I’m very excited to be back and trying desperately to catch up on what I missed! The trip ended quite a bit earlier than expected so I still have videos lined up for the rest of the week to entertain and inform you all. I really liked the line up and decided to go ahead and let them run alongside my renewed efforts in social media. The videos will stop Oct 31st, but enjoy until then!
The other thing about being gone for this long on that trip is that I am woefully behind on my reading and research. We are broaching the controversial world of religion, though, and it has me a bit worried. I do try to be peaceful, but I fear that I will get some strong opinions here that may not mesh well with inclusiveness, as some of the more radical elements of religion have a tendency to do. For this reason, I hesitate to make “religion” or any of it’s associative words a tag for these posts. Unfortunately, that is kind of a cowardly way to go about it. I should and I probably will, but I will cringe every time.
Please pray for me, if you are a believer, or wish me luck on it if you are not.
When I started the themes, it was mostly to get my thoughts straight and plan from week to week how I was going to send out my message. I have learned a lot and was ready to expand views and horizons and acknowledging the places I still had to go. This has proven to be a great decision for me.
My plan now is to incorporate the themes into more than just the Friday posts. This may prove a little painful, but I’m already moving in that direction a bit and think I can do it. It really hit me during September when I spent a good amount of time researching my content and reviewing the books that were a part of that. It seems to make sense to keep my reading congruent with my theme, along with offering a better way to group my research for sharing. In light of this, I also made a pinboard for each month’s topic for readers to peruse if they wish.
I hope that improving on a system that has already done well for me continues to make concepts easier for my readers to digest, see the research, and hopefully make a change with.
Having returned from my trip, I went back to my church this week. The sermon was good, but there was another piece of the scripture that was used that gave me additional pause. Here are the verses:
Finally, brothers and sisters,[a] we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus that, as you learned from us how you ought to live and to please God (as, in fact, you are doing), you should do so more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from fornication; 4 that each one of you know how to control your own body[b] in holiness and honor, 5 not with lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one wrong or exploit a brother or sister[c] in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, just as we have already told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God did not call us to impurity but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever rejects this rejects not human authority but God, who also gives his Holy Spirit to you.
9 Now concerning love of the brothers and sisters,[d] you do not need to have anyone write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another; 10 and indeed you do love all the brothers and sisters[e] throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, beloved,[f] to do so more and more, 11 to aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we directed you, 12 so that you may behave properly toward outsiders and be dependent on no one.
Now, I know that the purity part relates back to virginity and I’m not advocating slut-shaming. This passage doesn’t advocate slut-shaming either. It advocates having control of your body and basically not being a slave to your emotions or physical urges, which is a pretty big part of anti-rape campaigns. Verse 6 is the one that really gets me, though, and made me want to include the topic within this week’s musing. Teach people not to “wrong or exploit a brother or sister in this matter” is a pretty clear point within the sexual framework of the rest of the passage along with that God avenges all victims and then it extends that as both advocacy to the victim and a warning to perpetrators. I thought it was interesting and wanted to share this little piece of Scripture and my interpretation of it.
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