Tag Archives: Gifts

For those Christians who say they are the Victim

You Are Not A Victim

Nova Scotia, Canada

Nova Scotia, Canada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Paul Van Buren, a preacher born in Nova Scotia, Canada who lived in so many places since then considers himself to be called by God at the age of 19 but knows that calling was knit into him before his birth.

Being a father of 11 children and husband to a most wonderful lady, he is the pastor of a Holy Spirit directed church in LaSalle, Quebec where  he is having the time of his life. On his Pastor’s Blog he writes that it frustrates him when Christians play the part of victim.

He writes:

Victimized Christians do not know who they are in Jesus and it is a shame that they are wasting the precious days they have been given in this world.

Probably he thinks of the many gifts we are given: first of all life itself and secondly many gifts when we grow up and try to make something of our life.

Having lots of messages circulating on the media, with lots of horrible pictures of terrorist acts lost of people are getting so afraid that our Western World would become Islamised and that we Christians should have to convert to Islam or being killed. Strange is that not more people question how it comes that so many left Christianity or Christendom and became Muslim and do not wonder how it comes that so many Christian churches are getting more and more empty.

Clearly we should question Christians how they live their faith. Is not many their faith as dead? What are they doing to bring others into the faith?

How are they helping those who have doubts and wonder if those Muslims are not right?

Let us have a look on what Paul Van Buren writes:

Paul first reminds Timothy that he has been raised and trained in a life of faith. It was demonstrated to him in his mother and grandmother. Paul encourages Timothy by stating that he is confident that this same faith resides in Timothy. Then:

Because of this, I’m reminding you to revive God’s gift that is in you through the laying on of my hands. (v. 6)

I like this. Because of this faith Timothy I am reminding you to operate in it. Live by the Spirit. Do what you have been equipped to do. The Spirit provides the equipping but we are responsible to operate in it. Then Paul writes what we all must grasp:

God didn’t give us a spirit that is timid but one that is powerful, loving, and self-controlled. (v. 7)

This is not personality. Personality type does not play in your calling and equipping. Look at many of the servant’s of the past who tried to get out of their calling with excuses, like Moses and Jonah. It has everything to do with the spirit he has given to us and it is one of boldness. He has equipped us with his power, his love and the power to be self-controlled. This is good stuff that we simply have to act on, in faith that it is so.

Too many Christians seem not to feel that power which they have received, or what has happened more likely when getting older and more trapped by this materialistic world they have lost he fire of their faith and the flames are only burning very weakly or not at all.
Several people are also born in a Christian family and lots of them were even baptised before they could properly think or understand what God and faith really meant. This also makes that many of those name Christians never ever did feel that Spirit in them. They only got the name or the label ‘Christian’ on them and want to consider themselves Christians because they want to belong to the general group of the West.

Now the West comes under threat again from Muslims going to the west, like they had already done before and had conquered Spain, now Europeans are having fear those Muslims will conquer the whole of Europe. But when they would have a strong faith, why should they than be so full of fear?

For sure it is because most of those Europeans do not have any faith in God or do have no idea at all what their faith-groups stands for or if that faith-group follows really the Holy Books or not. The same for the many Muslims here, lots of them born in that faith-group and not knowing enough their own holy books, they do not react strong enough against those who defile their holy books and the teachings of Muhammad. They should have reacted much more against those criminals who defile the Name of God in name of the Muslims, blackening their ummah and making it more difficult to have a peaceful life here in the West.

Today we are living again in a similar time when Noah was alive. Everywhere around us we can see how people live against nature and against God’s Wishes. In a certain way it would be no wonder if God would shaken the world once more to awaken them. But it is not God Who brings terror and horror over people. It are the people themselves who bring cruelty over themselves.

We better should think again of those times, what happened after the water came down and Noah got promises from God. We also should remember how people at the time of Moses very fast had forgotten how God ahd liberated them and how fast they went worshipping other gods again.

Pastor Paul writes:

When Moses was about to die he addressed the nation and told them to possess the land because Yahweh had told them to possess it. He encouraged them:

Be strong! Be fearless! Don’t be afraid and don’t be scared by your enemies, because the Lord your God is the one who marches with you. He won’t let you down, and he won’t abandon you. (Deuteronomy 31:6) 

Two things right there are the source of our boldness. First, our God is always with us, going before us, always preparing the way. He abides in us. Psalm 139 states we can never escape him, even more now that he lives in us. This is for our encouragement.

The second thing the pastor wants to highlight is that we may count on God:

He won’t let you down. That is a big one all on it’s own and can only be understood in the context of a loving, intimate relationship.

Though in his text we have the impression he , like so many Christians got two Biblical characters mixed up. He namely continues than with looking at Jesus, who is the sent one from God, and not God Himself.

As Christians, being followers of Christ, we should believe the words of this Nazarene teacher and see how his heavenly Father protected him and gave him special gifts. In the knowledge that this man also did not tell lies, because he did not sin, we may assume that also his promises will come true.

Jesus promised that he would be with us until the end of this age. He said his desire was for us to be one with him in the same way that he is one with Father. The Way, the Truth and the Life is in you. The one who declared that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him, is intimate with you. The one who stated that he is the Resurrection walks with you every day.

With that knowledge we should have our minds at rest. It should be a comforting thought that at the end times those who love God shall find peace after the big battle or the Big Tribulation, which nobody can escape. Yes the big trouble shall come over us all. But Jesus has told about the signs and it is up to us to recognise them and to prepare ourselves for that time of the Last Days.

It is not that we ourselves shall have to go into the battle and have to be conquerors.

