On Peace and Conflict

“I like to put it like this: I went to church a lot as a kid and we were always taught to love out enemies. Tai Chi taught me something new: to love the enemy inside me as well. So i don’t look at peace as the absence of conflict anymore; I see it as the acceptance of conflict.”Barry Sloane as Zachary Heflin in Longmire S4:E5

Can Anything Happen Without the Lord’s Permission? (Part 2)

Two verses have been on my mind again these last two or three days. The first is John 19:11—”You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above“— and Lamentations 3:37—”Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it?” (NIV–1978). Another more modern translation, and the one that I really want to focus on, rendered Lam 3:37 as “Can anything happen without the Lord’s permission?” (NLT–1996). Continue reading “Can Anything Happen Without the Lord’s Permission? (Part 2)”

A Quick Note On Gender Expression

Gender expression is essentially the outward manifestation of a person’s gender psyche. Gender expression could also be equally described as the outward presentation of how a person wishes his/her gender to be perceives. In this light, at least, it is worth observing that presentation is characterized as much by what isn’t as what is. So the opposite of ‘masculine’ is not axiomatically ‘feminine’ but rather that which is simply anti-masculine. (And of course the inverse is true of the opposite of ‘feminine’.) So to represent that one is not [fully] masculine, it is necessary only to deconstruct the cultural aesthetic of ‘masculine’ of ‘feminine’ and this can be achieved by blending elements of both aesthetics in an unexpected, highly individualistic manner. This is the crux of what it means to be non-binary. The man who deconstructs the masculine aesthetic is not automatically pursuing the feminine aesthetic or declaring gayneas any more than the woman who deconstructs the feminine aesthetic seeks to attain the masculine aesthetic. Either is simply a representation of the gender psyche.

Can Anything Happen Without the Lord’s Permission? (Part 1)

Lamentations 3:37 of the New Living Translation reads: “Can anything happen without the Lord’s permission?1 As a starter, I want to point out that “permission” is different than direction. In a very real sense, “permission” simply means that something is allowed but not necessarily commanded. In other words, to say that nothing happens without God’s permission is, at a minimum, a statement that nothing happens without God’s awareness. This also suggests a potentially inferable consent for if an adverse event were completely intolerable or anathema to God’s plan then one could believe that God would intervene. Continue reading “Can Anything Happen Without the Lord’s Permission? (Part 1)”

The Purpose of Miracles

The Apostle Paul taught that signs and wonders were for the unbelievers that they might believe. While believers certain reap benefits of miracles such as healing, the manifestation of miraculous signs were not intended to be a sign to the unbeliever of God’s existence as an omnipotent deity unlike other false gods of his day. Since believers already understand this, the working of miracles certainly benefits them, but the performance of miracles as a sign was for the unbeliever.  What exactly is this supposed to mean…that God runs a dog-and-pony show? Of course not! Continue reading “The Purpose of Miracles”