Category Archives: Activism and Peace Work

Live by Faith

In our capitalist world lots of people have forgotten Who is behind all that what we see around us. Lots of people also have forgotten the way to that Originator of Life. They also have forgotten how we now have a mediator, someone to speak for us. Most people have also forgotten how that man of flesh and blood lived according the wishes of the Only One true God and was prepared to put his own will aside to do the Will of that One true God and to give himself as a ransom for the faults or sins of all people.

In that master teacher who was born about 2022 years ago we should believe and put our hope, but also have an example how to construct our own life.

Let us not hesitate to try to become like Christ Jesus. Having us all becoming as brothers and sisters in Christ, all unified and working to be one in Christ like Jesus is one with his heavenly father and we too should be one with God.

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Preceding articles

Christians remaining hidden not sharing the gospel

Mass Media’s Deception Causing Division

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Additional reading

  1. 2020 years ago, the road was opened
  2. The saviour Jesus his godly side
  3. When having found faith through the study of the Bible we do need to do works of faith

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Related

  1. Love And Mercy
  2. Josiah’s Story of Accepting Jesus
  3. Accepting Jesus Into Your Heart
  4. Where do I Belong?
  5. Unexpected Belief
  6. Willing
  7. God’s Emissary

Strength in Grace

We all only have one life, but we get to decide how to live it.
Jumanji

Yep…I just put a quote from Jumanji, on my blog, that’s about Jesus.  But it’s a good quote, and it led me to see something I’ve never quite noticed in a verse that I’ve read several times.

I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.  And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galations 2:20

Every time I’ve ever read this scripture, I’ve always focused mainly on the first two sentences.  And I don’t mean to dismiss that part in any way.  It is very important in our Christian walk.  Once we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, our “old self” should…

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A lesson to be remembered.

Everything in life depends on the way people behave, act and react. Our attitude depends upon our thinking and believes and our way of receiving things we see, feel and hear.

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To remember

way of expression and perception that creates the difference.

annieaman

It is usually believed that people behave in a way that is comfortable for them.i totally agree with this,but there can be difference between actual act and the way it is perceived.Not everyone is of same mental compatability.you might like to express a thing in low tone,but some other people might like to explain same thing in comical way.Things are never different.it is the way of expression and perception that creates the difference.Not everyone is good enough in performing a number of things at the same time.If you dont like the behvior of any other person, you must be assertive enough to say it to his/her face.it is better to give your view than keeping things in mind and lamenting over your presence with the person who makes you annoy.it will not only solve your problem,but will also help other person in understanding his/her this bad habit.it is better to…

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What are you waiting for?

What are you waiting for?

What would you do if you knew you only had a year to live?
What would be on your list?
Whom would you like to see again?
What would you like to spend time on?
Which dream would you want to realise?
What would you like to leave behind in this world ?
How would you like to be remembered?
Whom would you want to have been and how?

Read the list out to yourself.
What really matters to you?
What are you waiting for ?

Get up.
Take a small step.
Do something.

 

Nederlandse versie / Dutch version: Waar wacht je nog op?

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A New Reformation

Lots of American churches have been caught by the American individuals aiming for capitalism and having their own self enjoying it as much as they can in as much wealth they can get.

The American people have forgotten where their ancestors came from and that they too are people which only can live in that wealth because their ancestors where finding themselves a place where they were not considered as unwanted immigrants.

Lots of Americans still do not see that their family has taken the ground of the indigenous people, the ones who lived on the pastures. Lots of Americans also have forgotten the main message of sharing agape love.They may be members of mega-churches, but those churches have nothing in common with the first ecclesiae or meeting places of the first followers of Jesus Christ.

The majority of Christians in the United States of America still do not understand how the devote Jew Saul (better known as Paul today) used also harsh language in denouncing the way the face of Christ was distorted by both false teaching and behaviour inconsistent with the Gospel. Today it is not better than in his time. Most people having taken Jesus as their god and also having made graven images of their gods. The majority has come to live like Roman Catholics not reading the bible any more and just hearing some verses often taken out of context.

All over the world we can see that the majority of people with their lifestyle are far off the teachings of the Holy Scriptures. Already for that reason it is high time we shall get some awakening again.

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To remember

American (Eastern Orthodox) theologian David Bentley Hart raises some thought-provoking questions about the American church that if raised by others would immediately be brushed aside as symptomatic of “anti-Americanism”.

open + troubling question whether American religiosity has resources to help sustain a culture as a culture >to create a meaningful future, or can only prepare for the end times.

can it cultivate kind of moral intelligence necessary to live in eternity and in historical time simultaneously, without contradiction?