Paul wrote that we are more than conquerors, we are overcomers. We are not victims. We are not powerless. We are not timid, because our God has given us the authority to forgive. Thank about that for a moment. The power does not rest in the hands of the offender but in the hands of the offended. Without your forgiveness, the offender will have to give account for their actions. With your forgiveness that offence is wiped away. By offering forgiveness you are also set free from the cage of victim. That is power and that is what has been given to you with the responsibility to love your enemies.

We cannot and must not live with a victim mentality. Jesus has made us greater, more powerful than people can grasp. Now walk in the boldness you have been given and dare to love where others have failed.

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Preceding: Fear for rebel groups and men

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

A book of life and a man born more than two thousand years ago

We may live at a time when the climax of human history is approaching fast though many do not see it how certain things where foretold already long ago and are becoming a reality we can not escape today.

Today not many “thirsts” for the living Christ. That ‘living water’ is there for all of us but many do feel hungry and thirsty and do not see the precious meal which is set in front of them. The Lamb which has been slaughtered some two thousands years ago may be put in the cupboard by many to rot in oblivion.

Are you some one who understand the kind of symbolic language when there is spoken of the one who thirsts and ‘out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38)?

On December 24 Christadelphians read about

“a great multitude that no one could number from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the lamb clothed in white robes … crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb’” (7:9-10). “The lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd and he will guide them to springs of living water and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (verse 17).

*Description: Bilbao-Loiu airport, Biscay, Spa...

Bilbao-Loiu airport, Biscay, Spain. Olentzaro, Christmas tree, Santa Claus and elf. Photographer: Javier Mediavilla Ezquibela Date: January 6, 2005. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As many say they celebrate the birth of the saviour they took a Christmas tree in the house and have their mouthful of Santa Claus who brings gifts to many families. But about the most precious gift mankind received not much is talked. In our readings in the book of Revelation we are lead to a description of the ultimate climax of human history – we read of visions, largely, but not entirely, in symbol, picturing God’s judgements. For Christadelphians this “Time of the year” is a time for looking at the opening of “the book of life” (3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12,15; 21:27). The seventh and only other reference to “the book of life” in the New Testament is in Philippians (4:3).

We may wonder who is written down in the “Book of life“. I think many would love to see their name in it. Jesus name was in it already long before Abraham was born. God had promised him already in the garden of Eden. And he was present some ages later to do not his own will but the Will of God. In which way are we wiling to do the will of God? Do we prefer to keep to those human traditions, which keep celebrating those pagan feasts?

Though the redeemed ones are, first of all, an exclusively Jewish band, we must not be afraid, Jesus died for all people and as such we also have the opportunity to become one of a’ great multitude out of all nations’. but not everybody shall be there in the end to enjoy the entrance of the small gate. There shall only be a selection drawn out of such environment to comprise the true Israel of God (Galatians 6:16; Ephesians 2:11-13) that we should consider how we shall be able to be a part of it. It will be possible when we know the Way, Jesus Christ, and when we are willing to follow his teachings. Today we do find lots of people who say they are Christian, but they do not follow the teachings of the master teacher rabbi Jeshua. They prefer to keep to human doctrines, like the trinity dogma and others. This often makes it difficult for people to come to see the truth, because their ears are full of puss created by false teachings and for them it seems so difficult for taking the words of the Bible just for what they are saying. It looks too simple, too easy to be the truth. But the easy thing is the easiest way to come there at the real truth. When believing those words like they are written in the Holy Scriptures, those Bible readers shall find that everything becomes clear and then they shall be pleased to pay their respects to the Lamb, because of the victory they have obtained. In the last book of the Bible they are represented as celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkoth, and as praising the Lamb for the salvation they have received. In answer to a question put by John, their character and nature are described. (Revelation 7: 9-17)

In the readings of today  we are warned about a mighty and ruthless destroyer as in Isaiah 28:2 (Revelation 9:6-13) the apostle John speaks of the serious nature of the affliction, and to its concentration on one of the tripartite divisions of the Roman Empire. It also can be related to the first plague on Egypt (Exodus 7:17) but it warns us for the days to come.

The apostle looked first at the Western Empire but then turns to the Eastern Empire which shall be very important in the Last Days. when we do know that nearly all prophesies foretold in the bible became a reality, why should not the prophesies  concerning the Last Days not be fulfilled?

The falling star, the bottomless pit, the smoking furnace, the army of locusts, and the king who leads them to battle, symbolise the up-rise of Mahomet and the Saracens in 622, and their attacks against the eastern Roman, or Byzantine Empire, but it also counts as a warning for what has happened in the past shall come back over mankind and in the land of Euphrates and Tigris (Iraq and Iran) shall start a war which shall be the beginning of a time when religions will come up against each other. Does that not sound familiar?

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Preceding article

Solstice, Saturnalia and Christmas-stress

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Additional reading

  1. Who is on the Lord’s side
  2. Actions to be a reflection of openness of heart
  3. Looking for wisdom not departing from God’s Word
  4. Getting to know the Truth
  5. Christianity is a love affair
  6. The importance of Reading the Scriptures
  7. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
  8. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 4
  9. Ember and light the ransomed of Jehovah
  10. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  11. Jesus begotten Son of God #2 Christmas and pagan rites
  12. God’s Special Gift
  13. Creation gift of God
  14. Apple of Gods eye
  15. A New Jerusalem
  16. Armageddon, har and megiddo, an action or a place
  17. Times of the Gentiles
  18. OT prophesies and the NT fulfillment of them
  19. National Natural Disaster and Bible Prophecy

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Filed under Religious affairs, World affairs

Solstice, Saturnalia and Christmas-stress

Today lots of people tend to treat things such as Christmas trees and holiday gift giving as if they’ve been with us forever. While these are old traditions, they were once far more localized. In this world of media everywhere, we tend to forget that customs were once far more specific to the area. Lots of people also have lost the connection of those festivals and have transposed it to their group of people, believers or non-believers in Jesus Christ or in God.

