great editor intones,  –

*

Like both the accusers and the woman caught in adultery, none of us has righteousness apart from Christ based on our own terms.

*

We are dealing with a holy God and must be dressed in HIS holiness to enter into the Holy of Holies.

*

We are all sinners,

*

but we get to choose whether we fall upon the Rock

*

or whether the Rock falls upon us.

*

Either way, we get a Rock.

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

Yes, as fellow Pastor Wilfredo Agngaray evokes, we all have the free will to choose between good and evil.

*

Yet, inasmuch  the majority of Christians do nothing but “play church,” ergo “Entertainment Tonight   — Hollywood style gossip/celebrities in the world,”

*

most Christians do not pose a danger to Satan,

*

and neither  are they of any value to God!!

*

Quip above attributed to Cliff Livermore

*

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ic54opa0ESA     (Lucifer dethroned)

*

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/65549.Hostage_to_the_Devil_Reissue

*

http://www.epm.org/blog/2011/Jun/22/francis-chans-erasing-hell      (e.g. YWAM’s self-deception in denying hell)

*

Dorothy Sayers correctly chastens   —  “We cannot repudiate Hell without altogether repudiating Christ.”

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

Pastor Cathy Poai Simmons’ warning against dead works  is aptly summed up via writing below   —

*

http://www.ligonier.org/blog/what-are-dead-works/

*

f

Dead works are the works of our hands. These are works of self-righteousness, and they are appropriately called “dead” works because they lead to death. Twice the book of Proverbs says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death” (14:12; 16:25). We rely on work. We get significance from our work. We like a job that is well done. And well we should, because God created us to work. Yet all of our labors are useless, and thus dead, if they do not point to the worship of God. Any significance and esteem we attain from our labor apart from the end of bringing God glory and establishing His rule upon the earth is misplaced. Such godless labor may appear good to us and even receive the applause of others, but heaven finds it repulsive and defiled by sin. In other words, unless we have been washed in the blood of Christ, all our good deeds are worthless, useless, vain, and dead.

Tweet this…unless we have been washed in the blood of Christ, all our good deeds are worthless, useless, vain, and dead.

These works are lethal because the thing that most keeps people from Christ is the belief that they can be good without Him. Their lives may be filled with good deeds in the eyes of men, but such works are not necessarily good in the eyes of God. Unfortunately, many have been led astray by the church, as preachers and teachers have told them that the gospel is what they do. Live right. Eat right. Give right. Die right. The truth, however, is that only faith in Christ matters—everything else is sin (Rom. 14:23). You can sing like Mahalia Jackson or Whitney Houston. You can play like Mozart or Yo-Yo Ma. Without Christ, these works are dead. The French philosopher Blaise Pascal is believed to have said, “There are only two kinds of people in the world: the righteous who understand themselves to be sinners, and the sinners who believe themselves to be righteous.” The Bible says that, apart from God in Christ, all my righteousness is but filthy rags—defiled and unclean (Isa. 64:6). Apart from the blood of Christ, my conscience and my hands are unclean, and my worship and works are dead. But in Christ, not only am I made alive, so are my works.

Why don’t dead works cut it? Simply put, our God is a living God. God is not into dead things. Death and Christ are not friends. Whenever Jesus came upon a death, He reversed it. When Jesus went to a funeral, it did not stay a funeral. The Bible records three instances during the life of Jesus when He came in contact with the dead. Each time, the dead were brought back to life. He raised the son of a widow (Luke 7:11–17). He raised Jairus’ daughter (Luke 8:41–42; 49–56). He raised His friend Lazarus (John 11:1–44). When Jesus touches the dead, He makes them alive. Why? Because He is alive! Consequently, to serve and worship God is to serve and worship the living God. Dead people do not worship a living God. This is why the Bible says we have been made alive in Christ (Eph. 2:5). We do not glory in our dead deeds. We glory in the living Christ! Only Jesus provides the clean consciences, hands, and hearts we need to glory in Him.

*

*

*

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protestantism#Historical_chart

Historical chart

Historical chart of the main Protestant branches

*

Pastor Cathy Poai Simmons is Pentecostal

*

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentecostalism#Salvation

*
Pentecostal soteriology (salvation) is generally Arminian rather than Calvinist.  The security of the believer is a doctrine held within Pentecostalism; nevertheless, this security is conditional upon continual faith and repentance.

*

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protestantism#Pentecostalism

*

Pentecostalism, as a movement, began in the United States early in the 20th century, starting especially within the Holiness movement. Seeking a return to the operation of New Testament gifts of the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues as evidence of the “baptism of the Holy Ghost” or to make the unbeliever believe became the leading feature. Divine healing and miracles were also emphasized. Pentecostalism swept through much of the Holiness movement, and eventually spawned hundreds of new denominations in the United States. A later “charismatic” movement also stressed the gifts of the Spirit, but often operated within existing denominations, rather than by coming out of them.

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

The earthly tabernacle was patterned after the one in heaven (Exodus 25:9, 40; 26:30; 27:8; Numbers 8:4; Acts 7:44; Hebrews 8:1-5; 9:11-12)

*

Spiritual gifts, including the miraculous, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 12:27-31, Romans 12:3-8, Ephesians 4:7-16 — impress (via the holy spirit) today, such as one sees with Cliff Livermore when he is not in self (repugnant former Simon Peter) but in Jesus.   Pastor Cathy Poai Simmons’ fruit of the Spirit (transformation & sanctification) manifests her spiritual character of love, not of her nor Cliff as a gifted (purified/holy) disciple, but of the glorious building up of the collective body of Christ. 
*
 http://gbcdecatur.org/sermons/BeyondVeilMercySeat.html
*
God interfaces sinful man with Jesus at the Tabernacle’s Mercy Seat.    The Shekinah glory shows God’s presence between the cherubim over the cover of the Mercy Seat.    Sin separates man from God. A holy God shuts out sinful man by walls and the veils. Our sins shut out us from the presence of a thrice holy God.   When the sinner could not go to heaven because of his coming short of the glory of God, God in the person of His Son came from heaven to earth “that He might bring us to God.” (1 Peter 3:18) God issues an invitation for each of us eventually to “draw near with confidence to the Throne of Grace,” so that we may complete via mercy from Jesus (Mercy Seat) and grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16) Let’s “keep on drawing near(er)” with confidence to the places where God meets us in Christ.    We come now to the Mercy Seat (for eventual salvation), to draw nearer to Jesus’ Throne of Grace.   
*
Essentially, Jesus’ Mercy Seat for us and Jesus’ Throne of Grace contrast God’s relationship with man in the Old and New Covenants. When God set up residence on earth, He called His throne the Mercy Seat (for us all).   After Calvary Jesus prompted man via the Holy Spirit to Jesus’ Throne of Grace.  

*

In the ark we saw the person of Christ, but in the Mercy Seat we see the work of Christ.   In the Throne of Grace we see the fulfillment of Christ in us.

 *
God has revealed His heart to us by the name of His throne.  Man comes frighteningly to the Judgment Seat, and finds the Mercy Seat, though Judgment eventually awaits us all.

Jesus’ Mercy Seat is a place we go to and not be condemned. And this is wonderful. Yet God has so much more for us. By way of Jesus, God’s throne is now called the Throne of Grace!  Not only will He forgive (Mercy), or not give you what you deserve (destruction)  —  His intent is to bless, or give you what you do not deserve (Grace)!

*

Quit living your life like you count on His forgiveness. Live your life like you count on His blessing!

Are you still living in the Old Covenant? Or have you stepped into the New? Are you  squeamish in approaching a Seat of Mercy? Or are you boldly visioning the Throne of Grace?

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

And like the older Biblical Jacob, Pastor Cathy Poai Simmons   —

*

1)  shakes off the dust (does not react in the flesh or of the self) of “the world,” so to speak,

*

2) and empathizes with adversaries, if there by any, by praying  for their healing (of any afflictions).

*

*

*

*

*

Jacob’s ladder

*

is the human soul and the angels are God’s logoi (messengers),

*

1)  pulling up the soul in distress (release from suffering)  — “shake off the dust”  — don’t overreact –

*

2)  and descending in compassion (empathize/pray for adversaries).

