Tag Archives: Faith

A look at On Science & Religion

Science discovers and defines what has been observed. On the basis of such research, theories are devised to explain the facts, and ‘laws’ developed to identify commonly occurring activity. These ‘laws’ are accepted as true and factual until proved false, at which time new ‘laws’ are devised. Science works from observable facts to generate knowledge and understanding.

16th-century Painting of the Triumph of Christ...

16th-century Painting of the Triumph of Christian religion by Tommaso Laureti in the Room of Constantine of the Raphael Rooms, Vaticano. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Religion, on the other hand, is belief in and worship of a God or gods. It demands ‘faith’ in the message and in the messenger. Religion does not exist in a vacuum; it is built upon the accumulated wisdom and knowledge of others. The Christian religion is built upon acceptance of literature that describes the life of its founder, Jesus Christ, his moral teaching and the social, historical context of his life and work. While external evidence can help to evidence the validity of religion, religion does not depend on external evidence to prove or disprove its critical statements.

 

Science is an extremely helpful activity, providing many of the benefits of our modern world. We should respect the findings of such research and be grateful for it. If scientific understanding helps to enrich our sense of awe at the amazing universe or assists us in understanding the complexities of a microscopic world, then so be it. But let us not put scientific research in opposition to Bible teaching; the two are fundamentally different. Science may help us to understand the Bible but I doubt whether it works the other way round!

> Please continue reading at: On Science & Religion

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Different kinds of “things not seen”

Do you feel that life in the Truth is a battle?

Lots of people before they come in the faith go through a big battle; They do hope all their worries would be over when they convert to Christianity. Some get surprised that all the problems are not over when having become a Christian. There are even people who get some newer worries, people trying to convince them that they have made a stupid choice.

English: Flying Rowan. Near Glede Howe. Attrib...

Flying Rowan. Near Glede Howe. Attributed with magical properties by the ancient Britons and a common sight to hillgoers. This one is famous for being used as a guide to the head of Truss Gap in a popular book on the lakeland fells by Bill Birkett. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a exhortation on the March Bible readings Robert Roberts looks at how we all are ignorant at the start “ignorant of everything”.  In the knowledge that human memory is weak, and soon forgets, “especially with regard to the class of things that constitute the Truth” he reminds us of all the things “not seen”, whether past, present or future; and some of those things for which we have not much natural liking and therefore forgetfulness and consequent unbelief become very easy, unless we are on our guard.He writes

There are different kinds of “things not seen” ‹ different kinds of truth ‹ some unimportant ‹ some important. It is with the latter we have to do. It is the latter we desire to bring to mind. It is the latter which will enable us to overcome the mere bias of native ignorance, and walk as children of light.

“This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” This faith lays hold of things ‹ is persuaded of things that we cannot see, but which are true. It does so by the means God has given us for the purpose. We need to avail ourselves of these means in the amplest measure, or faith is liable to wither and die. We need strengthening in the fight or we may be overcome instead of overcoming.

In any case, for sure, god is One thing we can not see …. directly … but when we look around we should be able to see the glory of Gdo in all things of nature. Therefore we better take more time to look at the flowers, the trees, the insects and other animals in this world.

We best wonder more about “God and His works” and come to see His Hand behind everything.

 

Please read: Seasons of Comfort (Volume 2 ): Regarding God, and His works

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Faith without risk is a contradiction


Faith without risk is a contradiction.

‘For as the body without the spirits is dead,
so faith without works is dead also.’
James 2:26

Dear God, Give me the strength to persevere in the faith
and to perform good works of faith.

