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Old 06-26-2004, 06:04 PM   #26
Geoff Flather
Dojo: Life Centre, Exeter, Devon
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Smile Re: Aikido and being Christian

Even though I am an ordained Christian Priest. I do not intend to bludgeon you with my belief.

I am also a martial artist. However may I say or suggest; that the power of Ki, is neutral, and it is our intentions and actions with Ki, that truly explains the definition of Ki, by actively representing all things postive, natural, and creative.

Last edited by Geoff Flather : 06-26-2004 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 06-26-2004, 06:41 PM   #27
tony cameron
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

"We can no longer rely on the external teachings of Buddha, Confucius, or Christ. The era of organized religion controlling every aspect of life is over. No single religion has all the answers. Construction of shrine and temple buildings is not enough. Establish yourself as a living Buddha image. We all should be transformed into goddesses of compassion or victorious buddahs."

"The Art of Peace that i practice has room for each of the worlds eight million gods, and i cooperate with them all. The God of peace is very great and enjoins all that is divine and enlightened in every land."

"The Art of Peace is the religion that is not a religion; it perfects and completes all religions."

- Morihei Ueshiba O Sensei

(all quotes from John Stevens translation of "the Art of Peace")

Love,
tony1
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Old 06-28-2004, 10:29 AM   #28
justMe
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

This is a most interesting thread. After I read all the entries I was quite pleased to note that there are many who seem who share my personal point of view: Aikido is what you make it! So is ki! Our intent, interpretation, use and experience of a thing define its quality of goodness or badness. For example there are those who feel handguns are bad and should be banned. Others believe (myself included) that guns are inanimate objects incapable of any such anthropomorphic qualities. In my view, it is the intent of the bearer that is either good or bad.

Just so, if one wishes to bring religion based spirituality to their Aikido practice, then Aikido will be a spiritual thing to them. So will ki. Others who do not assign a secular element to Aikido or ki will practice in religious neutrality. We all choose our path. We personally assign value and meaning as is congruous to our own perspectives on living, which includes our faith selections (and yes, not choosing is a choice).

However, I did strongly disagree with those who stated that meditation and emptying the mind could allow something evil to enter. My opinion? Impossible! First off I need to say that I do not anthropomorphize deities, evil, goodness etc. Evil is not some sort of mystical sneak-thief awaiting for the owner of the house to leave before robbing it. It is a personal quality that, like honesty, goodness or morality, must be intentionally developed within ones self. That being the case, I offer the following analogy. If you empty a glass of its water, the glass still remains. If you attempt to fill the glass with vapor, the glass will not hold it because it is the wrong type of substance for that container. In the same manner, evil can not take over a good person. They are simply the wrong kind of containers!

Also, this idea of ki being from the devil is actually anti-Christian. Consider: all things come from God. Even Lucifer, according to doctrine, was created by God. So Lucifer is unable to create anything new and must content himself with warping that which already exists, hence his reputation as the Father of Lies and The Great Deceiver. This turns the ki conundrum into the handgun example I gave earlier. The practitioner of ki development will decide for him or her self via intent, interpretation, use and experience, just what exactly the nature of ki is for themselves.
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Old 06-28-2004, 11:56 AM   #29
Geoff Flather
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Smile Re: Aikido and being Christian

However Tony, or Osensei, or John Stevens san,

Buddha, Confucius, and Christ. Are established guides and good ground to build upon.
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Old 06-28-2004, 05:25 PM   #30
MitchMZ
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

There are some really interesting posts in here. I have really enjoyed reading them.

I personally feel that good advice is good advice, no matter where or who it comes from. Although, my perception of good advice could be totally different than another person's. Thats the only problem with religion and religious texts...people decipher them according to their own personal bias. Someone may think a passage in the bible tells them to literally take up arms, whereas I may think it means to remain peaceful and strong in your faith. Aikido has helped me to see past that personal bias, because that really does cloud the truth in many circumstances.

