people of the scripture

dwynnie replied to your post “hey californians”

As someone who has lived in Cali my whole life in n out actually makes me ill every time I eat there

their burgers are edible and their shakes are pretty good but like i’ll be real here if there’s a habit burger and an in-n-out in the same area and people willingly choose the latter i don’t trust them

anonymous asked:

What do angels actually look like per the bible?

Well, according to Ezekiel 1 they might look something like this…

According to Daniel 10 something like this…

According to Isaiah 6…

In Ezekiel 10… 

Again in Ezekiel 10…

Basically, when the people writing Scripture tried to describe what they saw when they saw an angel… they run into the end of their imagination… they can never quite seem to fully explain it because they had trouble even comprehending what they saw, let alone being able to describe it to someone else. 

washingtonpost.com
United Methodist Church appoints a nonbinary deacon
"Here's the truth: I'm queer, and I'm called to this,” M Barclay says.
By https://www.facebook.com/julie.zauzmer

On Sunday, the United Methodist Church made history. For the first time ever, the church commissioned a nonbinary trans person as a member of the clergy.

M Barclay went to seminary in Texas, where they read feminist and queer theology alongside other texts. M tried to join the clergy in 2012, when they identified as a lesbian in a same-gender relationship, but wasn’t approved. Later, M joined a more inclusive Methodist network in Chicago, came out as trans, and started on the path toward being ordained.

Barclay said they have received many messages from people opposed to their leadership in the church because of their gender identity. But Barclay has also heard from LGBT Christians, from the parents of LGBT youth and from supportive churches that seek Barclay’s input about a theology that embraces Christian teaching and queer inclusion.

“How do I theologically and scripturally advocate for trans people? I’m invited a lot to preach on that question,” Barclay said.

Now, as a member of the clergy, Barclay will continue the ministry at Reconciling Ministries Network and will give more sermons and workshops at Methodist churches, with one noticeable change: Barclay will be wearing a collar. Most Methodist clergy don’t wear their collar every day, but Barclay wants to.

“I feel very called to do that,” they said. “A visibly trans person who is an extension of the church — queer and trans people need to see that. They need to see themselves reflected in the life of faith.”

The story is of course not as simple as this; the article linked above includes quotes from people who still oppose M’s participation in the clergy, as well as explanations of some of the other challenges LGBTQ Christians face. But M has achieved something big here, a well-deserved honor that they will undoubtedly use for good. Congratulations. 

Friendships serve its best when under God’s grace :) Be the friend who walks the talk of faith and leads loved ones to Christ Jesus.

The heartfelt counsel of a friend
is as sweet as perfume and incense. - Proverbs 27:9

Why We Need Stories about Dark Things

One of the things I get tired of from time to time is the perspective that if something shows evil behavior then that means the story, song, game, whatever, is inherently bad. But there is a difference between illustrating evil behavior and promoting it.

Not all appearances of bad behavior invite bad behavior.

While one purpose of storytelling is to entertain, another purpose is to teach or educate–a purpose that in today’s world, most people seem to have forgotten.

A long time ago, there used to be all sorts of horrific stories told. Open Grimms’ fairy tales, and you’ll see that Cinderella really isn’t that Disney-friendly. But often some of those older stories were meant to teach a lesson or scare children into behaving (that latter point is one I personally don’t condone). Horrific things happen in the Bible (and the Book of Mormon). We can often learn from these accounts, but some of them are simply a record of what happened (if you believe in that), whether you like the content or not. It is what it is. Conspiring incest, rape, slaughter, and even cannibalism can be found in scripture stories. In today’s world, most people have been conditioned to believe that stories are only meant to entertain. Or entertain and uplift.

Those two things are valid. But what I get tired of, though, is the perspective that all stories should be full of puppies and rainbows (yeah, that’s an exaggeration, but you know what I mean), and that’s what we should be writing, and if a story is dark, it’s “bad” or lesser or … something.

