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Tom Allen

  • 2019-12-24 4:12 PM | Thomas

    And it came to pass that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
     --Bible, Luke 2:1


    (122:7.1) In the month of March, 8 B.C. (the month Joseph and Mary were married), Caesar Augustus decreed that all inhabitants of the Roman Empire should be numbered, that a census should be made which could be used for effecting better taxation.

    And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.  And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
     --Bible, Luke 2:9-15

    (122:8.5) At the noontide birth of Jesus the seraphim of Urantia, assembled under their directors, did sing anthems of glory over the Bethlehem manger, but these utterances of praise were not heard by human ears. No shepherds nor any other mortal creatures came to pay homage to the babe of Bethlehem until the day of the arrival of certain priests from Ur, who were sent down from Jerusalem by Zacharias.

    (122:8.1) All that night Mary was restless so that neither of them slept much. By the break of day the pangs of childbirth were well in evidence, and at noon, August 21, 7 B.C., with the help and kind ministrations of women fellow travelers, Mary was delivered of a male child. Jesus of Nazareth was born into the world, was wrapped in the clothes which Mary had brought along for such a possible contingency, and laid in a near-by manger.


        After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem  and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
        When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
    “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
        are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
    for out of you will come a ruler
        who will shepherd my people Israel.’” 
        Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
      --Matthew 2:1-12 


    (122:8.7) These wise men saw no star to guide them to Bethlehem. The beautiful legend of the star of Bethlehem originated in this way: Jesus was born August 21 at noon, 7 B.C. On May 29, 7 B.C., there occurred an extraordinary conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the constellation of Pisces. And it is a remarkable astronomic fact that similar conjunctions occurred on September 29 and December 5 of the same year. Upon the basis of these extraordinary but wholly natural events the well-meaning zealots of the succeeding generation constructed the appealing legend of the star of Bethlehem and the adoring Magi led thereby to the manger, where they beheld and worshiped the newborn babe. Oriental and near-Oriental minds delight in fairy stories, and they are continually spinning such beautiful myths about the lives of their religious leaders and political heroes. In the absence of printing, when most human knowledge was passed by word of mouth from one generation to another, it was very easy for myths to become traditions and for traditions eventually to become accepted as facts.

  • 2019-12-08 2:58 PM | Thomas
    Little giving--impulses are as important as big ones because they build the habit of giving yourself away.

      --David Dunn (b.1949)

    (132:4.4) Jesus was very fond of doing things—even little things—for all sorts of people.

    (139:5.4) Philip was not a man who could be expected to do big things, but he was a man who could do little things in a big way, do them well and acceptably.

    (171:8.11) Faithfulness is the unerring measure of human trustworthiness. He who is faithful in little things is also likely to exhibit faithfulness in everything consistent with his endowments.

         David Dunn struggled as a student. Stories of the Great Depression and the end of World War II made him frugal and focused.  He followed the advice of several self-help books.  His first major step towards getting his own life right was by choosing real estate for a career, where the the talents of judgement, common sense, and having a good plan were more  valuable than the world’s idea of,  “school smarts.” https://archive.org/details/trygivingyoursel031988mbp/page/n65


  • 2019-12-02 10:09 AM | Thomas
    Somehow, I don't think Jesus came to Earth to ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange.

     --Michael Moore, filmmaker and author (b.1954)

    (140:8.10) Jesus was not, therefore, a political reformer. He did not come to reorganize the world; even if he had done this, it would have been applicable only to that day and generation. Nevertheless, he did show man the best way of living, and no generation is exempt from the labor of discovering how best to adapt Jesus' life to its own problems. But never make the mistake of identifying Jesus' teachings with any political or economic theory, with any social or industrial system.

    (140:8.18) Jesus would make all men Godlike and then stand by sympathetically while these sons of God solve their own political, social, and economic problems. It was not wealth that he denounced, but what wealth does to the majority of its devotees. On this Thursday afternoon Jesus first told his associates that "it is more blessed to give than to receive."

    (140:8.15) Jesus worked, lived, and traded in the world as he found it. He was not an economic reformer, although he did frequently call attention to the injustice of the unequal distribution of wealth. But he did not offer any suggestions by way of remedy. He made it plain to the three that, while his apostles were not to hold property, he was not preaching against wealth and property, merely its unequal and unfair distribution. He recognized the need for social justice and industrial fairness, but he offered no rules for their attainment.

    (140:8.17) Jesus frequently warned his listeners against covetousness, declaring that "a man's happiness consists not in the abundance of his material possessions." He constantly reiterated, "What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" He made no direct attack on the possession of property, but he did insist that it is eternally essential that spiritual values come first. In his later teachings he sought to correct many erroneous Urantia views of life by narrating numerous parables which he presented in the course of his public ministry. Jesus never intended to formulate economic theories; he well knew that each age must evolve its own remedies for existing troubles. And if Jesus were on earth today, living his life in the flesh, he would be a great disappointment to the majority of good men and women for the simple reason that he would not take sides in present-day political, social, or economic disputes. He would remain grandly aloof while teaching you how to perfect your inner spiritual life so as to render you manyfold more competent to attack the solution of your purely human problems.

         Michael Francis Moore is an American documentary filmmaker and author. He is best known for his work on globalization and capitalism. Moore has been labeled a left-wing documentary filmmaker and left-wing political activist, but he rejects the label "political activist".
         Moore won the 2002 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for Bowling for Columbine, which examined the causes of the Columbine High School massacre and the overall gun culture of the United States. He also directed and produced Fahrenheit 9/11, a critical look at the presidency of George W. Bush and the War on Terror, which earned $119,194,771 to become the highest-grossing documentary at the American box office of all time. The film also won the Palme d'Or at the 2004 Cannes film festival. His documentary Sicko, which examines health care in the United States, is one of the top ten highest-grossing documentaries. In September 2008, he released his first free movie on the internet, Slacker Uprising, which documented his personal quest to encourage more Americans to vote in presidential elections. He has also written and starred in the TV shows TV Nation, a satirical news-magazine television series, and The Awful Truth, a satirical show. In 2018 he released his latest film, Fahrenheit 11/9, a documentary about the 2016 United States presidential election and the subsequent presidency of Donald Trump.
         Moore's written and cinematic works criticize topics such as globalization, large corporations, assault weapon ownership, Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Donald Trump, the Iraq War, the American health care system and capitalism overall. In 2005, Time magazine named Moore one of the world's 100 most influential people.


  • 2019-11-25 10:44 AM | Thomas

    It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare.
      --Mark Twain, author and humorist (1835-1910)

    (143:1.7) "Today, the unbelievers may taunt you with preaching a gospel of nonresistance and with living lives of nonviolence, but you are the first volunteers of a long line of sincere believers in the gospel of this kingdom who will astonish all mankind by their heroic devotion to these teachings. No armies of the world have ever displayed more courage and bravery than will be portrayed by you and your loyal successors who shall go forth to all the world proclaiming the good news—the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of men. The courage of the flesh is the lowest form of bravery. Mind bravery is a higher type of human courage, but the highest and supreme is uncompromising loyalty to the enlightened convictions of profound spiritual realities. And such courage constitutes the heroism of the God-knowing man. And you are all God-knowing men; you are in very truth the personal associates of the Son of Man."

    (155:1.3) Jesus continued to teach the twenty-four, saying: "The heathen are not without excuse when they rage at us. Because their outlook is small and narrow, they are able to concentrate their energies enthusiastically. Their goal is near and more or less visible; wherefore do they strive with valiant and effective execution. You who have professed entrance into the kingdom of heaven are altogether too vacillating and indefinite in your teaching conduct. The heathen strike directly for their objectives; you are guilty of too much chronic yearning. If you desire to enter the kingdom, why do you not take it by spiritual assault even as the heathen take a city they lay siege to? You are hardly worthy of the kingdom when your service consists so largely in an attitude of regretting the past, whining over the present, and vainly hoping for the future. Why do the heathen rage? Because they know not the truth. Why do you languish in futile yearning? Because you obey not the truth. Cease your useless yearning and go forth bravely doing that which concerns the establishment of the kingdom.


        Samuel Langhorne Clemens known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer. His novels include The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), the latter often called "The Great American Novel".
    Twain was raised in Hannibal, Missouri, which later provided the setting for Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. He served an apprenticeship with a printer and then worked as a typesetter, contributing articles to the newspaper of his older brother Orion Clemens. He later became a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River before heading west to join Orion in Nevada. He referred humorously to his lack of success at mining, turning to journalism for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise. His humorous story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County", was published in 1865, based on a story that he heard at Angels Hotel in Angels Camp, California, where he had spent some time as a miner. The short story brought international attention and was even translated into French. His wit and satire, in prose and in speech, earned praise from critics and peers, and he was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty.
        Twain earned a great deal of money from his writings and lectures, but he invested in ventures that lost most of it—such as the Paige Compositor, a mechanical typesetter that failed because of its complexity and imprecision. He filed for bankruptcy in the wake of these financial setbacks, but he eventually overcame his financial troubles with the help of Henry Huttleston Rogers. He chose to pay all his pre-bankruptcy creditors in full, even after he had no legal responsibility to do so.
        Twain was born shortly after an appearance of Halley's Comet, and he predicted that he would "go out with it" as well; he died the day after the comet returned. He was lauded as the "greatest humorist this country has produced", and William Faulkner called him "the father of American literature".


  • 2019-11-17 3:44 PM | Thomas

    A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What one can be, one must be.
    ---Abraham Maslow, psychologist (1908-1970)

    (195:7.22-23) The universe is not like the laws, mechanisms, and the uniformities which the scientist discovers, and which he comes to regard as science, but rather like the curious, thinking, choosing, creative, combining, and discriminating scientist who thus observes universe phenomena and classifies the mathematical facts inherent in the mechanistic phases of the material side of creation. Neither is the universe like the art of the artist, but rather like the striving, dreaming, aspiring, and advancing artist who seeks to transcend the world of material things in an effort to achieve a spiritual goal.

    The scientist, not science, perceives the reality of an evolving and advancing universe of energy and matter. The artist, not art, demonstrates the existence of the transient morontia world intervening between material existence and spiritual liberty. The religionist, not religion, proves the existence of the spirit realities and divine values which are to be encountered in the progress of eternity.

    Abraham Harold Maslow was an American psychologist who was best known for creating Maslow's hierarchy of needs, a theory of psychological health predicated on fulfilling innate human needs in priority, culminating in self-actualization. Maslow was a psychology professor at Alliant International University, Brandeis University, Brooklyn College, New School for Social Research, and Columbia University. He stressed the importance of focusing on the positive qualities in people, as opposed to treating them as a "bag of symptoms." A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked Maslow as the tenth most cited psychologist of the 20th century.

  • 2019-11-12 5:52 PM | Thomas

    It is paradoxical that many educators and parents still differentiate between a time for learning and a time for play without seeing the vital connection between them.
      --Leo Buscaglia, author (1924-1998)

    (28:6.17) But ever will the play cycles of time alternate with the service cycles of progress. And after the service of time there follows the superservice of eternity. During the play of time you should envision the work of eternity, even as you will, during the service of eternity, reminisce the play of time.

    (48:4.1) Joyful mirth and the smile-equivalent are as universal as music. There is a morontial and a spiritual equivalent of mirth and laughter. The ascendant life is about equally divided between work and play—freedom from assignment.

    (143:7.3) Work should alternate with play;

         Felice Leonardo "Leo" Buscaglia, also known as "Dr. Love," was an American author and motivational speaker, and a professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Southern California.

         Felice Leonardo Buscaglia was born in Los Angeles, California on March 31, 1924 into a family of Italian immigrants. He spent his early childhood in Aosta, Italy, before going back to the United States for education. He was a graduate of Theodore Roosevelt High School. Buscaglia served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Using G.I. Bill benefits, Buscaglia entered the University of Southern California, where he earned three degrees (BA 1950; MA 1954; PhD 1963) before eventually joining the faculty. Upon retirement, Buscaglia was named Professor at Large, one of only two such designations on campus at that time.

  • 2019-11-05 8:08 AM | Thomas

    Our shouting is louder than our actions,
    Our swords are taller than us,
    This is our tragedy.
    In short
    We wear the cape of civilization
    But our souls live in the stone age.
    ---Nizar Qabbani, poet and diplomat (1923-1998)

    (52:6.6) Emotional maturity is essential to self-control. Only emotional maturity will insure the substitution of international techniques of civilized adjudication for the barbarous arbitrament of war.

    (70:1.22) Thus did warfare gradually evolve from the primitive man hunt to the somewhat more orderly system of the later-day "civilized" nations. But only slowly does the social attitude of amity displace that of enmity.

    (81:6.16) Live and growing languages insure the expansion of civilized thinking and planning.

    (87:5.14)  And even today the civilized races are cursed with the belief in signs, tokens, and other superstitious remnants of the advancing ghost cult of old.


         Nizar Tawfiq Qabbani was a Syrian diplomat, poet and publisher. His poetic style combines simplicity and elegance in exploring themes of love, eroticism, feminism, religion, and Arab nationalism. Qabbani is one of the most revered contemporary poets in the Arab world, and is considered to be Syria's National Poet.


  • 2019-10-21 10:58 AM | Thomas

    I can teach you a love potion made without any drugs, herbs or special spell - if you would be loved, love."
      --Hecato of Rhodes (c. 100 BC)

    (1:5.8) Notwithstanding that God is an eternal power, a majestic presence, a transcendent ideal, and a glorious spirit, though he is all these and infinitely more, nonetheless, he is truly and everlastingly a perfect Creator personality, a person who can "know and be known," who can "love and be loved," and one who can befriend us; while you can be known, as other humans have been known, as the friend of God.

    (1:7.3) The concept of truth might possibly be entertained apart from personality, the concept of beauty may exist without personality, but the concept of divine goodness is understandable only in relation to personality. Only a person can love and be loved.

    (2:5.8) The experience of loving is very much a direct response to the experience of being loved.

    (4:4.6) God is a Father in the highest sense of the term. He is eternally motivated by the perfect idealism of divine love, and that tender nature finds its strongest expression and greatest satisfaction in loving and being loved.

    (180:2.2) "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Live in my love even as I live in the Father's love. If you do as I have taught you, you shall abide in my love even as I have kept the Father's word and evermore abide in his love."


         Hecato or Hecaton of Rhodes was a Stoic philosopher.
         Hecato was a native of Rhodes, and a disciple of Panaetius, but nothing else is known of his life. It is clear that he was eminent amongst the Stoics of the period. He was a voluminous writer, but nothing remains.


  • 2019-10-17 12:06 PM | Thomas

    A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What one can be, one must be.
      --Abraham Maslow, psychologist (1908-1970)

    (44:1.15) But be not discouraged; some day a real musician may appear on Urantia, and whole peoples will be enthralled by the magnificent strains of his melodies. One such human being could forever change the course of a whole nation, even the entire civilized world. It is literally true, "melody has power a whole world to transform." Forever, music will remain the universal language of men, angels, and spirits. Harmony is the speech of Havona.

    (48:7.22) Only a poet can discern poetry in the commonplace prose of routine existence.

    (195:7.15) Art proves that man is not mechanistic, but it does not prove that he is spiritually immortal. Art is mortal morontia, the intervening field between man, the material, and man, the spiritual. Poetry is an effort to escape from material realities to spiritual values.

    (195:7.22) Neither is the universe like the art of the artist, but rather like the striving, dreaming, aspiring, and advancing artist who seeks to transcend the world of material things in an effort to achieve a spiritual goal.

    (195:7.23) The artist, not art, demonstrates the existence of the transient morontia world intervening between material existence and spiritual liberty.


    Abraham Harold Maslow was an American psychologist who was best known for creating Maslow's hierarchy of needs, a theory of psychological health predicated on fulfilling innate human needs in priority, culminating in self-actualization. Maslow was a psychology professor at Alliant International University, Brandeis University, Brooklyn College, New School for Social Research, and Columbia University. He stressed the importance of focusing on the positive qualities in people, as opposed to treating them as a "bag of symptoms." A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked Maslow as the tenth most cited psychologist of the 20th century.

  • 2019-10-14 8:15 AM | Thomas

    Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.
      --Flannery O'Connor, writer (25 Mar 1925-1964) 

    (102:7.2) The fact of God, the divine law, is changeless; the truth of God, his relation to the universe, is a relative revelation which is ever adaptable to the constantly evolving universe.

         Mary Flannery O'Connor (March 25, 1925 – August 3, 1964) was an American novelist, short story writer and essayist. She wrote two novels and thirty-two short stories, as well as a number of reviews and commentaries.

         She was a Southern writer who often wrote in a sardonic Southern Gothic style and relied heavily on regional settings and supposedly grotesque characters, often in violent situations. The unsentimental acceptance or rejection of the limitations or imperfection or difference of these characters (whether attributed to disability, race, crime, religion or sanity) typically underpins the drama.

         Her writing reflected her Roman Catholic religion and frequently examined questions of morality and ethics. Her posthumously compiled Complete Stories won the 1972 U.S. National Book Award for Fiction and has been the subject of enduring praise.

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