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Posts posted by Ragamuffin_John

  1. (after reading Acts 2:1-47)

    How I wish for you the love
    of the Christ at Pentecost:
    seeking the Sovereign, Sovereign seeking,
    saints talking upward, Heaven downward vetting,
    the Wind round your temples, God's ardor crowning.

    How I wish for you the throng
    of many peoples exclaiming, "What!",
    "What's the reason?", "Why this hour?",
    "Who sent forth Pentecostal Fire?",
    "Where, the Spirit's interpreters?"

    May we again go Upper Room,
    empowered as God's own Jeshurun?*
    How I wish for you this hope,
    Latter Rain longed for, this day, soaked!**
    Jeshurun Definition and Meaning - Bible Dictionary  and
      What does the Bible say about Jeshurun?
    ** Acts 2:1-8 and Acts 2:14-18

    • Like 1
  2. Almost, when I was six.  I was pulling my little red wagon through the housing area of an Air Force base, when a large dog ran at me to, as I perceived, take chunk out of me.  Thankfully, the dog couldn’t out distance his chain, and the menace lurched to a halt.   I raised a stick at the dog as he continued to bark, and the lady of the house ran out up to confront me, screaming “Don’t you dare hurt that dog!”  Dog owners can be too loyal sometimes.

  3. Hello.  Nothing fancy here.   I just thought the following might interest someone:


    The following might be a useful tool for a Sunday School class or other group venue:


    (1)    Give an assignment to your people for the next meeting:   take the word “Prayer” and ask them to draw up a list of as many words as they can make out of it.   

    (2)    For each applicable word, ask them to provide an explanation for how the word ties into “Prayer”, citing  a Scripture reference or at least a paraphrase of the reference.  The purpose would be to reinforce that a true perspective about and expectation concerning prayer comes from knowing God's Word. 

    (3)  This would not be turn-in homework.    In a relaxed setting, the leader could keep alternating among the group members to ask, "Is there another word you found that we haven't discussed?"   Other folks who have found the same word could chime in to share their thoughts.   The whole thing could be fairly open-ended.

    (4)  If the leader thinks some more words would be needed, the effort could be expanded to the word "prayers"


    Note:  to be fair, I browsed the internet to find words that one can extract from the word “Prayer”.   I pared the word list down to those that I thought would fit (2) above.   Here's my aided effort:




    ape – Jesus said not to ape (be as) those Pharisees who showed off their righteousness

    ear – Before, during and after prayer, listen (“have ears to hear”) to what the Holy Spirit of Jesus is saying via Presence, Scripture, others and circumstances

    err – We err while praying if we ask amiss, for our own gain or purposely against God’s will

    parry – putting on the full armor of God in the current spiritual battle against the enemy of our faith helps us to parry successfully the evil one.

    pay – We do not pay for the eternal penalty of sin which we deserve, for when we confess our sin, God is faithful to forgive, because of the shed blood of Messiah Jesus

    payer – Prayer enables us to fellowship with Payer of the Ransom for our sin, Himself, Messiah Jesus

    per -- Per/as the Scripture says, “We have not, because we ask not"

    pray – Pray without ceasing, as the Apostle Paul taught

    prey – Jesus enjoined us to pray, so we do not fall prey to Satan’s wiles/devices

    rap – we must rap/knock on the door of God’s heart with unceasing/devoted prayer, for we know that, as James taught, the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much”

    ray – daily prayer brings a ray of sanctified hope to our lives

    reap – we reap what we sow.   The prayer of trust sows the seeds that bloom into Kingdom results

    rear – prayer is spiritual warfare; the “Ephesians armor” has no backside/rear protection

    rep – Jesus is our representative/advocate, declaring before Father God that we are justified/not-guilty by virtue of the atoning, shed blood of Messiah Jesus and our embracing Him as substitute for our deserved sentence.

    repay – prayer can envelope us with forgiveness toward others.  Such a life of devotion makes it less likely for us to desire to repay others for their offenses committed against us

    year – it is always in season to pray, as this is “the acceptable year of the Lord”, as Joshua said.

    rye – Prayer should remind us of how we receive our daily spiritual bread, which is more satisfying than the mere filling of our stomachs with rye bread

    yap – Jesus taught us that we are to not yap/not be overly repetitious in our prayers, for that is something unbelievers do, because they think such a practice would make God listen

    yep – When we agree in prayer with our brothers and sisters in Christ, we are saying “yep”, “yes”, and “Amen” to those prayers



  4. I haven't written a single chapter, but for my blog posts I have deleted a few in-progress that I thought would resonate but were too ahead of my experience curve.   I'm not saying one has to have experienced or intellectually understood everything one imagines, but for these writings, I just felt too presumptuous, like I needed to toss the work permanently to wash away a paradigm and wait for the intuitive impulse to arrive at a different angle.   Strangely, too easy-flowing a write can sometimes give me the sensation that "I have arrived", and I don't necessarily trust or want that.  I also begin to wonder, "Could the reader sniff that out?"  Kind of like I trust peace in the midst of the storm more.    Am I making sense?

  5. I like to think about the role of the scribes (“amanuenses”) of the New Testament writings.




    The above references may be debatable at some points, but much can be agreed upon.