Dutch version / Nederlandse versie > Geloof zonder risico tegenstrijdigheid
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Unbelief, faith and mustard seed

“and Jesus said to them, because of your unbelief: for verily I say to you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard-seed, ye shall say to this mountain, remove hence to yonder place, and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you.” (Matthew 17:20 Webster)“Jesus answered and said to them, verily I say to you, if ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this [which is done] to the fig-tree, but also, if ye shall say to this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.” (Matthew 21:21 Webster)

“22 and Jesus answering, saith to them, have faith in god. 23 for verily I say to you, that whoever shall say to this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that the things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatever he saith.” (Mark 11:22-23 Webster)

“and the lord said, if ye had faith as a grain of mustard-seed, ye might say to this sycamine-tree, be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it would obey you.” (Luke 17:6 Webster)

“Jesus saith to her, said I not to thee, that if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of god?” (John 11:40 Webster)

“and though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:2 Webster)

“brethren, be not children in understanding: yet in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.” (1 Corinthians 14:20 Webster)

“as new-born babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:” (1 Peter 2:2 Webster)

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English: Mustard seeds by David Turner Februar...

Mustard seeds by David Turner (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Preceding

Seeds of promise

Seeds to be planted soon

Seeds, weeds and kingdoms

 

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Additional reading

  1. I have not hidden …
  2. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 4
  3. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  4. Salvation, Baptism and Re-baptism
  5. When not seeing or not finding a biblically sound church
  6. a little church
  7. Slave for people and God

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Further reading

  1. Mustard Seed
  2. Mustard Seeds
  3. Let Go and Live
  4. Undetected Growth
  5. Daily Prompt: Tiny
  6. Small Beginnings
  7. Pass it on
  8. Open the Eyes of my Heart
  9. The Gift Of God
  10. Genuine message of salvation
  11. Mustard Seed Faith
  12. A Mustard Seed of Faith
  13. What is Faith?
  14. What does faith in crisis mean?
  15. O you of great unbelief!
  16. Small start, Big Finish
  17. #Faith the Size of a Mustard Seed
  18. Faith of A Mustard Seed
  19. Faith Like a Forest
  20. Sow and harvests in the garden of your heart
  21. 12 Month Faith Challenge (I Conquer Pt 1)
  22. Daily Mass: Steady growth that starts small. Catholic Inspiration
  23. January 26 – From A Mustard Seed
  24. Today’s Scripture – December 28, 2016
  25. Daily Gospel Reading – Mark 4:26-34
  26. What is the meaning of the Parable of the Mustard Seed?
  27. Moving Mountains
  28. Fear Feels Bigger
  29. As Small as a Mustard Seed
  30. Does Your Faith Make You Eager To Forsake Sin?
  31. Prayer Changes Me
  32. Don’t Say How, Say I Am Yours!
  33. Luke 6:17-19
  34. Luke 13
  35. Luke 17
  36. Small Faith
  37. Measuring Faith
  38. Optimism and the Kingdom of God
  39. Of Seeds and Slaves, of Faith and Favor
  40. Only Servants Doing Our Duty
  41. Like a Mustard Seed…
  42. Wise Virgins
  43. Conceal, Don’t Feel
  44. Warfare Against the Mustard Seed
  45. Hang On To Your Faith
  46. Like A Mustard Seed
  47. The Significance of the Insignificant (October 2, 2016)
  48. Sermon on Mustard Seed Faith and Superheros
  49. What You Have is Enough | A Widow’s Mite and Mustard Seed Faith
  50. Increase Our Faith
  51. Busted Mustard Seed
  52. Faith Unwavering
  53. How will your faith grow?
  54. Increase Our Faith (Lk 17:5-10)
  55. Faith like a mustard seed. Whatever you have is enough.
  56. just the tiniest little bit
  57. Wow! That’s All It Takes?
  58. Faith Is Not a Verb
  59. Where Our Help Comes From & Our Trust Belongs
  60. How’s your mustard seed?
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Seeds, weeds and kingdoms

Germinating seeds

In the Holy Scriptures we can find many examples where is spoken about seeds and the soil in which seeds have to grow.

English: Brown Flax Seeds. Français : Graines ...

Brown Flax Seeds. (Linum usitatissimum). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In this time and age we best think about the parable of the the sower, where the sower sows the seeds into different kinds of ground – three bad and one good. Man himself can find out from Scriptures what is meant by those stories Jesus told. Concerning the seed of the sower Jesus tells us (v18-23) – the seed is the Word of God and the different kinds of ground are different responses to the message of the Kingdom.

