All posts tagged Religion

Photo Blog ~ The Grotto

Published August 2, 2018 by tindertender

Some of the pictures are slightly blurry after crop and enlargement. The sight was beautiful and so peaceful.

The artwork is amazing! The detail in some of the faces shows the awesome skill of the person who formed these plaques.

I was stopped by a gal who asked if I were Catholic since I had attended the Daily Mass. I told her I was fascinated by all who sought the Divine …

There were tiled paintings, and fabric paintings, and wood carvings.

If you ever find yourself in the Oregon, and like the trees, and plants, and art, look up the Grotto. It’s only a $7 entry fee.

But then … you’ve pretty much seen it all here. I would have photo’d the labyrinth after walking it, but by the time I finished there were many others on it.

I hear it is beautiful in the Spring, when the flowers first bloom. There were some flowers, but mostly just the beautiful green of the trees and plants. It was so hushed and serene … I spent two and a half hours wandering around.

One thing I will say, it’s a shame that a beautiful site such as this actually has to post big signs all over the parking lot stating not to leave valuables in the car. One would think that a sacred place might be honored, respected and safe.

Dropping The Barrier

Published March 23, 2018 by tindertender

Open Path.jpg

Rigid beliefs will keep people from each other, they will maintain that each are different. People will think that their way is right while others are wrong. Some will be accepted while others are rejected. This is seen in religion most noticeably.

The idea of separateness is taught and developed over time which grows a chasm between us all. It’s based on skin color, gender, the group affiliated with. People adopt the beliefs of others, hoping to fit in, to belong.

Duality is the culprit much of the time, good and bad, right and wrong, in or out. Whole societies are molded from this and there are those who never even question it.

Leave the heart door open. Shutting it down to anyone based on their looks or sects associated with takes away opportunity which can benefit all parties. Life is about assisting each other, not claiming authority over anyone, but in sharing what we know so that all may rise.

The Bride Of Christ

Published November 2, 2017 by tindertender

John 10:29-31
29My Father who has given them to Me is greater than all. No one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30I and the Father are one. 31At this, the Jews again picked up stones to stone Him.…

The ‘church’ has taught that they as a whole are the Bride of Christ, but what if it is much more personal than that? What if the Bride, who has ‘made herself ready’ will actually be in union with Christ, as He is with the Father?

Revelation 19:6-7
And I heard a sound like the roar of a great multitude, like the rushing of many waters, and like a mighty rumbling of thunder, crying out: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God, the Almighty, reigns. 7Let us rejoice and celebrate and give Him the glory. For the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready.

Sound far fetched? Perhaps, however it isn’t so far fetched as many of the teachings over the years, and actually makes more sense.

There are many people who claim they have been possessed by demons throughout time, indwelt, who cause them to do very bad things. They claim god put them to task, and they were only obeying. This phenomena is wide-spread over the world and cannot be shrugged off as some sort of mass mental illness. No, there is something deeper going on here.

Bride and Christ union

What if the marriage of the Lamb is something similar to that which Jesus claimed, only instead of madness, there is a great good to come.

Many wish to be the Bride, you may be one of them who quietly ponders it. If the Bride puts substances which are harmful into the body then she is not pure … drugs, alcohol, anti-depressants, pain killers, polluted waters, chemicals in foods, smoking … it is my belief all of these things have been carefully put in place to keep the bride from waking, from preparing, from coming into ‘readiness’.

The body is your temple. Yes, fitness is important, and so is purity. Fostering compassionate living, growing self love so care for others is also possible, shedding layers of mental and physical poison absolutely necessary in order to harbor that which is good.

Perhaps you are She. Perhaps, with due diligence, you will be ready soon. Perhaps this spiritual warfare we have been experiencing will soon come to an end. Perhaps you will be ready for union with the One Who Saves in the near future and beauty and love will reign over the entire earth. Perhaps …

Deception Is Often A Lie Wrapped In The Truth

Published April 10, 2017 by tindertender

People don’t set as their goal in life-“I want to live in delusion.” Yet it happens all the time. Proverbs 14:12 NIV says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.”

Why is it we find it so easy to believe a lie? Why are we so often confused about what really is the truth-especially when it relates to ourselves?

Many of the lies we believe have been taught us from our earliest years-by our family, our friends, our culture. Just because millions of people believe a lie doesn’t make it the truth.


How we Deceive Ourselves
God gives three examples of how we deceive ourselves. Each contains a lie wrapped in the truth.

1. Failing to apply God’s truth – “Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22 NIV. All too often Christians slip into the false belief that it is OK to just listen to God’s truth.

2. Failing to control our tongue – “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.” James 1:26 NIV.

3. Failing to see the only source of good gifts – “Do not be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:16-17 NIV.

So What Breaks Delusion?
Whether it is self-delusion, or delusion by another person, there are two options we face in breaking the power of these false beliefs.

The Easy Way
The easy way to break down delusion is to listen to God’s truth, and act on it. We need to tell ourselves the truth. We need to be honest with others-especially about our weaknesses and problems.

