Sunday, May 26, 2024

Dinosaur, Dinosaur Had a Farm and Other Barnyard Rhymes by Danielle McLean - A New Addition to Avi's Personal Library - With a Very Surprising Guest!

Well, it's spring cleaning time and I'm trying to do as much as I can...during commercials...LOL... and Reading! Note that Colors are NO LONGER Working so I'm hoping that it is back soon!


We all know the song, don't we? Old MacDonald Had a Farm... But what if... another animal bought the farm?! And MacDonald actually was MacDino!

So first children will read the original song where Farmer Dino Had the Farm! Get the idea... You'll remember the words, won't you? Well, if not, the words are there just as usual for the cow and the pig... You know...mooing along and oinking in response! Cool, right... It's just MacDino owns the farm now!

But then the poem or song begin to changes to Mary had a little lamb so here's how that one goes to give readers a chance to learn how to change the few words. Ready?!

Dino had a little lamb

Dino had a little lamb whose fleece was white as snow.

Everywhere that dino went, the lamb was was sure to go.

He followed her to school one day which was against the rule

It made the dinos laugh and play and play to see a lamb at school!

~~~ 


Now what you'll find out as you read is that there are multiple dinosaurs, some are boys and some are girls...and their colors go along with the song sometime like with Little Dinosaur Blue... You remember that song? Little Dinosaur Blue come blow your horn! And, guess what, there is a Little Brontosaurus! 

This book cover is soft, easy to hold, the pages are harder cardboard which will be easier to turn for smaller fingers and also prevent damage...  The back cover says that this book is made up of traditional childhood songs--with just a Dino Twist! I liked that Twist, very much and am looking forward to sharing it with my great-nephew, Avery! I recommend it for all of your older childrens!

And now for our surprise guest(?)!



And here's a song from the Greatest Shepherd--Farmer of All! Have YOU taught your children how to sing it?


God Bless

Glenda

Standing On The Promises - Who is Our Neighbor? Jesus Said to Love Our Neighbors - All People, Including Our Black Neighbors! The Supreme Court Disagrees, Sadly...


But the break had already happened. Before one cannon was fired at Fort Sumter, American Christendom had split over the issue of slavery. The Civil War had already begun over the moral question of holding another human being as chattel. Some Christians found religious justification for their greed and prejudices. Others condemned the practice. Those held in bondage and who bore the brunt of the cruelty of slavery dared, as the theologian Howard Thurman said, to redeem the religion profaned in their midst. This dramatic split would come to characterize the nation’s religious landscape as race segregated the idea of the beloved community and many were willing to die and kill to maintain it all. Frederick Douglass would put the point more poignantly: “The slave auctioneer’s bell and the church-going bell chime in with each other, and the bitter crises of the heart-broken slave are drowned in the religious shouts of his pious master.” The historian David Wills has insisted that one way to tell the story of American religious history is through this “encounter of black and white,” an encounter that “occurred within the context of a slave system”† and the world it created that colors how we see each other and how we imagine being together. And here we are over 160 years after Lincoln’s first inaugural address still grappling with the moral question of who we take ourselves to be and how a certain distorted view of Christianity sanctifies our hatreds and fears. Will we reach for our better angels? Jim Wallis has spent a lifetime bearing witness in the face of injustice. He has worked diligently to organize faith communities and leaders to cast away the idolatry of race and to live the gospel. In this powerful book, The False White Gospel, he takes on the latest American expression of white Christianity. Without mincing his words, he understands that white Christian nationalists have clothed their hatreds in the garments of their faith. They sacralize power and worship at the altar of autocrats who all too often profane the message of Jesus. These are the descendants of those who so easily reconciled Christianity with slavery and Jim Crow. But Jim Wallis, as he has always done, refuses to sit by silently as these forces hijack his tradition. He understands that this moment is a moral crisis that cries out for courage and conviction and, especially, for Christians to defend their faith by finally leaving behind the idea that some people ought to be valued more than others. And he provides the tools for the fight with Scriptures and commentary that guide our hearts, our minds, and our actions. His is an invitation to us all to engage in the moral battle.


I really don't know what President Biden meant as to fighting for the soul or our nation. I'd like to believe it is the same as my belief... Of God's Command... That we must speak out, without violence, to verify that we believe Our Neighbors as defined by Jesus, is ALL People, no matter what race, religion, or whatever differences that can and are being used to discriminate against another Child of God...

But I have seen enough to know that the republican party has turned away from the Promises of God... 

They Say... Believe on ME... Now they worship Power, Greed, and a Man of Violence and Hate, so badly that some call him a psychopath... but I am not an expert so I'll just speak about what I see... The past president tells us that he will rule as a dictator, that he will weaponize our armed forced to fight against all those who oppose him...his enemies... Yes, those of us who Know God Is Above All... And that NO MAN(MEN) are above the law...not even those who were placed by republicans on the Supreme Court...

I woke up this morning and Standing on the Promises came to me, the old version which I knew the words, but I chose this version because he sung the words with feeling, with truth of his belief in our God who promises that He will Not Forsake Us...

