Category Archives: Reflection Texts

Young Christian pastors achieving superstar status through the magic of social media

Now, thanks to the wonders of social media,
many young Christian pastors are achieving superstar status through the magic of Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and the like.
Many of them are using their influence to spread (what they call)  the ‘good news’ of the Gospel
— or at least their particular spin on it.

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A boundless world with endless tasks & a path of life that feels crushed by an unending to-do list

Spiritually, Judaism has been accused over and over again as a path of life that feels crushed by an unending to-do list.The mitzvot, or God’s commandments, have been construed time and again
as an unending set of demands placed upon the world by God.In Jewish culture, the conversation around obligation created the spiritual attitude to fulfill God’s checklist for us.

The Talmud often refers to one who has performed a religious act as being yotze, or “freeing” themselves from the daily requirements of life in the covenant. The problem with this attitude is that it can boil spiritual life down to a task list.
Instead of focusing on how a mitzvah brings meaning and vitality to my life, I can become obsessed with doing it at the right time and precisely the right way.
In other words, Judaism can focus too much on time management instead of soul management.
~ Emor: Soul Management, Rabbi Noah Farkas

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The World standing on three things – according to Simeon the Just

The Jewish High Priest during the Second Temple period, Simeon the Just also termed “the Righteous” because of the piety of his life and his benevolence toward his compatriots, was deeply interested in the spiritual and material development of the nation.

As a high priest of the Great Synagogue he used to say:

“The world exists through three things: the Law, Service (Temple sacrifice, and today prayer), and acts of loving kindness.”

We live in this world and do have to live with it. To guide us through life in this world, the divine Creator has given us His Word and His Law, or Torah.

Torah signifies divine revelation; either the fact of communion between God and man, or the wisdom so imparted. Though to Israel alone the Torah was given, yet Israel in this was representative of humanity. Intercourse between God and man is fundamental, and without it human life above the merely animal stage would be impossible.

The service; this is the service in the temple, regarded as the worship of God in the manner appointed by him. If one special element in the service be intended, that may be the sacrifices, as a symbol of obedience to the divine commands, or the priesthood as the appointed agency for performing the service.

Maimonides interprets the word in the former sense, and this lends itself better to generalisation. ‘Deeds of kindness’, denote unselfish beneficence in the fullest measure, to cover any good that one person can do to another.

The ‘three things’ which are declared to be fundamental in human life are thus found to be Revelation, obedience to God, and brotherly love. It is possible however that the second term ‘the service’ was intended to symbolise worship as a fundamental in human life, including in its meaning both obedience to divine precepts, and the functions of consecrated ministers. The saying is only true when thus generalised; but it would be hard to say how much of that more general meaning was present to the mind of Simeon when he uttered it.

~ Pirke Aboth, Sayings of the Fathers, 1:2 (Herford)

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From the old box: The case for Black English

How many times did not change the impact of a word used. One time you had to use a word because a previous word was considered not right. But later than new word or other words became also considered wrong. As such in our lifetime we had to change already four times the word to talk about coloured people with a brown skin.

The case for Black English

Vinson Cunningham, New Yorker, 15 May 2017

The most energetic but also the most frustrating section of ‘Talking Back’ is a short treatise on the word ‘nigga.’ McWhorter takes the customary care in distinguishing the word from its uglier, older cousin, ‘nigger,’ but he pushes the distinction further than most: for McWhorter, these are not simply two separate English words, let alone two pronunciations of the same word; they are, rather, words that belong to two different dialects. ‘Nigger is Standard English and nigga is Black English,’ he writes, matter-of-factly. ‘Nigga means ‘You’re one of us.’ Nigger doesn’t.’

This interpretation helps to explain the odd power that ‘nigga’ wields over blacks and whites alike when said aloud. Richard Pryor’s use of it in his standup act in the seventies was radical not simply because street lingo had made its way onto the stage: Pryor had swung open the door between alternate cultural dimensions. Blacks suddenly felt at home – ’up in the comedy club,’ somebody might have said – and whites relished the brief peek into a room they rarely saw. Something similar happened, and keeps on happening, with hip-hop, many of whose practitioners use the N-word as a kind of challenge to white enthusiasts. It’s become a familiar joke: when the music’s loud, and emotions are high, who dares recite, in full, the lyric that eventually alights on ‘nigga’?

