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Posts tagged ‘Lent’

We women….

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We women were with Jesus when he died. The men had run away – except
John, who was with Jesus’ mother. We women served him for three years
while he went around teaching and preaching to anyone who wanted to
listen. And to some who didn’t like what they heard. We served him and
helped him with our money.

The end was terrible. I hated the dirt. His pain. The noise of that
screaming mob. We women saw it. His mother Mary, Mary Magdalene,
Salome, and other women. We stayed with him till it was over, and we
prepared his body for the tomb.

I said I followed him, but it was my sons I followed – James and
Joses. They left good jobs – put their tools on the ground when he
called them. They said there was nothing else to do. I was angry. They
could have married, raised families. Children. My grandchildren.

When they began to travel with their teacher, I went along too. Can
you blame me? I’m a widow. A woman with no family can’t survive. My
sons were supposed to take care of me, and now I was taking care of
their teacher.

He called himself the light of the world. He was always talking about
love. Love your neighbor as you do yourselves. Love God with your
whole heart and your whole soul and your whole mind and your whole
strength. Love your enemy. Do good to those who hate you. Love
yourself because God loves you. Always love. I began to like being
with him.

It was almost Passover. We were in Bethany one evening at Simon’s
house – he had been a leper but Jesus had cured him, made him whole
again. A woman I’d never seen before entered carrying an alabaster
jar. In the jar was expensive perfume. The woman poured the perfume on
Jesus’ head. The smell was intoxicating. I thought I could live the
rest of my life in that wonderful smell. Some of the men were furious:
“Why are you wasting this perfume?” they said. “We could have sold it
for over three hundred silver pieces and given the money to the poor.”

But Jesus scolded them: “Let her alone,” he said. “Why judge her? The
poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me.
She is preparing me for my burial. Wherever the good news is
proclaimed throughout the world, what she has done will be told to
remember her.”

Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, stood up quickly. He seemed
angry. My son James asked what was the matter. But Judas didn’t
answer. He just left Simon’s house without looking back.

On the first day of Unleavened Bread, we celebrated the Passover
supper in a large upstairs room in Jerusalem. At the table, Jesus
talked about dying. He said that he was going home to his Father. He
said, “I give you my word, one of you is about to betray me, yes, one
who is eating with me.”

The men all said to him, “Surely not I!” We women – what could we say?
– we had served him and learned to love him and didn’t care about
power and being on his right hand and being the greatest and judging
the tribes of Israel, we women didn’t say anything.

Then he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to all of us.
“Take this,” he said, “this is my body.” He took a cup, gave thanks to
his Father, and gave it to us, and we all drank from it. He said to
us: “This is my blood, the blood of the covenant, to be poured out on
behalf of many. I solemnly assure you, I will not again drink of the
fruit of the vine until the day I drink it in the reign of God.” Then
he said, “Do this to remember me.”

We didn’t understand what he was saying, but we ALL– the women and
the men – we all ate and drank.

The Cross – for Good Friday

(~) The Cross

And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself;

Colossians 1:20
___

It’s become fashionable these days to wear crosses, not necessarily as a sign of faith, but as a trendy accessory. Crosses are hip now.

An anecdote someone recently shared with me tells of an encounter at a department store jewelry counter. The customer says she is interested in buying a cross, to which the sales clerk replies : “Do you want a plain one, or one with the little man on it?”

On Good Friday, we must comprehend that the cross is more than a fashion statement. Take a moment to consider what the cross meant in Jesus’ day.

A hot topic these days is crime and punishment. How do we attempt to deter violence? The death penalty has been around for ages, and the Roman Empire in the time of Tiberius took it mighty seriously. There wasn’t a hot debate about lethal injection or other humane methods of putting one to death. The Romans wanted executions to be excruciatingly painful and as public as possible. Thus, the Roman practice of death by crucifixion.

