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Archive for December, 2007

Light

Posted by jbharp on December 25, 2007

Wreath Lights

This year was a unique Christmas for me. I spent the day alone, which wasn’t a first (I think only a second). Neither occasion was planned, but I found myself in a solitude situation due to the inadequacy of my vehicle…or rather scrap pieces of metal on wheels. I’ll be shopping for a new truck over the next few days. I would say that it is not only a Christmas present to me, but also a gift to everyone else in my life. It can even be considered a gift to those fellow motorist I share the roads with. Stay tuned to see my new wheels (hopefully as early as tomorrow).

Even though I was alone today, the day was still a fine day of celebrating the birth of Christ. I woke up early and went for a run in the chilling wind. Santa must have been pretty cold last night in this neck of the woods.

After cleaning up, I attended a Christmas Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral in downtown Colorado Springs. I opted out of a midnight Mass, despite the lure of being awake to usher in Christmas day. It was a pleasant time with so many other people there to recognize the reason we celebrate this holiday.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been reminded of the hope that surrounded our Lord’s first coming into the world and the anticipation of His second coming. God shown His light into this world of darkness through Christ.

The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined. (Isa 9.2)

Merry Christmas!!!

Posted in Religion | 2 Comments »

A Calculated Vote

Posted by jbharp on December 16, 2007

The recent poll for Republican Candidate show that Mike Huckabee has taken the lead. I’m glad to see that he is finally getting the numbers he deserves. I’ve heard many people scoff at the notion of Huckabee getting the GOP bid and saying that he just can’t win. What nonsense!!! This is the liberal mindset towards our troops fighting the war on terror in Iraq – they just can’t win. ABSOLUTELY CONFOUNDED NONSENSE.

Well, this nonsense should no longer be tolerated. Something else that should not be tolerated…rejecting a candidate based on his religion, that is Mitt Romney(aka the Mormon). This guy shares most of the same values as Huckabee and most evangelical Christians. Theology…no, but values…yes. And since we are electing someone to lead our country as President (not a religion for the country to adopt) then the values of Huckabee and Romney are both of high caliber and ideal for our country.

Keeping in line with the primaries….this is my kind of site: The Candidate Calculator.

I’m glad to say that my top candidate is …Sooey!!!
     Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (R) – 91.96%
Followed by another fine republican candidate…
     Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney – 87.50%
The Democratic front runners were on the lower end of my list…
      Illinois Senator Barack Obama – 36.61%
      New York Senator Hillary Clinton – 30.36%

I got this calculator from a site of an official blogger for Huckabee.

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Chanukah

Posted by jbharp on December 12, 2007

Tonight ended the eight night Jewish holiday of Chanukah. I decided to observe some the holiday rituals this year. I purchased a Menorah and a box of 44 candles. It wasn’t a large Menorah. I wonder if it even met all of the proper traditions involved in lighting of the candles. It was a rather cheaply constructed Menorah. I briefly considered returning it to the store and getting a higher quality one. But I felt a great sense of ownership after I used superglue to repair the far right candle holder back onto its branch. If there was a guild of superglue workers, then I would be at the top of the trade.

Even though Chanukah is a well know Jewish Holiday (somewhat due to it occurring during the Christmas season) it is not one of their major holidays. That is not to say any celebration of God’s miracles and providences is minor in any way. It is just that Chanukah does not have as many commandments (mitvots) to fulfill as other holidays. But for Jewish Holidays, which are packed full of symbolism, meaning, self reflection and growth, this doesn’t say much. Chanukah certainly doesn’t deviate from having traditions packed full of meaning.

One interesting thing I learned was about the Menorah in the Holy Temple. Unlike the nine branched Menorah used to observe Chanukah today, the Holy Temple’s only had seven branches.

The Menorah in the Temple had seven branches: six outer lamps, which all faced the seventh center stem. The Menorah’s six outer branches represent the six realms of secular knowledge — physics, philosophy, astronomy, medicine, music and mathematics. But the Torah is telling us that society cannot rest on knowledge alone. Unless this information is focused and directed toward the center stem — symbolizing God, Torah and spirituality — then this wisdom is for naught. Or worse, it is destructive.

How true it is that everything else in life amounts to nothing without the central focus of God. It reminds me that God and science (and the other realms of knowledge) are not at war. But that God is the central piece to these forms of knowledge.

Chanukah was an enjoyable time. I was especially grateful to experience some of the evenings with others – the Horses, my cousin, and my roommate.

Posted in Religion | 1 Comment »

Thoughts about teeth, smiles and wisdom

Posted by jbharp on December 3, 2007

In an article about teeth a Rabbi says,

…the face of a person is considered public property and one should always smile at everyone. A sour face can damage the mood of others and we are never allowed to inflict damage to others.

I’m fortunate to have some reliable smiling people in my life…namely my fellow horses. But I better not catch anyone spray painting their faces with graffiti. I hate when public property is defaced with such nonsense.

The article goes on to talk about numbers (one of my favorite things).

According to mystical sources there are 32 paths of wisdom. So too there are 32 sources of wisdom within a person (found in the head) which are channeled to each one of the entire set of 32 adult teeth. The number 32 has the numerical value, gematria, of the Hebrew word lev, which means heart. This means that our 32 teeth represent what is in our heart.

I suppose this is where the name “wisdom teeth” comes from. Fortunately, I still have all 32 teeth in my noggin. Now I just have to figure out how to “channel the wisdom.” One thing is certain, I’ll never let my dentist pull my wisdom teeth out. They are public property after all.

Fortunately there are other thoughts on wisdom as opposed to the mystical sources. What better way to acquire wisdom than from the source of wisdom…God.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Prov 9.10

Knowing God would seem to make one smile more. So our teeth, in a way, do represent what is in our heart.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Judgment, Please

Posted by jbharp on December 2, 2007

Lately, it seems I keep hearing a disturbing quote. And more often than not it comes from Christians. When I hear this expression I cringe, if not visibly then at least on the inside. The words come from Matthew 7 – “Do not judge.”

The words themselves do not bother me, but the way they are used – in an end all fashion; with a no question, no contest delivery. For someone to hold these three words as a complete philosophy in themselves they would have to ignore the complete nature of a just God, the appointment of judges in the Old Testament, and the few verses that follow these words.

Here’s the entire passage:
Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

This passage uses the action of removing a speck from your brother’s eye to symbolize judging. It ends with the way in which we are to carry out the action of removing the speck (i.e. judge).

There are certain elements of God’s nature that we are incapable of imitating: omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. But there are elements of God’s nature that we are capable of imitating and should: justice, love, and mercy. Often we focus on love and mercy. These are the ‘feel-good’ aspects to center around. However, neither love nor mercy can even begin or have any power without first calling on justice. Mercy happens only after pronouncing judgment on something that is wrong. And an element of love comes through corrections and rebukes, which require some judging.

We only have what we can perceive with our humanly senses…that is actions and words. We can not see the state of each person’s heart. That is why the judgment of hearts is ultimately in the hands of God. The day will come when God will be on the throne as the almighty, infinitely wise judge. In the meantime we should partake in the practice of judging, otherwise love and mercy are rendered useless.

Posted in Religion | 1 Comment »