​Grateful — October 2017

All that was in my mind was thank you.
And it wasn’t that words failed me, but that all that I had to say was thank you Lord.

Feeling thankful
Feeling grateful

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Sex — A series of questions

To be aware and mindful of our feelings and thoughts as they evolve, is, in part, to answer some of these questions. To channel our thoughts and feelings where we choose, is also, in part, to answer some of these questions.

What is sex
What is it for
What does it mean
   If it means anything

Does sexual intimacy amount to sex
Doesn’t it
Is it an act of marriage
Isn’t it

Is sex like a recreational sport
Would it mean anything to us
Is it as a hobby
Would it mean something to us

What could it do to one’s mind and will
What could it do to one’s feelings
What does it do to one’s body

God, why all the sweetness with sex
Why is there a link with conception

Is the sex of adultery the same as the sex of marriage
Is premarital sex different from marital sex
Is sex just sex in any context

Does one suffer loss for being single and virgin
Isn’t that virtue
What does sex say
Would it say any thing of one

They haven’t had sex in 45 years
Isn’t sex necessary in marriage
Is it spice we can live without

And there’s more.

Do we see sex as worship
Is it sacred
   An immersion
   A baptism

Asides:
Inquiring minds want answers. Tempted souls need answers.
How do we handle our fallibility?
What is true even where we know only in part?

We may find that we have no answers to some of the questions. We may find that we can’t precisely say why we’ve chosen some of our answers. We may have defaulted to some authority’s opinions and adopted them as ours. If you find that you want to adopt an authority, you’d probably discover the most stable and consistent answers in some principles elaborated in the Bible. You’ll find scenes from real life soaps: Hosea asked by God to marry a wife of porneia, David stealing an officer’s wife (after he had slept with her and got her pregnant) and sending him to his death etc. You’ll find wise sayings in the Proverbs, and sweetly intimate words between lovers in Songs of Solomon. King Solomon himself was seemingly sexually prolific, with 700 wives and 300 concubines. The way the Bible is able to answer all the questions of life in a finite volume is by dwelling on principles. The principles, in my opinion, are more important than what seem to be the straight answers, particularly in the Old Testament. The New Testament highlights and explains a number of those principles and derives direct answers from them.

Percentages don’t respect pain …

Giving 10 percent of the amount appears fair, at least arithmetically, but what about emotionally?

Giving 1 dollar of the 10 you have makes little difference. Easy sacrifice to make.
Giving 10 dollars of the 100 you have makes still a little difference.
Giving 100 dollars of the 1000 you have may start to touch you a little. I mean, you could do something with the 100.

Now, giving 1000 of your10000 bucks may start to really test your happiness to give. Right?
Giving 10000 of the 100000 Greenbacks you’ve saved over 10 years? This likely has visibly come from your emotional bank account.
Let’s say it’s a100000 of your cool 1000000 USD? That is a drain, but I’ll live.
And1000000 of my 10000000 dollars? Hell, do I need to do this?

Imagine where the rates were higher than 10 %. Yes, …, but you live with it. It’s the system.

It’s thus fair to us rich folks (and in the proverbial 1%) for us to pay less in % than the nominal tax rate. The sacrifice is emotionally bigger for the rich. So when Jesus said that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God, He was saying that the price you pay is higher when you have (or feel you have) too much to lose by letting Christ and letting go; when you might feel too rich with your wealth to be meek.

The heavier one is, the bigger a fall would be. Or the heavier is your submission.

While wealth demands, in addition to the care of it’s maintenance, utility, should we near torment the rich with heavy demands? How could this be fair especially if the tax rate is higher for them. What might it say of the rest of the people?

Finally,

To tithe or give: people would always have the choice.
To tax: the government, thieves maybe, and sellers … whoever they are, would feel that they have the prerogative to demand of you an arbitrary percentage of your income despite any pains.