February 23rd, 2016

in your presence is fullness of joy

It is 10:08 AM Tuesday morning in the flow of existence/life. It is a cold cloudy day here by Lake Michigan. It feels like it might snow today.

I am down in the lower level writing on my lap top because I am down loading a video I made this morning using our main computer. Carol just left to hang out with her cousins. Yesterday Carol was gone all afternoon visiting her elderly friend Pam. She got home last night around 6:30 PM. I was sitting in the dark when Carol got home last night. I was resting my brain. I am always thinking. I am a Thinker.

Last night I watched some TV with my wife and read from a book titled, "The Heresy Of Orthodoxy: How Contemporary Culture's Fascination with Diversity Has Reshaped Our Understanding of Early Christianity" by Andreas J. Kostenberger & Michael J. Kruger.

I went to bed early due to being sick with a winter cold. I am slowly getting over this cold.

I was up early this morning. This morning I have been writing in my paper diary and reading from these two books-

"Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life" by Richard Rohr

"The Presence Of God: Its Place In The Storyline Of Scripture And The Story Of Our Lives" by J. Ryan Lister

I have no plans for the day ahead of me. I am not feeling well these days. I will close to read my books and drift through Time.

"[9] After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
[10] And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
[11] And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,
[12] Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.
[13] And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
[14] And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
[15] Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
[16] They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
[17] For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." Rev. 7:9-17
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Book Collecting Video



List of books mentioned in this book collecting video-

"Infinite Jest" a novel by David Foster Wallace

"The Legacy Of David Foster Wallace" Edited By Samuel Cohen & Lee Konstantinou

"Four Spirits" a novel by Sena Jeter Naslund

"A Tale Of Love And Darkness" a memoir by Amos Oz
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Tale_of_Love_and_Darkness

"1921" a novel by Morgan Llywelyn

"Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon-and the Journey of a Generation" biography by Sheila Weller

"Glory Days: Bruce Springsteen In The 1980's" biography by Dave Marsh

"Paul Cezanne" Biography by John Rewald

"Impressionist Quartet: The Intimate Genius Of Manet And Morisot, Degas And Cassatt" biography by Jeffrey Meyers

"Montaigne" Literary Study by Hugo Friedich translated by Dawn Eng

"The Essays of Montaigne" Three Volumes hardback set published in 1946 with an introduction by Andre Gide

"By Nightfall" a novel by Michael Cunningham

"Divisadero" a novel by Michael Ondaatje

"History Of My Life" memoir Volume 4 Giacomo Casanova

"History Of My Life" Six volumes (12 volumes two volumes in each six volumes) by Giacoma Casanova [First Translated Into English In Accordance With The Original French Manuscript by Willard R. Trask]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giacomo_Casanova

"The Spanish Civil War" by Anthony Beevor

"Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege: 1942-1943" by Anthony Beevor
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Yahweh is the present God

“Once we step out beyond the initial overgrowth of confusion and obscurities surrounding this theme, we actually find that the biblical path ahead is well worn. Yahweh is the present God, and the biblical Canon is a beautiful and creative story of how he fulfills his promise to be in the midst of his people. Scripture’s narrative suggests that the past, present, and future realities of redemption are inextricably tied to God’s drawing near to a people.

What I hope to impress upon us all is that the presence of God is not about mere intuitions and platitudes. It is not a mystical feeling or emotional charge. It is first and foremost a theme of Scripture; and even more, it is a theme on which the story of Scripture hinges.

To demonstrate this, I want to make one major argument in this book that rests on two very simple but very significant biblical truths. The first truth is this: the presence God is a central goal in God’s redemptive mission. The second truth follows: the presence of God is the agent by which the Lord accomplishes his redemptive mission. God’s presence, then, is both eschatological (it is the end-of-time aim of the Lord’s mission) and instrumental (it is ultimately what fulfills the Lord’s mission). So to put our argument in its simplest terms, the presence of God is a fundamental objective in our redemption and simultaneously, the means by which God completes this objective.

That is a lot to take in, so to consider this further, let’s think first about the eschatological (the future goal-oriented) emphasis. The restoration of God’s presence-or we could say his relational nearness-once lost in the fall is one of the most pivotal acts in the story of redemption. As John shows us, the final hope of history is that “the dwelling place of God is with man” and that God “will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God” (Rev. 21:3). Seen from a redemptive-historical standpoint, this text is essentially a summary of the eschatological purposes driving God’s mission of salvation.

