Best of Spirits

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Best of Spirits

Puny god

Different levels of authority.

Levels of Authority
My cats are mad at me for letting it rain when they want to go out. I try to explain, I am but a lowly god with gods above me, but since I (with Mrs lowly god) cause fish to appear in their bowls, can remove and change our fur, and do marvelous miracles with those divine thumbs, we must be in charge of the rain, too.

Best of Spirits

Plan A from Heaven

You give it your all.

Imagine looking at the world a couple millennia ago, a messenger was looking for the best place to be born as a human (by means, and for cosmic reasons, beyond our fathoming, much less our purposes here).

Looking down on earth from space

If the message were to spread the word of one just, moral, loving Father in Heaven (and associated truth), and spread that message as widely as possible among the planet's inhabitants, among what people would such seeds find rich soil?

Would be nice to have a religion with a long grounding in monotheism, with a powerful ideal of justice and morality and duty, and with a good sense of mercy and love of heaven - even if divine justice part tended to be loudest. A sectarian cohesiveness, but a sense of personal relationship with the Creator would also be helpful. Being stable economically and wise in business as a people would be a solid grounding.

If these people were united through their beliefs and common home of a central holy site, yet were maximally dispersed among humankind, trading and living among all civilizations from West to East (of the Old World, anyway), that would greatly facilitate the spread of the message.

Lo and behold, here's this carpenter fellow and his lovely bride right where you need them.

Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus

Okay, but...

What if, when the time comes, They might not accept the message. They - the corrupt Establishment, the Powers That Be, the politically poor and confused whom we seem to have with us always - They might just try to squelch the message, even connive to do in the messenger. It happens all the time.

Good plans can encounter setbacks, anticipated results can be delayed, and this is never more true than when you can't win over qualified people you were counting on. You have to search out others, and maybe train them up more Doesn't mean the project is finished. Sometimes you just have to shift tactics.

Because, people are free to choose.

In Real Life, one doesn't know until one tries. Or, okay, really, maybe one does know, but has to try anyway. (Good parents especially experience this.)

So, where once an enthusiastic young new citizen traveled to the holy city with his parents and gazed in wonder at the gleaming temple, later, the more sober and experienced teacher traveled to the holy city with his students, and wept for his people and the beautiful city and all the possibilities lost. Yet into the city he went.

Jesus Weeping by Tissot

When the arrest warrants were sworn out, Alexandria would have been safe harbor.

When the future destruction of the city became obvious to anyone who could see the storm coming, flight was reasonable.

When the enemies swore the teacher's destruction, they were confounded while he rode into town to the celebration of loud crowds, and walked around freely. so they plotted to take him in secret. So, there was ample time to get away.

Then, in the night, in the Garden, it was still possible to avoid the painful, poisonous cup that was prepared. So easy to just walk away, right up to the moment of the betrayer's arrival with the cops.

Knowing what was coming every step of the way, but never shirking the duty to complete the attempt. What a profound, utterly human struggle.

Rejected by the same hosanna-singing masses that were such welcoming voices a week before, could the brutal torture and execution feel any worse?

The leader buried, the movement scattered.

Everything about what happened, long, long ago, to that little movement in that little place, which place itself would be destroyed soon, should have been forgotten by history.

What answer to prayer came when the prayer was to let the cup pass? "Sorry. No." Apparently.

And why was that okay? There's a backup plan. Always. Count on it.

Jesus Christ - The Chief Cornerstone

Best of Spirits

If Nations Fall

Our task remains the same.

When no stone is left standing,
and ruin is complete,
When all is ash and scattered,
salted earth beneath our feet,

The rise and fall of nations
ought be no deep concern.
If time has come for cleansing
fire, let it burn.

Preserve by living daily
by values, by ideals,
That which the mass, unthinking,
eventually steals.

Endure the rude transition,
Relocate and rebuild.
We live and die by that which God
permits as much as willed.

We don't need all the answers,
we wouldn't understand,
Except to know, howe'er winds blow,
the final chapter's grand.

Best of Spirits

Ony's Tail is Twitching

Has her eye on something.

Best of Spirits

Appearance of Jesus

Akiane Kramarik, Colton Burpo

This page has become one of the most-viewed on this website. I'm not sure where all the hits are coming from, but many seem to be coming from people looking up this topic on search engines.

You may also be interested in this article by chrissythehyphenated on PoliNation blog, which includes a trailer the forthcoming film, Heaven is for Real, and compares the painting by Akiane with a nun's painting from the Shroud of Turin.

The painting of Jesus by Akiane was found hotlinked by a commenter at; the article addresses the question, "Were Jesus and Santa White?" with an illustration of a "Jewish-looking" Jesus.

Update 2014 Jun 29:
Back in April, Cuz BD pointed to this counterpoint, Heaven Is Real, but Heaven Is for Real Is Really Not, by Hank Hanegraaff at Christian Research Institute."

Comments will not be edited unless for some technical reason, but may be removed for inappropriate content.

[Adapted, with corrections, from a comment on PoliNation.]

Good day. I’m several days behind on my PoliNation reading. Again. I’ve been programming. It’s like going on vacation from time-consciousness. Without the going anywhere enjoyable.

I was inspired to pass something on to PoliNation. Hope you don’t mind. Hope I’m not repeating something touched on here before. Forgive the length.

First of all, you know the young girl, Akiane Kramarik, who says she paints what she sees in heaven? Video here. [Embedded below]

She painted this picture of Jesus, as she saw him.

Jesus by Akiane

Well, you may also know about the kid, Colton Burpo, who “died” and came back with stories of heaven? The Mindful Mrs is reading about him in “Heaven is for Real.” (Amazon link) Colton told his dad, he’d met the dad’s grandfather (“Pop”) in heaven. They showed him a picture of the grandfather, old, and the kid said, no, that’s not him. Then, they got a picture of him as a young man, and when the kid saw it, he said, “Where’d you get the picture of Pop?”

So, Part Two: The parents kept showing him paintings of “Jesus,” and he’d always say, no, no, that’s not him. Got to the point they’d ask him, not whether, but what was wrong with each picture. Then they showed him Kramarik’s painting, without any introduction except to ask what was wrong with this one.

The kid was quiet a while, then said, “Nothing.” Basically identified that as the appearance of Jesus he met in heaven.

It’s a nice face. Yet all my scam meters go off. It’s like UFOlogists who pick up on each other’s ideas like they were doing improv, “Oh, yeah, the Greens are out there, but the Grays are the dominant alien race who live at the center of the earth.” Or the Tyrant types who seem to automatically know each other’s latest memes, with or without Journolist. I wouldn’t suspect the kids, of course, but the possible “stage parents.” Still… Nice face. And the young girl is undeniably talented.

PS. For comparison, one of those restored-from-the-Shroud of Turin pictures of Jesus here.

Jesus from Shroud of Turin

PPS: “Jesus is the first person you meet in Heaven,” the little boy told a near-death old man one day. With all respect to the love of the Son, I would not have expected that, well, for the average survivor anyway. However, you might think this peculiar, but when Mrs read that to me, the concept reminded me of GW Bush’s quiet, personal meetings with wounded & returning vets of the wars he initiated. Since we go through this sin-torn world at His behest, as it were.

It is a nice face.

paintings transitionIn the animated image here, the faces were only adjusted in size so the eyes approximately coincide. (The Shroud face being a bit longer.) The Shroud of Turin painting was flipped horizontally.

Akiane Kramarik, Colton Burpo featured in Various Visions of Heaven video playlist: