Vicar of Christ

Protestants don’t ordinarily use the word “vicar” for anything, but it is the basis for the word “vicarious,” meaning something like a second-hand experience. A vicarious experience is one in which I did not physically participate, but which through the description of  it by someone else, I can imagine, or almost experience.

The “Vicar of Christ” is like that. The Pope is supposed to be “Jesus among us,” the presence of Christ on Earth. Pope Francis appears to be taking that seriously (not that the others didn’t, mind you) in many aspects of his first days on the job. His beginnings are marked by humility and a desire to be more of a shepherd than a holy ruler.

It reminds me of a poem by Oscar Wilde called Easter Day:

THE silver trumpets rang across the Dome:
The people knelt upon the ground with awe:
And borne upon the necks of men I saw,
Like some great God, the Holy Lord of Rome. 

Priest-like, he wore a robe more white than foam,
And, king-like, swathed himself in royal red,
Three crowns of gold rose high upon his head:
In splendor and in light the Pope passed home.

My heart stole back across wide wastes of years
To One who wandered by a lonely sea,
And sought in vain for any place of rest:
“Foxes have holes, and every bird its nest,
I, only I, must wander wearily,

And bruise My feet, and drink wine salt with tears.”

We should pray for our religious leaders, that they would all exercise some humility in the days ahead.

For an easy to use prayer work-book, go see: www.therealprayer.org

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Imagine there’s no heaven…

When I was a teen, I could not understand why John Lennon’s great song Imagine could create such a stir. It was, I was later informed, a subtle introduction to atheism. Just imagine–no heaven, no afterlife, no judgement, no judge, no need for a savior, no Jesus…nothing that most baby boomers had been raised to believe.

Now, thirty years later, we hear that the fastest growing religious group in America is the “Nones.” These are the people who, when asked about matters of faith and religious affiliation in surveys and censuses, select the answer “none.” More and more people are simply dismissing ideas of a supreme being, higher power, faith, etc.

While many people appear to be newly interested in things spiritual, they are not interested at all in an all-powerful, all-knowing, father-figure on a throne away off in “heaven” somewhere. NPR recently ran a series on the “nones” discussing everything from young believers/non-believers to how atheists grieve. One person in the interview, and I’m not quoting here, just gisting, said that her husband who was killed in an accident was not in a better place, but was in the ground.

When I read this, I Thessalonians 4:13 came immediately to mind: But we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, about those who have died, so you will not grieve, as those who have no hope. And even though Paul is speaking about death, I also would add that we should not grieve as those who have no hope in life, future, finances, health, God’s will…anything.

I have to agree with the Psalmist: In you oh Lord have I put my hope. (Ps 71)

And the more I pray, the more hope I have.

Go see: www.therealprayer.org

Published in: on January 23, 2013 at 12:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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December 21, 2012-End of the world?

If I really thought December 21, 2012 was the end of the world, I would not be sitting here blogging about it. I would be out enjoying the world, not telling myself to stay at work because I can goof-off tomorrow. I would not care a bit about trying to pay my bills, plan for the holidays, or anything else related to the future, because I wouldn’t believe there was one.

Depending on my mental state, I might become psychotically depressed and go on some crazy binge of desperation. I might become violent and want to commit insane crimes, or I might just want to hole-up somewhere like a hermit and wait for the end to come.

I might be like the other end of the spectrum and believe that what is coming is not the end, but the end of an era. I read today a website foretelling a new world on December 21. Peace and harmony will abound, UFO’s will land, and, well…you get it.

But I don’t believe any of that. I think December 21, 2012 will be a day off for me, like I had planned, and I will do some Christmas shopping, visit with friends and family, and maybe take my wife out to a nice restaurant.

I believe there is already a plan in place for the end, and it doesn’t involve the Mayans, UFOs, crop circles, or anything else outside the Bible. When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we actively see “Thy will”, that is to say, the will of “Our Father.”

If the end comes–well, I’m ready. If it doesn’t, I’ll be out enjoying life.

And I might even spend some time in prayer.

For a great little book on prayer, go see: www.therealprayer.com

Published in: on December 18, 2012 at 7:57 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Day after the Mayan Apocalypse

As the day draws nearer for fear mongers, I’m already planning for a celebration on the day after December 21, 2012. And the first thing I’ll do is send a copy of this video to my friends:

The video is from NASA, and says it all–enjoy!

Then say a prayer of thanks.

For a great little book on prayer, go see: www.therealprayer.com

Published in: on December 15, 2012 at 9:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Asteroid Near Miss was Real

I am not an alarmist, but yesterday’s close shave with an asteroid was concerning. I have always believed that if anything was headed our way, NASA or someone would know about it in time to prevent a collision.

We only knew about this asteroid for 48 hours before it flew by us inside the moon’s orbit. Yes, that’s right, it came closer to us than our own moon!

A newfound asteroid gave Earth a close shave early today, zipping between our planet and the moon just two days after astronomers first spotted it. -msnbc.msn.com

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/50165912/ns/technology_and_science-space/

If this had happened today when all of the numerophiles were counting cosmic digits and their effects on our lives, I would have truly been given pause. As it is, this thing passed close enough that if it had swung even a few degrees, catastrophic devastation would have almost certainly resulted.

I am going to have to rethink my faith in science and technology. I’m also going to spend some time contemplating the phrase “Thy will,” (and things like mercy, providence, protection!) While it is easy just to shrug it off and say “Ok, ok–so we missed one!” it is another thing altogether to think about saying “We missed THE one!”