Stand on His Promise... Do your Research... Pay more attention to what is being said by any and all republicans... There is no way to know who actually is MAGA, those who call themselves Christians--Christian Nationalists!


Please note that there is a technical problem at this time. Colors were used to differentiate excerpts versus narrative... Please note that my narrative is below the second video. I have notified Google...


Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Dictionary of Biblical Symbolism by Stanislaw Kapuschinski - Introduction - How It Can Be Used! - Open Memoir

 

 


1 Corinthians 13:11 King James Version (KJV)
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

When I put away childish things,
I began to meet extremely dedicated men and women from around the world
writing and researching books--
Dale Carnegie's book and course, for instance...
both fiction and nonfiction.

For me, that started
At High School Graduation
I was an A Student normally, except for maybe Physical Education (Sadly)
Selecting the Clerical Rather than Academic Course Option
I was ready to assume a secretarial position immediately after graduation.
And, with a job, I immediately began to buy my own books--mostly religious, self-help, or study books
I was third in full class (including Academic)
I was first in Clerical Program

I was hired as secretary for the summer of 1963
at the Albert Gallatin Senior High from which
I had Graduated

I began working in Personnel based upon
Employment Tests
As a Records Clerk and 
Secretary to the Assistant Director of Personnel
I was then promoted to Secretary to Director
Then Promoted to Secretary to (2) Provosts
On to Facilities Analysis and Utilization
As Facilities Technician/Classroom Manager
During those years I began
taking University Courses
And, Achieved over 360 Credits for
Continuing Education Courses
Stopping there...Pointing Out that 
Self-Study Occupied My Time
Any free time was dedicated to
Cat Cozy Mysteries...LOL

I have said it at other times, Stanislaw is one of the most brilliant writers I have met. He has authored both fiction and non-fiction... writing under two variations of his own name.
He used his full name for non-fiction
And, Stan I. S. Law for fiction
Again, you can check out his books that I've previously read and reviewed. To the Right

The most important result of reading him was that I knew--definitely--that I had put away childish things. His books are meant to help us move forward in what, he, and I, believe is what God's Plan For Us
really is...
Consider all of the advances made in just one area
Science
Please consider that what the early men before Christ
and those After Christ would have known in this area.
Yet God, the Creator, Had Used Science
During His Creation
Surely We thank God for Sharing His Wisdom?!

Is It Time for YOU to Become All That God
Has Planned for Us?

God (s) This word is used in the Bible as a translation of Hebrew El, elah, elohim, eloah, Jehovah (read by Jews elohim, probably Yahweh), Greek theos, kurios (Lord, master), theodidaktos (God taught), and a number of other terms.  Only the context can help the student to determine the intent of the original writer.

Kapuscinski (aka Stan I.S. Law), Stanislaw. Dictionary of Biblical Symbolism (p. 130).  


And after all, let us not forget what Jesus said some two millennia ago, when his disciples had asked him why he spoke in parables. His response: “Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.”(6) Why? Perhaps only a few were ready—then.

Kapuscinski (aka Stan I.S. Law), Stanislaw. 
Dictionary of Biblical Symbolism (pp. 17-18).  

Maneh a weight; [1/60 of a talent = maneh]

Kapuscinski (aka Stan I.S. Law), Stanislaw. 
Dictionary of Biblical Symbolism (p. 168). 
Just two of the references found in the Dictionary
mentioned in a previous post Today...

FOREWORD: 430 B.C. Around 430 B.C. Democritus of Abdera said: Nothing exists except atoms and empty space; everything else is opinion. Today, some two-and-a-half millennia later, the same can be said of the Old Testament of the Bible: Nothing exists but a lot of Hebrew words arranged in a linear fashion; everything else is an opinion. Why? Because the ancient Hebrew had been written in capital letters only, in continuous lines without any breaks for paragraphs or punctuation. No proper names of either people or places had been identified in any way. All we have is a flood of words, flowing like a beautiful stream, perhaps a mighty river... All else is an opinion. For centuries self-proclaimed experts imposed their opinion on what those words mean. In extreme cases, those who disagreed with the scholars approved by the Orthodoxy had been burnt at the stake. You needn’t worry. In most countries murder and torture for religious belief is now illegal. Today, in most countries, you can dare to think for yourself. And you must. In the Age of Aquarius, religions, all religions, have entered a protracted, lingering period of inexorable demise. Dogmatic authoritarians are rapidly loosing their credibility. We have entered an Age of individualization. We shall be forced to think for ourselves. It is with this sentiment that I am offering my Dictionary of Biblical Symbolism. Everyone who so desires will be able to study ancient Scriptures and attempt to understand the secret, perhaps sacred knowledge, hidden in their pages. And the knowledge of the ancients is staggering. On closer examination I found no evidence of any dogmas, no promises of unearned rewards now or hereafter, but also no dire threats of eternal damnation. But this is only my opinion. I shall not repeat the mistakes of the past by interpreting the Scriptures for you. I’m offering you the means to find your own wisdom. The rest is up to you. 