This objective, though, is not only prevalent at the story’s end, but also woven throughout Scripture’s plotline. From the beginning, the goal of God’s presence affects the Creator-creature relationship. In Eden, God charges the first couple to expand the garden-sanctuary, the locus of God’s presence, both geographically and genealogically (Gen. 1:28-30). The temple of God’s presence found in the garden is meant to cover all of creation. From this perspective, we see that the Lord, in his divine wisdom, ties Adam’s role to the administration of his presence to the entire world.

However, as the familiar story goes, in his sin Adam breaks this bond in pursuit of arrogant self-idolatry. The much-deserved curses add up-each levied against the couple’s role in disseminating God’s presence throughout the cosmos. By God’s mercy, the story does not end here. God shines the light of his promises into the darkness of Adam’s sin. Where Adam has failed, God succeeds, for God pledges to complete his own purposes and spreads his own presence to the world.

Outside the garden, the eschatological purposes of God’s presence remain front and center in God’s redemptive story. From Genesis to Revelation, God’s covenant voice calls a people to relationship, a call that reverberates throughout the Scriptures until it crescendos in John’s prophetic vision (e.g., Gen. 9:1-15; 12:1-3; 15:6ff.; 17:19; Ex. 19:1ff.; 24:3-8; 2 Sam. 7:12-13; Jer. 31:31-34; Matt. 26:28; Luke 22:20; Heb. 8:6; Rev. 21-22). This covenant picks up where Adam left off, with God’s creating a people and place for the enjoyment of his presence. This divine purpose pervades every covenant ratified and culminates in the new covenant arrival of Christ, the new and better Adam, the one who accomplishes what Adam could not. These covenantal promises of God’s presence line the story of Scripture like mileposts pointing the way to the New Jerusalem, the city where God will dwell with his people forever. . .” pg. 23-25 “The Presence Of God” by J. Ryan Lister
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True Self

It is now in the flow 3:46 PM Tuesday afternoon. The sun came out this afternoon. My wife told me when she got back from spending time with two of her cousins that there is a winter snow storm alert out till tonight. Right now it looks nice outside even though it is cold.

I did not go anywhere today, but stayed inside reading my books and wandering my cell. I want to start writing down some of my thoughts on reading the book "Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life" by Richard Rohr. Rohr is a Franciscan priest of the New Mexico Province. You can read more about Father Rohr online if you are interested to know more about him. Rohr has written many books on Christian (?) Spirituality and is an internationally known speaker.

This morning I read just few pages of "Falling Upward" and I some disagreements with what Rohr wrote. I will share my thoughts on what I read here as I read this book. Now I am not saying everything Rohr writes is not truthful, but I would like him to be more precise when it comes to what the Bibles teaches on such things as conversion for example.

I will quote from the book "Falling Upward" and then write why I believe Rohr is unbiblical.

Rohr writes on page ix "I believe that God gives us our soul, our deepest identity, our True Self, our unique blueprint, at our "immaculate conception." Our unique little bit of heaven is installed by the Manufacturer within the product, at the beginning! . . ." Rohr has a footnote attached to 'True Self' which means to him "I am going to take the liberty of capitalizing this term throughout this book so you will know that I am not referring to the small self or psychological self' but the larger and foundational self that we are in God."

From what Rohr just wrote he believes everyone is in God. Rohr writes on page xi "There is nothing to join, only something to recognize, suffer, and enjoy as a participant. You are already in the eternal flow that Christians would call the divine life of the Trinity."

The problem I have with the above statement by Rohr is that the Bible teaches that people due to their Fall in Adam are separated from God. People are not "already in the eternal flow". People are dead in sins and trespasses-we read in the Epistle to the Ephesians for example, "And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins. . . But God who is rich in mercy, because of His great love which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus" Ephesians 2:1,4-6. People (sinners) outside of Christ Jesus do not have "little bit of heaven installed in them" by God. People outside of saving union with Christ are empty of spiritual life. Now people by creation have natural life/physical life but they do not have eternal life/ God life. We read in the Gospel of John chapter 5 the words of the Lord Jesus, "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life" John 5:24. We pass from the realm of death till the realm of life/from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of the Beloved when we exercise saving faith "he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life." Rohr is unbiblical when he teaches everyone has divine life already in him or her.

I will write some reflections as I read this book "Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life" by Richard Rohr.

http://www.spiritualdirection.com/2014/09/05/can-trust-fr-richard-rohr
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the Perennial Tradition

https://cac.org/richard-rohr/richard-rohr-ofm/

Richard Rohr
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perennial_philosophy

http://christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/43057/why-doesnt-the-roman-catholic-church-defrock-richard-rohr

http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=6819

"[1] But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
[2] And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
[3] And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not." 2 Peter 2:1-3
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