*

#2 above is characterized as “praying down heaven” to earth.   Smith Wigglesworth was a man who knew how to “pray down” heaven. He understood the powers available from above and knew how to bring those powers into this realm.   Pastor Cathy Poai Simmons is inspired by Smith Wigglesworth.    “Entertaining angels unawares” Lani imbued us all in “Martin Luther tabletalk” with “praying down heaven.”

 http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermons/praying-heaven-down-dan-anderson-sermon-on-prayer-adoration-96978.asp

*

This thought comes from the Lords Prayer. When the disciples asked Jesus how to pray, He responded, “May your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” [Matthew 6:10] Or basically, we are to pray in faith: As it is in heaven, may it be that way now – on earth!      

http://www.pastorericdykstra.com/eric_offstage/2013/05/praying-heaven-down-pastor-eric-dykstra-the-crossing-church-elk-river-mn.html

*

If only You would tear the heavens open [and] come down, so that mountains would quake at Your presence…”     Isaiah 64:1-3

http://mountain-top-musings.blogspot.com/2012/07/praying-heaven-down.html

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob%27s_Ladder#Judaism

*

*

Jacob’s Dream by William Blake (c. 1805, British Museum, London)

*

*

*

*

And just as Jacob gave to his 2nd to youngest son Joseph the birthright of the 1st-born son, ergo 1) authority over family members   2) double portion of inheritance   3) succession in leadership from father Jacob  — and just as Jacob gave to Joseph’s 2nd-born son Ephraim the birthright over 1st-born choice of Joseph  — Manasseh — after  which Joseph overcame Joseph’s bitterness by lauding the sovereignty and mystery of God  — after all, Joseph was given the same birthright via “unfair” preference thru Jacob    –

*

so do we as disciples of Jesus

*

inherit the traditional birthright

*

with the accompanying responsibilities of 

*

fidelity/integrity to God  (vertical duty) (priestly) and

*

fidelity/integrity to others  (horizontal duty  — fellow creatures of this world) (kingly).

*

*

http://seekersofchrist.org/BIRTH/birthright.html

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

Even for doubters (agnostics) and especially for nonbelievers (atheists)  –

*

it simply is astonishing and mind-blowing that hypothetically  –

*

we can devise an ethic –

*

a super conscience –

*

to keep us in check –

*

and balance  –

*

to ensure our survival as a species among nature’s creations

*

(ecosystem equilibrium akin to hydrostatic equilibrium  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrostatic_equilibrium#Fluids  ).

*

*

*

*

*

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/22/atheist-ten-commandments_n_6198734.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

*

The 10 “non-commandments” — the atheist’s irreducible statements of atheist and humanist belief  –

*

I. The world is real, and our desire to understand the world is the basis for belief.
II. We can perceive the world only through our human senses.
III. We use rational thought and language as tools for understanding the world.
IV. All truth is proportional to the evidence.
V. There is no God.
VI. We all strive to live a happy life. We pursue things that make us happy and avoid things that do not.
VII. There is no universal moral truth. Our experiences and preferences shape our sense of how to behave.
VIII. We act morally when the happiness of others makes us happy.
IX. We benefit from living in, and supporting, an ethical society.
X. All our beliefs are subject to change in the face of new evidence, including these.

*

*

*

Cry if you have to  –

*
Let it out. It’s not normal to get an infection from a paper cut or celebrate a holiday alone.

I make peace with  loneliness by acknowledging the absurdity of it.

*

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jessica-gimeno/4-tips-on-celebrating-a-h_b_6222380.html?utm_hp_ref=gps-for-the-soul&ir=GPS%20for%20the%20Soul

*

*

*

*

*

Understandably, here is new ager pantheist Chopra’s ‘sure’ list  –

*

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deepak-chopra/why-god-makes-more-sense-_b_6212042.html?utm_hp_ref=books&ir=Books
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deepak-chopra/how-richard-dawkins-lost-_b_6172040.html?utm_hp_ref=books&ir=Books
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wray-herbert/hard-to-think-straight-pr_b_6200306.html?utm_hp_ref=science
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/22/pan-american-health-organ_n_6029402.html?utm_hp_ref=gps-for-the-soul&ir=GPS%20for%20the%20Soul

