The Deception of Others is Rooted in The Deception of Ourselves!
As I journey through the bible, one particular day of study I read three areas that spoke pointedly to deception; I had to consider the importance of this subject for me! The first thing I read, that morning, was 1 Kings 14:1-9 (I strive to read 3 chapters in the old testament, one in new and one psalm or poetic book chapter.)
Throughout history, there have been many very bright men and women who call them-selves atheists or agnostics. Sigmund Freud, Friedrich Nietzsche, Ludwig Feuerbach, Bertrand Russell; these are just a few of the noted authors, poets, and intellects. The definition of an atheist, in short is: “A” (with-out) + “Theos” (God)= He doesn’t exist! Then there are agnostics: “A” without +Gnostic (to know)= to doubt the existence of God or as some would say, ‘They just don’t know’. Some believe that science and reason have supplanted religion and superstition. Darwin, is one example. He went from being a strong believer, raised Anglican and steeped in Unitarianism to an evolutionist. He was at various times and ways, exposed to strong bible believing Christians, including his mother and his boss for five years, the captain of a ship upon which Darwin, a ‘naturalist’, studied science. I have no intention of discussing creation vs evolution or Darwin at length, but I do wonder, in light of Darwin’s background, are the most committed atheists men who were, at one time, raised among committed Christians and in some way, damaged? If so, are they all blocked?
A Broken and Contrite Heart. . .
After exchanging phone calls and letters with a dear jewish friend, I was left thinking about her words. She shared her frustration with prayer and in trying to reach God. She cries buckets of tears. In her words, ‘if she doesn’t weep and wail and ‘stand on her head and spit nickels,’ nothing happens.’ I started to wonder, is this true? What does the bible say about prayer and specifically, about crying out to God. The thought crossed my mind, ‘a contrite heart’. Where did that come from and what does ‘a contrite heart’ even mean?
According to the bible dictionary, “A contrite heart is one in which the natural pride and self-sufficiency have been completely humbled by the consciousness of guilt.” The Hebrew and Greek words translated for ‘contrite’ actually means “crushed, crippled, or broken”.
When crying out to God, something I do frequently so I feel I’m practically an expert on this subject,
Consider the birds…
“And the Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.'” Like a Dove, the spirit of God descended and landed on Jesus. Mathew 3:15, Mark 1:10, Luke 3:22, & John 1:32; all four Gospels recount this story. Birds play a profound role in the bible and if we pay attention, they may speak to us as well. They come to us with lessons; they move away from us with the reminder of the miracle of creation, as they glide away on a breeze. They teach us to play with each other; to go gently and dance on the wind, to trust our creator.
“Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing: Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Mathew 6:25-26)
Noah released a dove. “But the dove found no place to set her foot, and she returned to him to the ark, for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth.” (Genesis 8:9). These multicolored, beautiful, graceful friends come right to our doors and windows. In the early morning, while the sun still sleeps, they sing their songs. Have you heard God’s alarm clock? ‘Early will I seek thee; my soul thirsteth for thee’…(Psalm 63:1) and “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me…O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.” (Psalms 5:3) The birds wake us, if we let them.
The birds are a gift from God,
Personality Plus Camel at the Bronx Zoo in New York
Not that long ago, my son asked me if I wanted to go to the Bronx Zoo with him. I love the zoo. In fact I used to think, where ever I travel to, it would be nice to visit the zoo in every major city that I visit. It would be like collecting spoons, or shells. I think I would like that. But recently, my youngest daughter, who is extremely sensitive, said, ‘No!’ to a trip to the zoo. She shared her new perspective about animal cruelty and that she could not participate in the way the animals are locked up in the Zoo.
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