One of the most highly rated episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation is titled “Darmok.” Captian Picard must learn to communicate with the Tamarian Captain Dathon who’s language is based upon references to Tamarian epic stories, of which Picard knows nothing. Through a struggle, Picard learns the symbolic language, and in the final scene, is found in his “ready room” reading Homer, sharpening his own narrative skills for his next encounter with the Tamarians.
Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who embrace her; those who lay hold of her will be blessed.
Proverbs 3:13-18 Continue reading Wise Thinking
President Barak Obama has used the phrase, “We are choosing hope over fear,” but really the people of the world need both. Throughout history, effective speaking of the good news of Jesus draws two responses, fear and hope. Fear, because of guilt, comes from the realization of our dismal position before blameless God. Hope, because of love, comes from the realization that God, at great pain to himself, has made a way for us move from certain doom to grand destiny. Perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18), but does the message still work if there is no fear? Continue reading Choosing Hope and Fear
Why should any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead? These are the words of the Apostle Paul to King Agrippa as recorded in Acts 26:8. Considering the beliefs of culture in which he lived, Paul is not defending the idea of resurrection, but the power of God to perform it. The Greco-Roman heroes: Odysseus, Orpheus, and Heracles, all traveled to the underworld and returned. Dionysus’ mythology says he was resurrected. Plato, Socrates and Vergil believed in the transmigration of souls. Reincarnation is not the same as resurrection, but the principle of returning from the dead remains. Paul is essentially saying, “You believe in the possibility heros of returning from the dead, it should not be too incredible to believe that my God has that power.” Continue reading Zombies, Ghouls, and Vampires: Resurrection Propaganda
The mosquitoes that made me their blood bank during my most recent hiking trip gave me a strong reminder to pack insect repellent. Without blood, the female mosquito lacks the proteins necessary to produce fertile eggs. One could say that my blood was as valuable to them as it is to me; without blood there is no life. The tonsils or the appendix have never been considered the core of our being, but whether a culture centered the human soul in the mind, the heart, the stomach or the loins, blood still contained life. Continue reading True Blood
This originated from a co-pastor at my church, and, with her permission, I have re-posted it. I considered it a great encouragement and discussion starter, and will post my “life verse” as a comment to this post as soon as I am able. To hear from multiple people on this topic, even someone who may not agree with the idea of a life verse, would be enlightening for all who read.
Have you ever picked out a life verse? A life verse is one or more Scripture verses that a person has made part of his or her day-to-day life. It is a verse that one reads, and keeps going back to again, because it has become like a personal standard, goal, or philosophy. Continue reading Life Verse
I have a friend who describes herself as having a big voice. When she wants her son to come inside, she opens the front door and shouts his name. Because he always hears her, and comes home, she pictures a group of children, blocks away, saying, “Oooo. You better go home. Your mother wants you.” Continue reading The Calling