 

American Christian Fundamentalism (ACF) made deep inroads into churches all over the world since the Second World War => influence magnified with rise of satellite TV + Internet.

decline of old-style European theological liberalism, ACF poses far bigger threat to global church than Islamist fundamentalism.

(1) ACF promotes religious hypocrisy > baptising consumerist “American dream” + right-wing political agendas

(2) ACF promotes mindlessness > demonizes whatever it doesn’t understand = Secularism, Evolution, Feminism, Islam + ancient Asian religions.

(3) ACF promotes divisiveness > preaching a private, individualistic “Gospel”, blinding its followers to scandal of Christian fragmentation, rivalry + separation. +  encourages “personality cults” disguised as “doctrinal distinctives.”

(4) ACF promotes Zionist views re the Middle East, reinforcing the apartheid practices of the Israeli state.

=> need a new Reformation among evangelical Protestants.

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Find also to read: Followers, protestors and reformers

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Vinoth Ramachandra

The American (Eastern Orthodox) theologian David Bentley Hart raises some thought-provoking questions about the American church that if raised by others would immediately be brushed aside as symptomatic of “anti-Americanism”. In an article (“The Angels of Sacré-Coeur”) first published in 2011, Hart writes:

“It is very much an open and troubling question whether American religiosity has the resources to help sustain a culture as a culture- whether, that is, it can create a meaningful future, or whether it can only prepare for the end times. Is the American religious temperament so apocalyptic as to be incapable of culture in any but the most local and ephemeral sense? Does it know of any city other than Babylon the Great or the New Jerusalem? For all the moral will it engenders in persons and communities, can it cultivate the kind of moral intelligence necessary to live in eternity and in historical time…

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The one who knows who you are and where you have been


A friend is one who knows who you are:
understands where you have been,
accept what you become
and still gently invites you to grow.


Dutch version / Nederlandse versie > Een vriend is degene die weet en begrijpt

Accept No Substitute

Accept No Substitute (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Not walking in front of or behind me


“Don’t walk in front of me… I may not follow
Don’t walk behind me… I may not lead
Walk beside me… just be my friend”
Albert Camus


Dutch version / Nederlandse versie > Niet voor of achter mij gaan

Albert Camus, Nobel prize winner, half-length ...

Albert Camus, Nobel prize winner, half-length portrait, seated at desk, facing left, smoking cigarette (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Further reading

  1. Stand Tall
  2. Fall in love with your best friend
  3. I was featured on my friends blog!
  4. Back in the Seattle Again*
  5. This one might go too far…
  6. Deactivating is hard to do
  7. Mature Decisions
  8. My Own Friend
  9. Signed, Your Friend.
  10. A Poem For a Friend
  11. Tuesday June 11, 2017
  12. unconditional love
  13. You Have What It Takes
  14. Affirmation 7/11/17

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2017 September – Upcoming Days of Awe

The ten days starting with Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets), 21 September 2017, 1 Tishrei 5778, and ending with Yom Kippur, 30 September 2017 or 10 Tishrei 5778, are commonly known as the Days of Awe (Yamim Noraim) or the Days of Repentance (High holidays). This is a time for serious introspection, a time to consider the sins of the previous year and repent before Yom Kippur.  On Wednesday September we have Erev Rosh Hashanah, followed by the 1st and 2nd Rosh Hashjanah days and the Yamim Nora’im or Days of Awe closing on September 30 with Yom Kippur or Day of Atonement.

Starting the Hebrew Year 5778 we should seriously think about how we want to continue is this particular time where there is so much anxiety and where we can find in so many  places religious groups fighting against each other. Jews and Christians are already a few years under fire and now we curiously also find Buddhists fighting Muslim groups.

What was our reaction when we heard all that bad news about terrorism and fighting (so called) religious people? Did we dare to come up or defend those who were attacked for things they did not do or for which their religion was not guilty?