We often turn away from the horror of the cross. Sometimes we want to take encouragement from the fact that Christ died for us, but skip over the messy details. We shouldn’t. This brief account, based upon the gospels of Matthew and John, provides a sense of Jesus’ ordeal.

During the trial before Caiaphas, the priests “spit in his face and struck him with their fists.” Then, “they bound him” and sent him to Pilate, who had him flogged; the usual procedure was to tie the criminal’s hands to a pillar, strip their upper body and deliver up to 40 blows with a three-pronged whip. Then “the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head,” after which “they took (a) staff and struck him on the head, again and again.” Weakened from the beatings he had received, Jesus was unable to carry his cross the whole distance to Calvary, as was customary, so an onlooker named Simon of Cyrene was pressed into duty by the soldiers. Christ was then affixed to the cross by having large nails driven through his wrists and into the wood. In crucifixions, death came by suffocation as the weight of the victim made breathing progressively more difficult as they lost strength. It took six hours for Jesus to die.

Clearly, the solemnity of the cross is increasingly lost upon today’s society. As Christians, we must never lose sight of the true meaning of the crucifixion. It reminds us that the grace that we stand in didn’t come cheap. Jesus Christ paid a huge price for our salvation. All it will cost us is our pride and self-will. Sometimes it seems to us that this is too great a price, which only indicates how far removed we are from the details of Christ’s sacrifice.

The extraordinary power of the cross is that no matter where we’ve been or how far we’ve wandered, we can stand in God’s presence – just as we are. It serves as the bridge between a broken people and a Holy God. Take a moment this Good Friday and ask yourself which side of the breach you’re on. Believing on the power of Christ’s death and resurrection, cross that bridge into eternal life and peace with God.

REMinistry

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Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:2

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/

For Maundy Thursday: God’s plan for your life

There have been a number of times when I have been truly blessed to meet someone who I knew was both “called to ministry” and “called to be MY friend”.

The author of the following is such a person, and I so thrilled to be able to share something he wrote for the American Bible Society‘s e-mail devotionals based on the Lectionary readings for the week and church Holidays.

At the end of this I include a extra paragraoh that was not included in the e-Bulletin sent out by the American Bible Society.

“Discover God’s Plan For Your Life!”


by JimHarvey

Maundy Thursday
March 20, 2008

Exodus 12:1-4 [5-10] 11-14
Psalm 116:1, 12-19
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
John 13:1-7, 31b-35

Discerning God’s Plan for Your Life

One recent morning, while riding in a New York City subway car, I looked up from my seat to see an ad for a book. The book purported to be able to give its readers the tools to create the life they desired by following a prescribed number of steps. In bold letters next to a replica of the book’s cover, readers were encouraged to find out God’s plan for their lives. Perusing both the ad and the book’s title, I had to ask myself, “Does the one really have anything to do with the other?”

I have not read this book, so I cannot make any comments on its usefulness. I would hope, though, that if you followed the author’s instructions, you would indeed achieve a life more like the life you want to live. But that is discovering your plan for your life. God might have something completely different in mind. Comfort might be our desire, but Jesus makes it clear that we are called to a life of service, and service is usually not very comfortable.

In John 13, Jesus sets for his disciples, and for us, an example of humble service. Getting one’s hands and knees to wash someone’s feet is not a comfortable position for the washer, but it does show concern for the comfort of the one whose feet are being washed. That is service, but beyond that, when Jesus “…laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself,” (John 13.4b, KJV) he was laying aside the things of the world and making himself open and vulnerable.

Jesus does not promise that if we follow his example we will be comfortable or achieve the life we desire. But, he does promise a joy that comes from serving God, serving others, and living in harmony with creation. “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.” (John 13:17, KJV).

God’s plan for your life is not revealed by following steps prescribed in a book advertised on the subway. It is revealed through meditation, prayerful discernment, and by an openness to the possible agony that goes with it, all the while knowing that joy is the promise in the end.