What I do know is that Aikido really does go hand in hand with any of the major religions. Thats because as far as I know, every major religion is based on the same principles...and these principles also show through with practice of Aikido. But, as we all know... many people do a great job of perverting things; martial arts, religions, etc. Personally, Aikido has only strengthened my spirituality and my humility. I think it will continue to do so until my dying day. Aiki is truly everywhere, and lack of Aiki is also everywhere.
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Old 06-29-2004, 12:03 PM   #31
Geoff Flather
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Smile Re: Aikido and being Christian

Well said Mitch, many of us also agree with your statement.
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Old 06-29-2004, 05:13 PM   #32
David Edwards
 
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

Indeed. I empathise especially with your second paragraph.

It's a kind of magic
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Old 07-01-2004, 04:48 AM   #33
Hagen Seibert
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

Sad
how many people seem to value
bible spells, phony fundamentalist advice and stiff concepts of good and evil
above
their own experience, their own senses, their own thinking.
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Old 07-01-2004, 08:49 AM   #34
jxa127
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

Quote:
Mitch Kuntz wrote:
What I do know is that Aikido really does go hand in hand with any of the major religions. Thats because as far as I know, every major religion is based on the same principles...and these principles also show through with practice of Aikido.
Mitch,

I disagree with you that every major religion is based on the same prinicples. However, I would say that most major religions have many principles in common.

More importantly, O' Sensei was a major proponent of the Omoto-kyo religion which did, in fact, seek the unification of all humanity in a single "heavenly kingdom on earth" where all religions would be united under the banner of Omotokyo.

In other words, O' Sensei's religious beliefs were, in many ways, very universal, so it's no surprise that aikido itself (which O' Sensei viewed as a religious practice) fits well with many religions.

Peter Goldsbury wrote two fantastic essays on aikido and religion. They're available at the Aikido Journal web site (to subscribers). I'd suggest that anyone interested in this topic read those essays. They're very eye-opening.

Regards,

-Drew

----
-Drew Ames
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Old 07-01-2004, 07:19 PM   #35
tedehara
 
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

Quote:
Nick Porter wrote:
This should probably go in the Humor section, but take a look at this:

"Alter all, the power for KI is not of God so it must be of Satan, and is not something with which a Christian should have anything to do."

I found this on a Christian website...

-Nick
"After all, the power of Gravity is not of God so it must be of Satan, and is not something with which a Christian should have anything to do."

eek!

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
About Ki
About You
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Old 07-02-2004, 12:57 AM   #36
Charles Hill
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

As I understand it, a basic tenet of Christianity is that of original sin. For a person to be saved, he/she must go through Christ to be redeemed. In O`Sensei`s religion/philosophy, a human being is fundamentally divine but has forgotton that fact. It is through training that we wear away the impurities to let the good stuff shine through. If my understanding is correct (and it may not be) how could the two ways complement each other?

Charles Hill
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Old 07-02-2004, 12:08 PM   #37
MitchMZ
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

By principles I meant peace, humility, etc. Basically, I don't see why its such a bad thing to try and be as divine as possible...but at the same time accept that you are a sinner. Because, if you accept you are a sinner and nothing else, it leaves not a lot of room for improvement. Why should you accept the fact that you sin a lot? If you are practicing Aikido, you probably do believe in improving yourself.

