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Tidbits and Mindbytes

Small bits of words crammed together to form thoughts, with a taste of opinion.

Month

March 2013

Happy Palm Sunday!

Today, as we approach Easter week with Palm Sunday, we should remember we have been given the seeds of life. Through the Redemptive work of Christ, seeds for the Kingdom of God have been sown and are growing. And seeds are still being sown through out the World…our hearts and lives are the soil in which Christ has planted the seeds. Although it may take time for the fruit to come forth, with perseverance and trust in Christ it will slowly happen. Our lives are the Lamp stands, and our lives are the Growing Seeds. 🙂 The more we spend with Christ, and the more we obey him through trust, the more people will see him. Just remember that the cares of the world are less than the power of Christ in us and through us, that God is ultimately bigger than all our problems (big or small, short or long term) on Earth. We cannot lose sight that there is a kingdom approaching and all will see the Glory of God revealed…that righteous day is still on the horizon, the day when Christ returns for his Bride, the Church.
Reading for Today:
Mark 4 NIV
The Parable of the Sower

1 Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. 2 He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: 3 “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”

9 Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

10 When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 11 He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12 so that,

“‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving,
and ever hearing but never understanding;
otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’[a]”

13 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? 14 The farmer sows the word. 15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”
A Lamp on a Stand

21 He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? 22 For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”

24 “Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more. 25 Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.”
The Parable of the Growing Seed

26 He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. 29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”
The Parable of the Mustard Seed

30 Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. 32 Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.”

33 With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. 34 He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.
Jesus Calms the Storm

35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

Image

But between the…

But between them and the foot of the sky there was something so white on the green grass that even with their eagles’ eyes they could hardly look at it. They came on and saw that it was a Lamb.
“Come and have breakfast,” said the Lamb in its sweet milky voice.
Then they noticed for the first time that there was a fire lit on the grass and fish roasting on it. They sat down and ate the fish, hungry now for the first time for many days. And it was the most delicious food they had ever tasted.
“Please, Lamb,” said Lucy, “is this the way to Aslan’s country?”
“Not for you,” said the Lamb. “For you the door into Aslan’s country is from your own world.”
“What!” said Edmund. “Is there a way into Aslan’s country from our world too?”
“There is a way into my country from all the worlds,” said the Lamb; but as he spoke his snowy white flushed into tawny gold and his size changed and he was Aslan himself, towering above them and scattering light from his mane.
“Oh, Aslan,” said Lucy. “Will you tell us how to get into your country from our world?”
“I shall be telling you all the time,” said Aslan. “But I will not tell you how long or short the way will be; only that it lies across a river. But do not fear that, for I am the great Bridge Builder…”
[…] “Please, Aslan,” said Lucy. “Before we go, will you tell us when we can come back to Narnia again? Please. And oh, do, do, do make it soon.”
“Dearest,” said Aslan very gently, “you and your brother will never come back to Narnia.”
“Oh, Aslan!!” said Edmund and Lucy both together in despairing voices.
“You are too old, children,” said Aslan, “and you must begin to come close to your own world now.”
“It isn’t Narnia, you know,” sobbed Lucy. “It’s you. We shan’t meet you there. And how can we live, never meeting you?”
“But you shall meet me, dear one,” said Aslan.
“Are are you there too, Sir?” said Edmund.
“I am,” said Aslan. “But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.”

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – Chapter 16

 

There is only One Lion and Lamb that has ever existed…:)  I love CS Lewis’ Imagery for this scene entirely. Such a beautiful way to express Jesus’ nature!

Personal Rant on Native America in Media/Literature

Honestly, I am disappointed by the portrayal of Native Americans in literature and media that is continually enforcing the stereotypes that flood the American Culture about Native Americans. Frankly, most authors (even some of those who are Native American) who write their stories for young children, young adults, and create movies off the books have fashioned their images of native American lifestyle to “The Classic Indian” that was stereotyped decades ago.

