Ready, Set, Go!

By Jim Allen, Editor, NuVote Reach

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Sometimes people (even those who may like or love you) may hold you hostage to being the person that you were when they met you. You may just have to come to grips with that.

Today, someone who is feeling a little misunderstood might consider focusing on getting your steps properly ordered to RUN into your destiny, no matter what others might think of you or your plans.

If you are blessed to catch a vision, only look back to pull someone else forward who is ready and willing to run with you; pray for the rest, and keep it moving!

If you BELIEVE you are not quite positioned to run right now, consider starting now to renew your mind for the race.

Everyday, thinking of it as run and won.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:2).

And, when your race is run, you can catch your breath:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7)

(Smile!)

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Barbara Walters Joins Crowley, Rehm, Clift and Couric as an ANWC Honoree

By Jim Allen, Editor, NuVote Reach

Barbara Walters ANWCOfficialInvitationWeb1

Katie Couric 2009 AWMC

Eleanor Cliff ANWC 2010

The American News Women’s Club (ANWC) this week will honor Barbara Walters for “Excellence in Journalism” at its annual gala at the National Press Club.

Walters succeeds CNN’s Candy Crowley who was honored in 2012 and, in 2011, NPR’s Diane Rehm was roasted and toasted.

The 2010 award recipient was Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift, pictured here a few moments before her ceremony at the National Press Club, talking politics and reminiscing with yours truly about the days when the McLaughlin Group, on which she is a regular and impressively fiery panelist, was taped at the NBC News Washington, DC Bureau.

In my experience, the ANWC awards gala is always an enjoyable event with good food, stimulating conversation and an elegant celebration of exceptional journalistic achievement. I started tracking the tradition in 2009 when Katie Couric, pictured here with the first ANWC honoree, former White House Correspondent Helen Thomas, received top honors.

The ANWC “promotes professional pursuits; provides a place for members to find helpful assistance and encouragement in their professional development and community endeavors and awards scholarships to outstanding journalism students.”

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The Big Bang and Other Weekday Handiworks

By Jim Allen, Editor, NuVote Reach

A-Big Bang

Photo credit: nothingoutofnothing@wordpress.com

I read a piece last night, that was referred by a former colleague (boss at The Hill newspaper actually) which appeared in the Weekly Standard, that was essentially a book review, and a review of book reviews, of NYU Professor and noted American (US) philosopher and confirmed atheist, Thomas Nagel’s work: Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False, which examines various scientific and creationists doctrines,  called:

The Heretic Who is Thomas Nagel and why are so many of his fellow academics condemning him? By Andrew Ferguson. It’s too long to re-post here, but here is the link:

http://m.weeklystandard.com/articles/heretic_707692.html?page=3

I’ll wait.

One of the more memorable quotations within it to me (apart from the line that spoke of being “ravaged by sheep”–LOL!) was:

“…But the human brain can do much more than this. It can perform calculus, hypothesize metaphysics, compose music—even develop a theory of evolution. None of these higher capacities has any evident survival value, certainly not hundreds of thousands of years ago when the chief aim of mental life was to avoid getting eaten.”

During my tenure (at the director level) at the American Institute of Physics, I was privileged to spend considerable time with many noted physicists, including even David Salzberg, UCLA Physics Professor and consultant to the television program The Big Bang Theory (smile). I had on my staff the very engaging and preeminent Nobel-prize-award handicapper, Dr. Phil Schewe (personal biographer of physicist Freeman Dyson), and other very key science-trained colleagues on my staff; spent considerable one-on-one time with AIP’s Executive Director, Fred Dylla (a friend), as a ghostwriter for him; and had “fun” and quite “lively” and enjoyable talks in several social settings and surrounding various committee meetings over time.with whom Dr. Dylla referred to as “my buddy,” Nobel Laureate Dr. John Mather (NASA-Goddard Project Coordinator of the Webb Telescope, which one could loosely say is the next iteration of the Hubbell Telescope, slated to launch in 2018, if memory serves) about his Nobel-prize-winning work on “cosmic microwave background radiation” which, for  most scientists, essentially cemented the big bang theory of the creation of the universe.

