17 septiembre 2014

The Lost Message · El mensaje perdido

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"The Second Mile", from Journeys with the Messiah, by Michael Belk

Is Religion truly an opium?
A drug that robs human beings of clear vision, humanity, and dignity?

The rise of the radical Islamic terrorist movement ISIS (IS)
and its affiliates around the world shows us precisely how poisonous
and dangerous man-made religious systems are.


And that they have absolutely nothing to do with God.

These murderers have gone on killing sprees so bloody,
so surrealistically sadistic that suddenly, the dark smokestacks of Ausschwitz
seem to be belching their infernal fumes over us once again.

Beheadings, even of children. Crucifixions. Robbery and extorsion.
Sexual slavery and perversion. The list goes on and on, all "in the Name of God".

How should we respond?  Is there any way to stop these monsters,
to "cure" the fever of this religious madness?

Jesus' own message of self-sacrifice and radical love
seems to leap off the pages these days:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.  Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away." ~ Matthew 5:38-42

 Yet, as Alice Su admits in her excellent article:


"How do Christians respond to terrorism?
My church answers falter.

'Love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you.'
OK, but really?

What if I were Iraqi or Syrian or Gazan?
What if the Islamic State crucified my father?
What if an Israeli bomb blew my family into pieces?

What if everyone I loved was hit
with chemical weapons?

I meet person after person for whom this is reality.
I wonder what I can say to them.
I write down their stories.
I cry. I want to vomit. I turn to God."



I will be reflecting more on these questions, and on the truly
"Lost Message" of Jesus in upcoming posts.


18 abril 2014

Synthetic Resurrections in the Digital Age

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Today is Good Friday, a day which always takes me down a meditative path.

It is a dark trail that leads me into an awareness of human suffering, desperate loss and mind-numbing grief. A darkness, a pain, that drives me straight to the Cross.

By pure coincidence today, I found myself watching a very moving episode of British Channel Four's celebrated series, "Black Mirror".

In Be Right Back, a young woman grapples with staggering grief and loss; out of that pain, she reaches for a surprising comfort: the Powers of the Digital Age.



Watch the trailer

If writer Charlie Brooker is correct, our new-found god-like abilities based on software algorithms, a constant matrix of recorded digital video, and amazing medical advances will lead us to "conquer death" in new ways in the very near future.

(Watch the video above, if you don't believe me.)

Synthetic Resurrections in this Brave New World will make it possible for us to connect with deceased loved ones as never before. Death frightens us, Loss enrages us. The sudden Disappearance of one we loved leaves a wound some never see heal.

So, will we be justified in seeking Eternal Life on our own terms?
Are we really Masters of our own digital destinies?

Or, might a truer hope be found in the well-documented case of a true flesh-and-blood Resurrection? The triumph of One who promises hope and meaning in this lifetime, and eternal life to all who lose their lives for His sake, in order to find it?

The Last Supper, by David LaChapelle

Do our synthetic gods truly deliver what they promise?
Or is there perhaps more?

28 marzo 2014

Tears of Joy

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Hearing this story on the Daily Audio Bible this morning made me cry ...
out of sheer joy.

.
It shows God's loving heart so clearly.
.
That's why I wanted to share it with you.

* * * * * * *

It wasn’t long after this when Jesus entered a city called Nain. Again all of His disciples accompanied Him, along with a huge crowd.

He was coming near the gate of the city as a corpse was being carried out. This man was the only child and support of his widowed mother, and she was accompanied by a large funeral crowd.

As soon as the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her.
Jesus said to her, Don’t weep.
Then He came to the stretcher, and those carrying it stood still.
Young man, listen! Get up!

The dead man immediately sat up and began talking.
Jesus presented him to his mother, and everyone was both shocked and jubilant. They praised God.
* * * * * * *

This is why I love Him so.


Text:
Luke 7:11-16

Photo credits:
Grieving in Syria, Google Images

01 marzo 2014

Eye on the Prize

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Ashton Eaton, in Runner's World magazine
29 May 2012

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run,
but only one gets the Prize?

Run in such a way as to get the Prize.

.
Let us throw off everything that hinders
and the sin that so easily entangles us.





And let us run with perseverance

the race marked out for us, 
fixing our eyes on Jesus,
the pioneer and perfecter of our faith."

Photo: "Son of God"
www.sonofgodmovie.com

Follow Me · Love, Jesus 


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