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Showing posts from December, 2023

Singlehood, marriage, and happiness

This is a response to a YouTube comment on a video I made about marrying young. The comment "You make valid points for humans who want to survive life without undue misery, but this video has little to do with actually finding happiness.  Would it kill you to mention the word love a couple of times in such a long video on relationships? Have you considered love as something more than just a physical connection?  I’m sure my opinion is worthless to you as I’m in the 99.9% of people who are either not happily married according to your parameters or are lying to save face about it, but I believe that the majority of truly happily married people fall outside of these ‘sweet spots’ statistically speaking, simply because of unforeseen circumstances which, yes, in some cases can contribute to divorce, but in other cases can lead to people becoming more mature humans who actually know how to treat each other right. People change, and even an idiot with a neck beard who worked fast food fo

Fed miraculously through early response to obvious value

Jesus miraculously produced loaves and fishes, and if he had this power as a man, what more is he capable of doing now that he has ascended to his Father and promised us even greater things? You'll recall that the Israelites were freed from this curse during their 40 year sojourn in the wilderness via the miraculous administration of mana from heaven. Do you doubt he could do at least as much today?  Have you stopped to consider what consequences might come from the removal of Adam's curse? The availability of miraculous food would certainly would lift the curse. But does God provide for us what we have the ability to provide for ourselves? Did Jesus feed the crowds in Jerusalem, or only those who had followed him out to the wilderness, days away from food sources? Some presently living will come to a time when they rely on no less than miraculously provided food for survival as every Babylonian support crumbles. It would be unwise to assume either that you will be able to prod

Worship music

The topic of religious and "worldly" music came up in multiple conversations recently, including a video on the channel. Here is a followup from an email thread. Here's a hypothetical conversation between two people: A: "Do you listen to metal?" B: "Yes" A: "But metal isn't appropriate for a Christian." B: "There are plenty of metal songs that are inappropriate for a Christian, and I don't listen to any of those, but some are good, and those I listen to." A: "Why would you listen to metal if it has bad songs?" B: "Every genre has bad songs." A: "Not gospel music." B: "What do you find offensive about offensive songs?" A: "They condone things that God does not approve of." B: "Do you think he approves of worship songs sung by people whose hearts are far from him? Do you think every gospel singer is sincere?" A: "" B: "Your gospel singers are n

The complete ruin of a verse

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. (Matthew 23:23) An appeal to the Greek shows that the terminal phrase indicates that if there was a conflict, it was the less important matters that should be omitted, not the most important matters. This is a common sense and extremely important principle, yet no English translation I've found has it rendered correctly. Suppose there was a conflict between two instructions from God, and people were led to believe that all instructions from God are of equal resolution and equal importance. In this case, all people would fail to keep the most important principles, because they would not be willing to leave the lesser principles undone. And they would wonder why it is so difficult to keep the greater principles, when they do such a good job on the l

He was indeed deaf, but not in arrogance

For various reasons, I don't spend as much time as I have in the past reading books by others that are not scripture. However, I do always have one I am working through. Because there are so many good books out there and I spend so little time reading them, I am always bitterly disappointed when a book I'm excited to read turns out to be bad. The really bad ones I can set aside and move on from. The worst books are those so bad that they hurt to read while giving the impression that setting them aside might result in missing something worthwhile. I'm currently reading such a book. One positive of this book is that it has several quotes from others that are gems. I keep a collection of quotes by others which I treasure. I'm not sure this will make it to my list, but it has given me pause. The story goes that Beethoven was having an argument with a prince during which he said: "Prince, what you are, you are through chance and birth; what I am, I am through my own lab

Daniel in the lion's den

An artistic friend asked me to elaborate on a reference I had made about how I did not find the artists depictions of Daniel in the lion's den as very realistic. I don't fault artists for the limits of their best effort in depicting something they have not seen. It is unfair to compare what you have seen with what someone else has not seen. However, anyone can google a video of how a pack of lions acts around humans. It is very clear that humans are food to them. One step further would be to avail oneself of the lion parks in South Africa, where the palpable feeling of being on the menu and the knowledge that the only separation between you and these terrifying animals is a piece of auto glass somehow helps you see otherwise invisible cues of the desire of the lions to tear apart your flesh with their relatively blunt teeth, long claws, and fearfully large, rippling muscles. This is the lion's "I am going to eat you" gaze. Any artist could/should study the natura

A question about charging money for something produced through the gifts of God or on religious topics

A reader wrote me a question, which I will here anonymize a bit before answering. The gist The person produced an item that she was selling that consisted of a creative work with gospel art. She had a bunch of copies made, and sold most of them. Time passed. Now her religious views don't fully align with what is in the book, and she's not sure if it is right to make money off of something religious in nature. She asks for help in formulating her question to God on the matter. The answer 1. Formulating vs. asking questions. Typically, most of the work is in formulating the question. If someone has to formulate the question for you, they will likely harm you in giving it to you, because they will give you the key to receiving the answer without you growing to be worthy of it, but will all but guarantee you feel worthy of it. Our needs are a prime driver of our humility before God and willing subjugation to the means he has ordained for us to come up to him. We are naturally haugh

Charging subscription fees for access to the material I produce

Some time ago, a reader suggested that I employ a Patreon model of tiered access to the content I produce based on increasing levels of money. My response was patterned after the following: 51 And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, 52 And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. 53 And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. 54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? 55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. 56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village. (Luke 9) It is contrary to everything I understand to employ a Pateron model to govern access to this conten


The Lord said: It is necessary that the things that cause offense must be done and taught, but woe be to those who are offended by them! (Matthew 18:7, My Reflection) Is it ever good to be offended? We describe things that we are offended at by saying we were offended by them. Can anything force you to react with offense without your consent? When you are offended by something, does it indicate something about what you are offended at, or only something about yourself? And what does it indicate? Where does offense come from, if not from evidence that something you valued has less value than you thought? And how often is that something your own self image? What is more offensive to a haughty person than evidence that their comeliness is actually corruption? And yet, is there a greater gift than to help a person see more of the truth--things as they really are--especially pertaining to how they really are? A person who has an inflated self-image will never do what is necessary to grow