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Archive for May, 2012

A “serpent-handling” West Virginia pastor died after his rattlesnake bit him during a church ritual, just as the man had apparently watched a snake kill his father years before.
Pentecostal pastor Mark Wolford, 44, hosted an outdoor service at the Panther Wildlife Management Area in West Virginia Sunday, which he touted on his Facebook page prior to the event.
“I am looking for a great time this Sunday,” Wolford wrote May 22, according to the Washington Post. “It is going to be a homecoming like the old days. Good ‘ole raised in the holler or mountain ridge running, Holy Ghost-filled speaking-in-tongues sign believers.”
Robin Vanover, Wolford’s sister, told the Washington Post that 30 minutes into the outdoor service, Wolford passed around a poisonous timber rattlesnake, which eventually bit him.
(ack: abc News of may 30)

Some are born fools and some make themselves foolish. The pastor didn’t take the sign God gave his father, ‘Do not tempt God.’ Is there any reason why man should kiss a snake anymore than one bite a dog? The pastor made the news in whichever case. God helps man who trusts in him in helpless situations. But hopeless idiots must help themselves.

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Zeus and the Council of gods got all the creatures, almost all of them built to their satisfaction. There still remained some lump and they did not know what to do with it. Zeus slapped hard the putty-like stuff around. At one point the goddess of Agriculture said,’Aye, it looks almost like a sheep!’ Zeus stopped and said,’Sheep of the pasture, it cannot be then.” He waited for a suggestion. He scanned the horizon and saw there were vast stretches of pasture dried under global warming. ‘Ship of the desert!’ said Ganymede who was meanwhile filling their cups with wine.
The gods liked the idea. ‘I will send a couple of camels to fill that part of the world’. It was thus camels became staple feature of deserts.
When the ice age began there were marshes, and camels seeing hippos frolicking, thought they could be as strong as they. Later they saw wild assess gamboling and prayed Zeus to give something of their nature to them. Later it was giraffe that caught their imagination. ‘Oh Chief god, make us tall as they are. Ah what a curve!’ they bristled at their own hippo-like necks. Zeus often distracted by their incessant wishes,’ You shall have them all. Go and become a kind of entire animal kingdom in that impossible body of yours!’
Thus a camel carries the global warming and ice age; it has the sturdiness of hippos and bones and teeth like those of wild asses, rough hairiness of sheep’s wool. Camel had only one complaint,’We carry so much water within. Why must we carry for others?’ Zeus weary to his bone said,’Stop this nonsense.You shall need it. I am sending you to waste heaps, as a beast of burden.’
This is how camels who wanted to be sheep of the pasture ended as ship of the desert.
benny

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In a couple of weeks I hope to celebrate my birth day. Should I treat it as a day of sorrow? You see I am coming into the wrong side of sixties. But incurable and hopeless idiot I am for a good laugh, I could celebrate it for another reason. You see I am still on the good side of seventies.
On looking back I see the moments of panic and shudder in my life and see nothing I feared did really happen. Fear of parents,teachers who breathed fire and rattled rulers and imposition are all gone. Faces of martinets and House rules are out focus. A nasty marriage divorce, and the fearful step unto the unknown are equally behind me. From where I stand clarity of life as I imagined and how it has been give me a new insight. Clarity of life as a whole, places emphases elsewhere; the reality is much more significant since I can see many chain of events that I had merely treated then as coincidence connect and a few others disappear as of no consequence.
My trust in grace of God and in the mysteries of life has been vindicated. Love as an experience I find far more important and satisfying than a life of ideas. What are sparks of ideas without the reality of life? What is love but the nature of life given the wick to burn? I hope my wife and I shall be warmed even as old age is about us.
benny

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A couple of years ago I went back to India where I had lived for some fifty years. I came to know a French couple rather well. They were living well in Paris,- and both were professionals, and one day they had enough of it. Love for India had completely taken possession of them. They wanted to see, feel and live close to nature and be in ‘the centre of Cosmic forces’. Which other place but India? Their imagination was quite lively I must admit, and their transparency for all their urban living simply shone through. The man was, of all things an advocate having had his private practice and he felt India demanded all that he could give. Yes he and his wife did give, and at every corner from the law to the whole array of ‘gurus’ in their saffron clothes were for taking all they could. Having ran up all their life savings on the assumption that India of their dreams must some time and somewhere must coincide. It never did happen to their disappointment.
Recently we met once again and the Parisian wanted to know where did he go wrong. Who am I to break his illusions? The French couple loved India of their imagination while I loved the habit of being an Indian. His cultural baggage is neither Paris where he grew up but also imagination that makes reality work. Only what has changed now is this: reality of India added something new to his imagination. Paris that he is going back for good shall be all the more better.
Our cultural baggage is so heavy when consigned to imagination. In reality India weighs no more than Paris since it is to be lived in. Reality and how it is handled requires no ‘culture’ in technicolor but hard common sense.
benny

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A fuller whose job is to make the clothes shine had large grounds. He thought someone else could set up his trade there. He knew the rent would add to his profits. So he sent advertisements all around for some trader or an artisan to move in. One day a collier dropped in. He was interested. All he needed was a furnace and space for storing firewood. ‘Just let me in. I look after my needs and pay rent on the day agreed and give you no trouble’,said he.
The fuller took the collier to show his line of business. ‘See I only need sunshine and space to hang all the clothes bleached to dry out.’
The collier showed him in his turn how he worked. ‘See that chimney stack. It takes all the smoke and will not trouble you or me.’
The fuller however was not convinced. He said, ‘you shall keep your end of the bargain.I know. Unfortunately we share the same sky. I need the sun to make my clothes shine spotless and keep their whiteness. But can I trust wind or your smoke? I know you mean no harm. But the wind may blow all that smoke onto my space and undo my hard work. It is better that you go elsewhere. It will give me peace.’
The State and Religion cannot mix. There are so many imponderables and not a single state has been saved by religion. Instead Religion has only defeated every effort of best of men who would give peace to men within the state. Look at Spain under the Moors. How the Moors and Christians fought for its control? Imagine what would have been the case had the Moors still controlled Spain? It would have been another Syria under Bashar Assad or Libya. Now Spain under the Catholic Church produced Franco. With the Church interfering every horror man could think of under the sun has come one after the other: Inquisition, civil war, stolen children, forced adoption,sex abuse. For all the iron heel of church or dictatorship what is the economic situation? Unemployment is very high and Recession is very much there. If one looks where Spain (or any other nation where religion plays a vital role), it will be clear where these nations stand in terms of happiness.(OECD.org) Religion has been man’s own device to make him fall headlong into the pit of misery. Religion and State have been devil’s prescription for man’s pride that makes him think he is in control of his own destiny.
Remember Guernica? Remember Bali Bombing?
benny

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