In our world we hear less spoken about the Word of God and many churches are running empty. For followers of Christ, the religions getting against each other is just one of the many signs we can see that the preaching of the coming Kingdom is of utmost importance, because when it shall be preached all over the world, then the end shall come.

In this world there are lots of people who think they are doing good and others who are convinced they do not have to take care because they are saved under Christ. they may be very mistaken, hoping to enter the Kingdom of God, by not living according to God‘s Laws, missing the entrance to the small gate. All those parables Jesus told should be a warning that it perhaps might not be so easy to enter the Kingdom after all. Many may be called but few reaching the the end goal of the race.

The second parable we have to take at heart is the one about the weeds, where the enemy sows bad weed seeds amongst the good wheat seeds. Again, we are not left guessing as to the meaning – Jesus tells us (v37-43) – the good seed represents the sons of the Kingdom and the bad seed the sons of the devil, i.e. those opposed to the message of the Kingdom who will be ‘weeded’ out of the Kingdom by God’s angels when the Son of Man (Jesus) comes.

Those two are not the only ones in which Jesus talks about seeds.

Birds in the fields and trees

When we look at the fields where seeds are waiting to grow, we can see many birds picking their bits of grains. Now Jesus comes to look where those birds have their habitat. They coming to live in a tree. In the ancient times the men of God also wrote about the birds living in trees, referring to kingdoms.

“The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was food for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the birds of the heavens dwelt in the branches thereof, and all flesh was fed from it.” (Daniel 4:12 ASV)

“it is thou, O king, [Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon]that art grown and become strong; for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth.” (Daniel 4:22 ASV)

“Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a forest-like shade, and of high stature; and its top was among the thick boughs.” (Ezekiel 31:3 ASV)

“All the birds of the heavens made their nests in its boughs; and under its branches did all the beasts of the field bring forth their young; and under its shadow dwelt all great nations.” (Ezekiel 31:6 ASV)

Immature Elm seeds.

Immature Elm seeds. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These first two Old Testament references use that specific language that Jesus picks up on – using the description of trees and perching birds to represent empires and subjects dwelling in them. But the obvious thing to notice is that whereas Jesus is talking about the Kingdom of Heaven, these verses most certainly are not! They are talking about the kingdoms of men! The first is talking about the kingdom of Babylon, which only filled the world with godless rule – and even today its pagan beliefs and teaching still permeate like yeast (many nonChristian and Christian religions can trace their belief system back to ancient Babylon). Assyria was known for its violence and cruelty (see Nahum 3:19) and our days, like the days of Noah, also see a world filled with violence (modern day Assyria / Syria being notable examples).

Kingdoms

It may seem strange to make reference to the kingdoms of men when the parable of the mustard seed is about the Kingdom of Heaven, but then other parables do the same. The parable of the sower begins “the Kingdom of Heaven is like” then talks about the unbelief of people’s hearts and their rejection of the gospel, the parable of the sower begins “the Kingdom of Heaven is like” then talks about the corruption of the gospel finding a temporary place in the harvest field, and the parable of the net begins “the Kingdom of Heaven is like” then describes the existence of the bad fish swimming around in the lake. But then all these parables end with salvation and deliverance, and so also does the last of those three specific Old Testament references.

Ezekiel 17:22-24 “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: ‘I myself will take a shoot from the very top of a cedar and plant it; I will break off a tender sprig from its topmost shoots and plant it on a high and lofty mountain. On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches. All the trees of the field will know that I the LORD bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish.’ I the LORD have spoken and I will do it.”

The encouragement that the parable gives us

Imagine if the parable of the sower just told us that a man went to sow seed, and the seed grew and the crop was good. Imagine if the parable of the weeds just told us that a man planted some seed, and the seed was good, and then harvest came, and harvest was good. Imagine if the parable of the ten virgins wasn’t the parable of the ten virgins – it was the parable of the five virgins and it told us that there were five virgins who went to a wedding and the wedding was good – and that’s it!

