My Faith, Our Faith, Shield of Faith

In Ephesians, Paul refers to faith as a shield. We know various types of shield, the kite shield popular among medieval Knights (especially in movies), the sci-fi force-field often referred to as a shield as well as the shields which would have been known of at the time. The Israelites in the past would have used simple round shields or bucklers to provide some basic protection for one individual, however in the time when Ephesians was written, they would have been familiar with the Greek phalanx use of shields which the Roman legions improved upon with various group shield formations probably using the Roman tower shield. Each legionnaire would use his large shield to protect not only himself but also his comrades next to him and the group would work together as a whole to protect the whole group. We also see some similar tactics by the dwarven army in PJ’s version of The Battle Of Five Armies, and it looks awesome.

Considering how the Bible talks about unity and the church working together as one body, our faith should probably be cooperative as well as individual.

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Tales from Mount Earth and Surroundlands part 5

“You may as well head towards the Rim then,” said their minotauress friend at the inn that evening “keep both options open. Even if you’re​ going down anyway, you might like to see one or two of the Rim Kingdoms on the way. Just stay away from Krull, they’re a sort of a pirate kingdom. They’re not too close to here though.”

“How do we get there?” They asked.

“There’s probably a postal cart going that way. You could even sign up as casual Guild associates. Some travellers do you know. Or internships. Just as an affordable way to travel.”


So they decided the next morning to go visit the local office of this Postal Guild that they’d heard so much about. They were given forms to sign and lessons and lectures to listen to, they were given maps to study, mostly local, and short tests to sit. Then they practiced sorting mail for a few hours with a basic lunch provided part way through. Then after an afternoon tea of something like scroggin they were given some time to check out of the inn and bring their bags to the guild dorm.

“If that was just to become casual Guild associates, then what does it take to sign up to be apprenticed as full guild members?”

“Oh, not much more to start with. You’d get more training as you go.”


They didn’t have much baggage, having stumbled into this strange world by accident, so once they’d checked out of the inn they took a more scenic route around the town back to the guildhouse.

That evening, after dinner, they were fitted for their official Associate Postmen’s Boots. You could tell the rank and experience of a postman, they were told, by the quality of their boots, or apparently even by the strength of enchantment on their boots, if you had an eye for magical details. The true veterans for example had the privilege of wearing Seven League Boots.

The next morning, they had more practice sorting mail. In the afternoon, they sorted the real mail for their trip the next day. Mostly larger packages. The small stuff,  ie letters, was generally taken by foot, apparently even for long distance

Then they remembered that the feet in question were presumably wearing enchanted boots.

“You probably wouldn’t even need Seven League Boots for most inter-town stuff.” One​ of them said “When you think about how long seven leagues actually is…”

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Supporting those he sends

What did Jesus teach?

When Jesus sent out the 12 in Matthew 10.9,10 and the 70 in Luke 10.7 he says that they shouldn’t need to support themselves but should be supported by those that they teach. Basically teaching local support, not necessarily from churches or synagogues but from the house that they stay in. “For the labourer is worthy of his wages.”


How did Paul get support?

Sometimes self-support through tentmaking as stated in Acts 18.3 and referred to in 1 Corinthians 9.15 and 1 Thessalonians 2.9, but not all the time, and as far as I know these are the only times it is mentioned.

Even in 2 Corinthians 11.8,9 he talks about receiving support from the Macedonian churches. Philippians 4.16 refers to him receiving support from the church there not only while preaching in Philippi but also when he was preaching in Thessalonica (and him wanting them to be blessed by their own generosity).

Even when he talked about his self-support in Corinthians, he talked about him choosing to while advocating for support of missionaries in general in the rest of 1 Corinthians 9.1-18 where he references Deuteronomy 25.4. He basically seems to be saying that it should be his choice to self-support rather than because others think that his work isn’t real.

What should we ask ourselves?

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Tales from Mount Earth and Surroundlands part 4

“So you come from Round World? Where ‘Down’ is relative?”

They were at the college, talking with some of the teachers, including the local wizard, who was a part time teacher.

“Within the geography of your world, ours would look like a number of isolated cracks on the ball. In our world, yours is like a plate with cracks leading in. But the cracks have different relative positions in the different worlds.

It’s complicated. More complicated than even I understand. But you may find that getting back isn’t so simple. I’ve heard that the cracks might even move, but I’m not sure how that works.”

“There might be a school in one of the bigger cities that could help them.”

“Not likely. All the cities and little kingdoms in the cracks are usually focus on petty squabbles.”

“Maybe one of the Rim kingdoms then?”

“Possibly, but I heard that some of the kingdoms down in the near Surroundlands have big universities with real academic focus.”

“Rim Kingdoms? We heard of the ‘Edge’ as well…” they asked the teachers

“The cracked plate is on a round table only slightly larger than the plate.” replied one teacher.

“And the table is called Mount Earth.” another added.

“The Surroundlands?”

“The ‘Lands’ that ‘Surround’ Mount Earth.” Was the slightly condescending reply.

They enquired as to why they had been warned against the Rim.

“Oh, you do have to be careful on the Rim, and follow safety procedures if you intend to go down. And obviously don’t enter the water anywhere near the Rimfall.”

“People have been washed over before.”

“But it’s perfectly safe if you follow the safety procedures.”

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Underland of Narnia

Sailing in the Cavernsea soon became popular in northern Narnia. Soon enough (around the middle of the reign of King Rilian) a little town, or rather a pair of little towns were formed in that area. The twin towns of Cavernmouth and Cavernport, Cavernmouth above ground, around the cavern entrance in northern Narnia and Cavernport underground on the nearest shore of the Cavernsea. Being underground, Cavernport was founded and primarily populated by Dwarfs, Moles and Half-Dwarfs, while Cavernmouth had a wide variety of inhabitants.

By late in the reign of King Rilian however, Cavernport was also home to a number of badgers, mice and fawns and even some dryads. It was afterall a freshwater sea, for the most part however, dryads prefered flowing water and daylight.

Owls came visiting frequently, but very few lived there. They were comfortable in the dark, but liked to have an open sky and the nightbreezes of the overland to fly and hunt in, they said.

Suprisingly, it wasn’t until the beginning of the reign of King Edmund II (whom Rilian named after King Edmund I of the Golden Age, who had sailed with his father Caspian the Seafarer to the world’s end) that any talking bats settled in Cavernport. So it wasn’t until around the middle of the reign of Edmund II, that any bats joined the sailors. And it was only the bat’s sonar that was able to find the islands that previous sailors, Narnians and Underlanders before them, must have sailed past many times before and missed in the dark.

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Altering the Altar

In the Old Testament, pre-Mosaic, altars were used for 2 purposes. Sacrifice and memorials of moments of intimacy with God.

In Mosaic Law, it was similar, there were 2 altars for 2 different purposes. The golden incense altar in the most Holy part of the tabernacle behind the veil was for intimacy with God. The altar of sacrifice was primarily because of our sin being a barrier to intimacy with God, the reason why the incense altar was all but inaccessible. So the altar of sacrifice was used for sacrifice, for sin offerings, an animal to pay the death penalty for sin so that a person might not be completely cut off from God. Although it was also used for fellowship offerings to God, which, outside of the festivals, was the closest most people got to intimacy with God.

When God’s own Son came down, lived as a human and then made himself the ultimate sin offering, the need for the altar of sacrifice was over because the barrier to the other altar, of incense and intimacy, was removed, hence the veil was torn at his death, not only that, but he rose to life again so that the only thing remaining now to put to death at the altar is death itself. As for fellowship offerings, that is where we offer ourselves as living sacrifices to God, to be in permanent fellowship with him.

Jesus ‘altered’ the purpose of the Altar.

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My first thought was wondering if the death of David and Bathsheba’s firstborn was a prophetic pointer to easter, the son of the king dying for another’s sin, but it may not be. then I realised that the more interesting thing was that the line by which David recieved the promise of his heir/s sitting on his throne for ever, was the line of Solomon whom he had by Bathsheba, which marrage came of his sin. The line also (in Mattew) of Jesus, who did die for our sin, who “became sin for us”, was indirectly from David’s sin.

Then the same train of thought led me to thinking about Jesus line before David. Reuben, while viewing Joseph as annoying but innocent of any crime deserving of death, tried to save Joseph. Judah, when Benjamin, as far as he knew may have actually been guilty of a crime for which they had initially suggested that death was deserved, not only offered but requested that he might take Benjamin’s place and pay the penalty for Benjamin’s crime. He also had previously suggested that his own sons might be surety for Benjamin. From the tribe who had this self-sacrificing example in their history, came the promised one who made the ultimate self-sacrifice, who did pay the penalty for all who believe in him.

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