“We can not measure the time before time,” says Dr. Mather, whom I really like and respect.

It is a good question: What was there before “In the beginning, God…”?

Backtracking a bit, I received a mandate (and the resources and an exceptional team) from the AIP Executive Committee to create a platform to help them communicate their often complicated intellectual property to the general public—to highlight the role that science (and scientific research) plays in our everyday lives—thus the InsideScience.org news platform was born, please visit our “baby” when you get a chance (who knew???).

Anyway, I recently moved on from the AIP and the fine folks there, and somehow, philosophically speaking, after having many discussions there about Higgs boson, the other side of black holes and dark matter; having personally thumbed through and read some of the hand-written notes in Richard Feynman’s calculus primary-school-age text book (what a mind!) in the Niels Bohr Library (across the hall from my then-office);doing Q&A at the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab; and almost daily breaking bread with the physics (and other scientific-society) elites, over discussions of the Big Bang. etc., what I came away with was a reinforcement of my faith, as mathematics, almost without exception, in my opinion, is a perfect universal language—I would venture to say, the language of God (along with music, which also, in my opinion as a musician, is fundamentally interpretative mathematics) that would have no organically motivated prompting or survivalist requirement to exist, as such, except to establish an exacting order for the sustenance (and in the case of music, for the enhancement) of the universe—particularly considering the delicate mathematical balances required for eco systems, such as Earth’s, to equate (and how certain music strains, I believe, speak to our very souls, to the point of drawing tears).

Even after those up-close, personal and most rewarding encounters with the very impressive big brains of science, I am left with lingering questions about the big bang and our ever-outwardly expanding universe:

If we are the products of one random, ”thoughtless” explosion, continually and uniformly expanding outward, why then, within our own solar system, as products of the fallout, does Venus spin in the opposite direction of Earth—alright, maybe a major asteroid impact?—no, it just doesn’t “add up.”

Why does the moon Triton orbit in the opposite direction of the rotation of its planet Neptune?

Mars has two moons: Deimos and Phobos, which revolve around it in opposite directions?  Picture that view from a terrace, as they cross paths!

Thinking of those few systemic anomalies, the like of which are innumerable within the “natural order” that are, to me, figuratively indicative of the afterthoughts of an intelligent intent, which challenge the seeming perfection of our understanding of complex mathematics, about which even a Neanderthal, such as I, could be reduced to proclaiming: ‘Glory to God!’—roughly translated, ‘Wow!!!’

I am a man of faith, very pro science (and pro scientific research) and do not embrace or understand any mathematical calculation that would estimate life on earth in the range of thousands of years old. I can appreciate the passion of those who extrapolate from the bible the literal six-day-creation argument, but 2 Peter 3:8 clearly says “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” Which thankfully, frees me up to embrace carbon dating, geology, archaeology, and the idea of much older intelligent life forms on planet Earth.

Modern science teaches us there are stars in the heavens (if one will pardon the expression) that are many thousand times larger than our sun. Our idea of a day is based on our limited experience with our relatively tiny sun, and Earth’s miniscule ~365-day annual orbit of it, a mere twinkling of an eye, in universal terms—but  should add, I generally am not compelled to try to translate the divinely liturgical into the literal, but to try to glean to spirit of intent.

The Apostle Paul said “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” (1Corinthian 13:12)

That passage, among others, will just have to sustain me for now—after many years of suspicious religious indoctrination, inner turmoil, eye-glazing study, many “wilderness” walks, personal epiphanies and inexplicable gracious serendipity. And somehow, I find that scripture comforting. It allows me to continue to research, reason, reflect and opine, while aided, though my faith, to feel connected to something obviously beyond my scope to comprehend, with intentions that mostly outweigh my personal concerns, but, I believe, are clearly more decidedly directional than the orbits of the planets.

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Back to Hell with F-alse E-vidence A-ppearing R-eal!

