Monday, December 24, 2007
Except for a few, small troublesome facts.
Jesus was born in Nazareth, not Bethlehem. Bethlehem was a later literary invention by one of the Evangelists (Matthew) who wanted to place Jesus's birth in the City of David to show he was of the line of David. The "census" that supposedly initiated the pilgrimage that places the "Holy Family" in Bethlehem is also a literary invention. It simply did not take place!
One thing the early writers agree on: Jesus was born during the reign of Herod The Great. Two problems here. For one, Herod the Great died in the year we call 4 BC. If Jesus was born during Herod's reign, he had to have been born in 4 BC or earlier. Also, the "massacre of the innocents" under Herod seems to also be undocumented literary invention (though, it seems, not entirely out of character for Herod).
For most of the early centuries, Jesus's date of birth was not fixed on the yearly calendar. Faced with pagan solstice ceremonies and the vestiges of the Roman's Saturnalia, Christmas was developed to take the place of these heathen celebrations. The three kings of the East (who are not in the gospel, although a group of magi are) were invented or embellished at any rate to literalize this capitulation of the pagans. The "celebration" of Christmas is a relatively new event in the life of the Church. There were several Protestant denominations that held the celebration of Christmas in contempt even unto the 19th century!
So go ahead, celebrate Christmas... but let's get the facts straight. The when and how of Jesus's birth is not as important as the message he preached: God is Love. Love your enemies. Care for the poor. Renounce your worldly goods, pool your resources, and live together in harmony. And what if you encounter resistance? Love them. Love the resistors. Turn the other cheek. And if you have any question over what degree this should be taken to, then look to His example, he who DIED ON A CROSS while still loving those who put him to death. In other words, there is no question of degree. You love all the way to the end. Period. No exceptions.
I still find no religions that follow this doctrine in the world today.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
HEARD ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY? MIKE LUOMA’S VATICAN AMBASSADOR COMING TO PODIOBOOKS.COM!
Burlington author and radio announcer’s second book added to national website.
The PODCAST revolution spreads to audio books!
Burlington, Vermont – December 19, 2007 – Bring on the Sequel! Mike Luoma’s science fiction novel Vatican Ambassador has just been picked up by the online audio book website Podiobooks.com (http://podiobooks.com). Vatican Ambassador is the sequel to Luoma’s Vatican Assassin, which has been featured on the site since August of 2007. Vatican Ambassador will be “live” on Podiobooks on Wednesday, December 19th.
Co-founded by Evo Terra and Tee Morris, co-authors of Podcasting for Dummies, Podiobooks.com provides “serialized audio books in podcast form.” At Podiobooks.com listeners can subscribe and listen to audio books in podcast form for free, or voluntarily donate to the authors. Podiobooks.com is helping to revolutionize the way people experience books.
Vatican Assassin, the first book, has been enjoyed by over 490 subscribers through Podiobooks.com. Luoma narrates the chapters of the book himself, subtly changing inflection and altering his voice to highlight and differentiate each character’s voice in the science fiction novel.
The books take place about a hundred years in the future. A war between the Earth controlling Universal Trade Zone (UTZ) and their allies, the New catholic Church (NcC) and Mars-based Universal Islamic Nation (UIN) recently flared up as the UIN attempted to retake part of Earth by force. The UTZ repelled the UIN attacks at the end of Vatican Assassin. There were heavy casualties on both sides. Now both sides are rebuilding.
The title character, Vatican Assassin Bernard Campion or “BC”, has been named the acting ambassador for the Vatican to Lunar Prime, the Independent City-State on the Moon. But BC’s old boss Pope Peter the Second has died, and the new pope has been strangely silent since appointing BC to his new position. The Governor of Lunar Prime, Marc Edwards, is in a political fight for his reelection against Daniel McEntyre, the widower of the former Governor, Meredith McEntyre… whom BC assassinated under orders from The Pope. As the acting ambassador, BC is about to find out it’s harder to negotiate with people than it is to kill them.
Mike Luoma is a Burlington, Vermont based author and an over-20-year veteran of Vermont radio currently with The Point (www.pointfm.com). He released Vatican Ambassador earlier this year (2007). Vatican Assassin was published at the end of 2005. Both are available at local outlets in Vermont and at Amazon.com and other online stores. He’s now writing the third book in the trilogy, Vatican Abdicator. Luoma features his books on his website, www.glowinthedarkradio.com.
Podiobooks Web Site: http://podiobooks.com
Mike Luoma Web Site: http://glowinthedarkradio.com
Email Contact: email@example.com
Phone: (802) 865-2597
Monday, December 10, 2007
Can't believe I haven't written anything here in months.
I've been writing other things, though...
