Bushcraft

Bushcraft

Again, sorry for the late one.

Im sitting in a lodge in Soldotna Alaska about to go to sleep. We are meeting at 5:45am to go fishing on the Kenai for a number of hours. This is where I feel at home. Out in the wild. I definitely don’t do this enough.

I watched a video last week of a guy from England who filmed himself doing a 5 day “bushcrafting” trip. That looks the most interesting to me. I love camping but I definitely want to get into bushcraft.

The idea behind bushcraft is to learn how to use what is available in nature instead of tools you would normally carry in a camping bag.

So this guy, as he is bushcrafting, explains what different plants are good and bad for. He shows how he uses certain mosses as a scrubbing tool to clean dishes and his hands, talks about how certain plants make for good tp. He makes his own teas from plants he picks.

I think that is so interesting. Not only will I gain a greater understanding of the plants and animals but also a much greater appreciation for the world God has created for me.

This is going to be my new hobby from here on out. I know this is what I want to do. I love the outdoors, and im not sure why I have been putting this off for so long. Im going to combine this hobby with my other hobby of geocaching and soon, hunting. This should be good!!

Number 2

Number 2

This is one if my favorite numbers. It’s main meaning is that of opposites or opposing forces. Opposition in all things. One image that comes to mind is the scales of justice. Two sides to it, never more. There needs to be a balance between the two sides of mercy and justice. Actually with the scales of justice we hope it is tipped more on the side of mercy than having a complete balance. Though we do know that the demands of justice need to be met. Good thing Christ met those demands. Sounds weird to say that we need a balance between good and evil though. I don’t think I need a balance of evil. We don’t need to do a bad thing for every good thing we do. So the scales of justice only work as a symbol to a certain extent. But I believe we do need a balance of happiness and misery. The story of Adam and Eve gives us that same idea. The Book of Mormon clarifies the story quite a bit. It says Adam had no joy for he knew no misery. There must be a contrast so we have something to compare it to. 2 Nephi chapter 2 is a fantastic chapter to read about the law of opposition in all things.

Some symbols come to mind when I’m thinking of the number 2. I enjoy the duality if some symbols.  Two opposing meanings to 1 object or image. Here’s a few examples:
A tree. Tree of life vs tree of knowledge of good and evil
The swastika. A symbol for good fortune. This is why Hitler chose it. But now it brings feelings of hatred and anger to mind when seen.
The serpent. Satan in the garden of Eden, and Christ risen as the brazen serpent by Moses.
I’m sure there are plenty others, but those are the ones that come to mind. Another one I just thought of is the inverted 5 pointed star. Many view it as a satanic symbol, but it is anciently a symbol for Christ, the Morning Star.
I am curious about why it has to be 2? Why is opposition 2, not 3? Or more? It’s choose God or satan, good or evil. Why not Good, evil, or mediocrity? Or God, satan, or man? It really does come down to one of 2 choices. Not one of 3 or 4. You either choose to be with God or against Him.
It makes it simpler. Not so many choices to choose from. It’s like going to buy a car and your choices are a red one or a yellow one. That’s it. All cars are the same, just pick your color. 
So really, we just need to pick our side. Who do we choose to follow? And yes it’s a choice. We choose to follow satan or we choose to follow God. It hit me pretty hard when I read it in a book called “The Compound Effect” that everything we do is a choice. Sitting and watching tv instead of doing work or attending to our family duties is a choice. You made the choice to sit and do nothing. You are where you are in life because of choices.
Let’s, if we haven’t yet, sit down and consciously choose who we are going to follow. Once that decision is made, all other choices to follow will be easier to make. 
Remember when you read the scriptures that they don’t always say the number 2 when they are using it as a symbol. You can see it in the way they right, for example “man is free to choose liberty and eternal life…or to choose captivity and death.” No mention of the number two but it is implied in the available choices.
There needs to be an opposition to all things. This is an eternal and unchangong law. Which in turn makes the number 2 a very powerful number.

Number 1

Number 1

I’m going to continue in my numbers in scripture theme. I am going to actually do a post per number. I hope you will find this as interesting as I do.