*

  1. Science isn’t by definition anti-religious.
  2. Atheists have a point when they accuse organized religion of a litany of gross failings, including crusades, jihads, and the Inquisition. But religions are human institutions prone to every human failing. Religious history is about us, not about whether God exists.
  3. God can be approached without resorting to the cultural mythology of a humanized Father and Mother watching over us from Heaven. Atheists largely attack this myth, but smashing a myth doesn’t mean you’ve smashed reality.
  4. There is a rich tradition, both East and West, of an impersonal God. This God is the source of consciousness and all that we associate with consciousness: self-awareness, intelligence, creativity, evolution, etc.
  5. The experience of God is found inside our own consciousness, not “out there” in a supernatural realm.

*

  1. If all experience is subjective, going inward is a valid means of exploring reality.
  2. In this exploration, new levels of consciousness reveal themselves.
  3. At deeper levels of consciousness, perception changes radically.
  4. As perception changes, so does reality itself, since nothing is real for us beyond what we can perceive in some way.
  5. The conjunction of the individual mind with the source of consciousness is where God lives.

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

Profound and inexplicable that we “first mold” (archetype typology) instinctively (internal drive)

*

for some paradigm (pattern/creation)

*

greater than the self

*

as the only real (sane — fulfilling) path

*

for finding a whole complete self.

*

*

Jungian scholars posit that inside every human heart is a personal picture of the divine, be it a personal God or an uninvolved pantheistic entity.

*

*

Agnostics/atheists posit that Jews have imago dei (image of God), whereas Christians have imago Christo (image of Christ).

*

*

*

*

*

Symbols are the language of dreams. A symbol can invoke a feeling or an idea and often has a much more profound and deeper meaning than any one word can convey.

 

http://www.dreammoods.com/dreamdictionary/

*

Symbols (other persons/things)  often “mask” the actual person/thing  (of one’s deepest secrets and hidden feelings –

unresolved conflicts discoverable via transference, as an example

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychoanalytic_dream_interpretation#Contemporary_psychoanalytic_approach

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

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Displacement_(psychology)    )

 –

*

inasmuch the real person/thing emblematic of  immense suffering stretches oneself (e.g. the dreamer) into the vortex of vulnerability –

*

a psychic well so deep that is not without grave cost    –

*

perhaps in the extreme instance  –   to die as one lived –  as a person of self-determination and self-worth.

*

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/02/brittany-maynard-death_n_6077482.html?utm_hp_ref=religion

*

Yet, in the depths of despair, absurdity, and indifference of life,

*

one finds the deepest connectedness, the deepest continuity,

*

with the primary humanity which defines you  –

*

 the piety of being who you are because someone loved you.

*

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathleen-anderson/why-cornel-west-loves-jan_b_6140744.html?utm_hp_ref=books

*

*

*

*

Similarly   –

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_in_Christianity#Parables

the parables of Jesus represent a major component of his teachings in the gospels, the approximately thirty parables forming about one third of his recorded teachings.   The parables may appear within longer sermons, as well as other places within the narrative.

*

Jesus’ parables are seemingly simple and memorable stories, often with imagery, and each conveys a teaching which usually

*

relates the physical world to the spiritual world.

*

In the 19th century, Lisco and Fairbairn stated that in the parables of Jesus, “the image borrowed from the visible world is accompanied by a truth from the invisible

*

(spiritual)  world,”

*

and that the parables of Jesus are not “mere similitudes which serve the purpose of illustration, but are internal analogies where nature becomes a witness for the spiritual world.”   Similarly, in the 20th century, calling a parable “an earthly story with a heavenly meaning,”  William Barclay states that the parables of Jesus use familiar examples to lead others’ minds towards heavenly concepts. He suggests that Jesus did not form his parables merely as analogies but based on an “inward affinity between the natural and the spiritual order.”

