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  2. This Week's Lectionary

    Sept. 17, 2017 Matthew 18:21-35The Message (MSG) A Story About Forgiveness 21 At that point Peter got up the nerve to ask, “Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?” 22 Jesus replied, “Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven. 23-25 “The kingdom of God is like a king who decided to square accounts with his servants. As he got under way, one servant was brought before him who had run up a debt of a hundred thousand dollars. He couldn’t pay up, so the king ordered the man, along with his wife, children, and goods, to be auctioned off at the slave market. 26-27 “The poor wretch threw himself at the king’s feet and begged, ‘Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back.’ Touched by his plea, the king let him off, erasing the debt. 28 “The servant was no sooner out of the room when he came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him ten dollars. He seized him by the throat and demanded, ‘Pay up. Now!’ 29-31 “The poor wretch threw himself down and begged, ‘Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back.’ But he wouldn’t do it. He had him arrested and put in jail until the debt was paid. When the other servants saw this going on, they were outraged and brought a detailed report to the king. 32-35 “The king summoned the man and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave your entire debt when you begged me for mercy. Shouldn’t you be compelled to be merciful to your fellow servant who asked for mercy?’ The king was furious and put the screws to the man until he paid back his entire debt. And that’s exactly what my Father in heaven is going to do to each one of you who doesn’t forgive unconditionally anyone who asks for mercy.”
  3. Hi Joseph.  One of the upgrades has trashed my Christian music thread.  I have not checked the art thread but it had live links too.

    If you could please delete the bad posts or even the whole thread if necessary I will work on recreating them.  Thank you.

  4. System was updated to take care of issues in previous revision 4.2.3 Please let me know if you encounter any new problems. Thanks, JosephM(as Admin)
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  6. This Week's Lectionary