The Reflection for Maundy Thursday was prepared by James Harvey, MA, a graduate of Garrett- Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL who serves as Lay Leader at the Park Slope United Methodist Church in Brooklyn, NY.

           
When Jesus went to Gethsemane , I am pretty certain that he was NOT looking for eight simple steps to getting the life he wanted.  He had already discovered God’s plan for his life (John 13.1), and from what we read in Matthew, he was not happy with what he had discovered.  He says, “My Father, if it be possible, take this cup of suffering from me!  Yet not what I want, but what you want.” (Matthew 26.39b GNT)  Considering this, how dare we assume that God’s plan for us includes wealth, power and creature comforts?

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/

Let me admit that q friend eeyorn posted this on his Blog back in 2008 before MySpace erased our Blogs in 2008. The references to Bush still does not date this piece.

There are many who think that should the Jesus of the Gospels appear in the USA today, he’d get a nasty welcome, but this has got to be the best writing I have yet seen on the topic. – Ninure da Hippie

The Crucifixion of Christ, American Style
By Jerry Ghinelli

“For God so loved the world…” he returned his only begotten son to the land where he shed his grace on thee.
 
Vindication for the faithful, rejoicing for the true believers, it was the second coming of Christ—and he was coming to America. Not to bring Armageddon, but to save mankind from Armageddon.
 
Jesus will make his first appearance at the intersection of the streets appropriately named “Liberty” and “Church” in New York City, located at what has come to be known as “Ground Zero.”
 
Lower Manhattan was virtually shut down as millions of the faithful and curious flooded the streets to get a glimpse of the second coming of their lord and savior.
 
Even the New York Stock Exchange suspended trading as the crowds swelled from the Battery to midtown Manhattan. The joy and hope that Christ was bringing was palpable—breathtaking, you might say—in the near carnival-like atmosphere that was created in lower Manhattan.
 
Songs like “Jesus Is Just All Right With Me,” “Amazing Grace” and “Jesus Christ Superstar” played from loudspeakers where the Twin Towers had once stood. American flags and crosses were everywhere.
 
Martin Luther King’s “dream” was now a reality, as black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, young and old, “red staters” and “blue staters,” even atheists and agnostics, all joined hands in love and friendship at this celebration of the second coming of the Prince of Peace.
 
The media frenzy was unprecedented.
 
It was “all Jesus all the time”: round-the-clock coverage as priests, rabbis, and even an ayatollah appeared as expert commentators to explain what this all meant and what we should think.
 
Mel Gibson, who produced the film “The Passion of the Christ,” was interviewed on so many television stations the joke was he must have a double. A female CNN reporter facetiously asked if the handsome Gibson’s identical twin was married.
 
The night before, the new Pope, Benedict XVI, gave a rare interview with Mike Wallace from the CBS News show, “60 Minutes.” And for good reason: This was to be “the greatest story ever told.”
 
On vacation at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, President Bush read a brief statement, calling the second coming of Christ a “miracle of faith,” and formally welcoming him to America. Bush ended his remarks by declaring, “Let freedom reign and God bless America.”
 
Christ had chosen to begin speaking at 8:46 a.m., the precise time when, on September 11, 2001, the first plane smashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
 
The clock in the corner of the TV screen read “Countdown to Jesus” as the minutes and seconds ticked away. It looked a little like we were about to launch the Space Shuttle, one reporter noted.
 
At exactly 8:46 a.m., there was a sudden, immediate, “deafening” silence, almost as if the world had ended. Then Jesus Christ appeared alone before a massive bank of microphones, placed just two blocks north of Ground Zero on a little street appropriately named “Trinity Place.”
 
Looking much as he did two thousand years ago, the longhaired, bearded Jesus Christ, shabbily dressed in a robe and sandals, began to speak in a soft voice.
 
“Shalom, salaam and may peace be with you,” he offered.
 
“I, Jesus of Nazareth, use this sacred ground to symbolize where over four years ago, at this exact moment, man’s inhumanity to man was broadcast live for the entire world to bear witness to.
 
