Benjamin-Newton Challenging Projects: Key to understanding Christianity (thanksgiving)

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Jonah 2

"Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish's belly, And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice. For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me. Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple. The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head. I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God. When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple. They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy. But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. salvation is of the Lord. And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land." --Jonah 2

"Then Jonah prayed unto Jehovah his God out of the fish’s belly. And he said, I called by reason of mine affliction unto Jehovah, And he answered me; Out of the belly of Sheol cried I, And thou heardest my voice. For thou didst cast me into the depth, in the heart of the seas, And the flood was round about me; All thy waves and thy billows passed over me. And I said, I am cast out from before thine eyes; Yet I will look again toward thy holy temple. The waters compassed me about, even to the soul; The deep was round about me; The weeds were wrapped about my head. I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; The earth with its bars closed upon me for ever: Yet hast thou brought up my life from the pit, O Jehovah my God. When my soul fainted within me, I remembered Jehovah; And my prayer came in unto thee, into thy holy temple. They that regard lying vanities Forsake their own mercy. But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that which I have vowed. salvation is of Jehovah. And Jehovah spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land." --Jonah 2 (American Standard Version)

"Then Jonah made prayer to the Lord his God from the inside of the fish, and said, In my trouble I was crying to the Lord, and he gave me an answer; out of the deepest underworld I sent up a cry, and you gave ear to my voice. For you have put me down into the deep, into the heart of the sea; and the river was round about me; all your waves and your rolling waters went over me. And I said, I have been sent away from before your eyes; how may I ever again see your holy Temple? The waters were circling round me, even to the neck; the deep was about me; the sea-grass was twisted round my head. I went down to the bases of the mountains; as for the earth, her walls were about me for ever: but you have taken up my life from the underworld, O Lord my God. When my soul in me was overcome, I kept the memory of the Lord: and my prayer came in to you, into your holy Temple. The worshippers of false gods have given up their only hope. But I will make an offering to you with the voice of praise; I will give effect to my oaths. salvation is the Lord's. And at the Lord's order, the fish sent Jonah out of its mouth on to the dry land." --Jonah 2 (Bible in Basic English)

"Then Jonah prayed to the Lord, his God, out of the fish's belly. He said, "I called because of my affliction to the Lord. He answered me. Out of the belly of Sheol I cried. You heard my voice. For you threw me into the depths, in the heart of the seas. The flood was all around me. All your waves and your billows passed over me. I said, 'I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple.' The waters surrounded me, even to the soul. The deep was around me. The weeds were wrapped around my head. I went down to the bottoms of the mountains. The earth barred me in forever: yet have you brought up my life from the pit, Lord my God. "When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the Lord. My prayer came in to you, into your holy temple. Those who regard lying vanities forsake their own mercy. But I will sacrifice to you with the voice of thanksgiving. I will pay that which I have vowed. salvation belongs to the Lord." The Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited out Jonah on the dry land." --Jonah 2 (New heart English Bible)

"And the Lord prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights. And Jonah prayed to the Lord, his God, from the belly of the fish. And he said: "I cried out to the Lord from my tribulation, and he heeded me. From the belly of hell, I cried out, and you heeded my voice. And you have thrown me into the deep, in the heart of the sea, and a flood has encircled me. All your whirlpools and your waves have passed over me. And I said: I am expelled from the sight of your eyes. Yet, truly, I will see your holy temple again. The waters surrounded me, even to the soul. The abyss has walled me in. The ocean has covered my head. I descended to the base of the mountains. The bars of the earth have enclosed me forever. And you will raise up my life from corruption, Lord, my God. When my soul was in anguish within me, I called to mind the Lord, so that my prayer might come to you, to your holy temple. Those who in vain observe vanities, abandon their own mercy. But I, with a voice of praise, will sacrifice to you. I will repay whatever I have vowed to the Lord, because of my salvation." And the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land." --Jonah 2 (Catholic Public Domain Version)

Psalm 40

"I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord. Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O Lord, thou knowest. I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation. Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O Lord: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me. For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me. Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me: O Lord, make haste to help me. Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil. Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, aha. Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The Lord be magnified. But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God." --Psalm 40

"I waited patiently for Jehovah; And he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay; And he set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: Many shall see it, and fear, And shall trust in Jehovah. Blessed is the man that maketh Jehovah his trust, And respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. Many, O Jehovah my God, are the wonderful works which thou hast done, And thy thoughts which are to us-ward: They cannot be set in order unto thee; If I would declare and speak of them, They are more than can be numbered. sacrifice and offering thou hast no delight in; Mine ears hast thou opened: Burnt-offering and sin-offering hast thou not required. Then said I, Lo, I am come; In the roll of the book it is written of me: I delight to do thy will, O my God; Yea, thy law is within my heart. I have proclaimed glad tidings of righteousness in the great assembly; Lo, I will not refrain my lips, O Jehovah, thou knowest. I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation; I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great assembly. Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O Jehovah; Let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me. For innumerable evils have compassed me about; Mine iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up; They are more than the hairs of my head; And my heart hath failed me. Be pleased, O Jehovah, to deliver me: Make haste to help me, O Jehovah. Let them be put to shame and confounded together That seek after my soul to destroy it: Let them be turned backward and brought to dishonor That delight in my hurt. Let them be desolate by reason of their shame That say unto me, Aha, aha. Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: Let such as love thy salvation say continually, Jehovah be magnified. But I am poor and needy; Yet the Lord thinketh upon me: Thou art my help and my deliverer; Make no tarrying, O my God." --Psalm 40 (American Standard Version)

