servant or son?

in luke 15.11-32, jesus tells the parable of two lost sons.  below is a broad look at the general theme the parable deals with, viz, repentance.  the parable takes us to consider repentance in quite a different light…

how do you see yourself — a servant or a son?

the older son sees himself as a servant — “these many years i have served you,” (literally, slaved [gk. douleuow] for you) was what the older son said to his father, (v.29.)

but the younger son, the prodigal, did similarly — “let me be as one of your hired servants,” [gk. misthiown — hired servant] was what the prodigal son intended to say to his father, (v.19.)

in this regard, they stood on the same platform with respect to their father — the older son saw himself as a slave in his father’s property, the younger son would return as an employee, a hired servant who earned his keep (for food, v.17) and who lived outside the father’s property.

but the father saw both sons as sons, and acted in a similar way, appropriately, to each of his sons, ie, stooping down to both, in acts of humiliation.

when the older son would not come inside the house, because he was angry, it was such a disgrace.  but the father went outside to ask him to come inside, (v28.)  it was such a shame.  but instead of showing displeasure and indignation, the father’s love brought him to act in humiliation.

when the younger son took all his possessions and wasted them in prodigal living, (vv.12, 13,) he brought shame to his father.  and when he returned home, his father instead of showing displeasure and indignation against the prodigal’s misdeeds hiding his face from him, he went outside and ran to meet him — hugged and kissed him, (v.20.)  this (a nobleman running) was regarded in those days as an act of humiliation.  an act of humiliation, brought about by a father’s indescribable love.

thus, in each case, the father’s indescribable love brought him to stoop down in an act of (public) humiliation.

the obvious change in the prodigal’s words, i.e., the difference between his intended speech (v.19) and actual (v.21,) is the strongest argument for a change of heart — repentance.  when the prodigal deleted the clause ‘make me as one of your hired servants’ from his speech, it was clearly in response to the out-poured love of his father that he had just witnessed — his father running out to meet him, hugging and kissing him — love demonstrated in humiliation, (v.20.)  the prodigal son accepted the father’s offer of grace, of sonship renewed.

the parable ends with the father pleading with the older son — ‘son, thou art ever with me, and all that i have is thine,’ was the father’s unqualified offer, (v.31.)  this prompts the careful reader to ask, ‘will the older son (also) accept the father’s offer of grace, of sonship?’

how do you see yourself — a servant who slaves away, or a son who accepts grace (love demonstrated in humiliation) as the basis of sonship and its blessings?

 

Could Self-Programmed Robots — AI — have produced the iPhone 8?

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According to a recent Press Release, proponents of the Evolutionary Binary Processes (EBP) group have claimed that the latest iPhone, the iPhone 8, was a product of Evolutionary Binary Processes.  EBP adherents believe that Artificial Intelligence (AI,) namely, self-programmed robots were responsible for the re-design and manufacture of the latest iPhone model.

Spokesperson for EBP, Professor Eve O. Lucian, has (in fact) gone so far as to state that, not only the iPhone 8, but all other iPhones in the series, evolved and were manufactured by these self-programmed robots without direct interface from human hands.

“We have good reason to believe that AI manufactured these iPhones without direct interface with human hands,” Professor Eve O. Lucian asserted.  She did not elaborate further on her pure conjecture.

But, evidence has resurfaced supporting the claim of Creationists, that all iPhones were directly made by human hands; and did not undergo advanced ‘inflation’ from a single cell, namely, the original iPhone prototype.  (Creationists are obviously those who believe that human hands — directly or through interface with machines — made all iPhones.)

In his end note speech at the annual AI Summit held at Silicon Valley, Bill Doors III, co-founder of Microhard Corp., repudiated the notion that AI or self-programmed robots already have the capability to manufacture smartphones apart from human interface or without direct human intervention.

“We are not there yet,” Doors closed.

Doors also presented a compelling discovery — a Trojan Horse (a concealed microscopic copyright symbol only the maker can identify, that ensures any attempted claim made against the original manufacturer can be disputed) — at the Summit, bolstering claims that the iPhone series was created by human hands, and not products of advanced Evolutionary Binary Processes, AIs.  The written evidence is incontrovertible.

Close examination of samples of the iPhone series, on high-powered pneumatic microscopes, revealed they had a Trojan Horse stamped on each component.  Written in Chinese characters were symbols that read…

MADE BY THE CHINESE.

death-salt & death-pepper

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death, or dying, is how a friend (a university professor) described the experience of wasabi in his mouth.  the aftermath… life from the dead!  a resurrection… of sorts.

what i hear often describing the experience of wasabi in the mouth is that it is “hot” — like chili-pepper-hot.  we have a word for it in tagalog — maanghang.

i don’t describe it as maanghang.  instead, i describe the experience of wasabi in the mouth as an allergic reaction — a strong involuntary repulsion to a potent chemical.

when the wasabi paste touches my upper palate, it sends electrical signals into the nasal cavities, singes up and around my skull, causing my entire head to shiver and quiver for a few seconds.  it takes my breath away — literally!  the aftermath is a teary-eyed sigh of relief from the terrible onslaught.

but, the entire experience is altogether a pleasurable one, albeit, the initial onslaught feels terribly powerful.  this is the reason, i think, my friend (the professor) describes his experience as a death, or as dying… but to live again afterwards.  this is also the reason why i love to repeat the experience over and over again, a few times.

now, the wasabi i am talking about, is not the real deal wasabi that the japanese gourmets use — according to some expert.  it is just an imitation.  so what!  it’s the death-experience that makes even the ‘alternative’ wasabi worth dipping your favourite sushi or sashimi on.

now, this death-salt & death-pepper (photo above) is wasabi-salt & wasabi-pepper — pulverized salt with pulverized wasabi and pulverized pepper with pulverized wasabi, in salt & pepper shakers.  it was given by a friend who just arrived from japan.  i may not be able to read the label, but i know the taste of salt and pepper, even wasabi laced salt & pepper.

i know a little japanese… he owns a ramen noodle house.