Gary Bowers questions

What is your level of insecurity over menacing events conjectured by some geopolitical and socioeconomic experts? Such as: the dysfunctional disintegration of the European Union that could cause a chain reaction melt-down of the entire European economy; collapse of the financial system in the United States linked to or independent of Europe’s demise; Iran launching a first nuclear strike to make good on its threat to wipe Israel from the face of the earth and the United States along with it; North Korea doing the same thing; Russia’s ominous intrusion into the Middle East, potentially taking on the United States should we do anything to oppose Russia’s real agenda for being there; an all-out conventional attack by a powerful Islamic coalition of nations against Israel; and other harbingers of man-made catastrophes and natural disasters. {Yom Kippur / With Or Without Atonement?}

These days we should take time to search our heart, look for how we want to approach our life but also the life of others, and draw close to God in preparation for the coming Day of Judgement, Rosh Hashanah, and Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur.

We have all different ways of handling ourself and our way of life. We also are eager to look at others and often do not mind judging them or pointing with a finger at them.

According to vain Jewish tradition, God supposedly weighs every man’s work to determine who will be written in His books, who will live and die, who will have a good life or a bad life for the next year. The judgement is based on one’s works during the Days of Awe (e.g., repentance, prayer, obedience, acts of charity). The individual’s fate is then sealed on Yom Kippur.

But we should know that we all are already written in the book of life and death from the beginning of times. Also from the moment we are born we do have our own choice to make the right or the wrong decisions, all the time. Nothing is decided just in one day or in one week or in ten days.

Rabbi Mark Glickman

The Days of Awe encourage us not to get other people to take responsibility for their misdeeds, but rather to get each of us to take responsibility for our own. The emphasis isn’t on what they’ve done wrong; its on what you’ve done wrong. suggests:

During the upcoming Days of Awe, when you feel your finger starting to pop out and point at someone else – and pop out it surely will – then just bend that finger back so that it points at you. Focus your efforts not on what others have done to you, but on the ways you’ve fallen short and can improve in the future.

Check what you have done this last year, which past so fast. I am sure you, probably like me, wanted to do so many things and have to admit lots of things we wanted to have done are not done or we did not succeed to do. Let us do teshuva, to give tzedakah and to reflect on how we may improve ourselves. And let us consider how we can help others on that path to the Most High Elohim.

English: A Temani (Yemeni Jewish) style shofar...

A Temani (Yemeni Jewish) style shofar made from a horn of the greater kudu. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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With best wishes to you, your family, and all klal Yisroel for a good, sweet, safe and healthy year, full of success spiritually and materially, with much nachas ruach, and a geula shlema for the coming year.

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Please come to read:

On the Virtue of a Bent Finger: A Challenge for the Days of Awe

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Preceding article

Elul Observances

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Additional reading

  1. Perhaps a little bit late, though not less well ment: Happy Rosh Hashanah
  2. From dust and breath into living beings
  3. Prophets making excuses

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Further reading

  1. What about Blowing the Esrog on Shavuos?
  2. Days of Awe
  3. A Sober Israel Experience
  4. Looking Back to Look Forward
  5. Day 1081: Days of Awe
  6. Elul Journey: A New Year Is Emerging 5775 – 11 More Days
  7. Rosh Hashanah’s Shout for Joy
  8. Comfort for a Traumatized Age
  9. Respite
  10. Elul: Month of Return and Renewal
  11. Days of Teshuva 2017
  12. Embracing Elul by Heather Rosenberg
  13. Melodies for the Days of Awe
  14. High Holy Days 2017: Finding Interfaith Community
  15. About this weekend: Selichot and cemetery service
  16. Yom Kippur / With Or Without Atonement?
  17. Hurricane Harvey & A Year of Prophetic Milestones (2017)

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Freedom. To dispose of what is surplus.

Full summer.
The season of juicy fruit.
The land gives, we reap and enjoy.
The season of sharing, sharing what is abundant on the bushes.
Sharing what we can do without.

Full summer.
Is filling ourselves with sunlight.
Recharge our batteries, new energy.
The air and the light give, we reap and enjoy.
And then we share. We share what we can do without.

Because that is freedom.
To choose to share.
To give away what is surplus.
To get rid of the unnecessary.

Nederlandse versie: Vrijheid. Wegdoen wat overbodig is

English: The Open Share icon conveys the act o...

The Open Share icon conveys the act of sharing by visually representing one hand passing an object to another hand, as in “pass it on” or “sharing”. The icon also represents an “eye”, as in “look at this”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Preaching as Public Speaking

Jesus has given his followers the task to go out into the word to preach the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God.

2020 years after the master teacher his birth the Church has gone fare away from his teachings. In many church-groups or denominations we can find that human doctrines have won and that the people in the congregation or church community prefer to keep to human tradition instead of holding to the biblical teachings and Godly holy days.

"I want to preach a sermon. . ." - N...