"When I was waiting quietly for the Lord, his heart was turned to me, and he gave ear to my cry. He took me up out of a deep waste place, out of the soft and sticky earth; he put my feet on a rock, and made my steps certain. And he put a new song in my mouth, even praise to our God; numbers have seen it with fear, and put their faith in the Lord. Happy is the man who has faith in the Lord, and does not give honour to the men of pride or to those who are turned away to deceit. O Lord my God, great are the wonders which you have done in your thought for us; it is not possible to put them out in order before you; when I would give an account of them, their number is greater than I may say. You had no desire for offerings of beasts or fruits of the earth; ears you made for me: for burned offerings and sin offerings you made no request. Then I said, See, I come; it is recorded of me in the roll of the book, My delight is to do your pleasure, O my God; truly, your law is in my heart. I have given news of righteousness in the great meeting; O Lord, you have knowledge that I have not kept back my words. Your righteousness has not been folded away in my heart; I have made clear your true word and your salvation; I have not kept secret your mercy or your faith from the great meeting. Take not away your gentle mercies from me, O Lord; let your mercy and your faith keep me safe for ever. For unnumbered evils are round about me; my sins have overtaken me, so that I am bent down with their weight; they are more than the hairs of my head, my strength is gone because of them. Be pleased, O Lord, to take me out of danger; O Lord, come quickly and give me help. Let those who go after my soul for its destruction have shame and trouble together; let them be turned back and made foolish who take pleasure in my trouble. Let those who say to me, Aha, aha! be surprised because of their shame. Let all those who are looking for you be glad and have joy in you; let the lovers of your salvation ever say, May the Lord be great. Though I am poor and in need, the Lord has me in mind; you are my help and my saviour; let there be no waiting, O my God." --Psalm 40 (Bible in Basic English)

"I waited patiently for the Lord. He turned to me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay. He set my feet on a rock, and gave me a firm place to stand. He has put a new song in my mouth, even praise to our God. Many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord. Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, and doesn't respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. Many, Lord, my God, are the wonderful works which you have done, and your thoughts which are toward us. They can't be declared back to you. If I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you have prepared for me. You have not required burnt offering and sin offering. Then I said, "Behold, I have come. It is written about me in the book in the scroll. I delight to do your will, my God. Yes, your law is within my heart." I have proclaimed glad news of righteousness in the great assembly. Behold, I will not seal my lips, Lord, you know. I have not hidden your righteousness within my heart. I have declared your faithfulness and your salvation. I have not concealed your loving kindness and your truth from the great assembly. Do not withhold your tender mercies from me, Lord. Let your loving kindness and your truth continually preserve me. For innumerable evils have surrounded me. My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up. They are more than the hairs of my head. My heart has failed me. Be pleased, Lord, to deliver me. Hurry to help me, Lord. Let them be disappointed and confounded together who seek after my soul to destroy it. Let them be turned backward and brought to dishonor who delight in my hurt. Let them be desolate by reason of their shame that tell me, "Aha! Aha!" Let all those who seek you rejoice and be glad in you. Let such as love your salvation say continually, "Let the Lord be exalted!" But I am poor and needy. May the Lord think about me. You are my help and my deliverer. Do not delay, my God." --Psalm 40 (New heart English Bible)

"I have waited expectantly for the Lord, and he was attentive to me. And he heard my prayers and he led me out of the pit of misery and the quagmire. And he stationed my feet upon a rock, and he directed my steps. And he sent a new canticle into my mouth, a song to our God. Many will see, and they will fear; and they will hope in the Lord. Blessed is the man whose hope is in the name of the Lord, and who has no respect for vanities and absurd falsehoods. You have accomplished your many wonders, O Lord my God, and there is no one similar to you in your thoughts. I have announced and I have spoken: they are multiplied beyond number. sacrifice and oblation, you did not want. But you have perfected ears for me. Holocaust and sin offering, you did not require. Then I said, “Behold, I draw near.” At the head of the book, it has been written of me: that I should do your will. My God, I have willed it. And your law is in the midst of my heart. I have announced your justice in a great Church: behold, I will not restrain my lips. O Lord, you have known it. I have not concealed your justice within my heart. I have spoken your truth and your salvation. I have not concealed your mercy and your truth from a great assembly. O Lord, do not take your tender mercies far from me. Your mercy and your truth ever sustain me. For evils without number have surrounded me. My iniquities have taken hold of me, and I was not able to see. They have been multiplied beyond the hairs of my head. And my heart has forsaken me. Be pleased, O Lord, to rescue me. Look down, O Lord, to help me. Let them together be confounded and awed, who seek after my soul to steal it away. Let them be turned back and be in awe, who wish evils upon me. Let them bear their confusion all at once, who say to me, “Well, well.” Let all who seek you exult and rejoice over you. And let those who love your salvation always say, “May the Lord be magnified.” But I am a beggar and poor. The Lord has been concerned about me. You are my helper and my protector. My God, do not delay." --Psalm 40 (Catholic Public Domain Version)

Psalm 116:1-8

"I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the Lord; O Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my soul. Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful. The Lord preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me. Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling." --Psalm 116:1-8

