Tag Archives: Jesus

The Request of James and John, part 2

“I never met a man I didn’t like.” — Will Rogers

Will Rogers must have had an exceptionally bright aura.

Continue reading The Request of James and John, part 2

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The request of James and John, part 1

Social predation consumed more of Jesus’ energy than any other single issue.  This comes to my attention lest my current ambitions for upward mobility leave me in a position to be tempted to look down on people.

For me, all my life until this writing, the foremost example of Jesus’ stance on this has been his response to the request of James and John.

Continue reading The request of James and John, part 1

Jesus: born homeless

At Christmas, Christians celebrate the event in which they say God became a human being.

Without this event, according to traditional Christianity, there would be no salvation, and no hope for you and me.

What is called “incarnational theology” tells us that Jesus’ power to save and competence to save both derive from the incarnation — God’s having become a human being.

By virtue of the incarnation, God obtained first-hand experience of everything we human beings have to deal with — all the trials and tribulations we go through from day to day.  In Jesus, God came face to face with physical suffering, pain, bitter cold and burning heat; hunger, anger, lust and love.   The Bible does not tell us all the details of Jesus’ life, but I am convinced he went through it all.  There is no circumstance you can come into, that he hasn’t faced.  Thus he can be present to you, no matter what your circumstances.

In the spiritual (emotional) world also, there is nowhere Jesus hasn’t been.  He can be present to you no matter where you “go” emotionally.

God is with you and for you at all times.

Believe it.

(Originally posted 12/25/13.)

The dark side of EQ

(Originally posted 02/08/14.)

Adam Grant, The Dark Side of Emotional Intelligence
Daniel Goleman, An Antidote to the Dark Side of Emotional Intelligence

Dilemma:  a hammer can be used either to build a house or to destroy priceless heirlooms.  Possessing the tool of emotional intelligence does not mean one will use it favorably.  What makes the difference?

In anticipating this post, I searched for a traditional term for “emotional intelligence.”  I decided that the traditional term for it is wisdom. The Old Testament consistently refers to people who have emotional intelligence as “wise.”  Those who lack it, it calls “fools.”

In the previous post, we saw that emotional intelligence, or wisdom, is a major determinant of personal effectiveness and success in life; in short, of prosperity.  To the extent one wishes all people to prosper, it seems desirable that all people be wise.

In short, the wise prosper.

But the wise aren’t necessarily good, and the good aren’t necessarily wise.
Continue reading The dark side of EQ

How emotionally intelligent are you? Here’s how to tell.

(Originally posted 02/01/14.)

How Emotionally Intelligent Are You? Here’s How To Tell

If you’re in a boat out on the water, and a storm comes up, and the boat’s rocking and at risk of tipping over; it’s critical to turn the boat to face into the wind.  This won’t stop the wind, but will keep it from rocking the boat.

Emotional intelligence is like that.  It won’t make life’s storms go away, but can help keep them from rocking your boat.

In my view, emotional intelligence is the same as emotional maturity or psychological or spiritual maturity.  This is what spiritual growth is all about.
Continue reading How emotionally intelligent are you? Here’s how to tell.

Swimming against the tide

The Trump administration’s alternative Christianity

In recent weeks, I have become strongly motivated to become upwardly mobile. This raises theological issues.

Phil Zuckerman is a non-believer. He has no accountability to Jesus or the Scriptures. He doesn’t have to walk the Christian walk or talk the Christian talk. He doesn’t face the challenges, or have to do the work, I do as a follower of Jesus. Yet he wants to prescribe what Christianity must be.

He ascribes a certain Christianity to those who surround Donald Trump, and finds fault with it. I have no need to adopt or reject that Christianity. I have my own to practice. But it is not what Zuckerman wants to prescribe to me.

What’s wrong with Trump’s cronies? Apparently, as Zuckerman sees it, what’s wrong with them is that they’re prosperous. The love of God, as he portrays it, does not apply to prosperous people, but instead the poor. Only the poor.

So, according to the Christianity Zuckerman would prescribe for me, if I become prosperous, God won’t love me any more.

If anyone finds that he says differently from that, please advise. I welcome correction.

(Sigh.)

To walk the path to which I feel I’m called, I may need to focus on a Jesus saying Zuckerman does not cite. In fact, I have never heard any liberal cite it. Nor has it ever been cited in the chapel services at the homeless shelter where I stay; where they seem to think that all that matters is what one believes, and never what one does.

In Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. … So let your light shine before others, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”

In other words, do praiseworthy things.

Praiseworthy actions glorify God.

If I were to become self-supporting, would that be praiseworthy?

Might my example encourage or inspire others?

Might I even teach, by example, the ways whereby one may become self-supporting?

Would that serve God?

As to the whole thrust of liberal ideology, it appears that, if I strive to do what I feel called by God to do, I’m swimming against the tide.

R.I.P. Joe Stocks

Monday, May 8, 2017

Church member Joe Stocks died suddenly Saturday. Natural causes.

Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before others, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” That’s the kind of man Joe was. All kinds of men and women glorify God because of Joe’s good works.

All kinds.

Continue reading R.I.P. Joe Stocks

Rough day at BK

Transcribed from my diary for Sunday 2017-03-12, for now I am intentionally leaving this unfinished.

Rough day at BK.  I may not have the guts to recall and tell it all.  But behind it I feel certain of (1) what Jesus did among the poor, and (2) what my task is at the shelter, and what it takes for me to leave.  (3) I have suspected for some time that the real means of wealth creation, of upward mobility, is different from anything we have ever imagined.  I have a notion of what it may be, and enough confidence in it to act on it, but it’s still very hard to believe.

The question is whether these certainties are enough to overcome my fear of uncertainty, my fear of the unknown.

Continue reading Rough day at BK

A snapshot: this moment in my life right now

Thursday 2017-02-23

Some weeks ago, on a Sunday afternoon just after check-in at the mission, I became clairvoyant for a few seconds, and saw many things.

The first insight was that many things I’ve been saying for a long, long time — teachings, theories, hypotheses — are far more factual than I’d ever supposed.

The last thing that came displeased me.  It said, “God has a purpose for my being [at the shelter], and I’ll never get away until it’s accomplished.

What progress I have made since then has come from acting on the “things I’ve been saying for a long, long time.”  The Way of Peace was composed in 2010; I don’t know whether I’ve yet posted here all that was composed at time; I’m know there’s still a lot that  I have yet to post; but it’s the basic teachings in there, including those already set forth, that I’ve been called to act on.

Yesterday afternoon on the walk back to the shelter, I was using — for the first time in months — techniques perhaps first set forth in “Paying my dues …,” first published in 2013.

The teaching set forth in “Simple,” I have been working to live out.  I found the quotation in an e-mail I sent various people in 2007, telling them it epitomized what I believed Jesus actually taught.

Walking my talk, or learning to:  that may be what’s keeping me at the shelter.  Once I’m walking my talk enough, I may be free.

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Simple

In recent weeks, in my quest for spiritual growth and improvement of my own condition, I have had to deal with lots of complicated stuff — chakras, sephirot, different dimensions of the personality or psyche, previously unknown stages in the progression from infantilism to adulthood.

This flies in the face of my conviction that the Gospel must ultimately be simple; and the same for everyone, regardless of one’s circumstances or developmental stage.

I come to the conclusion that it is.  Simple.

Continue reading Simple