The World Needs Stories about Dark Things

It’s important we write about what I call “the big and heavies”–rape, addiction, suicide, massacre, societal brainwashing, etc. And when I say “we,” I don’t mean specifically that you or I HAVE to; I mean “we” as in us, writers and creatives everywhere. The world needs creatives who delve into the big and heavies, and here’s why:

1. Stories provide a safe means to explore and discuss dark things

The big and heavies are vital to discuss for a healthy society. We shouldn’t be turning a blind eye to dark deeds. We should be turning the right eye to them. Literature offers a safe way to explore and discuss these issues. It offers some distance (because it’s usually a work of fiction) while simultaneously having the ability to offer closeness–empathy.

Also, fiction provides a type of lens to view these behaviors through. Speculative fiction might have a more exaggerated or symbolic lens, such as the fashion industry of Panem in The Hunger Games, or the discussion of pure bloods in Harry Potter. A lens lets us view the issues in a way that may emphasize certain points or give us a new perspective on them, and again, the distance can provide a bit of a “safe” buffer for readers. We aren’t talking about racism; we’re talking about magical blood–and we can have a whole discussion on it that correlates with issues seen in racism, and no one needs to feel uncomfortable because this is about wizarding blood. Even realistic fiction provides a perspective, though less exaggerated, to see these issues through.

2. Powerful, emotional ramification drives home a point or idea or lesson.

Unlike reading text books or the news, fiction writing often works off making the audience feel something. It appeals to emotional experience, even more than intellectual experience. It is one of the only mediums where we can put on the skin and thoughts of another person.

In parts of society, we try hard to divorce intellect and emotion, but powerful emotional experiences are often what cement ideas and lessons into our minds. Back in the day, fathers used to take their children out to their property line and beat them so that the child would never forget where the property line was. We’ve seen similar conditioning with training wild animals. Both are crude examples, of course, but the emotional experience drove home the lesson. While negative emotions are powerful, this same thing can happen with strong positive emotions. We remember powerful feelings of happiness and of love, and if there are any lessons or insights associated with those, we recall those too.

In fiction, emotional experiences can drive home powerful lessons. And they stick with the audience.

Strong emotional experiences in fiction amplify the conceptual ramifications of dark deeds, and cements into the reader the weight of such behavior, in a way that pure intellect cannot. Once we “experience” an issue, we care more about it. Fiction is a vehicle that allows us to develop and fine-tune our empathetic skills, so we can better understand and relate to those who’ve dealt with such issues.

3. Explore, cognitively, the causes, consequences, and facets of the big and heavies

In the real world, we live our own lives in our own perspectives, and that’s it. In literature, you can include several perspectives of those involved with an issue. You can often see the issue’s causes, consequences, and facets to a degree you may not in your own life. You can see far-reaching effects in a matter of hundreds of pages, rather than decades or hundreds of years. This opens up new ideas, new perspectives on the topic, which leads to more discussion.

4. To provide hope and uplift, in spite of darkness. To overcome.

I sometimes see this weird idea that an uplifting story needs to not cross some invisible line too far into the dark. In some ways, that couldn’t be further from the truth. As a Harry Potter fan, I’ve had friends come up to me and talk about how they’re disappointed that the stories got darker and darker. Maybe I’m weird (okay, there’s no “maybe” about it), but I like that. I like stories getting dark. I like when they get darker and darker. I like my evil, evil. I want the Voldemort who tries to possess Harry to get Dumbledore to kill him. I want the Voldemort who tortured animals as a small child and who murdered others to split his soul into seven pieces. The world is often an evil place. And how much more powerful is it to overcome the bowels of the most wicked, than it is to overcome a guy who shoplifted? I like my evil, evil. Not because I want to be part of the dark, but because I like seeing people overcome it.

A story that includes dark materials can be just as uplifting, if not more uplifting (because of the contrast) than a story that doesn’t. The idea that a story can’t be dark and inspiring is just unfounded.

Every Christmas season, I become a fan of The Trans-Siberian Orchestra all over again. If you’ve never heard of them, you may still recognize some of their most iconic Christmas songs, some of which have gone viral on synchronized Christmas light videos.

