Saturday, November 26, 2011

Anastasis (part 2) - standing up



Anastasis.

Ana .... say what?  Did I mistype and really mean Anastasia

No.  I meant anastasis.  And it's Greek.

What does it mean?  And in English please.

Here comes the technical stuff, first, then the music.

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Anastasis (Gk., ‘resurrection’). The term is used both of the resurrection of Christ and of that of mankind in general. (from E. A. LIVINGSTONE. "Anastasis." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. 2000. Encyclopedia.com. 24 Nov. 2011)

And from Vine's Expository Dictionary, anastasis denotes a raising up or rising ( from ana - "up" and hestimi - "to cause to stand.") ... hence, a standing up.  In Strong's concordance, anastasis translates as resurrection (reference: Greek Word Study) and is used in the New Testament 42 times (reference: Search God's Word )

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About resurrection in the Bible ....

Chronologically, the first mention of the resurrection may be in the Book of Job, as many scholars conclude this to be the oldest book written in the Bible, most likely during the time of the patriarchs (reference Apologetics Press.)  During his trials, made worse by the miserable comfort of his friends, Job makes this great statement of faith in the resurrection:

25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:

Job 19:25-26
King James Version

 
And Job's words were put to music some 3000 years later in Handel's Messiah: I Know That My Redeemer Liveth




The last phrase of the song comes the New Testament:

But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

1 Corinthians 15:20
King James Version
 

The following verses expound on the resurrection, not only of Christ, but for all those who have trusted in Him:

21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

1 Corinthians 15:21-22
King James Version

 
And Handel put those words to music, too: Since by Man Came Death




And the word in the Greek used for resurrection in these verses above is anastasis. (reference: The New Testament Greek Lexicon)

Standing up is a theme throughout the first book of this trilogy -  Anastasis: The Forbidden Book Concealed.  And it was no accident that the heroine is Anastasia - whose name means resurrection.

The setting of this story is in a fictional tiny kingdom (in continental Europe) during a time when the ecclesiastic powers in high places control the people by keeping their minds and spirits enslaved in the darkness of dead religion. Hence, the Light of the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is concealed.

Yet ...

Even the Dark Ages could not extinguish the Light.

And the age old struggle between darkness and light continues ....


You must read it to see how it plays out.

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The site where free sample chapters can be downloaded and where this eBook can be bought and delivered via wireless:

* Amazon.com (for Kindle)

* Barnes and Noble (Nook)



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Previous post in this series:

Anastasis (part 1) - The Forbidden Book Concealed (2011)


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Previous posts on the resurrection:

Easter - The Sign of the Prophet Jonah (2011)

Earth Shaking Easter - a wake up call (2010)


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photo from everystockphoto.com: Happy Easter

Saturday, November 19, 2011

America's Story (part 2) - Savages!


November, many of us Americans may reflect on Thanksgiving.

It is the quintessential American holiday. English pilgrims, seeking religious freedom, boarded the Mayflower at Plymouth, England to go west - crossing the Atlantic. And they landed at Cape Cod (Massachusetts) on Plymouth Rock in 1620.

Half did not survive the winter. But with the providential help of Squanto from the Wampanoag tribe, the pilgrims cultivated the land and forged an alliance with the Native Americans - one that would last for more than 50 years.

In 1621, the pilgrims celebrated the harvest with a feast - considered America's first Thanksgiving - where they invited their Native American allies. Two very different cultures - for a time - were a peace.

But 13 years before the Mayflower ...

In 1607, English people settled near Tidewater, Virginia (future birth place of George Washington) in Jamestown.

John Smith, who had become known as a troublemaker, was put in irons during most of the voyage to America. Most ironic for his countrymen, the lock box when opened in the New World revealed that John Smith was to be one of the seven leaders chosen by the Virginia Company, whom King James I had granted the charter to colonize Virginia. Later, John Smith was elected as the president of the colony. He really showed them.

Among John Smith's adventures, which he recorded later in 1624, was that he and two English companions had been ambushed by the Native American Indians and held captive for two months. Powhatan, the chief, had condemned John Smith to be clubbed to death, whereas the chief's daughter Pocahontas thwarted the plan - throwing herself between Smith and his attackers, causing her father to relent. Though many doubt this exact story - there were no other corroborating accounts, the Pocahontas legend lived on to this day in American and Native American folklore.