Just finished the second draft of book three of the VATICAN ASSASSIN Trilogy, Vatican Abdicator. Lots o' typin'! It clocked in at 254 pages. It will be expanding from there, though. I have a short preview online. This is raw, and will change, but might interest you if you've been reading and/or listening to the first two: vaticanabdicator.com
I'm stepping back for a small break right now. Focusing on the Podiobooks.com podcast of the first two books. Vatican Assassin is complete! I'm now gearing up for Vatican Ambassador, recording chapters ahead to be sure I can deliver it in a timely fashion. You can listen to all of Vatican Assassin here: http://podiobooks.com/title/vatican-assassin
Juan Carlos and I are planning issue three of Panthea Obscura for early 2008. The script is done, but I may tweak it a little.
Speaking of 2008, my calendars are for sale! The newest features many of the doodles I've been posting here. Find out more at my homepage:
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
woah... kind of a nightmare!
Here's a more delicate piece, from last year:
Found an eye or five or six while I leafed through the sketchbook. Here's one:
eye eye, capitain!
And I'm not sure what I was thinking here:
Monday, August 27, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
And when I began scanning in that one from the notebook, I went back a few pages for a few more:
None of these are on stuff at my store, www.cafepress.com/doodlerama, yet. If you want one on a shirt or something, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, let me know what you want, and I'll make it happen if I can. I ordered the green shirt with the Ever-Seeing Eye, as I'm calling it, on it. It's on the way...
Sunday, August 19, 2007
And here's an older picture that's now on some T's and Stuff, and another bonus doodle, just for you:
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Saturday, March 24, 2007
The "plot" would have had about as much chance of success as the War in Iraq, would have been executed about as well as the Katrina response was... look at their success rate!
Conspiracy theories are comforting in a cold world, where the enemy is often indifference. They require faith and belief, like any religion does.
And that's why there was no 9/11 conspiracy. These men would have had to actually care about what the public thinks to go to such lengths. But these men have shown repeatedly they are indifferent towards the general population's sentiments and wishes. They would not have bothered to even put such a plan together. They'd consider it a waste of their time.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
But it's there in black and white in the Bible. Redistribution of wealth, over and over again.
Matthew 19: 16 - 22
...someone came to him and said, "Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?" 17 And he said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments." 18 He said to him, "Which ones?" And Jesus said, "You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; 19 Honor your father and mother; also, You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 20 The young man said to him, "I have kept all these; what do I still lack?" 21 Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." 22 When the young man heard this word, he went away grieving, for he had many possessions.
Mark 10: 21 - 23
21 Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, "You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money F90 to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." 22 When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions. 23 Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!"
Jesus told them what their society, their "kingdom of god" should look like, and they tried to live it out, at first:
Acts 4: 32 - 37
32 Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. 33 With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. 35 They laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. 36 There was a Levite, a native of Cyprus, Joseph, to whom the apostles gave the name Barnabas (which means "son of encouragement"). 37 He sold a field that belonged to him, then brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet.
In case you don't take the idea seriously, "Luke" next tells a cautionary tale:
1 But a man named Ananias, with the consent of his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property; 2 with his wife's knowledge, he kept back some of the proceeds, and brought only a part and laid it at the apostles' feet. 3 "Ananias," Peter asked, "why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land? 4 While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, were not the proceeds at your disposal? How is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You did not lie to us but to God!" 5 Now when Ananias heard these words, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard of it. 6 The young men came and wrapped up his body, then carried him out and buried him. 7 After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter said to her, "Tell me whether you and your husband sold the land for such and such a price." And she said, "Yes, that was the price." 9 Then Peter said to her, "How is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out." 10 Immediately she fell down at his feet and died. When the young men came in they found her dead, so they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 And great fear seized the whole church and all who heard of these things.Yikes! God brings down the death penalty for not sharing! All things were held in common. What else do you call it but socialism... or communism?
What was that again, Jesus?
Matthew 6: 19 - 24
19 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust F51 consume and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust F52 consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 "The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light; 23 but if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! 24 "No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
And then there's the Our Father! Forgive us our debts, as we forgive those who owe us... "trespasses" makes it sound like property violations. The word is debt, and it means money. The Jewish idea of jubilee was still prevalent in Jesus' day: in the jubilee year all debts are forgiven, and all men are once again equal. Radical concept, huh? Jesus extended it to every day: you had to forgive those who owed you money. He was taking the old Jewish ethic of no usury and extending it to beyond its logical conclusion. Not only must yopu not charge interest, you must forgive the debt, entirely!! One of the ideas that got him killed. That and the whole "Love your enemies" deal...
Do you know of any so-called church teaching this? It's too bad this guy Jesus doesn't have anyone actually following his teaching these days... he's got some great ideas.