Our message of salvation is not just that Jesus will return and all is well. The reality of the world we live in is very dark and very far from what God wants it to be. Even more discouraging is the fact that the very gospel that Jesus gave to enlighten is not believed by so many, and falsehood and the kingdoms of men fill the earth, and we – with the precious truth we possess – are so small and ignored.

Jesus encourages us by reminding us, through the parable of the mustard seed and the Old Testament links, that God is fully aware of how man’s ways rule the world – like Assyria and Babylon in the past. Jesus does not try to divert us by pretending that everything is good right now, but reminds us that God’s plan will become a reality – more real than anything fake we see around us now.

God has told us that He himself will plant His Tree / Kingdom, on the mountain heights of Israel and that all the other trees (nations) will know this and so God will be glorified and vindicated in the end amongst all His opponents, as will all those who keep that precious faith and stick with Him. This is our hope. We are tired of the kingdoms of men around us, imitating the shade and shelter that only God can provide through His Son who has the words of eternal life – and when he comes we will truly find rest under the shade of his branches.

From small to big

Mustard seeds are counted by the smallest seeds but they give us some strong big trees which produce a lot of seeds. Listening to the parable we can imagine us people with some faith like a mustard seed would have not much faith or little faith. But even that little faith can do much. Therefore the one who can sow little faith shall be able to give the  pastures many trees which shall in their turn also create little seeds and multiply enormously.

Even when we do feel we have not so much faith, we should believe in ourselves and proclaim the message of salvation which is given to us. We may have doubts but should know that even with our little faith we shall be able to do much.

“And he saith unto them, Because of your little faith: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” (Matthew 17:20 ASV)

Moving a mountain, it looks ridiculous … but with our little faith if we believe in Christ Jesus as our saviour we shall be able to do much, showing others the Way to God, we shall be able to move mountains, doing lots of work for God. But to do that moving work we need to have the right seed. Unpolluted faith. We also need to use the right fertiliser, the pure Word of God, which we can find in the best store of the the world, the most precious library, the Bible. when we water ourselves every day with it, our seed shall be able to grow. Perhaps we ourself can be such a mustard tree.

The world needs many mustard seeds. There are so many nations, so many places where there is need for birds to find a place to sit in and trees for people to find shadow. It is up to the believers to become the sowers and the gardeners.
It is up to the believers to make it that the seed may be planted in good soil. We have to prepare the earth, we have to fertilise the ground and give the plants enough water so that they can survive in the dry surroundings.

Are you willing to be a sower?

Help us to proclaim the Word of God and to bring the message of salvation, the gospel of the coming Kingdom of God.

It may start very small but finish big, so take the opportunity.

 

Preceding

Seeds of promise

Seeds to be planted soon

Christians remaining hidden not sharing the gospel

An uncovering book to explore

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Additional reading

  1. I have not hidden …
  2. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 4
  3. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  4. Salvation, Baptism and Re-baptism
  5. When not seeing or not finding a biblically sound church
  6. a little church
  7. Slave for people and God

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Further reading

  1. Mustard Seed
  2. Mustard Seeds
  3. Open the Eyes of my Heart
  4. The Gift Of God
  5. Genuine message of salvation
  6. Mustard Seed Faith
  7. A Mustard Seed of Faith
  8. Small start, Big Finish
  9. Faith of A Mustard Seed
  10. Sow and harvests in the garden of your heart
  11. 12 Month Faith Challenge (I Conquer Pt 1)
  12. Daily Mass: Steady growth that starts small. Catholic Inspiration
  13. January 26 – From A Mustard Seed
  14. Today’s Scripture – December 28, 2016
  15. Daily Gospel Reading – Mark 4:26-34
  16. What is the meaning of the Parable of the Mustard Seed?
  17. Moving Mountains
  18. Fear Feels Bigger
  19. As Small as a Mustard Seed
  20. Does Your Faith Make You Eager To Forsake Sin?
  21. Prayer Changes Me
  22. Don’t Say How, Say I Am Yours!
  23. Luke 6:17-19
  24. Luke 13
  25. Measuring Faith
  26. Optimism and the Kingdom of God
  27. Wise Virgins
  28. Conceal, Don’t Feel
  29. Warfare Against the Mustard Seed
  30. Hang On To Your Faith
  31. What You Have is Enough | A Widow’s Mite and Mustard Seed Faith
  32. Increase Our Faith
  33. Busted Mustard Seed
  34. Faith Unwavering
  35. How’s your mustard seed?
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The Spirit of liberty is the Spirit of Christ