What many people might not realize is that each of their Christmas albums actual tells, and comes with, a written story. If you see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra live, they will read the story to you bits at a time, interspersed with music. But not all their stories are about happy sleigh rides, warm fires, Christmas hams, and decorated trees. There are parents who abandoned their disabled children, babies born addicted to crack, love that has been lost. But the stories and albums are uplifting, not because the creators avoided dark subject matter, but because they illustrated the power of overcoming–overcoming difficult times and personal mistakes. It’s hard to make it through one of their performances with a dry eye through the whole thing.

5. To render reality–others’ reality or your own

But some stories aren’t necessarily meant to be about overcoming the dark or inspiring an audience. Some stories are just about reality. Human nature. The natural man. Experiences that people actually go through. Some stories are simply meant to render, often for reasons 1-3. It’s a statement. It’s meant to create social awareness, empathy. Maybe it’s meant to start a discussion. Those stories need to exist too.

Closing Thoughts

Keep in mind that many audiences only see stories strictly as mediums for entertainment and, on a subconscious level, a reinforcement of a positive, maybe even sugary, feelings and ideas. Those audiences may (on a subconscious level) refuse anything that is otherwise, and consider any mention of the dark and heavies as something that shouldn’t be there. That is their right.

And in some cases, they are correct. Some stories do not need and should not have dark content. It doesn’t serve the purpose of the story, it messes up the tone of the story, and it can ruin what was already working. You wouldn’t, for example, put in a serious plot line in The Office about Pam being legitimately raped. It doesn’t fit.

And with all that said, you shouldn’t feel forced to write content you feel very uncomfortable writing. Your work should reflect the writerly you.

Next week, I’ll talk about how to write about dark things without promoting them.

Even More Things To Add To Your Bullet Journal

Hello, my journalers! I am making another long list of bullet journal ideas. If you’d like to see my first list, click [here]. I had 30 ideas on that list, so be sure to check that one out! 

1. Books To Read

There are so many cute ways to create this section. 

2. All About Me Pages

These are some of my favorite pages to make. They can be simple and to the point, or colorful and complex. You do you and show off that you! Here’s a [link] to the post I made about my pages. 

3. Future Log

Having a yearly spread of what you are planning, need to plan, or just simply feel organized will help you feel less stressed about the coming year. I’ve seen a few ways how to set up a future log, but I chose the one that works best for my life. Mine has gotten a bit messy and only has the rest of 2016.

4. Movies to Watch

There are so many good movies coming out soon, and so many movies I just haven’t gotten around to see. If you’re like me and love coloring in blocks to show progress, then I suggest to set up the page sort of like mine. (But you can also do it any number of ways as well.) Here’s a [link] to my post about creating a movie/tv tracker)

5. Skills to Learn

I imagine a simple checklist can work. If you like to be more detailed oriented, you can make it more like a progress log. 

6. Important Phone Numbers/Addresses

Much like an address book, you can make pages in your bullet journal for the same function. Most people put numbers and addresses into their phones, but sometimes it’s just nice to have them written down someplace else. 

7. Year In Pixels 

If you’d like to see an explanation of this page idea, click this [link]. 

8. Fonts, Banners, and Frame Ideas

I think it’s convenient to have a few pages that act as a cheat sheet for your designing needs. 

9. Snail Mail Log

This is something that I am totally going to do soon, and possibly even include you all in on it. I want to start a mailing list for sending letters to more people. I love getting mail from family and friends, but it doesn’t happen often enough! 

10. Savings Tracker

This is such a lovely idea to keep in your journal. Be sure to stay on top of your finances! I like to keep an extra page for things I need to pay off or people to pay back.

11. Favorite Lists

This could also go in your “All About Me” section, but I decided it should be separate for me. You can list things like your favorite restaurants, meals, songs, classes, sounds, tastes, places, shoes, animals, colors, instruments, plays, games, etc. Get to know yourself better. 

12. TV Series Tracker

This is for those people who want to feel like they just want physical proof of how many times they’ve watched that series on Netflix. Here’s a [link] to my post about making your own. 

13. Monthly Challenges

These are so much fun to make for you all. If you want to add a challenge to your journal, click [here] for my master list of challenges. 