By Jim Allen, Editor, NuVote Reach

Thanks all for the well wishes to me for our team at Alejo Media. For me, the real question is how does one go from, years ago, coming to the DC area as a broken, broke, homeless man, who had lost his family (now, largely intact), to becoming something else? I believe the answer is the power and grace of God to restore, and the determination to be so.

I want to encourage someone today to focus on celebrating your family and loved ones and do not internalize the emotional output of your detractors—pray for them as God prepares a table before you in their presence.

There will always be people and dark forces potentially lurking around the perimeter of your life—just keep it moving, resist.

I suggest trying to making amends where you may have hurt people and forgive those who have hurt you.

Consider silencing the negative talk in your own head and give some thought to the idea of transforming religion into relationship. I personally use the 23rd Psalm. Whenever something crazy starts to stir around in my head, I replace it with that (I memorized the passage).

Psalm 23

King James Version (KJV)

23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord  for ever.

It works for me.

Someone is going through something today that may seem just too tough to handle. Do not believe it, because it’s not true. I take the letters in the word FEAR and transform them into a borrowed reminder that fear is: “F-alse E-vidence A-ppearing R-eal.”

Faith and fear cannot operate together.

Again, thanks to all of you who have offered up a sacrifice of emotional support and/or prayers for our business venture and our kingdom work at the House of Help/City of Hope.

Your thoughtful gestures are humbling, greatly appreciated and, I believe, will not return to you void.

I am not speaking as someone who has “arrived,” but as someone redeemed.

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DC Media Veterans Jim Allen and Anna Davalos to Partner at Alejo Media (Reprint from Examiner.com)

 

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Alejo Media CEO, Anna Davalos

Jim Allen headshot

New Alejo Media COO, Jim  Allen

Reprint, from Examiner.com 3-13-13

Alejo Media today announced that DC media veteran Jim Allen has joined the Springfield, VA-based, full-service video production company as a partner, effective March 11, 2013. Allen has assumed the title of Chief Operating Officer and will be primarily responsible for corporate imaging and branding, sales and marketing, and business development.

Alejo Media Founder and Chief Executive Officer Anna Davalos will continue to oversee all aspects of production, personnel and administration for the Corporation.

“Alejo Media is very excited to join forces with Jim,” said Davalos. “His knowledge of media matters, business development and his wide range of talents will have an immediate impact at Alejo Media and make for a very positive imprint on the future of our company,” Davalos continued.

“I believe the timing is just right for this partnership and I could not be more excited about this opportunity or more committed to the continued growth and development of this dynamic enterprise,” said Allen.

“Anna is an artist, a master video technician and a great story teller. She and the Alejo team of producers, photographers, editors, and its partnering agencies, have produced top quality work for the likes of the Philippe Cousteau’s Global Echo Foundation (a philanthropic partner of the Clinton Global Initiative), the American Diabetes Association and more—the groundwork is well laid.” Allen continued.

Before partnering with Davalos at Alejo Media, Allen served as Director, News and Media Services, at the American Institute of Physics, where he conceptualized and led his team in the development of the www.insidescience.org multi-media news platform for research sciences and to promote STEM education—which includes Inside Science TV.

Alejo Media soon will be announcing the time and Capitol Hill location of their Annual Spring Reception.

About Alejo Media: Founded by Anna Davalos, in 2011, Alejo Media is emerging as one of Washington, DC’s most artistic and innovative video production and post-production media companies. It is comprised of a team of seasoned professionals dedicated to giving personal attention to our clients’ needs under the mantra “Your Vision Made Real,” who have many years experience crafting messaging strategies and are expert at the effective delivery of those messages through the constantly-evolving world of electronic media, to include video-for-mobile applications, using state-of-the-art video production modalities and infrastructure. Alejo works with broadcast, corporate, professional, political action committees, advertising, non-profit and government clients.

About Anna Davalos: Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Alejo Media. Anna is a multi-talented, Emmy-award-winning producer with more than 20 years of experience in broadcast and online-media, a well-seasoned expert in video production techniques, and an advanced Final Cut Pro editor. Anna began her career as a small-market producer before working her way up to national-level assignments—along the way, receiving an Emmy for “Best Newscast.”

During an eight-year stint as a freelance producer, she was intricately involved in the writing, producing, editing and other elements of a wide variety of important television and cable network news productions—which include an extensive range of stories with historical import, such as Papal visits, presidential inaugurals, natural disasters coverage and the Olympics.

In February 2006, Anna took her storytelling skills to an online platform—joining the Associated Press Online Video Network. There, she and her team developed, wrote and edited stories for distribution to hundreds of websites across the country.

Before launching Alejo Media, in 2011, Anna was the Executive Producer at EnergyNOW!, overseeing a team of production professionals who produced a 30-minute, weekly news magazine on energy and environmental issues for national distribution on Bloomberg Television. Anna graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. She also serves as a guest lecturer at Georgetown University and the University of Oklahoma. Contact: anna@alejomedia.com

About Jim Allen: Chief Operating Officer of Alejo Media. Previously, as Director of News and Media Services at the American Institute of Physics, he led the creation of the InsideScience.org news platform, which includes Inside Science TV.

He also previously served as Media Director, Energy NOW! and Clean Skies TV and as Special Reports Editor/Media Relations Director at The Hill newspaper. Jim has served in various executive, business development and/or programming roles for a number of media concerns including CBS Radio/Television, Radio One Inc. and the Los Angeles Times. Since 1995, he has been a contributor to the Reporters Notebook news roundtable program on NBC 4 TV, DC.

He earned a music scholarship to Delaware State University, a Bachelor of Arts in English/Television Production at Virginia State University and, from 2003-2007, attended Concord University School of Law. His commendations include the Washington, DC Teachers’ Union Media Relations Award, at Radio One Inc. and shared an American Academy of Nursing National Media Award, as a director at Campbell and Company Communications.

Jim also chairs a development task force for the faith-based, non-profit House of Help/City of Hope, founded and led by Bishop Dr. Shirley Holloway, which has provided substance abuse, mental health and continuing education programs and transitional housing for tens of thousands of homeless (and battered) women, families and men (including ex-offenders) at its shelter and treatment facilities in Washington, DC and Prince George’s and Charles Counties, MD. Contact: jim@alejomedia.com.

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Fellow Bloggers, thanks for your prayers, patience, well wishes and support–now back to our regularly scheduled programming (smile)!

 

Posted in 2nd Amendment, Bible, Energy and Environment, Gun Control, Gun Rights, Healthcare, Jesus, Media, NRA, Politics, Religion, Second Amendment, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , | 14 Comments

Give or Die

A kindred blogger posted this today:

Prayer of the Day Creator God, you prepare a new way in the wilderness, and your grace waters our desert. Open our hearts to be transformed by the new thing you are doing, that our lives may proclaim the extravagance of your love given to all through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

There are two new things, I can share:

The first is, the following item appeared today (3-12-13) on Media Bistro/Fishbowl DChttp://www.mediabistro.com/fishbowldc/alejo-media-chief-operating-officer-jim-allen_b98650

Alejo Media Hires Chief Operating Officer

By Betsy Rothstein on March 12, 2013 11:30 AM

Alejo Media has announced that D.C. media veteran Jim Allen will join the Springfield, Va.-based, video production company as a partner. Allen will be Chief Operating Officer and will be primarily responsible for corporate imaging and branding, sales and marketing, and business development.

Before joining Alejo Media, Allen was Director of News and Media Services at the American Institute of Physics.

Alejo Media Founder and Chief Executive Officer Anna Davalos will continue to oversee all aspects of production, personnel and administration for the Corporation.

Alejo will soon announce the time and Capitol Hill location of their Annual Spring Reception.

What is Allen’s employment history? In his past…( etc,etc. and it goes on from there)

I could not be more excited about this opportunity and I thank God and Anna Davalos for the vision.

The second thing I’d like to share is that on December 21, 2012, in an epiphany, I was instructed, in no uncertain terms, that God was not one of us, so I had no further need to argue doctrine, because He does not fit in any of our boxes. And, if I was not giving, or looking for a way to give, I might as well be dead; and if I was not in service, I might as well not exist.