INTRODUCTION The desert, near Nag’ Hammadi 365 A.D. As the dying wind sighed and heaved among the undulating dunes, a single dark shape, a hood pulled well over his face (the desert has many eyes), made its way towards the distant cliffs. Even from afar, brother El’zaphan could detect the agonizing whimpers of ghostly howling as it slithered low over the sand from the mountain ahead—the eerie mountain they called the Jobal al’Tarif. Its jagged slopes and contorted innards, ridden with countless forbidden caves and tunnels, held many secrets. For twenty-five centuries the dark, mysterious caverns guarded the scant remains of the noblest people. Perhaps some... not so noble. They said that the spirits of the unworthy howled, aye, howled and whimpered in the desert night air. Brother El’zaphan shrugged his narrow shoulders. He knew better. He was among the few who shared in the Secret Knowledge. Soon the caves would serve once again as nature’s sarcophagus to hold and protect the most noble remains. Those sacred volumes, or what remained of them, containing the Secret Knowledge which the inspired brethren had committed to papyrus. With such selfless love, such steadfast perseverance. At the risk of their lives. And just as well. The original Greek texts, those now translated into Coptic language, had been destroyed long ago. By whom? By the misguided ignorant men jealous of the secrets contained within the gospels. “Gnostic gospels,” they called them. “Pseudo-knowledge!” they sneered... “The ravings of drunkards... Yes, of drunks and heretics... The knowledge of the devil!” Brother El’zaphan quickened his pace. His robe, the color of the whispering sand, gave him only partial protection from the lurking ungodly. He inhaled deeply. The cool night air filled his lungs with fresh strength after the scorching heat of the merciless desert sun. Yet the Books were heavy. It wasn’t far now. Brother El’zaphan had been chosen go alone to Jobal al’Tarif, at night, and hide the thirteen books before the bishop’s men made a burnt offering of them to their jealous god. Thirteen books containing more then fifty manuscripts that the scribes had consigned to paper with such determination. He, El’zaphan, had helped to cover them with the very best leather. To help them last. Who knows for how long? “These are the secret words which the living Jesus spoke, and which the twin, Judas Thomas, wrote down.”(1) His parched lips moved in silence recalling the sacred stanzas. He did not really need the Holy Books anymore. He had committed them all to memory. Long ago. But what of those who will follow? It was only a question of time. Brother El’zaphan knew that ever since Bishop Irenaeus of Lyons had written his hateful dissertations some 200 years ago, calling for “The Destruction and Overthrow of Falsely So-called Knowledge,”(2) it would only be a question of time before the Orthodox Church, the fundamentalists, would lay their hands on his beloved Books and have them burnt as heresy. Ireneaus and his cohorts served a very jealous god. Soon the Manuscripts would be safe. Safely hidden among the caves of the dead. The Books of Life, Logos, among the silent corpses. Even the orthodox priests and deacons were afraid to enter the hollows of the departed. The wandering spirits would protect the sacred stanzas from the ungodly. For as long as it took. Until people were ready. Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.(3) FOOTNOTES: (1). Gospel of Thomas, gleaned from The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels, thereafter referred to as TGG. (2). Irenaeus, Libros Quinque Adversus Haereses 3.11.9. Gleaned from TGG. (3). Matthew  7:6; [The Holy Bible, King James Version] 

Jobal al’Tarif near Nag’ Hammadi 1945 A.D. Many years have passed since brother El’zaphan risked his life on that lonely mission across the desert sands. Perhaps he was lucky. He had managed to avoid the needle of the deadly scorpion, the prying eyes of the Bishop’s men and even the bandits who were ever ready to pounce on anyone within reach of that dreaded mountain, the Jobal al’Tarif. Even in his day some had dared to rob the graves of the departed. Perhaps brother El’zaphan had been lucky, perhaps under a Special protection. Some 1580 years later, Muhammad ‘Ali’s mallet struck a tall earthenware jar. Quite by accident. “Gold!” he exclaimed.  Then, after glancing at his brothers, he bit his lips. He would have to share his find with them. In the name of Allah! Is there no justice in this world? His mallet struck the jar first, he must get the lion’s share of the riches. But there was no gold. There were just some books, wrapped in old-looking leather. But no gold. Perhaps he could sell them for a few piasters. If not, his mother could burn them in her cooking stove. And his mother did burn some of the loose sheets. But only some. The rest must have been well protected. Just like brother El’zaphan. It took another twenty-seven years before the first volume of photographic edition was released for publication. Nine more volumes were to emerge over the next five years. In 1977 the first complete, English language edition was published in the United States. Perhaps it was meant to be that way? We have now reached a stage in the history of the world when the whole of the human race as a body, or at least a large majority of people of every kind and of every race, are ready for the Second Coming of the Christ.... it is beginning to happen.... (it) is taking place now in the hearts of hundreds of thousands of people. (1) “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you” (2) It would seem that the time is ripe for the next step in the development of the human psyche, or as the Bible prefers to call it, the human soul. About fifteen years ago, I came across some books written by the late Emmet Fox. I read them avidly. Later, I spent a good many years trying to find out if anyone had taken up the work, which Emmet Fox had began. I could find no one. I began looking for a dictionary that would explain to me the symbolism, which, according to Emmet Fox, served to conceal or rather to protect the mysteries of Truth and Wisdom, perhaps from those who might want to destroy them as heresy. The experience of Nag Hammadi had proven that whoever had chosen to leave over 3000 words of the King James Version of the Bible untranslated, must have done so for a good reason. I have not the slightest doubt, that if orthodox religions had the key to Biblical Symbolism, all the volumes would have been destroyed long ago as heresy. Or altered beyond recognition. Orthodoxy demands conformity and obedience and doctrinal conformity defines the orthodox faith. Effulgent diversity defines Divine creation. The two are at odds. I have no degree in theology nor a doctorate in Divinity, though I had been offered the latter title, for $10 U.S. by post, when I visited Florida in 1982. I also lay no claims