Saturday, February 26, 2005

Isa 53 painting

I'm getting ready to do some artwork for our upcoming Burning House...and in the process of preparing an image, I came up with a new way of doing digital paintings...so I thought I'd share one that I enjoy the most. (this is not the image I'm doing for Burning House though...I can't share that one for obvious reasons...maybe after Sunday?)

Let me know what you think of it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The Didache Concluded

Here is the final instalment of the Didache paraphrase I've worked on. Hope you've enjoyed it, and it has been inspiring to you.

Chapter 14 “Importance of Community Life”
On Sunday, get everyone together to share a meal, and thank God together. Be honest and real with each other about your failures and weaknesses, you want this to be real spirituality, not just a religious show.
And if there’s a feud going on between two people, don’t let their lousy attitudes spoil the whole party. Make them wait outside until they can get things reconciled and behave like adults.
This is the kind of worship and sacrifice the Lord has always been looking for. Remember what He said:
“In all places, at all times, give Me real worship and loyalty.
The Lord reveals that He is the One and only King, and His name is better than anything else on earth!”

Chapter 15 “How to Choose a Leader”
Your community should choose as leaders people who are good with administration, and people who have a heart to serve you. People whose lives reflect a harmony with God’s character, and who aren’t in it for the money. People who have proven over time that they can be trusted.
These people will serve you in the same capacity as the spokesmen of the Lord and the teachers do.
Show respect for these guys, they are just as deserving of respect as prophets and teachers. What they provide for your community is just as good as what prophets and teachers provide.

Each of you should take on the responsibility to watch out for each other, and correct each other if need be. Not because you’re mad at someone, but because you care, and want peace for him or her, just like you were instructed to do in God’s good plan.
Don’t be an enabler, or try to reason with someone who is abusing another person. Back off from them until they see the need to stop behaving that way; that’s the only real help you can give them.

Let your prayer life, and your gift giving, your whole life be harmonious with all you’ve learned from God’s good plan.

Chapter 16 “What We’re Waiting For”
Be careful about how you’re living. Let your light shine brightly, keep your armor in place, and live in a way that you’re ready for the unexpected return of the King.
Get together as often as you can, because your highest priority should be what’s best for your inner man.
Remember, this whole journey you’ve been on, all that you’ve experienced won’t mean a thing if you give up on the last stretch.
When this world is close to taking it’s last breath, there will be tons of people who present a counterfeit truth, who spread their lie like a computer virus, corrupting every good thing. Those we thought were true sheep will, in the dying light, be revealed as wolves. People will forget what love is, much less how to live it; yet will be ingenious in finding new ways to hate.
The great rebellion against God will grow and grow, characterized by hatred and abuse of what’s good and self interest at the cost of everyone else.

Then the One who will deceive the world will come on the scene, pretending to be the Son of God.
He’ll do things that look like amazing miracles, and everyone on earth will come under his spell.
He’ll actively work in opposition to God’s good plan, in terrible ways like we’ve never seen before.
Then all the people God created will end up facing this terrible, blazing time of trouble; and a lot of people will make the wrong choices and die.
But those who continue on, relentless in their belief that God is good and has a good plan will be rescued because Someone good was called the Punished, and took their punishment for them.

The truth of all these predictions will one day appear for everyone to see. Here are some of the signs of this happening:
First, the sky will crack open and peel away. Then, there will be the sound of some great, heavenly trumpet blast. And then, it will be the day of the dead; those who have died will come back to life with new bodies. Excuse me, not all who have died, but only those who believed and now belong to the King will be included in this sign of His return.

One day, the world will see all of these things. Yes, and then they’ll see the King we serve, walking over the clouds and coming to us.

All this I agree to as Truth.

Monday, February 14, 2005

The Didache, Chapters 12-13

Chapter 12 “How to Treat Strangers”
Here’s the principle: welcome and be hospitable to anyone who drops by, who shares your same loyalty to the Lord.
As he hangs out with you, you’ll get to know him, and know if he’s talking out of the left or right side of his mouth.
If he’s just a person traveling through the area, help him out as much as you are able to, but keep an eye on what he’s doing; he shouldn’t stay with you more than two or three days at the most.
If he likes you guys, and likes the area and wants to make it his home, he needs to have some skill or trade so he can get a job and support himself.
If he doesn’t have a skill, you’ll have to decide how he might be able to work to help the community in exchange for support, he can’t just sit around and be fed.
If he’s not willing to do some work around the place, then he’s a swindler, who’s learned how to use Christ’s name to get a handout.
You have to watch out for guys like that.