It is a lot harder to try and be the best person you possibly can than it is to repent every time you go to church. If you do both, its a harder yet. My hat goes off to the people that truly do both...but church isnt for me. I recall this quote that goes something like, "There are many paths up the mountain, but those who reach the top, all see the same moon." Maybe it was even O' Sensei that said this, not sure. I really feel I'm looking at the same moon as many people...I just took a different path to reach it. In such case, even preachers, priests, etc. have a biased view of the material they present. This is why I think I like religion to be a more private thing for myself. My relationship with God or whoever you want to call it is just that, mine. Just like Aikido, a relationship with God isnt something you can have shown to you or fed to you...you have to develop it yourself over time.
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Old 07-02-2004, 09:38 PM   #38
dan guthrie
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

Just a bit of fluff: "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
Isn't that ukemi?
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Old 10-06-2004, 10:54 PM   #39
RichGar
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Re: Aikido and the Christian

Whoa! Hold your horses!
>Tony Sapa wrote "This I would caution, that it is spiritual, and not from God." <
Please give me your definition of "Spiritual"? Because it surely doesn't fit mine. The "IS" of God is Mind Spirit. We are His creations. That makes us Mind Spirit also since we were created in His image. We by the grace of God are Spiritual beings with a physical body, not a physical beings (body) with a Spirit. We are Spiritual! not Physical. Our Spiritual nature Is of God.
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Old 10-07-2004, 09:21 AM   #40
Dario Rosati
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

As agnostic, I don't get why religions pursue the labeling of things with intrinsecal good or evil characteristics.
Things (in the widest meaning of the word) are nothing but tools... Aikido, Ki and almost everything are nothing but tools.
They are good or are evil in relation to what use you make of them, that's all.
As someone pointed out, the words in the bible itself can be bent from the wisest to the most idiotic and distorted point of view, depending on WHO's reading/interpreting them.
No wonder: the bible and the word of jesus are tools themselves, no more no less... the benefits you may gain from their use strictly depend on which use you do of them.
Can they be evil? Sure, if you use them in the improper way.... the whole history oozes examples of this kind, for every possible religion.

I think that "Ki is what you make of it", just like almost anything else. Ki is no different from stuff like charisma or sexuality: you cannot definitely say WHAT they are, but you perceive them... you can only define their ethical nature after their use or manifestation.
And both charisma and sexuality can be used in a very good or very evil way.

You find the next example...

Bye!

--
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Old 10-07-2004, 09:56 AM   #41
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

Good post, Dario. Thank you.

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
www.jiyushinkai.org
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Old 10-09-2004, 09:25 PM   #42
oudbruin
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

Wow- what a bomb!

Aikido ( in my humble opinion) and Christian (and Buddhist and Hindu) ideals are very similar- LOVE and respect for humankind.
The concept of chi & ki as being a satanic power- well...
Does today's Christian call the pograms & burning of Jews and Protestants and women and men who were ID'd as "witches or warlocks" satanic ?
Getting involved into lengthy dialog over what is in the Bible (or any other religeous text) and what is or is not considered satanic should be exclusive from the practice of Aikido/AIKI-JUTSU

I believe that in the absence of a spiritual framework, I.E. a love/compassion for humankind (warts and all) what we do, is just aiki jutsu. We are just doing technique.

I believe that AIKIDO is a COMPASSION for our fellow humans, the loss of human life is a tragedy, and sometimes we do have to use our AIKI-JUTSU in order to preserve our lives and maybe the lives of our fellow humans- than it becomes AIKIDO
*******
Lets talk about chi / ki, for a moment. I'm no expert and my ukemi really sucks- I fall like a sack of potato's. Look at the European knights and renaissance sword masters and their techniques, What these masters did wasn't all that dissimilar from some of the tachi waza i have been trying to learn. Maybe the Europeans didn't call it chi or ki, but if you arn't firmly grounded and centered when you are jousting or engaged in longsword or mace combat, you are toast.

There is a Venetian sword DISARMING technique that looks a lot like Irinmi-nage, in order to be able to disarm someone with a sword, you have to have good chi/ki centered, and grounded and focused..
------
So, do we now say that all Asian MA is evil and European MA is "GOOD", I wouldn't, , no more that calling handguns evil or good. It's the use the "weapon" is put to.Frankly, most if not all of the attrocities done during the crusades and inquisition were done in the name of the church.
---

FOCUS, concentration, being centered and grounded is no different in any of the classic European art forms as it is in any other martial form, be it Asian or martian.