I have comfortably settled in under the tutelage of Jesus Christ.

I had been asking for those marching orders for 4o years, and as amorphous as they might seem to some, if I never get another set of orders, these will hold me, until I can get our of here.

This week, I was appointed chair of a development task force for the faith-based, non-profit House of Help/City of Hope, founded and led by Bishop Dr. Shirley Holloway, which has provided substance abuse, mental health and continuing education programs and transitional housing for tens of thousands of homeless (and battered) women, families and men (including ex-offenders) at its shelter and treatment facilities in Washington, DC and Prince George’s and Charles Counties, MD.  These programs are a hand up, not a hand out, and there are very strict rules of participation, education, employment and other parameters.

The properties are:

Kingdom Village: A transitional women’s shelter and certified clinical treatment facility, career, mental health, and battered women’s counseling, parenting classes, with a daycare/future-Montessori program, K-12 academic support for children and GED program, located in Prince George’s County, MD. Capacity: 150 women and children

Kingdom City: A men’s shelter and certified drug treatment facility, with mental health, anger management, life skills, job preparation, job placement assistance, parenting and GED programs, located in Charles County, MD. Capacity: 300 men;

Graceview Apartments: Safe and affordable transitional housing (1 and 2 bedroom apartments) for up to 42 homeless families, the parent(s) of whom have completed a structured life-skills program to help them transition into mainstream life, located in SE Washington, DC  with optional participation in the Homeless to Home Ownership Program, with the prospect of becoming first-time home buyers.

Today, seven US Congressman visited with Dr. Holloway and us at our DC facility, that was formally a boarded up crack house and house of prostitution, which is now a house of healing and deliverance for, 42 families, people who might normally be cast off from society.

Three weeks ago, I did not know Dr. Holloway, who is now my pastor, and who is being used by God in such a mighty way to change lives. I am honored an humbled to be associated with her. God sure can work fast, when He wants to. I have found my calling! Praise God, that He is true to His word and I was not mistaken about who was calling me, when I heard the call.

Amen.

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Dear God, Why Did Jesus Tell Peter To Arm Himself?

By Jim Allen, Editor, NuVote Reach

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Photo Credit: Albrecht Altdorfer, Saint Peter cutting off the ear of a Roman Soldier

Jesus of Nazareth, then a fugitive, sure was busy on the day he was arrested. He dined and was anointed for burial at the home of Simon the leper—he had days earlier come to Bethany, against his disciples’ wishes, on very short notice, to raise his friend, Lazarus, from the dead (how many times have you said that about someone?). He washed the feet of his disciples, in an effort to show them that true leadership was being in the service of others. He also had the “Last Supper” with them, during which he established the “body and blood” communion memorial. Before Jesus prayed to God, in the Garden of Gethsemane, for a Plan B for the salvation of mankind, sans the cross, he had an interesting exchange with the Apostle [Simon] Peter that ended with a directive from Jesus for him to arm himself, beginning at Luke 22:31:

31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

Yikes! “Sift as wheat.”  Sifting, to me, sounds much worse than does ‘kicking’ someone’s backside. And, this was not the first example of this kind of parlay between God and Satan. Satan made an arrangement with God to test Job (See Job Chapter 1), and in that case, God basically told Satan, ‘have at it.’ Going back to Luke 22:

33 But he [Simon Peter] replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” 34 Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”

Jesus’ reaction to Peter’s claim to having his back was basically, ‘Child, please!’ But here comes the set up for our subject, as Luke 22 continues:

35 Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?”

“Nothing,” they answered.

The above passage speaks symbolically about the provisional nature of God when one is in His service. If God sent them on a mission, wouldn’t He make provisions for its fulfillment?  Of course! Do we really think the disciples were literally sent out two-by-two without shoes? No. In fact, look at Mark 6:

7 Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits.These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. 10 Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. 11 And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.”

