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ALIVE

ALIVE is a book presented as a blog series about human life from its inception. It studies the purpose of life, the philosophy of life, and the difference between physical life and spiritual life. The book does this by delving into the relationship between humankind and its invisible but highly active and involved Creator.

Based on Biblical narrative ALIVE enters major events and fleshes them out. In so doing ALIVE makes discoveries about the origins and evolution of human life.

ALIVE combines imagination and scriptual accuracy to develop the themes of what it means to be much more than physically ALIVE. Although imaginative, ALIVE never contradicts Scripture. Enjoy and learn.

The Bride's Year

This is a series of posts that make up a story describing the Year of The Church. The Church is The Bride of Christ who will be married to Him at The Wedding Feast of the Lamb as described in the Book of Revelations to John. The Wedding of Jesus Christ with the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church occurs after the destruction of this old earth and the inauguration of the new earth, also known as The Land of Immortality. 

It is a tale of a cynical little angel that God sent to earth to learn about the mystical year of synchronic time and about His Betrothed.

My writing offers readers a fresh way of looking at and learning about orthodox Christianity.

The style is intended to help the mind and heart overcome old prejudices and awaken them to the Truth of God’s plan for the human-gods that were created in His image and likeness.

 

About the Blog

This blog is for those who take the line in the Nicene Creed seriously that says, “I await the resurrection of the dead and the life of the ages to come.” That is the life immortal into which Jesus Christ will someday usher renewed humans. For centuries these people have been called Christians, and they are still called Christians, but since Christianity has become such a broad term and Christ said that the gate into immortal life is narrow and difficult to squeeze through, then perhaps those few serious people would be better identified as “Aspiring Immortals”.

 

This blog is a journal of just such an Aspiring Immortal. Through stories, poems, and journal entries I teach orthodox Christianity. I am not a religious rebel, instead I’d rather identify with GK Chesterton, CS Lewis, and my favorite Saints such as Francis of Assisi, Chrysostom, and Climacus whose vision and creativity have guided so many aspiring immortals through this earthly life.

 

A companion to this blog is my book entitled “The Immortal Life (TIL).” TIL teaches orthodox Christianity to those who want to know the reason for life and death, good and evil. TIL explains it all from the fall of mankind to the annihilation of this planet with a refreshing contemporary voice that is at times even funny.

 

We all work very hard to improve life on this planet for ourselves and for each other. And yet there is so much more life has to offer. Aspiring immortals are the salt of this earth and the substance of the next one.

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    Friday
    Mar212008

    Two Easters One Christ

    Today in normal time Western Christendom focuses on the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ in passion plays and church services of many styles because it is Good Friday, while for the East houses of worship are dark and parking lots empty. This Sunday the difference will be a little more dramatic. Joyous children of the West, whose mothers are dawning Easter bonnets and whose baskets brim with chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, and sugary peeps will celebrate the end of the long sacrificial Lent while in the East the most devout will be grateful for a little olive oil and a sip of wine.

    The rest of the world looks on shaking their heads and wondering what the scandal was that caused the marriage of the West and East to fail. Then they shrug their shoulders and go back to hot dogs and a ball game.

    And yet no one seems to think twice that while it’s daytime in Dayton, they are sleeping in Slovakia and yet there is only one sun. Geography shows us how it is possible to be far apart and yet similar. The truth is that there is only one Son of God: Jesus Christ, and one day: Friday upon which He was nailed to the Cross, and one day on which He showed the world that it didn’t really kill Him. For West and East alike, that is every Friday and every Sunday.

    For those who only commemorate Good Friday once a year and Easter once a year there is a big difference between Western and the Eastern Christendom. These precious folks may not be aware of Church-time. They think we aren’t celebrating together, but they are wrong because we are celebrating together. While the one sister is celebrating quietly the other sister is all showy adorned with baubles and bells. While the sun shines in Slovakia, sleeping Susie in Dayton dreams. They are living in the same moments of time, and so is Christendom.

    Calendars, our two ways of calculating when we want to be loud, have not separated us as much as some think. The most wonderful part of it all happens when we cross the street to cry louder with our sister on her Good Friday and rejoice raising that glass of wine on Sunday giggling about the holy supernatural phenomenon that happens when the Son rises in the West first. Both good sisters know that it is not ever really normal time in Christendom anyway.

