Category Archives: Opinion

Advocacy

Representing humankind.

In human terms, an advocate is usually one of two things. An advocate may be a person who promotes a cause or policy for an organisation. He or she may be a person who represents the interests of another individual. In the UK, one of the most recognised types of advocate might be a barrister, representing a client in a court of law.

There are other types of advocate, some of which might not be recognised or called as such. A public relations officer, spokesperson or communications director all fit the dictionary definition of advocate for example, representing the views of a company or perhaps political party. Their job is to put across to a wider audience, the public perhaps or company shareholders, a position or proposals for the future. It might be to justify previous actions.

When Jesus said that an advocate was coming, it is assumed he referred to the Holy Spirit. I assume the same and am not aware of anything to contradict this assumption. In terms of human understanding, might this be some of the most literal words in the Bible? It seems to me that the Holy Spirit in terms of advocacy fulfils our human definition.

There are of course  major differences in the advocacy provided by the Holy Spirit. Human advocates are, on the whole, paid for their services whether representing an individual or organisation. Human advocates perform their duties as a job, or career. They do not need to believe in who or what they are representing. They fulfil a contract.

The Holy Spirit is not paid in any monetary form. Perhaps the best description of the Spirit’s actions on our behalf and God’s is a vocation, perhaps almost its raison d’être.

The Holy Spirit presents our human case to God, representing us both individually and collectively. That same Spirit promotes, and explains, if we take the trouble to listen and understand, God’s plans and policies to us us for the future of the world and the human race. The spirit acts both for us and with us, helping us to come closer to God.

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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

A Review of
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Ann Shaffer

published on my sister site,
Entertaining Angels Bookshelf.

 

 

Seeing Again

If you remember my post of 15th April, you might remember I recently underwent cataract surgery. That was the inspiration for this poem and the Haiku.

Seeing Again.

The world grows blurry, indistinct,
No matter if it’s bright as day or dark as night,
Colours, shapes, furry edges merging,
An insidious dimming, fading of sight.

Nothing will focus, nothing is clear,
Clouds forming, not up in the sky,
Neither mist nor fog billow over the ground,
An obscuring haze, like steam in the eye.

And when eyes become sufficiently smoky,
An old lens is cut out, new slipped within,
Like a restored old masterpiece,
The world is bright and vivid again.

Seeing Again Haiku.

Fading smoky vision,
Billowing mist blown away,
Spot the illusion.

Time Travel

Maybe it’s not so impossible.

When you see or hear the words ‘time travel’, what’ the first thing that you think of? The first thing that usually comes to my mind is science fiction. Doctor Who perhaps, maybe H.G. Wells classic story The Time Machine.

For you and me time travel is impossible, certainly in any physical sense in which our corporeal form is transported to a different period. We are simply carried along with time. As H.G.Wells unnamed time travellere observed, whilst time is the fourth dimension, unlike the other three “we have no freedom of movement within it”

So is time travel possible? Maybe in a way it is but perhaps only in one direction, though it remains possible to look in the other direction. Suppose for a moment you could travel in time. How might it affect some of the beliefs you hold or tenets that you live by? While their basis might not change, it is quite possible that how you interpret or implement them for the era you are in might.

History in itself is not time travel but a means to see into the past, an imperfect means that does not always tell the whole story. Now what about forward time travel? I’ve already said that we cannot do it physically, in either direction but could something intangible move forward in time? Something like an idea. There are many thoughts and ideas from the past that have shaped the world as we know it today, ideas that have come forward from the point of conception to now. Couldn’t that be a kind of time travel?

Some of the most compelling and durable thoughts, concepts and ideas that are with us today concern religion and faith. They have travelled forward in time from hundreds, even thousands of years ago. Some remain essentially unchanged and some become updated to remain relevant and, more importantly, understood in the current age having been written to be understood by particular cultures in specific eras. The Bible is almost 2000 years old. It’s thoughts and ideas have survived, albeit in words suited to the different eras through which it has passed.

And maybe, just maybe one person has managed to travel through time. I’ve heard it said that for as long as someone is remembered they are not really dead. We know that Jesus died and we believe that he lived again, before his ascension. Had he been forgotten after his departure from the physicsl world then in a sense he would have died again, at least until his second coming. But, if he had been forgotten, would anyone believe who he was on his return?

Jesus was thought to be in his 30s when he departed his physical existence. It is probably as a human of around this age that many people around the world picture him. Millions of people believe in, know, honour and worship this ageless man always in his 30s. Couldn’t this be a kind of time travel?

Reading Aloud

Bringing the Bible to life.

Albert Joseph Moore (1841–1893)

When was the last time you read something out loud? To some extent it might depend on who you are. A parent or teacher reading to a child is probably the most likely to do it. What about the rest of us?

I think that for the great majority of us, reading something out loud is done only few-and-far-between times. When it is, it is probably only to ourselves, perhaps when checking something we have written to see if it sounds right when said. I often check my own writing like this but that is usually the only time I read aloud.

While reading an essay about Islam, I discovered that the title of the Islamic holy book, the Qur’an, means ‘recitation. It is intended to be read out loud. This reminded me that the Bible too was also intended to be read this way, aloud. Originally for the entirely practical reason that many listeners, when it was first written would be illiterate, and could not read.

The most likely time The Bible will be heard read aloud, is in church probably during a service. Occasionally the reader will bring some ‘life’ to the reading. More often than not, this is not so, the reading is flat, unemotional not evoking a reaction.

Reading aloud can be done in a number of ways. Flat, prosaic and boring, calculated to turn pretty much anyone off the subject or send them to sleep. It can also be with a touch of performance. By the reader varying intonation and phrasing, it is much more likely the listener’s attention will be kept. It is also possible that what the listener perceives in the reading can be subtly altered, by the emphasis or understatement of particular words and phrases.

Reading aloud can work equally well solo, as when reading to someone. Give it a try.