to divine revelations, though I believe that we all serve as channels through which the Divine reveals Itself to us. I do claim to have read a number of books and done some considerable research which, I hope, will serve the reader to look beyond the letter of the law and recognize the spirit thereof. I offer no more than a few brief examples of the manner in which the Dictionary of Biblical Symbolism can be used, or applied to the original Biblical text. The examples are to serve as illustrations of how symbolism can be applied to unravel the allegories, and to increase our understanding of the original authors’ intent. In my opinion the Dictionary works. Whether it will work for all the Books of the Bible, I have no idea. If not, I hope the readers will contribute additional information, which will augment and complement the work I have done to date. I firmly believe that anyone who lays claim to possessing the final key to the total wisdom hidden in the Bible is both presumptuous and absurd. After all, those who will venture on this exciting journey of discovery should bear in mind that the Bible (Gk. biblos, a book) had been written by and for ancient people, living mostly in the Orient, under very different conditions and needs to ours and, perhaps most of all, for people who could neither read nor write. The Books had been written in the ancient languages of Hebrew and Greek, the first of which did not even make use of vowels, as we know them, and the second of which few of the present day Greeks can understand. Furthermore, the Truth, or the deeper sense that the authors intended to convey, is hidden behind symbol, while the allegories are typical of their time, their customs and their spiritual needs. It has been said that Truth is One for all time. I have no intention to dispute this thesis but, if so, than I am sure that it must be constantly rediscovered. It is my contention, however, that there is Secret Knowledge in the biblical writings. Furthermore and in spite of innumerable difficulties, the Truth seems to flow in great abundance to him, or her, who takes the trouble to look beyond the obvious. All too often the principle problem seems to lay not in the translation or the etymological origin of the word per se, but rather in our inability to rise above the belief in our own limitations to cope with such problems. But most of all, we seem to refuse to let go of our established mindset, our preconceived ideas.   Of one thing I am certain. Should we put as much effort into the pursuit of Truth, biblical or otherwise, as we do into almost any other facet of our day to day existence, we would advance on the scale of spiritual evolution at the same pace as we presently advance in physics, or chemistry, or medicine, or any branch of pure or applied sciences.

Body symbolizes physical consciousness, our conscious awareness, or the state of mind of which our (physical) body is a reflection  [In a broader sense, the “Body” also symbolizes the individualization of Soul. In more developed states of consciousness, such as the Body of Christ, It symbolizes the conscious awareness of I AM, the Higher Self].

Kapuscinski (aka Stan I.S. Law), Stanislaw. Dictionary of Biblical Symbolism (pp. 101-102).  

Reference made in Psalm 23

In this post I wanted to Introduce Stanislaw's Dictionary of Biblical Symbolism together with very recent references used in the last few posts.

As you can see, finding individual words is quite easy... parable, talent, God

I was using an ebook version which makes it even more simple to search and find the particular words needed to provide guidance, as needed.

Re the Intro material

I have reviewed only one of the books that had been found as described.

The Book of Thomas Who Recorded the Words of Jesus.

As Usual, Look to the Right, Search on Title

Watch for a full review of this extraordinary book

in near future...


Psalm 23 - Interpreted by Stanislaw Kapuscinski - An Introduction - Open Memoir




Reading this book, one will quickly realize that words not only matter, but, often, many of us have no real idea of what the words actually mean... And, yet, when I read Psalm 23 by Stanislaw Kapuscinski, I discovered not only meaning, but a meaning that at once seems as though the answer long looked for has been provided.

I remember prior to choir practice one day, I asked our director what we were going to sing and she said The 23rd Psalm... and I began to sing.... but it was not the same tune that we would sing, she pointed out... She knew at least 20 others, she laughed... now she knew 21 which was the version I had sung...


Many Musicians have updated the words for this Psalm, have sung it in many different melodies, and have tried to express what, they, individually, have received, or learned, from the original words found in the Psalms...

I can't remember the sequence of events, whether I had read my first book by Stanislaw, or from other writers, or whether His Holy Spirit was Leading Me... or whether it was...Logic...

I began often to think about the Parable of the Talents, how one man, after his master had left him for a time, did nothing with the talent he had been given, hid it, in fear that his master would come back and he might have lost it... I began to think of the words that were written over 2000 years ago--that they were being read in the same manner. Oh, the words might be slightly different, but still, those basic words were supposedly the words of Our Living God?

Surely Not After 2000+ years
In the past I considered my own philosophy
The Bible Was the Inspired Word of God 


But I wanted to be one of those who had been given the greater talents. I wanted to hear those words, even as I sung them, differently this time, or that,
but, surely, there was something more that I was supposed to do with His talents!


One of the first talents I realized He gave me and would use throughout my life is my voice... Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, Forever! 
Amen and Amen...
But there were so many more talents that followed...

In other words, When we Use God's talents we Give Back to Him MORE!
Then we have fulfilled His Words to the Fullest...
And continue to receive His gifts...



