Comfort is for the bereaved?

The Lord Yeshua designated himself and the Holy Spirit as Helper.  In the 17th century it was common to think of comfort as help, hence the scholars translated paraklētos as Comforter.  They were not confused about mourners coming to “help” the bereaved.   In a certain sense when Christ died and returned to glory the believers were bereaved of the One who came to save them.  So we can say the Holy Spirit comes to comfort us in our bereavement. If Christ did not say that the Spirit will do more than he could, and if he did not say that he had to go, and if he did not say that he greater things will accompany the recipients of the Spirit, there could be no fullness of joy.  Who wants a bereavement launchpad?

Comfort without bereavement , 2 Thessalonians 16-17

The words for comfort in this verse are paraklēsis and parakaleo, the noun and the verb.  It should not surprise the reader of the New Testament that the Holy Spirit bears the name Helper, Parakletos. Official sadness on the Messianic agenda is brief.  The disciples were without the first Helper for a few weeks.  True to form, weeping lasts only for a night, and  joy comes in the morning.

I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;

John 14:16

The comfort is eternal help

No one should think that there are fringe benefits from being invited into God’s kingdom like professional upgrades and a host of temporal fixes. Comfort and strength seem to be targeted on the heart, the inner man (2 Thessalonians 2:17), and it is beyond debate that the residence of the Spirit is also in the heart. There really is no viable case for the Holy Spirit’s help to include temporary miracles. While the Eternal God has interest in our day to day adversities and pathologies, drying out tears, healing our diseases and repairing our interpersonal relationships,these reliefs are not on the scale of pardon for sin and eternal life. A good cry can easily be relieved by any caring human, but the hopeless wanderers need something only God can provide

Not twiddling my thumbs or biting my nails as the criminals in high places face the music

I do believe in the triumph of justice and while many of us across the globe are becoming apathetic as we see atrocities and wrongdoing pass as “nothing to see here” the mighty are going to fall. If snowfall in southern California in February 2023 does not convince anyone that tables turn we are likely to say that Nazis, fascists, armed insurrectionists, semiliterate preachers, and gun-runners are the ideal type of citizens.

What is the biggest challenge you will face in the next six months?

Waiting for the mighty to fall

To ease the burden of waiting to see conservatives reduced to cons I will pray that the wheels of justice respond to pedal to the metal and distract myself with writing and keeping an eye out for a winged addition to my life list.

Pull out a few more stops

What advice would you give to your teenage self?

Teenage is a transforming time that depends on the balance we strike – there is an ideal ratio for each individual – between the priorities of our ancestors and the necessary resources of our generation. 

Stops are levers that modify – add, subtract, or change the levels –  the layers of music that an organist adds to a piece he is playing.  Spread the wings of love and creative release, soar like an eagle, and flap your wings less.  Do not work so hard at being you.

Bakers, cooks, inmates, indigents, singers and dancers

Fleas and other pests are a real risk with human company as they are with animal company. If my choices result in flea discomfort, so be it. the baker the cook will certainly delight with their creations, and the inmates and indigents will always be saying facts. The singers and dancers always have a place of honor in the citadel of great foundations, so their company is bound to b a source of joy, happiness and peace.

Who are your favorite people to be around?

No exit strategy. Fight to victory

The slaughter of millions of humans in the pursuit of power, territory, and treasure might pass as necessary moves by any authority protecting its people’s future. The regional fights for values have seen the planet descend into the abyss of cultural priorities and, frankly, politico-religious garbage. We cannot make idols of military prowess, or make a moral standard of ethnic insularity superiority, or make the fear of resident foreigners a reason to unleash mass murder, destruction of property, uprooting of communities, and the imprisonment of entire populations, and think that such treachery escapes the eyes that do not sleep. Three months ago Forbes Breaking News was citing surveys that show half of the GOP were telling anyone who would listen that the US was doing too much for Ukraine. Their aversion to what they call endless wars. American wisdom in the area of war-making is supposed to include an exit strategy, aimed at ensuring no repeat of the conflicts in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. One assumes that the reluctance to put American boots on the ground in Syria and a host of hot spots is the offspring of that policy. In February 2023 Republicans are on air standing with President Biden on conducting support for Ukraine for as long as it takes. When a dog tells you he’s going to eat his vomit, do not cringe when he does. When a weather vane rotates in a dead calm something sinister and demonic is on tap, and reading “until Ukraine wins” as fuzzy exit strategy is right on the money.

