Enough is enough!

What’s not to love about a smiling child opening a box of Christmas treasures? Especially when the child is poor, Third World, and whose parents are unable to provide such wonders.

Every year millions of these Christmas boxes are sent all over the world. In the year 2016 the sponsor of these boxes was hoping to send 12 million boxes to eager children. But the boxes are most valuable to the rich people who send them out, thus making them feel generous and benevolent in a cheap sort of way. (A typical box only costs about $15-$25.).

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Wearing Masks

Masks were worn in the Greek theatre for a variety of reasons. One was to enable a single individual to play multiple roles simply by changing a mask.

Masks were also used as a sort of portable microphone system, with its built-in megaphone. It was quite an effective “technology” for the huge amphitheaters before which the actors played. Actors in the Greek theatre were also men only, so they could change their gender simply with the change of a mask.

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The Antidote for Lies

Ancient building techniques used to begin a new building with the cornerstone. The cornerstone was the determinant of the direction the building faced, the trueness of its walls, and the level of its floors. Every other feature of the building derived from the cornerstone.

The cornerstone must sit on a stable foundation. Builders in San Francisco learned the truth of this when the 58-story Millennium Tower began sinking, to the tune of 17 inches and leaning 14 inches. Developers have finally developed a fix for the tower, but it is going to cost more than its original construction to correct.

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Truth & Integrity

Proverbs is the name of the ancient book of Wisdom in the Bible. It is a collection of sayings that shed light on how to live with wisdom and discernment in the world. The ancients were preoccupied with wisdom; in fact, a whole section of the Old Testament was devoted to looking for what is true.

A large number of those proverbial sayings concern truth versus falsehood. Says the Proverbs, “A reliable witness ALWAYS tells the truth, but an unreliable one tells nothing but lies,” Proverbs 14:5. In other words, people do not tend to believe someone who lies.

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Truth and Moishe

No one believed Moishe the Beadle (fictional character).  He was the keeper of the synagogue in Sighet, Hungary in Elie Wiesel’s famous book NightSighet was Wiesel’s hometown.

In the summer of 1941, Hungarian authorities rounded up approximately 20,000 Jews who had not been able to acquire Hungarian citizenship, and deported them to German-occupied Poland.

The Germans massacred approximately 23,000 Jews from August 27-28, 1941 in the first large-scale massacre of the Final Solution.  Moishe the Beadle was an archetype of one of these illegal aliens who was swept up in the deportation. Continue reading →

What story do you buy?

I was a middle-aged lady, set in my ways, when I decided to be baptized.  And when that water poured over my head, I realized the big problem with my new religion:  God actually lives in other people.  I couldn’t be a Christian by myself.  I couldn’t choose who else was my brother and sister.

That’s a really different story from the one that’s sold to us every day, which insists each one of us is individually responsible for managing our own economic and political salvation.

–Sara Miles

Sara Miles is an author whose books include Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion; Jesus Freak: Feeding Healing Raising the Dead, and City of God: Faith in the Streets.  She served as Director of Ministry at St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco for ten years, and is the founder and director of The Food Pantry