by baldilocks

Originally posted September 17, 2010. Some re-editing.

After I posted Discover the Networks’ “The Muslim Brotherhood’s Strategic Goal for North America” on my Facebook page, one of my friends–a friend in real life–pointed out that Christianity has history of conquest and forced conversion as well.

I don’t mean to pick on my friend, but I felt it necessary to reiterate my response here (edited):

Gutenberg
Gutenberg

[In order for an individual to examine the tenets of his/her faith], one must look at the foundational work establishing that faith.

Before the Bible was made available to the everyday Christian, the Church leadership–meaning the Catholic Church–dispensed doctrine interpreted in whatever manner it saw fit.  After Johannes Gutenberg, the Bible was made available to all who could read it.  It is no accident that Christianity was radically transformed and Reformed after that.

The same is happening to Islam with respect its adherents and its doctrines.

One of the Founders of these two religions commanded his followers to love God with all one’s heart, soul, strength and mind and to love one’s neighbor as self; the other commanded his followers to convert non-believers at the point of the sword or make them pay the unbelievers’ tax.

As each set of followers have become more and more familiar with the foundational doctrines of the two sets of religious belief, they have begun to behave more and more in accordance to those doctrines: one set has become less totalitarian almost to the point of zero and the other more aggressive and violent.

The Bible and the Koran are objective documents with historical contexts readily available in this information age.  It is up to the individual to make himself/herself familiar enough with both–if desired–in order to come to a cogent conclusion.

My friend mentions the genocides committed in the name of Jesus. Of course, the crimes of the prior millennium’s Christian missionaries are well-known and acknowledged:

Christian missionaries of Europe fell into error and sin back when they were bent on converting the natives of all lands–not by the act and desire of leading others to Christ, but by making Christianity about something other than Him, His Sacrifice, Resurrection and the purpose thereof.  The missionaries bound up Christ in themselves and their own ethnicity.

Those crimes do not take anything away from the quality of the Gospel; they only speak to the quality of the human beings preaching it.  Again, were such missionaries following Christ’s teachings or ignoring them when they trampled non-Christian cultures?

This subject reminds me of my repeated assertion that it’s necessary to be able to analyze information rather than simply to gather and regurgitate it.  The will and ability to do this has become essential—not just to “win” an argument, but for personal, national, and spiritual survival.

Happy Resurrection Day.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

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baldilocks

It’s Easter and while there will be plenty of post today filled with delightful platitudes let’s instead consider Jesus’ death and resurrection for what it is.

We are human, sooner or later we will die as evidenced by this:

The world’s oldest person, a Japanese woman, died Wednesday, a few weeks after celebrating her 117th birthday.

Misao Okawa died of heart failure and stopped breathing as relatives and nursing home workers stood by her side and praised her for achieving a long, healthy life, said Tomohiro Okada, an official at her Osaka nursing home.

“She went so peacefully, as if she had just fallen asleep,” Okada said. “We miss her a lot.”

A 116-year-old American woman, Gertrude Weaver of Arkansas, is now the world’s oldest person, according to Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Group, which keeps records of supercentenarians. She was born July 4, 1898.

Recorded history goes back about several thousand years and we can now say that every person born from that time to the year 1897 is dead.

And that’s just the extreme.  I’ll wager most people born before 1930 are now dead and the cutoff median year is continuing to creep toward by birthdate of 1963.

Oddly enough while we see an awful lot of people in media warning us to prepare so our retirement will be comfortable, few warn us to be prepared for what follows which will be considerable longer.period with the potential to be a lot less comfortable if one isn’t prepared.

That’s where Easter comes in.

Jesus Christ has graciously consented to not only pay the full price to secure our  comfort in those post retirement years but he has further by example and instructed us on how to make sure that we don’t squander said payment via sin.

He has further inspired an entire church and generations of teachers and examples for hundreds of years in order to help us on the right post retirement track, without charge.

And if that wasn’t enough even if ignore said teachers, church and instructors and act in such a way to squander said payment, if we simply apply for reinstatement sincerely with contrition Christ will not only gladly put our account back into good standing but will look favorably on an unlimited number of applications regardless of the severity of the offense providing each time application comes with sincere contrition.

Let’s see Ameritrade or Merrill Lynch top that!

Now there is some fine print.  While Christ’s price for said plan is small if you choose to pay it not many in the rule ridicule you the media will attack you and in some cases certain types might insist you start your post retirement at once.

But if you are willing to deal with those short term issues Jesus’ Christ post retirement plan is yours for the asking with all the benefits thereof.

It certainly beats paying the full cost of post retirement on your own.

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by baldilocks

Originally posted here on May 12, 2010; slightly updated and re-edited. This story is never out of season.

 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

(Acts 2:17-18; KJV)

Some time ago, I had a dream.

Before I explain what type of dream it was, I should mention that my dreams are very vivid—almost like being awake; like short visits to worlds yet unexplored.  Sometimes, I can remember them immediately upon waking, but they will usually be forgotten if I fail to write them down.  (As an aside, I think that the ability to remember one’s dreams goes hand-in-hand with having a well-developed imagination—something essential to being a novelist.)

My subconscious will even, on occasion, incorporate sounds from the waking world and build a dream around it if the sound isn’t loud and/or piercing enough to disrupt my sleep.  Such was the case several years ago when former Israeli Defense Minister Dan Gillerman’s melodious, accented baritone memorably penetrated my dreams as it wafted from my television.  In that dream, the voice seemed to be emanating from the throat of the man whom I loved at the time; he seemed to pontificate about a war with Gaza.

However, for the dream mentioned at the beginning, there was never any need to write the details, and, whenever I reconsider it, it always looms large and has capital letters: The Dream.

At first, The Dream was a nightmare—one of the few nightmares in my fifty-plus years.  (Interestingly enough, I only began having nightmares in the last few years—since I began walking closer to God.) I couldn’t see anything at first; I could only feel—and the feeling in question was pure terror.  I’ve never come close to being that afraid when awake and I hope that I never do.

There was something–a living thing—in the room with me.  What was it?  Evil itself is the only way to describe this entity.

I lay on a floor, curled up in a ball like a potato bug and unable to move.  My eyes—my dream-eyes—were slammed shut for fear of seeing the thing.  It seemed to menace my back, crackling the skin of it.  In the manner which dreams unfold, I could “see” chunks of flesh fall from my back; then  it would reintegrate and the process would start again.

I wanted to uncurl and turn to face the being, but fear stopped me.  I could feel my chest heaving; it seemed as though the mere sight of the Thing of Evil would stop my heart forever.

Then I cried out to God and He answered, reminding me that He had not given me the spirit of fear; that this particular emotion had a different source.  This reassurance seemed to slow my breath and un-paralyze my body.  I stood up and opened my eyes, but I still wasn’t quite able to face the Creature.

Sword_of_spirit

“Stretch out your arms,” God said.  I did so and opened my right hand.  In it was a sword or a handgun (they seemed interchangeable) and, as is so in myth and in fantasy, my weapon had a given name.

Its name was “the Word of God.”

So, with weapon in hand, I “screwed my courage to the sticking-place” and turned to face my enemy, steeling myself to view its ugly face.

It was gone.

*****

Weeks later, I was sitting in church and very much awake.

My pastor–learned in the languages of the Bible, Hebrew, Aramaic and Koine Greek—was expounding on the two Greek terms for “word of God.”  One is a term with which most English-speakers are familiar—logos.  The other, however, is one I had heard before but had no idea what it meant until my pastor began to expound upon it: rhema[i]

The difference?  People far more theologically learned than I are still discussing it, but the difference seems to be in scope.  A rhema is more of a short aphorism, rather than a long sermon or the Word in its entirety, and it is intended to counter the Adversary quickly when he’s trying to induce doubt and/or fear.  For example, Jesus Christ used a quick succession of rhema on Satan when the latter tried to induce doubt about God the Father.

In short, when you hear preachers talk about “a word from God,” most of the time they are talking about a rhema.

“What does this have to do with your dream,” I hear you ask.  My mouth literally dropped open when my pastor mentioned the other definition of rhema….

The Sword of the Spirit[ii].

Whenever I feel anxious about anything, I think of this dream

Happy Resurrection Day and may the enemy Passover your dwelling.


[i] James Strong, The Strongest Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2001),1641

[ii] Strong’s, 1626

baldilocksJuliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

 

 

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There are a lot of Amazing things about the #Trigscrew stuff on Twitter. The most amazing thing is the absolute panicked reaction of the left on it.

The sheer desperation and need to try to counter a twitter group that is less than a week old is absolutely amazing.

Here are just a few Easter Tweets from the anti-trigscrew crowd:

Turtles tears re-defines pro-life and accuses Palin of reckless endangerment

You Have Dusty accusing Palin or Murder

And the incomparable inmylife4747 has a two-fer

Palin doesn’t love Trig

and tries to kill him.

Meanwhile lets contrast that with Sarah Palin Easter Message on on Facebook:

Which set of messages do you think the General public would respond positively to?

Some suggest these guys should be blocked by Trigscrew members; I disagree. I think, like the Wonkette article this type of stuff shows the left for what they actually are. The more that is done, the more they lose.

Exit question: Presuming that the Soros left isn’t paying these guys to do this consider: How obsessed with Sarah Palin and how scared of Trigscrew do people have to be to spend their Easter doing their best to counter a Twitter hash tag?

I really hope, for their sake someone is paying them.

Update: Here is one more screen shot to add to the collection

What an incredible Easter Parade!

Update 2: and another classic

And remember this is supposed to make people believe they are right.

Market Basket supermarkets Friday had a big poster up on the windows offering a fully cooked and prepared “Holiday” dinner for purchase. The poster showed all the fixing of either Ham and Turkey etc.

I was ready to get upset when I took a closer look at the poster and realized that it was something that could be re-used for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is the same dinner and would certainly be an acceptable choice if you don’t want to cook.

Since the dinner is the same and Market Basket has a bunch of stores that would need multiple copies of these very large posters for each location it would seem to me foolish to make duplicates for different holidays.

So although this is normally a pet peeve for me and others I’ll give them a pass, after all its not like they are a Catholic College or something.