Pocahontas was later kidnapped, then married an English tobacco farmer John Rolfe, and they had a child, Thomas. She died in England in 1617, but her descendants include relatives of American presidents. Among them are Thomas Jefferson's son-in-law, Thomas Mann Randolph, Jr., and Edith Wilson, the wife of President Woodrow Wilson.

In the late 20th century, the legend of John Smith and Pocahontas - wouldn't you know - was made into a feature length Disney cartoon -

Pocahontas.

Based on some true historic events, this kid's movie took much artist license, such as a gorgeous Native American Indian princess with a cute raccoon sidekick regularly conversing with Grandmother Willow, a tree, for sage advice. Yet, the legend was a good yarn and Disney often places great truths in its movies so us big kids as well as the young ones can digest them.

The following video clip dramatizes the reaction of the capture of John Smith and his pending execution:



They are not like us!

This worldview (both of the English and Native Americans in the clip) is the justification for much of the conflict in this world as well as the rationalization for other bad behavior. Xenophobia often runs the gamut from simply shunning a classmate who is different to the outright genocide of a people .

In William Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, the differences between people - not like us, yet much like us - is eloquently put in Shylock's speech from Act 3, Scene 1

I am a Jew.
Hath not a Jew eyes?
hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions?
fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means,warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is?
If you prick us, do we not bleed?
if you tickle us, do we not laugh?
if you poison us, do we not die?

And in this video clip, the legendary Pocahontas has the solution ....

Love.

The God revealed in the Bible - both Old Testament and New Testament - is a God of love.

When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, He did not pick one of the Ten. But He quoted from the Law of Moses in Leviticus and Deuteronomy.

35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Matthew 22 (NIV)

Talking about these same verses from the Law of Moses on a different occasion, a man asked Jesus - “And who is my neighbor?”

This was the lead into the story of the Good Samaritan ... someone, who in the eyes of the Jews of that day was despised because - he was not like them. As for those who are familiar with this story know, the despised person of the "wrong" religion, a "half breed" race of Jew and pagan, helped the man in need, a victim of assault and robbery, while the victim's own countrymen (a priest, a Levite) chose not to get involved.

At the end of the parable, Jesus asks -

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Luke 10 (NIV)

The story of Pocahontas is one of the triumph of love and mercy shown to those who are not like us. She is truly a role model and a great heroine.

And the legend of John Smith and Pocahontas as well as the first American Thanksgiving are part of America's Story, which is

to be continued ...

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Previous post in the America's Story series:

America's Story (part 1) - The Speech that redefined us, November 19, 1863 (2011)


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Another Thanksgiving post:

Timeless Thanksgiving (2009)


... and some great Thanksgiving eCards from DaySpring.com:

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect

Blessings of freedom

The first Thanksgivng

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Other posts on Disney films:

(In my opinion, the Disney version of Mary Poppins, when the kid stuff of magic and silly songs was stripped away, had a serious message about the importance of fathers in the lives of their children. And as you see I blogged much about it.)

Mary Poppins (Part 1) - from 1910 to 2010

Mary Poppins (Part 2) - It's a Wonderful Life?

Mary Poppins (Part 3) - Take your kids to work day?

Mary Poppins (Part 4) - Go Fly a Kite!


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Photo from:

Wikipedia Commons: Pocahontas saves Smith

Saturday, November 12, 2011

America's Story (part 1) - The Speech that redefined us, November 19, 1863



One hundred fifty years ago, Civil War broke out in the United States. In my opinion, this war was the worst war in our 235 + year history. It divided us as a people on many issues - slavery only one of them. The casualties - including both the Union and Confederate soldiers - were the greatest of any of our wars - even the American casualties during World War II - the worst war of the 20th century.

The song below give a sense of the intensity of the fighting during the Civil War:




The turning point in favor of the Union, some historians believe, was the Battle of Gettysburg. The causalities for both the Union and the Confederates was 51,000 in this one battle alone over three days of fighting (July 1 to July 3, 1863). Compare these causalities to the 58,000 deaths over 20 years in the Vietnam War (1955- 1975). Gettysburg was a terrible battle.

On November 19, 1863 - almost 150 years ago - Abraham Lincoln read a few words at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He spoke for only two minutes. But these few words redefined us as a people and became a balm to begin healing the wounds that had so grievously divided us.