So we start at the beginning. #1
Clues to finding out what the numbers mean is to ask why? I mentioned in an earlier post that my favorite question is why?
Here’s a good example. Deuteronomy 6:4 “The Lord our God is one Lord”. Why is it necessary to mention that God is “one Lord”? Is there another God that is two Lords? In a book called The Lost Language of Symbolism, it says “The number one is indivisible, and not made up of other numbers, and is therefore independent of all others”. 
Sounds like the number one is a great number to symbolize unity. To be one. So in Genesis when it says “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh”(Gen 2:24), it means there should be unity in the marriage. I feel pretty safe to say that it doesn’t mean they will literally become one person, like the husband obsorbs the wife or something, or they become attached at the hip. It simply means to be united. So why not say ” and they shall be united”? Because the number 1 paints a nice picture. One is not to rule the other, but they are to be one, nothing dividing them. Act as one. Similar to a basketball team that plays as one. 
This, I believe, is one area where the idea of the Godhead becomes confusing. It is thought to be three yet one. Many believe it to be three different hats of one being, God. Others believe it is three different beings under one hat, God. 
Either way, the number one is a great number to paint the image of unity. So when God commands us in John 17:11 “Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are”, he is asking that we be one like the Godhead. Not in flesh, becoming one body, but in unity. 
Man this turned into a sermon rather quickly. Not my intention, but what can I expect when I talk about numbers in scripture?
One other thought. One is the first number. It is the first in existence. Before reaching any other number, we must first arrive at one. Before we obtain any other number we must first aquire one. One must be present in all other numbers. No wonder it is a great number to describe God. 

Numbers in scripture

Numbers in scripture

I taught sunday school this week. It was on Elisha getting the mantle from Elijah. I don’t think I knew this before, but the mantle was an actual piece of clothing worn by the prophet. So when Elijah was taken up by God and the mantle fell to Elisha, it actually fell. The cloth that Elijah wore as a mantle fell to Elisha, who became the next prophet.

Anyways, onto numbers. In the story of Elisha, he offers to heal a leper named Naaman. He tells Naaman to bath 7 times in the river Jordan. If he does, he will be healed. I got thinking. This kind of a request is all over the scriptures. Children of Israel marched around the city of Jericho 7 days and 7 times on the last day, God created the Earth in 7 days. Why 7? What is so significant about 7?

I’m not really going to talk about the number 7 in this post, but I wanted to plant the idea in your minds of the importance of numbers in the scriptures.

The bible is an interesting book. It is debated daily all over the globe. What do we take literal and what is figurative?  When we consider what we are reading in the bible, we need to consider the author.

I mentioned this is my first post about symbols. “If I understand it correctly, the easterners, those who wrote the bible, wrote more in a painting style. The details aren’t important as long as the message gets across. We westerners, write more in a architectural style, where all the details have to be perfect. So, we “architects” are reading a book written by “painters” expecting every detail to be perfect and literal. We are looking at a painting and expecting it to be a blue print. Seeing it as such is a very big mistake. Now don’t get me wrong, I believe the bible is an inspired work. I believe it is the word of God. But the authors wrote in a way as to paint a picture in our minds, not give us a blue print. Hence the dilemma in the world of whose interpretation is correct? A lot of what was written is symbolic, and I love searching it out and finding the true meaning behind it.”

The same can be considered about numbers in the versus. There are meanings behind those numbers. 

1 is unity(be one with God). 
2 often represents opposites(good vs evil). 
3 can mean divine involvement(Father Son and Holy Ghost). 
4 is a number to impress geographical completeness (four corners of the earth). 
5 can have significance to Gods grace, or mans fallen state. 
6 is the number for mortality. 
7 means perfect or complete. 
8 is the number for Christ, resurrection, new beginnings, rebirth and baptism. 
9 is often the number for judgement, finality or completion, 
10 means all of a part. (10 commandments did not comprise all of Gods commandments). 

There are more numbers mentioned but I wont go any further then the 10 examples above. So when Elisha tells Naaman to bathe 7 times in the river Jordan, he may well be suggesting that Naaman have a perfect or complete cleansing. Whether or not Elisha actually told Naaman to wash him self 7 times is not important. The use of the number 7 is. Either the author is telling us that Elisha told Naaman to have a perfect or complete cleansing, or, if Elisha actually did tell him to bathe 7 times, Naaman would have been well aware of the significance of the number. It would not have been odd for him to have to bathe that many times. 

One things to note about leprosy. It was often used to symbol for sin. To rid ourselves of sin(leprosy) we must complete perfect(7) repentance(washing). 

I really hope I am making sense. You can see why I can’t include more about the numbers in the this post. It will go on for ever. I find this stuff quite interesting, which I’m sure you can see. I hope I am creating a small spark of interest in some of you which will cause you to pick up the dusty book and begin studying it again, looking for these small hidden treasures. More to come on this subject.