Sunday Verse 7: Christmas Rambles

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While the world has turned its thoughts to Christmas, other matters intrude: In the US, many are preoccupied by the much-hyped “fiscal cliff” and the planned increase in taxes as well as the aftermath of the the horrific shooting at the elementary school — the one in which no one had a weapon to defend themselves with. The US government’s plans to exact more taxes, and to reduce Constitutional freedoms, are much discussed. I have obligations, voluntarily undertaken, remaining from the “Food for Thought Award” — and they include this seventh in a series on Sunday verses that have inspired my thought. In this instance, Luke 2 comes to mind, as it is both an account of the birth of of Jesus, and it begins with an announcement of government taxation: [...]

Sunday Verse 6: Two Worlds

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One rather famous verse in the synoptic Gospels (such as in Matthew 21) includes this line: “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” The same chapter contains many other recognizable phrases, and it has long intrigued me how many different Biblical expressions have made it to English conversational or literary use. For example, in this chapter are found the expression “Many are called, but few are chosen” and “Show me the money!” (often translated as “show me the tribute money” or “show the the tribute coin”). [...]

Sunday Verse 5: Mammon and Rewards

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I’ve been enjoying recent re-visits to Ayn Rand’s work, and my own Lady Anne has just re-read the full text of Atlas Shrugged and is plowing through Rand’s non-fiction work now. This makes for enjoyable discussions (but I confess a bias toward always considering discussions with my Lady to be enjoyable). Along the way (and spurred by Rand’s The Virtue of Selfishness available here as a .PDF file), some lively and surprisingly vehement discussions about definitions of “selfishness” and “self-interest” and “altruism” have taken place, and I have another post on that topic coming soon. But for my purposes at the moment, in this discussion of thought-provoking Bible verses pursuant to the Food for Thought award based on Citizen Tom’s rather flattering nomination, I’m going to look at Biblical treatments of wealth, and a slightly different take on altruism. [...]

These Things Think Upon

In the “Food for Thought” Sunday posts, by nomination of Citizen Tom, and snuck in barely on Sunday after a period of traveling: Philippians 4 has an exhortation that is appropriate for Thanksgiving — and it is a reminder to be optimistic, and to manage your thoughts. In the Young’s Literal Translation: 8 As to the rest, brethren, as many things as are true, as many as [are] grave, as many as [are] righteous, as many as [are] pure, as many as [are] lovely, as many as [are] of good report, if any worthiness, and if any praise, these things think upon; [...]

A Spirit of Power, Love and a Sound Mind

I am traveling, but have a short note in the spirit of the Food for Thought series on Biblical verses. In 2 Timothy 1, when Paul is encouraging young Timothy to get out and get busy, he includes this line: 7 for God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind No matter what one believes as to origins, there is no doubt that this combination — a “spirit of power” combined with love and a sound mind — is a very potent combination. These are the attributes shown by America’s inspired founding fathers, and they have been shown in other groups from time to time throughout history, though not with perhaps so lasting or consequential a result. But while it is rare for groups to employ this combination together for a joint purpose, we can each strive as individual to develop and maintain these qualities independently. We each face challenges, large and small — and that sense of the size of the challenge is very personal. What might appear small to an observer can be large enough to you when it is right in your way, and in your mind. [...]

That last quote from Matthew 12

In my musings Sunday, I left one connection out between the Bible’s Matthew 12 and presidential statements: Matthew 12:29 “Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.” [...]

Sunday Verse 4: Presidential Musings

Matthew 12 is telling part of the story of Jesus, and two aspects of this chapter struck me. First, it has been the source of a number of statements that are commonly associated with US presidents, and second that it also contains a reference applicable to our current one. [...]

Sunday Verse 3

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This is the third in a series of Sunday posts related to the Food for Thought award from Citizen Tom:

The Bible’s New Testament includes the same story of Jesus told by multiple authors, Matthew, Mark and Luke. These are called the “synoptic Gospels” where “synoptic” means “same view” (usually rendered as “seen together). [...]

Sunday Verse 2: Root of Evil

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As noted last Sunday, I’ve been given the “Food for Thought Award” (nominated by Citizen Tom) — and it has some obligations. Among them are these writings, on seven Biblical verses that have been significant or inspirational to me. This is the second. There are nominations involved as well, and a few sprang immediately to mind. My old friend the extraordinary SeraphimSigrist would be an ideal candidate, for one — his thoughtful writings reflect his beneficent doings in his travels far and wide spreading his faith. I always learn something interesting from him. [...]