The Spirit of liberty,
based upon the law of faith,
is the Spirit of Christ;
and this spirit all the Sons of God are privileged to possess,
and having it, to breathe.

I claim the right of exercising this privilege,
as well as my contemporaries;
and I require of them that they should do to me as once they loudly required others to do to them…

(written by John Thomas, the founder of the Christadelphians,
when he was against creeds in The Apostolic Advocate magazine, August 1836)

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Dedicated daily reading of God’s word to create a vibrant faith within us

May our dedicated daily reading of God’s word create a vibrant faith within us,
a longing for when we “shall … know” God
– when our faith is turned to sight –
and, by his grace, that will be soon.

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Filed under Lifestyle, Reflection Texts, Religious affairs

Why are you afraid?

2001 September 9 was the day the world changed totally, for the Western world. A shock-wave of fear started to go from one nation to the other from the West to the East, bringing horrible terrorist attacks in America, Spain, France, Belgium but also further in the East where Islam and Hinduism are practised more.

In our regions lots of people are caught by the trap of fear and by the persuasion by politicians and terrorists alike.

Those who misuse the name of Allah/God want not only to hit those who do not believe in God. They also want to frighten those who believe in God and want to bring them away form their faith-group giving in to those who show the strongest.

We always should know that we should not fear man, but more fear God and should listen to His commandments.

When taken by fear for what goes on around us let us always remind ourselves what Jeshua thought and find peace in our hearts by giving ourselves to the Only One True God.

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We got to hear a lot of spectacular things that happened in the past, which went beyond man’s power. Today still the majority of people do not believe in those miraculous things that happened in the past. but they also are blind for the miraculous things that still happen every day in this time space.

Strangely enough often people only go looking for God, or start blaming God, when things go wrong. During those bad times that we’re looking for Him we are given the opportunity to get to know god better and to grow in faith.

We all should remember that god is willing to come to those who search Him.

“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)

Today’s guest-writer who at the age of 36 was diagnosed with a terminal disease called Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or “Lou Gehrig’s Disease” (after the famous New York Yankee’s player that died from it), did not let his illness get him down on his knees forgetting how even he also could help many people. Not being pushed back by his health crisis impacting his emotional as well as his financial life.

He became fully aware how our emotional and spiritual life and our relationships etc.,

“Every part of our lives” are connected to one another like parts of an engine and one part breaking effects the performance of the whole engine.

Regardless of the part of the body first affected by the disease, muscle weakness and atrophy spread to other parts of the body as the disease progresses, knowing that he would be limited in his walk and handling, his trial has taught his family that the only way to experience genuine and consistent hope, peace and joy in the midst of a trial is to view our life and situation through God’s eyes.

He writes

For me, learning this was a long and difficult, but rewarding process; an ongoing process that will continue to the day I go to be with God. {About Bill}

Several people may undergo lots of physical problems, being sick and time after time to recover from this health issue. At such moments it is important to continue your way and to come out of your battle feeling spiritually stronger than you were before your battle with

that which did not kill me.” {Trials Can Make Us Stronger}

As someone who has relied on caregivers for even longer than Nietzsche had to (ALS, not Syphilis), our guest-writer empathize with the helpless, the suffering and their caregivers. But feels great sympathy for those that do not place their hope and strength in Christ, regardless of the state of their health. He writes

I feel sympathy because, like Nietzsche, the “strength” and “hope” that they derive from physical/temporal pleasures do not provide genuine and lasting joy or peace. As King Solomon concluded, it’s “all vanity.” {Trials Can Make Us Stronger}

On one of his articles Dawn Marie answers:

“If Christ is our hope, the pleasures we enjoy on earth will be so much more enjoyable …”

I thanked God yesterday for: bringing us to a new home where we are within walking distance of a Ice Cream Store, the new grass growing outside that’s beginning to cover up the mud, my new hospice patient who is the biggest Army football fan I’ve ever met, and the strength to console our son who is suffering through a broken, discinigrating marriage. How is it that a God so big can love someone as small as me so much to bring me His hope in ALL which touches me.