I love Jehovah, because he heareth My voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, Therefore will I call upon him as long as I live. The cords of death compassed me, And the pains of Sheol gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of Jehovah: O Jehovah, I beseech thee, deliver my soul. Gracious is Jehovah, and righteous; Yea, our God is merciful. Jehovah preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he saved me. Return unto thy rest, O my soul; For Jehovah hath dealt bountifully with thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death, Mine eyes from tears, And my feet from falling. --Psalm 116:1-8 (American Standard Version)

"I have given my love to the Lord, because he has given ear to the voice of my cry and my prayer. He has let my request come before him, and I will make my prayer to him all my days. The nets of death were round me, and the pains of the underworld had me in their grip; I was full of trouble and sorrow. Then I made my prayer to the Lord, saying, O Lord, take my soul out of trouble. The Lord is full of grace and righteousness; truly, he is a God of mercy. The Lord keeps the simple; I was made low, and he was my saviour. Come back to your rest, O my soul; for the Lord has given you your reward. You have taken my soul from the power of death, keeping my eyes from weeping, and my feet from falling." --Psalm 116:1-8 (Bible in Basic English)

"I love the Lord, because he listens to my voice, and my cries for mercy. Because he has turned his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live. The cords of death surrounded me, the pains of Sheol got a hold of me. I found trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord: "Lord, I beg you, deliver my soul." The Lord is Gracious and righteous. Yes, our God is merciful. The Lord preserves the simple. I was brought low, and he saved me. Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from falling." --Psalm 116:1-8 (New heart English Bible)

"Alleluia. I have loved: therefore, the Lord will heed the voice of my prayer. For he has inclined his ear to me. And in my days, I will call upon him. The sorrows of death have surrounded me, and the perils of hell have found me. I have found tribulation and sorrow. And so, I called upon the name of the Lord. O Lord, free my soul. Merciful is the Lord, and just. And our God is compassionate. The Lord is the keeper of little ones. I was humbled, and he freed me. Turn again, my soul, to your rest. For the Lord has done good to you. For he has rescued my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from slipping." --Psalm 116:1-8 (Catholic Public Domain Version)

Psalm 107:8-14

"Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron; Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High: Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help. Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder." --Psalm 107:8-14

"Oh that men would praise Jehovah for his lovingkindness, And for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, And the hungry soul he filleth with good. Such as sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, Being bound in affliction and iron, Because they rebelled against the words of God, And contemned the counsel of the Most High: Therefore he brought down their heart with labor; They fell down, and there was none to help. Then they cried unto Jehovah in their trouble, And he saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, And brake their bonds in sunder." --Psalm 107:8-14 (American Standard Version)

"Let men give praise to the Lord for his mercy, and for the wonders which he does for the children of men! He gives its desire to the unresting soul, so that it is full of good things. Those who were in the dark, in the black night, in chains of sorrow and iron; Because they went against the words of God, and gave no thought to the laws of the Most High: So that he made their hearts weighted down with grief; they were falling, and had no helper. Then they sent up their cry to the Lord in their sorrow, and he gave them salvation out of all their troubles. He took them out of the dark and the black night, and all their chains were broken." --Psalm 107:8-14 (Bible in Basic English)

"Let them praise the Lord for his loving kindness, for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfies the longing soul. He fills the hungry soul with good. Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron, because they rebelled against the words of God, and condemned the counsel of the Most High. Therefore he brought down their heart with labor. They fell down, and there was none to help. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and broke their bonds in sunder." --Psalm 107:8-14 (New heart English Bible)

"Let his mercies confess to the Lord, and let his miracles confess to the sons of men. For he has satisfied the empty soul, and he has satisfied the hungry soul with good things: those sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death, shackled by extreme poverty and by iron. For they exasperated the eloquence of God, and they irritated the deliberation of the Most High. And their heart was brought low with hardships. They were weakened, and there was no one to help them. And they cried out to the Lord in their tribulation, and he freed them from their distress. And he led them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and he broke apart their chains." --Psalm 107:8-14 (Catholic Public Domain Version)

Lamentations 3:18-26

"And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord: Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall. My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me. This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord." --Lamentations 3:18-26

"And I said, My strength is perished, and mine expectation from Jehovah. Remember mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall. My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is bowed down within me. This I recall to my mind; therefore have I hope. It is of Jehovah’s lovingkindnesses that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness. Jehovah is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. Jehovah is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should hope and quietly wait for the salvation of Jehovah." --Lamentations 3:18-26 (American Standard Version)

"And I said, My strength is cut off, and my hope from the Lord. Keep in mind my trouble and my wandering, the bitter root and the poison. My soul still keeps the memory of them; and is bent down in me. This I keep in mind, and because of this I have hope. It is through the Lord's love that we have not come to destruction, because his mercies have no limit. They are new every morning; great is your good faith. I said to myself, The Lord is my heritage; and because of this I will have hope in him. The Lord is good to those who are waiting for him, to the soul which is looking for him. It is good to go on hoping and quietly waiting for the salvation of the Lord." --Lamentations 3:18-26 (Bible in Basic English)

"And I said, "My strength and my hope has perished from the Lord." Remember my affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall. My soul considers them, and is depressed. But this I call to my mind; therefore I have hope: The Lord's faithful love does not cease; his compassion does not fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "therefore will I hope in him." The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him. It is good that a man should hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord." --Lamentations 3:18-26 (New heart English Bible)