14. Music Playlists

You can make playlists on your phone with various apps, but there’s something sweet about writing out your favorite songs. You can create a workout, relaxing, studying, writing, etc. playlists.

15. Timeline of Your Life

Use two pages for this one because it will be filled by the time you are done. You can even use this for what you want to do in the future. 

16. Inspiration Page

Quotes, songs, people, pictures, charts, graphs, jokes, scripture, events, love, etc. WRITE THEM DOWN, BE INSPIRED, AND GO DO. 

17. Self Care List/Ideas

Sometimes we don’t know how to make ourselves feel better. Write a list of things you could try to do to help yourself become a healthier you. Examples: take a warm bath, go for a walk, drink a glass of water, watch a sad movie, etc. 

18. Monthly/Yearly Memories

It’s nice to have a page with all the memories you had that month/year. I tend to put a little doodle with each event/milestone in my life just to make it more memorable. (This was from my first journal. Please don’t judge.)

19. Sleep Tracker

I personally don’t use a sleep tracker because my sleeping habits are the worst and logging them might be upsetting to me. However, you can track the time you go to bed and what time you get up in the morning on a chart that is easy to read and compare with other nights. 

20. Me Time Log

Sometimes we all need a little time to ourselves. You can use this with the “Self Care List/Ideas” pages to log specific activities you do with yourself. You can keep track of the activity, when you do to, and how long your me time was. 

21. Tiny Adventures

Not exactly real adventures, but adventurous enough to get you out of your comfort zone. To see the original post about these adventures, click [here].

22. Word Tracker

For those authors and poets, keeping a goal sheet or tracker of your words helps a ton! 

anonymous asked:

Do you have any thoughts about David and Jonathan?

The David cycle (can it be called a cycle? Or is it more a saga? Or just a multi-generational family tragedy?) is deeply underrated from a literary point of view. It’s one of the longest stories we have of a single life in the Old Testament aside from maybe Joseph? It’s got it all; mad kings, prophecies fulfilled, self-sacrificing princes, supernatural feats, and a shining peasant king at the center with enough charisma to burn up anyone who gets too close to him and a relationship to God so intimate that he is referred to as God’s son. And the Davidic fall from grace is just….brutal, and he’s so aware of what’s happening through a lot of it. Like his devotion to God just grows more ferocious even as the bodies pile up around him, and David’s laments for his children and Jonathon are heart-wrenching. They still wreck me. 

Jonathon is honestly one of the most honorable, good, and wonderful men of the entire Old Testament. His filial loyalty to his useless father and his adoring fealty of David never waver; even when Jonathon’s birthright is stripped from him, even when those warring loves quite literally kill him. Like, everyone I know at seminary is still upset about the death of Jonathon. Reviews on David as a human are mixed, but everyone still mourns the firstborn son of Saul. 

So yeah, I get glassy eyed about the love between David and Jonathon and its potentially romantic nature like everyone else on Tumblr, but there’s….a lot more there. And that relationship only haunts readers so much because of how well the author captured these two reckless, hard-loving, blood-stained boys with the world on their shoulders.

Writing 101: The Ultimate World Building Answer Sheet

I know a lot of you are budding writers, and I know a lot of people put world-building up there as one of the toughest things to do.

Below the cut is an EXHAUSTIVE list of questions that, as a writer, you should be able to answer. By the end of the book, unless information is privileged for plot reasons, your readers should be able to answer a lot of this too (some stuff is more plot-specific). A big part of world-building is just making sure you are aware before you begin writing it, and you can drop hints in here and there as throwaways and descriptions.

This is not character building, so much as world-building and information you can use to build auxiliary characters that aren’t necessarily mains in your story. This list is based on sci-fi/fantasy for the most part, in non-earth worlds.

I’ve tried to arrange the list into some kind of order, but if you just sit down and write out an answer to each question, i promise you’ll find it helps you later on. You don’t need to specifically answer each question within your story, but just sitting down and writing it all out, even if you already KNOW your setting, might really help solidify your vision down the line.

