Earlier this year in the class on Luke, we collectively learned that death is a form of healing. This being the case, our friend Jerry Mitchell was healed on January 28th, 2015. In terms dear to us as Samaritans, it may be said that Jerry graduated to heaven on that day.
Jerry Mitchell, or Papa Jerry, as we knew him, taught in the Beaverton School District until his retirement. He was already retired when we met him. We came to know Jerry as the cornerstone of Good Samaritan Ministries (GSM), a ministry with a call to “teach nothing but the Kingdom of God,” a call which continues to this day at GSM in Beaverton.
While Jerry’s wife, Bettie Mitchell, is recognized as the founder of the Ministry, she is always quick to recognize that Jerry, by giving permission for Bettie to leave her teaching job to pursue the Ministry full time, was the one who released the calling into action. It was he who supported and accompanied her through the years as the Ministry grew to touch lives not only in Beaverton but also in some 32 countries throughout the world.
Jerry was a veteran of World War II and a member of what Tom Brokaw famously referred to as “The Greatest Generation.” Jerry was a great fan of the Portland Trailblazers and was always quick with a smile and a joke. He was honest and approachable and loved children. It may truly be said that he never lost touch with the child within himself.
His positive impact as a soldier, teacher, and Samaritan can be seen today on four continents, and we count ourselves blessed to have had our hearts warmed by knowing Papa Jerry towards the twilight of his wonderful life. The world is a better place because Papa Jerry lived.
Rest in peace Papa Jerry, and thank you for your many sacrifices this side of heaven. We look forward to the time when we will meet again on the other side.
Those who have followed The Mint over the past several years are familiar with an annual assignment which we take very seriously. The assignment is to open the Bible as if we have never seen it before for the first 10 weeks of the year. The assignment is given each year by Bettie Mitchell, the Founder of Good Samaritan Ministries in Beaverton, where the classes are held.
Over the past four years, we have been fortunate to explore Hosea, Matthew, Isaiah, and John. This past February 19th and 26th we were privileged to assist in teaching the book of Deuteronomy, a book of staggering importance.
Below is a clip from the class on the 19th:
You can see the entire teaching at the following link:
You will quickly notice two things if you take time to watch the video of the teaching and look over the slides. First, you will notice that there are only three slides for what will be four hours of teaching. Second, the pace of speaking may seem slow.
We assure you that you are not imagining things. There are indeed very few slides and our pace is purposefully slow. On the internet, where one is accustomed to information coming at a rapid fire rate, it will feel slow.
The reason is the following: If one is to allow the Word of the Living God to teach them, it must come out of one’s mouth, travel around the room, and be heard back into one’s own ear to assure that it has been heard and understood by all. Only then, when it has been heard and understood by all, can it bring the people in the room together, as they were some 3,500 years ago at Kadesh Barnea, listening to Moses give his bittersweet farewell address to a people who were about to become a nation for the very first time.
It is a nation that has withstood the test of time and distance ever since that moment, and has spread from the Promised Land throughout the world, and yet remains one: Israel.
Regardless of one’s faith or ancestry, Deuteronomy is important, for it holds the key to a number of mysteries. As Bettie Mitchell put it:
In the cities there is confusion, in the wilderness, there is something different, something to be learned. In the wilderness, the question is not about human relationships, it is about God
The New Year has come according to the Gregorian calendar, and we wish our fellow taxpayers a happy and healthy 2014. We can hardly contain our excitement, as the calendar change seems to have awoken the slumbering giants of economic progress who have been holed up the past five years.
As an aside, if you are in the Portland area, tomorrow evening at Good Samaritan Ministries in Beaverton there will begin an important series of Bible classes at 6:30 pm. For those who are just now joining us, at the beginning of each calendar year, we choose approximately ten books of the Bible to be taught on and teach one of them each Wednesday evening until the 10 are complete, wrapping up the series of classes sometime in March.
The classes are unique in that each year we are opening the Bible as if we have never opened it before, throwing out preconceived notions and opinions and letting the Bible study us, not the other way around as is the common practice in much of Christendom, where the faithful study the Bible, as if we had something to add to it or the Bible required our approval. It is a simple juxtaposition of subjects that makes all the difference. We do not study the Bible, the Bible studies us.
Starting from this place, the teaching is fresh and earth shattering every time, for all who are in attendance become both teacher and student in this unique format. Again, the series begins tomorrow evening, January 8th at Good Samaritan Ministries in Beaverton. Our assignment this season is on Deuteronomy, and we will be allowing it to study us in mid February.
Its 2014: Just do it
2014 is setting up to be an extremely prosperous year, and, now that Janet Yellen has been confirmed as the Federal Reserve’s first Chairwoman, what could possibly go wrong?
The answer, of course, is many things. The world’s economy is built upon a shaky premise and the obligation to use debt-based currency brings with it a whole slew of unknowns that may become known over the next several months, such as, “what happens when borrowing and lending of a debt based currency become so disjointed that trading in said currency becomes not just unpalatable, but nearly impossible?” or “what happens when a $2.2 trillion dollar corporate cash hoard gets deployed all at once?”
The answers to these and other burning questions are likely to reveal themselves over the next several months.
Here at The Mint, we have been busy churning out proposals and other documents in hopes of attracting a portion of the downpour of cash that awaits those of us just beyond the spigot of the Federal Reserve System, hence the lapses in our faithful correspondence.
As we alluded to above, it will be an exciting year and one in which our broad advice is once again best encompassed in the three words made famous by a neighboring company:
Just do it.
If there is something you have put off, a dream, an idea, a plan, 2014 seems like as good of a time as any to execute it, the wind is at your back in terms of monetary measures. There is more than enough of it to go around, and were the money supplies of the world not centrally managed in what is an essentially Socialist system, it would be more evenly distributed throughout the economy by now.
As this is decidedly not the case, prepare to see large scale dislocations exacerbated by the widespread confusion surrounding the newest provisions of the health care law taking effect which will be most noticeable in the fact that getting an appointment with a medical provider will simply not be as easy as it has been in the past.
In other words, you can give everyone the right to health care but you can’t create doctors and nurses to provide said care out of thin air.
For this reason, we drink to the health of all our fellow taxpayers as the earth begins its latest run around the sun on the Gregorian calendar. The odds are it may be the only thing one needs to maintain in order to prosper this year.
It is Christmas, God Created a Child – A Christmas Poem inspired by a revelation given to Bettie Mitchell regarding why God saved humankind in the most unusual manner that we celebrate during Christmas.
It is Christmas, God Created a Child
It is Christmas,
a babe in a manger lay,
Why has He come?
The reason of the mystery revealed.
In the beginning,
God created them, man, then woman,
What would they do?
He walked with them in the garden.
broke His heart, and He sent them away,
with a gift of clothing,
the first sacrifice, but not the last.
God left them,
He pondered what went wrong,
and how to make it right again.
He watched them from afar, as a nervous parent.
as they conceived and bore children,
outside of the garden,
the results were disastrous, murder, betrayal
He sent a flood,
to destroy them all, to wipe the earth clean,
for the earth was innocent,
He wrestled with the implications, and saw Noah.
He would allow them to live,
Abraham confirmed what he saw in Noah,
Humankind still loved Him,
Yet they were so evil, how could He come close?
Then it came to Him,
Like a muse from below, for in the beginning,
In the garden,
They were perfect, they were His, and they were adults.
He would create a child,
not cursed, as those outside of the garden,
As Adam and Eve were, in the beginning
and breathed life into the darkness,
it was perfect,
They must see how to live, from cradle to grave, our perfect union
The perfect end,
The only way to blot out, the transgression in the garden,
The financial world took a big step closer towards a new currency over the past week. First came revelations that the US Treasury increased its net debt by $1 Trillion in ONE MONTH, which, in and of itself is shocking. Perhaps not coincidentally, Bitcoin prices blew through the $200 mark once again. We have written extensively on why Bitcoin is likely to rise, you can purchase a copy of what is now our most popular ebook on a number of ereading platforms here:
Today, we turn our attention to the area of morality here at The Mint. We must warn you, however, that what you are about to read may turn everything that you once understood about ethics and morality on its head. Read on at your own risk.
Do the Right Thing
“Ask not what you are to do, for you are called to do the right thing, not the expedient thing, not the easy thing, but the right thing. You will know what the right thing to do is when you learn to see your neighbor not as a rival, but as a brother.”
From our youth, when we were confronted with a form of temptation or, perhaps more commonly, the opportunity to choose between selfish gain or pursuing the good of others, we were often exhorted by our elders with a phrase that is both etched in our memory and charged with meaning: “Do the right thing.”
The phrase is alive and well today and continues to drip with authority, for it implies that in the situation that is being confronted, there exists a common body of knowledge which, if consulted, would lead the person confronted with the opportunity to “Do the right thing,” with an obvious course of action.
When this phrase is uttered, more often than not it is uttered by a person whose good intentions are matched only by their complete lack of a direct interest in the outcome of whatever is transpiring. It is also often uttered by someone who, if they were to be in your shoes, would more often than not be completely incapable of “doing the right thing” that they benevolently have advised you to do.
Today, we hear the phrase in discourses by those charged with national government. In this context, even the feigned benevolence which is the hallmark of the way the phrase is delivered in political settings is overshadowed by the fact that by “doing the right thing,” the politician invariably means “submit to my will and ask no questions.”
Imperial governance, which is the form that the world labors under today, is paradoxically predicated on categoric refusal to “do the right thing,” as, at its base, modern governance results in the enslavement of men and women via a myriad of rules and threats in order to convince them to render tribute and allegiance. We have explored this phenomenon thoroughly in our volume entitled “What is Truth? On the Nature of Empire.” The inescapable irony which engulfs every utterance of the phrase by a public official means that, at this point, we cannot hold a straight face when we hear it.
To draw on a recent example, when the President states that Congress must “Do the right thing” and fund the government, the statement may have been the most presumptuous ever to escape human lips, for the underlying assumption is that whatever the government does is right, which is, from most rational and religious standpoints, absolutely incorrect.
Politics aside, at its base, even the seemingly disinterested “do the right thing” offered by a friend,a parent, or colleague is a thinly cloaked act of moral superiority on display, for the phrase is all too often offered as thinly veiled advice which, once decrypted, is read to imply “do what I want you to do.”
If the term has indeed been hijacked to lay claim to the moral high ground in a debate, shaky as it may be, humankind must strive to understand the noble origins of this seemingly important and universal saying.
Life is complicated, and, contrary to what many would say, it does not come with an instruction manual which tells humanity what is categorically right and wrong in all situations which we may encounter.
For this reason, the Bible, which we believe to be the closest thing to a users manual, reads not like a how to or self-help book, but a series of events where people, both individually and corporately, are thrown into unimaginably complex and dire situations (once one looks beyond the surface to understand the Biblical settings) ostensibly to see what they will do. The question that is being asked constantly of the Biblical characters as well as each and every human being today is this:
Will we do the right thing?
Doing the right thing is beyond important, it is imperative that anyone who is genuinely seeking God and His Kingdom Do the right Thing at all times that the circumstances demand them to choose a course of action.
However, what constitutes doing the right thing in any given circumstance is not a matter of democratic preference or legislative action, it is purely a mater left to God and the individual of whom the right thing is required, for it is they and they alone to whom the ability and intuition has been given to make these life and death determinations.
The right thing cannot be legislated or encouraged, it can only be done or not done. Each time it is done, the Kingdom of God draws near to us all. Each time it is neglected, we all suffer the consequences.
So Do the right thing and, more importantly, be close to God, for it is He who is the only judge of such matters. The logic can be carried further to imply that everyone who utters the phrase “do the right thing,” to someone who is faced with a difficult situation is, perhaps unknowingly, both usurping God’s role as well as inhibiting that person’s ability to learn for themselves how to choose the right thing, which is an ability that all of mankind must learn deeply and permanently. The right thing is a lesson that can only be learned through personal experience and exercise of one’s own decision-making processes.
This however, does not mean that the right thing must be learned on the field of battle. There are more often than not subtle clues which will guide us as to which situations demand us to respond by doing the right thing as well as what the right thing to do is. For instance, in our observation doing the right thing often involves an initial sacrifice to be made of time or resources. It is often a choice to pay the cost. While it is not universal, this minor detail is often a clue that one is doing the right thing.
Only those with a perfect knowledge of all of the circumstances involved are qualified to ultimately judge what is right or wrong. Even in the hypothetical case that the actors are in a position to understand all of the circumstances involved, the observation is limited by our über short human timelines which ignore the concept of eternal justice.
Doing the right thing is imperative, and all human judgement as to what the right thing is in any specific circumstance is null and void unless it is agreed upon by all parties who are directly (not indirectly) affected by a course of action.
Perhaps the distinction is best illustrated in the Gospels. While the religious leaders were left legislating the right thing, Jesus was doing it. It is a contrast that is emphasized for a reason, for the doing the right thing is deeply personal and immensely powerful.
There is one thing and one thing only that one can be absolutely certain that is always the right thing to do from an eternal perspective: Forgive
As the Passover nears and we paint the blood of the lamb over our doorway (figuratively, of course, our better half just painted the doorway a gorgeous blue and let’s just say that literal blood would be frowned upon), we await, along with the rest of the world, the promises of our Lord, the I AM, revealed to us in Jesus Christ.
We will celebrate the New Year tomorrow at the GSM Good Friday service, where we step out of time for the three hours that our Lord hung on the cross, pouring Himself out to bring mankind the only thing it truly needs.
The forgiveness of sins.
Yes, on the Passover, our thoughts are Jesus and the forgiveness of sins. Not the forgiveness of just mine or yours, but the forgiveness of the sins of all of humanity.
For three holy hours tomorrow, we will remember, embrace, and look ahead without fear. For the blood of the lamb has washed away the sins of the world.
At 3pm Pacific time, the Shofar Horn will blow, ushering in the new year. There is much turmoil to come, as well as much opportunity. May the Lord’s will be done, and may His Kingdom come.
The stay tuned part speaks for itself, but what does it mean to trust Jesus? The answer to this inquiry is to be found in the immutable truth or ultimate given, if one prefers, which is embodied by the Greek word χαρις, or, as it is more easily read and pronounced in western characters, charis, which is often translated in early Christian writings as grace.
Yet the word grace, as it is understood today, does a great disservice to the concept of charis that the early Christian writers were attempting to convey. So what does charis mean if not grace?
Charis means that you, fellow taxpayer, are the One True God’s greatest delight, joy, and happiness imaginable, and it is His greatest delight, joy, and happiness imaginable to give you, who are His greatest delight, joy, and happiness imaginable, freely, without conditions, your greatest delight, joy, and happiness imaginable in never-ending abundance.
This is what Jesus came to reveal to us, and it is as simple as believing in YHWH and believing in yourself.
For those who are suffering persecution, Jesus says, “I am there with you.”
For those who are trying to please YHWH with their thoughts and deeds, Jesus says “quit trying to please me, because you already do.”
Do you believe it? For if you do, you will live with in peace and freedom with Jesus forever, starting today, no matter what happens. Charis is the only way that mankind can hope to attain peace with God and with their fellow man.
If you believe this, you will quickly begin to understand that the same charis that you live in is available to all of humanity with no strings attached, no matter what they are doing or have done.
More importantly, you will begin to forgive people, no matter what, and this forgiveness will turn your world into a place that your greatest delight, joy, and happiness imaginable occur daily in never-ending abundance.