Many voices have re-read this speech since then. The version below, eloquently read by Johnny Cash, displays iconic images in American history spanning four centuries - 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st.




Some rank this speech as one of the greatest speeches in American history, if not in the top ten of the greatest historic speeches of all time ... and we are still talking about. And this speech was first given by the 16th president of the United States on November 19, 1863.

The Gettysburg Address is part of America's Story, which is

to be continued ...

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Previous posts on similar subjects:

America in Decline?! (2011)

3 birthdays, 3 presidents, 3 centuries, 3 defining wars ... (2011)

Memorial Day - Do we know how much they suffered? (2010)

July 1776 & July 1863 (2009)

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Photo from:

Wikipedia Commons: Battle of Gettysburg

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Veteran's Day 2011 - final homecoming of the WWI vets



It happened almost a hundred years ago - the Great War, the World War - now known as World War One, as there would be more than one great world war in the 20th century.  For many of us, our great grandparents, grandparents, and even parents may have fought in this war.  To all of us still living, the Great War seems like ancient history.

Volumes were written about this war, which H.G. Wells called -  "The War That Will End War."   For a summary, below is a brief history of the First World War:




The "armistice" to end the war took effect on  November 11, 1918 - at the 11th hour of 11th day of 11th month.  And became known as - Armistice Day ... later Veteran's Day.

.... 11/11/11 ....

But this year - 2011 - marks a milestone as the the last of the World War One veterans have passed away.

Frank Buckles
 

The last living U.S. World War I veteran, Frank Buckles, passed away in February this year at the age of 110 - his story.  He served in both World Wars.   During WW1, he was an ambulance driver.  In WW2, he was a POW, captured by the Japanese.

Rest in peace and we are grateful for your service to our country


Claude 'Chuckles' Choules

The last of the front line World War One veterans, Claude 'Chuckles' Choules, passed away in May this year, also at the age of 110 - his story  He also served in both World Wars.  In WW1, he was a sailor in the Australian Royal Navy; WW2  a demolitions officer in Australia .
  
May you rest peacefully as your countrymen are grateful for your service to your country as well as your service to all your allies.
 
For all Veterans, Thank You!

May you all enjoy the Veterans' Homecoming:





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Ecards for Veterans Day -


* Veteran's Day prayer

* Making a difference

* The service of veterans

* Veteran's Day blessing

* Honor is Due

* Never Forget

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Previous post on Veterans Day:

Veterans Day - World War One Soldiers Remembered (2009)

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Related posts:

3 birthdays, 3 presidents, 3 centuries, 3 defining wars ...  (2011)

A kiss immortalized in August 14, 1945  (2010)

The Story Behind the Star Spangled Banner  (2010)

Remembering D-Day - June 6, 1944  (2010)

Welcome Home, Troops! (2010)

Christmas 1776 - the gift of freedom (2009)

Pearl Harbor Day, 1941 - World War Two Soldiers Remembered (2009)

July 1776 & July 1863 (2009)

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Photos from:

 everystockphoto.comgreat-grandfather in WWI military uniform

 wikipedia commons@

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Anastasis (part 1) - The Forbidden Book Concealed

 
 
I am pleased to introduce the first book in the Christian historical fantasy series, The Forbidden Book and the Upside Down Kingdom:


Anastasis - The Forbidden Book Concealed
 

What happens when ...
 
Providence moves a Bishop, a Queen, and a Lord to shine the Light revealed in the Forbidden Book in the Dark Ages?
 

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In anno Domini 1375, Queen Anastasia reigned in the rich little kingdom of Opulentia. And her favorite courtier, Lord Adryan Crippen had the world within easy grasp - his handsome looks, exalted position, and the heart of the Queen. Then Adryan’s dreams evaporated as the enemy within attempted to destroy him.
   

 Yet Providence put Adryan in hiding within St. Luke’s Infirmary where the elderly Bishop Sinjin labored on a translation of the Forbidden Book. When a conspiracy to usurp the throne comes to light, will the Bishop and Adryan be able to save the Queen? Will the Bishop fulfill his calling to shine the Light revealed in the Forbidden Book into the spiritual darkness of the age?

Anastasis. Will the fallen stand up, again?
  

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Even the Dark Ages could not extinguish the Light ...



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Question: What does Anastasis mean? And why it is important in the New Testament?