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Posts tagged ‘Devotion’

There Might Be Giants – a StillSpeaking Devotional

(I think I posted this in December, but it spoke to me today.)

They Might Be Giants

Numbers 13:3
“We saw the Nephilim giants there‚ we seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

Reflection by Lillian Daniel

One year during the holidays, I was buying a magazine at a tiny concession stand in the airport when suddenly, in walked these six enormous people. They were bigger than anyone I had ever seen in real life. In fact, the women were bigger than most men I know. Suddenly there really wasn’t room for anyone else.

But I stuck around for three distinct reasons. One, I couldn’t move. Two, I didn’t want to irritate them in any way. And three, I was having the strong feeling that I was with people who were famous, but I didn’t quite know why.

The women wore high-heeled boots and their hair was bleached and teased. The men were as wide as refrigerators. But they all wore similar tee shirts that I wriggled around to read: “World Wrestling Federation.” I was surrounded by professional wrestlers.

And there was one of them, his face on the cover of the celebrity magazine in front of me. I realized I buying a magazine right behind the most famous wrestler of the day: The Rock.

I remember three things about my encounter with the Rock. He was very polite. He used exact change. And he was reading the latest issue of The Economist.

So now I confess. I did not expect the professional wrestler to be reading The Economist, the British magazine of international news, politics, business, and technology.

But why didn’t I? Shame on me, for stereotyping.

Prayer
I thank you God that I never know who I will meet, or what he will be reading or what you have in store for the complex creatures you have created. Thank you, God, for giants, grasshoppers and Economist-reading wrestlers. Amen.


Every 3.6 seconds a real person dies from hunger somewhere in the world!!!
Feed a hungry person today:
http://www.hungersite.com

My YouTube Channel
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God is still speaking
http://www.stillspeaking.com

John Mark Ministries
http://jmm.aaa.net.au/

Gandhi and Christianity

Gandhi and Christianity

Mahatma Gandhi is one of the most respected leaders of modern
history. A Hindu, Ghandi nevertheless admired Jesus and often quoted from the Sermon on the Mount. Once when the missionary E. Stanley Jones met with Ghandi he asked him, “Mr. Ghandi, though you quote the words of Christ often, why is that you appear to so adamantly reject becoming his follower?”

Ghandi replied, “Oh, I don’t reject your Christ. I love your Christ. It’s just that so many of you Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

Apparently Ghandi’s rejection of Christianity grew out of an incident that happened when he was a young man practising law in South Africa. He had become attracted to the Christian faith, had studied the Bible and the teachings of Jesus, and was seriously exploring becoming a Christian. And so he decided to attend a church service. As he came up the steps of the large church where he intended to go, a white South African elder of the church barred his way at the door. “Where do you think you’re going, kaffir?” the man asked Ghandi in a belligerent tone of voice.

Ghandi replied, “I’d like to attend worship here.”

The church elder snarled at him, “There’s no room for kaffirs in this church. Get out of here or I’ll have my assistants throw you down the steps.”

From that moment, Ghandi said, he decided to adopt what good he found in Christianity, but would never again consider becoming a Christian if it meant being part of the church.

If the only thing a non-Christian knows about being a Christian is how we treat him/her and the way we treat our neighbor are we making sure that they see Jesus?

Earth Your Dancing Place – a poem

Earth Your Dancing Place

Beneath heaven’s vault
remember always walking
through halls of cloud
down aisles of sunlight
or through high hedges
of the green rain
walk in the world
highheeled with swirl of cape
hand at the swordhilt
of your pride
Keep a tall throat
Remain aghast at life

Enter each day
as upon a stage
lighted and waiting
for your step
Crave upward as flame
have keenness in the nostril
Give your eyes
to agony or rapture

Train your hands
as birds to be
brooding or nimble
Move your body
as the horses
sweeping on slender hooves
over crag and prairie
with fleeing manes
and aloofness of their limbs

Take earth for your own large room
and the floor of earth
carpeted with sunlight
and hung round with silver wind
for your dancing place

~ May Swenson ~

(Nature: Poems Old and New)

Disclaimer: Pursuant to the UCC (Uniform Comedy Code), all depictions of events and persons on this site are more real than reality itself, and therefore any resemblance to reality is not really real.