From the Saxon days there was Yule for mid-winter and in the regions of West Europe the autumn storm brought many ideas alive to think about gods who controlled everything in nature. The days becoming darker demanded for and still demand for some more light bringing into it. In the old times to honour the gods it was custom to put all sorts of things in the trees as an offering to the gods. On December the 25th it was the day of the goddess of light. Time was taken to celebrate her.

Traditional Christmas card with holly and mistletoe. Circa 1880s

Druids, Celts, and even the Romans used evergreen branches made into wreaths in winter solstice celebrations. Because so many things lost colour and seemed to have died people looked up for those elements in nature which could be so strong that they stayed green. Pagan symbols as holly and ivy remained green and were taken as a promise of life to return in dead of winter. Holly – prized for its ability to bear fruit in winter and its healing uses – were the blessings people hoped they could have in the house and share with each other. Healing elements were very important to get through Winter.

While the Romans were holding the feast for the god Saturn — which occurred about the time of the winter solstice — they decked the outsides of their houses with holly. At the same time the Christians were quietly celebrating the birth of Christ, and to avoid detection they outwardly followed the custom of their heathen neighbours and decked their houses with holly as well. In this way holly came to be connected with Christmas customs. The plant was also regarded as a symbol of the Resurrection.

The missionaries coming in these regions quickly understood how the pagan traditions were so strong and how people would not like to give them up. This we still see today happening. As Christians should come to know more about traditions and about usages all over the world, plus having the Holy Scriptures to find what they could or could not do, we see that those who call themselves Christian still do not like to give up those pagan traditions and pagan festivals.

The Roman Catholic Church had already given in to Constantine the Great allowing the false teaching of the trinity be part of the Catholic Faith, so it was a further small step to adapt the Western Celtic and Saxon traditions to the Roman Faith. In 336 CE, during the time of this so called  first Christian Roman Emperor for the first time on December 25th “Christmas” was being celebrated.

A very early Christian tradition said that March 25th was the day when Mary was told she’d give birth to Jesus (called the Annunciation). And nine months later, of course, would be December 25th. But the Bible doesn’t mention the exact days of that annunciation, nor of the birth of Jesus, though from all the secular writings we do know when the cencus took place, when the falling star appeared and that it was in October that Mary and Joseph went to fulfil their duties. We can take it was in 4BCE on October the 17th that rabbi Jeshua from the tribe of King David was born. For those who would love to celebrate his birthday it is strange that they than not do this around the period Jesus was rally born.

An image from the necropolis under the Vatican...

An image from the necropolis under the Vatican in which Jesus = Mithras (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is true that in many cultures we can find a festival of lights, also the Jews have such a festival of lights. Germans and Scandinavians had their yule festival. Celtic legends connected the solstice with Balder, the Scandinavian sun god or Norse god of light, son of the chief god Odin and his wife Frigg, who was struck down by a mistletoe arrow from the blind god Hödur (or Höd). At the pagan festival of Saturnalia, Romans feasted and gave gifts to the poor. Drinking was closely connected with these pagan feasts.

The Babylonian sun-god and god of agriculture and flocks, Tammuz, lover of Ishtar, born on the winter solstice according to legend was also celebrated on December the 25th and by the Roman Catholic Church his symbol was taken as the symbol for Jesus (the sign of Tammuz or the cross), placing Jesus as the bringer of light and god of light.

The leaders of the instituted organisation of clergy who accepted the trinity, agreed to adopted the saturnalia day of the ‘day of birth’ or ‘day of new life’ as a remembrance day of the new life Jesus has given to all mankind. For them it was easier to get more converts by keeping the folks from indulging in the old pagan festivals as part of the pagan culture, now transformed or redressed in a Roman Catholic dressing.

Branches that had thorns became to be the thorns Christ wore on the crucifix (sign of Tammuz) and the berries were stained red by his drops of blood. From the Norse and the Druids, the Mistletoe you may find growing here everywhere and at that time was considered special because of it found growing on the sacred oaks, was featured in several old myths and held to be sacred and associated with fertility, which led to kissing boughs.

Also today at the Christmas markets we can find the gangway where there is the kissing bough custom one holds that a woman who refuses the kiss shall have bad luck, and that those who kiss underneath it shall be having a blessed and fruitful year.

Not all the following years Christmas was part of Christian life. During Cromwell’s rule, Christmas was even banned. Charles II restored the holiday in England. However, the Parliament of Scotland officially abolished the observance of Christmas in 1640, to purge the church “of all superstitious observation of days”, and it was not restored as a public holiday in Scotland until 1958.

Julbocken, by John Bauer (1912)

From the 4th to the 19th century the tradition of the Northern people their celebration for their chief god and the father of Thor, (Thunor, or Thonar), Balder, and Tiw, Woden or Wotan became more and more also liked by the people from Holland and Belgium and the man with a long white beard who rode a horse through the heavens one evening each Autumn became their Sint Niklaas (Sinterklaas) or Sint Nicholas  (saint Nicholas) and in the Anglo Saxon countries Father Christmas or Santa Claus/Sancta Claus.

1881 illustration by Thomas Nast who, along with Clement Clarke Moore’s poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, helped to create the modern image of Santa Claus

From the 20th century onward that Father Christmas started gaining more popularity and the presents became more and more the focus of the people for that season were the darkness seemed to have darkened their Christian sight. Lots of Christians enjoyed decorating the ‘Christmas tree‘ and telling their children the Saint from Spain had brought presents for all those who had behaved well the previous year. Later in the month it was the Santa who once more brought presents in the house.

History illustrates the awesome outworking of initial events from when the Divine Creator has declared

Zephaniah 1:17-18 The Scriptures 1998+  (17)  “And I shall bring distress on men, and they shall walk like blind men – because they have sinned against יהוה  {Jehovah}, and their blood shall be poured out like dust and their flesh like dung.”  (18)  Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of יהוה  {Jehovah}. And by the fire of His jealousy all the earth shall be consumed, for He makes a sudden end of all those who dwell in the earth.