“Those who committed these barbaric acts thought of themselves as ’believers,’ but only a believer in Satan could commit such a heinous act,” said Christ.
 
The applause rang out like booming thunder, echoing off the skyscrapers along the narrow streets of lower Manhattan, and down the section of Broadway known as the Canyon of Heroes. Shouts of “hallelujah, hallelujah” sent goose bumps up people’s arms. The faithful were not crying; they were sobbing. Some people fainted.
 
For the viewers at home, in the corner of TV screens a small woman provided sign language for the hearing impaired.
 
Christ continued. “But I come before America today, for she is the greatest danger to world peace since Genesis.
 
“To suggest that God, our father, would ever be on the side of an America—or any country, for that matter—which attacks poor, defenseless, impoverished people out of revenge, fear, ignorance or greed, contradicts everything I stand for today and, more importantly, died for two thousand years ago.”
 
On the streets and watching at home and at work, the American people were in “shock and awe” at this blunt criticism from their lord and savior.
 
A few cheered, but Christ’s condemnation of America’s response to the evils of 9/11 and of their President, Bush—the born-again man of faith, leader of the greatest country on earth—drew immediate and harsh disapproval.
 
Christian conservatives went on the attack, charging that Christ was wrong to criticize Bush while he was fighting the evil forces of Satan in his divinely inspired worldwide crusade on the war on terror. Christ, as one remarked, seemed to speak with a French accent, and sounded a lot like a bleeding-heart liberal.
 
Fearing that Christ’s message might undermine troop morale in Iraq and Afghanistan conservative Republicans launched an urgent campaign to—as they term it—”swift-boat” Christ.
 
“Swift-boat” is a new verb in the American lexicon, meaning “to smear in the name of truth, justice and freedom.”
 
A Conservative evangelical group from the Bible Belt was quickly formed, named “The Twelve Veteran Disciples for Truth.”
 
Using only their first names, Peter, Paul, James, John, Andy, Phil, Bart, Matthew, Simon, Thad, Tom, along with their spokesman, Judas, appeared together on Fox News to, as they stated, “set the record straight.”
 
They all claimed to have ancestors who served with Jesus back in the Middle East, and stated that his message of “love your enemies” was outdated and dangerous in these troubled times, when terrorists and evildoers lurk around every corner and can strike at any moment.
 
“George W. Bush is a strong and sincere proponent of Christianity, a strong advocate of using military force to attack—even pre-emptively attack—our enemies. Notice that I say ’attack,’ not ’love’,” said Judas.
 
Vice President Dick Cheney, appearing with former Georgia Senator Zell Miller before a uniformed military audience in Texas, suggested that Jesus’ “love your enemy” message was a thinly veiled liberal euphemism that meant Christ wants to cut the defense budget and reduce the federal funding for the body armor badly needed by our brave young men and women in harm’s way.
 
“Let he without sin cast the first spitball,” Cheney mocked, to a standing ovation from the troops.
 
The American media, which loves simple soundbites to always entertain and sometimes inform, played Cheney’s clever spitball line over and over ad nauseum.
 
One enterprising young Republican trademarked the term “Let he without sin cast the first spitball,” embroidered it on t-shirts and is selling them on eBay, along with a scowling “have you hugged a terrorist today” teddy bear wearing a little turban.
 
On his daily radio program, Rush Limbaugh—the lord of the airwaves, the voice of the people, his excellency in broadcasting, revered by millions of “ditto heads” —asked whether the wounds Jesus suffered during his crucifixion had possibly been exaggerated.
 
According to Limbaugh: “Thorns can only cause flesh wounds, and nails in your hands and feet are not lethal.”
 
Nails, Limbaugh went on with a chuckle, “should be an occupational hazard for Jesus Christ, the carpenter from Nazareth . “What’s next, Christ building houses for the poor, along with the second most annoying liberal, that other bleeding heart carpenter, Jimmy Carter?” Limbaugh mocked .
 