Who is the ‘Lord’? The Lord is the Individualization of the indestructible eternal, omnipresent Consciousness, which we recognize as our Higher Self. Yeshûa (whom most of us know as Jesus) referred to It as his Father who abides in Heaven which is “within you.” That it is a state of Consciousness within you and me. The recognition of the Lord, the state of Being, within the Psalmist's mind, leads to the awareness of immortality, of the indispensability of our ego to the expansion of the Phenomenal Universe, which seems inherent in the state of Being. Or, as some people would say, Worlds Without End. Ultimately we realize that the Ego and the Self are One. That Ego is no more than an instrument of the Self to add to the diversity and to enhance the phenomenal Universe. To convert the ideas into the tangible reality that we "the children of the Most High" can enjoy. This we must never forget. The whole Universe is created solely for our joy and pleasure.... All we need is to wake up and see it. As the Psalmist did...
 

1 Corinthians 13:11 King James Version (KJV)When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

This song, "Into My Heart," was a special song I've cherished since childhood... When I was a child, I spoke as a child... But then I began to read--read books from all people, from all lands, exploring our history, a possible future... I've read the words of an agnostic and read the words of a man who looked only toward the New Testament. I've read fictional books about stories of the Bible... I kept learning... I started reading about the pain caused by man toward other men... over and over and over... The Crusades, the murder or being forced to embrace a new religion by the Indigenous People in America... The taking of men as slaves for the greed by white men... The murder of children in schools, churches by a proliferation of wars/violence/guns ... And, as I've read, I've matured, so that, as I began to read this author, I was prepared. I had put away childish things... I had been given talents and had invested those talents to gain more knowledge and wisdom... I had put away childish things...

If you believe in a Living God
If you believe in the Holy spirit
Please watch for...the future Post
My Review of Psalm 23

The False White Gospel: Rejecting Christian Nationalism, Reclaiming True Faith, and Refounding Democracy by Jim Wallis

 


If you want Peace, work for Justice. 

—Pope Paul VI 

January 1, 1972





FOREWORD: THE LOVE BATTLE TO SAVE THE SOUL OF AMERICA 

We are in a battle for the soul of America. But it is not, and has never been, simply a political battle. Ours is a moral struggle over who we take ourselves to be and what kind of country we want to live in. The moral question sits at the heart of our troubles today. It has been a central question since the founding of the Republic and the moment of crisis when it felt as if the entire experiment would fall apart. On the eve of the Civil War, in his first inaugural address, President Lincoln understood the moral gravity of the moment. “I am loath to close,” he said: We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.* Lincoln’s words were a hopeful and desperate gesture: an appeal to those preparing for war that they would, instead, reach for their better angels and not secede from the union. But at the heart of the American experiment, and Lincoln understood this intimately, rested a distorting and disfiguring view: that some people, because of the color of their skin, ought to be (dare I say must be) valued more than others. This view took shape in the context of a country committed, at once, to the ideals of democracy and to the evil of slavery. And that contradiction threatened to rend the soul of the nation. But the break had already happened. Before one cannon was fired at Fort Sumter, American Christendom had split over the issue of slavery. The Civil War had already begun over the moral question of holding another human being as chattel. Some Christians found religious justification for their greed and prejudices. Others condemned the practice. Those held in bondage and who bore the brunt of the cruelty of slavery dared, as the theologian Howard Thurman said, to redeem the religion profaned in their midst. This dramatic split would come to characterize the nation’s religious landscape as race segregated the idea of the beloved community and many were willing to die and kill to maintain it all. Frederick Douglass would put the point more poignantly: “The slave auctioneer’s bell and the church-going bell chime in with each other, and the bitter crises of the heart-broken slave are drowned in the religious shouts of his pious master.” The historian David Wills has insisted that one way to tell the story of American religious history is through this “encounter of black and white,” an encounter that “occurred within the context of a slave system”† and the world it created that colors how we see each other and how we imagine being together. And here we are over 160 years after Lincoln’s first inaugural address still grappling with the moral question of who we take ourselves to be and how a certain distorted view of Christianity sanctifies our hatreds and fears. Will we reach for our better angels? Jim Wallis has spent a lifetime bearing witness in the face of injustice. He has worked diligently to organize faith communities and leaders to cast away the idolatry of race and to live the gospel. In this powerful book, The False White Gospel, he takes on the latest American expression of white Christianity. Without mincing his words, he understands that white Christian nationalists have clothed their hatreds in the garments of their faith. They sacralize power and worship at the altar of autocrats who all too often profane the message of Jesus. These are the descendants of those who so easily reconciled Christianity with slavery and Jim Crow. But Jim Wallis, as he has always done, refuses to sit by silently as these forces hijack his tradition. He understands that this moment is a moral crisis that cries out for courage and conviction and, especially, for Christians to defend their faith by finally leaving behind the idea that some people ought to be valued more than others. And he provides the tools for the fight with Scriptures and commentary that guide our hearts, our minds, and our actions. His is an invitation to us all to engage in the moral battle. In February 1960, James Baldwin spoke at Kalamazoo College in Michigan. The talk would be published the next year in his book, Nobody Knows My Name. It is a fascinating meditation on the idea of America and the so-called problem of minorities. With typical insight and power, Baldwin insisted that “what we really have to do is to create a country in which there are no minorities—for the first time in the history of the world.” But, for me, it is how he arrives at this piercing insight—through an interrogation of the role and place of Black people in American life and our view of God—that speaks to the power of The False White God. He wrote: [T]he role of the Negro in American life has something to with our concept of what God is, and from my point of view, this concept is not big enough. It has got to be made much bigger because God is, after all, not anybody’s toy. To be with God is really to be involved with some enormous, overwhelming desire, and joy, and power which you cannot control, which controls you. I conceived of my own life as a journey toward something I do not understand, which in the going toward, makes me better. I conceive of God, in fact as a means of liberation and not a means to control others. Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is growing up.‡ God cannot be shackled to the evils of white supremacy nor imprisoned in communities that claim Him as their possession. Baldwin insists that to be with God involves something more expansive and evolving—that it is in “the going towards” that we grow and are made better. Jim Wallis preaches this every day and, in this book, he calls the nation to grow up and he calls us all to fight the love battle to save the soul of America. 

—Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.


From His (Jim Wallis) Introduction:

...I suggested that, perhaps, this was a “Bonhoeffer moment” for the American church. They all knew who Dietrich Bonhoeffer was. A young pastor like themselves, he led the “confessing church” movement in opposition to the rise of Nazism in Germany during the 1930s. These were a small minority of churches who dissented from the acquiescence and loyalty of most German churches to Hitler’s rise to power. In particular, the confessing church was marked by a younger generation of seminarians whom Bonhoeffer taught and some even lived in community, and whose life together became central to the Christian resistance to the Third Reich. I told them that history doesn’t repeat but it often does rhyme, in the words of Mark Twain, and the rise of another racialized authoritarian movement in America—right now—also calls us to a faithful response. Reflecting on Bonhoeffer and asking together what a confessing church might look like in America now turned into an amazing and insightful conversation—one that I hope to see happening across the country. Where is that Christian resistance emerging now, and where is the true gospel being recovered and reclaimed in response to the false white gospel of Christian nationalism now on the rise? I reminded them that Bonhoeffer failed in his attempt to stop Hitler and was executed in the end—hanged by the Nazis, along with many of his seminarians, in a concentration camp only days before the Allies arrived. But, I asked, how many of the German church pastors who supported Hitler do they remember now? None, of course. The witness of Bonhoeffer later inspired the South African churches as they helped bring down the apartheid regime; and now we were talking about him again. The truth-telling about racial justice and reconciliation that we now need will, indeed, cost some pastors their jobs and pensions and parsonages; and it will lead to other pastors and leaders of predominantly white churches losing significant numbers of their congregants. A yet unknown number of white Christian leaders will find the courage to stand up while others submit to the “cheap grace” that Bonhoeffer warned against. There will be churches that stay open and faithful to the inclusive and reconciling gospel, despite the loss of some of their members, and new members—especially young people—may join them because of their authenticity and courage. The suffering that comes with the courage to stand against the rise of authoritarian racism cost Bonhoeffer and other resistors to Hitler their very lives. Indeed, one of the pastors in the room that morning recalled a quote by Bonhoeffer, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” But what it might mean to die to self and live for the gospel truth of Christ is yet to be known in our time, and these young pastors were all wrestling with that. While we can and must work against such violent outcomes, it is increasingly clear that voting rights, racial equality, civic justice, and democracy itself are now at serious risk in America—and that is becoming an understatement. This is a time of testing—both for the future of our democracy and for the integrity of our faith communities. We are literally in a battle now between false religion and true faith and between racial fascism and multicultural democracy. That fight stems from fear, the motivator of hate, and the threat of violence. Helping to set us free from that fear, hate, racism, and violence is the purpose of this book. I had said in my talk the previous evening that “crossing the color line” is the pilgrimage that has, and continues to change my life. I believe that crossing the color line to a genuine multiracial democracy will be the path that finally fulfills America’s promise. And where the congregations of all faith traditions stand in this battle for the soul of America will define the authenticity of our faith at this critical historical moment. It will also determine whether a new generation will have any interest in embracing any of our faith communities. Like growing numbers of young people around the country, many of my students at Georgetown are not currently practicing any religion and are in the “none of the above” religious affiliation category. But most of these “nones” still believe in God or something beyond themselves, and are looking for authenticity and courage in both leaders and institutions. Democracy, faith, and the generational future of our faith communities are all at stake...

