A religious dialogue between an evangelical Baptist, my
beautiful loving daughter-in-law Deanne and myself Troutbirder who is perhaps a
skeptic or even a secular humanist. The dialogue that follows stems from my
noting toDeanne some of my favorite
parts of the New Testament. Well, I have some issues with the Old as with that
eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth stuff. Each part of the dialogue begins
with my comments some favorite passages and Deanne’s take on those comments. Enjoy
or comment on them in the comments section yourself. :-) Remember however this is
not red state versus blue state stuff, nor zero sum debates but between two
people who love and care for each other.
I'm presently at my 2nd of 3 jobs I have.My client was born with a rare chromosomal handicap. .He spent the first 5 months of his life at
Children's hospital.I was blessed to
start working with him when he finally came home--a little "peanut"
of a boy, with a sweet smile and pretty auburn hair.He's my dear "Billy"I just love him to pieces and am truly
blessed to know him and his family.
Speaking of "blessed,"the Sermon on the Mount is one of my favorite
chapters in the Bible (Matthew 5).It
truly makes sense that you love that chapter, as well, Ray.From your insight on each verse, backed up by
the way you have lived, one can easily see you have a deep passion (from God, I
believe) to help and advocate for the less fortunate--the ones who suffer...the
lost...the lonely...the disabled...the weak...the poor...the unprotected...the
vulnerable...the overlooked...the forgotten.I have ALWAYS seen Jesus in you, Ray--but reading your take on the
Beatitudes, definitely added another dimension to the beauty of your soul.
Not that my opinion
matters, but since you asked me to comment on your take on the Beatitudes, I
will do so now, for you...
"Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the
kingdom of heaven."I think that
may mean something about depression.And
I know it saved you and Barb when Ted went there to be with God.Thank you for saying that, Ray.When Ted went to Heaven, not only was my
husband gone but so were my dreams and my future.That's why it took me so long to regain my
footing because TED had been my footing.I had to turn my pain, depression, and FUTURE over to Jesus or I would
have never made it.Being "poor in
spirit" meant relying solely on Jesus--the only One who could heal my pain
and give me HOPE again.And He did.From that whole heart-wrenching trauma I came
to realize REALITY that we are ALL passing away...that we are all dying.And I can't tie my anchor onto anyone or
anything that is passing away. I can only tie it onto the One who gave His life
for me and is preparing a place for me in eternity.Two of my favorite Bible verses are John
3:16-17, which I'm sure you know: 16"For God so loved the world that he
gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but
have eternal life. For God did not send
his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through
"Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be
comforted." That also covers the previous one.I also know I've had a share of that business
in my life.Yes, you have, Ray.Mental illness is no respecter of persons and
it has dug it's ugly claws into too many of your beloved family members.I can't IMAGINE the anguish you've had to
endure, especially with losing your beloved son.I do so hope the Lord comforted you in those
valleys of darkness and carried you in His loving arms until the sun (AND Son)
shone on your face again.
"Blessed are the meek for they shall possess the
earth."I hope that's true for they
deserve it the most.You are soooo
right, Ray.Ok--here comes my fiery
opinion...(watch out!wink)It is this
point that makes me righteously angry with BOTH the republican and democratic
parties.Both parties talk out of both
sides of their mouths. Scripture AND the constitution are clear that ALL life
is important and valuable--whether you're of the 97% who are born with no birth
defects or of the 3% who ARE born with so-called defects, whether you're
Christian or Atheist or Muslim, whether you're one skin color or another,
whether you're heterosexual or homosexual, whether you're a woman or a man or
unsure of your gender, whether you live within the"walls" of the United States or
outside the "walls" of the United States, whether you live within the
"wall" of a womb or on the outside of the "wall" of a
womb...ALL life is important.And I, too, hope the MEEKEST of the meek
possess the earth someday.The last WILL
"Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice,
for they shall be satisfied."Another core value for me and it should as well be for our country and
many others.But as a country we have
failed that many times because of many things including prejudice racism,
sexism, homophobia, etc. etc.I
completely agree.And I would also add
in there that this country has failed because of greed, selfishness, and disrespect
for God and for our neighbor.
"Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain
mercy."Yes indeed, the good
Samaritan.I love that story of the Good
Samaritan.Did you know that in Jesus'
day, the Samaritans were looked down upon because they weren't purebred?(That goes back to when the Assyrians
conquered the northern tribes of Israel and many of the areas of those
regions--AKA, Samaria became "mixed" then).Yet, it was the "unclean" and
"mixed" person from Samaria who helped the half-dead traveler on the
road.We ALL need to be good
Samaritans!The world would definitely
become a better place if we did!