This comes from the Christadelphian bible reading for December 15 when we started reading this short and somewhat overlooked prophecy of Zephaniah. He would have been one of the prophets Peter referred to, as we read the final chapter of his second letter of the same day-reading, he told them they should remember

2 Peter 3:2 The Scriptures 1998+  (2)  the words previously spoken by the set-apart prophets, and of the command of the Master and Saviour, spoken by your emissaries,

Today we may find lots of people who have stress about the coming days when they have to present nice meals and many presents and have to fulfil many family visits and social obligations. Their eyes are closed for the real issue in life. Not a Santa shall bring salvation and he from the North has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus Christ. When we look at the many Christmas markets we even do not see much what reminds us of the Saviour who was sent by God to this earth.

Ages ago holy prophets told about the eyes of people which would become blinded. Today we

“should remember their predictions

Folk tale depiction of Father Christmas riding...

Folk tale depiction of Father Christmas riding on a goat. Perhaps an evolved version of the Swedish Tomte. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We also should remember that they also warned for the time that scoffers were going to come and would lead people following their own sinful desires. About the promised one who was born, lived for a very short time here on earth, died, was resurrected from the dead and showed that he was not a spirit, but the one brought back alive by his heavenly Father, that master teacher is not remembered much these days and many do not think about his return or even do not believe in it.

Yes many laugh at us and say,

“Where is the promise of his coming?”

Many children have to promise their parents that they will be good next year. Then they also will get some present. But not many children learn about that man who died for our sins. Not many take time in this ‘Time of the year’ to read the Bible and to meditate on what God and his son Jesus had to say.

Today lots of people are concentrating on their self and do see all those refugees coming in our regions as a possible threat to what they can enjoy. Many are afraid they shall have to share with those poor people who travelled thousands of miles to find their luck in our Western world where money seems to flow like moulted butter.

Many people do not see what is really going on and how those set apart men of God had warned for certain situations we can see today. Also Jesus told about the signs of those days we have today. That time Jesus spoke about, may be much closer than many think. Many are blinded by the money this world is offering. Lots of people think everything can be said with presents and with the value of money. The real value for life they often do not see. Capitalism has put sand in their eyes.

The ways of godless thinking and living will be seen for all the foolishness they are; and we must never forget, there are only 2 ways: the broad way and the narrow way. Those on the narrow way are

2 Peter 3:12-15 The Scriptures 1998+  (12)  looking for and hastening the coming of the day of Elohim, through which the heavens shall be destroyed, being set on fire, and the elements melt with intense heat!  (13)  But according to His promise we wait for a renewed heavens and a renewed earth in which righteousness dwells.  (14)  So then, beloved ones, looking forward to this, do your utmost to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless,  (15)  and reckon the patience of our Master as deliverance, as also our beloved brother Sha’ul wrote to you, according to the wisdom given to him,

“waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace” (verses 13,14).

Included in what they (we) are waiting for, is what Job perceived and that we read today. He declared,

I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!” (19:25-27).

He believed in resurrection!

That final comment is most thought provoking. Our hearts will be in danger of fainting within us for multiple reasons, when God “bring(s) distress” – the experience will be awesome for believers! But how imminent then will be the time when they will “see God” through seeing his Son, marvelling in anticipation of the ultimate time when

God himself will be with them as their God … for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:3,4).

Let us anticipate in faith the things that “our eyes shall behold” to carry us through the coming time of “distress”.

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Additional reading

  1. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  2. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  3. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  4. Irminsul, dies natalis solis invicti, birthday of light, Christmas and Saturnalia
  5. Focus on outward appearances
  6. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  7. Christmas in Ancient Rome (AKA Saturnalia)
  8. Christmas trees
  9. Actions to be a reflection of openness of heart
  10. With child and righteousness greater than the law
  11. Objects around the birth and death of Jesus
  12. Politics and power first priority #3 Elevation of Mary and the Holy Spirit
  13. The imaginational war against Christmas
  14. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 1: Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet
  15. Manna from Sint Nicholas
  16. Traditionalists Vow to Fight Charges of Racism in Netherlands
  17. Ignorance of Today’s Youth (and Adults)
  18. Sancta Claus is not God
  19. Brits believe Santa present at Jesus’ birth, new poll reveals
  20. Wishing lanterns and Christmas