That ‘nigga’ is not only one of our most controversial words but also one of our funniest is revealing, and worth puzzling over. McWhorter doesn’t allow himself the pleasure. The word’s power – and therefore its coherence, its licitness as language – is impossible to understand without a glance at the history of race-rooted subjugation in America. The emergence of Black English is owed in part to straightforwardly linguistic factors: McWhorter convincingly cites the phenomenon of recently enslaved adults straining to learn a new language, plus a syncretistic importation of vocal gestures picked up along the trail of forced migration. But it also developed as a covert, often defiant response to the surveillance state of slavery. Grammatical nuance, new vocabulary, subtleties of tone – these were verbal expressions of racism’s mind-splitting crucible, what WEB Du Bois called ‘double consciousness.’ As Henry Louis Gates, Jr., has written, black vernacular is a literary development as well as a linguistic one. ‘The black tradition’ – from ring shouts to Ralph Ellison – ‘is double-voiced,’ Gates writes, in the introduction to his seminal study, ‘The Signifying Monkey,’ echoing Du Bois. The humor associated with black language play – with jokers like Pryor and Bernie Mac – directly descends from this multivocal tradition, and from the trouble that made it necessary.

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From the old box: Free Speech, but Not for All?

Free Speech, but Not for All?

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The Grace of Humility

It has been almost two weeks since we remembered how a simple man from Nazareth, who had always remained humble, gave himself completely to his heavenly Father in order to be brought to the slaughter like a lamb before God and to die for us.

Never did Jesus claim the credit for the works he could do. He always acted as a servant for Jehovah God, his heavenly Father.

The Grace of Humility

For thus saith the High and Lofty One, who inhabiteth eternity, and whose name is the Holy One:

I dwell in height and holiness, and with the broken and lowly in spirit, to quicken the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the broken. (Isa 57:15)

The grace of humility should be fostered by those who bear the name of Christ; for self-exaltation can find no place in the work of God. Those who would co-operate with the Lord of hosts must daily crucify self, placing worldly ambition second. They must be tolerant and kind, full of mercy and tenderness to those around them…..

True humility is the evidence that we behold God, and that we are united with Jesus Christ. Unless we are meek and humble, we cannot claim to have the true concept of God’s character. Men may think they are serving God faithfully; their talent, wisdom, eloquence, or zeal, may dazzle the eye, flatter the fancy, and excite the admiration of those who cannot see beneath the surface; but unless these qualities are humbly consecrated to God, … they are regarded by God as unprofitable servants (Review and Herald, 11-5-1897).

God has long been waiting for His followers to manifest true humility, that He might impart to them rich blessings. Those who offer Him the sacrifice of a broken and contrite spirit, will be preserved in the cleft of the rock and behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

When Jesus, the sin-bearer, the all-sufficient sacrifice, is more clearly seen, their lips will exclaim the highest praises. The more they see of the character of Christ, the more humble they will become, and the less they will esteem themselves. There will not be seen in their work a foolish presumption….. Self is lost sight of as they realise their own unworthiness (Ibid.). 125

 

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Spanish version: La Gracia de la Humilidad

Dutch version: Genade van Nederigheid

Preceding

Stuck in Mitzrayim looking at an exodus out of slavery

Humility

Willing to be little

More on Grace and Spiritual Fruit – Abide in Me, and I in you

I is for Incompleteness

Learning from ourselves

Your Life: Habit or Freedom?

Don’t Harden Your Heart

even so, it is well with my soul

When believing in God’s existence and His son, possessing a divine legislation

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Additional reading

  1. A Book to trust #8 Father of the universe wanting His creatures to know Him
  2. the Bible – God’s guide for life #8 Looking to Jesus #1 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus
  3. Matthew 7:1-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Neighbor Love Continued 8: Matthew 7:6-11 Giving and neighbor love
  4. Matthew 18:1-6 Reborn and pliable as a child
  5. Matthew 23:1-12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Prominence and Humility
  6. Servant for the truth of God
  7. Today’s thought “He humbled himself by becoming …” (April 8)
  8. Entrance of a king to question our position #2 Who do we want to see and to be
  9. Suffering redemptive because Jesus redeemed us from sin
  10. Heed of the Saviour
  11. Today’s Thought “When the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive …” (June 13)
  12. Necessity of a revelation of creation 11 Believing and obeying the gospel of the Kingdom of God
  13. Created in the image of the Elohim to use their likeness properly
  14. Let us become nothing, and Christ everything
  15. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  16. Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience
  17. It’s not that I’m so smart
  18. There is no true and constant gentleness without humility
  19. Humility and the Fear of the Lord
  20. Be kinder than necessary
  21. A heart full of love is a fundamental requirement
  22. Do we know the right things
  23. Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God
  24. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands
  25. May the Lord direct your hearts to …
  26. A man who cannot forgive others
  27. Today’s thought “Showing the Gospel, teaching publicly and from house to house,” (November 07)
  28. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  29. Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful to Him all praise is due
  30. Consecration of the priests
  31. Full text of Pope Francis’ Interview with ‘La Vanguardia’

