לִמְדוּ הֵיטֵב דִּרְשׁוּ מִשְׁפָּט, אַשְּׁרוּ חָמוֹץ; שִׁפְטוּ יָתוֹם, רִיבוּ אַלְמָנָה.
Learn to do well; seek justice, relieve the oppressed,uphold the rights of the orphan, plead the cause of the widow.
A Few Quick Things About Forgiveness: What It Is and What It’s Not
- Forgiveness is not a one-shot deal, but a
daily lifelong process that might take a hundred times a day. This is
partially what Jesus meant when he said forgive seventy times seven.
It’s okay to be mad. It’s okay to grieve about what happened. You don’t
have to stuff these feelings. In fact, it’s better to feel them down to
the bottom if you want to make it back out.
does not mean friendship. Boundaries are necessary and you’re not
required to hang out with the people who hurt you. It’s possible to be
kind, but that doesn’t require becoming best buddies.
Forgiveness does not mean that the hurt should be forgotten or
dismissed. In fact, true forgiveness actually confronts the very real
hurt that was done to you and says, “This is not okay. This is something
terrible that requires that someone pays.” The Christian recognizes
that reparations are required, while at the same time we absorb the
emotional hurt with the process of forgiveness.
- Christians are
too quick to rush this process and it’s almost like they become lawyers
for the perpetrator instead of healers for the wounded. The people who
hurt you should still be held accountable, with all the mercy you can
give and with all the justice that they’re owed.
- When you feel
the rush of anger and hurt and sadness and confusion, let it happen. It
has to pass through your body, like flushing out poison. Write something
angry (don’t publish or send). Have the internal argument. Win the
argument. Vent with the gym. Weep until you get to that still place of
peace. And it might help to say, “What they did is not okay, but I still
have to live and love with my whole heart.”
- It’ll feel like
bitterness is easier. Sometimes it is. But in the long run, of course,
it only ruins dang near everything. We need people around us who remind
us of what love and trust and connection look like. Surround yourself
with those people.
- All throughout the Bible, the way that
God forgives is to “put the sin behind His back” or to “hurl our sin
into the depths of the sea” (Isaiah 38:17, Micah 7:19). We should
recognize that God does not say, “Forgive and forget.” That’s a worldly,
shallow type of forgiveness. Instead God chooses to deliberately acknowledge the pain and initiate a weighty healing process. Later
in Isaiah 53, it says “by his wounds we are healed.” In other words,
the forgiveness that God offers always comes with a cost. It’s not a
small thing. It requires all of us and all of Him to offer the divine
gift of forgiveness to another.
- If others get down on you for
not being able to forgive, they need to know your tempo and your
boundaries. It might be wise to work on a clear, gentle reminder, such
as, “What happened really hurt me and I hope you can appreciate how hard
this is and how much I need your help with forgiving.” This hopefully
puts others in a more compassionate position.
You have my prayers,
dear friend. None of this is easy stuff. We’ll mess it up and we’ll
feel like we hardly made progress on our worst days. But that’s
forgiveness. It’s a process, in progress, towards wholeness through the
hurt. It will hurt. That’s the healing at work.
Made a college of all those killed at Columbine on April 20th, 1990. im sorry this sucks. I was in a hurry.
Victims (no order): Steven Curnow (14), Corey DePooter (17), Kelly Fleming (16), Matt Ketcher (16), Daniel Mauser (15), Daniel Rohrbough (15), Coach Dave Sanders (47), Rachel Scott (17), Isaiah Shoels (18), John Tomlin (16), Lauren Townsend (18), Kyle Velasquez (16), Eric Harris (18), Dylan Klebold (17)
Pastor JD’s Prophecy Report is amazing!!! As you listen to it you will see how much prophecy has already been fulfilled. He talks about the Catholic Pope,Israel, Islam, Iran and the economy. He also speaks about Revelation and the church is not mentioned after chapter 4. We are not going to be here when all hell breaks loose. We will be here for the beginnings of it. It is one of the best prophecy updates I have heard. I am excited and looking for my Lord!!! If you do not have Jesus as your Lord and Savior you will be left behind. If this terrifies you do not wait. Ask Jesus into your heart today.
God created us in His own image so we can know Him personally and have a joy-filled life. He did not make us as robots to automatically love and obey Him, but gave us a will and a freedom of choice. Since the beginning of time, we have chosen to disobey God and go our own willful way. We still make this choice today. This results in separation from God and ends in misery. The Bible says that disobeying God results in being separated from Him. Our attempts can never unite us with God. Through the ages, people have tried many ways to bridge this gap and reach God – without success. I believe that each one of us has a little puzzle piece in each of our bodies that only the love of God can fill. We try to fill it with all kinds of things like sex, boyfriends, children, drugs, alcohol, education, clubbing, partying and everything else that you can think of. The thing is nothing fits right in there. Only God can quench the longing of your soul.