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Further reading

  1. Winter Solstice and Yule
  2. Yule is upon us!
  3. Dickens’ Christmas Story as an Intertexteme in Leskov’s Yule Short Story
  4. Winter Solstice 2015: Shortest Day Of The Year Celebrated As Pagan Yule
  5. Commercialmas
  6. Yule 2015 #15 performing magic
  7. Yule 2015#16
  8. A radiant vision of splendour
  9. Yule prep
  10. Yule Wreath and Garland
  11. 13 Trolls
  12. War Against Christmas?
  13. Holiday King of the Hill
  14. SGC Admin: From our inbox to you from: Patti Wigington: Paganism/Wicca Expert
  15. Yule – Wicca subject of the week
  16. Happy Yule 2015
  17. How to bring some real Christmas spirits into your Yule-tide
  18. 10 Ways to Celebrate Yule
  19. Santa Claus, Krampus,The Wild Hunt and Me.
  20. Vigil
  21. Use Yule Bells For Positive Energy
  22. Irish Christmas
  23. Christmas, the Weridest Holiday of the Year; Part one
  24. Holly Tree
  25. Holly, Plant of Saturn and Mars
  26. Symbol of Yule: Holly Mistletoe and Bayberry Candles
  27. Memories of Yuletide
  28. A Little history on the holly tree
  29. Let It Be Done Unto Me
  30. Annunciation
  31. Annunciation: a reflection for Advent
  32. This Annunciation
  33. The Annunciation, according to Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich
  34. Tuesday 15th December
  35. Wednesday Writings – Annunciation
  36. Mary’s Heart
  37. Angels & Advent: In His Shadow – a sermon podcast
  38. And the virgin’s name was Mary
  39. Angels of Advent: Encountering the Annunciation
  40. Somersaults /Wednesday, December 9, 2015
  41. Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin
  42. Mary and a “Yes” to God’s Request
  43. Joseph’s Pregnant Advent
  44. The Overshadowing of Mary –Pentecost
  45. Christmas
  46. Saturnalia
  47. From Sukkot to Saturnalia: The Attack on Christmas in Sixteenth-Century..
  48. Togas, Laurels, Chariots and Some Roast Lambs’ Testicles
  49. Countdown to Christmas 17: Saturnalia
  50. Saturnalia Is a Fleadh by Another Name. Just Don’t Tell Jerry Buttimer
  51. By Jove! It’s Christmas: Did the First Christian Roman Emperor Appropriate..
  52. War On Christmas Memes: Saturnalia
  53. War On Christmas Memes: The Yule Tree
  54. Christmas: it’s all about money, not messiahs.
  55. Geranium Lake Properties, Saturn and Sol
  56. Advent Calendar Day 15: Christmas: The Perfect Excuse For A Fight? by Lucy Brazier
  57. Pig Washing 1, “Christmas”
  58. Christmas is Pagan!
  59. Christmas — Who gives a rip HOW we came up with the date we use?!?
  60. Christmas is Tammuz’s Birthday?

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Filed under Being and Feeling, History, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, Spiritual affairs

Looking for a shepherd for the sheep and goats

A sheepfold prepared for us all

Having the year of the sheep or the year of the goat, some may see all those sheep and goats wondering around, running in the wild, many not knowing where they can find a safe place to sleep in peace.

Grazing cattle on a pasture near Hradec nad Moravicí in Czech Silesia.

Of the many people going through the year of sheep or the year of the goats, some are not sure if they are a sheep or a goat or do want to belong to the sheep or the goats. Some sheep also wonder where their path is, which direction they should go and where they can find the best shepherd to bring them to the best sheepfold or pen.

English: Sheepfold

Sheepfold (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A sheepfold was/is an enclosure in which sheep were sheltered at night. It was an area surrounded by a fence and having one opening that was used as a door. Here the sheepfold refers to the Jewish nation but also to the den which Jesus  the shepherd of the New Covenant, the New World wants to use for his followers.

Many came to the Jewish people, professing to be their spiritual rulers and guides. They were self-appointed messiahs for the nation. But they did not come by the way which the Old Testament predicted the Messiah would come.

Also when Jesus and his followers had died there still came shepherds calling people to follow them. There came all sorts of churches, sheepfolds, claiming to be the best sheepfold, but most of them though saying they are Christian do not follow the teachings and rules of that good shepherd which title they use in their name. Those teachers and other shepherds climbed up some other way. They presented themselves to Israel in a manner of their own choosing.
These men were not true shepherds, but thieves and robbers. Thieves are those who take what does not belong to them, and robbers are those who use violence in doing so. The Pharisees were as such thieves and robbers. They sought to rule over the Jews, and yet did everything in their power to hinder them from accepting the true Messiah. They persecuted those who followed Jesus, and eventually they would put Jesus to death.

English: Sheepfold. An abandoned sheepfold aga...

Sheepfold. An abandoned sheepfold against a threatening sky. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Long, long ago the world was told a good shepherd would come. In the past was promised that no matter how things look to you right now, there is a new reality you need to know about. (Psalm 23) Lots of promises where given to the people in the world. Many did not want to listen to them. Still many do not want to give an ear to all those promises. But they are still valuable, they all can be taken up and for those who want to accept the given presents there is a new world to open. For all who did not know it yet, or who had not opened their present, which was already long ago (about 2 000 years ago) given, but by many not yet taken nor opened, there is still time to accept it and to open it.

The greatest present is that good shepherd, the only begotten beloved son of God. He is the new creation of the Creator Deity.

He is the one man who managed to succeed the exam with highest award. He succeeded in not doing his will but in always doing the will of his heavenly Father, the Master Shepherd or Most High Shepherd of the universe. He knew that this Master Shepherd has the best den for everybody and wants to bring all to this best-equipped stable.

When you have Israel the sheep, the chosen people of God, you also may see lots of Jews today who are not religious any more or who are wandering around not knowing what to belief. Also by the gentiles or the heathen there are several with questions about what to belief, what to follow, who to follow. they are the goats wandering around in the wild world, surrounded by the roaring wild animals.

An Inner Mongolian grassland in the People’s Republic of China

Can you see and understand that there are several people who are looking for some one who can take care of them and lead them to safer pastures?

Jehovah God has provided a Good Shepherd who will take care of you and of all those who are willing to follow him. Because he deeply cares for you and for all around you, and for all you don’t even know and even he did not know when he lived here on this earth.

He even gave his life to safe all . Those who want to follow him, who is the way, shall be protected by him, like the best shepherd shall protect his sheep. He shall not be like some servants who ran away as soon as it becomes to dangerous or to hot under their feet. He shall stay there with his clock at all dangerous moments. Every step of the way he shall be there with his flock. He also wants to see that flock together and not too spread out. He would love to see his sheep all united as one body, the Body of Christ. Though they may be all different and even be of different races or groups, he wants to see it as all the different elements and organs in one body, which move in the same direction and follow the same steps as the body itself. Every step is followed by that Good Shepherd who is the servant of the Master Shepherd, who keeps a close eye on everything what happens.