Jesus had instructed them to “wear sandals,” so we know he was speaking symbolically, not literally, in Luke 22, about sending them out with no sandals—because that just didn’t happen—thus, establishing the need to rightly divide the truth regarding the true nature of the conversation between Jesus and Peter, which contained the sword talk. Luke 22 continues:

36 He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. 

Jesus again was using symbolism to instruct his disciples to get ready to fend for themselves and to do what was necessary to be properly armed. But we will circle back to better establish this assertion later, in order to first fully establish the context in which Jesus spoke.

Jesus then started to talk about why things would almost immediately change so radically. Luke 22 continues:

 37 It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’;

Jesus quoted from the prophet Isaiah about the coming of, fate of and Kingdom-establishment of the Messiah: “Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” (Isaiah 53:12)

He was indicating to his disciples that he was about to leave them to complete his mission on earth, and again, for a time, they would have to fend for themselves. Jesus continued in Luke 22, verse 37:

37(cont’d)…and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”

Which can be interpreted: “I have to do what I have to do, and it will not be pleasant for me in the short run. But this is not about me, right now. It’s about your future. I will lay down my life, as the Messiah of God, as my destiny was set in the stones of the Ten Commandments, to deliver the world from the inability of The Law and the blood of animals to sanctify mankind as holy before God, in exchange for my own blood and subsequent personal extension of eternal grace, in a new covenant with all who believe in me, and through which I will reign forever.’

Luke 22 continues, with the blissfully spiritually naïve response of the disciples:

38 The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.” “That’s enough!” he replied.

It’s almost as if Jesus sarcastically said ‘OK, ahhh, that’s enough, riiiiight, two swords. I just told Peter that the devil had his number, a Roman cohort is on the way to arrest me, there are 13 of us, and you’re asking me about two swords—yeesh!,’ while shaking his head.

To fully make the point, we must agree to stipulate that Jesus grew up in or nearby the Roman-occupied territory of Judea, had knowledge of the history of various violent Jewish insurrections against Roman tyranny (and many others over the Old Testament history of the Jewish people, about whom Jesus was expert, as established at the Temple at age 12), and was fully knowledgeable about the earthly power of the Roman Empire, even mentioning it in the context of Jews submitting to taxes, Then Jesus said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” And they were amazed at him.” (Mark 12:17)

In fact, Jesus Barabbas, who was released by Pontius Pilate, instead of Jesus the Christ, was on death row for armed insurrection against Rome, as recorded in the gospel of Mark Chapter 15: 7 A man called [Jesus] Barabbas was in prison with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the uprising.

If we can agree on that context, let’s look at the series of events, leading up to Jesus’ arrest, as recorded in the gospel of John chapter 18:

 Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment [originally interpreted “band”] of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.

That was a very large, heavily armed group. Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible says: “A band – Την σπειραν, The band or troop. Some think that the spira was the same as the Roman cohort, and was the tenth part of a legion, which consisted sometimes of 4200, and sometimes of 5000 foot. But Raphelius, on Matthew 27:27, has clearly proved, from Polybius, that the spira was no more than a tenth of the fourth part of a legion.”

In any case, let’s stipulate that a lot of armed people came to arrest Jesus. If Jesus was talking about literally preparing his disciples for a physical armed battle, his saying “two swords” were “enough” would be idiotic. Can we also stipulate that, whatever you believe, Jesus was no idiot?

Just before that sword conversation, the disciples had been engaged in some infighting about who among them was the favored disciple. Luke 22 continues:

24 A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 25 Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 

Jesus intervened and tried to impress upon them that the Roman idea of greatness and strength, was a false premise. Luke 22 continues:

 26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.28 

As we said earlier, Jesus warned Peter about Satan wanting to “sift” him “as wheat” and that although he had prayed for him, Peter was going to have to fend for himself, during the period of Christ’s passion, at which point Christ, on the cross, would take on the sins of the world, and, as such, be separated from them.

The context of the entire conversation was the period of time when Jesus would be numbered with the transgressors and out of spiritual connection with the disciples.