Immediately after the show, on sale at http://www.rushlimbaugh.com were steel-toed workboots adorned with the American flag, a pair of “thorn-resistant” “holy” garden gloves, and a box of Band Aids with tiny red crosses should the gloves ever fail.
 
On his program, radical preacher and firebrand television evangelist Pat Robertson referred to Christ’s “meek shall inherit the earth” remark as “communist infiltration and extremism.”
 
He suggests, like Limbaugh, that the liberal Christ is soft on the freedom-hating Islamic evildoers who detest our values.
 
Robertson went so far as to say that Christ was dangerous, and posed the question “perhaps someone needs to take him out before he brings on Armageddon?”
 
President Bush, speaking to new Marine recruits at Paris Island, praised the Lord Jesus and thanked him for his sacrifices. The President, who speaks to God regularly, insisted, however, that God also put him on this earth during these dangerous times to do his will.
 
“Christ is my brother,” Bush emphasized, “and brothers often have differences of opinion, that’s all. Christ believes in turning the other cheek; I prefer an eye for and eye. Or, as we say in Texas—dead or alive,” he said to applause from his troops.
 
“Semper fi,” shouted Bush.
 
Bush declared, “Jesus has never been elected to any public office. I come to work every day as your Commander–in-Chief with war on my mind. Christ speaks of peace this and love that… all kinds of dangerous messages in the post 9/11 world, when we have been attacked by the evildoers who can’t stand our freedoms,” Bush said, to a standing ovation.
 
Bush ended his speech by reciting his own version of “The Lord’s Prayer”:
 
Our Father, Who art in heaven,
 
Hallowed be Thy Name.
 
Thy Kingdom come.
 
Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.
 
And never forgive the terrorists,
 
who trespass against us.
 
And lead us not into appeasement,
 
and deliver the U.S. from evil. Amen.
 
The Democrats, eager to dispel rumors that they will forever be irrelevant, have got into the act.” .
 
Fearing that the compassionate Christ might be pro-life, they have set out to—as they term it—”Bork” Jesus.
 
Like “swift-boat,” “Bork,” taken from the name of the rejected Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork, has also become a verb meaning “to publicly destroy the character of those opposed to the Democrats’ single issue of abortion.”
 
Teams of lawyers paid for by the Democrats, many of whom, opponents allege, have never read a Bible, sworn on a Bible or seen a Bible except in a motel room, are now scouring the Bible to determine whether Jesus, two thousand years ago, may have had an inappropriate relationship with Mary Magdalene and engaged in a sexual relationship with a subordinate.
 
Former President Bill Clinton advising the Democrats, as an expert in this area, stated emphatically, “Jesus did not have sexual relations with that woman!”
 
With Clinton’s declaration, Democrats ended the investigation and went back to their fund raising.
 
The editorial page of the Wall Street Journal stepped in and was sharply critical of Christ’s message that “the love of money is the root of all evil and that it would be easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.”
 
Greed, according to the Wall Street Journal is good; greed works; greed is what made America great.
 
They added that “to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” suggests that Christ is in favor of raising taxes to fund liberal social programs and increase handouts to welfare mothers.
 
Jewish groups, fearing that Christ—who was, after all, born in Bethlehem, Palestine—would be sympathetic to Palestinian suffering and thus would oppose increased military aid for Israel, labeled him anti-Semitic.
 
When reminded Christ was born Jewish they amended the label to “self-hating Jew.”
 
Catholics, fearing that this time around not only would Christ clear the temples, but the churches too, were quietly distancing themselves from their lord and savior. With sky-rocketing insurance premiums caused by the lawsuits stemming from the church’s sex scandal, Saturday Night Bingo is needed now more than ever and must not be interrupted.
 
President Bush’s press secretary has denied reports suggesting he was the source of the leak that begs the question “when did Christ stop beating his gay wife.” 
 