Time to pray…

For a great little book on prayer, go see www.therealprayer.com

Published in: on December 12, 2012 at 8:18 am  Leave a Comment  
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12-12-12

Well, today is another of those spooky days when the numbers line up just right and give the superstitious something to fret over. The sun came up just like always here on the east coast and except for overcast skies, it looks just like any other day.

I am actually somewhat relieved. We won’t get another spate of these days until 2101. Which reminds me that before there was a 12-12-2012, there was a 11-11-2011 and a 10-10-2010, all of which we lived through no worse for wear.

I am amazed at how we seem to search for things over which to worry. We brood over, yes even invent things to give our much-needed brain power over to. I have enough legitimate concerns in my life (which do need my energy) than to waste time on the fictitious or trendy.

In fact, the more time I spend in prayer, the fewer of these concern I actually have. When I say “Our Father” and ask for “Thy will,” the rest is just details.

For a great little book on prayer, go see: www.therealprayer.org

Published in: on December 12, 2012 at 8:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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2012 – The End of the World

Again and again I see someone predicting the end of the world. So far ALL of them have been wrong. Now, while it is likely that someday one of them will be right (I mean, this thing can’t go on forever, can it?), I doubt that it will be anyone standing in the prophet line in 2012.

2012 will come and go just like 2011, and just like 2013 and 2014, etc. The only thing about the 2012 end of the world, is that the prophet is not around to argue with or deride after his failure.

This whole thing has come down to us as a newly popularized yet old as time document that intimates that the Earth will simply run out of time at the Winter solstice of 2012. Maybe the Mayan copyist just ran out of paper…or stone…or papyrus…or what ever. Maybe they understood the cyclical nature of life in a way we don’t and this calendar is a graphic representation of it.

Or maybe not.

But I know that if I really thought that the world was going to end in December 2012, I’d spend a lot more time in prayer.

And I may just do that anyway.

For an easy to use e-book on prayer, go see  www.therealprayer.com .

Published in: on January 6, 2012 at 3:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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End of the world

The end is near! It’s the end of the world! Prepare for the end! Cry to the Lord!

The end of the world! – Ok, for starters, it’s ok to cry to the Lord–God wants us to bring our hurts and joys and wants and needs. But no matter how many times some one says the world will end (and it will–someday) it’s probably not going to be on May 21.

The end of the world! – Here’s my prediction: There’s going to be a lot of back-peddling and good old fashioned cognitive dissonance on Sunday when the world doesn’t end on Saturday. The Bible says clearly (trust the red letters) that no one knows when the end of the world will come-not even the son.

My 21 will come and go like May 20. There will be a sunrise and sunset on May 21 just like May 22. Remember, there was NO May at all in Noah’s day (or June or July) and there was no 21st of May to start the clock ticking down to now. The math is just wrong.

So-the end of the world-will come and go. The pastor in California is well-meaning no doubt. He is concerned with non-believers and that’s a good thing. I just think when May 21 comes and goes he will have simply added more to their ranks.

Daily prayer will do a lot to cure these unreasonable fears. Get started at: www.therealprayer.com

Published in: on May 20, 2011 at 12:24 pm  Comments (1)  
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Will you see the two moons?

In a word-nope. There are not two moons. There won’t be anything like that in the sky apart from an unpredicted supernova appearing near our almost full moon.

It’s a hoax. The original is from as far back as 2003 and while Mars did pass as close as it ever will back then, it still looked like it always does from Earth–a pale, orange dot about the size of a star. If Mars WERE to approach so close that it looked as large as the moon, it would be far too close for comfort. Something would be terribly wrong.

We are a gullible breed. We appear hungry for something really new and exciting, even if it is dangerous. The year 2012 provides all the uneasiness any of us could ask for. I’ve heard rumors of the magnetic poles switching, a rogue asteroid hitting us, tsunami, you name it, someone is out there predicting it. I’m not sure what I believe about it yet, except that December 21 of 2012 is really close to Christmas and I’ll be too busy to think about the end of the world.

I do know this: when I pray the Lord’s Prayer, I acknowledge that God’s reign is without question, and God’s will is paramount here in this life and world as it is in the Spiritual realm.

When you pray “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven,” I hope you mean it.

For an easy to use work book on prayer, go see: www.therealprayer.com

Published in: on August 27, 2010 at 10:49 am  Leave a Comment  
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Noah’s Ark found (again)

A group of explorers has claimed that there is a 99.9% cahnce that the massive structure underneath the snow on Mt Ararat in Turkey is what’s left of the famous Noah’s Ark. I remember a similar find back in the 70’s, but the Turkish government wouldn’t let the finders be the keepers. In spite of the  strange fact that a ship could be found this high in the mountains, many are more interested in the banter between the touters and doubters than in any possibility of truth.

Is it the ark? Who knows? Whether a person is a believer or not, finding a huge wooden ship this high in the mountains from 5000 years ago is still quite a find! Unfortunately, however, this find is tied to a story which is in the Bible which has of late become a fashionable target for slamming and ridicule. Just think: If this vessel had been found independent of any religious reference at all, it would be on the cover of National Geographic.  Instead, it is simply comment fodder for news blogs.

Believers can never let any late-term discovery turn into an attempt at validation for their faith. You either believe or not–ark or not. The kingdom is ever and always the creator’s. We are just along for the journey and not to wage some kind of belief battle with doubters. Everyone must find their own way in their own time. Just like you did.

For an easy to understand prayer guide, visit: www.therealprayer.org

Published in: on April 27, 2010 at 2:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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