An essay contributed by Bill McKeen
A young man was walking from one casino
to another on the Strip in Las Vegas when he came upon a beggar with no
legs, sitting on the pavement. He leaned over and whispered to him; "Do
you believe that life is nothing more than a crap shoot?" "Yes" said the
beggar and he then quoted the words of Solomon.
"The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet
bread to the wise, nor yet riches to people of understanding, nor yet
favor to people of skill; but time and chance happens to them all."
Seeing that the beggar was a very wise man, he asked another question.
Do you believe in divine intervention? " Yes" replied the beggar, "but
it is exceptional and rare. God does not like to tamper with His
creation in the world of Yin and Yang." Being somewhat perplexed the
younger man then asked," Where do you get the strength and courage to
face each and every day." The beggar then answered, " It is through
prayer, grace and charity that I am a survivor." At that point the young
man took out a hundred dollar bill and placed it in his tin cup before
heading to the next casino.
Knowing that I was not a church member,
a person once asked me "Do you think you will go to heaven?" Referring
to the two great commandments of Jesus I replied, "I love God and I love
people." He said nothing more and walked away. God reaches out to
different people in different ways. With Christians; it is in Jesus and
the New Testament. The Jews; Moses, Abraham and the Torah. With Muslims;
Allah, Muhammad and the Koran. And Native Americans; the Great Spirit
speaking through dreams, omens and signs. Without proselytizing, I like
to think, regardless of the road traveled, if you do good in your life,
you shall be rewarded. And I would love to believe that this is what
Jesus implied when he said, "In my Fathers house there are many
Emanuel Swedenborg 1668-1772
The great Swedish theologian had an
interesting take on the afterlife. (Heaven and Hell). He believed, in
so many words, that when we die, we each take with us, our preferences
and disposition. We get to meet many other departed spirits,
including our loved ones, family and friends. When we do meet with other
spirits, we communicate not in words but in thoughts. None are hidden,
all are revealed. Mutual compatibility will determine the length our our
stay. Depending on our preferences and disposition, we may move on and
gravitate toward other spiritual beings. So, in Swedenborg's view of the
afterlife, the swine will be among the swine, friends among
friends, and angels among angels.
Thomas Paine (1737-1809)
Different words resonate with different
people. The following quote struck a cord with me..
"God is the power of first cause, nature is the law, and matter is the
subject acted upon."
"Matter The Subject Acted Upon"
Trying to comprehend DNA technology is a
lot like watching a new TV Mini-Series drama. Once you get to know the
characters, it becomes easier to follow and a lot more interesting.The
main genealogical characters are DNA molecules, chromosomes and
nucleotides which are chemical building blocks, identified as adenine
(A), thymine (T), cytosine (C). and guanine (G). And through the
different sequences written in code with the nucleotides alphabet, of
A,T,C,and G, there can be found a long string or map of instructions for
each and every organism. Looking at this aspect of creation alone, one
may conclude that God is indeed the power of first cause.
Spirit of Light
The Sun has all the attributes of the
Creator and provides the living spark for all organisms. In ancient
times it was thought of in the terms of a deity and worshipped
accordingly. It was to them, as Thomas Paine once said, "The great
visible agent for the great invisible God."
A tetragrammaton. It represents the
multiplicity of life as we know it from God, Earth, Water and Light. The
book of Genesis tells the story of how it all began.
The ALL is the essence in all. A thing
in itself is nothing. Only in relation to something else does it become.
The interaction or encounter between what comes in, what goes out, what
is given, what is received, determines what is this, what is that.That
which is the strongest or most dominant will prevail.
In quantum physics scientist believe
they have discovered a Holy Grail in oscillating and vibrating strings
that can create or alter the composition of matter. Can the thought
process also be projected to create oscillating and vibrating strings?
Far fetched? Maybe not when you take under consideration the mechanisms
involved in creativity, intuition and prayer. Maybe we should lead
science more in this direction.
And give notice to the old and ancient maxim from Hermetic philosophy,
that reads; "As above, so below; as below, so above."