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“I trace the rainbow through the rain and see the promise is not in vain.”</i


Every 3.6 seconds a real person dies from hunger somewhere in the world!!!
Feed a hungry person today:
http://www.hungersite.com

My YouTube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/Ninure

God is still speaking
http://www.stillspeaking.com

John Mark Ministries
http://jmm.aaa.net.au/

Do not be afraid – Fr. Richard Rohr

Do Not Be Afraid – Fr. Richard Rohr

One could sum up the Bible as an interplay of fear and faith. In general, people are obsessed and overpowered by fears; we all fear whatever we cannot control. God is one of our primary fears because God is totally beyond us. The good news, the gospel, according to Luke, is that God has breached that fear and become one of us in Jesus. God says, in effect, “It’s okay. You don’t have to live in chattering fear of me.” God’s response to Mary’s quaver at the angel’s appearance is, “Do not be afraid” (Luke 1:30), and in fact, I am told it is the most common one-liner in the whole Bible, appearing maybe even 365 times!

In Luke’s infancy narrative, Mary is presented as prototypical and archetypal, because God comes into her life and announces the Divine Presence within her. Through the same Spirit, God comes into our lives and announces the Divine Presence within us. This annunciation event is a paradigm of every mystical experience. God offers the Godself to us even before we invite God to do so. There is no indication of previous holiness or heroics in Mary’s life. All we can do is be present and open. When Mary manifests this presence and openness, she becomes the Christ-bearer to the world. It is the same for us.

Adapted from The Good News According to Luke: Spiritual Reflections, p. 66

Every 3.6 seconds a real person dies from hunger somewhere in the world!!!
Feed a hungry person today:
http://www.hungersite.com

My YouTube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/Ninure

God is still speaking
http://www.stillspeaking.com

John Mark Ministries
http://jmm.aaa.net.au/

It’s the sick who need a doctor (via The Gadsden Times)

It’s the sick who need a doctor (via The Gadsden Times)

Published: Friday, May 3, 2013 at 7:12 p.m.
(Shared on this Hippie’s blog, 2013)

The Pharisees and teachers of the law prided themselves on being God’s chosen nation and on their strict adherence to the Law of Moses. Most of them were extremely critical of the sins of others, but saw themselves…

(more…)

The Ministry of Holding One’s Tongue – a thought for today

You don’t need/have to be a Christian to do this kind of ministry!

The Ministry of Holding One’s Tongue
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
e

It must be a decisive rule of every Christian fellowship that each individual is prohibited from saying much that occurs to him….

Where this discipline of the tongue is practiced right from the beginning, each individual will make a matchless discovery. He will be able to cease from constantly scrutinizing the other person, judging him, condemning him…. Now he can allow the brother to exist as a completely free person, as God made him to be.

Now the other person, in the freedom with which he was created, becomes the occasion of joy, whereas before he was only a nuisance and an affliction. God does not will that I should fashion the other person according to the image that seems good to me, that is, in my own image; rather in his very freedom from me, God made this person in His image. I can never know beforehand how God’s image should appear in others.
Source: Life Together
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Live simply. Love generously.
Care deeply. Speak kindly.
Leave the rest to God.

FAIR USE NOTICE:

This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc.

This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law.

This material is distributed without profit


Every 3.6 seconds a real person dies from hunger somewhere in the world!!!
Feed a hungry person today:
http://www.hungersite.com

My YouTube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/Ninure

God is still speaking
http://www.stillspeaking.com

John Mark Ministries
http://jmm.aaa.net.au/

Saying No – a thought for today

A “No” uttered from deepest conviction is better and greater than a “Yes” merely uttered to please, or what is worse, to avoid trouble.
-Mahatma Gandhi

I think it is fair to say that many people do not care for conflict. As a matter of fact, if we were honest with ourselves, most of us would probably say we work hard to “keep the peace” at home, work, church, etc. There’s nothing wrong with working hard to get along with one another, either. The Bible commends such efforts.
 
At the same time, there are times in our lives when it is necessary for us to say, “No”–even when we might be the only ones saying it. The challenge, however, is not really saying “No;” I believe the challenge lies in both why and how we say “No.”  Does our “no” come from a deep moral or ethical conviction, or does it come from another place; say, for example, our resistance to looking at issues from very different perspectives, or otherwise being nudged from our comfort zones?
 