But the Master Shepherd has given everything in the hands of the Good Shepherd, Whom He trust. The Master Shepherd counts on it that the Good Shepherd can choose between the goats and sheep who to keep and who to bring to the slaughter.

We should look for that Good Shepherd and find him, for us to follow and to let others follow him as well.

The Lord is my Good Shepherd

The Lord is my Good Shepherd (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Your Good Shepherd will fill your life with goodness and love and shall be open for all those who you bring to him, willing to be under his care. He will do this all the days of your life here, and bring you into his house to enjoy that goodness and love forever.

He told his disciples not to be afraid and asked them why they still had no faith. They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (‭Mark‬ ‭4‬:‭40-41) It was only after his death, his resurrection and after he had gone away from this earth that their coin dropped and really came to understand what this position of that Messiah and king was. They received the Holy Spirit. The Force of God came over them. We also should let that Force of God come over us and let it go through our bones and veins. Our blood should be filled with blood-plates of the blood of Christ, enlightened by the Spirit of God.

Jesus asked his disciples to go home to their own people and to tell them what they had heard and seen. We too should, though we have not seen, tell others what we have read and heard, and wherein we have found faith. We should get others also to see the Good Shepherd and should want to go with many followers to that one sheepfold prepared for us all.

Though we may not forget that Jesus did what God desired and wants us also to follow his path to follow the Wishes of God:

God desires willing servants who long to humble themselves and represent Him. Let us pray to be Christ’s representatives by having humble, willing hearts that desire what God desires. What an act of worship when we conform our hearts to God’s heart, through the power of His indwelling spirit. {What God desires}

In these perilous times, where bad news is increasing, evil is abounding, we should be more careful to find the right shepherd. To do that, there is a new platform, a new website, offering information for all, about that Good Shepherd, showing who it is, what he did and why we should belief in him and follow him. “Messiah for all” wants to show why we should believe the Nazarene Jew Jeshua, Jesus Christ, is the Way, the one shepherd to follow and to bring us to the best pastures which the Master Shepherd has provided for all His creation.

We may have lots of questions, we may be afraid, but we do not have to be afraid. Jesus is the Good Shepherd. Also today his voice is still resounding all over the world.

“27 my sheep listen to my voice, I recognize them, they follow me, 28 and I give them eternal life. they will absolutely never be destroyed, and no one will snatch them from my hands. 29 my father, who gave them to me, is greater than all; and no one can snatch them from the father’s hands.” (John 10:27-29 CJB)

Would you not like to have a marvellous, beautiful life where there is for ever peace and tranquillity, without an end?

“also I have other sheep which are not from this pen; I need to bring them, and they will hear my voice; and there will be one flock, one shepherd.” (John 10:16 CJB)

Let us become part of that one flock and follow Jesus and no other man.

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Preceding article: Happy Chinese New Year

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Please do find also to read:

  1. When you don’t know what to do and hate yourself
  2. Breathing and growing with no heir
  3. Colour-blindness and road code
  4. A beginning with many false starts
  5. Starting block
  6. If Doubt
  7. May we have doubts
  8. Are people allowed to have doubts
  9. Doubting and going astray
  10. Background to look at things
  11. The Way To Life
  12. Servant of his Father
  13. The Servant’s Prayer
  14. On the first day for matzah
  15. His Life for the Sheep
  16. This is an amazing thing
  17. Evangelisation, local preaching opposite overseas evangelism
  18. Let me keep to “first importance” things
  19. Lovers of God, seekers and lovers of truth
  20. Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God
  21. To be prepared and very well oiled
  22. Atonement And Fellowship 6/8
  23. Those who love Jesus
  24. When Jesus saw their faith
  25. Hanukkahgiving or Thanksgivvukah
  26. Two states of existence before God
  27. United people under Christ
  28. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian

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Additional reading:

  1. Jesus the True Shepherd
  2. Well Cared For. Well Protected. Today and Forever.
  3. Divine Protection For Perilous Times

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  • Feb. 11. Jesus Talks to Nicodemus (fellowshiproom.org)
    Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews was a prominent Pharisee. Since Jesus had become controversial, Nicodemus came to Him at night so perhaps no one would see him. He understood that Jesus had come from God because of the things He had done.

    Jesus recognized a need that Nicodemus had and taught him an important lesson about the new birth.