Chapter 13 “How to Take Care of Church Leaders”
If a spokesman for the Lord wants to settle down in your area, be a part of your community; take care of his needs and provide for him, your community needs him. That ends up being the “work” he does for you.
The same would be true for a teacher. If he’s a good teacher, who helps you understand God’s good plan, he’s someone you need, you should provide for his needs.
You can carry out the same principle from the Law, where the first part of all the harvest and oil and wine, as well as the first born of the livestock were given to the high priest, you could follow that pattern for the prophet who is living with you.
And if you don’t have a prophet/spokesman as part of your community, you could follow that pattern and give that stuff to the poor people in the neighborhood.
You could follow this principle through every part of your livelihood, and give away everything that comes off the top, just like they did under Moses’ law.

Friday, February 11, 2005

More Didache paraphrase...

It's almost impossible for me not to want to jump up and down and point out what the early church fathers wrote concerning how a young church should discern if a person was truly a messenger from God or not. Where have these standards gone? How did we get here from there?
Ah well.....

Chapter 11 “How to Test Teachers, Apostles and Prophets”
If a person comes to teach you, and what he teaches lines up with the teaching found here, then you can welcome him and listen to him.
But if he comes with some “new” or alternate “truth”, realize that he’s trying to lead you away from the way of life, and is trying to drag you down the path of death! Plug your ears from that noise.
But if his teaching challenges you to be more like God who is good, and aids you in your understanding about God’s plan, then welcome him in as though the Lord himself is there.

Now, concerning the spokesmen and mouthpieces of the Lord who are traveling around, handle them in a way that is in harmony with God’s good plan.
If a spokesman, an ambassador with God’s message comes to you, receive him just as though the Lord is right there with you.
Now, he should only enjoy your hospitality for one day, maybe two if the situation calls for it. But if he seems content to hang out for three days, realize that you’re dealing with a false prophet.

When a true spokesman for the Lord leaves your company, he won’t take anything from you except what supplies he would need to get him to his next destination. If he starts asking around for money, this guy’s a false prophet.

Now, if a prophet is giving a message by the Spirit that is clearly by the will of God, don’t start second-guessing that guy’s motives or picking apart his words. This is treading too closely to doing what unbelievers do in distaining the work of the Spirit, and we know that is unforgivable.
But be warned, just because a guy may give a prophecy doesn’t mean he’s a bonafide prophet; his life and priorities will bear that out.
Here are the ways you can tell the difference between true and false spokesmen for God:
If a spokesman of the Lord says he has a word by the Spirit that you should prepare a meal and then gobbles it all up himself, that guy is a false prophet.
And if he teaches you to follow and live out the truth of God’s plan, but he doesn’t live it himself, well he’s obviously false too.

If a prophet has been proven to be a true spokesman for the Lord, and yet he uses strange, even weird illustrations, and even acts kind of funny; as long as he isn’t suggesting that you have to be weird too, then don’t worry about it. You don’t need to judge that stuff; God will deal with all that when everything comes to the end.
If you think about it, the Old Testament prophets were pretty odd ducks, and it could be it’s just a hazard of the job.

And if anyone tells you, supposedly by the Spirit, to give him money or goods of any kind, don’t listen to a word he has to say. On the other hand, if he says by the Spirit to give on behalf of others who are in need, that’s a different story, that could very well be by the Spirit.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

The Didache continued:

I've written a paraphrase of the Didache.....so here are two more chapters.

Chapter 9 “The Lord’s Supper”
Now, with regard to the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, here is how you should pray:
First, as you consider the cup of wine, pray:

“Oh Father, we so thank you for the Grapevine, woven through history; Your ongoing plan which was revealed in David’s story, but fulfilled through Your Son, Jesus.
Your beauty and power never, ever ends!”

Then, as you consider the bread, pray:

“Oh Father, we so thank you for a brand new life, and a whole new way of understanding, which was given to us by Your Son, Jesus.
Your beauty and power never, ever ends.
Just like this bread we break was once wheat, scattered in many fields on different hills, which now has come together as one loaf; so let us Your church come from the North, the South, the East and the West, and be gathered together in unity under Your rule.
Through Jesus, the One, Your beauty and power and rule never, ever ends!”