How we say our “no” is important, too. Do our “no’s” say to others, “I’m right; you’re wrong; so it is either my way, or I’m taking my toys and going home;” or do they say, “I strongly disagree with you; I’m not even sure I can ever agree with you; I am, however, willing to listen to and dialogue with you.”  “No”–while always having the potential of changing our relationships with others–does not always have to mean the end of those relationships.  It is possible for us to say “no” to one another passionately, yet respectfully.
 
Who knows? By uttering our “no’s” from a place of passion and respect, we might even be able to solve more problems than we ever will by avoiding these tough discussions altogether.
 
Of course, we’ll never know until we try, will we?
 
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Dan,
Holy Covenant MCC, Brookfield, IL

People often say with pride, “I’m not interested in politics.” They might as well say, “I’m not interested in my standard of living, my health, my job, my rights, my freedoms, my future, or any future.”
    — Martha Gellhorn, writer/journalist   (1908-1998)

Live simply. Love generously.
Care deeply. Speak kindly.
Leave the rest to God.

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“I trace the rainbow through the rain and see the promise is not in vain.”

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Every 3.6 seconds a real person dies from hunger somewhere in the world!!!
Feed a hungry person today:
http://www.hungersite.com

My YouTube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/Ninure

God is still speaking
http://www.stillspeaking.com

John Mark Ministries
http://jmm.aaa.net.au/

Tell me whom you love – a thought for today

(~) TELL ME WHOM YOU LOVE

The following story is one of my favorites. It comes from Max
Lucado’s book, “And The Angels Were Silent.” I have shared it before but want to share it again.

“John Blanchard stood up from the bench, straightened his Army
uniform, and studied the crowd of people making their way through Grand Central Station. He looked for the girl whose heart he knew, but whose face he didn’t, the girl with the rose. His interest in her had begun thirteen months before in a Florida library. Taking a book off the shelf he found himself intrigued, not with the words of the book, but with the notes penciled in the margin. The soft handwriting reflected a thoughtful soul and insightful mind. In the front of the book, he discovered the previous owner’s name, Miss Hollis Maynell. With time and effort he located her address. She lived in New York City. He wrote her a letter introducing himself and inviting her to correspond. The next day he was shipped overseas for service in World War II. During the next year and one month the two grew to know each other through the mail. Each letter was a seed falling on a fertile heart. A romance was budding. Blanchard requested a photograph, but she refused. She felt that if he really cared, it wouldn’t matter what she looked like.

“When the day finally came for him to return from Europe, they
scheduled their first meeting – 7:00 PM at the Grand Central Station in New York. ‘You’ll recognize me,’ she wrote, ‘by the red rose I’ll be wearing on my lapel.’ So at 7:00 he was in the station looking for a girl whose heart he loved, but whose face he’d never seen.

“I’ll let Mr. Blanchard tell you what happened: A young woman was coming toward me, her figure long and slim. Her blonde hair lay back in curls from her delicate ears; her eyes were blue as flowers. Her lips and chin had a gentle firmness, and in her pale green suit she was like springtime come alive. I started toward her, entirely forgetting to notice that she was not wearing a rose. As I moved, a small,
provocative smile curved her lips. ‘Going my way, sailor?’ she murmured. Almost uncontrollably I made one step closer to her, and then I saw Hollis Maynell. She was standing almost directly behind the girl. A woman well past 40, she had graying hair tucked under a worn hat.. She was more than plump, her thick-ankled feet thrust into low-heeled shoes. The girl in the green suit was walking quickly away. I felt as though I was split in two, so keen was my desire to follow her, and yet so deep was my longing for the woman whose spirit had truly companioned me and upheld my own. And there she stood. Her pale, plump face was gentle and sensible, her gray eyes had a warm and kindly twinkle. I did not hesitate. My fingers gripped the small worn blue leather copy of the book that was to identify me to her.

“This would not be love, but it would be something precious,
something perhaps even better than love, a friendship for which I had been and must ever be grateful. I squared my shoulders and saluted and held out the book to the woman, even though while I spoke I felt choked by the bitterness of my disappointment. ‘I’m Lieutenant John Blanchard, and you must be Miss Maynell. I am so glad you could meet me; may I take you to dinner?’