  • Uncovering the Jewish Context of the New Testament (roshpinaproject.com)
    Jesus the Jew is the first person in recorded history to be called “Rabbi,” and Paul is the only undisputed first-century Pharisee from whom we have written records. Most of the other New Testament writers were also Jewish, writing for a Jewish audience.
    Unfortunately, for many who are Jewish, New Testament writings may well leave a first impression of dismay, if not worse. For these readers, a second look is advisable. When the New Testament is understood within its own historical context, not only can Jews recover part of Jewish history, but they can also comprehend the New Testament’s polemics, its assertions of Jesus’ divinity and its claims of fulfilled prophecy.
  • Zionists Have Used Evangelical Christianity To Cheat Christianity (thetotalcollapse.com)
    Walk into any Christian bookstore in America and you will see how virtually everyone who calls themselves a follower of Jesus Christ in this nation has been tricked into believing a false theology, which leads them to believe, erroneously, that the Bible commands them to support the Jewish nation of Israel.
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    With the advent of World War I, England began the push to create a Zionist homeland for the Jews in Palestine. This served two functions: it would ensure safe passage through theSuez Canal and trade with India; and it would placate the Zionist Jews and the British Christians who, due to British-Israelism, had been fooled into thinking they should support Zionist Jews in obedience to God and the Bible.
    +
    Dispensationalism, has resulted in the Judaizing of American Evangelical Christianity and has been successful in converting Evangelical Christian Americans into Christian Zionists, who are not following the teachings of Jesus Christ, the New Testament, or traditional orthodox Christianity at all. In fact, these millions of well-meaning people have adopted a false theology, based upon a twisting of and a re-interpretation of the Scriptures and have become a part of America’s largest and most influential non-Christian, even anti-Christian, cult: Judeo-Christianity.
  • Christians Have Been Duped by Zionists (mooglemeow.blogspot.com)
    Judaized Christians, or Christian Zionists, are fond of turning the discipline of Bible study on its head by allowing the Old Testament to interpret and to clarify the New Testament when, in fact, the proper method of Christian Bible study is to do the opposite: allow the New Testament to shed light on and interpret the Old Testament. Thus these “Christians”, rather than following the teachings and example of Jesus Christ, which is found in the New Testament, will force the words of Christ and the Christian New Testament to comply with the Old Testament, especially regarding Israel.
  • Christians Have Been Duped by Zionists (henrymakow.com)
  • Christians Have Been Duped by Zionists (therebel.website)
  • Christians Have Been Duped by Zionists (wucnews.com)
  • Rosh Hashanah: Celebrating the Jewish New Year (williams-sonoma.com)
    From September 28th through the 30th, Jewish people around the world will celebrate Rosh Hashanah, which in Hebrew means “head of the year.” It is observed to commemorate the creation of the world.
  • Myth and magic in the mundane: The Old Testament as fantasy literature… (theimaginativeconservative.org)
    The Hebrews were just ordinary people trying to scratch out a living the best way they could. In this respect, their lives were like the lives of most simple people of the time. Most ancient peoples were not Egyptian pharaohs, Babylonian monarchs, Aztec princes, or Celtic chieftains and shamans. The Hebrews were not members of the great civilizations. Wandering in the desert, they existed like the flotsam and jetsam of the ancient world.

19 Comments

Filed under Announcement, Religious affairs, Welfare matters

“Unnoticed”

The world is full of beauty which many people do not see. Many run around hectic going from here to there to earn their living and to earn a lot of worldly treasures. Most of them forget there are things which are much more worth than all the money they would be able to gather in their life.

So many small things may pass by unnoticed. In all the turmoil where do we want to stand and what do we want to do to see and meet the other?
How much do we want to open our arms to those we do not know and those we might know?

Many in this crowded world my feel lonely because they have lost touch with the inner and the outer love.

We should all be thankful for the first gift we received when we were too small to think and to do things on our own. We are here because of the first gift of love. Even in case not, we once born have been fostered and treated out of love.

Oh, so often we miss out on that love. Worse we can feel so lonely, though we see all those people passing by.

Is the loneliness standing in the corner or is it love. Often we are in the other corner because we did not dare enough to take both in our arms and shuffle them as a stack of cards in a life full of expectations of the good instead of being afraid for a world with the bad.

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  • Unnoticed (thefingerprintofmoments.wordpress.com)
    I miss you

    and I’m lonely

    in this house full of people

    and I’m so sad

    I want to puke

  • Unnoticed (hastywords.wordpress.com)

    I got down on my knees

    I grabbed a stick and poked and…

    The grasping bones of a long dead hand

    Trying to escape from a prison

    Someone created for poor Ms. Claire

    Unnoticed and forgotten

    Years ago

  • My Broken Heart Speaks Erika Berrones (thejourneywomenslife.com)

    I’ve embarked on a journey

    One to set me free

    Free from bondage in life’s array of obstacles

    I’ve chosen to face my failures

    Take responsibility for my choices

    Vanquish my fears

  • But it stings, still (kathbra.wordpress.com)
    Drinking alone to dismiss those thoughts I have

    Those thoughts that I have only sometimes

    Because I don’t let them stay all the time

    I guess because I don’t like them as much as they like me

    It’s a loneliness

  • Unnoticed (elephant1234blog.wordpress.com)
    I’ve abused my body, I must confess
    I can barely breathe, now I seek rest
    Yet Lord, I cry have pity on me
    For I am prisoner, desperate to be free

    Release my chains and let me see
    The glory of your majesty
    Hear my cry lord, please don’t ignore
    Don’t cast me aside, for I am yours

6 Comments

Filed under Being and Feeling, Poetry - Poems, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs

Welcome to Easter 2014

In Belgium and in many other countries we can see around us, in the shops and on social media that more and more attention is given to a time of celebration with gifts. Everything turns more around the material gift instead of the spiritual gift of blessings and of the Grace given to humankind.

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In this writing:
  1. Easter about big rabbit who invaded home and left candy everywhere
  2. large meals (usually brunch) or fancy dinner
  3. materialization of goods at Easter.
  4. like Christmas, Easter =  becoming about how much money can be spend on children or grand children
  5. Holiday’s = disguise Needs as gifts
  6. when do we draw the line?
  7. Easter has (like Christmas) lost it’s true meaning over the years
  8. Generations trying to compensate for what they never had?
  9. Trying to “be the parent you mother/father wasn’t”?
  10. holiday become just another money grab.