The double slit experiment proves that with observation you can improve the probability of making a certain thing happen. From a physics view a negative aspect of this is when you focus on the particle you lose sight of the momentum. Focus on the momentum, you lose sight of the particle. Another example from the world of nature, focus on the tree you lose sight of the forest. Focus on the forest you lose sight of the tree. Even better one, focus on God you lose sight of reality. Focus on reality you lose sight of God.The extreme differential of the last example can be explored in the writings of both Schopenhauer and Swedenborg.
Without God, Satan would not be known.
Without Satan, God would not be known.
With two together there is something.
With one alone there would be nothing.
The second line the above entry "A
Paradox" is probably controversial. After 40 days in the wilderness
Jesus did not say to the devil, "I will destroy thee." Instead he
replied, " Get thee behind me, Satan" and when it was all said and done,
the devil departed to await another time or season.
Probably the most quoted verse in the
New Testament is John, 14.6
"I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father,
but through Me."
At first glance, this seems to say "My way or the highway." And this
would be a contradiction of who Jesus was, His life and ministry. I read
it a little differently.
"I am the way, and the truth, and the (light); no one comes to (the
right hand of) the Father, but through Me."
In this view of God the Father, " None of His children are forgotten or
Not knowing if it was true or not, I
read somewhere that the birth date of Jesus was celebrated on March, 25
for over 300 years. In 345 AD, Pope Julian II decided to switch the date
of Christmas to December 25, thereby coinciding it symbolically with the
Winter solstice. It also happens to be the same birth date of Buddha and
Krishna of India and Horus, the ancient God of Egypt.
The Road to Damascus
Many biblical scholars believe the
Pauline Epistles predated the four Gospels. Why did the apostle Paul, a
near contemporary of Jesus, always speak to the spirit of the word and
not sometimes to the letter of the word? The Epistles and early letters
makes no mention of extraordinary events in the life of Jesus, nor is
there any reference to his words, prayers and parables.
I still find it hard to believe that the
early Gospel authors, more than a hundred years later, could have
captured or gotten it right all the spoken Aramaic words of Jesus? And
was there a proper chain of custody to protect the original Greek and
Latin manuscripts taken from oral history and written on papyrus and
parchment, from being tampered with? And what about the selection
process of Constantine and the Nicene Council? Did they take certain
liberties for political reasons? All valid questions but does it really
A Senior Pastor from a very prominent and open church here in New
England recently declared in the church newsletter:
"All who seek the unconditional love, the amazing grace and the
transforming forgiveness of God -the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit
- are welcome at His table in our church."
The Purpose Driven Life
When I first heard about Rick Warren and
the runaway best seller above, I went to Barnes & Noble to purchase the
book. After reviewing the contents, I must say that I disagree with the
second chapter. Warren's contention is that God has a plan or purpose
for "everyone". To my way of thinking, the laws of nature, free will,
yin and yang, time and chance rules all. I just can't believe that God
is in the planning business. All one has to do is look at the world at
large and the history of human suffering to understand this. However,
what is most prevalent is God's "grace" and is available to all who seek
it. It is through the grace of of God that the Messenger came into
being. And to give to us, the way, the truth and the life, thus making
our yoke a little easier and our burden that much lighter.
The Lord's Prayer
Make no show of piety, pray to the
Father in your own simple way. In private and from the heart, Extol His
greatness, accept His will, here and above. Petition your daily needs.
Ask pardon for a wrong done and give in kind for a wrong received. Pray
that you not be tempted within and delivered in kind from things
(God is and was the prime mover in all
that I have written. How appropriate and right it is to end with a
paraphrase version of "The Lord's Prayer." Praise be to God Almighty!)
Copyright © by Bill McKeen.
All rights reserved. Brief quotations may be used for
review purposes. Non-commercial use is permissible, if the author and title of
this work are acknowledged.
Originally posted: 2005-NOV-18
Latest update: 2013-FEB-19
Author: Bill McKeen