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July 15 2008

 

 

 

 

Quotation of the Day

February 17


"Life is a series of experiences, each of which makes us bigger, even though it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and griefs which we endure help us in our marching onward."


- Henry Ford
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Faith Stretcher 

Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, ‘Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?’   Genesis 17:17

Sometimes God’s will is not logical and does not even seem possible. Abraham certainly struggled with the idea of being a parent as a centenarian and his wife conceiving at ninety years of age. It was not possible; it did not make sense. Yet in reality all things are possible with God, and this was one of them.

The Lord made a promise that was out of the ordinary. He wanted to mark this occasion with an indelible stamp of a “God thing.” Abraham tried to let God off the hook on this miraculous scheme by offering Him another plan. However, God was not interested in another plan; He was interested in setting the stage for a blessing that would validate His sovereignty, taking the faith of Abraham, Sarah, and an entire nation to a whole new level. God wants us, and He wants us to take Him at His Word.

Why is it hard to take God at His Word? Why do we struggle with believing in something that is not logical or takes us out of our comfort zone? One reason we struggle is our perception of God. We make Him so small. We bring Him down to our level rather than allowing Him to pull us up to His level! This is man-centered thinking; instead, let’s allow God to be God.

Faith allows us to travel places with God that we would never experience otherwise. Would you not rather be in the middle of a lake in a storm with Jesus than on the calm shore around a warm fire without Him? This is where faith trumps logic. We trust Him when it does not make sense; we follow Him when we are not sure of the destination.

We believe the Lord when others think we are strange, too religious, or even fanatical. Let your Savior stretch your faith, trusting Him with the opportunity in front of you. Has your laughter turned to trust and awe in God and His accomplishments?

The Bible says, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad” (John 8:56 nasb).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, grow my faith to align with Your vision for my life, in Jesus’ name, amen.

Application: What impossibility am I facing but will trust that with God it is possible?

Taken from  Seeking Daily the Heart of God v.2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




 


 

         

 

Bishop Baron on WHO GOD is and WHO GOD is not

 

 

 

ASH WEDNESDAY  Lenten Reflection

    Friends, today’s Gospel prescribes the disciplines of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. I want to speak about the Biblical principle behind almsgiving. I know I’ve quoted to you before some of the breathtaking remarks of saints and popes. For example, Pope Leo XIII said, "Once the demands of necessity and propriety have been met, the rest of your money belongs to the poor." St. John Chrysostom said—and St. Ambrose echoed him—"For the man who has two shirts in his closet, one belongs to him; the other belongs to the man who has no shirt." These ideas are, of course, rooted in the biblical prophets, who continually rail against those who are indifferent to the poor.   

Compassion is key to Christian ethics, learning to suffer with and feel with the other. We’re not dealing with an abstract Aristotelian moral philosophy, but rather with something more visceral. 

This is precisely why the two great commandments are so tightly linked: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart…and love your neighbor as yourself." In loving God, you feel the feelings of God, and God is compassionate to the poor and oppressed. That’s all the argument that a biblical person needs.

      

 

 

 

Perhaps this comes down to a fundamental question: what is a Christian? Someone who is baptized, who prays? Who asks forgiveness, who worships God? Yes, a Christian is all this and more.
Jesus told us what Christians are meant to be: You are the salt of the earth, you are the light of the world, you are the leaven in the bread. He also said, feed the hungry, visit the sick, the poor, the dying, because, you see, compassion is just another name for Christian.

Fr. Bob Warren

 

 

      

 

 

 

 

Finding Your Own Tribe  

We all desire to find our tribe, a community of those that feel comfortable to us and nurture our journey.

Part of being human is the search for an individual identity. Bound to this strong need to establish a unique persona, however, is an equally intense desire for acceptance. It is when we find our individual tribes that both are satisfied. Our tribe members are those people who accept us as we are without reservation and gladly accompany us on our journeys of evolution. Among them, we feel free to be our imperfect selves, to engage unabashedly in the activities we enjoy, and to express our vulnerabilities by relying on our tribe for support. We feel comfortable investing our time and energy in the members of our tribe, and are equally comfortable allowing them to invest their resources in our development. 

The individuals who eventually become members of your unique tribe are out there in the wide world waiting for you. You are destined to find them, one by one, as you move through life. Sometimes your own efforts will put you in contact with your future tribe members. At other times, circumstances beyond your control will play a role in helping you connect with your tribe. If you look about you and discover that you are already allied with a wonderful and supportive tribe, remember that there are likely many members of your tribe you have not yet met. On the other hand, if you feel you are still living outside of your tribe, broadening your horizons can help you find your tribe members. 

However your life develops after you come together with your tribe, you can be assured that its members will stand at your side. On the surface, your tribe may seem to be nothing more than a loose-knit group of friends and acquaintances to whom you ally yourself. Yet when you look deeper, you will discover that your tribe grounds you and provides you with a sense of community that ultimately fulfills many of your most basic human needs.
                 

 

    February 16

 

 HAS THE MEDIA FALLEN VICTIM TO NORTH KOREA'S OLYMPIC PROPAGANDA MACHINE?

 Christopher Walsh


North Korea’s people are missing from the story when it comes to the Olympic Games in PyeongChang. They are the most oppressed people in the world, but it’s striking how irrelevant they seem given the lack of media coverage on their plight.