"And I said, “My end and my hope from the Lord has perished.” Remember my poverty and my transgression, the wormwood and the gall. I will call to mind the past, and my soul shall languish within me. These recollections are in my heart; therefore, I shall hope. By the mercies of the Lord, we are not consumed. For his compassion has not passed away. I know it at first light; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” said my soul. Because of this, I will wait for him. The Lord is good to those who hope in him, to the soul that seeks him. It is good to stand ready in silence for the salvation of God." --Lamentations 3:18-26 (Catholic Public Domain Version)

1 Samuel 2:1-10

"And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the Lord, mine horn is exalted in the Lord: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation. There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God. Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength. They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased: so that the barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble. The Lord killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, and he hath set the world upon them. He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail. The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the Lord shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed." --1 Samuel 2:1-10

"And Hannah prayed, and said: My heart exulteth in Jehovah; My horn is exalted in Jehovah; My mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; Because I rejoice in thy salvation. There is none holy as Jehovah; For there is none besides thee, Neither is there any rock like our God. Talk no more so exceeding proudly; Let not arrogancy come out of your mouth; For Jehovah is a God of knowledge, And by him actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty men are broken; And they that stumbled are girded with strength. They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; And they that were hungry have ceased to hunger: Yea, the barren hath borne seven; And she that hath many children languisheth. Jehovah killeth, and maketh alive: He bringeth down to Sheol, and bringeth up. Jehovah maketh poor, and maketh rich: He bringeth low, he also lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, He lifteth up the needy from the dunghill, To make them sit with princes, And inherit the throne of glory: For the pillars of the earth are Jehovah’s, And he hath set the world upon them. He will keep the feet of his holy ones; But the wicked shall be put to silence in darkness; For by strength shall no man prevail. They that strive with Jehovah shall be broken to pieces; Against them will he thunder in heaven: Jehovah will judge the ends of the earth; And he will give strength unto his king, And exalt the horn of his anointed." --1 Samuel 2:1-10 (American Standard Version)

"And Hannah, in prayer before the Lord, said, My heart is glad in the Lord, my horn is lifted up in the Lord: my mouth is open wide over my haters; because my joy is in your salvation. No other is holy as the Lord, for there is no other God but you: there is no Rock like our God. Say no more words of pride; let not uncontrolled sayings come out of your mouths: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, by him acts are judged. The bows of the men of war are broken, and the feeble are clothed with strength. Those who were full are offering themselves as servants for bread; those who were in need are at rest; truly, she who had no children has become the mother of seven; and she who had a family is wasted with sorrow. The Lord is the giver of death and life: sending men down to the underworld and lifting them up. The Lord gives wealth and takes a man's goods from him: crushing men down and again lifting them up; Lifting the poor out of the dust, and him who is in need out of the lowest place, to give them their place among rulers, and for their heritage the seat of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the Lord's and he has made them the base of the world. He will keep the feet of his holy ones, but the evil-doers will come to their end in the dark night, for by strength no man will overcome. Those who make war against the Lord will be broken; against them he will send his thunder from heaven: the Lord will be judge of the ends of the earth, he will give strength to his king, lifting up the horn of him on whom the holy oil has been put." --1 Samuel 2:1-10 (Bible in Basic English)

"Hannah prayed, and said: "My heart exults in the Lord! My horn is exalted in the Lord. My mouth is enlarged over my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation. There is no one as holy as the Lord, For there is no one besides you, nor is there any rock like our God. "Talk no more so exceeding proudly. Do not let arrogance come out of your mouth, For the Lord is a God of knowledge. By him actions are weighed. "The bows of the mighty men are broken. Those who stumbled are armed with strength. Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread. Those who were hungry are satisfied. Yes, the barren has borne seven. She who has many children languishes. "The Lord kills, and makes alive. He brings down to Sheol, and brings up. The Lord makes poor, and makes rich. He brings low, he also lifts up. He raises up the poor out of the dust. He lifts up the needy from the dunghill, To make them sit with princes, and inherit the throne of glory. For the pillars of the earth are the Lord's. He has set the world on them. He will keep the feet of his holy ones, but the wicked shall be put to silence in darkness; for no man shall prevail by strength. Those who strive with the Lord shall be broken to pieces. He will thunder against them in the sky. "The Lord will judge the ends of the earth. He will give strength to his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed."" --1 Samuel 2:1-10 (New heart English Bible)

"“My heart exults in the Lord, and my horn is exalted in my God. My mouth is enlarged over my enemies. For I have rejoiced in your salvation. Nothing is holy as the Lord is holy. For there is no other beside you. And nothing is strong as our God is strong. Do not continue speaking of great things, boasting. Let what is old depart from your mouth. For the Lord is the God of knowledge, and thoughts are prepared for him. The bow of the powerful has been overwhelmed, and the weak have been girded with strength. Those who before were filled, have hired themselves out for bread. And the starving have been filled, so that the barren have given birth to many. But she who had borne many sons has become unable. The Lord brings death, and he gives life. He leads away to death, and he brings back again. The Lord impoverishes, and he enriches. He humbles, and he lifts up. He raises up the indigent from the dust, and he lifts up the poor from filth, so that they may sit with princes, and take hold of a throne of glory. For the hinges of the earth belong to the Lord, and he has placed the globe upon them. He will preserve the feet of his holy ones, and the impious will be silenced in darkness. For no man will prevail by his own strength. The adversaries of the Lord will dread him. And over them, he will thunder in the heavens. The Lord will judge the parts of the earth, and he will give dominion to his king, and he will lift up the horn of his Christ.”"" --1 Samuel 2:1-10 (Catholic Public Domain Version)

