Category Archives: Lifestyle

Odd American idea that giving money to political campaigns is free speech

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welcomed peace

cnw

leave the doubt on your way in,
take off your shoes, relax.
it’s okay here,
ill intentions do not exist.
we’ll eat some nice dessert,
watch some mindless television
and chat about life’s deepest questions.
trust is given
happiness is forever
loving is as natural as breathing.

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two friends

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The Patience of a Seed

Roth Poetry

IMG_3308 (2)

The patience of a seed lies in waiting
Knowing that at the opportune time
It will germinate, push out a root, and grow.
Too much sun will dry it up;
Too much rain will drown it // make it rot;
And, soil too hard will not let it take root;
Only when the combination of soil, light, and moisture
Is perfect will it grow and produce leaves and fruit.
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Our life is much the same // waiting
For the opportune time to grow and shine.
The difficulty is always in the waiting;
Avoiding the scorching light of flattery and praise
Don’t get carried away by the storms of life
Take root in the rich soil of people who love you
Be patient // like a seed… humble and strong;
You’ll know when your time has come.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

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The meaning of life – Finding purpose

To remember

  • When little feeling unless I was there to perceive it, the world did not exist => ended & was created anew every time
  • thought myself to be creator + center of the universe
  • when child > feeling so much more important than a rational thought.
  • India > Landing in multicultural & multicolored chaos = landed on a different planet =>. India must surely seize to exist when I am not there.
  • consecutive conclusion that every single human being must feel the same way > each & every one of us = universe all on our own, made up of silently verbalized thoughts, feelings, mental images, and subconscious impulses.
  • Charles Dickens = master of tapping into all these different universes > each human being that lives, has lived and will live, is a story, a uniquely fantastic story with a unique plot and characters.
  • all made up of the same stardust => one = beautiful human paradox > both sameness, oneness, unity, + absolute + irrevocably unique.
  •  all of us relevant to history of life of human kind
  • When there is not two of the same in a circumstance =>each part important + unconditionally valuable => all have unique creativity, thoughts, imagination, insights +  talents, => important to human kind + its history => gives meaning
  • individualism = selfishness + self-centeredness = opposite of cooperation, generosity +  compassion.
  •  Abraham Maslow psychologist who gave us famous pyramid of human needs > bottom solid foundation of life > cannot live without (food, water + shelter) > top > self-actualization.
  • learned to pin-point our strengths + weaknesses, explore our talents + analyze our personality traits + learned to use this self-insight to expand our empathy =>mental health determined by outer circumstances = key to why individualism is not just a big ego-trip <= believe in oneself & value of one’s life in the world 1°learn to trust  something valuable to bring = self-actualization.

=> the more uniqueness = the more difference to make in the world.

The Paths of the Spirit

When I was little I had a feeling that unless I was there to perceive it, the world did not exist. It ended and was created anew every time I closed and opened my eyes. In other words, I thought myself to be the center of the universe, and not only that, but also its creator. Self-absorbed much? Of course, I knew intellectually, with my rational mind, that this was not the truth. But when you are a child, a feeling is so much more important than a rational thought.

I remember the first time I visited India. I was 17 and had never been outside Europe before. Landing in the multicultural and multicolored chaos that is India was a violent attack on my Norway-adjusted senses, to say it mildly. It felt as though I had landed on a different planet. This could not possibly be the same world I…

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A Quote on Kindness

“We may, if we choose, make the worst of one another.
Every one has his weak points; every one has his faults;
we may make the worst of these;
we may fix our attention constantly upon these.
But we may also make the best of one another.

We may forgive, even as we hope to be forgiven.
We may put ourselves in the place of others,
and ask what we should wish to be done to us, and thought of us,
were we in their place.

By loving whatever is lovable in those around us,
love will flow back from them to us,
and life will become a pleasure instead of a pain;
and earth will become like heaven;
and we shall become not unworthy followers of Him whose name is love.”

 

Arthur Penrhyn Stanley by John Watkins.jpgA Quote on Kindness from the The Lutheran Ladies Connection blog daily devotional. The author is A.P. Stanley(1815–1881) who was an English churchman and academic, Dean of Westminster, from 1864 to 1881, author of a number of works on Church History.

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Related

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  2. Who Needs You?
  3. small Kindnesses and Big Impacts
  4. Pay It Forward
  5. Let kindness ripple
  6. How Can We Create a Culture of Inclusion at Church?
  7. Do Small Things with Great Love
  8. Be Generous
  9. Social media, the good and the bad… and a rant.
  10. Words to live by
  11. Lifes litte complications ~
  12. motivating with kindness
  13. Balak- Torah Portion
  14. Anger
  15. Love the Kindness, Hate Racism
  16. Led Of The Holy Spirit (Psalm 143:10)

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Time to sit still or to pass on

The first week of the Summer holiday is already nearly gone. It goes so fast, perhaps before we know the three weeks shall be over and the roads in Flanders shall again pile up with pepole going to do their daily business, their worldly duties.

You would think they could have now some more time to take rest but also to spend more time reading in the Set Apart Scriptures.
These weeks people love it to find their work-life coming to a stand still. I wonder if they would remember how perhaps a whole world was like coming to a complete silent standstill. In the words of the Midrash about the Matan Torah:

When God revealed Torah at Mount Sinai, no bird sang, no cow mooed, no bad of grass rustled in the wind. (Shemot Rabbah29:9)

God giving the Torah on Mount Sinai

What God had to say was so important everything was like coming to a standstill. (Figuratively.)

There at Mount Sinai the Torah was given to the Am kadosh God’s People. though in fact it was not only for the Hebrews, but to all the nations of the world that God provided His Word. All should have to come to hear His Voice. God’s People should know the importance of it for them but also for the others around them. Though for those who call themselves People of God it can be a Hard Word.

God lifts Mount Sinai and holds it over the heads of the assembled Children of Israel.  Then God says,

either you accept and pledge to observe my Torah or I shall drop the mountain on top of you. (B. Shabbat 88A and B. Avodah Zarah 2B)

Would we like the world falling on our head? Are we getting God’s messages He gives throughout the many ages? Not many do!
It is all about bringing the Message of God further into the world. We may not forget the purpose of our people, to be teachers and examples of the ideals of Torah to the world. Indeed by adherence to these ideals we become in the words of the Prophet Isaiah;

“A light to the nations’ (Isaiah 49:6)

a worthy example for all. If we are not willing to accept the responsibility of adhering to the Torah’s ideals, there is no good reason for us to continue to exist.

Israel’s willingness to accept Torah was so important to God that the Almighty threatened to break the promise made after the flood never to destroy the world again unless Israel agrees to embrace the Torah and its ideals (B. Shabbat 88A).

So we should not fear to find the world coming to an end that way, but we may not forget that the Elohim warned us also for a terrible war going to come. Our eyes should be directed to those incredible difficult times, when there would be more natural disasters, children getting cross with their parents, people having no respect any more for each other nor keeping to ethic values, religion fighting against religion, nations against nations. It all shall end by a disastrous World War.

But before that time shall be so near that it would be to late to warn others, the people of God should spread the Good News and warn people to be ready.

We should show others how we as People of God want to be an example and demonstrate to God that we are worthy to receive His Torah.

When God asks us to offer guarantors of our worthiness, we offer the deeds of our patriarchs and our prophets but God finds neither of these acceptable.  Only when we pledge the loyalty of our children to God’s teachings does God reveal the Torah to our people. (Shir Ha ShirimRabbah, Chapter 1, Section 4, Midrash 1)

When we are free from daily work, having our Summer-holiday we should take time to tell others about that Word of God which might bring light and life for so many. Living in the hope (tikvah) that one day more people shall come to see and understand the Voice of God and be willing to go with us to the corners of the world.

“Thus says ADONAI-Tzva’ot, “In those days it will come to pass that ten men from every language of the nations will grasp the corner of the garment of a Jew saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’ ””
(Zechariah 8:23 TLV)

 

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Preceding articles

An uncovering book to explore

2016 Summer holiday

Holiday time reading time

Allow yourself a chill-out day

Shabbat Mevarchim opening to the Summer-holiday period

Summer holiday time to knock and ask, and time to share

Christians remaining hidden not sharing the gospel

Witnesses of Christ and of his gospel

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Additional articles to read

  1. Why think that (4) … God would reveal himself in words
  2. Why think that (5) … the Bible is the word of God
  3. How to Read the Bible (sequel 6) an after thought
  4. Bible Reading: is it worthwhile?
  5. God’s forgotten Word 2 Lost Lawbook 1 Who has still interest
  6. Today’s thought “Let’s be examples of disciples who spread the word about their Master” (May 17)
  7. Daily thought for July the 8th and the Summer months
  8. I can’t believe that … (4) God’s word would be so violent
  9. ….a powerful way to put the universe on notice….
  10. Making time for prayer in Summerholiday
  11. Holiday tolerance
  12. Will There Ever be Peace on Earth?

