Ziphen Central

Seeking Wisdom and Sublimity

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

And he spake unto them this parable, saying, What man of you, having a hundred sheep, and having lost one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and his neighbors, saying unto them, Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that even so there shall be joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine righteous persons, who need no repentance.
(Luke 15:3-7)

In this parable, Jesus uses the example of a man who had lost one sheep out of his flock of one hundred, who left the ninety nine to save the one.
Jesus compared this to a sinner repenting, and that there is more joy in heaven over one sinner that repents than over ninety nine righteous people.
What Jesus was saying is similar to what He said in Mark 2:17:

And when Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of a physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.

The scribes of the Pharisees had previously asked Jesus why he ate and drank with the publicans and sinners, and He replied by telling them that people who are in good health have no need of a physician, only those who are sick. Jesus was pointing out that he had come “to seek and save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10).

In the same way, the shepherd in the parable was more worried over the one sheep which had strayed than the ninety and nine which were safe.

As Christians, we should be more aware of all the lost people we come in contact with each day. Often we stay with our Christian friends and never go out in the world to teach the gospel to sinners. We need to remember that “there shall be joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine righteous persons, who need no repentance.”

Posted on 25 January 2008 by Mashkioya
Filed under: Christianity

O lingua fortunata!

Of late I’ve been researching the extant corpus of writings in Etruscan, an ancient language which was spoken in Etruria (modern-day Tuscany), Italy. Etruscan is dead now (its speakers were dissolved into Roman culture long ago), but through the writings these people left behind we do know enough about their language to see that it was definitely not Indo-European, i.e. it was not related to Latin or English or most any other European language. A little is known about its phonology and grammar, but most knowledge of it is lost forever, and although many Etruscan books were written during Classical Antiquity, only one has survived.

This evening I read an online article about Doris McLemore, the last fluent speaker of the Wichita language up in Oklahoma. It really is sad to think how this Native American tongue will be lost when she passes away, but when one looks at history, it is clear that one language supplanting another is nothing new. The ancient Celts of the Iberian peninsula were Romanized years ago, and even before that it is likely that the original Indo-Europeans conquered many people in Europe who had lived there before them. Thus we can see that, although it is certainly lamentable, there will always be languages that are replaced by other, more fortunate tongues.

However, to end on a good note, I should like to remind you that North America is not losing all of its linguistic richness. In my two visits to San Luis Potosi, Mexico, I found the Nahuatl and Huastec languages thriving alongside Spanish, spoken by young and old alike. So, it really is possible to retain your linguistic heritage if you have a mind to.

Posted on 24 January 2008 by Mashkioya
Filed under: Etruscan,history,Huastec,language,Latin,Mexico,Nahuatl,opinions

The Work of the Maker

As from afar I gaze upon
The forest’s beauty, and then beyond,
With eyes of awe I soon can see
The leaves and boughs of every tree.

A close inspection now is meet,
So I, now stooping, near my feet
Behold the veinéd grass’s leaves
And tiny ants as small as fleas.

I hear a rustling in the grass–
And see a shining beetle pass.
What wondrous things I see and hear:
A bird’s song falling to my ear.

Though some may scoff and others laugh
And deem our pious faith but chaff,
Here is the answer all have sought:
What wondrous things that God hath wrought!

Nature’s splendor thrills me so,
To see the nimble spider go,
To watch the vulture in the breeze;
There is design behind all these.
And that ’tis true, I surely know
For God in His Word tells me so.

Posted on 18 January 2008 by Mashkioya
Filed under: belles-lettres,Benjish literature,Christianity,nature,poetry

A bowl of yellows

A bowl of yellows

 

Yellows, anyone?  Although my family insists these citrus fruits are oranges, I cannot see the logic in calling them such if their color does not agree.  Maybe I should try that next time I’m down in Mexico; I’ve seen lots of yellow oranges down there.  ¿Quieres un amarillo? 

Posted on 12 January 2008 by Mashkioya
Filed under: food,opinions,photography

La Huasteca Potosina

In November I had the opportunity to visit the Huasteca region of Mexico again. Here are some photos from that trip, along with a few words I’ve learned in the natives’ languages.

 

Tancuem

The house in which the church at Tancuém meets (this is a Huastec congregation)

 

Door to church building in Matlapa

The door of the church building in Matlapa

  (keep reading)

Posted on 4 January 2008 by Mashkioya
Filed under: Huastec,Mexico,Nahuatl,photography