The comment that ki is evil or satanic, has no more validity than some mullah saying George Bush is the great Satan.
-------
Martial art is neither "good or bad", it all exists in the mind/soul of the user. The Christian BILLY BOB minister (or whatever) who attempts to try to dictate to one of his followers that meditation or KI is evil, is actually committing an evil act by forcing some impressionable person into his own belief set.
Religious intolerance is EVIL. Ignorance is EVIL
---
By way of illustration to what I'm saying- A friend recently sent me an email on the democratic verses Republican response to a knife wielding attacker.
as a way of humor the democrat would respond by asking why is the poor man attacking what have I done wrong to upset himetcetc, the Republican answer was to pull out a gun and shoot a tightly formed group of 3 double taps(bangbang, bangbang, bangbang)
--
I wrote back that my AIKI response was wait till he attacks, and than throw him a heaping dose of kotegaeshi. I would hope that Osensei would approve.

THIS IS JUST MY humble opinion.
management is not responsible for these opinions aired,
the FDA HAS NOT APPROVED THESE CONTENTS FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION
close cover before striking.
Bruce Hammell
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Old 10-10-2004, 05:49 PM   #43
Aikidoiain
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

Bruce is correct in what he says. You only have to turn on the TV to see people being murdered "in the name of Religion".

Aikido should be Spiritual rather than Religious, in my opinion. There's a huge difference in meaning. Simply be good to your fellow human-being is enough.

I won't say any more than that, as I don't mean to upset those with Religious beliefs.


Iain.
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Old 10-12-2004, 06:04 AM   #44
Patrick O'Regan
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

Christianity and Aikido have nothing in common.

I mean Christianity was founded by a truly exceptional man who had a unique understanding of the world. He gathered a select group of people around him to whom he taught the true meaning of his message.

After the Founder left the world this initial group traveled the world trying to teach the message. Each had a relatively personal interpretation of the core message. After some time some followers became less certain that the teachings of Mother Church were the "true teaching" and they broke away and taught what they thought was the true way. Following this their were many more spits and differing perspectives.

Each group believe their version of Christianity is the only way and all others, although kind of on the right track, have lost the true massage as taught by the founder. Sadly we only have obscure and contradictory writings to go by.

Most of us just turn up to Church when we can, do the best we can and try to make sense of it all!!!

(Disclaimer: My intent is not to compare Christ with Osensei or John Lennon.)

Paddy

Paddy
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Old 10-12-2004, 10:23 AM   #45
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

Okay check this out.

Quote:
I mean Aikido was founded by a truly exceptional man who had a unique understanding of the world. He gathered a select group of people around him to whom he taught the true meaning of his message.

After the Founder left the world this initial group traveled the world trying to teach the message. Each had a relatively personal interpretation of the core message. After some time some followers became less certain that the teachings at Aikikai Honbu were the "true teaching" and they broke away and taught what they thought was the true way. Following this their were many more spits and differing perspectives.

Each group believe their version of Aikido is the only way and all others, although kind of on the right track, have lost the true massage as taught by the founder. Sadly we only have obscure and contradictory writings to go by.

Most of us just turn up to the Dojo when we can, do the best we can and try to make sense of it all!!!

Does the change in text fit the overall sense of the original statement?

The day I stopped worrying about the Aikido vs. Christianity deal was when I realised that Christ and Ueshiba M. had practically the same overall vision for humanity and taught the same basic concepts. Sometimes when we look too closely we see nothing.

Just my thoughts.

LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 10-12-2004, 11:42 AM   #46
Qatana
 
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

And it sounds more like Jerry Garcia than John Lennon, anyway.

Q
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Old 10-12-2004, 03:04 PM   #47
mriehle
 
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

A long time ago, in another life (alright, when I was a teenager) I spent some time in religious education. One of my teachers in this seminary made an interesting point.