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Further related

  1. Leisure: Family friendly activities not to miss this summer
  2. Summer reality and summer dreams
  3. Podcasts for Summer
  4. Our Summer Trip: My Top 10 Favourite Things
  5. Mallorca – My Summer Holiday Highlights!
  6. Which books to read this summer: 5 tips!
  7. Moshe, Dovid, and What the Other Nations Rejected
  8. Yitro – The question of freedom of choice
  9. Shavuot: Now That’s The Spirit! 5779
  10. Rav Avigdor Miller on The Avos and Matan Torah
  11. Rav Avigdor Miller on The Nations Reject the Torah
  12. Rav Avigdor Miller on The Nations Reject the Torah
  13. Shavuot – The meaning of Har Sina
  14. Preparing to Accept The Torah: Part One
  15. Too busy?
  16. Being an Example; November 27, 2018
  17. A Living Example
  18. Pelted for the Gospel
  19. Who Follows You?

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To raise one another up, whenever and wherever we can

God asks us to raise one another up,
whenever and wherever we can.
Such is the nature of covenantal community.
Everyone carries.
And everyone is carried.

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How to Go Forward without Fear

Lots of our brethren and sisters do not dare to come in the open. Most Jeshuaists prefer to stay in the darkness of this world hidden. They are afraid of being discovered or unmasked as Jew or Jeshuaist.

Many of our friends wonder how we live life when the world seems to be spinning in ways we did not expect it to be and where so many are against other religious people. Many Jews in Belgium and France are afraid. Several already left these regions, because they did not find it safe any-more for their kids to grow up here, and remembering what happened to those who wanted to leave Europe in the 1930ies too late.

Perhaps we should go to the Scriptures to find some advice, for being able to cope with our fear.

The first chapter of the book of Habakkuk is essentially a long complaint followed by God’s response. It then continues with yet another complaint and another response from God. The book concludes with a prayer or a Psalm from Habakkuk. This book was written, proceeding the fall of Babylon, yet the date of composition of the book cannot be guaranteed just by perusing the book itself. Most likely, individuals who lived after the fall Babylonia in 539 BCE understood much of this book is a meditation on life in an unjust world. They wondered how to relate to God when nations “slays nations without pity,” and “seize homes not their own.”

Today we can see many places in the world where nations are slain. We can see that political leaders do not mind what happens to those living in their country. Some even not having a blush on their face when they use gas-bombs on areas where many innocent people (inclusive many children) live.
We find lots of places where there are people who say they fight in the name of Allah (= God) but do the most atrocious things one can think of. Often they say it is the suffering people their own fault, not trusting in the right god.

What do we do when individuals do not place their trust in God, and how can a pious person deal with this unwieldy situation?

God responds that the answer is clearly written on tablets, perhaps as described in the book of Deuteronomy.

He then says:

הִנֵּ֣ה עֻפְּלָ֔ה לֹא־יָשְׁרָ֥ה נַפְשׁ֖וֹ בּ֑וֹ וְצַדִּ֖יק בֶּאֱמוּנָת֥וֹ יִחְיֶֽה׃

“Lo, his spirit within him is puffed up, not upright, But the righteous man is rewarded with life For his fidelity.” (Habakkuk 2:4)

This verse, initially describes a person whose life is swollen with not good things and who lives a twisted or unjust life. Perhaps it is one full of deception or one full of egotism. It then moves to a pious person whose faith is in God even under the most dire circumstances. Even though they must live life where justice is delayed or denied, that time according to God will be short-lived. Habakkuk goes on to draw a parallel with Isaiah chapter 11:9, that there will be a time when everyone will know God…

We agree today does not seem to be such a time, because not many are knowing God. Several people may say they believe in God, but they do not worship God, or many even believing in a three-headed god, they call the Trinity, and as such not believing in the God of Moshe, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Christ and his disciples.

Today sometimes it looks like we are living in a world where everything is permitted, as long as it is not a matter of religious expression. Then suddenly no religious symbols are allowed or persons are not allowed to wear what their religion demands. In several countries we can see demonic people offering themselves as the leader who shall make their nation great again. With the stroke of a pen those men think they themselves can play for god and decide what to do with other people and with other nations. Every occasion, be it even the national day they use for putting themselves in the picture and throwing hate words against others.

Today many people are confronted with difficulties to come around, not earning enough, but working hard enough to have not much time for the rest of the day. Several people in Europe are wondering and struggling, what can they could do to make this world a better place and to assure it to make Europe a safe haven for all sorts of people.

In a world of greed, where materialistic values often take first place, money or financial gain and pleasure have become the gods of today next to the many starlets and idols from entertainment and sports.

In this world today there seems not much place for integrity, the moral value that makes people the same on the inside as they are on the outside — with no discrepancy between what they say and what they do, between their walk and their talk. Many people around us prefer to wear a mask and present themselves differently on social media than they are in reality. that is also an important factor why so many in our community are so afraid to show themselves in public.