In these days were the west seems to be tested a lot, those trials may force us off of the proverbial fence.

Tested faith is enduring and overcoming faith; it’s faith that can empathize with and encourage others who find themselves in the midst of a raging storm – those who are feeling as if Jesus is asleep in the boat.

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Preceding articles:

Where were you when the world stopped turning?

Nailed to our chairs, never to forget

The Nine Eleven Scar

Taste of Dust

A Prayer for 9-11

When will it stop

Next: Life Goes On

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Additional articles:

  1. Stronger than anything that wants to destroy
  2. Economic crisis danger for the rise of political extremism
  3. A world with or without religion
  4. Being Charlie 8
  5. For more than Three thousand people fifteen years ago this world came to an end
  6. Wrong choices made to get rid of Assad
  7. Coming closer to the end of 2015 and the end for Donald Trump as presidential candidate
  8. 2015 Human rights
  9. 2015 the year of ISIS

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Unshakable Hope

“And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” (Matt 8:24-:26) 

I suppose that even the most faith-filled Christian would experience some level of fear if they found themselves in a situation like the above. But I know that a doctor delivering news of a life-threatening diagnosis, a loss of a job and insensitive debt-collectors calling day-after-day, can instill that same kind of “Save us, Lord; we are perishing” fear.

Unfortunately, we don’t really know if we have genuine faith until that faith is tested. I believe this is the reason that Jesus allowed His disciples, and us, to go through so many of these nail-biting…

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Crimes & Atrocities, Lifestyle, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs

When you stay in your lane, there’s no traffic.

By Liza Borstlap

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I found personal happiness as a direct result of family conflict. The interaction left deep scars and I spent many years mourning the loss of my family and my relationships with them. It remains a questionable subject and not every person that I meet fully understands the extent of the consequences of my decision.

Looking back on my history with my family, I can identify the tipping point where I made a final decision that set me completely free.

A lifetime can well be spent correcting and improving one’s own faults without bothering about others. (Edward Weston)

Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. (1 Thessalonians 4:11)

The wind blows where it pleases, you hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit. (John 3:8)

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We talk about family as if it is a perfect unit that shields the individual from a cruel society. We remain silent about the interference, the neglect, the labelling and toxic in-fighting that often leaves a person with a limp. We secretly cover the failures and mishaps until we can identify the black sheep that can take the blame.

I came to believe that the conflict in my family had created itself. I was suffocating from the indifference and interference in my life. The emotional agitation and stress became so unbearable that I had no inner peace left. For my own self-preservation, I became emotionally detached.

After the split, it took a long time for me to heal from the emotional damage. I hid myself away for a few years before I had the courage to look at my reality again. At first I was ashamed to admit to anyone that I had no contact with my family, which fuelled the misconception of what had actually happened. I inadvertently created a breeding field for lies to fester. I tried to compose myself by not taking other people’s emotions or perceptions too personally. I know of others who become insecure or who suffer from over-achievement, all in the pursuit of self-acceptance.

You cannot control anyone else’s journey through life. Focus on your own. Compassion, honesty, self-scrutiny, and an open mind are the only ‘one way’ to interact sanely and successfully with others. (Martha Beck)

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I had many moments of doubt when I questioned my sanity. I wondered about the impact of my decision on my children and wondered if my family even missed me, but I decided that I wouldn’t conform to society’s standards just for the sake of pretence. I realised in this isolated state that other people’s opinions do not define who I am in God’s eyes. I felt freedom. There were also days when I felt completely overwhelmed by the lack of any support system. I realised I was wasting a lot of energy on negative and false emotions.