Isaiah 49:7-13

"Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the Lord that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee. Thus saith the Lord, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places. They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them. And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted. Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim. sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted." --Isaiah 49:7-13

"Thus saith Jehovah, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers: Kings shall see and arise; princes, and they shall worship; because of Jehovah that is faithful, even the Holy One of Israel, who hath chosen thee. Thus saith Jehovah, In an acceptable time have I answered thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee; and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to raise up the land, to make them inherit the desolate heritages; saying to them that are bound, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Show yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and on all bare heights shall be their pasture. They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them will lead them, even by springs of water will he guide them. And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted. Lo, these shall come from far; and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim. sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for Jehovah hath comforted his people, and will have compassion upon his afflicted." --Isaiah 49:7-13 (American Standard Version)

"The Lord who takes up Israel's cause, even his Holy One, says to him whom men make sport of, who is hated by the nations, a servant of rulers: Kings will see and get up from their places, and chiefs will give worship: because of the Lord who keeps faith; even the Holy One of Israel who has taken you for himself. This is the word of the Lord: I have given ear to you at a good time, and I have been your helper in a day of salvation: and I will keep you safe, and will make you a glory for the people, putting the land in order, and giving them the heritages which now are waste; Saying to those who are in chains, Go free; to those who are in the dark, Come out into the light. They will get food by the way wherever they go, and have grass-lands on all the dry mountain-tops. They will not be in need of food or drink, or be troubled by the heat or the sun: for he who has mercy on them will be their guide, taking them by the springs of water. And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways will be lifted up. See, these are coming from far; and these from the north and the west; and these from the land of Sinim. Let your voice be loud in song, O heavens; and be glad, O earth; make sounds of joy, O mountains, for the Lord has given comfort to his people, and will have mercy on his crushed ones." --Isaiah 49:7-13 (Bible in Basic English)

"Thus says the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despises, to him whom the nation abhors, to a servant of rulers: "Kings shall see and arise; princes, and they shall worship; because of the Lord who is faithful, even the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you." Thus says the Lord, "In an acceptable time have I answered you, and in a day of salvation have I helped you; and I will preserve you, and give you for a covenant of the people, to raise up the land, to make them inherit the desolate heritage: saying to those who are bound, 'Come out!'; to those who are in darkness, 'Show yourselves!' "They shall feed in the ways, and on all bare heights shall be their pasture. They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun strike them: for he who has mercy on them will lead them, even by springs of water he will guide them. I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted. Behold, these shall come from far; and behold, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim." sing, heavens; and be joyful, earth; and break forth into singing, mountains: for the Lord has comforted his people, and will have compassion on his afflicted." --Isaiah 49:7-13 (New heart English Bible)

Thus says the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, his Holy One, to a contemptible soul, to an abominable nation, to the servant of lords: The kings will see, and the princes will rise up, and they will adore, because of the Lord. For he is faithful, and he is the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you. Thus says the Lord: In a pleasing time, I have heeded you, and in the day of salvation, I have assisted you. And I have preserved you, and I have presented you as a covenant of the people, so that you would lift up the earth, and possess the scattered inheritances, so that you would say to those who are bound, “Go forth!” and to those who are in darkness, “Be released!” They will pasture along the roads, and their pastures will be in every open place. They will not hunger or thirst, nor will the heat of the sun beat down upon them. For the one who takes pity on them will rule them, and he will give them to drink from fountains of waters. And I will make all my mountains into a road, and my paths will be exalted. Behold, some will come from far away, and behold, others from the north and from the sea, and still others from the land of the south. Give praise, O heavens! And exult, O earth! Let the mountains give praise with jubilation! For the Lord has consoled his people, and he will take pity on his poor ones. --Isaiah 49:7-13 (Catholic Public Domain Version)

2 Corinthians 4:7-18

"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you. We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." --2 Corinthians 4:7-18

"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the exceeding greatness of the power may be of God, and not from ourselves; we are pressed on every side, yet not straitened; perplexed, yet not unto despair; pursued, yet not forsaken; smitten down, yet not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you. But having the same spirit of faith, according to that which is written, I believed, and therefore did I speak; we also believe, and therefore also we speak; knowing that he that raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also with Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the grace, being multiplied through the many, may cause the thanksgiving to abound unto the glory of God. Wherefore we faint not; but though our outward man is decaying, yet our inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is for the moment, worketh for us more and more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." --2 Corinthians 4:7-18 (American Standard Version)

"But we have this wealth in vessels of earth, so that it may be seen that the power comes not from us but from God; Troubles are round us on every side, but we are not shut in; things are hard for us, but we see a way out of them; We are cruelly attacked, but not without hope; we are made low, but we are not without help; In our bodies there is ever the mark of the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be seen in our bodies. For, while living, we are still being given up to death because of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be seen in our flesh, though it is under the power of death. So then, death is working in us, but life in you. But having the same spirit of faith, as it is said in the Writings, The words of my mouth came from the faith in my heart; in the same way, our words are the outcome of our faith; Because we are certain that he who made the Lord Jesus come back from the dead, will do the same for us, and will give us a place in his glory with you. For we go through all things on account of you, because the greater the number to whom the grace is given, the greater is the praise to the glory of God. For which cause we do not give way to weariness; but though our outer man is getting feebler, our inner man is made new day by day. For our present trouble, which is only for a short time, is working out for us a much greater weight of glory; While our minds are not on the things which are seen, but on the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are for a time; but the things which are not seen are eternal." --2 Corinthians 4:7-18 (Bible in Basic English)