 *
*

*

*

*

*

Also similarly  –

*

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amana_(Bible)

*

Christological (study of Christ) inferences in the context of chapter four of the Song of Solomon suggest a kenotic (‘self-emptying’ of one’s own will and becoming entirely receptive to God’s divine will) significance to Amana (perennial or as site of mountain ergo heaven). The husband (Christ) declares His love for His bride (the Church) throughout chapter four. He (Christ) sees no imperfection in His bride.

*

This is only possible through the descent from heaven through the incarnation and the propitionary death on Calvary, establishing a typology with the Gospels.

*

Amana and the other mountains are allegorical to heaven. The bride’s presence at the summit is possible through the acceptance of Christ resulting in as Paul later expressed it in Ephesians 2:6 being simultaneously “seated in the heavenlies” (figuratively) while walking in the world prior to glorification. The descent from Amana is through the dens of lions which are allegorical to the present dangers of the world and suggesting a typology with Christ’s Passion. The descent from Amana safely through the world (and by implication back to heaven [Amana]) is hand in hand with Christ.

Charles Spurgeon refers to Amana in his famous Morning and Evening devotional for September 18: “To the top of Amana, to the dens of lions, or to the hills of leopards, we will follow our Beloved.”

*

*

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenosis#New_Testament_usage

*

The New Testament does not use the actual noun kenosis,  but the verb form kenóō occurs five times (Ro.4:14, 1Co.1:17, 9:15, 2Co.9:3, Phil.2:7). Of these five times it is Phil 2:7, in which Jesus is said to have “emptied himself,” which is the starting point of Christian ideas of kenosis.

John the Baptist displayed the attitude when he said of Jesus, “He must become greater; I must become less.” (Jn 3:30).

*

The kenotic ethic is the ethic of Jesus, considered as the ethic of sacrifice. The Philippians passage urges believers to imitate Christ’s self-emptying. In this interpretation, Paul was not primarily putting forth a theory about God in this passage, rather he was using God’s humility exhibited in the incarnation event as a call for Christians to be similarly subservient to others.

*

In Christian theology, kenosis is the concept of the ‘self-emptying’ of one’s own will and becoming entirely receptive to God and the divine will. It is used both as an explanation of the Incarnation, and an indication of the nature of God’s activity and will. Mystical theologian John of the Cross‘ (1542-1591) work “Dark Night of the Soul” is a particularly lucid explanation of God’s process of transforming the believer into the icon or “likeness of Christ.”

*

Another perspective is the idea that God is self-emptying. He poured out himself to create the cosmos and the universe, and everything within it. Therefore, it is our duty to pour out ourselves. (This is similar to C.S. Lewis’ statement in Mere Christianity, that a painter pours his ideas out in his work, and yet remains quite a distinct being from his painting)

*

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

*

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_mysticism#Gospels

*

Gospels

Transfiguration of Jesus depicting him with Elijah, Moses and 3 apostles by Carracci, 1594

*

The Christian scriptures, insofar as they are the founding narrative of the Christian church, provide many key stories and concepts that become important for Christian mystics in all later generations: practices such as the Eucharist, baptism and the Lord’s Prayer all become activities that take on importance for both their ritual and symbolic values. Other scriptural narratives present scenes that become the focus of meditation: the Crucifixion of Jesus and his appearances after his Resurrection are two of the most central to Christian theology; but Jesus’ conception, in which the Holy Spirit overshadows Mary, and his Transfiguration, in which he is briefly revealed in his heavenly glory, also become important images for meditation. Moreover, many of the Christian texts build on Jewish spiritual foundations, such as chokhmah, shekhinah.

*

To say, as self-amplified and vainglorious  J.R Larson babbles,

*

that the Resurrection outdoes the Crucifixion,

*

is to say

*

that an airplane can fly on one wing  (Resurrection)

*

instead of the necessary two wings  (including the Crucifixion)

*

for completion/stability/balance.

*

Thank you, intuitive Pastor Agngaray, for this mystical airplane allegory.

*

*

But different writers present different images and ideas. The Synoptic Gospels (in spite of their many differences) introduce several important ideas, two of which are related to Greco-Judaic notions of knowledge/gnosis by virtue of being mental acts: purity of heart, in which we will to see in God’s light; and repentance, which involves allowing God to judge and then transform us. Another key idea presented by the Synoptics is the desert, which is used as a metaphor for the place where we meet God in the poverty of our spirit.

