6th mo. 2013 Blog Posts (45)

Need a Vacation

Daily Old Testament Reading and Augustine's Confessions Will Resume in August

Added by Irene Lape on 6th mo. 30, 2013 at 7:35am — 2 Comments

Daily Old Testament and Early Christian Writings: 1 Samuel 3-4 and Augustine's Confessions 13

1 Samuel 3 – During Samuel’s childhood, the “word of the Lord was rare [and] visions were not widespread” (3:1). Samuel was lying down in the temple when he heard someone call him, “Samuel! Samuel!” (3:4) Samuel answers “Here I am!” and thinking the voice was Eli’s, he runs to see what Eli wants of him.  But Eli has not called.  Again, he hears the call and again he runs to Eli, and learns Eli has not called.


“Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of…


Added by Irene Lape on 6th mo. 29, 2013 at 6:32am — No Comments

No Matter How You Slice It

If the Word, and continued revelation, of God is not a two-edged sword that cuts to the marrow of your life, then it's baloney. If, as Kierkegaard has written in "Either-Or", the razor-edge decision to freely surrender your will to God is not by way of a personal relationship, then it's baloney.

If God is no respecter of personal privilege or property, looking only for an opportunity to invade your "home turf" or, at least, get under your skin, then it's scary-serious. If God is…


Added by Clem Gerdelmann on 6th mo. 28, 2013 at 7:11am — 1 Comment

Daily Old Testament and Early Christian Writings: 1 Samuel 2 and Augustine's Confessions 12

1 Samuel 2 - She prays a kind of canticle. It is thought by some to be the model of Mary’s Magnificat but is less personal, expressing the hopes of the lowly and poor more generally:


My heart exults in the Lord; my strength is exalted in my God. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in my victory. There is no Holy One like the Lord, no one besides you; . . . There is no Rock like our God. For the Lord is a…


Added by Irene Lape on 6th mo. 28, 2013 at 5:30am — No Comments

I need your help. Also, I'm infatuated with you.

Hi Quakers! I'm doing a little ethnographic report on you all for an anthropology class. I've been attending meetings at a few locations in my area and conducting interviews and... what a crowd. I've never met a group of such friendly, open minded, helpful people. It can be kind of hard to find meetings and the right people to talk to, and even with me being up front about my academic (rather than spiritual) intentions, Quakers bent over backwards to help me learn about your… Continue

Added by Josh Wieczorek on 6th mo. 27, 2013 at 11:00am — 1 Comment

Now (As Always) It Is Up to Us

June 26, 2013

 In two dramatic decisions this week, the Supreme Court declared laws unconstitutional. By a 5-4 majority, the Court set aside section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. And by an identical margin, though with only one vote changing sides, it voided DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as only a union between one man and one woman.

There is sadness and anger on the political left about the first, and sadness and anger on the political right about the…


Added by Doug Bennett on 6th mo. 26, 2013 at 2:59pm — 5 Comments

Daily Old Testament and Early Christian Writings: 1 Samuel 1 and Augustine's Confessions 11

1 Samuel 1 – Elkanah of Ramathaim (or simply Ramah), an Ephraimite, had two wives—Peninnah and Hannah.  Peninnah had children but Hannah, whom he loved more, did not. 


When Israel still worshiped and sacrificed at Shiloh, Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phineas were priests there.  Hannah wept and prayed there to have a son, promising to make him a nazirite for his entire life if God would only grant her this.  God is addressed here…


Added by Irene Lape on 6th mo. 26, 2013 at 6:14am — No Comments

Daily Old Testament and Early Christian Writings: 1 Samuel (Introduction) and Augustine's Confessions 10

Introductory Information on the Books of Samuel: The books of Samuel trace the last years of the judges and the first years of the monarchy.  While the monarchy provided strong government, “the religious meaning of kingship had to be worked out so as to preserve the more basic belief that Israel was a people subject to one king only, Yahweh himself” (Lawrence Boadt’s Reading the Old Testament, 227).  Samuel lived in the 11th century BC.  He served the shrine at…


Added by Irene Lape on 6th mo. 25, 2013 at 6:24am — No Comments

Daily Old Testament and Early Christian Writings: Judges 21 and Augustine's Confessions 9

Judges 21 – The Israelites had also agreed at Mizpah that none of them present would give a daughter in marriage to the tribe of Benjamin. After the battle, they go to Bethel and bewail the loss of the tribe. They also swore at Mizpah to cut off any clan that did not come to the assembly at Mizpah—they carry out this threat now. 