"Blessed are the clean of heart for they shall see
God."I'm not sure what clean means
here but under my sainted mother's direction I was a long time member of the
clean plate club.Hahahahaha!!!!I love your sense of humor!But back to the verse,I think "clean of heart" here means
asking God to forgive us of our sins and then seeking to do what God
wants.I always think of Psalm 51 when
David was so remorseful for his sins and he cried out to God, "Create in
me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me."
"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called
the children of God."The very best
people in the world who follow the teachings of Jesus, and knowing what I know
now, would not have volunteered to fight in Vietnam nor any of our subsequent
wars.Word war II yes--it was a fight
against an evil man in system, including the Holocaust, likely the worst kind
ever.Trying to exterminate one religion
by another tribe on the basis of race and religion.I really don't think I have the right to
comment on this one because I don't know much about ANY war except World War
II, and I was never deeply rooted in a military family.My dad was in the National Guard and so was
Troy, but otherwise, I really don't take a side on anything with the wars
(mainly because I'm ignorant--unlike you, who knows a lot). I DO respect your
opinion, though, on this matter.But
back to the verse,Jesus says that any
who try to make peace shall be called children of God.I don't know about anyone else, but Icertainly want to be a child of God so I will
do all I can to be at peace with everyone.The writer of Hebrews reiterated the statement, when he wrote,
"14Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy;
without holiness no one will see the LORD." (Hebrews 12:14). And you're
more than right about the Holocaust (of the Jews or ANY other group of people)
being BRUTAL, inhumane, and EVIL.Hitler
and his wicked cohorts are definitely reaping now what they sowed during their
time on earth.They were NOT children of
God--and because of that, they are in a place where God IS NOT.
"Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice's
sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."Well, justice and mercy have somewhat been
covered so I will mention heaven.I
mostly believe that heaven and hell are here on earth as God gave us the
ability to make choices; thus heaven is here on earth and is made by mankind's
choice of love or hate. My take on the verse is that Jesus for-warned usthat anyone who follows Him WILL be
persecuted-- It's a given.And as the
end draws closer, evil will continue to ramp up and will try to snuff out
Jesus' commands of "Love God first" and "Love your neighbor as
yourself," and also His Great Commission to spread the Good News about
Him.But we WILL be rewarded in the end
for following Him, believing in Him, and for receiving Him as our Lord and Savior.In my beloved mother's obituary it was stated
that all her suffering (which can be synonymous with persecution) had been
replaced with the crown of righteousness. (2 Timothy 4:7-8).
Moving on to your take on "the kingdom of
you for confiding inme, in writing, and
also in person, your "beliefs" on heaven and hell.Do you mind ifI share with you another segment of favorite
Scripture verses (I have a gazillion, by the wayteeth_smile).In John 14, Jesus is comforting His
disciples.They know He is about to die
soon.This is what He says:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God;
believe also in Me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so,
would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And
if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with
Me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am
5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are
going, so how can we know the way?”
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through Me. 7
Just as Jesus was comforting His disciples with this
assurance, He also comforts ME with these promises that He's coming back one
day to take me to my new Home--my permanent Home with Him (and with Ted and my
mom and grandma and with YOUR mom and dad).I can't wait!But until that day
happens, I have a lot of living to do yet here and a lot of GIVING to do yet
unto others.--NOT because my salvation
depends on it but because I WANT to do it in joyful response to what Jesus did
for me.I am saved because I have a
SAVIOR--and one day I will reside with Him WHEREVER Heaven is located.
So how did I do on my commentary??Yes, I admit I'm opinionated, but hey--I DO
have a mind, a heart, and a will of my own!God made each of us uniquely--made in His image, but still UNIQUE.I'm glad I'm unique.And I'm glad YOU'RE unique, too, Ray.
the...blessed is ME!!--To have a Savior, to have life, to have
love, and to have BEAUTIFUL people in my life like you, Barb, and Ted.I hope you feel blessed, too, Ray!!
I would love to come to church with you one of these
upcoming Sundays in March!I'm going to
shoot for March 17 or March 24th.I
would feel honored to attend with you, hear the sermon, greet your fellow
Spring Valley Methodists, and have Sunday treats with the friendly female
parishioners.Sounds like it would be a
perfect start to a new week!I will talk
to you about it soon.
