The emotions of a tragedy

We as a nation and as individuals go through stages as we come to grips with tragedy. Here, I wish to speak only of the emotions of those who have some distance from a tragedy and not those directly involved.
-Shock, when the information is still vague.
We gather information and details.
-Sadness, when the information becomes real.
We pray, we mourn, we try to make sense.
-Anger, when the information becomes clear.
We come face to face with evil.
When I try to imagine what it takes to kill so many normal people, the closest I can get is one coming in and spraying kind of haphazardly. But no, what we had in this tragedy was way worse, he specifically targeted his kills of children, women and men. The fact that almost all in the church were either killed or wounded testifies to that. Well, he must have had anger, “But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.” But anger seems to be an insufficient motive for such an act. A soul full of violent hate comes closer to giving us a motive. “He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” But even hate seems a weak explanation for what took place in Sutherland. The only explanation is evil at its vilest. Evil incarnate. “Then Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve”. “Numbered among the twelve!” What is scary is that evil is not very far from us.
His act was a very spiritual act. He was literally spewing his hate of God. But by doing so he testifies that those people are near to the heart of God. For he specifically attacked them for that very reason. Though they were struck down in violence, truly, they rest in peace. And for that reason, he hated them. I know that I am speaking before all the facts are in and speaking of things that take place in the heart of another man, but for me the main facts are adequate. The systematic targeting of children in a place of worship is sufficient to draw some conclusions. And though the place in some regards is inconsequential, it is significant to speaking to the core nature of his act.
-Gladness, not the happy type, but a form of resolution to the anger felt.
I am glad he is dead.
I am glad he was shot and stopped by citizens.
I am glad we don’t have to go through a trial.
The Bible says that God does not rejoice in the death of the wicked. And neither do I. But the resolution gives end to the anger. Anger towards a dead person is senseless and quickly loses its place. Are these emotions wrong? I do not believe so. They are natural responses to things happening. How we manage them is key to our emotional, physical and spiritual health. And, yes, there is an anger even towards this perp that is very wrong, a sin. Likewise, there is a type of gladness at his death that is wrong. But that doesn’t disqualify all forms of anger. And, yes, I am sad at his death, his act, his choices, his life. What does God feel? Well, shocked He is not, for He knows what is in the hearts of men. But sadness and anger are emotions that naturally flow from His love and His righteousness.

And for those who have kept themselves from being emotionally affected by the tragedy it is perfectly acceptable, normal and probably healthy. We as humans aren’t capable of bearing the myriads of tragedies that happen each day around the world. From car accidents to abused puppies. Each tragedy affects everyone differently depending on how close, how awful, or just what our mood is when we get the news. We live in a numbing news cycle world of media that amplifies the worst of mankind. Emotions are powerful and dangerous. But they are also an important part in the healing process and, more than that, they in many ways define what it means to be alive. Emotional stability is crucial all the more in times like these. We must take care to not become insensitive or overwhelmed due to the over-stimulation of our emotions. We must often disengage emotionally. Sometimes we can do that with our mind, but often we need to just push in the clutch by physically turning off the TV, radio and internet.
For those that are able, we now mourn for our brothers and sisters at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. We likewise pray. And we are more mindful of our place in this world of pain.
Thomas, Nov 6, 2017

Renewing

Welcome. I am in the process of updating my site.  Google wants all sites to be readable on a phone, or the site will not show up favorable in search results.  It is a difficulty because my multi-language setup caused problems switching.  I am simplifying, but there will be some artifacts of other languages on pages, until I finish the work.  I will have a Russian side, but more or less a separate section, not as interlinked, but much simpler approach.  So if you see russian it is just a translation of the english you can read.  I hope to begin writing more for the site, but we will see.

Thomas

Fake emails

I have received returned emails that have not been sent by me.  I do not have outgoing capabilities on those email addresses, so it couldn’t have been sent, even if I was hacked.  Basically, it is spoofed email. The sender pretends to send from one email address, when it is actually sent from a totally different address.  If you have received spam reporting to be from me, I am sorry.  However, there is nothing we can do about someone spoofing our email address.  The email spammers, wiki spammers, and comment spammers have no respect for others.  They are leaches that vandalize that which others create to scam unwitting people. Administrating websites means dealing with the problems these vandals cause.  I could rant some more, but it will do little good.  Just learn to assume something is spam unless it is clear that it is legit.  Even then it is better not to click, but to act independent of the email (type the proper url directly into your browser rather than clicking).  We do not send spam.  May your inbox be every free of spam.

Multi-language linked Bibles

For all my e-reader Bibles go to my Bibles for e-readers page.
I have already created Parallel Bibles with one language below the other.  What more would you need?  Parallel Bibles only works well with two versions. Also though nice to have both languages visible, sometimes it is distracting and preferable to have only one language visible.  The solution that works well for me is multiple languages in one eBook that links each verse to the verse in the other language(s).  For instance, in the KJV-RST-UKR-GRK in the New Testament each verse has directly before it three of the four letters (e,r,u,g), with the present translation absent.  Clicking on one of those letters will bring you to the same verse of the respective language.  For navigation use the left or right arrow key to jump to the beginning of a book and then click on the link to the table of contents which will get you to any part of that translation.  There is a little catch in going from the Greek NT to an OT passage since there is no OT Books.  The solution is to first change to the language in which you wish to read the OT and then go to the TOC.