    Book/Story/Play idea for someone:   have these amanuenses gather to reminisce about their experiences (and maybe interaction?) and the personages for whom they worked


    Okay, as for a person for whom a book is named after:  Peter.  I so appreciate by studying him how the Lord makes salvation a point of wholeness for the entire time we have on this earth—and that how this is both at the “Body” (and therefore being mutually supportive)  and individual level.

    • Like 1
  6. ...or the creepy name Society of Social Healing, which gives a useful acronym of SOSH, to which a critic might say, “Posh!”  I first heard that expression in the movie “Master and Commander”.

    • Like 1
  7. Judge not.   For a purpose.   I have been contributing to suggested Spanish-English translations on one of the top translator service websites on the globe.   It's fun, in that people from all sorts of specialties and interests post questions about how to translate such and such a phrase, word, etc.


    Those submitting suggested translations are called "peers".   Peers can make visible critiques of another's input.    The moderators of the discussion, clearly experts, assess the inputs and then declare someone's translation as optimal and explain why.   The assigned moderator to a question can also email each suggester with usually a further explanation for the choice they made.   This morning, I got one of the those feedback emails.


    The courtesy email informed all that Person "X" made the best suggestion.   So far, so good.   But at the bottom was a comment that flustered me:   "Clearly, Non-Pro".    That bothered me, "I'm a Non-Pro, huh?"   I wanted to email back to the moderator, but the email said "Do not reply".     I thought, "What a bunch a nerve that guy has!"  


    To get a better grip on the matter, I logged back onto the website to look at the whole discussion, from the initiator's question, to all the suggestions, and finally the moderator's comments.   There was one final remark by the moderator, addressed to a specific suggester/user name.    "I agree.  Clearly, Non-Pro."     The moderator had agreed with a user named "Non-Pro".   


    I, uh, didn't feel vindicated.   Sort of embarrassed.   No one will know--except a few select here 🙂

    • Haha 4
  8. 20 hours ago, Paul but not THE said:

    Raised in suburban Minneapolis, but a country boy!

    Another commonality with the "not THE":    I attended an elementary school near Minnehaha Falls.   I took many a hike to the park there.


    Side note:  an uncle of mine owned a house just outside the centerfield fence of the old Twin's stadium.    I understand that land is now under the Mall of the Americas (?). 

  9. 6 hours ago, Paul but not THE said:

    ...Ice is nice...  Freezin's the reason...  I heard a radio DJ in Missouri pose the question, "If the wind quit blowing in Minot would everybody tip over?"  --and SAC!  I was a Minuteman Missile guy (GLCM, too, for a bit over a year in England).

    MO.  Whiteman AFB then.   Oh yeah, GLCM.  I did public affairs in Europe.  For training, we studied how GLCM sites handled the UK protests.   GLCM enabled Reagan to say, “Tear down this wall!” 

  10. 1 minute ago, Paul but not THE said:

    I retired USAF out of Grand Forks, ND.


    Thank you for your service, too.    Viva Strategic Air Command!    Anyone who survived serving  under hard as nails General Curtis LeMay should get a retirement bonus.   


    I recall hearing often the lament, "Oh please, not Bangor, Maine!"   Or, of course, the tongue in cheek "Why not Minot?" 

  11. When I was stationed at Thule, Greenland, we'd get chagrined at how folks in Fargo, ND, Minot, ND and International Falls, MN often had it worse off than we did.     Then to rub it in, we'd get calls from Ice Station Alert (Canadian--more northerly) to laugh at us for our lack of Viking hardiness. 

    • Like 1
  12. 15 hours ago, jennifer1113 said:

    modern human beings, rather than seeing themselves as standing before God in judgement, prefer to place God on trial while acting as his judge.

    That is a good and true one, for sure.    I was thinking about "The heart of Christianity is a myth which is also a fact".   Both quotes tie together.   Part of humanity's arrogant judgement of God is to simply say, "It's all made up, a story--a myth."   Lewis courageously points out that God is indeed a myth, and still, a true one within history.

  13. This is a very effective song.   It impacts me just like S&G's Bridge over Troubled Water, James Taylor's You've Got a Friend and Josh Groban's You Raise Me Up.  


    We may be the first to fall:    that is gripping!   When I adapt the lyrics to my faith in Christ, I'm envisioning a battleground where the only safety (influenced by C.S. Lewis here) is in our commitment, honor, trust and the agape that we share. 


    Thank you for sharing, Sarah.

    • Like 1
  14. Okay now, I'm getting Read Lewis Fever again.   I read once that Clive Stapleton's God in the Dock  remains his most important work.  To each his own, but I will read it and let you all know how it goes.


    There's a gem of a sentence from the above link I'm hard pressed not to quote here.   It leaps off the page and is an apologetics delight.  Anyone want to take a stab as to what it is?



  15. In this book, Lewis had a keen observation that has stuck with me for decades.  He describes how that he could most easily dialogue with the more orthodox among the Christian denominations, not with the ones, who as it turned out, were playing with the edges of their respective denominations’ beliefs.   I’d term it “Less belief, less core”.

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