"But we have this treasure in clay vessels, that the exceeding greatness of the power may be of God, and not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side, yet not crushed; perplexed, yet not to despair; pursued, yet not forsaken; struck down, yet not destroyed; always carrying in the body the putting to death of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus may be revealed in our mortal flesh. So then death works in us, but life in you. But having the same spirit of faith, according to that which is written, "I believed, and therefore I spoke." We also believe, and therefore also we speak; knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus, and will present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the grace, being multiplied through the many, may cause the thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God. Therefore we do not faint, but though our outward man is decaying, yet our inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is for the moment, works for us more and more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory; while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal."--2 Corinthians 4:7-18 (New heart English Bible)

"But we hold this treasure in earthen vessels, so that what is sublime may be of the power of God, and not of us. In all things, we endure tribulation, yet we are not in anguish. We are constrained, yet we are not destitute. We suffer persecution, yet we have not been abandoned. We are thrown down, yet we do not perish. We ever carry around the mortification of Jesus in our bodies, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are ever handed over unto death for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our mortal flesh. Therefore, death is at work in us, and life is at work in you. But we have the same spirit of faith. And just as it is written, “I believed, and for that reason I spoke,” so we also believe, and for that reason, we also speak. For we know that the One who raised up Jesus will raise us up also with Jesus and will place us with you. Thus, all is for you, so that grace, abounding through many in thanksgiving, may abound to the glory of God. For this reason, we are not insufficient. But it is as though our outer man is corrupted, while our inner man is renewed from day to day. For though our tribulation is, at the present time, brief and light, it accomplishes in us the weight of a sublime eternal glory, beyond measure. And we are contemplating, not the things that are seen, but the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are temporal, whereas the things that are not seen are eternal."--2 Corinthians 4:7-18 (Catholic Public Domain Version)

Philippians 4:4-13

"rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." --Philippians 4:4-13

"rejoice in the Lord always: again I will say, rejoice. Let your forbearance be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. The things which ye both learned and received and heard and saw in me, these things do: and the God of peace shall be with you. But I rejoice in the Lord greatly, that now at length ye have revived your thought for me; wherein ye did indeed take thought, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therein to be content. I know how to be abased, and I know also how to abound: in everything and in all things have I learned the secret both to be filled and to be hungry, both to abound and to be in want. I can do all things in him that strengtheneth me." --Philippians 4:4-13 (American Standard Version)

"Be glad in the Lord at all times: again I say, Be glad. Let your gentle behaviour be clear to all men. The Lord is near. Have no cares; but in everything with prayer and praise put your requests before God. And the peace of God, which is deeper than all knowledge, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. For the rest, my brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things have honour, whatever things are upright, whatever things are holy, whatever things are beautiful, whatever things are of value, if there is any virtue and if there is any praise, give thought to these things. The things which came to you by my teaching and preaching, and which you saw in me, these things do, and the God of peace will be with you. But I am very glad in the Lord that your care for me has come to life again; though you did in fact take thought for me, but you were not able to give effect to it. But I will not say anything about my needs, for I am able, wherever I am, to be dependent on myself. It is the same to me if I am looked down on or honoured; everywhere and in all things I have the secret of how to be full and how to go without food; how to have wealth and how to be in need. I am able to do all things through him who gives me strength." --Philippians 4:4-13 (Bible in Basic English)

"rejoice in the Lord always! Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is near. In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think about these things. The things which you learned, received, heard, and saw in me: do these things, and the God of peace will be with you. But I rejoice in the Lord greatly, that now at length you have revived your thought for me; in which you did indeed take thought, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect to lack, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content in it. I know how to be humbled, and I know also how to abound. In everything and in all things I have learned the secret both to be filled and to be hungry, both to abound and to be in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me." --Philippians 4:4-13 (New heart English Bible)

"rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious about nothing. But in all things, with prayer and supplication, with acts of thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God. And so shall the peace of God, which exceeds all understanding, guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Concerning the rest, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is chaste, whatever is just, whatever is holy, whatever is worthy to be loved, whatever is of good repute, if there is any virtue, if there is any praiseworthy discipline: meditate on these. All the things that you have learned and accepted and heard and seen in me, do these. And so shall the God of peace be with you. Now I rejoice in the Lord exceedingly, because finally, after some time, your feelings for me have flourished again, just as you formerly felt. For you had been preoccupied. I am not saying this as if out of need. For I have learned that, in whatever state I am, it is sufficient. I know how to be humbled, and I know how to abound. I am prepared for anything, anywhere: either to be full or to be hungry, either to have abundance or to endure scarcity. Everything is possible in him who has strengthened me." --Philippians 4:4-13 (Catholic Public Domain Version)

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My websites work fine without Javascript or plugins enabled, or with ads or scripts blocked (my websites have no third party content or ads nor do they make use of any plugins). To get a simpler version of most of my websites, try "Disabling Javascript". On my website, you won't be abe to adjust the website appearance or have it read aloud, with Javascript disabled.

Consequences

Disabling Javascript will both increase the security of your computer or device and get rid of annoying things like malware, ads, pop-ups, and comment sections. It will also make your computer or device browser run much faster and use many times less of your monthly quota, from your cell phone plan. On the other hand, with many popular sites, you won't be able to use them at all, with this setting, so change it back afterwards.

