Weekly Photo Challenge: Love

Crucifixion by S. Dali

Crucifixion by S. Dali

“For God so loved the World that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” John 3:16

The Gift of Love

13 If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; 10 but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13 And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13:1-13

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/weekly-photo-challenge-love/

Daily Prompt at Daily Post @ WordPress.com

Today’s question is: What role does music play in your life?

The short answer is a big one. I love music of many different genres. I grew up with listening to and singing hymns, I still appreciate both contemporary and traditional hymns. I also grew up listening to folk and country and western music. I think I’ve listened to too much country, as now I don’t enjoy it. In my teen and young adult years, I enjoyed rock-n-roll, especially groups like the Beatles, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Yes, The Moody Blues, Bruce Cockburn, etc. I still occasionally enjoy listening to these musicians. As the years went by, I came to appreciate classical music, especially Bach’s Brandenburgs, organ compositions, and choral works, which I still love even to this day. These last few years, I’ve listened more to the contemporary classical composers such as Philip Glass, Arvo Part, R. Murray Schaeffer, etc. One of my favourite compositions is Part’s rendition of the Beatitudes. Music functions in my life to help me relax, heal, meditate and pray, celebrate life in all of its fullness, it is “the universal language.” I agree with Martin Luther, next the the Word of God, music is God’s greatest gift to humankind.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/daily-prompt-music/

Daily Prompt at The Daily Post @ WordPress.com

 

Describe your last attempt to learn something that did not come easily to you.

I am somewhat of a luddite when it comes to technology. Recently I purchased an Asus TF 300 Transformer Pad [i.e. tablet]. I still don’t know if I’m regretting that purchase or not.

I find it hard to get used to the touch technology, and at times my finger points to one thing and something else comes up that I don’t want.

Going into my e-mail account is a rather strange experience, as the way it shows up on the screen is not anywhere near what it looks like on my PC screen.

I can’t seem to figure out the step by step process of transferring file documents from my memory stick to a file on the tablet—even though I’ve been successful in that task a couple of times, I’ve no idea how it happened, just a few trial and error attempts and somehow it worked.

I do have a keyboard and much prefer using it for performing various functions on the tablet as opposed to touch with the fingers. I wish one could use a mouse, but I don’t think one can without damaging the operating system.

So far, I haven’t summoned up enough courage to post on this blog using the tablet—maybe one day.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/01/19/daily-prompt-apply-yourself/

The Daily Prompt at Daily Post @ WordPress.com

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/daily-prompt-free-association/

 

Write down the first words that comes to mind when we say…

 

…home.

 

…soil.

 

…rain.

 

Use those words in the title of your post.

 

Home: Love, family, equality, a safe, welcome place of refuge and retreat where you can relax and be yourself.

 

Soil: Human beings are made of earth and God’s breath of life, produces food for humankind, is to be responsibly, and respectfully cared for that we and those generations who follow us may enjoy life on this earth.

 

Rain: Being a Christian, my first thought is the sacrament of baptism, which gives us new life as we are baptized into the death and resurrection of Jesus. Rain/water is God’s way of restoring and renewing life to earth; without rain/water, humankind cannot survive.

Daily Prompt at The Daily Post @ WordPress.com

Today’s Daily Prompt asks: “It’s never a good idea to discuss religion or politics with people you don’t really know.” Agree or disagree?

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/01/15/daily-prompt-polite-company/

If I disagreed with this statement, I’d be out of sync with the essence of my faith tradition, Christianity. Ever since its inception, the Christian faith has been a mission focussed, evangelistic faith. Jesus has called and sent out his followers to baptize, preach and teach the Good News. The mission is to the whole world—all people. The word evangelistic simply means the message of the Gospel-Good News. It is Gospel-Good News because it offers an abundant, full life now on earth—filled with meaning and purpose, forgiveness of sin, reconciliation with family, friends, neighbours and yes even enemies, it is all about loving God and loving neighbour, i.e. developing, enhancing and growing in relationships of the highest quality with the goal of living in peace with justice for all, and salvation-eternal life with God.

So, to be able to discuss religion or politics I believe helps rather than hinders relationships with others. I think the word “discuss” is important here, as opposed to argue or debate. A discussion is usually civilized, and includes respect and kindness for self and others.

Daily Prompt at Daily Post @ WordPress.com

Today’s Daily prompt is: Take the first sentence from your favourite book and make it the first sentence of your post.

 http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/01/05/daily-prompt-favorite-book/

I have difficulty, like others, selecting “your favourite book,” since there are several of them in a variety of genres. However, as for the novel, I’d say my favourite book is The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Mikhail Dostoyevsky.

The first line introduces one of the family members in the Karamazov family history: “Alexey Fyodorovich Karamozov was the third son of Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov, a landowner of our district, who became notorious in his own day (and is still remembered among us) because of his tragic and mysterious death, which occurred exactly thirteen years ago and which I shall relate in its proper place.”

I find this opening sentence intriguing for at least three reasons. The names Fyodorovich and Fyodor may perhaps be autobiographical. The reference to “his tragic and mysterious death” may also be autobiographical in that Dostoyevsky’s dad was murdered in 1838, a year after his mother had died. The sentence also, I think, is paradigmatic of Dostoyevsky’s wonderful gift of storytelling.

The novel, for this blogger, is the best I’ve ever read in that Dostoyevsky writes about—with inspiration, depth and authenticity—nearly everything under the sun: life and death, the innocence of children in the face of evil and abuse, the problem of evil, the gift of grace and the strength of faith, the sanctity and dignity of life, parent, child and family relationships, the church and the world, belief and atheism, truth and lies, love and hatred, power and its abuse, Christ’s veiled and revealed presence in the world of Dostoyevsky’s nineteenth century Russia.

Daily Prompt at Daily Post @ WordPress.com

The Daily Post at WordPress.com asks the following Daily Prompt question: Do you have a favourite quote that you return to again and again? What is it, and why does it move you?

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/daily-prompt-quote/

This is a tough question, since I have many favourite quotes. Plus I think as we journey through life, we hopefully keep growing and maturing in many and various ways—hence there are favourite quotes that we identify with in each stage of life.

At this stage in my life, there are a couple of quotes that are meaningful—especially in light of the increasing conflicts, wars, violence and hatred among various nations, religions, and civilizations. They are, the words of Jesus’ ‘higher way’ of all-encompassing love, and a related quote from Lutheran pastor and World War II prisoner in Sachsenhausen concentration camp, Rev. Martin Niemoeller.

Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:43-45: “You have heard it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven.”

Martin Niemoeller said: “It took me a long time to understand that God is not the enemy of my enemies. God is not even the enemy of God’s enemies.”

Both quotes point humankind to a reality above and beyond hatred, violence, war and conflict; where peace-shalom and non-violence prevail. A dream that we need to keep dreaming; a vision that we need to keep seeing; until, by the grace of God, it becomes reality.

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