Apologies to those on mobile who are subjected to the full list :)

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

I hate it when people are like "the angry God of the Old Testament" because that's such a reduction??? There are portraits of God's love and mercy in the OT too???

Yeeeeeeeeeeeah, that’s a pet peeve. You’re right, it’s entirely reductionist, betrays an unfamiliarity with the whole character of God in the Old (or First) Testament, and might have a sprinkling of supercessionism on top for good measure. 

God is…a lot. There are countless facets to the Divine Personality, and things are complicated further when we remember that the Bible is the story of God as perceived and recorded by human beings with their own biases, loves, and traumas. So things get sticky. But that in no way means that we can throw out entire books because we don’t like what they have to say; they have to be kept in conversation with the rest of the canon, as well as tradition and reason and our own spiritual experiences. 

So yeah, OT God is no more angry than NT God. “The Lord is my shepherd?” The Psalms. The God who wills the best for all people, and declares “blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance?“ Isiah. The God who declares Themself  “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin?” Exodus. The God who declares the the poor need not offer more than they can afford and forbids legal and cultural favoritism shown to the wealthy? The God who commands that animals be slaughtered mercifully and that children not be burnt as offerings or exposed to the elements by their families? Leviticus and Leviticus. 

Reconciling all the different views of God in the Bible is a demanding task, but happily I can assure you that also means it’s not as easy as slicing God down the middle of the canon as “angry” and “merciful”. 

-S

To cry out in the name of the LORD Jesus, Savior of all, is the hope of everyone. Praying those affected by the London fire receive grace.

Do you watch the news?

It’s said that the fire started around 1am in West London and the building continues to burn as I type. Screams were heard and the news hasn’t released numbers of those rescued or trapped. While we hope that everyone gets safe and well from this, let’s match our concern with prayer.

Prayers of salvation, healing, and recovery for those affected by the London Tower fire - building staff, families, friends, their loved ones and the neighborhood.

In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God for help; He heard my voice out of His temple, and my cry for help before Him came into His ears. (Psalm 18:6 NASB)

tompeps replied to your post

So basically Moses is not a prophet of God, and only acted in his own idea of morality. If this is true you have to throw out the Ten Commandments along with everything you disagree with.

Yeaaaaaaah no. Not that simple and I’m impressed that you are so simple-minded as to think any of what I said meant the whole document could be thrown out. I only said Numbers was proof that Moses was human and not that great of a leader, especially in his old age. I mean, he beat a rock because he was frustrated by the tribes and forced Gd’s hand on the matter. 

There’s a common observation among Jewish readers of the scriptures that the Torah is a record of instructions to the people of Israel, and the REST of the Jewish scriptures serve as a record of the people of Israel not doing that great a job of living up to their end of an agreed-upon contract. That you and others are unable to figure that shit out and act as if suddenly the whole lot can be thrown out is proof enough that your radicalized and Christianized views are, in fact, a threat to western civilization and to the concept of critical thought.

mattie-spiritwalker  asked:

What is the best way to differentiate whether a person uses Fe or Ne? I notice both functions in either dom/aux position radiate joy and energy oftentimes and like to share their ideas and opinions verbally and often. It sounds silly, knowing that there is a lot of difference between a judging function and a perceiving function, but behavior wise I sometimes struggle to pinpoint the difference.

Have you ever read, or seen a movie based on, Oscar Wilde?

Many of his plays are satires, open mockery of the absurdities of social norms; he mocked, maligned, twisted, and pointed out the shallowness of it, in comedic form. He mocks three-volume novels, shallow females, and many other things in The Importance of Being Earnest, and social climbing, deceit, and caring about one’s position in life in An Ideal Husband (among many, many other things).

In the 1500s, there was a scholar named Erasmus who thought it a great idea to write an “offensive” (for the times) satire in which a recently deceased pope threatened to force his way into heaven with his gang of banished sinners (he sold them worthless indulgences) after Saint Peter told him to get lost; in order to understand the magnitude of this statement, you must understand that in the 1500′s, common belief saw the Pope as “infallible,” and next to God, therefore to suggest that not only are his indulgences (get out of hell cards, which people paid for with actual money) rubbish, but he’s not going to heaven either, was a radical and offensive statement.