    Sept. 10, 2017 Matthew 18:15-20 The Message (MSG) 15-17 “If a fellow believer hurts you, go and tell him—work it out between the two of you. If he listens, you’ve made a friend. If he won’t listen, take one or two others along so that the presence of witnesses will keep things honest, and try again. If he still won’t listen, tell the church. If he won’t listen to the church, you’ll have to start over from scratch, confront him with the need for repentance, and offer again God’s forgiving love. 18-20 “Take this most seriously: A yes on earth is yes in heaven; a no on earth is no in heaven. What you say to one another is eternal. I mean this. When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I’ll be there.”
  7. Yes, quite possible...........and I like to think so! Ah, that Derek............. On a more serious note, many Japanese thinkers appear to study the works of our Western philosophers - and some ask the question as to whether what they themselves have done (i.e. the Japanese) throughout their history is philosophy at all. All to do with the Kyoto School. All interesting stuff when I tire of Candy Crush Saga.
  8. I wonder if people of an eastern culture would pick up a book by a 'Bob' or indeed a "Joseph' or 'Derek' and think that the author's name sounds more 'sage-like' than what they're familiar with such as Wei Wu Wei?
  9. Thanks Joseph, I tend to read a lot but having said that certain words/expressions/ideas seem always with me, are always "speaking to me" and moulding my experience. One ever-present over the past ten years or do has been the words of the Pure Land myokonin Saichi, when he was asked if he recited the Nembutsu only when he thought about it, and what did he do when not thinking about it. "Yes, well, when I do not think of it, there is the 'Namu-amida-butsu' just the same." That simple answer of Saichi, his faith if you like, has deepened for me over the years. Its reality touches everything, whatever and however widely I read. "Namu Amida Butsu is blooming everywhere!" All the best to you and all
  10. You are not alone in your wandering. I myself took on the writing name of Koshada and became coined as a sage to some unsuspecting readers who corresponded with me.. No sense popping their bubble to find i was just a common Joe or Joseph. Anyway, enjoyed pouring through your blog ramblings and pictures which all have a soothing feel to them. I am not such a proliferate reader as yourself barely averaging 1 book a year at most. I have been reading the same Eckhart Tolle book, " A New Earth" or Awakening to your lifes purpose for the past 3 years. I'll read a few paragraphs and let it lie for a week or so most of the time awaiting for it to somehow speak to my own experiences. The Best to you and family, Joseph
  11. I have retired somewhat from Discussion Forums. My days of crossing swords with various other worthies are over - or at least, I hope they are. Nevertheless, the impulse to post bits and pieces remains. So I gather together a few stray thoughts. One thing that I miss sometimes is a Book that holds all the answers, like a big thick Bible. It can be clutched and brings reassurance. Having moved towards Buddhism, although it obviously has its very own texts and Scriptures, it really has nothing like the Bible. Thinking about this, I wonder why, and the answer would seem to be that the forward progress of Buddhism has never involved an attempted gathering together of what could be called an Orthodoxy - as happened in the Christian West with Constantine. This seemed to lead to an orthodox Canon and a varied collection of books became the Bible. Then the mind games started and the varied collection became an orthodox theology which was denied at your peril. This particularly after the Reformation when the newly literate for whom the Word as "word" was all, and had lost all sight of the Word made flesh. And therefore a whole host of theologies vying with each other. And given the equation in some quarters between correct belief and eternal destiny, the arguments became fierce. And still are if you dip into certain Christian Forums. But getting back to what I miss. I sometimes yearn for a Buddhist Bible. A nice thick leather bound tome with lovely thin pages that brown at the edge and become gently ruffled with use. Containing all my favourites. maybe a few Buddhist creation myths at the front, then a few Hindu stories and such, followed by a life of the Buddha. Then the Dhammapada, selected suttras from the Pali Canon, then onto the Lotus Suttra, the Bodhicaryavatara, the Heart Sutra etc, then chuck in a few things like Chang Tzu and the Tao te Ching to stir it up a bit and give the "orthodox" of the future something to quibble and ruminate about. Which makes the point that struck me and perhaps caused this post. What would such a Buddhist Bible lead to? How would it eventually grab me? Would the instinctual doctrinaire of mind seek a "common thread" amid the chaos of the various books? Eventually, the "one and only Dharma" emerge from its pages? Soon, no doubt, a "Systematic Buddhology" as the basis for the salvation - or perhaps "enlightenment" - of all. Good grief! is what I say, even though at a certain level my heart yearns for certainty. Anyway, my mind wanders, and just to add here a stray thought that arose when I typed above about the Word made flesh. It jogged my mind of a few words of Wittgenstein that I recently copied to my Notebook, having read them ina book about the Tractacus........"The human body is the best picture of the human soul". Lovely words. Others may not think so, thinking perhaps that there is something more to see. Well, I have started a Blog on Google recently, which Is pointed to by the "Dookies Place" icon found on this Forum. I have come to love being just a little creative, being able to include pictures and just ramble and waffle as the mood takes me, rather like this. As a taster, here is an example (though you will have to go to the actual blog to see the pictures) There was once a little second hand bookshop in Maldon, just at the bottom of the High Street. I often took a trip on the bus and ended up browsing the shelves. Being interested in certain "eastern" ways I once spied a book called "Ask the Awakened" by Wei Wu Wei. The book was just a bit water stained but I snapped it up at a bargain price and proudly took it home. For quite a while I imagined Wei Wu Wei as an ancient wizened and crinkled hermit, perhaps living in a cave in the Himalaya's, breaking his fasting now and again to put pen to paper. Then I stumbled upon his amazing secret - he was in fact Terence Gray, Anglo-Irish, theatre producer and racehorse owner. Did this knowledge mean that the teaching and sayings of the "awakened" who had been "asked" was suspect? Or even, perhaps, was where East and West did in fact meet? It does seem to be a common practice for those who write so called "spiritual" books to give themselves screen names. Another instance - seeking out the authentic way of the Buddha I picked up a very weighty volume called "A Survey Of Buddhism" by one Sangharakshita. I read the whole thing, reassured by the name that here was the real McCoy, the Dharma as per an authentic easterner and practitioner. Alas, at a certain point I found that Sangharakshita had been born Dennis Lingwood, and hailed from Romford. So what is in a name? And does it matter? I prefer questions to answers, so make up your own mind. One of the very best books on Buddhism I have read is "The Vision of Dhamma", a collection of weighty essays by Nyanaponika Thera. Nyanaponika Thera? You've guessed it, he is (or was) Sigmund Feniger, a German born Jew. He took on the name Nyanaponika when he was ordained into the Therevada Buddhist Order, Thera meaning "Elder". Another of my favourite Buddhist writers is Stephen Batchelor and he breaks the mould. I sometimes wish he was called Dharmachata, or perhaps Po-Che or even the Venerable Jinmyo something or other. But he insists he is only Stephen Batchelor, which does not appear to effect the sale of his books. He actually spent much of his youth in the east, raised in Tibetan monasteries, but is now back "home" giving meditation retreats and featuring on various UTube videos. Obviously, as either "Dookie" or "Tariki" I seem to have fallen for the very same thing. Well, my apologies if all this seems just a little perverse. Maybe I have too much time on my hands. Thanks, Derek
  12. Heathens! 2