“I want to preach a sermon. . .” – NARA – 514567 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Disappointed by the many contradicting teachings, ideas and having seen so many pastors, ministers and priests not living according to the Law of God and the law of human decency, lots of people got enough of the hypocrisy of those churches. Today we can only see (nearly) empty churches all over West Europe.

For sure the Body of Christ needs some fresh blood and some good ‘Punch’. Anno 2017 it looks like the church is gone ‘pubering’ again and in need of some acné products, trying to get rid of the puperal pimples or the sickness of the capitalist world where man has increased his position to godly status, so many thinking they are god themselves and play for god.

This world need preachers or speakers who are not afraid to give those immature consumers a tick on their bum. some even can use some figurative slap in the face to wake them up.

Most important to come over as some one sincere and credible is that the one who wants to speak for God he or she, himself or herself beliefs in the Most High and in His only begotten son. In the preacher has to burn the light of faith before he can go to others for trying to convince them to see that light in the darkness.
First there has to be conviction and persuasion in the preacher’s heart, glowing very strongly, to have the fire in the eyes, with such a kind and sweet heart that people would become eager to taste that sweetness and listen to what that person has to tell.

With the hate and vile language we can find lots of Christians spreading today on the internet and in common speech on the streets, they shall not be able to attract others to love them or to love what they tell.

Today we also find lots of Christians who preach there has a war started by the Muslims against the Christians. They forget that lots of Christians are setting themselves against the Islam. They do not see they have fallen in the trap of the false Muslims who not only have done a lot of damage to Islam but also want to destabilise the whole world.

It is up to the preachers who call themselves Christian to show the love of Christ and to share that agape love with all people around them, atheists, other believers (be them Muslims or from an other faith).

Without the love of Christ and without the burning fire of faith in the own heart, the preacher his gained ‘technique’ shall be quickly uncovered by the truth, so let him first get to the core of the Bible and teach that biblical Truth instead of human doctrines, and let he or she be unbiased, open to all people and not to just a few of a certain race or group.

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To remember

  • preaching = divine task + form of public speaking
  • preaching involves spiritual dynamics + oratory skills = technical aspect of preaching < form of public speaking => skills revolving around use + proper utilization + creative use of voice, eye contact, facial expressions, gestures + movements.
  • no methodology holy
  • Only written words of God in Bible are holy

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Preceding articles

Several Christians fail to recognise the Chosen ones of God and are not taking on a Christian attitude

To proclaim the day of vengeance

What makes you following Christ and Facebook Groups

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Additional reading

  1. The business of this life
  2. The task given to us to love each other
  3. Parish, local church community – Parochie, plaatselijke kerkgemeenschap
  4. People who know how to pray to move God to take hold of our affairs in a mighty way
  5. Pulpit reserved for the pastor
  6. Notification and news feed for Facebook users
  7. Bring praise to the Creator
  8. The essence of church

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Further reading

  1. Why are Christians so nosey about other peoples affairs
  2. What, we agree? Compatible issues in a disagreeable world
  3. Is a Religious War in Europe Imminent?
  4. Bias, and Disagreeing with Something
  5. Can we not be civil and simply disagree?
  6. “Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give”
  7. Are you ready for this?
  8. On the Power of Hospitality…
  9. “When I Could Stand it No Longer….”
  10. Proclaim
  11. Politics and Preaching
  12. Good enough for ministry?
  13. What builds the Church?
  14. Back to Baby Steps
  15. Book Blurb: Biblical Preaching
  16. 3 Steps to Make the Message Stick
  17. 5 Lessons from the Mission Field
  18. Owen on Preaching, Sinclair on Children and Christ
  19. Finding My Voice
  20. The Foolishness of Preaching
  21. Jonah — Belief Contradicted by Behavior! (Part 3)
  22. Calvin: Ministers Ought Not to Steal
  23. Preaching to the Late Modern Mind: Five Cultural Narratives to Know
  24. Preparing to Preach
  25. Preaching and Faithfulness
  26. The Courage to Preach
  27. Pastoral Theology
  28. Reflections
  29. Charles Spurgeon on Spiritual Gleaning
  30. The Dispensation of Grace
  31. Stirring the Pot with Grace…
  32. Psalm 64:9 Pondering God’s Work
  33. How to Have a Successful Ministry

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Worship and the Christian Life

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True, preaching is a divine task, yet basically it is also a form of public speaking. A true preacher will eventually realise that as much as preaching involves spiritual dynamics, it also certainly includes oratory skills. These oratory skills constitute the technical aspect of preaching.

