Sunday, March 15, 2015

Beware the ides of March!

This day in history marks the assassination of Julius Caesar.  Historically it points to the beginning of the end of the Roman Republic and the soon beginning of the Roman empire.  Technically, the ides simply means "the middle" IE the 15th of march.

Why remember this?

Without getting into Shakespeare and his historical plays, I want to talk about social paradigms.

Social paradigms seem to change  from generation to generation.  To quote Ronald Reagan

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction"

 After the proverbial smoke cleared from Caesar's assassination, we find the birth of an iron-fisted empire that has influenced the Western world beyond our imagination! 
A little humor, if you get it... get it??

We live in the 21st century.  We can call this modern or post-modern times.  Perhaps history's lessons are lost in a few generations.  This is especially true when we look at the books of Kings and Chronicles!  The Bible commands us to pray for our leaders that we may live quiet lives.  We are also commanded to pray for our leaders, pay taxes and obey the laws of the land (provided they do not contradict the basics of the Word of God).

So where does this lead us to?

Simply this.  In all the activities of our culture upheaval we have a command from the Bible.
Yes I'm talking about Ferguson, race bating and a government that appears to be out of control.  I'm sure both sides of the political spectrum can agree that things are getting worse!

Of course, these are all symptoms of a greater problem:

A life, a family, and a culture without Jesus in it!
If we can get Jesus in the middle of our lives, family and culture many of our social evils will disappear!

Any thoughts?

Your Brother in Christ
And  Senpai in Karate 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Saturday the 14th is Worse

Sometimes we need a silly day.
Saturday the 14th was the name of a really corny B movie for kids. The movie was bad, but the pun is
just too tempting.

Today is also "Pi day"  You know 3.1415, or 22/7??  (March 14, 2015)
It's a silly day but kind of fun because for the most part, America views mathematics as a non fun thing and impractical; that is, unless you are a math geek.

I am not. 
In fact, I have always hated math until I had to fight for a few years to re-teach junior high school mathematics to adult students, and I'm here to tell you that some days it can really hurt.
But, from this experience I gleaned some very valuable lessons:
  1. You are never too old to learn

  2. If something is practical and useful, people will learn it (provided they want to)

  3. Math is all about solving problems (provided we remember the second rule)

In a way, this sounds like Isaac Asimov's  three laws of robotics, but not quite.
To make a long story short, Pi (the 16th letter of the Greek alphabet) is the symbol used for the ratio of the number of times the diameter of a circle goes into it's circumference.  With a few numbers and multiplication or division we can figure out
  • The area of a circle
  • The diameter of a circle
  • Any area or volume of a given object
  • The amount of wire on a spool or coil (with a small margin of error)
  • The amount of material needed to cover or build something
In many ways, a simple math formula is like a karate kata or a doctrine in the Bible. 
It has a deep practical application if we will but take the time to learn. We can actually walk away smarter, better informed, and having made a better decision than if we had otherwise ignored the sage advice.

Now, the Bible and Word of God are of infinitely more value, but can we not glean an understating of the importance of The Word of God  from the simple (or not so simple things in mathematics) things around us?

Your Brother in Christ
And  Senpai in Karate 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Friday the 13th

Have you ever wondered why Friday the 13th is so "unlucky"?
Once again we see, as a society, our superstitious side come out.  Add a dash of coincidence and synchronicity and we are lead to believe in something that may, or may not be true.

Friday the 13th

Le Chat Noir Variation by BullMoose1912

For the most part, figuring it out is sort of like finding out what's in a hot dog. 

You may be surprised, amused or disgusted!

The 13th was considered unlucky because tradition tells us that was the day Jesus was betrayed and crucified.

The number 13 is unlucky, once again by tradition because there were 13 present at the last supper.

The number 13 is absolutely disrespected in my opinion.  It is a prime number and valuable in math.
In Japan, they consider numbers like "4" to be unlucky and a black cat is actually good luck.

It's all in the culture.

Sometimes it's good to take a step back!

Your Brother in Christ
And  Senpai in Karate 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

50 shades of Lent

This past week  is celebrated for being the week of Mardi Gras, but what was and usually overlooked is the fact that it also marked the beginning of the more orthodox season of Lent
I did not need spell check, I said lent.  The Lenten season is a 6 week observance in the Catholic and closely tied protestant churches which are supposed to be marked by prayer, fasting and affliction. 

More on this later.

When I became born-again, and accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and savior I began reading the Bible.  This led to Bible College and a serious and lifelong study of God’s word.  I departed from many of my Catholic upbringings and teachings.  But now, after over 20 years in “this way” I have noticed that Protestants whether they be Baptist, Pentecostal or any other, tend to be just as ensconced in some traditions as the orthodoxy.  At one point, when I saw a Muslim man I know celebrate Ramadan, I was saddened that all the world’s religions seem to fast and pray but it doesn’t seem to do any good, and for “Christianity to have a mandatory season of fasting makes us look like everyone else”   instead of different, set apart and a Peculiar (special) people unto God (1 Peter 2:9).  I had been in a church organization whose senior pastor frowned on fasting and said “. . .  that’s only to get control over your flesh” and discouraged people to practice it.

The fact is that there are wonderful health and spiritual benefits to fasting- provided it is done properly.  It all comes down to a matter of where our hearts are.  There are people that will enter into the season of Lent begrudgingly, not realizing it is to reflect on Easter and the greatest event in human history: the resurrection of Jesus Christ!  There are people that think that lent and fasting makes them holy or more honorable than their neighbor, and they have their reward (Matthew 6:16)
Believe it or not, in the Philippines a group of people called the Flagellants will crucify and whip themselves as an attempt to grain favor with God.

The flagellantes in practice

Often we look at movies like the recent “Fifty Shades of Grey” and are appalled by the content of strange sexual practices on the big screen.  It seems to normalize the aberrant and the degrading of women.
Is there much of a difference between people who seek sexual gratification from bizarre acts and people who think they will gain favor with people by bizarre religious acts?  My point is simply this:  devotions with no understanding and improper motives should be viewed in the same light; unacceptable and sacrilegious.

Right is right, wrong is wrong and sin is sin.  Call it all for what it is.

But before we speak, Let’s make sure  we have the higher moral ground to stand on, and it can all be done in love . . .  uh. . .  unlike the kind that 50 shades if passing for!

Your Brother in Christ
And  Senpai in Karate