Damn RI-I-I-I-I-I-I-GHT!!

16-04.1​1.17

Dear​ Christian Friend Around the World,

I have a huge worldwide list of friends and associates around the world I keep in e-mail contact with. I now have three websites all largely free through Word Press and I send out three e-mail broadcasts around the world based on these websites.

In December 1995 (22 years ago from 2017), I sustained a severe  brain injury by falling off a boogie-board in shallow surf at Peregian Beach on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia. Consequently I was in a  coma for four weeks, confined in hospital for six months, had to learn everything all over again. These things included:

  • Had to learn everything all over again including walking, talking and eating solid food again
  • Get my  brain back together from a very scrambled state since December 1995. I am not the same man as before my accident
  • Lost a lot of intuitive ability to feel what other people are saying ….. although that has largely come back now
  • I am not the same man as before my accident. However I have learnt to work from what I have and not from what I have lost. It is a new season in my life
  • I cannot drive twenty two years out from my accident …. but I have learnt to drive on the Internet …. to go around the world in few minutes and see hundreds of people at the same time

My three websites are:

  1. My personal experiences website: www.kenaitken.net This website is used to personally stay in touch with hundreds friends and associates around the world. I frequently send out our personal experiences photos and then links to the website posts.
  1. New Earth  Community.This is a global Christian Cyberspace  Community: http://www.newearthcommunity.org/This community is meant to bring a new sense of belonging with the real discovery or affirmation of identity through the Sustainable Life through Jesus Christ. My story, it can be read on a downloaded PDF file from  the website post at: http://www.newearthcommunity.org/?page_id=12

 

  1. The Brain Injury    Community: https://braininjurycommunity.wordpress.com/This is a global Brain Injury Cyberspace  Community of many hundreds of people. This Community is focused on “Beyond Being a Brain Injury Survivor into Being a Brain Injury Thriver”. This is in contrast to the motto, “Victim, Survivor, Over Achiever”.

If you are joined to Ken & Harriet’s Place e-mail broadcast, I often forward on wonderful and inspiring e-mails which I receive from other people around the world eg. Britain, 60 Years Ago or FLYING THE ATLANTIC DURING THE LATE 1930’s.

I also hyperlink photos and writing in posts in my personal  experiences website: This website is used to  personally stay in touch with  hundreds friends and associates around the world.  Not only is it fun to travel but it means seeing new and often spectacular scenery and geography. It also means experiencing meeting people in new cultural settings and you realise there are millions of others around the world who live their lives in quite often new  ways.

Read Ken and Harriet’s Travel post from 2003 to 2017   to read more about our travels. Having a Christian Spiritual vs. a  Christian Religion affects what we value in our travels and this relates very closely as to what I say below.

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​Since I recently sent this e-mail broadcast around the world to Christian Friends and Associates, I have been thinking more carefully and deeply upon about the content of  what I sent out. This was especially so when I received this very thought provoking comment from my friend Peter in Australia where he said:

Ken,

Did you read this before sending it on you mailing list?

This is an American piece of anti Muslim hate mail modified, badly in my opinion, to “suit” Australia. Many of the comments relate to situations in the USA but are incorrect or minor issues in Australia. The purpose of this sort of thing is to generate fear, loathing & hatred of Islam & its followers. Islam is an issue but this is not the way to address it.

Surely you, as a committed Christian who believes Jesus died for all people including Muslims, would agree that the way to win them over is with love & friendship, not fear & criticism.

I am disturbed that you sent this to your mailing list

Dear​ Christian friend around the world, the evangelistic  endeavours of Islamic ideology is a growing threat to our Christian Spirituality and any free country. Read more about about this at these posts on the New Earth Community  website:

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From my New Earth Community Website  on the post 2. JESUS CHRIST SPIRITUALITY
…. I have copied the following:
JESUS’S BASIC TEACHING: The Kingdom of God as a Third Alternative:

Jesus Christ came along 2017 years ago into a very Jewish culture. The Jewish Church in Jesus’s day had everything in a very tight theological and ritualistic box as what was acceptable belief and practice. Anyone in this box was in the Family of God. Anyone not in this box was not in the Family of God. These people had precise beliefs and rituals as to what was acceptable and what was unacceptable. The Christian Church today as a whole is very similar. Jesus Christ came along and preached something that was very different. He preached on a third alternative …. The Kingdom of God.

…. The Teaching of the Kingdom of God was an absurd notion against all the might of the Roman Empire ….

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Jesus set out a basic ground of verbal teaching in the Sermon on the Mount (Luke 6:17- 42), for His new Kingdom Order where he taught His disciples principles like: Message Bible: Luke 6:17- 42:

You’re Blessed 17 -21 Coming down off the mountain with them, he stood on a plain surrounded by disciples, and was soon joined by a huge congregation from all over Judea and Jerusalem, even from the seaside towns of Tyre and Sidon. They had come both to hear him and to be cured of their ailments. Those disturbed by evil spirits were healed. Everyone was trying to touch him—so much energy surging from him, so many people healed! Then he spoke:

  • You’re blessed when you’ve lost it all.
  • God’s kingdom is there for the finding.
  • You’re blessed when you’re ravenously hungry.
  • Then you’re ready for the Messianic meal.
  • You’re blessed when the tears flow freely.
  • Joy comes with the morning.
  • 22 -23“Count yourself blessed every time someone cuts you down or throws you out, every time someone smears or blackens your name to discredit me.