Though I believe we should not hide, but come out of our cocoon and show people that it might go different ánd better. The answer is that the most impact we will have is on those who surround us. It is their lives that we can make better. We can and should speak up when we see injustices, and we can remove blind spots by becoming more aware of the world around us and the systems that work in it – systemic poverty and racism for example. We need to focus our energies on walking in the footsteps of God as a community. The book of Habakkuk ends by saying:

“my Elohim Hashem Jehovah is my strength: he makes my feet like the deer’s and lets me stride upon the heights.” (Habakkuk 3:19).

You should know it is inside of us all  that God is found and when we unite our hands together we can bring the divine into this world through our very actions.

Those who believe in God should join hands and show the world their unity. It may not always be easy to live our lives full of tackling difficult and challenging issues, but let those experiences cause ourselves to grow and become better individuals and communities more focused on God and assisting those around us.

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Additional reading

  1. If some of us do not feel safe
  2. Speciesism and racism
  3. Governments need to be more proactive to ensure racism is kept in check
  4. Christian fundamentalists feeding Into the Toxic Partisanship and driving countries into the Dark Ages… #1
  5. Faith related boycotts
  6. Rome mobilisation to say no to fascism and racism
  7. On French beach French police forces woman to undress in public
  8. Allowing dress code according liberty of religion
  9. Today’s thought “When approaching the battle against your enemies today” (May 03)
  10. Religious Freedom in a Multicultural World
  11. Jewish and Gentile Disciples
  12. Martin Luther King’s Dream Today
  13. God Our Refuge
Columbia hate crime

Racist tirade on Columbia’s university campus

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  6. Deconstructing Scotty
  7. Where Does It End???
  8. Lansman’s Extraordinary Attempt to Smear Anti-Semitism Whistleblowers
  9. The fight against anti-Semitism on the arena of international sports
  10. Critics who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones about anti-semitism. Chaos arrived at Labour HQ before Corbyn did
  11. Jeremy Corbyn’s time has run out to solve Labor’s anti-Semitism crisis
  12. The Bigotry Of The ‘Anti-Racists’
  13. Jennie Formby goes to Tom Watson’s home in union anti-Semitism
  14. Corbyn Criticizes the “Inaccuracies” of the BBC Concerning Labor Anti-Semitism | politics
  15. Jewish figures stubbornly resist Labor’s treatment of anti-Semitism charges | Policy
  16. Hopefully, the Labor nightmare will be over soon, for Jews and for the country
  17. “HATE: The Rising Tide of Anti-Semitism in France (and What It Means for Us),” by Marc Weitzmann
  18. Jewish German group says news article els fueled anti-Semitism ‘
  19. A Question of American Values
  20. “Who Is My Neighbor?” – Sermon on Luke 10:25-37: The Good Samaritan
  21. From Whence Anti-Semitism?
  22. Muslim Women Debate Anti-Semitism
  23. Abandon Ship!
  24. Snakes Slithering From ‘Neath The Rocks …
  25. Muslims seek voice in a changing Uzbekistan
  26. 25-Year-Old Woman Says She Was Kicked Out Of Golden Corral For Dressing ‘Too Provocatively’
  27. Normal, Odd, and Different
  28. Florida father wears ‘short shorts’ to teach daughter dress code lesson
  29. Black & Yellow for the festive ready at the office!!
  30. No Hats in School: This is Not a Bar-B-Que
  31. This School Now Has One Dress Code for All Genders — But Why Doesn’t Every School?
  32. Combating Racism, One Day at a Time
  33. After the Trump attack: “US President’s blatant racist attack” – Politics
  34. For Trump It Is About Skin Color
  35. Tuesday’s Quick Hits
  36. Quacks like a duck
  37. Trumpian Hypocrisy: Rep. Ilhan Omar Has Been A U.S. Citizen Longer Than Melania Trump
  38. Why the Republican silence talks about Trump’s racist tweets volumes – France 24
  39. Donald Trump: Graceless Under No Pressure
  40. Racial injustice in America
  41. Donald Trump branded ‘racist’ by Humza Yousaf over ‘hate crime’ comments about US Congresswomen
  42. Opinion: I learned a valuable life lesson at the barbershop. It takes courage to speak out against hatred.>
  43. Integrity Takes Effort
  44. Dignity Check

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If you could erase all the mistakes of your past,

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Dutch translation / Nederlandse vertaling: Als je alle fouten uit je verleden zou kunnen wissen

Purplerays

If you could erase all the mistakes of your past,
you would also erase all the wisdom of your present.
Always, remember the lesson but not the disappointment. ❤️☀

Text & image source: Mitra Shahidi https://www.facebook.com/mitra.shahidi.3

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