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” 4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second into their mother’s womb to be born!” 5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. John 3:3-6
If you want a new life in Christ Jesus, ask Him into your heart today. Simply pray this: Lord Jesus Christ, I believe that You took the pain and the sins of world on the cross to give me new life. I ask You to come into my heart and to give me Your peace and joy. I confess that I am a sinner that I have gone my own way and have done wrong. Please forgive me for my sins. I receive You now as my Lord and Savior. Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit. Help me to follow You and to serve You all the days of my life. Thank you so much for loving me, in Jesus name I pray, Amen. If you prayed that prayer you are a new creature in Christ Jesus! You are Born Again!
Next, you really need to read the Bible if you are serious about your walk with the Lord Jesus. There are several good Bibles for the beginner to read that are easy to understand. I like the (NKJV) New King James Version, (NLT) New Living Translation, and the (NASB) New American Standard Bible.
The Bible is your spiritual food. You need to read and meditate on the Word of God daily to be fed as a Christian. When you don’t spend time daily in the Word of God your spirit withers and dies. Just like all “living things” your spirit needs food to thrive and grow. God communicates to us through prayer and His word.
I would like you to set aside time every single day just for Jesus. I want it to be at least 15 minutes and I want you to read the Bible every day during this time and pray. If you need a little more direction go to cbn.com (and no I don’t work for them) they have a sight that I use every single day. I signed up for their read the Bible in a year. They will e-mail you 2 scriptures every single day. One from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament.
There is also an app that you can have loaded on your phone for free. It is called Bible.is. I love listening to the Word when I am out and about. I promise that if you do this you will see a marked difference in your walk with Jesus Christ. Next find a really good Bible based church to attend for teaching and fellowship. If you need help finding one I will be happy to help you. Don’t wait!!! God bless you!!!♥♥♥
Text: Isaiah 63:15-19, Isaiah 64:1-12, Isaiah 65:1-25, Matthew 26:20-50
A few nights ago, I threw myself down in my big fluffy chair to read Isaiah 65. It had been a long week with things going “differently” than I’d expected—meaning, EVERYTHING FELL APART. When days like these come to an end, all I know to do is make myself a cup of chai tea with almond milk, diffuse some essential oil that promises to ease all my stress, and sit down, Bible open, to whatever passage someone has encouraged me to read, just hoping it might make a difference in my attitude.
Those nights. You know the ones I’m talking about? The nights when you start spinning, thinking about how things could be going better, how life seems harder than it should be and isn’t exactly what you thought you were signing up for. As I read from Isaiah that night, I talked to God about what I was seeing on the page and how I longed for Him to show up.
Honestly, it’s not that I need Him to fix everything that feels broken in my life. Sure, sometimes I want a quick, easy fix to my problems, but I know what planet I’m living on. I know things here are hardly ever easy and never ever perfect. Jesus said it would be hard, but that He had overcome (John 16:33). Why don’t I remember that verse more often?
Trust me: there are plenty of nights when I just want to turn on Netflix and let episodes of Friends run back-to-back until even the screen seems to ask, “Are you still watching?” But this night was different. I knew I needed the quiet, not the noise or some other distraction. I knew I needed to connect with God, not pull away from Him.
It was a forced behavior, to be sure, but that happens in all relationships, doesn’t it? Moments when you want to isolate, but then you remember the commitment you’ve made, and somehow love leads you back toward relationship instead of running away from it.
So I drank my tea and I read. And there it was: New heaven. New earth. New.
Yes, I thought, I want NEW. I want a world where destruction—of places, of culture, of dreams and hearts and hopes—is barely a distant memory. I don’t know if it was God’s Word, the diffusing oils, or a combination of the two, but my heart started to calm down.
I think that’s what these pages and stories from Scripture are meant to do for the people of God—to remind us of what God is actively doing today and what He’s promised to do when He makes all things new (Isaiah 65:17). He is the One who answers even before we call. He is the One who acts while I’m still asking. He is the One who promises He’s present in any and all circumstances.
On that Tuesday night, before I’d even finished calling on Him, God answered me with peace and connection—with His very presence.
I think that will be the best part of the “new” that’s to come: God’s palpable and pervasive presence, uninterrupted by my sin or attitude or even Netflix. There’s so much about our eternity that is going to be beyond good, but being face to face with the God who hears and sees and answers and loves me completely? That’s the part I look forward to the most.
I am the Lord your God.
I teach you for your own good.
I lead you in the way you should go.
If you had obeyed me,
then peace would have come to you
like a full flowing river.
Good things would have come to you again and again, like the waves of the sea.