Downloads Situation

I just found out yesterday that most my downloads (which I have on a different server/service) have been unavailable for 1-3 months, due to a change in credit cards. Although I only owed $2, they decided to cut off my service and not tell me.

The service is completely restored, but I am moving things over as fast as possible to the main site. Things may not be as fast as otherwise, but things will at least be accessible.

The problem with the other service is that they billed monthly, so I was not able to make sure everything was right and pay the bill ahead of time for a year (like I do with all my other services and websites). I will never again depend on a monthly billed service, so this problem should never happen again.

Sorry for the inconvenience. I know how annoying this is, when I run into it on other websites. The lesson is to depend upon as few people as possible, because everyone seems to screw up the most simple things, no matter how reputable the brand is.

Everything is currently available now, but I am being proactive. Everything is finally moved over to my server hosting and I do not depend on or use this service for anything anymore. This will make downloading things slower in places like China, India, South America, and Africa, but this is still better than not being available at all.

Security is a Serious Issue

Celebrating No Ads, for at Least the Last 10 years. I only had ads, for the first few years, when I could not afford to pay for a website, when I started out on Tripod, in 1998. I currently use about 10 ad blockers at once, for my web browser, on both my iPad and iMac. None of these ad blockers interferes with my website display or functionality in any way. I encourage you to use them.

I recommend you use ad blockers and do not feel sorry about it at all, as the online advertisers have forced our hand. You cannot even see content, on many websites, because of the ads. Now there is even malware, that comes with ads, even on legitimate websites, like Forbes.com.

I use no cookies, trackers, ads, analytics, or collect any personal information from users, for any reason. None of my downloads have spyware or adware in any of them. I use a Mac and an iPad, so there should be no viruses or worms in them, either.

At one time, I offered people to buy print versions of my books, at cost, but I have removed this capability, because of no interest. There are currently no things to buy from my website. I am not trying to make any money off my website, or even to pay for its creation and hosting costs. I never thought I would and I never plan to, in the future.

I only use a couple different light utility functions in Javascript, like for loading the CSS file and search. If you ever experience ads on my website or anything annoying like that, they are not from me. If you use a free wifi from Comcast, they unethically may insert ads into sites, that don't have ads, like mine. I will be putting in a major upgrade, that requires a huge amount of work, to block anyone's ability to do that, verry soon.

Do not trust anything you see online. Expect everything to be a scam, unless proven otherwise and give out as little information as possible, no matter what the reason. Anything can be faked. Just because something looks legitimate doesn't mean it is. The future of malware is likely ransomware. Randsomeware is when someone takes control of your data or device and make you pay money to unlock it.

Remember, there will be a more and more scams and security problems, over time. You will need to do things, to increase your security, over the years, to fix new threats. It is very easy to hack computers and very difficult to secure them. Computer security could be much better, if even basic industry standard security practices were followed. The problem is that people are too cheap.

When your information gets stolen, it is usually not from you, but from someone else, who has your information. If you were a hacker, would you target one person's individual computer, that has, at the most, one person's information, when you can attack a big store like Target and get millions of people's private information, at once?

Do whatever you need to protect yourself. Never buy any software from anywhere, except from a curated app store like Apple's. Avoid free software, as many open source software packages now even include malware in them, as well. Uninstall Flash and Java and never install any plugins or any other software needed, to see a website, for any reason.

Avoid accessing websites from within app store apps, not preinstalled by your OS. Avoid giving personal information to social networks or free services, as the never actually delete anything and have poor security. Do not give apps access to any personal information, including contacts or photos.

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Network Overview

Network Introduction

Confused about the world today? Want a simple, direct, and clear explanation? Read my books. My writing is like poetry meets encyclopedia. You will find nothing like this online or in print. All of this writing is available at no cost. I have a steady income and a lot of time, as well as an unusual perspective. This website network and these books are my way of trying to make the world a better place.

There are a lot of other (non-fiction) things I write about, as well, like what it is like to have Schizophrenia, secrets to my website design, and a completely different political and religious point of view. My point of view is partially based on my experience enlisted in the military and later living with Schizophrenia for over 15 years. It is also heavily influenced by my decades long (and continuing) study of world religions and world history (after ancient history and before modern times).

I follow my theories with practical advice and do what I recommend others do. You can make the world a better place. Just remember to think for yourself (this is what studying philosophy should teach you). Learn from my writings and experience, but come to your own conclusions. I am likely wrong on a lot of things, as are even the greatest thinkers, throughout history. I write what I believe, but you need to make your own choices, based on your own experience and your own understanding of yourself and the world.

I teach the exact opposite of the medieval philosophy of Thomas Aquinas. Instead of understanding God, to the limits of reason and then using faith, to reach beyond that, I believe that faith is the primary means with which we should understand God and the use of reason, to explain the Bible and God, is a secondary and subordinate pursuit. It is dangerous, to base your faith on reason, because someone could then change your mind, just because they are better at arguing.

One of the things people often assume is that arguments are all based on reason, and to understand how I explain things, it is important to understand that I am not trying to be rational. I do not believe that you will change your views, even if I was able to form a superior reasonable argument for it. The basis for my faith is not rational either. If you think pursuing truth without using reason is nonsense, then you probably won't agree with what I have to say. Yes, I actually believe that and yes I do see some humor in that as well.

Start reading here today.

Opening Thoughts

Exactly the same but completely different. Slightly worse, but many times better.