    True, but he can be mashed . . .
  13. Heathens! 2

    Good stuff but nothing beats Mr. Potato Head..........
  14. Progressive Christianity.org Weekly Recap

    This weeks Progressive Christianity Weekly Recap at ProgressiveChristianity.org
  15. The software was updated to version 4.2.3 which included a number of security issues being fixed and feature changes. Please let me know of any problems that may have been created by the upgrade. Thanks, JosephM (as Admin)
  16. This Week's Lectionary

    Sept 3, 2017 Matthew 16:21-28 You’re Not in the Driver’s Seat 21-22 Then Jesus made it clear to his disciples that it was now necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, submit to an ordeal of suffering at the hands of the religious leaders, be killed, and then on the third day be raised up alive. Peter took him in hand, protesting, “Impossible, Master! That can never be!” 23 But Jesus didn’t swerve. “Peter, get out of my way. Satan, get lost. You have no idea how God works.” 24-26 Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; Iam. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for? 27-28 “Don’t be in such a hurry to go into business for yourself. Before you know it the Son of Man will arrive with all the splendor of his Father, accompanied by an army of angels. You’ll get everything you have coming to you, a personal gift. This isn’t pie in the sky by and by. Some of you standing here are going to see it take place, see the Son of Man in kingdom glory.”
  17. Agnosticism

    If that is your belief then of course we respect it.
  18. Agnosticism

    Yep ... some of the stardust configures into some parasites too. Yep that is love too.
  19. Agnosticism

    OK - isn't it assumed given the big bang theory that some star dust eventually become part of the oak (and all). Sounds like love.
  20. Agnosticism

    And why limit it to acorns ... star dust becoming an oak?
  21. Agnosticism

    Wasn't focusing on cause/effect more on the possibilities inherent in something: example, the acorn. It's possibility is to become a tree.
  22. Agnosticism

    Burl, the only teleology I am aware of are the confabulations of humankind. An example of this physical teleology please?
  23. Agnosticism

    Determined in the sense cause and effect result in the acorn growing into an oak or not. Cause and effect will also determine what natures, if any, we will grow into.
  24. Agnosticism

    For me, man's (the universe's) 'destiny' is God or Unity (this can be expressed in multiple ways) but, for man it is not 'pre'determined which men will or will not become truly Human beings. I don't believe in fate, as it is fate that this or that happens to someone nor do I believe in destiny that it one will/must become a President for example.
  25. Agnosticism

    The question still remaining concerns teleology of meaning or purpose. Do destiny or fate exist? Physical teleology exists, so we can't dismiss the possibility.
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