“If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”
– C.S. Lewis
Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.
~C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
I’ve recently discovered the amazing revelations that can be made by taking a look at the best selling book in history, and reading it with new eyes. What is that book, you might ask? The Bible, of course! I know, I know…. it was forced down your throat as a child, especially if you live(d) down south in the ‘Bible Belt’. You “know” all of the popular stories and parables, as well as the “fact” that it is simply man’s interpretation of historical events with no real application for your life in today’s modern world. You might also know about the recently found Dead Sea Scrolls and other texts discovered within the past century that, lo and behold, have been excluded from the Bible as we currently know it today. Okay, so since you already know all of this, I would like to share a story with you, that you may not know…
Constantine “The Great” was the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity, ultimately promoting its tolerance and overseeing its foundation within Roman Empire. He thought that by unifying the “rebel Christians,” whose varying beliefs were causing many divisions within the empire, and progressively threatening the power of the Roman State as a whole, that he would be able to regain control of the masses by using religion as his political tool. He aimed to accomplish his mission of unification, by calling the first ecumenical council, the Council of Nicaea.
At the Council of Nicaea, Constantine brought together leaders from various Christian factions, with the objective to standardize the religious beliefs of the time, into one unified Christian doctrine that was to be accepted by all people identifying themselves as Christians. While he did not actually write the words found in the Bible, Constantine did have final authority over its composition, whose fundamental context correlated with the unified vision of Christianity that was agreed upon at the Council of Nicaea. Any religious writings or beliefs opposed to the new, “unified” Christian doctrine were eventually erased from history, and people found spreading alternate interpretations were put to death. Hence the reason we are only today finding some of these ancient, hidden manuscripts buried in tombs with priests, and hidden in caves in clay jars.
Unfortunately, the intentions of Constantine’s declaration and his implementation of a unified Christian Doctrine, only led to further disagreements and divisions among the Church. Additional ecumenical councils convened in the pursuit of unity, but dissension only grew stronger as time passed, ultimately contributing to the fall of the Roman Empire altogether.
And this, my friends, is the foundation of present-day Christian doctrine – a faith built upon controversy, power over the masses, censorship, division, and disunity. Which familiarly, are the characteristics of Judaism that Jesus himself opposed, and was historically known to have been put to death in protest of, by the Romans.
Let’s take a look at the words and messages of the Bible with new eyes. Try to put preconceived notions out of your mind and just read it as you would this article. Keep an open mind and always cross-reference the New Testament with the Old Testament, as there is great significance in the correlation of the two. Let me know what kind of new discoveries you make, and we might be on to something, here! 😉
For more on the history of Constantine, Rome, and Christianity’s influence, check out these articles:
The History of Christian Sunday Keeping by Charlie Adams
*Find Beauty in New Sight!*
The purpose of darkness is to cover up light. The purpose of light is to expose darkness. The two coexist cyclically in the physical (or visual) world, but beyond what we can see with our eyes, they are constantly at war.
Our consciences are the voices inside our heads that tell us right from wrong, and therefore, interpret what we cannot see.
Our minds are like light switches that are wired to our hearts – in order to turn light on within, we must freely choose to flip the switch. We must learn to engage our hearts, so they can produce the energy required to power the light that brightens our minds.
However, because our consciences reside within our minds as part of our physical bodies, they are also part of the imperfect (or fallen) state of man. This means that over time, if light is not produced within our minds through observation & intentional self-study that is guided by the heart, then darkness will gain a foothold. When darkness holds the majority within our hearts and minds, the amount of light inside becomes increasingly harder and harder to find…..
For more on Light, check this out!
Search for the beauty within, so that you may find the light that you so desperately desire!
In Capernaum, near the Sea of Galilee, Jesus was speaking with his disciples about heaven. When the disciples inquired about who was the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven, Jesus welcomed a child into their presence and replied, “I assure you that unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the Kingdom of heaven. The greatest in the Kingdom of heaven is the one who humbles himself and becomes like this child.” (Matthew 18: 3-4)
After reading this, I began to think. How does one humble himself and become like a child? What child-like characteristic(s) must one possess in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven? In writing my list of “necessary” traits for the faith of a child, three stood out:
- Untainted by Emotion
If we are not curious, we will never learn.