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Related

  1. Good Measure
  2. Bootstrap Pride
  3. Gone To The Mountains
  4. Where is God at work today? Is He around? Will we hear from Him?
  5. Does true exaltation come from God? What about self-exaltation?
  6. Washing of feets
  7. Humbled
  8. Of Humility & Humiliation
  9. Humility and unleavened bread
  10. Humbling of the heart
  11. Humility Matters More
  12. Late night lessons in humility
  13. April 20, 2022 – ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble
  14. Be Humble Like A Little Child
  15. Surah Al-Mu’minun 23:1-2 – Successful indeed are the believers: those who humble themselves in prayer
  16. Be ready for the Service of the Lord with Humility
  17. The Virtues of Mary: Profound Humility
  18. Learning Humility
  19. Keep Me Humble
  20. Spiritual Warfare #2 Breaking the YokeFor God Alone
  21. The Problem with Pride
  22. Murderous Pride
  23. Unseen Illness
  24. Love as I Have…
  25. Don’t Go it Alone
  26. Adyashanti
  27. You Don’t Have to Be a Rock Star to Lead Worship
  28. Wisdom; April 20, 2022
  29. Generous and overflowing Shalom
  30. St. Martin of Braga
  31. The Suffering Servant
  32. Displaying Glory
  33. Stillnes
  34. The Loveliness of the Cross
  35. WWJD
  36. April 21, 2022

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Beautiful Day

Grow your Life & Soul

What a beautiful spring day! I feel the warmth of the sun coming through the sliding door, making me excited for the new season ahead.

tulips-bed-colorful-color-69776.jpegDo you look forward to the change of seasons? I know I do. For some reason, I feel its a new beginning for Mother Earth, the animals and all the new change about to happen. I feel that change is vital to growth and rebirth. I am constantly finding opportunities or things that give me growth in all areas of my life. I never want to remain stagnate – I feel that would be death for me.

Enjoy the new season upon us! See the growth and beauty in change. May you grow this season, in a big or small way, but grow!

Deanna

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God never promised that we will not have any problems

God has never promised that we will not have any problems,
but he has promised that if we humbly bring problems to Him,
He will surely help us to solve incurable cases.

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace,
that we may obtain mercy, and find grace
that helps us in time of need. (Hebrews 4v16)

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At the end of the day…

Purplerays

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    “At the end of the day, right now, right here, wherever you are, you can make a choice to be present and happy and fulfilled.”

    • Eric Lange

    Wishing you many beautiful evening blessings… May this night sprinkle lights of Love and Peace on your dreams…. ❤️☀

            Text and image source: Mitra Shahidi https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=3148524425415490&id=100007738899262

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            Today’s thought “My heart stands in awe …” (March 12)

            Today’s thought

            “My heart stands in awe …”

            (March 12)

            “What shall we do?” was the question.  “the crowds asked” in our reading in Luke 3 today. You may recognise it as the same question the crowds asked Peter on the day of Pentecost, when Peter answered “Repent and be baptised”. But we saw today that John the Baptist gave a different answer to those that were coming to him to be baptised! We read in Luke 3:10-11 of that answer!

            John had been giving them a stern message, he had even called them

            “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits in keeping with repentance …” (verses 7,8).

            So what answer did they get to their question? Verse 11 says,

            “And he answered them, whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise”.

            They lived in a world of inequalities, the “haves” and the “have nots”. Most, if not all of us, find it is the same today. How many have only two sets of clothes in this country? One of the most important things Jesus said was, as we will soon read in Luke 12:15,

            “be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions”.

            Today, getting the latest things on the market, getting more and more possessions is the main aim of people. John spoke as if having two of something was one too many – if there was someone with none! Attitudes were all wrong then, they are even more so today.

            We should not let these attitudes influence us – but they do! We are surrounded by those who are Godless and as we complete reading Psalm 119 today we note the words,

            “Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek your statutes” (verse 155).

            There are only two paths, either for him or against him. David further writes,

            “I look at the faithless with disgust” (verse 158).

            But then the Psalmist becomes very positive,

            “my heart stands in awe of your words. I rejoice at your words like one who finds great spoil” (verses 161,162).

            Our heart needs to stop – and “stand in awe” and then “rejoice”. But we can only rejoice if we have unreservedly accepted the teaching of his word – then we will experience the wonder of being a child of God, for

            “great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble … for all my ways are before you” (verses 165,168).

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