Sensing blood in the water, the Republican spin machine revved up to full throttle.
 
Ann Coulter, the “angelic”-looking “Republican Party Doll,” appeared on The O’Reilly Factor in a pure white dress with a Victorian collar, her Rapunzel-like blond hair gleaming; under the set lighting. O’Reilly, complimented Coulter saying she reminded him tonight of “Glinda, the good witch of the north in the Wizard of Oz.” However, some critics suggested she sounded more like the “wicked witch of the west” when she said: “…with his sandals, long hair and beard, Christ bore an eerie resemblance to Osama bin Laden.” O’Reilly said nothing but nodded his approval.
 
But the coup de grace for Jesus was when Judas, the spokesman for “The Twelve Veteran Disciples for Truth,” approached the Justice Department with evidence that the Middle Eastern–born, bearded Christ, who speaks Arabic and is in the US illegally, is a card-carrying member of Al Qaeda.
 
Judas charged that Christ was not the son of God, but rather the son of Allah.
 
With silver selling today at about $16.81 an ounce, thirty pieces of silver—about $504—just doesn’t buy what it did two thousand years ago. So Judas opted for his “fifteen minutes of fame” instead.
 
He is scheduled to appear on “Oprah” tomorrow, “Larry King Live” at night and “Good Morning America” the next day.
 
President Bush has invited him to his ranch in Crawford, Texas, for some spiritual guidance. Judas, it is expected, will assist the President in “clearing brush” at his sprawling Texas compound this Easter weekend .
 
All suggestions regarding book deals and movie rights are referred to Judas’s agent at the William Morris Agency in Beverly Hills.
 
With Christ-approval numbers now in the single digits, and with compelling evidence from the “disciples for truth” that Christ is a member of Al Qaeda, he was arrested under the provisions of the US Patriot Act and whisked off to an undisclosed location.
 
The indigent, penniless Christ was represented in court by a public defender who appealed Christ’s incarceration all the way up to the US Supreme court.
 
Justice Antonin Scalia, who is of Italian ancestry tracing back to ancient Rome, when speaking for the court refused to hear the appeal. In a tersely worded opinion for a unanimous court, he stated: “We wash our hands of this case.”
 
The High Court, however, then overturned the twenty-five-year sentence of former WorldCom (MCI) C.E.O. Bernard “Bernie” Ebbers, declaring that his rights under the 8th Amendment, prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment, were violated.
 
Ebbers was immediately released back into society and received a hero’s welcome in his hometown. Signs of “Give us Bernard” appeared everywhere.
 
Outside the court at Christ’s hearing, one lone supporter of Christ held up a sign that read “crucify the sinless, and set the guilty free.” He was immediately arrested.
 
Accompanied by his legal aid lawyer, Christ was returned to the courtroom from his undisclosed location, along with two other prisoners.
 
Dressed in an orange jumpsuit and shackled at the wrists and ankles, he looked gaunt and sad at his circumstances.
 
His public defender angrily referred to this proceeding as a “high-tech crucifixion.” The public defender was immediately cited for contempt of court.
 
Christ never spoke during the brief hearing, except when the judge asked him if he had any final words before sentencing.
 
“Yes, your honor. Father, forgive them, once again, for they know not what they do.”
 
Amen
 
Jerry Ghinelli writes essays exclusively for Information Clearing House (  www.informationclearinghouse.info) and contributes his time and efforts as a private citizen, with the hope of encouraging readers to think more broadly about the important issues that threaten the peace and security of the world community. Positive feedback should be sent to email@jerryghinelli.com or visit http://www.jerryghinelli.com for more information.

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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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/

Richard Rohr: A Lenten Prayer

A Prayer to Avoid Entitlement
by Richard Rohr

The Jewish people have a beautiful prayer form, a kind of litany to which the response is always “Dayenu!” (It would have been enough!).

