29 Sep 2012

Solitude

Solitude - by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
weep, and you weep alone.
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
but has trouble enough of its own.

Sing, and the hills will answer;
sigh, it is lost on the air.
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
but shrink from voicing care.

Adult Sunday School - Part 13 - The Rapture and The Bride


Adult Sunday School - Part 13 - The Rapture and The Bride - by P.K.Odendaal - September 2012.

The rapture refers to a group of Christians, known as the Bride of Christ, leaving the earth, in their transformed, bodies, whilst alive, to go to Heaven, in order to  be the bride at the Marriage of the Lamb.
It is not spelled out in detail in the Bible, but we have quite a few scriptures which hints at it, and there are many stories and prophecies out of which we can learn about it.
And it starts quite early in the Bible, because this is what the Bible is really all about. Adam is created by God, and God prepares a bride for him, out of his own body. God creates mankind and prepares a nation, Israel, out of them, to be His wife - whom He has divorced subsequently. Lastly God creates His Church on earth, from which he prepares a bride for His Son. The same theme goes on and on, especially when you read the numerous Bible stories related to a wedding.

27 Sep 2012

A Hymn to God the Father

A Hymn to God the Father - by John Donne
 
Wilt Thou forgive that sin where I begun,
Which was my sin, though it were done before?
Wilt thou forgive that sin through which I run,
And do run still, though still I do deplore?
When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done,
For I have more.
 
Wilt thou forgive that sin which I have won
Others to sin and made my sin their door?
Wilt Thou forgive that sin which I did shun 
A year, or two, but wallowed in a score?
When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done,
For I have more.
 
I have a sin of fear, that when I have spun
My last thread, I shall perish on the shore;
Swear by thyself that at my death Thy Son
Shall shine as he shines now, and heretofore;
And having done that, Thou hast done,
I fear no more.

26 Sep 2012

The Lie

I will be publishing poetry I really like - hope you like it too.

The Lie - by Sir Walter Ralegh

I dedicate this poem to President Ahmadinejad of Iran after his interview with Charlie Rose in October 2012

Go, Soul, the body's guest,
Upon a thankless arrant:
Fear not to touch the best;
The truth shall be thy warrant:
Go, since I needs must die,
And give the world the lie.

Say to the court, it glows
And shines like rotten wood:
Say to the church it shows
What's good, and doth no good:
If church and court reply,
Then give them both the lie.

22 Sep 2012

Adult Sunday School - Part 12 - Absalom


Adult Sunday School - Part 12 - Absalom - by P.K.Odendaal - September 2012 

We have looked previously at Joseph as a type for Jesus Christ, and we find the same type of story repeated in another form with another person named Absalom.
It starts strikingly in the form of Absalom as the son of David. 2 Sa 13:1  And it came to pass after this, that Absalom the son of David ...
Compare this with : Mark 10:48  And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.
So they both were sons of David prophetically speaking.
It ends strikingly with both being killed by hanging on a tree. That is enough for us to start to make comparisons. There are of course again differences as a son of mankind cannot completely mimic the story of a son of God.

17 Sep 2012

Philosophy - Part 23 - Revisiting The Sunset Limited


Philosophy - Part 23 - Revisiting The Sunset Limited - by P.K.Odendaal - September 2012 

Some people approach me from time to time, to ask me for advice on social and spiritual matters, and although I almost always understand their problem and offer them some general help, I am usually unable to really understand what goes on inside them, why they have this question or problem, and what I should say to them - and I usually end up offering them the wrong or irrelevant advice.
When I saw the film 'The Sunset Limited', I had this overpowering desire to understand the dilemma of White and to offer him some advice - advice which Black was apparently unable to offer him, to prevent his second suicide attempt. And that is what started this series on philosophy.

15 Sep 2012

Adult Sunday School - Part 11 - Let my people go


Adult Sunday School - Part 11 - Let my people go - by P.K.Odendaal - August 2012 

Now that we have learnt what a type is and how one story is mapped to another, we can look at Exodus and Revelation, in which Exodus is mapped to Revelation. Both have the central theme of releasing God's people from bondage into bliss.
To understand this story we must start with what belongs to whom.
God has made the earth and it belonged to Him, but He decided to give dominion over it, without any strings attached, to Adam and Eve, to dress and to keep: Gen 1:26  And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

11 Sep 2012

Philosophy - Part 22 - Orthodoxy and Heresy


Philosophy - Part 22 - Orthodoxy and Heresy - by P.K.Odendaal - September 2012 

This piece is also known as the forces of man, in contrast to my previous article on the forces of God - see part 8. The forces of man are orthodoxy, heresy, rationalism, empiricism, induction, determinism and materialism.
I will try to define them as well I can.
Rationalism - the explanation of things in terms of our reason or our worldview.
Empiricism - the explanation of things in terms of our experimentation results, without an accepted theory. It is the notion that similar experiments will yield similar results, even if we do not know what the reason for that is.
Induction - the explanation of things in terms of their outcome in previous similar circumstances and conditions and extrapolating them into unknown areas. If we say one plus one is two, then we can safely assume that two plus two is four.

9 Sep 2012

Adult Sunday School - Part 10 - Gideon


Adult Sunday School - Part 10 - Gideon - by P.K.Odendaal - September 2012

How do you go from rejection, bitterness, accusations and humiliation to arrogant and steadfast faith? How can any man go from the one extreme to the other? Just ask Gideon. For me he is an example of what can be done if you are touched by God - more than once. Many of us are touched by God and it stays a touch - and even soon disappears.
Read the article by Annemie here :
I have been touched by God many times, and it stays an anchor for my soul in times of abject depression, which fortunately are quite rare.
We start off with Gideon - himself, his family and his nation being rejected and forgotten by God, with no hope and no God.

2 Sep 2012

Philosophy - Part 20 - A parody on friendship


Philosophy - Part 20 - A parody (well almost) on friendship - by P.K.Odendaal - September 2012 

In my own life, friendship is paramount. I will offer many oxen on the altar of friendship in the hope that one of them will come alive again one day. I am still waiting. I regard friendship as sacred and precious and enriching, and a special relationship that will add lustre and comfort and richness to my life. Still my life is void of this. Why should this be?
I may be part of the problem and not of the solution, but where did I miss the opportunity? What could it have added to my life? The friend in need and the friend indeed proposition never showed up. I was always supposed to be the fool as the friend indeed, and never found a friend in my need.
I had to reconsider my position, especially after a friend of mine asked me what the bounds of friendship were. I started to wonder. Was there indeed such a concept as friendship or is it some unattainable utopia we hope for.

1 Sep 2012

Adult Sunday School - Part 9 - Revenge


Adult Sunday School - Part 9 - Revenge - by P.K.Odendaal - September 2012
 
We have seen that the law had to come, and that minimised but partly legitimised revenge, although it was not meant to. It was meant to give redress only.
But, despite this, mankind persisted in revenge on a grand scale, and we have only to look at Samson to see this. Samson is our type for revenge, because that is more or less what his life consisted of - and the sad part was that he was such a man of God called a Nazarite who was called to free his people from bondage by the Philistines. Instead he brought them into further bondage.

One day in Avignon

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