One of the ideas reiterated throughout this blog has been "words have power". One particular example that I often share with friends and family is the expression "I'm sorry".
In a literal sense saying "I'm sorry" means "I am wretched, worthless, poor."
Why would someone say such a thing? Aren't we created in the image of G-d? (Genesis 1:26)
This "wretched" meaning dates back to the 13th century and a time when people would debase themselves before some nobleman or leader as a result of some offense. They would essentially say "I am wretched, worthless, and poor" and seek the nobleman's mercy and favor.
Proverbs 22:6 tells us
Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.
The responsibility of a parent is to train a child... not just raise a child. People can raise dogs, cows, chickens, or any other kind of animal they like. Scripture tells us that we should train our children. We have a responsibility that is greater than just providing food and shelter and raising them. If anyone is interested I highly recommend Reb Bradley's Child Training Tips book.
The work of our heavenly Father (through the Messiah) is to author and perfect our faith (Hebrews 12:2) and conform us into the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). We as parents should actively assist in this effort rather than oppose it through laziness or passivity. Unfortunately, I find examples of such opposition to be far too common in the world.
Normally I ignore the rubbish coming out of Hollywood that involves witches, goblins, ghosts, and vampires. That whole passage in Philippians comes to mind:
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8)
Given that neither Harry Potter nor the Twilight series seem to fit into any of those categories, I haven't paid them much mind beyond being generally aware that they are a "big deal" to the American public. Imagine my surprise when I read an article on Foxnews.com entitled "Vampire Books Like 'Twilight' May be Altering Teen Minds".
"Surprise?", you may ask.
"What surprise is there about those types of books 'altering teen minds'?"
A cargo cult is a religious practice that has appeared in many traditional tribal societies in the wake of interaction with technologically advanced cultures. The cults focus on obtaining the material wealth (the "cargo") of the advanced culture through magic and religious rituals and practices. Cult members believe that the wealth was intended for them by their deities and ancestors. Cargo cults developed primarily in remote parts of New Guinea and other Melanesian and Micronesian societies in the southwest Pacific Ocean, beginning with the first significant arrivals of Westerners in the 19th century. Similar behaviors have, however, also appeared elsewhere in the world.
Cargo cult activity in the Pacific region increased significantly during and immediately after World War II, when the residents of these regions observed the Japanese and American combatants bringing in large amounts of material. When the war ended, the military bases closed and the flow of goods and materials ceased. In an attempt to attract further deliveries of goods, followers of the cults engaged in ritualistic practices such as building crude imitation landing strips, aircraft and radio equipment, and mimicking the behaviour that they had observed of the military personnel operating them.
For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.
- The apostle Paul (Romans 10:2)
In September, the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life released the results of their "U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey". [If you would like to take a shortened version of the survey online it is available here. -ed]
The results were summarized in a FoxNews.com article that stated:
Atheists and agnostics scored highest, with an average of 21 correct answers [out of 32 questions], while Jews and Mormons followed with about 20 accurate responses. Protestants overall averaged 16 correct answers, while Catholics followed with a score of about 15.
Hispanic Catholics were the lowest scoring group with 11.6 questions answered correctly.
There is a website I enjoy visiting from time to time that deals with all things typography: I Love Typography.
I was pointed there recently to an interesting article entitled "Where does the alphabet come from?"
What makes this article interesting is that it goes all the way from ancient cuneiform to modern day English letters. What makes it exceptionally interesting is that it includes references to people and places in the Bible in a positive manner.
I just sat and shook my head in amazement at the hypocrisy.
I have seen the word flabbergasted before and even used it at times but I had not ever felt it to this degree.
I was embarrased on behalf of those who would exhibit such a double standard. It made me enormously uncomfortable even being aware of it. No... I am not talking about the behavior of someone in my congregation, community, or office. I'm referring to certain individuals with the medical journal "Lancet".
CNN ran an article entitled Home births: No drugs, no doctors, lots of controversy on August 9th. In it they quote a Lancet editorial as follows:
The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day for August 1st 2007 was the adjective august.
marked by majestic dignity or grandeur
They provided this insightful bit of information about the origins of the word:
"August" comes from the Latin word "augustus," meaning "consecrated" or "venerable," which in turn is related to the Latin "augur," meaning "consecrated by augury" or "auspicious." In 8 B.C. the Roman Senate honored Augustus Caesar, the first Roman emperor, by changing the name of their month "Sextilis" to "Augustus." Middle English speakers inherited the name of the month of August, but it wasn't until the mid-1600s that "august" came to be used generically in English, more or less as "augustus" was in Latin, to refer to someone with imperial qualities.