What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and that that person is uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—skip like a lamb, if you like! … for even though they don’t like it, I do and all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company; my preachers and witnesses have always been treated like this.

Give Away Your Life

24 But it’s trouble ahead if you think you have it made. What you have is all you’ll ever get.

25 And it’s trouble ahead if you’re satisfied with yourself. Your self will not satisfy you for long. And it’s trouble ahead if you think life’s all fun and games. There’s suffering to be met, and you’re going to meet it.

26“There’s trouble ahead when you live only for the approval of others, saying what flatters them, doing what indulges them. Popularity contests are not truth contests—look how many scoundrel preachers were approved by your ancestors! Your task is to be true, not popular.

27 – 30 “To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person. If someone slaps you in the face, stand there and take it. If someone grabs your shirt, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.

31 – 34“Here is a simple rule of thumb for behaviour: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that’s charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that.

35 -36 “I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind.

37 – 38“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.”

39 – 40 He quoted a proverb: “‘Can a blind man guide a blind man?’ Wouldn’t they both end up in the ditch? An apprentice doesn’t lecture the master. The point is to be careful who you follow as your teacher.

41 – 42“It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbour’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you, ‘ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this I-know-better-than-you mentality again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your own part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbour.

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SUMMARY AND IMPLICATIONS:

The focus of Jesus was on an internal, invisible change of heart and not on an external, visible keeping of certain standards and religious laws.

The life He presented was an internal one which flowed out to have external, visible actions ….. especially on how we treated other people. Life is an ‘Inside – Out’ approach and not an ‘Outside – In’ approach …. It starts with us being better people on the inside.

His whole primary focus was people as one humanity (not by race or gender), not ideas or religious teachings as with the Jewish Religious people of His day.

Jesus’s view of people was radically different to his religious contemporaries. His religious counterparts had people graded into a hierarchy of those who within their religious framework of acceptability who kept close adherence to the teachings, standards and religious laws that they subscribed to. This went way beyond the teaching of the Old Testament.

He was calling for a new order of living that was counter-cultural to the prevailing culture of the day. There was a separation between the cultural concern for prosperity, position and power

Jesus’s new order was counter-cultural as to how to treat people:

Count yourself blessed every time:

  1. someone cuts you down or throws you out
  1. when the tears flow freely
  1. when you’re ravenously hungry ie. starving for food

Give Away Your Life. Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst.Give without expecting a return. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind.

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THE RADICAL NATURE OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD:

The teaching of the Kingdom of God did not possess strong qualities to take over the world …… but when applied by Jesus followers, actually worked and turned the world upside down when outworked with the preaching of the Good News of His new Kingdom.

The Kingdom of God focus applies in the here and now!! and not when we die or Jesus comes again. That teaching was an absurd notion against all the might of the Roman Empire. The meaning of this Kingdom of God was summarised finally in the Roman cross on which Jesus was crucified at the age of 33 and ½ years ….. for someone who only lived this very short life. The cross had two members: a strong vertical member symbolised the link between God and us and a horizontal member which symbolised us with everyone else linked together.

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The Jihad of Jesus

We are caught up in the cycle of so-called “holy wars.” In The Jihad of Jesus, Dave Andrews argues that while this inter-communal conflict is endemic, it is not inevitable. Depending on our understanding, our religions can be either a source of escalating conflict or a resource for overcoming inter-communal conflict; and for our religions to be a resource for overcoming conflict, we need to understand the heart of all true religion as open-hearted compassionate spirituality. In the light of an open-hearted compassionate spirituality, we can reclaim the word “jihad” from extremists who have (mis)appropriated it as a call to “holy war,” and reframe it, in truly Qur’anic terms, as a “sacred nonviolent struggle for justice”; and we can reconsider Jesus, as he is in the Gospels, not as a poster boy for Christians fighting crusades against Muslims, but as “a strong-but-gentle Messianic figure” who can bring Christians and Muslims together. As this book shows, many Christians and Muslims have found Isa (Jesus) and the Bismillah (celebrating the mercy, grace, and compassion of God) as common ground upon which they can stand and work for the common good. The Jihad of Jesus is a handbook for reconciliation and action: a do-it-yourself guide for all Christians and Muslims who want to move beyond the “clash of civilizations,” join the jihad of Jesus, and struggle for justice and peace nonviolently side by side.

See  Dave Andrews  and the reviews on his book: ‘The Jihad of Jesus‘:http://www.daveandrews.com.au/jihadofjesus.html The book can obtained  from the Book Depository in England. They have thousands of books  for sale  and have free postal delivery around the world. Apparently Amazon has recently acquired the firm.

Regards,

 

Ken Aitken

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