For those things we know are true, but we thought were impossible to put into words. Always be kind and work hard. Learn as much as possible and be creative in solving problems. Over all, in making important and morally significant decisions, think long term. The best you can do in life is follow your conscience.

On Certainty in Life

I am sure about everything everyone else doesn't understand, but I am confused about everything everyone else is certain of. Everything you have seen and heard is wrong. What we were taught was true in school is irrelevant. The things we think are really important are very unimportant and the things that we think aren't very important are the most important of all.

About Me

I am a former soldier (army) and have been living independently with Schizophrenia for over 15 years. I live in Eugene, Oregon (United States) I have spent much of this time writing a number of books on various non-fiction topics based on my experiences, what I have read, and the insights I have had over the last (almost) 20 years.

I have also designed these Benjamin-Newton websites from scratch, with all my own code and graphics and updated them daily for that entire time, as well. I code directly to CSS in a text editor and avoid anything that slows the site down or causes unnecessary security problems.

Want to Think Critically?

I am a Christian cynic and pessimist in that I believe in everything in the Bible, but nothing else except Murphy's Law (anything that can go wrong will). I consider this positive, because when anything goes well in any aspect of my working with other people doing their jobs, I am pleasantly surprised.

Explore my website and learn to think critically about everything (history, religion, psychology, ethics, design, technology, and disaster survival). Be sure to be critical of everything you read, including my ideas.

Beyond Reason and Facts

When making decisions, expand your worldview and use your heart and soul, as well as your intellect. Think critically, but do not limit yourself to just the rational and the empirical. Use all the other methods of discovery, that come from the major world belief systems.

Decide what is true based on: your conscience (as determined by your faith, scripture, tradition, prophecy, paradox, intuition, history, and feelings) what you have experienced (in your relationship with God by worship, ritual, prayer, mystical experience, visions, and divine healing), and the practice of your faith (in the way you express your loyalty and respect for God by a code of conduct/ethics, fasting, living a life of poverty, taking vows of silence and/or chastity). This will lead you to ask tougher questions and make more difficult decisions, with your now bigger understanding of reality, but it will also bring greater peace and purpose to your life.

Philosophy Inspired Solutions to World Problems

Some people work too hard and need to rest, while others are lazy and need to work harder. How do you determine which problem is yours? It is usually the opposite of what you think. Ask people who know you well, and be prepared for a surprise response.

The following are examples, of the kinds of practical things you can do, to reduce suffering in the world, in things you have control over.

Economically Based
  • Make Ethical Decisions in the Products We Buy
  • Find Creative Way to Reduce Our Expenses
  • Get Supplies and Training to Survive Disasters
  • Promote Internet Usage to Empower Individuals
  • Give Away Free Content to Support Alternate Opinions
Socially Based
  • Network to Expand Our Circles of Influence
  • Form Relationships with Our Neighbors
  • Encourage Others
  • Stay Positive and Increase Our Positive Influences
  • Avoid Mainstream Assumptions
Spiritually Based
  • Pray for God's Will to Be Done
  • Improve a Specific Animal's Life
  • Increase Our Understanding of the World
  • Raise Our Kids to Be Good Citizens
  • Take Time to Relax

Philosophical Influences

Biblical
  • Apostle Paul
  • Apostle John
  • Prophet Jeremiah
  • Prophet Nehemiah
  • Prophet Elijah
  • King Solomon
  • King David
Chinese
  • Chuang Tzu
  • Hsun Tzu
  • Bodhidharma
  • Dogen
  • Han Shan
  • Li Po
  • Tu Fu
Other Asian and African
  • Al-Ghazzali
  • Hafiz
  • Kabir
  • Kebra Nagast
  • Archbishop Desmund Tutu
Existential
  • Kierkegaard
  • Camus
  • Viktor Frankl
  • Tolstoy
  • Dostoevsky
  • Nietzsche
Renaissance and Enlightenment
  • Meister Eckhart
  • Erasmus
  • Montaigne
  • Berkeley
  • Locke
  • Spinoza

Why am I so Critical of the Church and Christians?

You cannot change other people's minds, but you can change your own mind. We can defend our theology and dismiss unbelievers as being intellectually lazy and/or in rebellion against God, and likely be entirely correct. The things is if we choose to do anything necessary, to bring about faith in Christ, we can re-examine our cultural interpretations of Scripture and its application to our lives and society.

Not only can we make Christianity more appealing, to those who are seeking God, but at the same time need not compromise any core theology, related to salvation, in order to do so. If we change the way we approach politics and society, without changing our core beliefs, is this not a success in evangelism?

Society is now going through a major technology revolution that is as profound and far reaching as the agricultural revolution was. Every institution and industry has, is now, or will be transformed into a different form, if it even survives. The Church will survive and thrive, but it would help grow the Church, if we can find things that we can change, while still holding to our Biblical faith.

The Bible is definitely not wrong and our theology has been preserved, at great cost in the major divisions of the church, but people can and are often wrong. There are also many ways to implement theology and express our faith and when we have such major cultural and technological changes, it is appropriate to adjust things like liturgy and political stances.

What we have today works for many people and we will have to fight very hard, for maybe only a small increase in numbers, but isn't the salvation of any one person worth changing how we think about non-critical aspects of theology and the Bible?

The many things that seem so odd to modern day people about the society in the Bible are almost all culturally adapted expressions of the same theology that we hold today. Being culturally relevant was important enough for God to build the entire Old Testament around the ancient Middle Eastern ways of thinking and social conventions, so it must still be equally important today.

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