Sunday, 7 July 2013

Christ Jesus as Teacher

"Teaching in the Synagogue at Nazareth", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2013

As you can see from the icon below, the image of Christ Jesus as a teacher has had an appeal for me for some time now.  As I see things, Our Lord was a teacher par excellence -- he taught his followers in ancient Palestine so effectively that those teachings they wrote down for us after His death are still the perfect guide for living the Christian life when combined with the Magisterium.  They can also be a help to any teacher even now in learning the best ways to impart knowledge.

However, there is a problem today with people who say they admire Christ Jesus as a great teacher (and/or prophet), but that He was nothing more than that!  This is so very sad to hear and shows that they have never taken the time to carefully read His "teachings" as given us in the New Testament.  If they had, they would never be able to make such a statement after reading what Our Lord actually taught.  As C. S. Lewis wrote:  reading the words of Christ Jesus force an individual to have to decide whether He is exactly who He says He is or one of the most wicked and demonic deceivers to ever walk the face of the earth.  (paraphrased by me)

So, if you are one of those people who has been toying with the idea of Christ Jesus as only a prophet or a great teacher, then I would suggest that you go back an carefully read a Gospel, perhaps St. John, and then see if you can still make such remarks!

Icon "Christ Jesus Proclaiming the Kingdom of Heaven", by the hand of
Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2009

As for the different styles of these two drawings of Our Lord, I continue to experiment with Western-type images instead of typical icons.  I have not stopped "writing" icons (I would miss very much the prayerful experience of doing so), but for the time being, I am trying to teach myself to do a different type of drawing on the computer.  If you have any comments to make about this process or what you think of each type of religious drawing, please send them to me in an email (as most often happens) or directly to the blog for posting.



This past week, I received the two beautiful images of some of the beach areas in Vancouver.

My friend, who presently lives in Vancouver, uses a scooter for mobility.  I have never known her to be afraid of going anywhere on that scooter of hers.  She was able to get these photos by stopping on the apex of one of the many bridges in Vancouver!

As many of you may be aware, Vancouver, a City known for its cool and rainy summers, is experiencing a totally different kind of summer so far this year.  As you can see in the photos, the sun is shining brightly and there is no sign of rain.  What you can't tell from the photos is the fact that the temperature is also quite warm!  It has evidently been this way for the past three weeks.  I keep expecting it to return to normal Vancouver weather any day now, but while the high for today is on the cool side, the sun is still shining!!

Recent view from one of the many bridges in Vancouver (photographer: Karen O.)

Another recent view from one of the many bridges in Vancouver (photographer: Karen O.)



Like most people who use the Internet, I receive many strange and wonderful photos -- both as rows of photos or as part of a pps.  The two I have chosen to show you in today's posting are ones I found to be terrifying and really funny.  

The one of the folks on a scooter in China is the photo I find most terrifying.  Every time I look at it, I cannot help thinking of how easily an accident could occur or how easily the driver could lose control.  Then my mind takes me in my imagination to thoughts of the carnage that would result.  At this point, I quickly look away from the photo and try to stop the pictures I am seeing my mind.  I am sure you can understand this process, especially when you look at that helpless baby in a bucket and the slightly older child strapped precariously to his mother's back!

A terrifying photo of a family in China making a trip somewhere!
(photographer unknown)

Modern-day cowboy making a "service call"!  (Photographer unknown)

This second photo is the one I find so hilarious.  I cannot imagine meeting such a scene while travelling along the highway!  I guess this is one way of taking your bull to make a "service" call.  This large bovine seems to be carefully eyeing all the "gals" who are waiting for his attention!  The funniest part, of course, is the fact that this modern-day cowboy is using an old, beat-up car with the top removed to make this transport instead of using a truck like everyone else!  It is also interesting to see the weight difference between the driver's side and the bull's side!  If I look at the photo long enough, I start wondering about such things as what would happen to a car or truck following if the bull felt the urge to urinate or...  Once again, I shut down such thoughts and move on to thinking about something else!!



Suki loves to help me sort the laundry.  She thinks
we are playing some kind of game!
As you can see from the accompanying photo, Suki is a great help when it comes to doing chores!

Not only does she help with sorting the laundry; she also helps with dusting the floor by rolling around on her back as she plays with her numerous pieces of string.  Unfortunately, she doesn't pick up her toys or string after she finishes playing.  I am trying to train her to put things away, but so far she doesn't seem to understand the concept!

Suki is also very helpful in finding anything I have dropped onto the floor.  She usually has to play with the object for a while before she tells me about it!  This is very worrisome, of course, if the item I am looking for happens to be a pill I have dropped.  Thus, when I am searching for a dropped pill, I usually try to get Suki involved while I am also looking.  She often finds the object right away and seems somewhat put off when I pick it up before she has had any time to play with it!

She would like to help me even more by sniffing and/or tasting all my food -- just to make certain that it smells properly and is not going to make me sick! -- however, I strongly discourage her from this type of behaviour as she always leaves cat hair behind plus she is forbidden from getting on the table where I eat in the first place!  We are still working on this particular area of help she is offering.  I am trying to direct her services into similar activities that would really help me -- like licking all the plates clean so that they are easier to wash.  I will keep you informed on how successful I am!

As for me, I continue to do much the same without any new issues to deal with.  

I did make a discovery last weekend that one of the regular medications I have been taking for some time can possibly make the symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome worse!  Fortunately, I was able to speak with my family physician this past week and she has agreed to change my medication from the one I have been using to one of the ones that the RLS specialists recommend.  I am hoping that this change will, over time, begin to make a real difference in the amount of distress that this disease continues to cause me.

I continue to go to the gym almost every day and in some ways I am feeling much better.  For those of you who are interested, I have changed my routine from mostly cardio with only about 15 minutes of strength building to a half hour of each.  I am doing more work on the upper body as I find this area is much weaker than my lower body.  The strength in my legs continues to amaze me.  I thought that all these muscles would have gotten very useless after all these months of inactivity, but the strength has come back very quickly.  One of the trainers told me that this is "muscle memory" at work.  I am not familiar with this concept, but whatever the cause, I am very grateful that my legs have recovered their strength so quickly.

Well, here comes Suki reminding me that it is already a bit after noon.  This is one of her other ways of helping me around the house:  she acts as an alarm clock for me by coming to let me know when it is time for me to do something.  Since I need a bit of lunch as well, it is nice that she has reminded me that it is time.  She also does this when she feels it is time for me to get up in the morning.  As well, she tells me when it is time to get ready for bed.  I am very grateful for this and I am sure that her kind actions do not have anything to do with the fact that she knows she will get fed when I get up in the A.M. or just before I go to bed at night!

Ah, well, I had better listen to her and head for the kitchen.

Below is one of my favourite passages of Scripture from the Hebrew Scriptures/Old Testament printed in a lovely font.  I hope you find it to be a blessing.

Taken from a friend's facebook site -- one of my favourite passages from the OT

Now may be the peace of God be with you all today and always.

God bless you.

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