~~~


For reference...
Donald Trump has already been found guilty in two civil courts
one for falsification of state records; one for rape and defamation
Now going on is Criminal Court; This video refers to the one major defense witness for Donald Trump. 
Closings will start after Memorial Day








Bringing Peace Through Words

God Bless Us All
Glenda


Hear the words of those speaking...
God loves ALL of His Children
Jim Wallis Wants to Help America 
Reclaim True Faith
and Find Again Democracy...
FOR ALL AMERICANS
Reading Now...


Sunday, May 19, 2024

Tears and Crimson Velvet: A Legend of the Mask Tale by A. L. Butcher - A Personal Favorite, Again! Look to the Right to Click!

There is nothing on Earth

to be prized more than true friendship. 

--Thomas Aquinas

The back story told to us by A. L. Butcher just may be the most perfect story that could ever have provided all we wanted to know... Why did the Phantom of the Opera wear a mask... While I would love to see more books in this series spotlighting the Phantom of the Opera, I will be totally satisfied to finally end what I thought had been left unfinished...

For, surely, with this book, we readers feel as if it must really be true! It all fits... And, now we know, that the reality which led to the type of man that the Phantom had become was... not only quite understandable... but also, inevitable...

It is not what you look at
 that matters, 
it’s what you see. 
Henry David Thoreau

 Angel without wings, 
Damned to hell on earth. 
Caged by bars. 
A soul of music, 
A heart of glass, 
Caged by forbidden love.
 A face of death,
 Distorted and feared, 
Caged by a mask. 
Creature of darkness, 
Shunned and taunted 
Caged by the world.
~~~


Long before Christine ever came into the Phantom, Eric's, life, there was another woman. A woman who in the original opera might have played a small part; however, she was, actually, one of the most important women in Eric's life... For she was there that night, at the Fair, where she could hear a voice, a voice like no other she had heard before... Of course, it was long before all of the music that was to come later. This time, Eric's voice soared about dreams--dreams that he must have known would never be his, yet he sang...


“I seek shelter from the storm, I’m not thieving.” He gazed back at her with eyes that looked so deep, so filled with sorrow, that a chill ran down her spine. “I will not return there. I would rather die first,” his voice was low, and the words came uneasily as though he were not used to conversation. They carried the cadence she’d heard when he sang. There was the touch of an accent she was unable to place, exotic and mysterious. He reached for the blanket she held out, wary and unsure, and the movement brought him pain. With spinning head, he stumbled, one arm out reflexively to steady himself. Lise moved before her brain warned her away and catching him, she set him on a hay bale. “I will not make you return. I’ll not call the gendarmes unless you give me cause. Do you have a name?” His amber eyes never left her face, and Lise felt as though he was assessing her, and looking into her soul. “You can call me Erik, it’s a good a name as any.” “Erik? I am Lise, Madame Giry. This is my stable and my land.” It wasn’t strictly true as her property belonged to her husband, but it gave Lise a little confidence. The uncomfortable silence eventually broke as Lise eyed the bloody shirt. “That blood – is it yours?” Erik looked down and shrugged before regretting the movement. “Some. Not all.” After a pause, he continued, “I will be hunted no doubt, at least when this storm abates. I am not safe.” In that stable, smelling of hay, horses and slightly of blood and rain Lise made a decision which, had she known it, would change her life in years to come. “Look at you! You can hardly stand, let alone run. How far will you get like this? I’ll warrant no further than the brook. This storm will kill you if nothing else.” Lise paused, awkward in the silence then drawing up her courage and compassion continued, “I heard you sing, I saw you and how that man treated you,” Lise tried to smile at him, offer comfort. Erik stared, unused to compassion. He sat, not really comprehending, taut and wary. “I am dangerous, Madam. I’ll be gone from here soon, just needed to rest.” His voice faltered and weak he leant back, his strength gone. “Wait here. Well, that’s a foolish thing to say as we’ve established you’ll not get far. Keep out of sight and be quiet. I’ll be back.” Lise reached for his hand; chary, and confused Erik pulled it back. As she left, he tried to stand and failed. Weak, he groped for the knife he’d pulled from August’s midriff before he’d run. Erik knew he should leave, but he was injured, wet, exhausted, had no money and was covered in blood. How many masked men were there in these parts? He’d bet his life he was the only one. Without the mask, he had no hope at all but if he could get a cloak, hood or scarf he could hide most of the mask. In the dark, he looked pale but without the mask but his face drew far too much of the wrong kind of attention, a fact Erik knew to his cost. He’d rather die than return to a cage, either the one he’d left or a prison cell, of that he was sure. Erik would fight unto death, if that is what was required, and he was becoming acquainted with the Grim Reaper, or he thought, grimly, apprenticed. Another death would make no difference now, he was damned and condemned as it was. If he was caught, he was a dead man. Later he thought, unaware August survived, that the first killing, the one of desperation, was the hardest. After that bridge was crossed there was no going back. He’d learn as the years passed how frail human life was, and how easy to take. And how little he cared for it. But here and now Erik was afraid, confused and, if he’d admit it, helpless. Lise ran, sliding in the mud and without her cloak. The house was mercifully quiet but still, she crept around, bundling up what she sought. “Is this stealing if it’s my own house?” she wondered then finally snatched up a basket from the pantry and a small bucket of water and as she heard a sound at the door slipped back into the sodden evening trying not to overbalance in the mud, and overburdened. Erik was still where she had left him, and tugging the door almost closed as best she could Lise lay her bundles down. “Let me see your wounds? I’ve tended my father and his horses before. I am not totally unskilled.” “Did you enjoy the show, with the other gawpers?” Erik asked still unable to believe this woman was helping him, for no other reason than kindness. There was an edge in his voice now more of weariness than wrath. He was so used to the mocking, the fear and the hatred he barely knew how to cope with this situation. Lise was taken aback by the question, hesitating, she realised Erik had known little or no kindness in his life and simply was unaccustomed to dealing with it. “I enjoyed the singing very much, Erik. You have a wonderful voice.” The rest remained unspoken, but Erik’s eyes glittered in the semi-dark and hers filled with tears. There was silence as she pulled open his shirt, biting back a cry as livid bruises patterned Erik’s chest and side, and beneath she saw older scars, some not long healed. A livid deep slash the length of her finger was the source of most of the blood. With care, she wiped away the blood and tried to stem the flow. “What happened? That’s a bad injury.” “I refused to sing, so August beat me. This time I fought back but he had a knife...”
~~~

Madame Lise Giry was newly wed when she heard that voice, She had married an older man, a soldier who was committed to service to his country... And, almost immediately after they married, he left her with a home full of servants who already knew more about what needed to be done than Lise could ever learn... And, as servants are prone to hear all, they knew that the Master of the House's older children were not pleased to have a young woman be brought into their homeplace... And so it was that Lise would often go for walks, just to get away from all of those who watched her--what she chose to wear that morning... what she had requested for her next meal, knowing she didn't even know what options were available... or how to properly use the silver...