    Wednesday
    Mar122008

    To Borrow Lent - Explained

    There was a time long long ago when Lent, the 40 day period before Easter, was a special season of dramatic change. On the Tuesday before Lent, in homes around the land, families all ate pancakes for supper. That was because they had to use up their eggs and milk for the upcoming fast from meat and dairy. After dinner, most people gathered in the square for some final worldly merriment (Mardi Gras) and then the villagers and the city dwellers went home sober in the sense of the approaching Lenten season. Like preparing for an international journey, the mental transition from normal life to Lenten life came in small steps towards the boat.

    Twenty-first century men, women and children love to leave their normal existences for another. Children go to Sesame Street and fairyland; adults drink wine and whiskey, watch movies and read good books. Some adults prefer the other places so much that they become addicted to whatever will take them there. The line between here and there becomes very blurry and they like it that way.

    Lent is a season wherein a person can place him or herself in a very different world too by fasting from certain foods and from other aspects of the normal life. Instead of adding to escape the world one does a lot of subtracting. Within the void that is created, contact can be made with the Holy Spirit of God. The time not spent eating and watching is spent listening to prayers, chants at church, listening for God to speak to the heart; reading the writings of very holy people in history and just resting in that peaceful void.

    That void is the wide and empty beach described in To Borrow Lent. It is a very special place that a person can easily create for him or herself. And it is a place where spiritual jewels are found. After a person has experienced Lent the way it used to be, the way the Church intended it to be, (s)he will want to go back there. That person is sorry that the Lenten experience cannot happen at other times of the year. No matter how hard one tries to replicate Lent though, it can’t be replicated. This is why, when the Lenten season arrives, it presents a unique opportunity to experience an extraordinary world without the aid of intoxicants, literature or film. Lent offers a most interactive and fruitful escape from our world. Plenty has been written on the subject, find and read.

    Eastern and Western Christians calculate the time of Easter differently. This year, 2008, Western Easter arrives on March 23rd and Eastern Easter arrives on April 27th. Even though Western Easter is fast approaching, the good news is that Lent has just begun for the East. For more information about how to observe Lent for maximum jewel finding, please email me at life@evangelinehopkins.com.

    Saturday
    Feb232008

    To Borrow Lent

    If I owned time I think I would keep it in a vault, like cigars with temperature controls and precise humidity levels so it would stay fresh, just like new.

    Oh, I know that no one can own all of time, like no one can own every building in the world. We have to share. I know that a small piece of time would have to be good enough for me.

    If I owned a piece of time that I could be with whenever I wanted, we would play together maybe sing, maybe build snowmen, maybe dance. I would never bruise it with yelling or fear. And I would be very careful; not to irritate it with the caustic fumes of burnt cake.

    Oh well, this fantasy is too silly. I own no time at all. I can’t even capture a second in my jar. All I can ever hope for is to be able to borrow some from the Time-Maker who owns it all because He concocted it all with His big whirling planets in the enormous sky of lights. Maybe, He would lend me some time.

    If I could borrow a piece of time, which is all I can ever hope for I would borrow Lent. I love the way I can step into Lent and everything becomes different like suddenly I’m on another planet where the air is cleaner and quieter and deeper.

    Lent feels wide because it is so empty. It feels like the seashore in the winter. When I stroll down the long Lenten shore, wrapped in fur I find treasures in the sand, diamonds, sapphires and rubies, little bits of starlight. When I pick them up and put them in my pocket I am suddenly lighter and brighter! It’s glorious!

    I wish I could borrow Lent at the Library and renew it before I had to give it back. I wish I could borrow Lent in bleak November or sultry July when my feet are stuck in mud. But I can’t. Nope. The Time-Maker says Lent is only available on the day Jesus enters the desert to pray for 40 days and it must end when He returns from death. Jesus won’t do that every day. Jesus’ journey forms the magical transforming landscape of Lent. He left those jewels on the Lenten beach for us to find. How they glisten and calm frigid air.

    Oh no, I can’t even borrow Lent. It won’t budge for me to lift it into September or December, or in my pocket. Lent won’t move so I must wait patiently for Lent to borrow me.