From left to right-taken from the Columbine Memorial in Littleton, CO pt. one out of three
William “Dave” Sanders-Born in Illinois, as a child he liked Davey Crockett, little league baseball, and loved the sound of a bouncing basketball. Dave’s young life was mentored by his high school basketball coach. He played basketball, and ran cross country in college, then began his career as a business teacher, and coach. Dave encouraged students, family members, and friends to become better people through kindness and encouragement. He inspired many people to achieve their dreams, and his spirit lives on in everyone who loved him or knew him. “Know that he loves you and is with you always. He will always be only one thought away when you need strength and comfort. We have a lifetime filled with memories of a man we are so proud to have known. So, remember Dave for how he lived; not how he died. We are so grateful for his final words: ‘Tell my girls I love them’, we love you too.”
Daniel Mauser-It is not easy to sum up the life of a son and brother. To his parents he was a first born gift with spiritual dimensions that caused us to seek a deeper life. To his sister, Christine, he was a fun companion, but also one who was willing to share his wisdom and knowledge. To his sister, Madeline, he will be the brother who was never known, but whose presence will always be felt. To others he will be an inspiration for how he tackled his own weaknesses and often overcame them in surprising ways. We remember Daniel as a boy with a gentle spirit and a shy grin. Often charming, and sometimes intense, he was just coming into his own. He still saw the world through largely innocent eyes. He was an inquisitive and occasionally maddening adolescent, who would challenge you to examine your assumptions about almost everything. In the most profound sense, however, Daniel was one who, despite difficulties, knew the ineffable sweetness of life, and it was part of him. It was our great blessing to have had him as a member of our family.
Kelly Ann Fleming-A Writer and a poet, a gentle soul who walked amongst us. I step outside, what did I hear? I heard the whispers, and the cries of people’s fear. The loneliness of wisdom. Can that be? The sad, sad, sorrow that I see, that the past in the trees, is it true, can it be real? Can I let them know how I really feel? The things that I have seen, the things that I have felt, The feeling of sorrow that I hope will soon melt. Wherever I looked, wherever I turned, I see shadows all through the night. I put my head down, and said a little prayer, to tell the lord the sad, sad, sorrow, and the lonely cries that I have heard. After a minute of silence, of wisdom, I looked up slowly, I saw a thing that I have never seen. I saw a light, and asked myself can that be? Was it real or was it a dream? I didn’t know but hopefully it will come to me. It was bright and I was scared. I didn’t know what or if I should see. I looked and then it comes to me. It was a dream. When I was turning to walk away, I heard a voice. Can It Be-Poem written by Kelly in 1998. Her first draft, final draft published in Chicken Soup for the Teenager’s Soul III
Isaiah Emon Shoels-The love of God was first in Isaiah’s life. The love for his parents, Vonda and Michael, was the highlight of his life. His close relationship with his Grandmother Bessie, showed in his respect for others. He loved sports, playing and joking with his family; and was taught to love others no matter how they treated him. Isaiah died in a room filled with hate and darkness. He now lives in a beautiful heavenly room filled with light and beauty. He would want you to look up and see the light, to put away the guns, hate, prejudice, and pride, and see the great light that is love. He is one of the beautiful flowers God has picked for his Heavenly Garden, to shine and to be an everlasting light. Isaiah, we will always miss you. We will always love you. With love from your family and friends. “Stop doing wrong, learn to do right.” Isaiah 1: 15-17 “Maintain justice and do what is right.” Isaiah 56: 1- 2 “Those who walk uprightly enter with peace.” Isaiah 57: 1 - 2
Heaven is a place where all of your dreams come true; everything you want and could possibly ever want is there for the taking. Only GOOD people go to heaven.
But can you truly be happy in heaven whilst knowing there are people in hell?
This would be like having a big party with all your friends and family while there is a house next door with people burning in it. If one says that yes, you can be happy whilst knowing there are people in hell, then we must accept that the people in heaven are not of a truly good nature so heaven should remain empty of people. If we say no, that we cannot be truly happy then the idea of heaven collapses on itself.
But the problem can be avoided by saying that we have no memory of our past lives, so perhaps do not even know of ‘bad’ things, people or places. We know nothing but the heavenly position we are in.
‘For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.’ - Isaiah 65:17
Hello Father, I know you are supposed to turn the other cheek. My question is therefore when is it acceptable to fight back? Thank you for your time!
Thank you for this question. It is hard for me to answer, because when someone attacks me, I don’t like to turn the other cheek.
In fact, there are passages in the Bible that speak of fighting for the rights and justice of those who are downtrodden: “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow” (Isaiah 1:17). In fact, the Lord warns us that at the final Judgment, He will tell us that whatever we did for the least of our brethren, we did for Him (Matthew 25:40).