Why does it bother me so much? Because I want to change those stereotypes, those misnomers. I want students to have an enriched view of Native American life, not some romanticized, fairytale of what they were like. I don’t want the Native American’s to be thought of as invisible any more. They have not ‘disappeared’, they are not ‘gone’, America has just robbed them of their memories, their lands, and their place in society. America ignores the Native American because first of all, all other races and nationalities are FOREIGNERS to America. They were not here first, they were all here last. They wish to forget they’ve stolen lands, lied, cheated, and bribed their way into history as ‘dominant’ while sweeping under the rug the Native Americans.
I believe the biggest tragedy is the inability to overcome this ‘Romanticized’ view of Native Americans. That they were either swept away from this place, or that they’re all like Dances With Wolves…Or classic cowboys and Indians. Frankly, these ideas offend me.  Native Americans are tribes, tribes that have different cultures and different beliefs all under a giant bow tie called “Native American”. There is no “one” Native American, there are many.  And it’s sad to see that so many generations have been impacted by no knowledge of these differences. They’ve all been glumped into the Hollywood version of Native America, and have been tricked into believing lies and deceit.
Now, Native American history is not pretty either! It’s not some clean story that we can all deal with. The truth is, there is violence. There were things that were a part of Native American life that ‘moral Western’ culture does not and cannot hold to. The infantcide of children with diseases and deformed limbs (oh wait…American’s still do this practice under the cover of ‘abortion’). Elderly were ousted out of their communities to die alone (oh wait…what are nursing homes?). And many other travesties. I honestly know, because I am mostly ‘white’ (Oh hey yeah I’m actually also Cherokee and Comanche, you try being born in the Northeast Corner of Oklahoma) that there is a difference of cultures between the West and Native America, but these differences can be learned and appreciated if you are willing to step outside of yourself. Maybe if America would come to terms with her own past, and her own neglects and wrong views…Maybe than Native America would be redeemed. But after centuries of broken promises, and ill fated disasters of ‘treaties’ and politics, no wonder most of the remaining Native Populations don’t have a desire to be part of the American world…the popular world. In fact, many of them are more willing to fade away because of the pressures to fit the American mold…

Can America—Native and Non-native—Bridge the gap? Can they work together? I hope for that future, but in all reality, it will be hard work of forgiveness, repentance, and restoration.  I think the first place we can start though, is by removing these Romanticized Lenses of Native American populations, and the stereotypical lenses that all native peoples are one ‘people’. Recognize their differences, recognize their cultures, and you might have a chance at making some head way…Irish, Chinese, Indian (From India), Korean, Hispanic, Jewish, German, French, British, people out there…all you Non-Native American…need to wake up and see what is going on for real.

Sorry, but that’s my thought. My voice on this matter. I have been bugged by it for a long time…

Pre-Good Friday Rememberances

John 19 (NIV)
Jesus’ Crucifixion
1 Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. 2 The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe 3 and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face.

4 Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews gathered there, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.” 5 When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!”

6 As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!”

But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.”

7 The Jewish leaders insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.”

8 When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid, 9 and he went back inside the palace. “Where do you come from?” he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”

11 Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”

12 From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jewish leaders kept shouting, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.”

13 When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge’s seat at a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha). 14 It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon.

“Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews.

15 But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!”

“Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked.

“We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered.

16 Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.
The Crucifixion of Jesus

So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. 17 Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.

19 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: jesus of nazareth, the king of the jews. 20 Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. 21 The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.”

22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”

23 When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.

24 “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.”

This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said,

“They divided my clothes among them
and cast lots for my garment.”[a]

So this is what the soldiers did.

25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman,[b] here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
The Death of Jesus

28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. 32 The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. 35 The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. 36 These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,”[c] 37 and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.”[d]
The Burial of Jesus

38 Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. 39 He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds.[e] 40 Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. 41 At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. 42 Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

Keep Calm

Psalm 99 (ESV)
The Lord Our God Is Holy

1The Lord reigns; let the peoples tremble!
He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!
2 The Lord is great in Zion;
he is exalted over all the peoples.
3 Let them praise your great and awesome name!
Holy is he!
4 The King in his might loves justice.[a]
You have established equity;
you have executed justice
and righteousness in Jacob.
5 Exalt the Lord our God;
worship at his footstool!
Holy is he!

6 Moses and Aaron were among his priests,
Samuel also was among those who called upon his name.
They called to the Lord, and he answered them.
7 In the pillar of the cloud he spoke to them;
they kept his testimonies
and the statute that he gave them.

8 O Lord our God, you answered them;
you were a forgiving God to them,
but an avenger of their wrongdoings.
9 Exalt the Lord our God,
and worship at his holy mountain;
for the Lord our God is holy!

The Lost Legacy: A Tale of an Elven Princess

Prologue:
Evening in the West
Dawn in the East
Lost is the Princess of the Elves
No more does the Morning Star Shine
Nor the Yellow Moon shed tears of Dew
A loss so great to those so fair.