    Friday
    Jan252008

    Back to the Future

    All of my blogged inspirational suggestions like:

    § realize that the invisible God has shown us, through our own technology, that we can make the short leap from cyberspace to heaven to find Him

    § realize that we have missions, and that a good life is one that is used to please God

    § consider that you too may have a virgin birth, thus you can identify with Jesus Christ a little more to live as a real true child of God, and

    § realize that Christmas should be celebrated because Jesus showed us how to trust God better than Adam did

    …are all designed to transport you first mentally, then spiritually, and ultimately physically to the new world as described in the Bible’s last chapter.

    In this election year most thinking-people spend time contemplating what can be done to make American–life comfortable for more people. We want what’s good. We don’t want evil. We appreciate the freedom to choose. God endorses freedom. That’s why He allows us to come and go and do whatever we want as if He doesn’t even exist. He doesn’t want to coerce anyone. He favors religions that don’t coerce too. Freedom is a wonderful thing, even though it allows evil. We want to pick a president who can make a good world out of a free world.

    This world is heavily flawed because of all the evil in it. To help our president make a good world, we need to use our freedom to choose to defy evil, the evil that whispers in our ears, lurks in our hearts, and impels us to lie, hate and otherwise miss the mark of God-likeness. The world that we want our next president to make is a world that each of us needs to help form by being generous, compassionate, honest, hard working and forgiving. Anyone can govern a country full of good people. No one can govern a country full of radical, self centered people who intentionally deceive each other.

    God knows that the person who can make this world a better place, if only for their families and co-workers, clubs, teams, associations and congregations will be just the kind of person He will select for the real permanent world. He will make these people physically immortal.

    Some say that being good isn’t good enough. Jesus said that no one is really good but God. That’s why the one goal has to be Godliness. Being good is good enough if you are good like God. Only Jesus was that good, even though He refused to admit it. We can try.

    Working at becoming like God, or even like you think a God should be if you would allow yourself for a moment to invent One, is a win-win pursuit. Win here on old earth - win there on new earth.

    My message is to ask you to first take the time to learn about who God is, and what He wants from you, that’s mental, then let it sink into your heart to change you in wonderful ways, that’s spiritual, then become an immortal, that’s physical. It starts with learning so read the Bible, read the theologians and read my book, The Immortal Life. Learning is the first step towards the immortal world.

    Tuesday
    Jan082008

    Believe

    In the olden days, many people considered themselves prudent and scientific by believing only in what they could see or touch. If something could be purchased with money, it was valuable. Matter sat on its throne and commanded kings and constables to profer practicality, and most people felt secure. Then Thomas Edison said, "Let there be light." And the practical people flipped switches from New York to New Delhi and saw the light and read at night and refused to spend too much time wondering how it worked because in their hearts they knew that it came from matter. A wire brought light to them, and they were glad. Another burp of surprise, then contentment, followed when Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone rang. Among the crowd, however, were those who worshipped an invisible God whom they claimed created everything that was visible and invisible. To them the invisible mattered. Churches and mosques, synagogues and temples were constructed upon designs of clever architects where believers could contemplate God and His invisible realm and where they would be separated for a time from the practical people whose took comfort in matter. The lovers of the invisible sang, and the practical ones ignored them. And the great and powerful Creator of the visible and invisible, gazed upon Earth to watch waves of believers ebb and flow through the centuries. Scientists and engineers moved fast through time until they confounded matter. Increasingly, the air filled with invisible activity. Wires reluctantly stepped down off the throne, and space shared the place where matter once reigned alone. The buildings for believers grew hollow, because the voice once loud in the hearts of their grandfathers and grandmothers was harder to hear and impossible to hear over the buzz of the busy air. They stopped bothering to pray and to sing. Believers became practical, and the practical started to believe in the invisible as technology usurped the place where God once reigned in His world of air. And that was how He introduced Himself to the practical ones. The invisible God of the invisible showed the contented people of matter how little they once knew about the power of air. Without cell phone or VoIP, He broadcast His wireless message of love-with-no-bribery and light-without-sun, and life-without-end. And He waited for them to believe.