The Gospel of John focuses on God’s glory in his use of light imagery and in his presentation of the Cross as a moment of exaltation; he also sees the Cross as the example of agape love, a love which is not so much an emotion as a willingness to serve and care for others. But in stressing love, John shifts the goal of spiritual growth away from knowledge/gnosis, which he presents more in terms of Stoic ideas about the role of reason as being the underlying principle of the universe and as the spiritual principle within all people. Although John does not follow up on the Stoic notion that this principle makes union with the divine possible for humanity, it is an idea that later Christian writers develop. Later generations will also shift back and forth between whether to follow the Synoptics in stressing knowledge or John in stressing love.

In his letters, Paul also focuses on mental activities, but not in the same way as the Synoptics, which equate renewing the mind with repentance. Instead, Paul sees the renewal of our minds as happening as we contemplate what Jesus did on the Cross, which then opens us to grace and to the movement of the Holy Spirit into our hearts. Like John, Paul is less interested in knowledge, preferring to emphasize the hiddenness, the “mystery” of God’s plan as revealed through Christ. But Paul’s discussion of the Cross differs from John’s in being less about how it reveals God’s glory and more about how it becomes the stumbling block that turns our minds back to God. Paul also describes the Christian life as that of an athlete, demanding practice and training for the sake of the prize; later writers will see in this image a call to ascetical practices.

*

Within theistic mysticism two broad tendencies can be identified. One is a tendency to understand God by asserting what He is not and the other by asserting what He is. The former leads to what is called apophatic theology and the latter to cataphatic theology.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_mysticism#Types_of_meditation

*

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pauline_mysticism#The_mystical_teachings_of_Paul

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

http://www.gotquestions.org/generational-curses.html

*

“What does the Bible say about breaking generational curses?”

Answer: The Bible mentions “generational curses” in several places (Exodus 20:5; 34:7; Numbers 14:18; Deuteronomy 5:9). God warns that He is “a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me.”

It sounds unfair for God to punish children for the sins of their fathers. However, there is more to it than that. The effects of sin are naturally passed down from one generation to the next. When a father has a sinful lifestyle, his children are likely to practice the same sinful lifestyle. Implied in the warning of Exodus 20:5 is the fact that the children will choose to repeat the sins of their fathers. A Jewish Targum specifies that this passage refers to “ungodly fathers” and “rebellious children.” So, it is not unjust for God to punish sin to the third or fourth generation – those generations are committing the same sins their ancestors did.

*

There is a trend in the church today to try to blame every sin and problem on some sort of generational curse.

*

This is not biblical. God’s warning to visit iniquity on future generations is part of the Old Testament Law. A generational curse was a consequence for a specific nation (Israel) for a specific sin (idolatry). The history books of the Old Testament (especially Judges) contain the record of this divine punishment meted out.

*

The cure for a generational curse has always been repentance. When Israel turned from idols to serve the living God, the “curse” was broken and God saved them (Judges 3:9, 15; 1 Samuel 12:10-11). Yes, God promised to visit Israel’s sin upon the third and fourth generations, but in the very next verse He promised that He would show “love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments” (Exodus 20:6). In other words, God’s grace lasts a thousand times longer than His wrath.

For the Christian who is worried about a generational curse, the answer is salvation through Jesus Christ. A Christian is a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). How can a child of God still be under God’s curse (Romans 8:1)?

*

The cure for a “generational curse” is repentance of the sin in question, faith in Christ, and a life consecrated to the Lord

(Romans 12:1-2).

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

Pastor Cathy Poai Simmons venerates Elisha (even over Elijah)   –

*

http://www.xenos.org/teachings/?teaching=179

*

Elisha’s compassionate miracles for the common Israelites provided them a needed reminder of God’s love for all of them, and of his faithfulness to them when they were faithful to him.

*

Elisha’s ministry superseded Elijah’s in certain ways.

Elisha’s ministry lasted about twice as long as Elijah’s (14 and prematurely terminated to almost 50 years).