And so, we readers can imagine that Lise, after having heard the voice singing not too far away, she chose to walk out close enough to hear...


Lise realized that she had never heard whispered words from her husband. Perhaps he had used all of them for his first wife, the one he surely had loved. But now, they were gone, and so she listened carefully to the words of this voice...

And, soon, Lise would take her lunch with her, and stay out to wait for the song she knew would come. The voice was intoxicating and it caused her to have moments of a response so strong that she couldn't wait...


That day, when she had been eating, she stopped, yearning to clearly hear the words  being spoken, as if to her... and, so, as she felt more and more, feelings that she had never felt caused by her husband, again she moved closer and closer, so that she could actually see the man who sung...

He was in a cage!

She rushed forward, then realizing what she was doing, slower, so she could watch the people surrounding the man, throwing coins into the cage as if to pay him for the song--the song that was so beautiful that it sounded like an angel...An angel of God! How could he possibly be caged!?

Closer, closer... and then a man started yelling at the man, at the crowd... SEE HIM! SEE HIM! Come and see the Freak who sings like an angel...but is a devil!

And Lise watched as the man was whipped, to get him out of his cage, only to be whipped again and again and the crowds stood, some cheering, Again! Again! while those women who had been drawn, also by his voice, cried...as Lise was also crying...Wanting to reach out, to help him...

So she waited, all the coins were tossed and the crowd faded away. Lise now knew from the shouting that the man said that He Owned Him! What nonsense is this she wondered. How could one man own another, but then she remembered what his owner had done... He had ripped off the mask! Lise pulled back in shock, but not in fear, knowing that anybody who had that voice could not be dangerous... She moved even closer after everybody was gone... And she spoke, she gave him what was left from her lunch, just a roll, but she needed to at least let him know that she cared... enough... to have seen him as he was...and had not backed away in horror, in fear... 

It may have been the first time in his life, that Eric had received a kind gesture... an individual who had not turned away from him, as he was... had actually spoke to him with a touch of concern, of caring... It was, to him, now, a reason--to want to escape! Her friendship had given him...hope...


So, perhaps, Lise was not really surprised, totally, that Eric showed up that night near her home... She rushed to provide him food, clothing and shelter...

And when the police came looking for the creature who had escaped, having beaten his owner nearly to death... for the first time in her Catholic life, she lied. She lied to protect him...

Eric was gone the next morning...

But that would not be the last time Eric would come into her life, to help his one true friend who had once given...him...a reason... to want to live!


Lise came to the Opera House, where she spent many, many hours sitting with Eric...


Lise had prayed for Eric that first time she saw his owner beating him--praying to God that he would not be killed...

Once when they talked she asked him why he had been beaten. Eric explained that he had refused to sing... And then he turned to her, afraid to even ask but he needed to know... And when she told him that he had a wonderful voice and she was thrilled to be able to hear him sing, he tried to believe her, because his singing was important to him... If he believed in a god, then that gift was the only one He'd given him..

But it was never enough... So that when Lise spoke of God she saw him change, Lise saw the fire, and the hatred, as he cried out, "Do not talk to me of God. I was forsaken long ago and there is no redemption for me.”

One of the reviewers I read said that she had cried as she read this book. I did not. I was saddened that once again I was reading another book which revealed just how badly man can turn against man... even though God His Father is there Loving His Child... Lisa tried... In the end, I think, that it was her presence that gave Eric the only peace he had ever known...For she had found her way down into his home deep within the Theatre... and talked with him, sometimes sewing... sometimes listening to his voice... but it was never enough... It was inevitable...


Readers, once again, A. L. Butcher has presented a must-read for Fans of the Phantom of the Opera... Or, please consider reading this as a love story--like no other that you may have read... Unrequited, perhaps, but it is indeed not what you may look at, it is what you see. A man who had been born a creature to be scorned by so many, yet, a few, a very few, decided to look behind the face, and even the mask... to see who Eric, the Phantom of the Opera, could have been... And, what he was to become when he himself loved--a love that only one who has been rejected all of his life, could even know how to love... with just a touch of...madness...

In the end, I wanted to think, once again, differently about how this book ended... For Lise loved--exactly as her Father in Heaven had taught her to love... In the end, I think she realized...it was...would have to be enough... Still, she had lost her husband to the war... She had lost her home to his children who refused to recognize her marriage... surely she had expected more from the man she had befriended right from the first time she had heard him sing... How she wished she could hear his voice...once...again... singing just for, her, Lise...

 


Still, I Would So Love to Hear Charles Sing...

Would he sing of joy and happiness?


Perhaps, yes, a new life, to begin...

Openly embracing his past...

Here's one of your new, but true fans, Hoping...

Hint... Hint...

GABixlerReviews