I had a choice.

I chose to stay calm and focussed on God, despite the circumstances in my life, as God really is the only constant in life.

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Why do some people interfere in other people’s lives? Because they are curious… because they are control freaks… because they can ignore their own weaknesses if they focus on yours…

Life became easier when I started to focus on my own unique abilities, talents and giftings. I had complete freedom to raise my children in my own way. Only God would make it possible for us to survive and to prosper. We could tend to our own business.

Interfering in someone else’s argument is as foolish as yanking a dog’s ears. (Proverbs 26:17)

We hear that some of you are living in idleness. You are not busy working – you are busy interfering with other people’s lives! We order and encourage such people by the Lord Jesus, the Messiah, to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. Brothers, do not get tired of doing what is right. (2 Thessalonians 3:11-13)

Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not. (1 Timothy 5:13)

I have a different perspective on the quality of relationships that I allow in my life today. If I don’t meet my own minimum requirements, I will always value other people’s opinions more than my own. The minute I fear rejection, I compromise my own well-being.

I often heard the statement that ‘happiness is an inside job’, but I know now that the people around me have a profound impact on my well-being. If I am dragged down by other people’s opinions about my life, or if someone is constantly reminding me about past failures, I see no value in the relationship. I am careful of people who keep lies alive through gossip or slander.

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Let every fox take care of its own tail. (Italian Proverb)

Keep your nose out of another’s mess. (Denmark Proverb)

Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people. (Eleanor Roosevelt)

After many years of swinging between certainty and doubt, I found my final solace in the Bible. The Old Testament is filled with stories of family conflict and disrupted relationships. More often than not, the feud resulted in a good outcome.

I know today that God sometimes allows conflict for a specific purpose. When that happens to me, He covers me with His grace.

God has evoked conflict. The conflict causes pain and shame to every player, but God doesn’t shrink from the conflict, for a holy purpose is underway. The way of God will not be explained. (Brueggemann)

God’s grace often goes against propriety, social convention, and the ‘normal’ way for this world. (Steven Fettke)

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I walk away when…

Someone gives me unsolicited advice.

I wonder if someone really wants to help me, or if they are just curious.

My situation affects someone else.

Someone intrudes on my turf.

I feel blind sighted.

I feel like a fish being reeled into someone else’s issues.

Good advice

If you overhear something of note between two people, or a group of people, but the topic does not concern you or affect you in any way, then let the matter stay between the people it concerns. (Unknown)

There is nothing more provocative than minding your own business. (William S. Burroughs)

Don’t bother to ring a bell in the ear that doesn’t listen. Move to another ear, and if he doesn’t listen to your bell, sit back and listen to his nemesis. (Michael Bassey Johnson)

You would be very surprised with how much positive changes you could make in your life, if you could make it your top priority to mind your own business. (Edmond Mbiaka)

To be busy minding other people’s business, is to leave one’s personal business unattended to. (Edmond Mbiaka)

While you are too busy minding other people’s business, who is minding yours? (Edmond Mbiaka)

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Filed under Geestelijke aangelegenheden, Knowledge & Wisdom, Quotations from Holy Scriptures, Quotations or Citations, Spiritual affairs

Not limiting others but sharing peace with all

 

When people would like to limit other people in the choice what they want to wear, those people should examine their real motives first and in case they think the other are haters of God than they better read about the Most High God about our comportment, our reactions against other believers and other people.

When we are afraid that other people their clothes would bring us in danger or would be a defiance for our faith we should wonder how strong we stand in the faith and dare to show in peace that our peaceful action is the best way to have a better forbearing world.

“Peace” in believing is what we all seek, but for some to achieve this is a real challenge, especially “in the latter days” in which surely we are living. Let us all, “Stand by the way and watch”.

 

Preceding article: Women in France running with naked bosom all right but with covered bosom penalised

English: A sculpture at the entrance to the pa...

A sculpture at the entrance to the palace of Versailles., “La Paix”, by Jean-Baptiste Tuby. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Being and Feeling, Lifestyle, Religious affairs