Sunday, September 9, 2012



Melqart (translates as King-City) was the god for Tyre (translates as Sour), a coastal city in Phoenicia (present day Lebanon) that was under Roman jurisdiction during the time of Jesus.

Melqart was assimilated with Hercules after Alexander conquered the city. Sailors valued physical prowess as the sea provided demanding challenges that required strength and courage to overcome. The competition among sailors produced some men that were “god-like” in terms of physical conditioning. This general regard for strength contributed to commerce with other people and settling in other areas.

“I, I wish you could swim
Like dolphins, like dolphins can swim.
Though nothing, nothing will keep us together.
We can beat them forever and ever.
Oh we can be heroes, just for one day.”

Sidon translates as fishing. The men of the city-state were reputed to be the first to sail at night and navigate by the stars. Melqart was associated with Hercules during the Seulcid period and Hercle with the Romans.

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – Fishing in the Dark

"You and me going fishing in the dark
Lying on our backs and counting the stars
Where the cool grass grows"
The following links connect to stories that are relevant to Lebanon in the present. Right now, the crisis in Syria is a cause for concern.

Lebanon to Preside Over Arab Foreign Minister Council

This re-write is about how Jesus continued his ministry for healing during a time of tyranny. Life under the imperial domination was threatened by torture or death for insurrection under a code of law that was characterized by cruelty towards the dominated and laxity for the dominators. A major part of the "healing" required the realization that the way of destruction was not the law of nature according to the benign plan of Nature's God.


Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Fishing in the Dark

You and me going fishin in the dark
Lying on our backs and counting the stars
Where the cool grass grows

Lebanon to Preside over Arab Foreign Minister Council

Lebanon Feels Threatened by Viol
Mark 7, Proverbs 22, James 2, Ps.146

Herod Antipater ruled
Galilee and Perea
during the ministry of Jesus.
He had been appointed
as a successor by his father
who had been named
the king of Judea
by the emperor in Rome.
Reports of miraculous healing
had reached the tetrarch.
The popularity of the healer
stimulated the fear of insurrection
in the unpopular leader.

Jesus left Galilee
and traveled to a location
near Tyre.

God shows mercy to those
who speak and act with respect.
Even those who come from a land
enmeshed in a history of battle
whose children have been brought up
in the midst of rage
can experience
the healing power
of forgiveness.

A woman said,
“Please cast the hatred out of my daughter.”

Jesus replied,
“Let the children be fed first. It is not fair
to take their food and throw it to dogs.”
She said,
“The dogs under the table eat the crumbs
that fall from the plates of the children.”

He said,
“You have spoken with respect
for faith in healing.
The hatred has left your daughter.”
She went home and found her daughter well.
The raging anger had left her.

We are the daughter.
We have been liberated
because we have chosen liberty.

Freedom is chosen.
Rights for one
are implied in the declaration
of rights for others.
The rights that are earned
are owned by showing respect
for those of others.
Liberty within the law
reflects the state of nature.
Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity.
The rod of destruction will fail.
Those who are generous
are blessed with generosity.
They share their bread with others.

Do not blame the poor for poverty.
Do not attribute affliction to the afflicted.
Do not condemn the victim for victimization.
Do not trust the rule of cruel aggression
nor the domination organized for greed.
The rich and the poor have
this in common. The economy
forms status for our society. Changing
the economy with respect for basic needs
changes our status.

When those who are lacking provisions
feel that basic needs will be satisfied,
ability grows with faith in capacity.

Say to those who fear,
“Use fear to build strength.”
Judgment will be without mercy
for those who have shown no mercy.
Mercy rules judgment.
Speak and act as those
who are to be judged
by the law of liberty.
Then, the blind will read and work;
the deaf and mute will use signs to speak;
the lame will rejoice in what can be done;
the disabled will celebrate ability;
the prisoners will be redeemed and set free;
immigrants will be shown respect;
orphans and widows will be sustained;
the way of destruction will be destroyed;
repairs will be made for the damages.
Waters of love will break forth for the thirsty world.
Streams of joy will run where there was no fun.

Praise the LORD, O my soul!
I will praise God as long as I live.
I will sing praises while I have my being.
Jesus journeyed further north to Sidon.
He was avoiding the cruel scrutiny of Herod.
He was taking the long way back home.
He traveled to Decapolis,
the league of ten cities
loyal to empire,
east of the Jordan River.
The region did not have
a single ruler. It was an alliance
of city-states.

A man was brought to him who heard
nothing, but imperial dogma.
His mind was closed
to the law of nature
by belief in the way of destruction.
He had been so convinced that nothing
could be affirmed for goodness that he could not
agree with anything that was agreeable.
The people begged Jesus to heal him.

Jesus took him aside, looked in his ears
and examined his throat. He had the man
clean his ears with the spit from his mouth.
Then, he looked up to heaven, sighed
and said, “Ephphatha,” meaning “Be opened.”
His ears were opened. His tongue was set loose.
He began to speak plainly.

Jesus told them not to speak of the healing.
They were astounded beyond measure.
They could not help but to exclaim,
“He has done everything well.
He even makes the deaf hear
and the mute speak.”
Praise the LORD!

The healing of the deaf man was reported to have taken place in Decapolis.

Much of Decapolis was located in the country now known as Jordan.
An American woman was recently murdered in Jordan.

Raging hormones can feel like madness to the person who is experiencing them. Was the teen who was accused of killing the American woman feeling a raging desire to possess her? Did he feel that he had to take something from her in order to control her, rather than his feelings for her?
“I can’t get these memories out of my mind
and some kind of madness has started to evolve.”

How is it that the feeling of love can be so strong? This song by Muse represents a process of grappling with that which is overwhelming about love for another.

The feeling is not about possessing the other person.
It is about admitting to the value of the feeling. As with any feeling that is overwhelming, the person can sublimate the energy to find constructive ways to build relationship with others. It is the recognition of that which is general about the special relations that builds social status with good health and happiness.

Often enough, that which is new about love, anger or other strong feelings can be used as a prompt to change the way of looking at knowledge as the means for working with that which is believed to be known.
Sing a new song or sing the old song with new life. It will change your life for the better.

Steve K.

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