Be careful that everyone knows how serious this is. No one should be eating and drinking the Body and Blood of Jesus who hasn’t surrendered their lives to Him.
Remember, Jesus told us this is the children’s bread, don’t just treat it as scraps you give a dog.

Chapter 10 “Thanksgiving after Communion”
When you’ve finished eating and drinking at this celebration, here’s what you should pray:

“We thank you oh Father! You built a house in our hearts, and you put Your name on it, even though You are so completely pure, and we are not. We thank you for a new way of seeing things, and for the great adventure of living without fully understanding, and for a life that will never, ever end, which has come to us because of Your Son Jesus.
Your beauty and power never, ever ends!
You are the all powerful Artist who designed everything known and unknown, all because you enjoyed creating it! And You gave us food and drink that tastes so good, all so we would remember You, and thank You as we enjoy it!
Best of all, you gave us spiritual food and drink, a life that never ends through Your Son.
Because of this, to thank you and acknowledge Your rule over us becomes our number one priority!
Your beauty and power never, ever ends.

Keep the people you’ve called out of the world before Your eyes Lord. Deliver them from everything that isn’t good like You, and form us together into a complete representation of Your love.
From the four corners of the world, let us all be drawn together, the people who are different from this world because of You, into Your kingdom, which has been Your plan all along.
Your beauty and power and rule never, ever ends!
Let Your relentless love and care come to us, and let this broken world fade away.
Rescue us, oh God of David!
If anyone has switched his loyalties to God, come on in!
If anyone hasn’t, you can still change your mind and do so.
Maranatha – the King will return.
All this I agree to as Truth.”
Now, if a person is moved by the Spirit to pray by God’s leading, then, of course, let him do that as well.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

The Didache Obsession Rolls On...

The Didache continued:

Chapter 7 “Baptism”
Let’s talk a little about the practice of baptism. Here’s how you should carry this out:
First, go over all this teaching and make sure the person being baptized is in agreement with it. Find some running water and immerse the person in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If you can’t find any streams or rivers, then find some other place where there is enough water. It can be cold or warm, it doesn’t matter.
But, if you can’t find sufficient water to immerse a person in, then pour water on their head, three times; in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Fasting would put the person doing the baptizing, and the person being baptized in the right spiritual frame of mind. It’s not a bad idea for anyone who’s able to fast to fast before the ceremony. Really, the one being baptized should fast, even for a day or two leading up to this event.

Chapter 8 “Fasting and Prayer”
And when you do fast, don’t do it anything like the religious play actors out there. They’re known for fasting on Mondays and Thursdays, so it would be better if you fast on Wednesday and Saturday (in preparation for Sunday).
And don’t pray like those windbags either. Instead, pray like Jesus taught us in His Good News to us. Here’s how you should pray:

“Our Father who is in heaven, help us live in awe of Your name.
Let Your authority be the supreme rule here,
Set up Your good plan here on earth, the same way things are good in heaven.
Provide for every meal we eat, to keep us going.
You have forgiven all the ways we betrayed You, help us to treat others the same way.
Keep us safe from our own will and from our Enemy’s lies, keep us away from everything that isn’t good like You.
You call all the shots, You have total control,
And Your beauty never, ever ends.
All this I agree to as Truth!”

It would be a good practice to pray on these lines three times a day, morning, noon and night.

Monday, February 07, 2005

The Way it Started Recently

Two couples and two single people sat in his living room, as he desperately tried to inspire a conversation to fill up the uncomfortable silience.
"So, how do you like Florida compared to California?" he asked one of the young ladies sitting on the couch.
"Oh, it's going to take some getting used to, but I like it alright."
"Well...I guess we should get started. I put a little Bible study together that I thought we could explore together." He got up off his hard kitchen chair and walked around passing out a piece of paper to each person.

In his mind, he just knew this was never going to work. There are too many expectations; not just from everyone else, but from himself as well. He didn't know what this was going to look like when it was all said and done, but he knew he couldn't go back to "church as we know it". Reading the writers of the ancient church had inspired him. When he read chapters 65-67 of Justin Martyr's first apology, and saw the simplicity of an early church service, he was stirred. When he picked up the Didache, and read it through, a light went on in his head.