The Kings narrative also records twice as many miracles by Elisha as by Elijah (14 to 7). Some scholars speculate that this difference was part of God’s answer to grant Elisha a “double portion” of Elijah’s spirit (2 Kings 2:9).

 

*

*

*

*

*

To a lesser degree, Pastor Cathy Simmons respects Enoch   —

*

http://christiananswers.net/dictionary/enoch.html

*

Enoch was a righteous man who was apparently taken directly to Heaven, without dying

The son of Jared, and father of Methuselah (Gen. 5:21; Luke 3:37). His father was one hundred and sixty-two years old when he was born. After the birth of Methuselah, Enoch “walked with God three hundred years” (Gen. 5:22-24), when he was translated without tasting death. His whole life on Earth was three hundred and sixty-five years. He was the “seventh from Adam” (Jude 1:14), as distinguished from the son of Cain, the third from Adam. He is spoken of in the catalogue of Old Testament worthies in the Epistle to the Hebrews (11:5). When he was translated, only Adam, so far as recorded, had as yet died a natural death, and Noah was not yet born. Mention is made of Enoch’s prophesying only in Jude 1:14 (Matthew G. Easton).

The only other biblical example of a person being taken to heaven without apparently dying is Elijah, the Tishbite, who was taken up by God in a chariot with horses of fire, amidst “a whirlwind into heaven.”

*

*

*

*

Fellow revelator of Pastor Cathy Simmons  — Kolina Ana   —

*

Thank you for this online article too!

I enjoy this e-mail and the various site resources.   Thank you for your roles in sharing .different speakers and topics.

Have a joyous and blessed CHRISTmas for you are a King’s son and HE LOVES you with an everlasting LOVE based on

who HE is and HIS faithfulness.    Have a blessed day in the LORD, our creator of Heaven & Earth and our very being.

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

Puffed up Cliff Livermore, humble Christian mystic George Gomes

*

*

Cliff said  —

“Please share my healing prayer requests as Liz Bishaw, Violet & Calisto Mateo, & Curt have all witnessed Christ’s healing power (including Cliff’s healing 50 yr. old Chinese woman Hae-bee’s broken arm witnessed by Curt) and deeply love Christ.  Also,  they have a deep burden for true revival in these islands — manifestations of our Lord’s healing Grace and power here on the Big Island.  As you know, Louisa stands in faith in Lord God.”    (End of statement)

*

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.

*

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

*

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

*

Being crucified with Christ means to nail thru one’s soul to the point of death (of sinful self).

*

Spirituality is meant to explore all the unattractive inner realities as well as to recommend glittering ideals.    

*

The unattractive inner realities apply to us all,

*

including glittering Cliff. 

*

Spirituality is not  meant to provide uplift to confirm people’s prior ideological assumptions.*Spirituality says “Think! Feel!”  —  not  “You’re right.”

*

Thank you, Pastor Robert Gomes, for exposing our unlovely reality — and offering a right option  — lest we disregard the foretell of the Inferno (end days).

*

*
The point is we are to move beyond feeding milk to the lambs  —  to feeding solid food to the sheep.
Heb. 5:12-14 & 6:1-3  Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. Solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
*
Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, 
*
…  the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.
What then is solid food?  It is training in righteousness so that the sheep can be fully equipped, able to stand in the day of testing.
2 Tim. 3:16-17  All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Pop psychology and worldly methodology do not feed sheep.  They must be fed on the written Word of God (responsibilities) as it is exegeted properly and applied by the Holy Spirit.  
*

 Extinguishing distinction  — the self — applies to us all, including distinctive Cliff.

*
*

Like Apostle Paul (completing –the Word of God — ministry), Pastor Robert Gomes does not play church, so to speak  — but instead avoids “natural thinking” presumptions (fleshly overpride/vanity/envy/jealousy) by stepping out (as Jesus did) in the world and taking risks of harm (by saving lost souls and those possessed of the spirit of unbelief) as the tests which need to be met in our authentic walk in Christ.

