Thursday, December 24, 2015
And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us!
On a night, probably not a winter's night, some 2016 years ago, we are told that the Creator of the Universe assumed the form of one of His creations.
Most of the time when you hear the news of Christ's birth, you get the story as told by Luke. Linus read it during "A Charlie Brown Christmas." If you're alive and an American, you've likely heard the story in one form or another. Joseph and Mary, a stable in Bethlehem, shepherds and flocks and angels heralding the birth of our Lord, three wise men following a star.
The same story is told in Matthew and Mark also, each somewhat different from the others, with different embellishments and emphasis. But the core of the story of God made flesh is told in John, Chapter 1:
At the beginning of time the Word already was; and God had the Word abiding with him, and the Word was God. He abode, at the beginning of time, with God. It was through him that all things came into being, and without him came nothing that has come to be. In him there was life, and that life was the light of men. And the light shines in darkness, a darkness which was not able to master it.
A man appeared, sent from God, whose name was John. He came for a witness, to bear witness of the light, so that through him all men might learn to believe. He was not the Light; he was sent to bear witness to the light.
There is one who enlightens every soul born into the world; he was the true Light. He, through whom the world was made, was in the world, and the world treated him as a stranger. He came to what was his own, and they who were his own gave him no welcome. But all those who did welcome him, he empowered to become the children of God, all those who believe in his name; their birth came, not from human stock, not from nature’s will or man’s, but from God.
And the Word was made flesh, and came to dwell among us; and we had sight of his glory, glory such as belongs to the Father’s only-begotten Son, full of grace and truth.
We have John’s witness to him; "I told you," cried John, "there was one coming after me who takes rank before me; he was when I was not!"
We have all received something out of his abundance, grace answering to grace. Through Moses the law was given to us; through Jesus Christ grace came to us, and truth. No man has ever seen God; but now his only-begotten Son, who abides in the bosom of the Father, has himself become our interpreter.
You may question the story. You're not alone. You may have rejected the story as a fairy tale. How could a mere human be the only begotten Son of a mythical Creator? It's just crazy.
Ask yourself, "But what if it's true?"
May the Peace of Our Lord be with you and yours this Christmas and always!
Christ is born in Bethlehem!
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
10 Years. I'm sorry!
Huh. Just noticed that this blog is 10 years old this month.
Most people get along quite nicely in life without ever questioning their assumptions, or believing utter lies. Unless reality deigns to smack them over their heads, they'll get on just fine. Truth doesn't just jump out and say, "Here I am!" It's usually buried in lies and half-truths, or maybe you don't have enough information or experience to know it when you see it. It takes patience, wisdom, discernment and a little luck to find the truth of anything. You can't even pick up a Bible and expect for Truth to jump out at you if you don't do a little preparation first. There's a reason that Book warns of casting seed on unprepared ground.
For most people, information arrives on the television. It is not an unbiased source. As often as not, truth is buried in spin or, worse, bludgeoned to death with lies. Unfortunately, if we were to stop watching and listening to corporate (including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting) news media, 90% of Americans would know nothing about anything. Also unfortunately, there is no good alternative that reaches a mass audience.
The corporate media have a narrative. Turn on the local news and flip through the channels. The same stories. In the same blocks. Even the "features" are the same, sometimes a day or two behind or ahead but if you see it on channel 8 you'll almost assuredly see the same story on channel 13. The same applies to the national news whether it's ABC, NBC, or CBS. The "narrative" favored by the masters of information is all you're likely to be exposed to. Other sources have the same problem, of course. How does one then try to make sense of the information that bombards them everyday?
First, you must learn to control your immediate reaction and sift for facts, something the vast majority of Americans are either incapable of or don't have time to do. Information just comes in too fast, so for a shortcut, we resort to filters. From the first report you can watch the responses line up perfectly, especially in internet comboxes and message boards. The nutters scream, "False Flag!" The Progs foam at the mouth and trot out every Prog meme they've been fed from their "trusted sources" that might possibly relate and the knee-jerk Right does the same.
Our politicians cloud the issue still further. Even after the fact, so many are caught out lying or are found to be so agenda driven on all sides as to be untrustworthy, further making truth harder to apprehend.
This is not new. The media and politicians have been stampeding the herd from the inception of the Republic. It is difficult to tease out facts from spin; it always has been. Now our electorate is so fragmented that there may be no way to do so.
Who's lying or spinning? The cynic in me says, "All of them."
Who to trust? "None of them."
What to do about it?
If you're trying to catch a specific fish in a lake, you have to cast your net wide and sift through a bunch of fish you don't want. Read from several sources and not just sources you may superficially agree with. Read history and lots of it - primary sources as much as you can. Read non-contemporary writers. Ninety-nine percent of what is happening has happened before. For instance I find Chesterton to be a veritable goldmine of useful anecdotes and opinions on everything from Mormonism to Islam to Socialism and Evolution. There truly is nothing new under the sun. Everything we do has been done, at least in kind, before.
It's an individual quest though. Only you can do it. You can holler and shout and point at the elephant in the room and if nobody else can see it, you may as well save your breath. The best you can usually do is point at the parts of the pachyderm. "Look! There's a trunk, don't you think it might be attached to an elephant?"
Other than that? Teach your children well; more important, teach then to think, Teach them to challenge authority. Dump as much reading on them as you think they can stand, and then dump some more - but make sure you understand the material and can guide them through it. It doesn't do any good to get them to read Karl Marx or Adam Smith if they don't have the skill to properly critique it. Most of all teach them to question their own assumptions. Question yours. Pray for guidance and hope for the best.
On the Donald and the GOPe
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
On the Donald...
My views have modified over the years, true. Most reasonably intelligent men's views do change over the course of a lifetime as we mature and learn and process new information and life experiences. But it's a gradual process; they've been tweaks over many years, not a complete overhaul just about overnight.
I know what Donald Trump says he believed yesterday.
I know what he says he believes today.
They're almost completely opposite.
I have no idea what he'll say he believes tomorrow.
I simply don't trust the man.
An inch deep this Trump, methinks.
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