They list, one by one, the mirabilia Dei, the wonderful works of God for their people and themselves, and after each one, shout out DAYENU! As if to say, “How much is it going to take for us to know that God is with us?!” It builds satisfaction instead of feeding dissatisfaction.

If we begin our day with any notion of scarcity, not-enoughness, victimhood, or “I deserve,” I promise you the day will not be good–for you or for those around you. Nor will God be glorified.

Maybe we all should begin our days with a litany of satisfaction, abundance, and enoughness. God, you have given me another day of totally gratuitous life: my health, my eyes, my ears, my mind, my taste, my family, my freedom, my education, clean water, more than enough food, a roof over my head, a warm bed and blanket, friends, sunshine, a beating heart, and your eternal love and guidance.

To any one of these we must say, “And this is more than enough!”

(Adapted from a post to Fr. Richard’s blog, Unpacking Paradoxes, on January 30, 2012)

* * *

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/

Fast From Criticism (for Ash Wednesday)

Fast From Criticism

Don’t speak evil against each
other, my dear brothers and
sisters. If you criticize each
other and condemn each
other, then you are
criticizing and condemning
God’s law. But you are not a
judge who can decide
whether the law is right or
wrong. Your job is to obey it.

James 4:11 NLT

___

Catherine Marshall tells of the time she decided to do a -day experiment. Oh, it
really was an eye-opener for her. You see, she had a problem common to most of us. She found it too easy to be critical of others. Well, one morning as she meditated on the verse, “So don’t criticize each other anymore,” (Romans 14:13 TLB) she became aware of the Lord nudging her to not be critical for one day.

Of course she tried to shove it off. But she couldn’t get it out of her mind. So she tried to rationalize her critical attitude. After all, aren’t we to use the intelligence God gave us to analyze and evaluate—even though the results is not always positive? The nudging continued right through the debate going on in her mind until she finally agreed to give the experiment a try—but just for the one day would she fast from criticism.

Through most of the morning she kept wondering what the result would be at the end of the day. The lunch with her husband and friends was normal except for the unusual silence of one person— Catherine. She had not committed to silence, just to not criticizing. It surprised her to realize how much of her conversation was usually critical an judgmental. She was silent only because she couldn’t contribute to the conversation without judging. So, she kept quiet and no one seemed to notice. A sting to the pride as well.

It wasn’t until mid-afternoon that something special began to happen. The floodgate of ideas began to open and creative thoughts flowed through in a way she hadn’t experienced in a long time.

At day’s end she marveled at all that had transpired simply because she refused to entertain a critical attitude. A letter to encourage a friend, insight into praying for a college student, seeking her child’s forgiveness, all filtered through her freely because there was no negative thoughts to stop them.

Catherine’s one-day experiment became a lifetime habit.

Catherine Marshall, Retold by Marilyn K. McAuley

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A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

Luke 6:45

It’s Not One or the Other – a Stillspeaking Devotional

It’s Not One or the Other

John 12:1-8
Lillian Daniel

In this reading, Mary pours costly perfume over Jesus’feet, only to be told that she should have saved her money to give to the poor.

Jesus responds by saying, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” Jesus was not being selfish. I think he cared about Mary, and wanted to tell the group that the time we have with the people we love is very precious.

Jesus was also making a point about hypocrisy. The person who challenged Mary was Judas Iscariot, and about him the scripture says, “He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.”

“Why was this perfume not sold…and the money given to the poor?” Judas had asked. Most people who say things like that do it for effect, and seldom do they apply the same scrutiny to their own budgets. Oftentimes we let those people get away with it; perhaps we even think they are prophetic. Not Jesus. He called Judas on the carpet, and after that, Judas betrayed him, proving once again that relationships were not Judas’ priority.

Prayer:Loving Christ,let me see that in this abundant world,there is room both for generosity to strangers and to those we love most dearly. It’snot one or the other.Wecan choose both.Amen.

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

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