William Kent Krueger is one of my favorite Minnesota authors. There are many such authors, both male and female who write in diverse genres usually set Minnesota. As you know, when a book is placed in a location or environment your familiar with, it helps to bring it alive. Krueger writes basically detective stories. The background is often in Minnesota's forested Lake country, Boundary Waters Canoe Area, Lake superior or the nearby towns of the Iron Range. Cork O'Connor, Krueger's protagonist and former Sheriff has a new wife named Rainy. She is an Ojibwa. Cork is partly Indian and mostly Irish. Her son calls from Arizona and tells his mom that he has murdered someone, mentions one name and the phone goes dead. Cork, now retired from the detective business and Rainy rush off to Arizona to help. There they encounter in environment far different from the lakes and woods of northern Minnesota. In this alien environment they find out that her missing son is part of a group(coyotes) who try to rescue refugees from Guatemala fleeing from wars and extreme poverty, all to seek refuge in America. These families are often left waterless and lost in the desert by scammers who take their money and abandon them. Blocking their way their way besides the desert are the beginnings of real walls and barbed wire, border patrols and vigilantes. Besides the vigilantes there are the drug traffickers all have their own reasons for building higher walls or in the case of the vigilantes and the drug traffickers killing people. In plain English, the refugees are people are crossing through a war zone. The story inside this authors mystery is a tragedy writ large in the place far away from Minnesota which divides our country ever further between the red and blue states of America divided.
I recently met William Kent Krueger in our small town library. The taxpayers of Minnesota past a legacy amendment referendum raising our state taxes for protection of the environment and cultural and art support. Mr. Krueger visited a number of towns libraries because of that referendum. I arrived to the library early to speak to our librarian and her aides and through the door the famous New York Times best-selling author arrived for his presentation. I greeted him and we spoke for about 10 minutes as he set up for his presentation. We compared a few notes on our both at one point living in St. Paul and I said at the end of his presentation I was going to ask him a question. So he then replied will ask me now and I'm glad I did because that the and he was surrounded by fans and people clamoring to buy his most recent yet unpublished book. Was something like this, "surely you had to know that you would get bad reviews and comments and perhaps even threats for writing on this topic? His answer in a nutshell was to nod his head and say yes. Why, I asked and he explained. I can't remember his exact words so I'll make them up but they were what I wanted to hear. He cared. It was an issue that touched him deeply and he needed to write this book. And he did.
His actual book talk, at least for the first half was quite a surprise. He never mentioned his own books but talked about libraries and books and their great influence on all of us in our early childhood years there were many of parents and grandparents in the audience so he spoke of how those early book that our parents read to us had a most powerful influence on us for the rest of our lives. All of those child books but when he explained or reviewed the impact of Dr. Seuss and those like him the audience even could mimic his words as they anticipated his punchlines. The audience was enthralled. Later he talked about his books and his experiences and how he wrote and what was coming and answered all the questions that his fans wanted to hear about. I didn't dance any more questions and when I left ahead of the crowd I think the taxpayers of Minnesota for making this special evening possible and William Kent Krueger for being there. And since then I've finished reading all his books and can tell you if you love a good detective story now you'll know where to find quite a few really good ones
Cork O'Connor, the hero of many of Krueger's books has as a favorite beer. I hate to say it's brewed in our neighboring State of Wisconsin but I might as well. It's brewed in Chippewa Falls. So some years ago I bought a red and white Lienies hat at the brewery and wore it for more than a decade till it recently fell all a part. I won't try to trump or change anything about this not a review but plainly Krueger's references to refugees and walls in Sulfur Springs might seem out of today's headlines. But what I'm concerned about today is getting a new red and white hat and I've located several and I could drive over to Wisconsin and get a new one or perhaps the following one pictured might serve just as well and so here is perhaps even better alternative. I think the reference to Orwell's 1984 might be very appropriate for my new hat. Whatcha think?
A Mrs. T. often reminded me on April mornings...
"Oh there you are Merry Sunshine,
What makes you rise so soon?
You scared away the little stars
And shined away the moon.
The grass is green.
The flowers are riz!
Oh! There you are,
you blooming idiot
Okay. So I'd just gotten up and was only slightly cranky. The fact that the weather report for today the 10 of April indicates up to 8 inches of snow this after hasn't helped my mood either...:(
I am a not so recently retired social studies teacher and basketball coach. Still hunting birds though now with a camera instead of a gun.
Nature devotee, dog lover, birder, gardener and semi-retired all around outdoor adventure seeker.
Troutbirder II is my alter ego. He loves books and history and is an opponent of unnecessary, unplanned and unending "preemptive wars". A former moderate Republican, he spent the Bush II years gradually converting to "yellow dog" Democrat. He is now somewhat unhappy with the Democrats abandonment of unions and cozying up to Wall Street. This is promoting a gradual drift towards Democratic Socialism though he remains "flexible...