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  • Easter Eggs, Bunny Rabbits and Easter Time Fun (roomtogrow.co.uk)
    With Easter fast approaching your little ones will be getting excited about the eggs that the Easter Bunny will no doubt bring them.  Easter is a fab festival with lots of craft and play activities that children enjoy.  Here are some great Easter activities that you can enjoy with the kids as they wait for the arrival of the Easter Bunny.
  • Bunny Snake Is Ready for Easter (neatorama.com)
    DeviantART member NocturneJewel loves her pet snakes. She dresses them appropriately for different holidays, including Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day, and East
  • Avoiding the Empty Calories of Chocolate Easter Eggs (connectevolvethrive.com)
    When I was a child, a neighbor who was a devout Christian came over to our house and sat distraught, talking to my mother. She had just returned from the grocery store and found it filled with chocolate bunnies and cream eggs for Easter. She said to my mother, “we, as Christians, have already lost Christmas to commercialism, if we lose Easter too, our religion is in serious trouble.”What my neighbor was decrying was the substitution of commercialism for content- of surface for substance. When advertisers come in to our lives and try and sell back to us our own experiences, they diminish them.
  • All About Easter (cristina1395.wordpress.com)
    The Easter Bunny is another story. He wasn’t always the pink or white bunny that hides chocolate eggs in your house. Long ago, he was called the Easter Hare. Some say he was a large, handsome bird who changed himself into a rabbit, which explains why the Easter Bunny now builds a nest and fills it with colored eggs.
  • 10 Kids Completely Freaked Out By the Easter Bunny (k99.com)

    Bunnies, in their normal form, are small, cute, bouncy and fluffy with cute little cotton ball tails. But, the Easter Bunny is no regular bunny. For children, the Easter Bunny is not only a source of chocolates and marshmallow Peeps, but also a source of terror. (Like you weren’t scared of a giant walking bunny dressed in human clothes when you were a wee one.) Here are 10 adorable videos featuring kids who are completely freaked out by the Easter Bunny.

    Read More: 10 Kids Completely Freaked Out By the Easter Bunny | http://k99.com/kids-scared-of-easter-bunny/?trackback=tsmclip

    Bunnies, in their normal form, are small, cute, bouncy and fluffy with cute little cotton ball tails. But, the Easter Bunny is no regular bunny. For children, the Easter Bunny is not only a source of chocolates and marshmallow Peeps, but also a source of terror. (Like you weren’t scared of a giant walking bunny dressed in human clothes when you were a wee one.) Here are 10 adorable videos featuring kids who are completely freaked out by the Easter Bunny.

    Bunnies, in their normal form, are small, cute, bouncy and fluffy with cute little cotton ball tails. But, the Easter Bunny is no regular bunny. For children, the Easter Bunny is not only a source of chocolates and marshmallow Peeps, but also a source of terror. (Like you weren’t scared of a giant walking bunny dressed in human clothes when you were a wee one.) Here are 10 adorable videos featuring kids who are completely freaked out by the Easter Bunny.

    Read More: 10 Kids Completely Freaked Out By the Easter Bunny | http://k99.com/kids-scared-of-easter-bunny/?trackback=tsmclip

    For children, the Easter Bunny is not only a source of chocolates and marshmallow Peeps, but also a source of terror. (Like you weren’t scared of a giant walking bunny dressed in human clothes when you were a wee one.) Here are 10 adorable videos featuring kids who are completely freaked out by the Easter Bunny.

    Read More: 10 Kids Completely Freaked Out By the Easter Bunny | http://k99.com/kids-scared-of-easter-bunny/?trackback=tsmclip

  • Would Jesus Like Easter Lilies? (thedivinenatureproject.com)
    Would Jesus like Easter lilies? Maybe. Maybe not. I mean, think about it–Easter lilies—those showy, scented, “look-at-me-flowers” are everything Jesus was not:
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    According to legend, lilies sprouted in the Garden of Gethsemane after Christ’s crucifixion—popping up from the sweat-soaked ground after his brutal bout of suffering.From this legend, the multi-million dollar Easter lily business is believed to have grown. And this week those stately flowers will adorn the altars of thousands of churches, representing hope and purity.
  • Easter: An Awakening of Spirit (allthingsfulfilling.com)
    Easter gives us the spiritual power to do the work, accept the discipline, and make the sacrifice.
  • Easter for the Dead (timmybrister.com)
    I’ve been thinking this week about the phenomena of Easter services as a cultural indicator or remnant of Christendom. Why do a rather large people attend an Easter service (and churches cater to these people) who otherwise have little to no interest in God? Certainly we want to seize the opportunity to preach the gospel to those in our communities who are open and accessible during this time (who otherwise would not have interest in God). But I can’t help but wonder if there is a serious disconnect or irony at play here.
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    Going back to the mass of people who will attend Easter services this Lord’s Day, are these realities motivating them to celebrate Easter? If so, then should not the good news mean more than a proverbial hat-tip to the greatest sacrifice by the greatest person who ever lived? Should not a true appraisal of Easter be that we find our death in His death, our live in His life, and our resurrection and in His resurrection? Certainly union with Christ and the presence of His indwelling Spirit would magnify the resurrection of Christ so that Easter is an every day reality, should it not?
  • 5 Reasons you’ll want to be at BBC this Easter! (asocialshift.com)
    All families are invited to join us for BBC’s 3rd annual Easter Eggstravaganza! This is a free gift to the community for all boys and girls from babies through 5th grade. Free egg hunts, bounce houses, face painting, snacks and fun Easter photos! We’ll also have a special egg hunt for our children with special needs!
  • Are You Amazed By His Love? (beyondbeautyblog.wordpress.com)
    Our Lord’s birth is the reason for the fun-filled, wildly decorative, frenzied gift exchange of  Christmas.

    But Easter…oh, Easter!  It is the celebration of God’s greatest gift to us.  By His death and resurrection, those who believe in Him will receive the gift of eternal life.

 

ColleenKnapp92

Image

Easter[nb 1] (Old English ĒostreLatinPaschaGreek Πάσχα Paskha, the latter two derived from Hebrewפֶּסַח‎ Pesaḥ[4]) is aChristian festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion at Calvary as described in the New Testament.[5][6] Easter is the culmination of the Passion of Christ, preceded by Lent, a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter )

Now, I’m not of religious views, so when I was a child Easter was about a big rabbit who invaded your home and left candy everywhere. Then the family would gather around for large meals (usually brunch) or a fancy dinner and just enjoy what the Easter Bunny brought us. Talk, and have family time. But I’ve noticed something that disturbs me…

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Filed under Economical affairs, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs