Just when I think this isn't a different culture, out pops another contradiction to my perceptions. I'm choosing to think of this as a good thing: I'm not always right and it's good to remember that. On that same vein...I've been reading in the sermon on the mount again and the beatitudes have always unnerved me. Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. This is good news if you're poor in spirit. But what about when you don't feel poor in spirit? Or you don't perceive yourself as merciful? The last thing you want to be right now is a peacemaker. Pure in heart? Not today...maybe never. I did some thinking and came to two conclusions, with the second rising from the first. On our own we can't be any of these things. We aren't any of these things. That's what Jesus came to abolish. His death satisfied the requirement God gave and that we, sinful people that we are, couldn't keep. We're too caught up in ourselves and our own comforts/desires. Without Christ we can't be what God requires. (Matthew 5:20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:48 You therefore must be perfect as your father in heaven is perfect.) But with Christ...being in Christ...we become coheirs with Him. We are given the right to become children of God. With Christ the rewards are real. To those who receive Christ, who believe in his name: rejoice and seek the things of the kingdom! His promises are for you in Christ: you pure of heart...you will see God.