He sat down after he passed out the papers. He didn't know what this would end up looking like, but he knew it didn't have to be the same old thing....it could be the old new thing.

The Didache continued:

Chapter 5 “The Way of Death”
In contrast, the way of death looks like this: it has a long laundry list of things that destroy. Its evil and cursed nature is right up front. On this path there is murder, adultery, lusts of all kinds, sexual promiscuity, theft, false religious loyalties, dark magic and demonic powers, robbery, slanderous lies, fake religious masks, deceptions, evil conspiracies, pride, perverted behavior, self will, greed, pig-headedness, greed, foul talking, selfish jealousy, and over confident boasting!

If someone is good, or lives for the good, those on the way of death will hate and hurt him. The Truth is hated as well, but lies hold a special place in their heart. They can’t even conceive of living this life with the world to come in view. They don’t hold to anything good or approve of right choices. They wouldn’t roll out of bed for something good, but they’d work night and day for evil purposes. A patient, gentle mindset is like a distant idea, far from view.

If it’s worthless, they love it all the more. They’re only interested in how they can profit from any given thing. They turn a blind eye to the poor, and wouldn’t lift a finger to help someone in need and burdened down. Because they don’t believe they’re made in God’s image, they freely murder babies and actively seek to spoil anything that reflects the good of God. They walk away without a care from those who are hungry or hurting, and instead lift up to celebrity status those who are well off, and who have risen to power by walking on the backs of the poor. They are altogether outside of God’s plan.

May you, my dear children, be rescued from that sort of pathway.

Chapter 6 “False Teachers and Lifestyle Issues”

Pay close attention to what you’re being taught. Make sure you’re being pointed toward God’s good path, and not some cheap substitute. If you could live out all this goodness without falling short, well, you’d be a perfect person. But, since those kinds of people have never been found, live this out to the best of your ability. And concerning dietary issues, if it’s a possibility, do your best to stay away from unclean food, that is, food that people associate with false worship practices. People are led astray by that dead stuff.

Friday, February 04, 2005

The Way it Started...

Three families had gathered in the courtyard of Gnaeus Gallus' home. Two had a long history together, the third had only been introduced to them that day. Six adults and their children, eleven in all, ranging from infant to early twenties, waited patiently for the speaker to arrive.

This was an uncomfortable turn of events. Each of these families had encountered the speaker at the fountain in the center of town. Each of these families, through different members had come to believe the words and stories of the speaker, and had accepted the invitation to become a part of this new sect which was finding adherents all over Asia minor. What had started out as private dinner invitations to the speaker only, had now become something more. A "gathering", as he had called it, of those who were part of this sect. This gathering represented the speaker's last three months of telling his stories. Gnaeus was not the least bit comfortable with this new aspect of worship.

Children of similar ages were playing a quiet game that required they tag each other, then freeze. The adult men sat in silent observation of the children opposite the women, two of whom were engaged in animated conversation, the third sat as a hushed outsider. The afternoon sun was waning, and the shadows crept farther across the courtyard. Servants came and lit lamps in the corners, and a fire pit was brought to life in the center, providing light and warmth for those waiting.

"He should be here soon" remarked Gnaeus, "we'll have our meal then."
The other men nodded in mute acknowledgment of this plan.

Suddenly, from the doorway into the courtyard, a servant moved aside and allowed a short, dark middle-aged and balding man to enter in. His head was partially covered by a shawl, his nose was long and sharp, and his eyes were black as tar. In his hand he clutched a scroll, and he waved it in greeting to those gathered. It was the speaker they had been waiting for.

"Sorry I'm late!" he said, almost singing, through a broad smile. "Greetings in the name of our Lord, Jesus the Christ!"
"Greetings in the name of Jesus." responded the group.

"Will you tell us more stories?" blurted out one small child impetuously.
"shhhh!" retorted his mother.

"I've come with something wonderful! Today, I recieved from Jerusalem a letter." he paused dramatically, "From the leaders of the gathering there, those who walked with Jesus, when He walked this earth!" He looked from face to face, making sure that this news was taken with the proper awe. Satisfied that his point had been made, he continued, "This letter will be the foundation of this gathering. This will help you know how to carry on when I leave here, so that you can continue on in the faith, and lead others to know this hope also!"