Why else do people declare war and prosecute them if not to win? The GOP is a satanic beast, and this is not to say that Republicans are demoniacs. The idea that parties who lose elections are duly authorized to oppose the government and the winning party is as outhouse as Popeye and spinach. In the British empire and its colonies we have seen Her Majesty’s loyal opposition show themselves desolate of decency and nobility by their mindless attempts to overthrow the party in power by outrageous and nice-sounding slogans. No family, corporation, or civic entity can claim to be stable with even one member acting as avowed opposition. Forget the notion that opposition parties have as their priority offering sound advice and recommendations to the party in power. Forget the notion that any of household will tolerate a spouse or child acting as critics with a goal of ending the appropriate bonds and functions of any stakeholder.

Devilish deals

It is diabolic operational priority to slander, oppose, and destroy. A professor who advocates burning of books is a fool on an errand. The Christian who champions law and order, from any source, is like the ox who does not know his owner, is like the ass who does not know his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.” (Isaiah 1:3) No-one needs to be actually possessed by an evil spirit (a fallen angel) or the leader of the fallen angels himself to be found slandering, committing murder, stealing, or destroying. In one of the truly eye-opening predictions about demonic influence we find a people in the latter days who are clearly being influenced, but not identified as demoniac. Their activities include:

  • Speaking lies in hypocrisy
  • having their conscience seared with a hot iron; (read “messed-up conscience“)
  • Forbidding to marry (ethnic discrimination and tribalism)
  • commanding to abstain from meats (dietary nonsense)

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;” “Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.” (1 Timothy 4:1-3)

Flip flop, hawk-dove

Every day eyes are being opened to view the follies of human heroes, people putting their lives on the line for inconsiderate theories and policies. There will always be poor people, naive and gullible people. Exactly how childish the conservative aligned people are will appear again when the GOP starts pushing for an exit strategy from support for Ukraine against Russian aggression and for the United States to withdraw from the Asia-Pacific arena to let China have its draconian way.

Is it not dreadful?

[2013 revisited. This is an essay that sat around for ten years]. Listening to some people talk can be a serious challenge to serenity. One can actually peer through the gloom of their repetitions, overlook the jarring tones of some voices, look past their vulgarities, see through their technical language, salvage their broken sentences, ignore the many toes in their mouths, to see the play-acting that sometimes passes for more than a few of the 21st century’s profundities. Is it not dreadful though that both professional and non-professional people expect to be heard without delivering reliable information to the waiting audience? Listening can provide a sense of how deep a thought process is and, if you haven’t noticed, it can be a journey into incredible and dreadful contradictions.

A lot of people in the marketplace of ideas and social life find themselves either dancing to the popular or common tunes or playing the music. Whoever does not dance is not normal. If you start singing and dancing people assume that you aspire to be rich, powerful, and privileged, and oppressive. Upward mobility seems to have become the main criteria for evaluation. Is it not dreadful that the poor and the vulnerable are exploited by almost everyone with a sceptre?

Is it not even more dreadful that in the smaller audiences – the schools, the churches, the synagogues, the corporate boardrooms – that a whole lot of corrupt and perverted opinions pass for truth? There seems to be a collective blindness about the standards that have lasted for millennia. If the trend continues unchecked we can expect the worst to happen. The worst could very well be that the values we cherish become the trash we’ve always secretly dreaded.

Is it not dreadful that the news is dominated by bombs in ancient nations? No bombs, no headlines. You have to be in an ancient culture to make it, make disgusting attacks on children and women, deny human rights to those in your care, and have a steady stream of violent deaths. People say they appreciate the core values of the US and the UK, but amid the democratic and security arrangements by the twin-sisters of pride and folly the path to a nuclear winter in Asia is being paved with nuclear bombs in the hands of misogynist and xenophobic regimes.

Is it not dreadful that the US people are supposedly supporting India’s hungry, while India is pushing the limits of discrimination with its millennia of caste exclusions, in addition to building its nuclear weapon capabilities? Is it not dreadful that the only bombs in Canada are the mountains of verbal barbs in a cross-border tussle, which the southern neighbour sees as mole-hills. Competing with Aboriginals in North and South America is a losing proposition. There is no chance of modern religious or national upstarts (e.g. Islam, various Christian-isms, Canada, the United States, Pakistan) ever finding a productive role on the stage of being any more frighteningly dreadful.

“Shields up” against the customary stream of blah, blah, and blah. Dreadfully boring politics and religion and yes, scientific cooperation among deadly enemies. How deadly can the gods of science be? How alluring are the spoils of scientific exploration of the micro world!

How incredibly daft does one need to be to believe that sworn enemies, like Jews and Iranians, allies like Britons and Americans, can cooperate over the building of a scientific tool, but have failed to agree on where their people should live and worship.

Is it not dreadful that people all over the globe are playing the tolerance game while the beneficiaries outnumber the benefits. Is it not dreadful that a new nationalism and patriotism will take the place of magnanimity and hospitality? What we say today is just as dreadful as what we are about to become: animals that say nothing except mindless cliches and empty slogans.