“The woman’s face broadened into a tolerant smile. ‘I don’t know
what this is about, son,’ she answered, ‘but the young lady in the green suit who just went by, she begged me to wear this rose on my coat. And she said if you were to ask me out to dinner, I should tell you that she is waiting for you in the big restaurant across the street. She said it was some kind of test!’

“It’s not difficult to understand and admire Miss Maynell’s wisdom. The true nature of a heart is seen in its response to the unattractive.

“‘Tell me whom you love,’ Houssaye wrote, ‘And I will tell you who you are.'”

The story carries its own application, so I will add no thought of my own. Simply this scripture:

“Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the
least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” (Matthew 25:40)

Tell me whom you love, and I will tell you whom you are.

Have a great day!

Alan Smith
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Disclaimer: Pursuant to the UCC (Uniform Comedy Code), all depictions of events and persons on this site are more real than reality itself, and therefore any resemblance to reality is not really real.

===================

FAIR USE NOTICE:

This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc.

This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law.

This material is distributed without profit

IMPORTANT NOTICE

You may have noticed the increased amount of notices for you to notice. Some of our notices have not been noticed. This is very noticeable. It has been noticed that the responses to the notices have been noticeably unnoticed. This notice is to remind you to notice the notices and respond to the notices, because we do not want the notices to go unnoticed.

“I trace the rainbow through the rain and see the promise is not in vain.”</i


Every 3.6 seconds a real person dies from hunger somewhere in the world!!!
Feed a hungry person today:
http://www.hungersite.com

My YouTube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/Ninure

God is still speaking
http://www.stillspeaking.com

John Mark Ministries
http://jmm.aaa.net.au/

Say Uncle – a Still speaking Devotional

Say “Uncle”

1 Kings 19:4-6
[Elijah] came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.”

Dwight Lee Wolter

As the youngest child in my family, all three of my siblings could easily overpower me. I always put up a good fight, but the outcome was never in question. The struggles usually ended with me being pinned against the floor and my siblings demanding, “Say Uncle!” Only then would they let me go.

Today, many years later, I looked out the window of my soul and softly said, “Uncle.” This has been a difficult winter in many parts of the country, with environmental crises such as horrendous hurricanes, blinding blizzards and crippling drought. And there have been many excruciating crises of human origin such as the slaughter of innocent children and adults in Newtown, Connecticut. Enough already! On the count of three let’s all say, “Uncle!”

Many are quick to remind me that things could be much worse; that we should hold fast to an attitude of gratitude; and that God never gives you more than you can handle—but sometimes I wonder. While I am pleased and proud of what many have mobilized and accomplished in the aftermath of these and other tragedies, sometimes I allow myself to hunker down under the broom bush in my soul and surrender to the sweet agony of grief.

Eventually, when I have had enough, some angel comes along and tells me it is time to get up and eat. Nourished by bread and grief, I find strength to return to my quest of being a useful advocate once again.

Prayer
God of many names including Mother, Father and Uncle—wherever we are on our spiritual journey, be with us as we avail ourselves of the heights and depths of your creation.

About the Author
Dwight Lee Wolter is the author of Forgiving Our Parents, Freedom Through Forgiving (a workbook), and Forgiving Our Grownup Children. He is pastor of the Congregational Church of Patchogue on Long Island, New York.

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Live simply. Love generously.
Care deeply. Speak kindly.
Leave the rest to God.

“The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the strangers; [the Lord] upholds the orphan and the widow.”
– Psalm 146:7-9

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“I trace the rainbow through the rain and see the promise is not in vain.”

My YouTube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/Ninure

God is still speaking
http://www.stillspeaking.com

John Mark Ministries
http://jmm.aaa.net.au/

Something to meditate on – a verse and a thought

Something to meditate on:

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
– James 1:27-27

Quote for the day:


I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.
– Elie Wiesel

FAIR USE NOTICE:

This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc.

This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law.

This material is distributed without profit

===================


Every 3.6 seconds a real person dies from hunger somewhere in the world!!!
Feed a hungry person today:
http://www.hungersite.com

God is still speaking
http://www.stillspeaking.com

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