Chapter One

In the Courts of Mirkwood, Thanduril paced the hall of welcome. His guest was very late, and it was growing darker by the hour. Halls echoing his heavy steps, soon filled with the sound of another approaching at a quick pace. Moments later, a messenger entered the room.
“My lord,” the light haired elf bowed deeply, “a message from Liatha.”  Thaduril stopped at the elf,
” Well..where is it?” his patience was waning greatly.

“Here sire,” the elf handed him a small letter of green.
“Thank you Hanadra.” The king took the note, walking from the messenger. As he sat down, he opened it, taking note of the fine hand.
Strange for a guide to have such fine hand…” he said to himself. As Thanduril began to read, entered another fair headed elf.

“Where is the guide?” the elf looked around, hoping to discover the arrival of her. Thanduril did not respond, reading the letter, which stated:
“Lord Thanduril,
I have received important information regarding the lady you son seeks. I shall not arrive in Mirkwood for another three weeks at most. I must see if this information proves correct, for I will not scamper about the lands in search of her.
Informative and hopeful,
Liatha. “

Thanduril looked up after finishing it, “Legolas she is not coming.” The elf stood agahst. “What do you mean not coming?”

Thanduril sighed, as his son walked to him. “She is confirming some information that she discovered. The search is delayed by three weeks at the most. At the most.”  Legolas frowned deeply, for it was difficult for him to agree with the guide’s reason.

“But why not pursue it when we’re searching, that makes more sense Father.”  The king laughed, his son’s impatience was indeed growing more every day. “My dear son, it is not the will of one to decide what will happen. I have a feeling that this guide is more than she tells. But, as for her reasons for delaying it, she wishes to make sure she is following the correct path.” The Prince nodded, still not agreeing with her decision.

 “ In three more weeks, my love may be gone!”  

Thanduril shook his head, “I do not think so Legolas. Trust me, there is more than meets the eye to your lady.”

As darkness fell on Middle Earth, a cloaked figure rode into a small village after days of riding. From beneath the hood, grey blue eyes watched all the people, observing and noting. Her face not visible, but it was apparent by the way she carried herself she was elven. Many of the men were unafraid or unmoved for most of them were either Rangers or people who had relations with her kind. Those who were not, however, were very much intrigued at the reasons for one of the “fair folk” to grace their village. The lady just chuckled, knowing they were staring, but also knowing their thoughts. She rode rather slowly, taking in all about, hoping to find the one house she needed to be. Within a few moments a small house, surrounded by a garden appeared in her view. She smiled, recognizing it from details given to her by her informant. “It shall look like that of Rivendell but with a hint of Lorien. Surrounded by all that it beautiful or good in nature, the words from the message replay in her mind. The lady pulled her horse to a halt, dismounting gracefully and quick. The people who had been watching all seemed to stop, many thoughts flowing through their minds. Most having the question “Why them?”. She glanced about before walking up to the house, the strange gathering bothering little. As she turned to approach the home, several of the Rangers smiled and whispered among themselves. Otherwise, everyone returned to their business.
As she walked forward, she noted that there was a strange combination of flowers. Pink carnations and Athelas, indeed all that was good. The lady paused, looking at the spot of flowers, taking in the fragrances, standing still for a little bit. Then, as if stirred from a dream she walked up to the small home, tapping on its door. Inside, the shuffle of feet could be heard, and after a couple minutes an elven maiden opened the door and stuck her head out.

“Who calls this late hour?” her voice spoke uneasily.
“A call from a friend of the Mirkwood Court.”  The maiden frowned, and stepped out of the home, closing the door softly behind her.

“Who dares come under the name of Thanduril?”  her voice angered a bit, but a touch of fear also entered it.

“A friend, and guide.” The lady responded, sensing something was being hidden,
“I’ve come to inquire after something I’ve been alluded to.” The maiden fidgeted as if thinking troubled thoughts.
“Who exactly have you come for?” she said after a few minutes, as if knowing there was a real meaning behind it all. “For the Prince’s sanity…and for the King’s peace.” The lady responded.  At the mention of Prince, the maiden’s face paled greatly.
“Which son?”  her question came, revealing who she was.

“Legolas, the one you were betrothed to, Nirana.” The maiden stood in much of embarrassed, but not in love stance.

“So long he comes now. He mustn’t have really cared. People change as do the emotions of one.”  Her response caught the guide off guard by a shot. She had not expected this kind of response, but she did at the same time.

