Conquer

Conquer: (v) to overcome and take control of

I have actually lived long enough to be in a society where seemingly intelligent and even well-educated men are bragging about how high their testosterone numbers are.

That is because, as a people, we have embraced the notion that conquering is achieved by domination.

If that were so, there would still be a Roman Empire. No one ever put together a more formidable force or intimidating presence than Rome.  funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

But eventually they were dominated and therefore, conquered.

Yet enduring throughout all that shifting and shaping, the simple words of a Nazarene carpenter not only survived, but prospered–becoming arguably the most powerful message on Earth.

It all spawned from the notion that it is possible, and even necessary, to be more than a conqueror.

A conqueror, as he monitors his testosterone level, is only content when he is dominating and victorious.

But to be more than a conqueror is to find ways to be useful, powerful and on point–even when the strength and authority is not in your control.

This is the message that will survive all the huffing and puffing of the big, bad wolves.

This is the brick house of hope.

It is the principle which states that merely conquering people does not change them to your way of thinking.

So gradually changing them to your way of thinking is perhaps the only way to truly conquer.

 

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Arena

dictionary with letter A

Arena: (n) a place or scene of activity, debate or conflict.

I grew up hearing stories about Christians being killed in various arenas of the Roman Empire. Recently, I’ve discovered that some of these reports are erroneous and that the Romans didn’t really deem such uncontested murder to be entertaining enough to bump the gladiators off the sports line-up.

I was always curious about it.

I know the Romans were quite brutal, but what would be so harmful about the Christian philosophy, requiring it to be condemned in a public arena?

It is a message that attempts to be inclusive, and blend in to the mixture like yeast in dough, allowing for expansion without destroying the surroundings.

But of course, there are certain things that need to be placed into the arena of public debate, which are too often taken for granted. Perhaps I should remove the phrase “public debate.” We certainly have enough of that. There are people who make a living by stirring up trouble and never hanging around to clean up afterwards.

Perhaps I should say there are certain ideas which should be taken into the arena of our hearts, where they can be battled through to a conclusion which causes us to be non-harmful to ourselves and others.

1. Drug use.

Even though we’ve tried to make it an issue of freedom, in the long run, it is a medical dilemma.

  • What happens when any drug goes into our bodies?
  • How does it alter us?
  • Does it improve us?
  • Is the improvement worth the alteration?

2. Killing.

The trouble with killing is that it’s very permanent. There is no such thing as a temporary murder. Since it tends to hang around forever, we might want to think a bit more about enacting it–whether it’s war, guns or abortion, would it (pardon the expression) kill us to consider, in the arena of our thoughts, the ramifications of our deeds?

3. Intolerance.

First, I don’t like the word. It has an arrogance about it which connotes that I reluctantly “tolerate” something or someone. I actually prefer the word “indifference.” There are many things I disagree with, but since I don’t have to participate, why should I care?

Do I really think God in heaven is sitting around musing over color, culture, sexual orientation or preferences? If He is, He’s a real nudge and a brat.

Since He made us inconsistent, He might just want to be patient with our inconsistencies.

Every single day of my life, I try to go into the arena of my heart and think about these three monsters that have basically been welcomed into our midst and devour parts of humanity without our permission as we allow them to lumber about.

I don’t like drugs.

I’m against killing.

And it’s not hard for me to be indifferent about things that aren’t my business.

 

 

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Antony, Mark

dictionary with letter A

Antony, Mark: (83-30 B.C.) Roman general and triumvir. Following the assassination of Julius Caesar, he took charge and established his relationship with Cleopatra.

How shall we be remembered?

I guess it doesn’t cross your mind very much when you’re twenty-one years old. Matter of fact, in your forties, you’re still trying to gain some footing and clarify your position.

But somewhere along the line it occurs to you that you have lived more of your life than you have left to live.

Once you get over this startling realization, you can ask yourself a valuable question: “Three months after I’m dead, if someone mentions my name, what images will it conjure?”

I think about this as I consider Mark Antony.

He obviously was a very powerful fellow. When the Roman Empire went through a brief season of having three “caesars,” he was one of them. Pretty impressive.

Yet what will be his heritage is the fact that he fell helmet over sandals in love with the Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra.

She had some sort of magic that allured men her way, and certainly Mark Antony was not immune. So much so that he abandoned his loyalty to Rome and began to believe that it was his mission to conquer the world with his “flower of Egypt.”

Here are the questions he did not ask himself:

  1. Just because she’s good in bed, does it mean that she knows what to do with an army?
  2. How much am I giving up to be with this woman?
  3. Can we actually pull off conquering the world together, or is it just overwrought pillow-talk?

Because bluntly, the union of these two souls who enjoyed each other in a carnal way–Mark Antony and Cleopatra–was quickly brought to nought by the Roman legions.

So how is he remembered?

As a love-sick puppy who ended up looking like a dog.

 

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