Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Joseph, Husband of Mary

When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From this time on, this disciple took her into his home. John 19:26

As I was reading through John this morning and read the passage above, I had one of those weird thoughts, one of those perplexing thoughts that feigns insight. The thought is that this scripture implies that Mary's husband, Joseph, is dead. I then realized that as far as I know, scripture never mentions Joseph's death. Jesus did not react to Joseph's death in such a way that any writer made mention of it.

Some quick Study Bible research revealed that past the first fleeting sciptures describing Jesus' birth, Joseph is not mentioned at all. The latest reference of Joseph is in Luke 2:48 when Jesus is a boy in the temple, and this reference is indirect stating, "When his parents . . ."

I find the enigma and spareness of Jesus' relationship with his earthly father intriguing and curious. Any thoughts or comments? (Is anybody other than JMG or Jettybetty even reading these posts?)

Monday, January 29, 2007

Challenging Change of Vision of Church

There have been a few blog discussions about what the Church is really supposed to be and about our knowledge of God. I ran across the link below today at John's blog. For all those interested in these discussions or wrestling with these issues, this article is a must read. It is a short article but will challenge you to think about what Church is.

We Can't Do Megachurch Anymore

I hope this spurs some discussion.

And thanks to John for bringing this article to my attention.

Friday, January 26, 2007

God's Mysterious Ways

If you have not already seen this, the below CNN report is intriguing. I hope it is not a hoax, although there are some very mean, and vulgar things being written on blogs about this young girl.

Akiane: Child Prodigy and Heaven Visionary

Don't Be A Jerk Believer

Monday, January 22, 2007

Selective Evolution?

While reading the December 2006 issue of Scientific American about a 3.3 million year old, amazingly complete skeleton of a child and what she means to human evolution, a question popped in my head--a question about evolution that depending on the answer would seem to cast some doubt on the premise.

Before I state the question, I must preface it with the fact I am talking about evolution of a species into another species. The question is not framed in the context of adaption over time of a species. Also, I am not well educated on evolution science, therefore my question is not meant to be argumentative for or against, but is a question arising from my lack of understanding of stated evolution science and the contrary bits that I see.

Q: If you accept the evolution over long time periods of a species into a more advanced species, such as the evolution of chimps into primitive human species and these into the advanced homo sapien species, then how do you explain the inconsistancies of selective evolution? That is, if chimps evolved into more advanced hominin species, why did certain branches stop evolving but remain in existence like the chimps of today? Why didn't primitive hominin species exhibit similiar patterns, so that Neanderthal or Cro-Magnon species survive rather than become extinct? I would think that whatever wiped them out should have wiped out the chimps as well. For me, it seems like a big hole in the theories? Some species advance and their precursors die off while others branched and evolved and their precursors lived on?

I won't get into the problem of the statistical improbabilities of multiple, major evolutionary changes occurring simultaneously which many non-religious scientists have raised.

Does anyone have thoughts or insights on this? I am really curious.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Whose Your Daddy? Or, Guilt by DNA Association

If Homeland Security watch lists, phone call monitoring, email and internet monitoring, every cell phone a bug, and sweeping new powers to open your mail without a warrant were not enough to bother you, hang on. Now the bad egg in your bloodline could be used against you.

The December 2006, issue of Scientific American has this news article, “Partial to Crime: Families Become Suspects As Rules On DNA Matches Relax”, by Sally Lehrman. Below are excerpts.
If a sibling or other close relation of yours ever went to prison for more than a year, suspicion of criminal behavior now extends to you. The Federal Bureau of Investigation recently opened its forensic DNA database of felony offenders and certain other arrestees to allow states to share information that does no exactly match blood, semen or other crime scene evidence but may come close enough to finger a relative. Critics fear, however, that partial matches intrude on privacy and cast suspicion far too widely.

Nationally officials have compiled more than 3.6 million profiles based on 13 regions, or loci, of the human genome that vary among individual people.

When labs can show a match is close enough to indicate a likely relative—that is, when at least one of the two versions (alleles) of the gene segment at each locus matches up—and there are no other leads, a new interim plan allows states to disclose identifying information on FBI approval.

By widening its net, law enforcement can move more quickly and potentially head off future crimes, Bieber, points out. Critics wonder, however, whether extending genetics surveillance from individuals already associated with crime to their families will help catch enough criminals to outweigh its likely intrusion on privacy and civil liberties. “We’re talking about innocent people by proxy being included in this database,” objects Tania Simoncelli, science adviser for the American Civil Liberties Union.

“We’re kind of blundering ahead with this technology,” worries William Thompson, a criminologist at the University of California, Irvine, who would like to see the government open up the database for independent scrutiny and statistical analysis. He is especially concerned about the reports of faked test results and poor-quality lab work such as cross-contamination and sample mix-ups.

So, George Orwell was maybe 20 years behind on his predictions because of technology, but his understanding of government paranoia is scary. I really detest the hypocritical, dual nature of the message our government presents. To the world and our young soldiers, we say freedom is worth dying for. However, to our citizenry we say you must be willing to forego some freedoms for safety.” At what price--morally, ethically, and monetarily?

Friday, January 05, 2007

Mockingbird Singing

I have not posted much recently, for many reasons. One reason would make a good post, but I just don' t have the energy to recount the story in words. Let me just say, if anyone has seen The Money Pit with Tom Hanks (1986), I had a money pit week during my time off between Christmas and New Years.

Anyway, to fill the gap in my blogging I thought I would inflict some of my poetry (term is used loosely here) on my readers, those that are left. I write very little poetry and I read less of it. But here you go. All my poetry is based on real things that happen to me or feelings I have, which is about the only connection I might have to anything related to real poetry.

Mockingbird Singing
Written Oct. 7, 2003

Little gray angel, mockingbird singing;
are you singing for me?
Outside my office window, on crape myrtle swaying;
were you sent to me?
Afternoon winding, sun sweeping;
Autumn leaves turning with your song.
Eyes watching, in staring;
God are you speaking to me?
Little gray angel, mockingbird singing;
how long you have played.
Outside my office window, you keep returning;
are you singing just for me?
At just the right time, when spirit is waning;
God watching over me?
Little gray angel, mockingbird singing;
what cause launches your song?
Instinct burning, passion flowing;
or just a random song?
Greater design, beautiful plan;
God the artist I perceive.
Little gray angel, mockingbird singing;
Many questions you provoke.
Outside my office window, among lavender myrtle;
I quiet the asking, and let the heart enjoy.