They realize that not one of the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead had come, so they are put to the sword (everyone, that is, except virgin…


Added by Irene Lape on 6th mo. 24, 2013 at 6:10am — No Comments

A Sacred Trust

Though held, to some extent or Quaker "measure", by persons, as Heraclitus, before the Christian Era and others, as John Locke, before the U.S. Bill of Rights, just try finding this appellation in an abridged/collegiate dictionary. When I Google-searched, 5 out of the first 12 listings were musical references. Like matters of the heart, a sacred trust is better sung of than defined.

That's what's so peculiar about this anomaly for the peculiar people known as Quakers.

Not only…


Added by Clem Gerdelmann on 6th mo. 23, 2013 at 6:52am — No Comments

Daily Old Testament and Early Christian Writings: Judges 20 and Augustine's Confessions 8

Judges 20 – The outrage galvanizes the “sons of Israel” to action.  The whole community, from Dan to Beersheba and from Gilead in the east, comes out to Mizpah (near Ai and Jericho).  The Levite “husband” or “master” tells them what happened.  They agree to go to war with Benjamin.  They select the troops by lot—an equal number from each of the eleven tribes.  Then they go up into the land of Benjamin and try to get the people to turn over the wrong-doers, but the Benjaminites will…


Added by Irene Lape on 6th mo. 23, 2013 at 5:43am — No Comments

Cycling to Syria; So What's the Plan?


So What's the Plan?

After a 20 month journey for peace, which took me from Portugal to Egypt, I am now back in Europe, near Milan. Everything I own is in my backpack, I have no address, and I've got…


Added by Kenneth Lawrence Schroeder on 6th mo. 22, 2013 at 8:59am — No Comments

Daily Old Testament and Early Christian Writings: Judges 19 and Augustine's Confessions 7

Judges 19 – Again we start with a reminder that there was no king.  A Levite man living in the remote hill country of Ephraim takes a concubine from Bethlehem. She gets mad at him for some reason and returns to her father’s house, but he comes after her, pleading with her to return.  The girl’s father likes him and entertains him with food and drink.  Repeatedly when he gets ready to go, the father urges him to stay longer and he does.


Finally they do leave—the…


Added by Irene Lape on 6th mo. 22, 2013 at 6:52am — No Comments

Daily Old Testament and Early Christian Writings: Judges 18 and Augustine's Confessions 6

Judges 18There is no king, and the Danites need a territory to live in. This migration apparently took place before the time of the judges—the closeness to the generation of Moses is apparent from the identity of the Levite, the grandson of Moses.


They send out five men to scout for land.  They too arrive in Micah’s house.  They recognize the young Levite and ask him if the mission they are on is one with God’s favor.  He…


Added by Irene Lape on 6th mo. 21, 2013 at 6:12am — No Comments

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Editors’ Picks This Week

  • Anthony Manousos: Reflections on the Quaker Testimonies

    One reason many Friends have lost touch with the Inward Light and rely instead on external Testimonies is that we have become too conventionally educated and “heady.” There is nothing wrong with relying on reason or on authority to some extent, according to Brinton, but they are not enough.…


Added by QuakerQuaker on 6th mo. 20, 2013 at 9:00pm — No Comments

Daily Old Testament and Early Christian Writings: Judges 17 and Augustine's Confessions 5

Judges 17 – A man in the hill country of Ephraim, who has taken 1100 pieces of silver from his own mother, returns it to her; and in gratitude (?) she gives him 200 to make an “idol” for him.  His name is Micah.  He sets up a shrine, makes an ephod and teraphim and installs one of his sons as a priest.  It’s as if he is starting his own cult from his own house.  The writer simply says “In those days there was no king in Israel; all the people did what was right in…


Added by Irene Lape on 6th mo. 20, 2013 at 5:57am — No Comments

Daily Old Testament and Early Christian Writings: Judges 16 and Augustine's Confessions 4

Judges 16Samson goes to Gaza and sees a prostitute he wants.  The men of Gaza lie in wait for him all night.  But he fools them by leaving in the middle of the night, taking the doors of the city gate with him to the top of the hill that is in front of Hebron—another feat of strength.


Then comes the episode with Delilah.  Samson falls in love with her.  The lords of the Philistines come to Delilah and induce her to help them find out the secret…


Added by Irene Lape on 6th mo. 19, 2013 at 6:17am — No Comments

Daily Old Testament and Early Christian Writings: Judges 15 and Augustine's Confessions 3

Judges 15 - Samson goes back to see his wife, but her father will not allow it.  Believing that Samson has rejected her, the woman’s father has given her to the other man. Again angry, Samson goes and ties 300 foxes together by the tails and sets their tails on fire.  Then he sets them loose in the standing grain of the Philistines to burn it up. 


The Philistines learn why it is Samson did it and they go and burn both Samson’s wife and her father (15:6). …


Added by Irene Lape on 6th mo. 18, 2013 at 6:37am — No Comments

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