Note: Of course, I cannot say with certainty that Jesus was also separated from God, on Calvary’s cross. It says in 2 Corinthians 5:21: God made him [Jesus] who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. And, Isaiah 59:2 says: But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear, which could possibly speak to the meaning of Jesus’ words from the cross, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me,” as recorded in Matthew 27:46—as some interpret as a possible indication of a temporary separation from God.  But others hear those words simply as a rhetorical affirmation of his choice to lay down his life—that phrase, formed as a question, the answer to which is “Love.” But the doctrine of the two natures of Christ, says the divine nature was never separated and could easily explain away that argument, if one is so inclined, to discount the separation-from-God theory—all of which, to date, I should say, is way above my spiritual pay grade. Now, back to the Luke 22 thread:

Moreover, if Satan was coming after Peter, outside of the spiritual covering of Jesus, which is the context of the conversation, of what good would a metal sword be?

There is a better, post-resurrection recommendation about arming oneself, using the same type of symbolic language as did Jesus with Peter, along with concurrent interpretations, to be found in Ephesians Chapter 6

13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 

Those weapons of spiritual warfare are itemized in Ephesians 6 as a post-Pentecost complement of weaponry, at the ready.

Do we Christians really believe we are on our own, as were the disciples, scattered and fearful during the passion of Christ?  Certainly not. Ephesians 6 continues:

16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

There we are: the “sword of the Spirit represents the Word of God, which Peter had received for several years, directly from the mouth of Jesus.

There is further evidence of Jesus’ true intent regarding the sword reference, indicated by what Peter did when Jesus was about to be arrested. Luke 22 continues:

49 When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?”50 And one of them [Peter, as it says in John 18:10] struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.

51 But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.

Peter and the other disciples obviously misunderstood what Jesus said to them about the sword, or we must then say Jesus was doubled-minded about things, speaking both literally and symbolically within the same sentence, an assertion which we can hopefully stipulate to take off the table.

If one gets stuck on the two swords, consider Hebrews 4:12: For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

After Jesus was arrested and his passion began, sure enough, Peter denied even knowing Christ, 3 times, the disciples were spiritually detached, dispersed, running scared, and confused until, three days later, we find most of them gathered together when Jesus rose from the dead and first appeared to Mary Magdalene and then to them, as John Chapter 20 teaches us:

21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Even before he was crucified, Jesus promised the disciples that he would send a helper to comfort and guide them, and they would not need to be self sustaining anymore. Look at John 14:

 15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 

Not orphans, as they were during the passion, but sons and daughters—heirs indeed. You can read about what happened on the Day of Pentecost, when this helper/covering showed up in a big way, in the Book of Acts, chapter 2.

Did Satan end up sifting Peter as wheat? Here’s what some of the well-established (non-biblical) traditions say about the fates of the Apostles:

Paul was beheaded outside of Rome;

Matthew died by the sword in Ethiopia;

Mark was dragged through the streets in Alexandria;

Luke was hanged from an Olive tree in Greece;

John was boiled in oil but survived to be exiled to the Isle of Patmos, where he received in the spirit the Book of the Revelation;

James, the greater, died by the sword, likely beheaded in Jerusalem (The only actual Apostle’s death recorded in the bible, in Acts 12:2);

James the lesser (the brother of Jesus, not really an Apostle) was thrown from pinnacle of the Temple, stoned and beaten to death with a club while praying for his persecutors;

Bartholomew was whipped by seven soldiers, then crucified;

Andrew was crucified on a cross and preached to his tormentors until he died;

Thomas was run through his body with a spear in India;

Jude was killed with arrows; another tradition says he was crucified;

Mathias (who replaced Judas) was first stoned and then beheaded;

Peter was crucified in Rome, upside down, at his own request, because he deemed himself unworthy of the upright crucifixion the Savior suffered, but not before making an indelible imprint on the establishment of the worldwide Body of Christ–as Jesus prophesied, he “turned back to strengthen his brothers and sisters!

To Hell with Satan!

Amen.

Note: I am not a trained theologian, just an inspired, would-be dot connector and seeker of truth, who is open to, and indeed, encourage discussion about any or all of the aforementioned biblical or traditional interpretations. I do not claim to have any corner on the truth, just sharing the view from my vantage point. I thank God for His Word, which has become a lamp unto my feet and light unto my path.

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