This book is amazing

I am about a third of the way through an incredible book called “What Is the Bible?: How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything” written by Rob Bell. The book is a treatment of the Bible that I’ve never read before. The author turns the book over and over and throughout every story, poem and letter he points out how the books through line is hope, love, redemption and reconciliation. If you are reading a story, poem, letter or song in this book and do not experience hope, love ore redemption than you are missing the point.

When you read a story letter or poem with the purpose of finding this through line of love and redemption you experience hope. If you read a story without this perspective it can be dark and abysmal and make you feel hopeless. The bible can be violent and give you nightmares if you are not approaching it with that filter. The author explains why the filter is rightfully applied, mostly because of history context and culture.

One of the worst things we can do in life is lose hope. Lost hope can result in a cynical apathic life and may even lead to depression. How can we in the face of so much bad news find hope? Through education and learning the “whole story”. Often we only hear the headlines and nothing else but stories are layered and nuanced and one viewpoint of a much larger thing called life. Next time you feel like throwing in the towel I encourage you to dig deeper learn more and find hope. Hope was at the bottom of pandoras box,

“Life was meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.”

Eleanor Roosevelt
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We have that too

Rob Bell wrote a few books, One book in particular received some mixed reviews. Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, that is the books name. Let me see the book addresses the question ” would a loving God send people to eternal torment forever?” It’s a great read and is one of those books I like to buy and give away.

There is a line in the book where Rob Bell mentions how young believers in the Christian religion will move to a foreign country in a missionary capacity and introduce the religion of Christianity to people only to be greeted with “Oh we have that here too, only we call it___”. Many religions throughout the world and time share the same stories.

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My wife is right at the end of a history course she is taking for her degree, and I have been helping her with some of her assignments. She really doesn’t need my help I think she asks for it so I will not feel so useless. Reading history I cannot help but see how religious disagreements on many (shared) stories, has generated violence even war and genocide.

It seems that many religions have common ground as do most people and that meeting on this common ground can be a beautiful thing however we do not need to look far if we want to find divisive elements either. Dr. Seuss wrote a book called the Butter Battle . The book outlines how two sets of people differed on what side to butter their bread and the difference created divisions and military build ups.

I plan on challenging myself today to look for common ground with everyone I meet, I know that I will find it and I challenge you to do the same.

Can we even do that?

I am currently taking a software development course and the instructor was explaining the difference between UI kit versus Swift UI. There were the pros and cons lists and one of the pros for Swift UI was that it was “future proof”. Immediately I thought “Can we even do that?” I also wondered if perhaps sometime ago someone thought that UI kit was future proof.

If you haven’t seen the movie Back to the Future 3 stop what you are doing and go watch it. OK, so at the end of the movie Jenny asks the doc why a note she got from the future changed when she arrived in the past and the doc tells her that no ones future is written it is being written now. I am not advocating for no planning I think we should have a plan for our immediate and far future but we must realize that the plan needs to be flexible for it to work.

love the idea of something being future proof but I just don’t think it’s possible. I think what is most prudent is that we care for ourselves and others current needs with thoughts about the future needs.

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In the Christian Bible there is a verse that describes the Bible as ” a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” Psalms 119:105. I like this verse because it demonstrates how we should live our lives looking at now our feet and forward path.

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So even though we cannot future proof we should not stop planning and of course we should enjoy and live as much as we can in the moment.

Darkness is funny that way …5lbs

In most western religious texts, folklore and fairy tales darkness equals evil. Evil that surrounds and infiltrates.

I was a father at a young age (at least I thought it was young). I watched my kids grow up and while growing up I saw them face obstacles, in school, at work, within their friend circles. The obstacles were in form of rocky relationships, steep learning curves, and physical ailments.

The kids and myself were quick within rocky relationships to label people good or evil but that is reductive thinking that I tried to avoid. My dad told me that the most important thing and only thing I could do to make a difference was to do the right thing.

We cannot make someone do good or bad. People have freewill and autonomy. All that we can do is steer our own ships. When we begin to try and influence others through deeds that are not good we risk allowing the darkness to fill us. Darkness is funny that way. We can do bad things in pursuit of good outcomes and then we are the darkness we were attempting to drive out.

In the Christian bible text John 8:12 we are taught that only light or good can drive out darkness. I think a lot about war when I think about light and dark. In war we use harm and force to try and drive out darkness. It seems foolish to assume that war would create good or an end to darkness.

The written book “Soliloquies in England and Later Soliloquies” is thought by scholars to be, part of our civilizations knowledge base. It is a very important book that seems to have guided our society and in it the author says “Only the dead are safe; only the dead have seen the end of war.” — George Santayana

When we work and use darkness we only get pain and death. Darkness is funny that way it does not heal, mend, build, or give any life. Lets make a promise to ourselves today, lets promise that we will not use darkness even if it seems like darkness is the right way. Lets promise to only use light only do good.