The Hard Path to Breaking Delusion
When we choose to ignore God’s truth, we send ourselves down the paths of delusion and experience the painful consequences of those choices. The longer we live with delusion, the more pain we will experience. Pain can become the power that helps break the delusion. The truth is-pain is our friend, and it can break through our false beliefs, and bring us face to face with the truth.

Commentary on Isaiah 49:1-7

Published April 10, 2017 by tindertender

By Amy Oden

God wants to talk to you

As always, it’s important here to state the big story at work in Isaiah in order to grasp the power of Isaiah’s proclamation in chapter 49.

God’s people have been defeated, their temple destroyed. They are taken in chains to Babylon, alienated from their land and their God. This exile is a crisis of identity and faith. Are they still God’s people? How can they worship in this foreign land?

Into this crisis, Isaiah speaks a word of hope in these chapters. God will send a servant who will do justice. Indeed, it appears that much of second Isaiah (chapters 40-55) addresses the return of the Israelites to their homeland and the promise of a restored temple and nation. The disorientation of exile is replaced by a new orientation that is more than just returning to the way things were before exile. God has something much more in mind.

Isaiah shouts this news from the rooftops. If the first verse were an online blog, it would be in all caps. He has a message not for Israel alone, but for the whole world, even “you peoples far away” (verse 1). And this message is from God: God has raised up a servant, one hidden and unknown, a nobody. God has made this servant the instrument of God’s glory (verse 3).

From Rahab to David to Mary, the story of God’s people is full of unlikely servants raised up by God. This is a recurrent theme in scripture, and we want to notice it here. The servant is called while still in the womb, hidden and invisible. The Lord hides the servant “in the shadow of his hand” and “in his quiver” (verse 2).

In this case, the servant, too, is hidden even from himself as an agent of God. The servant stands disbelieving in the face of God’s call, blinded by self-condemnation to God’s purposes. He confesses a life “labored in vain,” spent “for nothing and vanity” (verse 4).

God acknowledges as much in verse 7, agreeing that this servant is “one deeply despised, abhorred by the nations, the slave of rulers.” This servant, first invisible and then despised, will nevertheless be recognized by the powerful, by kings and princes, because the Lord, “the Holy One of Israel, has chosen you” (verse 7). For the preacher this is a great opportunity to talk about how God calls unlikely servants and, perhaps more importantly, how often those servants do not recognize themselves as such.

God has a direction this story is going, insistently toward the restoration of Jacob, “the survivors of Israel” (verse 6). The decades of exile produced a diaspora with tribes scattered from Mesopotamia to Egypt, trying to scratch out a life. God’s purpose is to “raise up the tribes of Jacob” (verse 6), “that Israel might be gathered to him” (verse 5). God intends for Israel to be restored as a people with one another and with God. Their exile is not the end of the story.

We can imagine this proclamation falling on the ears of Israel with a sigh of relief. And if this passage was only about restoring Israel, that would be impressive enough within the dramatic narrative of Babylonian exile. But wait, there’s more! God doesn’t get stuck there.

This passage moves from the very particular and powerful deliverance of Israel to an even larger mission. In an astonishing phrase God says that this restoration of Israel is “too light a thing” (verse 6) in and of itself. God’s people do not exist for themselves alone, nor is their restoration an end in itself.

God gathers God’s people into God’s life for one purpose: the salvation of the world. God charges Israel, God’s servant, to be “a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth” (verse 6). God takes seriously the particular historical moment of Israel in exile and God doesn’t get stuck in that particular historical moment. Just as exile isn’t the end of the story, neither is restoration.

The long arc of God’s story points toward the restoration of all creation. “The Holy One, who has chosen you” (v. 7) calls Israel to inhabit not only its homeland, but its identity as God’s blessing for the world.

God doesn’t get stuck in the tidy resolutions to our crises that we think end the story. We often believe that if things turn out okay, the story is over. If the church makes budget, then “whew, thank God, that was close!” If we get through a health scare, we are humbled and grateful.

Yet God is not done. These so-called endings are beginnings, each a new horizon of possibility. Not for ourselves alone, but for the world God loves.

Restoration of individuals, or churches, or even of an entire people, is never only about that. God’s healing work moves outward, always expanding toward eschatological fulfillment, “that my salvation may reach the end of the earth” (verse 6). God’s story is always bigger than ours, holding our stories within God’s life and weaving them into the wide-open future.

Reading Your Bible Again – For The First Time

Published January 22, 2017 by tindertender

Psalm 82

Genesis 1:26-28

I bought a new book titled, “The Unseen Realm” by Michael S. Header. There are many eye opening tidbits. 

Michael is a 30 year scholar who has devoted his life to the study of, and teaching of, the Bible. 

Psalm 82 created a breaking down of the filter he had been viewing the life-long lessons of religious texts through. 

I am grateful for this book, for now I too, can benefit from this clarity. 

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