If we cannot forgive, light-stifling darkness will slowly begin to consume our hearts and minds, as our subconscious [unbeknownst to us] secretly dwells on the resentment that remains as a side effect of harboring negative feelings toward another entity.
And finally, if we allow these negative emotions to control us without conscious knowledge of the darkness that is gradually building inside our minds over time, we will begin to weaken and bend until we are no more useful than the keyboard I am typing this on. We become like puppets, or ‘robots’ as I like to say, our minds being manipulated by the world around us.
All of us have “robot-isms” – it is our human nature. However, unless you are able to recognize this fact and routinely acknowledge its presence, all while maintaining enough curiosity about its existence, in order to consistently seek out knowledge with the intent of continuously bettering yourself – you just might not enter the Kingdom of heaven (per Jesus).
Face your fears and find the beauty in them!
–Psalm 33:5 (GNT)
In reference to, “his constant love fills the earth,” what exactly is God’s love? The love that is known by most of us as human beings is not the love of which this verse is referring. This love is an effect of the presence of the Holy Spirit, God’s witness and protector of man. Without it, what would be here to convict us of guilt or show us the good in the world?
We can know the Holy Spirit is present, when we clearly see and participate in the spreading of God’s light. Ways of doing this could include empathizing and forgiving others, remaining objective in social interactions, observing our behavior in order to catch the wrong we are doing and turn it right, so that others might model their behavior after our own, resulting in the incremental “betterness” of ourselves and those surrounding us. These selfless acts, and ultimate spreading of light, can only be attained through the indwelling of a deep agape love in the very core of our beings; in our hearts (or souls).
Therefore, God’s “constant love fills the earth,” by the continued presence of light, hope, and goodness in the world. His Witness teaches us to love, by compelling us to do what God loves – that “what is righteous and just,” so that God’s love will continue to spread throughout the world, and “fill the earth.”
“The LORD loves what is righteous and just, his constant love fills the earth.”
The Holy Trinity in a nutshell:
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the witness of Jesus Christ, resides within those who believe, so that we may understand God’s purpose for our lives in order to glorify Him, the Father of all creation.
Click Here: Christian Nuggets – The Indwelling Christ.
Find beauty in ALL of God’s Creation.
When addressing God’s Church in Corinth with Sosthenes, the chief ruler of the Church there, Paul advises God’s holy people:
“₁₃ So then, we do not speak in words taught by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Spirit, as we explain spiritual truths to those who have the Spirit. (alternate translation: ‘…or with words given by the Spirit.’)
“₁₄ Whoever does not have the Spirit cannot receive the gifts that come from God’s Spirit. Such a person really does not understand them, and they seem to be nonsense, because their value can be judged only on a spiritual basis.
“₁₅ Whoever has the Spirit, however, is able to judge the value of everything, but no one is able to judge him.”
-1 Corinthians 2:13-15 (GNT)
Scripture taken from the Good News Translation – Second Edition, Copyright 1992 by American Bible Society. Used by Permission.
I began this blog to promote my etsy shop, hoping that the more “linked in” I was, the more items I would sell. However, my etsy shop did not last long, and the direction my blog has taken since, is completely opposite of its intended purpose!
By continuing on, in this opposite direction, I hope to share the knowledge and peace I’ve acquired throughout my spiritual journey, over the past few years. I will try to recount the lessons I have learned in a way that appeals to everyone – meaning: you don’t have to be a Christian to follow my blog, although I will post Biblical topics from time to time. My goal is for you as readers, to receive the information you find here, in an objective (“what-if”) manner.
I have learned, if you have the ability to proceed through life with an open mind – able to entertain certain ideas or beliefs, without necessarily accepting them in your heart to be true – you will slowly begin to see the world change right before your eyes. By “verifying” your beliefs, you are sealing them tight as unbreakable truths within your being, and will grow stronger with each answered question, fitting them all together as pieces of the larger puzzle we call life.
I’m a huge verifier. I have always asked “why” about everything – school rules, government laws, religious beliefs, etc. This outlook on life allows me to entertain other people’s values and beliefs, and how they relate to mine, without accepting them as my own. As mentioned above, I’m slowly putting together the pieces of my puzzle (or my purpose in this world), and hope that by sharing this journey, you might also gain the ability to rethink the “facts” you currently accept as “truths.”