Part of the message of Christ was prosyletizing. The message of the gospel needs to be spread to all peoples. But there are a lot of people in the world (and a lot more long dead) who will never get the opportunity to hear the gospel. What about their salvation?

His personal belief (and he was careful to characterize it as such, although I believe it to be consistent with conventional doctrine) was that there are some people who already earned their reward (or punishment) before they got here and time here on earth was simply a formality. Others will earn their fate in another way in the afterlife. These people are born into situations where the gospel is not available to them.

Okay, so if you accept this, you can go on to the next concept he presented me with. What if some number of those whose reward is already guaranteed are sent here to further the principles of the gospel even in the absence of its specific teachings? He believed (and I agree with him) that it's possible. How would you recognize these people?

Was O'Sensei one of them?

I believe he was. As was Gandhi. As were a number of other such historical figures.

Looked at like that, where is the conflict?

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Old 10-12-2004, 03:26 PM   #48
Jonathan
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

I've been a "born again" Christian for almost three decades. I have practiced aikido for a little more than half that time. So far, I haven't had any conflict between my faith and my aikido practice. I think sometimes people mistake the effects of long training for something magical or supernatural (call it "ki" or "chi", if you will). I mean, a concert pianist can do things on the keys of a piano that are impossible for me to do. Is this pianist, then, possessed with a piano-playing demon? Of course not. Likewise, someone who has trained hard in aikido for forty years is going to have skills that may initally seem supernatural to the aikido novice. Time and training will change that view to one that is rather more mundane. This has been my experience in Aikido.

I do wonder, though, at some of the stories I've heard and read of concerning O-sensei's martial abilities. It's one thing to play the piano brilliantly; it's quite another to be able to play three or four simultaneously without actually touching any of them. And this is what some of O-sensei's martial feats amount to. He would have, in some of the instances that I am aware of, had to exceed the laws of physics in order to do what he did. That, or some of his direct students are fantastic liars.

Anyway, as a Christian, I believe that there is a spiritual realm (of which O-sensei seemed quite aware). Obviously, I cannot believe the contents of the Bible and deny the presence of spiritual beings. However, I don't jump to conclusions about whether or not a thing is supernatural simply because that thing is new or exceptional to my experience. Just because someone can do something remarkable that I cannot doesn't necessarily mean that they have tapped into some dark spiritual force. Mind you, if someone can hold out a staff in one hand and prevent it from moving while six or seven people push with all their might against, well, I can't help thinking there is more at work in that than really amazing physical technique. This seems to me to go beyond clever manipulation of the physical to the transcedence of it. Perhaps I just need more training...

To any Christians out there who may have some concern about the "ki" thing in Aikido I would suggest that it is just the deep refining of one's intuition, sensory perception and physical movement expressed in relaxed, powerful, creative and effective responses to attack. If, however, you can stand perfectly still with your eyes closed and throw and pin twenty guys to the floor without touching any of them, you might want to visit your nearest exorcist - that or become your own one-man, pro-footbal team.

Take it easy!

Jon.

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
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Old 10-13-2004, 01:40 PM   #49
billybob
 
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

I think of the gospel where Jesus said "Anyone who is not against me is for me." - in response when his disciples complained of someone else preaching the Word.
Whoever is not against us is for us
óMark 9:40

If I suggested to you that God did not speak english would you take me out and stone me?
If I asked if God might be female would I be burned at the stake?

Do you pity me because I claim to feel God in my blood and bones, and when i stand in the surf?
Does this make me 'unsaved'?

Is spirit separate from flesh because we have different words for it?

Romans 8 man, it's all about love.

Billybob
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Old 10-13-2004, 01:53 PM   #50
billybob
 
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

Don't i feel silly? sorry, Romans 8 is wonderful, but i meant to make the reference below:

1Cor 13:1-8
1Corinthians 13:1-8 1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; 5 it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. (RSV

billybob (painfully human after all!)
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