Thursday, January 26, 2006

The world as we know it...

big news in the middle east.

"It's beyond any shade of doubt that Ehud Olmert is dividing Jerusalem [by allowing Palestinian residents to vote].
Bear in mind that, [if] there were elections in Washington for al-Qaeda, would any American administration, would any American citizen accept that?"

an acceptable comparison? hamas is difficult to analyze because they are difficult to categorize. perhaps if Israel or even the PLO had invested in improving the infrastructure of Gaza since the 1960's or had adaquately supplied medical facilities and schools in the area, we could unabashedly declare Hamas to be a terrorist organization. but, the facts seem to indicate that hamas spends alot of money to build schools and facilities for palestinians that otherwise are without such assistance.

my father emailed today from Tiberius and said this about the elections:
"Everything fine here.  Elections I do not expect to have an effect on us.  Locals believe that until the Israel elections next month, nothing will happen.  We have a guide who is Christian Palistenian. I am planning to tape an interview with her at some point.  Her family has been here for at least 4 generations."

even if everything stays quite over the next several weeks, and the parameters of hamas controlled areas do not change, many still have the expectation that the change from the fatah party to hamas control bodes ill for continuing discussions between israelis and palestinians.

i guess we'll just wait and see.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Session #4: A Food You Know Not Of

Mah nah? --What I beg? ...The bread of HaShem, this thing we call Life everlasting. What is it? What is a water that wells up to everlasting life? How is everlasting life lived?

As we savor John's Gospel, I thought it would be wonderful for us to be thinking very carefully about what it means to live life as Christians...and I mean, REALLY think about it. So, I've assigned some homework:

Write a brief three point "epitome" about what your vision is for HOW you will live life. This assignment will help us all, I believe, to ask the right questions when we read through John....To really suck the juicy marrow out of John's gospel, a succulent gospel that is all about Life.

Feel free to approach this anyway that suits you. One approach is to look at Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues. Pick a few of his virtues, or come up with some new ones. Next, meditate on all you know of Scripture. I suggest reading (in addition to John's gospel) the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7), the book of James, and Proverbs. Then try to redefine your list of virtues in your own way. See if you can narrow the list to just three (combine some virtues into a broader category).

When we're done with John, I hope we can all share our "epitome" to one another. Keep track of how you do it, and track your changes, new realizations, etc. Pray about it. Enjoy it. Own it.

Happy Contemplating!