“Indeed. Is this the message you are going to give him?”  Nirana gave a confused look,
 “I am to give him?  I thought you were the one to give him the news.”

“I am no messenger, I am the guide who will lead him to you so you can explain your feelings to him on your own.”  The lady smiled beneath the cloak, not allowing for Nirana to get away. Duty and responsibility called on her, and she must explain her feelings to Legolas.
“Just the guide to the solution. What if I am gone from this place?” Nirana said, cold and threatened her tone.

“If you are gone, then you will be retracked. I have my friends Nirana, ” the lady said calmly.
“Who are you really?” Nirana was evidently aware this was no mere elf or guide, “You are definately more then you say…so who are you?”
The lady smiled beneath the hood of the cloak,
” I am of secret and fire, of the East and West, moon and sun. I am that of Half and I am one of two. I go by three names, none shall you find out this night. But if you stay and tell your tale to Legolas, you may find out before we leave who I am. Bringing him to this place will take time, but you will need to think of a way to explain it without cause for distress, for he will be greatly.”

 Nirana frowned, the riddle very obtuse. Many were of the Half elven, but many also were two.

She nodded,”So I shall stay, but only because your riddles are broad like the Ford. But no other reason.” m Nirana turned around and opened the door, walking back inside, then turns around again  “Do you wish to stay this night here?” But the lady shook her head.

“I should not want to intrude into your home, but I do have a place to stay as well. And do not bother to search for me in the morn, for I will be long gone,”  She turned and walked back down the path, leaving Nirana in silence.

Within the mists of early dawn, the lady rode out of the village, but not unnoticed. Another was following her, and left as she did. For now, she ignored the person, for she needed speed. The troubles of being followed could be handled by many, but if need be she could stop and talk to him. As she rode, the land gave away from forest to field. She was heading northward, to her lands. Rivendell was home for her, but also Lothlorien to the east, but this day, home was among the Misty Mountains.
As she rode, the sun began to break the mist, allowing for clear passage. The shadows of the trees shifted every hour, as time waned on. The stranger following her noticed the pace had slowed. He chuckled, knowing that if he was to keep up, this pace must remain the same. Travelling on foot is slower than travelling by horse. As he watched the lady elf, he smiled. She seemed concerned about the people she had just visited. His dark gaze was very observant. He felt that if his gaze was to move, she’d be forever gone. But without warning the lady had stopped, and he lost in his thoughts almost walked out into sight. What kept him, was the sudden voice of another.
“What has kept you Lilliavonlle?” a fair elven man said, his horse near to the lady’s.
“I have sought much information Glori,” she responded.

The stranger watched from a far, now discovering the lady’s name. Lilliavonlle, what a strange name for a half elventhe stranger thought to himself. As he watched, Lilliavonlle and the one she called Glori started moving again. They seemed in deep conversation, about what he could not tell for they spoke in levels below his own keen hearing. They mustnt want the birds or beasts to hear their thoughts. Or maybe they know I am following.  He thinks to himself again.
The hours waned on, until at last they had reached the Ford. Here the two elves dismounted, to take a break before entering into Rivendell. Lilliavonlle sat down on her cloak, watching Glori. She smirked as he showed off his balancing act he had been recently working on. As three of the pine cones tumbled from the head of Glori, she burst out with a clear bell laugh.
“Glorifindel! You should not waste your time on such things of children.” She said after her laughter had ceased, and the area echoed with it. The blonde elf smiled as he walked over to his dear friend.
“Yes, well not all of us scamper about the countryside on adventures. We must have something to do,” he sat down next to her.

They both chattered about things she had missed while traveling. The stranger following them sat a ways back, unnoticeable to normal eyes. They elves did not know he was there because they were too lost in their own conversation to really take notice of a shadowy black figure watching them.
The last few hours before sunset disappeared quickly. The two elves smile, standing up and preparing to go forth to home. They remounted their steeds and whispered them into motion. The stranger had fallen asleep; the lack of it during his travels caught him off guard. The two elves rode through the ford disappearing up the path on the opposite side, the evening setting in quickly, hiding them as they go. They had been listening quite closely to the one following them, and knew when he was deep in slumber. Rushing into Rivendell was no small feat of action as the deep river was at its highest at this time of year. Upon arrival in Rivendell,  they both quickly dismounted and were greeted by the Lord of Rivendell himself.  “Welcome back,  dear daughter…”

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