Gnaeus was pleased with this. He had truly experienced a change when he embraced the teaching of this little man and his stories about Jesus the Christ. But he had wondered about the purpose of this gathering, and how it would take shape. Now there was something to work with, something to help set the stage for this new way of living.

The speaker opened up the scroll, and began to read.

The Didache continued:

Chapter 4 “Relationships, Temporal and Spritiual”
My child, whether it’s daytime or nighttime, be sure to pray for those who are teaching the Word of God to you. Be respectful to them because when the Word of God is being taught, it’s as though the Lord Himself is there speaking. Every day you should look for, and hang out with those who are moving deeper in their relationship with the Lord, because you can really find good support in that kind of company and conversation.

Unity is precious; don’t do anything that would divide people from each other, but actively work to keep everyone together, in peace. If you find yourself needing to help mediate in a quarrel, do it impartially, and according to what’s right. Then you can stand firm in your decision, and you should too.

Don’t always be on the receiving end of gifts, and then suddenly have withered arms when it comes your turn to give. If you have money and goods passing through your hands, be generous with it all. That kind of generosity reveals a heart ransomed from sin. Muttering under your breath as you give, or clutching the dollar you reluctantly give away isn’t the right way to give either. You need to remember, you can’t out give God, the real Head of payroll, in charge of bonuses for those who give generously. Don’t you dare turn a blind eye to your brother when he’s in need. Instead, look at him as a co-owner of everything you have, because in reality, nothing is totally yours anyway. After all, you are all co-owners of everything God gives spiritually, eternal salvation, so it only makes sense that temporal things should be considered community property as well.

Never neglect your responsibilities to your children. Not just for physical needs, but teach them proper respect for God as well.
If you have employees, don’t give orders to them out of anger, especially if they’re also Christians, because that could cause them to begin equating your authority with God’s which rules you both, and they might lose their right perspective and respect. God doesn’t’ reach out to people based on a social pecking order, but comes to men and women solely on their readiness to receive His Spirit.
If you’re an employee, be a really good employee, doing all your work as though you were doing it for God Himself, and be humble and respectful as you do it.

It’s alright to hate playacting in spirituality…pretending to be something your not. Hate everything that isn’t in harmony with God’s good character. Don’t ever give up on seeking to know and do what the Lord wants you to do, and actively determine to do all the stuff you’ve been taught to do (without adding a lot of other condemning requirments or leaving off the things that seem too hard).

Be honest and real when you’re with the church. If you blew it, be willing to admit it. Don’t hide your wrong attitudes or actions under the guise of prayer; listen to your conscience. Remember, this is the way of LIFE we’re on.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

The Didache continued:

Chapter 3 “Forbidden Attitudes”
My child, flat out run away from what you know is evil, even stuff that just looks evil. Don’t live out of anger because anger is the catalyst for murder. Jealousy, bickering, being hot-tempered, these aren’t the things you want to live from, in fact; they’re also the seedbed of murder.

My child, don’t let lust run loose in your heart, because from there it will find action in sexual immorality. Be careful with your speech; don’t get in the habit of talking dirty. And watch your eyes; don’t let them roam around looking for someone to lust after. These things will end up growing into a garden of sexual sin if you allow for them.

My child, don’t get caught up in psychic phenomena, because that stuff leads to false worship practices. And stay away from any practice of magic or astrology, don’t even look at that stuff for fun; these kinds of things lead people to put their faith in false gods or false methods of spirituality.

My child, don’t speak the language of lies, lying is just like stealing trust. Don’t accumulate stuff out of selfish or arrogant greed, because this is the motive behind theft.

My child, don’t spend your day complaining, because it won’t take too long before you’re complaining against God. Don’t go chasing after your own will, and don’t spend your hours thinking about things you’re unhappy with, because these are the things that lead to a contempt for God’s will.

Here’s how you should live: Be a person whose strength is kept under God’s control, because, one day, that kind of person is going to be the owner of everything that money can’t buy. Be a person who can tolerate difficulty for a long time. Be a person who cares about others; someone who puts action behind that care, not for how it makes you look, but out of good motives. Don’t be quick to blurt out whatever comes into your head, but think about what you say and how it will affect others. You want to be a person who is respectful to the teaching you’ve heard.