The epistle of James reminds us that true Christian love is to be very concerned for the orphans and widows, and to strive to be unpolluted so that the world does not corrupt us (James 1:27). That striving certainly involves struggle, and contending against what is unjust and unfair.
I mean, what if someone makes fun of, or attacks, our gay friend, our friend of a certain race, our friend who weighs more, our friend who is poor or unemployed, our friend who is undocumented, our friend who is denied their rights in the workplace? What if our friend is bullied? Do we not care as Christians? Do we sit idly by and do nothing?
Or, on a larger scale, what if terrorists are coming to kill people, to rape and plunder, to enslave, as has been done in certain parts of the world. Should those with greater might not step in and protect the defenseless?
You mentioned the passage of Matthew 5:39 where Jesus tells us not to violently resist those who do evil, and to turn the other cheek (although when Jesus was struck on the cheek by the servant of the High Priest, He protested that He was innocent, and thus gave justification for some sense of self-defense). Jesus also said to love our enemies, to bless those that curse us, and to do good for those who hate us (Matthew 5:44). It is pretty clear that
Thus, we can confidently say that Christianity is a religion of peace. There are parts of the Bible that encourage war and fighting in order to defend the nation of Israel or to fight against the bad influence of pagan idolatry. However, the example of Jesus was clearly pacifist, anti-violence, and pro-forgiveness, of even our enemies.
As I see it, Scripture enjoins us to strive to be at peace with everyone insofar as this is possible (see St. Paul’s teaching in Romans 12:18). That means not striking out, not lashing out. When we are attacked, we are called as Christians to ratchet down the tension, to de-escalate the anger so that people calm down and take a step back from the conflict.
On the other hand, we must love ourselves as we would like to love our neighbor (Matthew 22:39). How can we say we love ourselves, and yet allow others to destroy us? There is a need for self-defense.
Maybe that means calling the police at times. Maybe that means taking an employer to court who refused to pay us for time worked. Maybe that means learning self-defense and engaging someone in a fight in order to discourage bullying. Maybe that means when our family is at home, that we have to purchase a firearm and defend them from a home invasion.
“But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into” (Matthew 24:43). Jesus does not condemn a man who wants to defend himself from criminal aggression. Neither does Jesus say we can just kill people who commit assault on others because we thought they were insulting or threatening to us.
Would Jesus condemn you for defending yourself, and for giving reasons why you should not be mistreated? I say no. Would Jesus condemn you because you sought to defend your dignity and seek redress or compensation for an injustice that was committed against you. I say no. At the same time, I imagine you grow in much grace and merit for all those times when you show peace, in the face of aggression.
Prudence is the Christian virtue by which we apply to a practical situation in our lives, the right amount of force, the right amount of action, in the best way for a positive outcome, so that the good which is accomplished outweighs the bad.
On the internet, this is almost impossible at times–I understand. Our emotions get the best of us, and it is just easier to give someone a piece of our mind no matter how harsh. I have struggled A LOT with this problem on Tumblr–because on numerous occasions, I have not just been attacked, but I have been smeared and slandered with every sort of unjust accusation. This is why your question is so good for me to think about, because I need to constantly be reminded of the virtue of prudence when I am answering difficult people.
And yet, if we can accomplish a peaceful resolution by not raising our voice, by not saying certain vulgar words, by not raising our hand against someone, then by all means, let us prudently seek to work out a conflict with the most proportionate good being accomplished, for the sake of being at peace with others, even our enemies. God bless and take care, Fr. Angel
I am a Picasso fan but when putting together this photo set, it wasn’t my intention to have so many of his pieces in one post…it kinda just worked out that way. As your scrolling past each picture, I hope you guys will pay attention to how much his early work differs from year to year. When I was in junior high learning about art, the teachers would only focus on his later and more famous paintings such as “The Weeping Woman” or “Le Rêve”. That being said, you could imagine my surprise seeing “Le Moulin de la Galette” for the first time & realizing it too was a Picasso. Lesson here ? Don’t assume.
On going installations in order from left to right:
Le Moulin de la Galette - Pablo Picasso (Autumn 1900)
Views of a the Vasily Kandinsky Section
Woman with Parrot - Pierre Auguste Renoir (1871)
Isaiah checking phone messages in front of the Thannhauser Collection
Bird on a tree (l'oiseau) - Pablo Picasso
Yours Truly posing next to Edgar Degas’s “Spanish Dance"sculpture
In the Cafe - Pablo Picasso (1903)
Woman & Child - Pablo Picasso ( 1903)
Woman with Yellow Hair - Pablo Picasso (1931)
White Center ( Weisses Zentrum) - Vasily Kandinsky (1921)