In conclusion, the parallel Bibles are good for when you do not know one language very well and you are only dealing with two languages.  Otherwise, the multi-language linked Bibles will be my main texts to use.  I hope you find this helpful.  Let me know of any errors (broken links or chapters missing) and any suggestions for improvement.  I still haven’t heard from owners of Epub compatible ereaders as to whether the files work well or not.  I only have a kindle to test files and do know know how they are doing on other devices. Thanks, Thomas.Kindle Screenshot

English & Greek NT

English & Albanian

English, Albanian, & Greek New Testament

Enlish & Russian

English, Russian, Ukrainian & Greek NT

Free Bilingual eReader Bibles

For all my e-reader Bibles go to my Bibles for e-readers page.
Bilingual Bible Rus-KJV
What started as a little project of getting the Bible on the Kindle has grown a bit. Since I already have the files, scripts and process fresh in mind, I have decided to add bilingual versions. While I am at it in addition to the mobi format, I am making them available in ePUB for the Nook, Kobo, and Sony Reader.
Why bilingual? I know from personal experience that in a bilingual setting or trying to learn another language it is very difficult on the kindle to move from one version to another and back. For a Kindle, the files I have made are about as good of a solution as you can have. I am making these primarily for my own personal use, so I have placed the English verse below the verse of the other language. Well, you can try them out for yourself. If you need only one version you can check at my previous post.

BILINGUAL BIBLES

Free Bibles for Kindle & Nook in multiple languages

For all my e-reader Bibles go to my Bibles for e-readers page.

For my own personal use, I have formated several Bibles for the Kindle and while I was at it converted them to the EPUB format for the Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo eReader, and others.  The texts of all these Bible are in the public domain.  Here are all the versions I have made, all available in one place.  The navigation has been updated and now is the same across all versions.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.  I don’t own a Nook or any other EPUB device, so it would be good to know if all the versions work on the different devices.

Bible Version

Kindle – Mobi format

Nook – ePUB format

English Bible – KJV – Bible-KJV.mobi Bible-KJV.epub
Russian Bible – RST Bibliia-RST.mobi Bibliia-RST.epub
Ukrainian Bible – Ogienko Bibliia-Ukrainian.mobi Bibliia-Ukrainian.epub
Albanian Bible – ALB Bibla-Albanian.mobi Bibla-Albanian.epub
Greek NT – Wescott-Hort with accents GreekNT-WH.mobi GreekNT-WH.epub
Greek NT – Stephanus with accents GreekNT-Stephanus.mobi GreekNT-Stephanus.epub

For bilingual Parallel Bibles for eReaders see my next post.

In addition to the Parallel Bibles I have formated Linked Bibles with multiple languages.  These are the latest and the ones I use the most.

I tried to convert the Hebrew Bible into Kindle, but it is not that simple due to the lack of support in the Kindle format. However, I did create an ePUB file that may work on some devices (It did show up in an on-screen reader). So if anyone wants to give it a try, let me know by leaving a comment. I will not put it up until it has been successfully tried out by different people on different devices.

Free Albanian Bible for eReaders

For all my e-reader Bibles go to my Bibles for e-readers page.

Living now in Albania, I formatted for the Kindle the Albanian Bible which is in the public domain. I have posted it here for anyone who might find it helpful. There is navigation that I find good enough for me (updated from my previous Bibles). I would appreciate any comments. Bibla-Albanian.mobi

Also you can download ePub for a multiple of other devices  Bibla-Albanian.epub

You can find other versions I have made available here http://believingthomas.org/ebook/free-ebook-bibles/For all my e-reader Bibles go to my Bibles for e-readers page.

Living now in Albania, I formatted for the Kindle the Albanian Bible which is in the public domain. I have posted it here for anyone who might find it helpful. There is navigation that I find good enough for me (updated from my previous Bibles). I would appreciate any comments. Bibla-Albanian.mobi

Also you can download ePub for a multiple of other devices Bibla-Albanian.epub

You can find other versions I have made available here http://believingthomas.org/ebook/free-ebook-bibles/

Morality: A question of law or opinion

Arguments for the existence of an absolute moral law.

In our age of multicultural relativism, the ten commandments are often viewed as dead platitudes, antiquated and irrelevant for modern man. Several years ago, there was a long and furious debate when a judge in America placed the ten commandments in his courtroom. Despite the fact that they were eventually removed, the judge received a lot of support for his action. In the last century, God was declared dead and yet it appears that it is only His detractors who have died and He is still alive. Various countries have tried, and yet have been unable to banish God. A zampolit (protector of Soviet dogma) pressuring a Christian pastor, was asked by that pastor, “If the party told him tomorrow to go to church and light a candle, what would he do?” He responded, that it would never happen. Well, that “never” has happened and that tomorrow has come. Many years later that same zampolit printed Gospel tracks for me, an American missionary. Continue reading “Morality: A question of law or opinion”

Awakened to sin

In trembling hands, the fruit rolled off his fingers and dropped to the ground. The fruit had an overpowering taste that was different than anything he had eaten before. And yet, no sooner had he tasted the sweet juices of the fruit than he was filled with a bitterness that reached deep into his soul. No one needed tell him what had just happened. It was all too painfully clear as a new sensation arose within him. What was it? Though he had never even thought of such a word, “guilt” seemed to be appropriate description of what he was feeling. It seemed to become apart of his innate knowledge of himself. The fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, did indeed impart a deep knowledge. The knowledge itself was of no abstract theoretical type. Continue reading “Awakened to sin”

Fears of uncertainty and fable creatures

Stories of a creature with a head like a dog and hind legs like a kangaroo, which sucks the blood out of chickens and rabbits take us back to the old country. Yes, it may be part of what we call the Old Country, however it is in modern day Ukraine that these stories live. Not long ago, I was made aware of these creatures roaming the western Ukrainian countryside. By all accounts, this creature or creatures have even made it to the outskirts of Kiev. It would normally be worth little more than a short account in your supermarket tabloids if it weren’t for the level of publicity and actual concern of people. Several news stories have been dedicated to sightings of chupakabra, the above described creature. Continue reading “Fears of uncertainty and fable creatures”