About a decade ago, Rob Bell came on the Christian Evangelical scene and caused a tremendous stir by announcing there is no hell, scripture does not support the concept of hell, and many common beliefs about scripture are fundamentally wrong and based on myth rather than serious study of the period, the people scripture was written for, about, and to, etc. He also caused a sensation by suggesting God isn’t who most people think He is – with the result that many have branded Bell as a heretic, but that hasn’t stopped him.

What do all of these people have in common?

They were/are Ne’s.

Ne is not a function that “radiates joy and energy” and wants everyone to share their ideas; its purpose is to take things as far as they can go, and then leap into the unknown, to challenge people way outside their comfort zones. Ne reads between the lines and essentially mocks that which fail to live up to its standard; it sees beyond the obvious to the intangible, to the absurdities of life, beliefs, practices, and so on. And because inevitably, Ne is either paired with Fi or Ti, it doesn’t much care at its level of potential offensiveness; it believes society should be moving forward at a steady pace and abandoning outdated ideals; Bell was naively “caught off guard” by how viciously traditional Christianity struck out against his radical ideas (he was also, as many Ne’s are, ahead of his time; the same movement has, in the last decade, grown astounding speed and started to turn up in multiple voices, supported by many different people doing similiar research; but like an intuitive, he “saw it” first).

Yes, Ne-doms can be funny – even hilarious. They often are, because they take almost nothing with total seriousness, and can see the absurdities in everything life has to offer; but with the ENFPs in particular (such as Erasmus) there is an underlining strong moral judgment, which often manifests in art or literature aimed at shaking your sensibilities and challenging you to rethink things; they want to frame reality in a different way, to provoke thought. Under the comedian is the dark, introspective but hopeful cynic, who believes nothing is too sacred to point out its flaws. Ne’s are comfortable with that; they encourage it, the more the rest of the world “resists” an idea, the more they are curious to explore it, because it’s just an idea… what harm can it do to think? It’s just an abstract discussion.

Thought drives the Ne-dom, not action, not social motivating in a Fe way (”we have a moral responsibility to drive society forward, join our movement!”) but in a disquieting, somewhat uncomfortable Ne way: “Let me show you through this idea how outdated, absurd, or wrong this belief system is.”

(This example is primarily Ne / Fi, but it should give you a general gist of how Ne decides to act on its beliefs – through an intangible object rather than sensory action.)

The Ne takes Jesus’ teachings about love, forgiveness, and compassion, and pairs it with scenes from movies depicting Christians persecuting each other, burning witches, fighting Muslims over Jerusalem, boycotting Harry Potter novels, or banning Moors… to point out, without words, how far removed Christianity is from Christ’s message.

IMPACT. Disturbing. Offensive. Things people don’t want to think about, but in your face. Ne is saying: deal with this. Look at it. End it.

Someone says, “Life owes me more than this,” and the Ne replies, “Life only owes you death, and it will pay up.”

Ne is not this cuddly thing, or a rainbow-pooping unicorn; Ne is introspective and disturbing and unnerving to those without it, because it threatens everything the world says is fine and is most comfortable when shoving people 100 yards outside their comfort zone.

Fe’s usually let people float in their comfort zone, because offending people gets you nowhere. Fe is about expressing emotion, accomplishing things through social harmony or recruiting others, collective motivation and support, creating emotional dynamics, and, in a healthy Fe, doing it in non-offensive ways that bring general wholeness and improvement to all involved.

If you just want an example of Fe vs. Ne… go to YouTube and watch an interview with Hugh Jackman (ESFJ) and then one with Jeff Goldblum (ENTP) and note the differences. ;)

- ENFP Mod

lance would absolutely tattoo blue lion at the earliest convenience

in fact if team voltron rescued a bunch of alien prisoners from a galra ship and one of those prisoners said they used to mark people with elaborate permanent scriptures and artwork, shiro would have to hold lance back with his galra arm so lance won’t take up their offer of letting them mark him for free