*

Pastor Robert Gomes knows the truth about men and flesh  — born lost — and thus Pastor Robert is deemed alarming and dangerous to religious Christians (milk of the Word as opposed to righteousness of the Word) who cherry pick verses even to longtime “walking/waking dead” disciples  —  to sugar coat sin (forgiveness means that I can sin and sin again and again) and repentance (just say I’m sorry  — no need to extinguish our old self/natural ways) and Satan himself (die and go to heaven   — death, physical/spiritual —  itself is not the eternal fate for lost souls).

*
image
In praise of incredibly intuitive mystical Pastor Robert…

* In praise of incredibly intuitive mystical pastor Robert Gomes    – * Immense Christian mystic  Pastor Robert Gomes look-alike    – * * Pastor Robert Gomes’ wife …
Preview by Yahoo
*

being human   — honest frailty is inherent in our DNA

Rapacious Cliff Livermore 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).

*

*

Universal appealing narrative is about us  — it illuminates our own lives.  Narrative also discloses truths that shape or misshape our psyche.

 *

As such, Cliff Livermore’s narrative details the unconscious desire and dilemma to be liberated in self, as

Cliff 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.

*

 *

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.

*

And then you can know that you were right, because you don’t have any friends at all.

*

Self-respect and self-importance — not the same at all. But they can feel the same.

*

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

*

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

*
*
*
*
*

Cliff Livermore  reeks of excessive self-absorption and blowhard excretion.   Biblical Simon here fits Cliff’s description.

*

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

*
*
Cliff’s book editor lovingly chuckles     —

*

Exactly!!    I also have compared Cliff to Simon Peter.    We have to reel in Cliff, but Cliff is very good to repent and start over.  (how many times do we tolerate Cliff’s fallen nature?)

 

I am glad you are Cliff’s good friend!

 

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

*
Cliff’s response is predictable    —
*
1.  I don’t give a rat’s ass (to whom you liken me in Scripture — ergo Simon Peter)!!
*

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

Cliff’s mind-blowing couplet (pair of sentences)  a la the great Alexander Pope really is the story of Cliff’s life.    Sad but true.

*

*

*

*

*

*

 

 

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to luck of the draw (bad or good) — forgive yourself for what is not in your power to do — Steven Kalas — and in praise of rhema-laden disciple of Jesus — Pastor Cathy Simmons

  1. Pingback: Nobody comes to therapy who hasn’t lost something. The heart is injured. Limping. Constrained by psychic adhesions. Aching, either obviously or just behind the curtain of consciousness. The therapeutic relationship is the MRI. It reveals what’s torn.

  2. Pingback: Nobody comes to therapy who hasn’t lost something. The heart is injured. Limping. Constrained by psychic adhesions. Aching, either obviously or just behind the curtain of consciousness. The therapeutic relationship is the MRI. It reveals what’s torn.

  3. Pingback: Nobody comes to therapy who hasn’t lost something. The heart is injured. Limping. Constrained by psychic adhesions. Aching, either obviously or just behind the curtain of consciousness. The therapeutic relationship is the MRI. It reveals what’s torn.

  4. Pingback: To love and to be loved are mystical desires a la Carl Jung’s archetypes (Jung’s forebearers were mystics Plato, Apostle Paul, & Augustine) | Curtis Narimatsu

  5. Pingback: The young man with terminal cancer was going to die quicker than he thought, and he was very depressed about this. And of course he hadn’t gotten to make his mark, and he had this conversation with this young woman. And the young woman said, “No,

  6. Pingback: The young man with terminal cancer was going to die quicker than he thought, and he was very depressed about this. And of course he hadn’t gotten to make his mark, and he had this conversation with this young woman. And the young woman said, “No,

  7. Pingback: Typology — representation of Jesus in the Old Testament | Curtis Narimatsu

  8. Pingback: Modern society’s devolution and self-absorption — we need symbols which participate in the things they represent | Curtis Narimatsu

  9. Pingback: New Testament external prompts correlate with the convergence of the human and holy spirit and the sacred items in the Ark of the Covenant | Curtis Narimatsu

  10. Pingback: Depressive symptoms: Crisis of meaning and self-absorption | Curtis Narimatsu

  11. Pingback: Music: A bridge from abandonment and brokenness to wholeness and freedom | Curtis Narimatsu

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s