Before I tell about this technical aspect of preaching, or the oratory skills, which make us realise that preaching is a form of public speaking, let me tell first some important points to consider.

The first point is that though the technical side of preaching is important, still the spiritual side is more important. Preaching is firstly divine, then secondly it is public speaking. Preaching achieves eternal spiritual fruits, something that ordinary public speaking can never produce.

The second point to consider is that no methodology is holy, no matter how helpful it is in preaching. The techniques of delivering a sermon are never holy…

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To will being present in us but to do it not always evident

Looking at today’s reading we do find the apostle Paul who laments not understanding his own actions, even acknowledging that he even comes to do things he more than not likes.

Romans 7:15 (RNKJV)
15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

English: Apostle Paul in the apse

Apostle Paul in the apse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How often do we notice we have done something to some one else what we hate ourselves.  When we loo at our actions we can even see that we sometimes do the very thing we hate, but that we also sometimes have the desire to do what is right but not the ability to carry it out.

Romans 7:18 (RNKJV)
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

It can well be that the will to do good may be present with you and me, but how often we do not have to admit that in us there where more stronger elements that hindered us to do the right thing. We must admit that our flesh is weak.

Matthew 26:41 (RNKJV)
41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

We know we do have to do good. We do know that we have been given an example and that we should follow him, who gave his life for us. We do know that Nazarene asked his followers to go out into the world and to preach the coming Kingdom of God. But much too often we are too afraid to open our mouth and tell others that we are following Jesus and trust his judgement and look forward to his and his heavenly Father’s Kingdom.

That fear for what people might think lets many not dare to talk about God and His son.

We are confronted with our “will” and our “performance” and must confess they are not in line with each other and often not in balance to.

We must be aware that first of all we must recognise that we can  either live according to the flesh setting our minds on the things of the flesh, or go for the things we might perhaps not see so clear and live according to the Spirit setting our minds on the things of the Spirit, believing what the Word of God brings to mankind black on white and not according human doctrines.

We should know that a lot of people prefer to hold on to human traditions, having the different feasts, not in accordance to God’s feasts. There are lots of people who prefer to hold on the ‘stories’ or ‘tales’ about parts of our body that might go to other places when we die. Lots of people love to have someone else to blame for the faults they do themselves. They like it to shift the guilt from themselves to a demon, they call Satan. They think by doing so they will be found less guilty. Others love to use that figure and places of torture to frighten others, so that they can keep power over them or can have them join their community, where fear preaching is the core business next to the entertainment they try to offer to please people, instead of spending more time to the Bible writings.

Lots of people want to find a church which can bring them worldly pleasures, nice songs and something exiting, like thriller stories, tales about places where people shall be tortured for ever, though they are the lucky ones that can escape because they are saved and should not worry. They love to hear that they do not have to do any work any more and that they can sleep on their two ears.

The majority of people prefer to set the mind on the flesh, not willing to know that it is death, whilst setting the mind on the Spirit shall be life and peace.

When we do know that even a called one of Christ knew the difficulty of what was going on in his body, we should have hope.

Romans 7:18 (RNKJV)
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

We should know that we are better to leave the world for what it is and be not afraid to tell it how we go for the sent one from God and putting our trust in God. There is no “life and peace” until we develop a spiritual relationship with our Lord. Those who do this are no longer in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you.

In case we do trust God and feel it more important to live according to His Will instead of living according to the will of the people around us that we shall find it easier to live without fear, with at a spirit of power and love and self-control.

2 Timothy 1:7 (RNKJV)
7 For יהוה hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

With that spirit Jehovah has given us we can move mountains. Setting our minds on the by Christ renewed relationship we are “set free” and experience the reality of the Proverb,

Proverbs 4:18 (RNKJV)
18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

When you find that we are living in dark days please do see the light provided by the Most High and try to take others with you too on the right path of the righteous, being prepared for the day when Jesus is going to return.

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Preceding articles

How to Find the Meaning of Life and Reach a State of Peace

Facing our existence every day

Comments to James remarks, about Faith and works

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Additional literature

  1. Coming to understanding from sayings written long ago
  2. Not or well Ashamed of the gospel and admitting to be a God loving person
  3. Today’s thought “Ability to see that God is not dead” (May 12)
  4. Today’s thought “Blessed people …” (July 27)
  5. Today’s thought “nonsense surrounding the many gods” (July 28)

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