Be a person who is content with being the little guy, and not the celebrity. Be the bouncer at the entrance of your soul, and keep over-confidence out. Be a person who hangs out with the good-hearted nobodies, and avoid rubbing shoulders with the upper-crust crowd.
And listen, as you walk through this world and stupid stuff happens to you, realize that God is in control of everything that comes your way, and He’s got a plan that has your best in mind.

I love that last part a lot! RC wrote a comment last time pointing out the timelessness of these instructions...as humans, we all go through the same stuff! I love the simplicity of what it means to be the church, and followers of Christ that is conveyed in this document. Wait until we get to the practical, how to, stuff! It's classic (literally)!

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Ok...so I'm writing a paraphrase of the Didache. What's that, you say? It's one of the earliest documents we have from the early church that isn't part of the accepted Bible. It's pretty cool, even if it isn't considered Scripture. Athanasius referred to it as a kind of quick-start guide for new believers and those starting a church. There is such a wonderful sense of primitive intent for the church contained in this document, that I haven't been able to get it off my mind.

Since most of the translations of it are very cumbersome to read because they use archaic language and syntax....I decided to write a "Joe Smoe" paraphrase that would make the profound message in this work accessible to a casual reader.

I think what I'll do is post a chapter here and there on my blog. I'm not sure what else I want to do with it...but I'll tell you, this has become a pretty important project to me. There's something in this thing...something that takes me back to the beginning of the church, before we got it so polluted with our own agendas.
Anyway....here are the first two chapters of what I've been working on. I hope they are readable. Let me know what you think of this! (You can check it with the original here)


Chapter 1 “Duae Viae – The Two Ways”
There are only two ways on this journey, one way is life, the other is death, and there is a world of difference between the two.

This is what the way of life is like: first and foremost, you must love the God who created you. This will, secondly, enable you to love your fellow man as much as you love yourself. Whatever you wouldn’t want people to do to you; you definitely shouldn’t do to other people.

Here’s how we would put this teaching into words: Say good things about those who speak bad things about you. Offer up prayers, even skip a meal in fasting for the ones who are determined to be an enemy to you, and who are cruel towards you. What’s the big deal if you love those who love you back? People who never even think about God do that kind of stuff. But if you will extend love toward those who pierce you, then you’ve got something, something that will win people over so your list of enemies begins to shrink.

Control yourself; keep your body’s desires in check. If someone hits you in the face, don’t hit back, present the cheek he didn’t hit. Do this, and you will be complete in reflecting God’s image. If someone takes advantage of you, stretching you to your limits, let it become an opportunity to live as a servant. And if someone steals your coat, give him your shirt as a present as well. If someone steals something of yours, don’t even bother asking for it back, because all that will do is stir up more trouble.

Be generous in giving to anyone who asks, and don’t set up any repayment plans, don’t even ask for anything in return. Your Father loves it when you give generously out of the abundance of blessing He has given you. Whoever gives like this is content and knows fulfillment, secure in his standing before the Father.
But here’s a warning: If a person is receiving material things, and he really has a lack that it supplies, then good enough, it’s not a problem. But, if a person is receiving material blessings while his hand is already full, then that’s a real problem. He’s going to have to give an account for why he took more than he needed, and his greed will cost him dearly, he won’t get away with it.
Here’s an old saying that’s a good piece of advice: “Don’t be hasty in determining how to give. Hang on to your gift until your hand sweats; as long as it takes, in order to discern who you should give it to.”

Chapter 2 “Forbidden Activities”
Here’s the second important thing to obey from this teaching. These are the things that we cannot participate in: murder, adultery, child molestation, sexual promiscuity, stealing, white or black magic, abortion or infanticide. No lusting after your neighbor’s stuff, no lies about your neighbor to make yourself look good, in fact, don’t saying anything that isn’t good in nature. And don’t hang on to a grudge against someone.

Don’t waffle in your decisions, or pander to what someone wants to hear even if it isn’t true, that kind of talk is deadly. You must be a person of your word; if you say it, do it. And don’t be greedy or hoard up material stuff. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not, and don’t be a hot-head or arrogant. Don’t ever conspire to do something against your fellow man.

You mustn’t hate any man. Now, some you’ll have to correct, and others you’ll just have to pray for, but all in all, the goal is to love others more than your own life.