Understandably, North and South Korea fielding a unified team generates intrigue; it stirs hope for easing tensions on the Korean peninsula. There’s also been an inexplicable inclination by some media outlets to elevate Kim Jong-Un’s sister to a pop culture icon. It’s odd though, with Korea under the Olympic spotlight the Kim regime’s gross human rights abuses attract relatively less attention.

Most of us would question someone for omitting Nazi death camps from any discussion of the Third Reich. Yet, the Kim Regime’s comparable crimes against humanity as documented by the United Nations and most recently the International Bar Association remain an afterthought in our discourse.

As my colleague Lindsay Lloyd noted in The Diplomat, the Olympics should be an “unmatched platform to champion human rights.” Sadly, North Koreans aren’t benefitting from that platform. As a people who can’t advocate for themselves (as they’d face torture, imprisonment, or death), they need the free world to raise their profile in the global consciousness and find ways to offer support.

The George W. Bush Institute has studied the intersection of North Korean human rights and U.S. national security.  An unmistakable takeaway has been how the regime’s treatment of its people impacts Americans and our allies.

Foremost, a nuclear-armed North Korea threatens the safety of every American; recall how the recent missile scare in Hawaii brought to life the terror of a nuclear strike on our homeland. Did you know the Kim regime exports its own people as slave labor to fund its illicit weapons program? Their suffering generates revenue for a nuclear arsenal that poses a clear and present danger to Americans.

There’s also a sense of community we share with North Korean refugees who’ve come to the United States in search of better lives.  Nationally, they are our neighbors and become productive members of American society like Susie Seo in Indiana, Grace Jo in Virginia, or Justin Seo in New York. 

Moreover, this growing community represents another avenue for transforming North Korean society and making the world safer. Refugees empower family back in North Korea by sending them money and information directly. This enhances North Koreans’ ability to engage in their country’s underground markets and pursue individual interests.

So whether it be the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang or just another day of the week, don’t let the North Korean people be forgotten. Their basic human rights and our security are linked more closely than you might realize. 


AUTHOR

Christopher Walsh

CHRISTOPHER WALSH

Christopher Walsh serves as a Manager for the Human Freedom Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute.  In this role, Christopher manages communications, evaluation, and public policy research projects that advance freedom and democracy in the world. He also develops and implements efforts to make the Bush Institute a welcoming place for today’s generation of dissidents and democracy advocates, overseeing visits for training, inspiration, and insight. 

Prior to joining the Bush Institute, Christopher worked with the International Republican Institute in Washington, D.C. As IRI’s program officer for Central and Eastern Europe, he coordinated political party building and civic advocacy programs in the Balkans and Turkey.

A native of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Christopher is a graduate of American University with a B.A. in International Studies.  He currently lives in Dallas with his wife and three young children.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


 

 

 
 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

        

 

                                                         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Sometimes God’s will is not logical and does not even seem possible. Abraham certainly struggled with the idea of being a parent as a centenarian and his wife conceiving at ninety years of age. It was not possible; it did not make sense. Yet in reality all things are possible with God, and this was one of them.

he Lord made a promise that was out of the ordinary. He wanted to mark this occasion with an indelible stamp of a “God thing.” Abraham tried to let God off the hook on this miraculous scheme by offering Him another plan. However, God was not interested in another plan; He was interested in setting the stage for a blessing that would validate His sovereignty, taking the faith of Abraham, Sarah, and an entire nation to a whole new level. God wants us, and He wants us to take Him at His Word.

 

Why is it hard to take God at His Word? Why do we struggle with believing in something that is not logical or takes us out of our comfort zone? One reason we struggle is our perception of God. We make Him so small. We bring Him down to our level rather than allowing Him to pull us up to His level! This is man-centered thinking; instead, let’s allow God to be God.

Faith allows us to travel places with God that we would never experience otherwise. Would you not rather be in the middle of a lake in a storm with Jesus than on the calm shore around a warm fire without Him? This is where faith trumps logic. We trust Him when it does not make sense; we follow Him when we are not sure of the destination.

We believe the Lord when others think we are strange, too religious, or even fanatical. Let your Savior stretch your faith, trusting Him with the opportunity in front of you. Has your laughter turned to trust and awe in God and His accomplishments?

The Bible says, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad” (John 8:56 nasb).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, grow my faith to align with Your vision for my life, in Jesus’ name, amen.

 

 

 


Joseph Prince


Get Into the RIGHT COMPANY

Whether you’re a student or working adult, it’s so important to surround yourself with the right people. Today’s verse tells us that the righteous, that’s you and I who are righteous in Christ, should choose their friends carefully, because the wrong friends can lead them astray.

If you hang out with people who are always complaining and telling you why things you want to see can’t be done, they will talk cynicism, doubt and fear into your heart. They will discourage you and talk you out of your dreams and aspirations. The wrong friends can even lure you into destructive habits and illegal activities.

So choose wisely whom you hang out with. Trust the favor of God to give you Spirit- and faith-filled friends who will lift you up when you’re down, give you godly counsel and inspire you to accomplish your God-given dreams. Thank the Lord that this provision is yours through His finished work—Jesus was “put far” from His friends at the cross (Psalm 88:18), so that you could be blessed with many good ones!

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

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