Tag Archives: Humility

Your Life: Habit or Freedom?

 

VeritasCurat.net

For audio/video of this article, please visit the Veritas Curat YouTube Channel, or scroll to the bottom of this page.

A friend once asked me, “With all the years you’ve studied the mind and its functions, why have you not written a book? Especially since you love to write?”

I could have given him a dozen different answers, but what instantly issued from my mouth was, “You’re supposed to write what you know. All I’ve focused on has been stuff like truth and wisdom. I see no point in writing about it, since greater minds than mine have already said it before.”

Without missing a beat, my friend quipped, “That’s okay. People weren’t reading about truth and wisdom before either.”

Whether considering the Stoics, Buddhists, or any other countless philosophies or religions over the centuries, I’ve discovered two common themes.

First, have unconditional love for all of humanity.

And…

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A Sequoia Adventure: The Captivating Forest of Dreams

When human beings keep denying global warming and shall not be willing to do something against the climate change, then lots of our world its beauty and grandeur, shall be lost for ever.

Let us make sure that more people come to know the beauty we have to protect and safeguard for future generations.

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To remember.

  • places in nature to captivate the soul
  • Sequoia National Park tucked high up in the Sierra Nevada mountains = a sacred, enchanted place > inflame the imagination in the most stoic of souls.
  • Giant Sequoias = mammoths of wood = most massive trees on our planet + many over 3,000 years old + standing steadfast + resilient through all problems between nations that came and went > cfr. Roman Empire > All of the power, dominance, influence, + hubris of a great empire rose + fell in a short span of this tree’s life
  • spiritual experience calls one to contemplate the meager existence of our own lives + to reflect on the nature of time + the circle of life.
  • to give us a great heaping dose of humility.
  • to turn our perspectives upward + outward, + to find peace in the giant flowing river of space & time.
  • Sequoia acorn = only about two inches by one inch + containing a little over 200 seeds => potential to become a giant forest in time, outliving many generations + entire civilizations of people.

Some places I wander into in nature captivate my soul in special ways, not just for their beauty and grandeur, but because they whisper into my very being and offer me something that we all need a heavy dose of from time to time, humility. Sequoia National Park was that special place that I recently visited. Tucked high up in the Sierra Nevada mountains, it is a sacred, enchanted place that can inflame the imagination in the most stoic of souls. It is a place of wonder and magic that can hardly be put into words, only quietly and humbly felt in the presence of these wondrous ancient giants, the Sequoia trees.

The Giant Sequoias are the most massive trees on our planet. They are almost incomprehensible to behold, staring up from the base of these mammoths of wood. They grow up to 40 feet in diameter, stretch up to…

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Learning from ourselves

Often it are the setbacks that bring people back with their feet on the ground and have they rethink about their position in this world and in their life.

The most difficult part in our life is often to liberate ourself from the chain of vanity that may have caught us, and to get to learn that we better have to become an instrument in the Hands of our Creator, following His path He has laid out in front of us.

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To remember

“You teach best what you most need to learn.”  = line from Richard Bach’s book ‘Illusions’ running through mind

Marianne Williamson frequently shares very personal stories about her honest trials through life which makes her advice all the more more palatable

  • We share in our own ways + we learn in our own ways

 

today’s lesson = Humility.

  • ego wants to (and has been) defending self, making excuses, + trying to justify own actions
  • making way through personal feelings of remorse, embarrassment, + confusio
  • often advice we give to others = exact advice we need ourselves.
  • hold ourselves to some ridiculous standard of “perfection” => too self-conscious to admit struggle with things we advise others to do.
  • listen to ourselves +  realize things we passionately want to teach other people = things we, ourselves, truly want to learn + embody =>  vigilant level of self awareness + honesty

enhance + deepen relationships with others + ability to impact them in a positive way

1)  Be Honest

2)  Have Compassion

3)  Stop Trying to be Perfect =>  sense of freedom

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Preceding

I is for Incompleteness

Timeless Insights on Humility

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I is for Incompleteness

How often our thoughts do not bring us to think why we did not do this or that and did not become this or that? How many of us dream not of a magnificent career and when we start working dream of reaching the top one day. But when would that top being reached?

More than once we receive a figural slap in the face, and several time we are put hard on the ground, making us aware that perhaps we want to much of ourselves or that we have a little ‘too big me’ in us.

Humility is often a trait that is difficult to achieve, but we can better place our hope in it, to feel happy, than to keep on struggling in the swamp of our vanity.

Hot Dogs and Marmalade

The victory of humility is the acceptance of our own incompleteness,
in order that He may make us complete in His own way.

Thomas Merton, The Silent Life


At least half of our Playmobile guys didn’t have hair.

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Humility

Who is choosing who? Is it leaders choosing people for them or are it people who choose the leader?

In history we can see that more than once people followed the wrong leader, but we also can see how the Divine Creator had chosen Him a people, who not always remained faithful.

Human pride made that people went astray from the Most Precious and Most Righteous Leader, the God above all gods. It is man’s self-reliance and whimsy that brought him into all kinds of difficulties.

Today, man still has a lot to learn about humility and dignified recognition.

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To remember

  • Humility = virtue asserted by every religion + every spiritual tradition > understood by very few.
  • Humility = self-forgetfulness.
  • A leader, particularly one in a spiritual position, must live a paradox.
  • natural + lamentable temptation to see leadership status as a privilege => affirmation of one’s own superiority.
  • best leaders =  people do not notice their existence.
  • Focus on self, whether in praise or in criticism  =/= humility.
  • leader of a people must forget himself => no room for selfishness
  • leader = clear channel for the people’s will + for wisdom => no room for his own desires, his own aggrandizement, his own ego.
  • Beware the rich man bearing gifts.
  • For the leader to be among the wise =>  first necessary a measure of wisdom be found in the people.
  • people follow a venal leader, keep him tightly bound with restraints of law + of their own suspicion => can do little good, dares do little harm, + law + people restrain him.

Brian Rush

Humility is a virtue asserted by every religion and every spiritual tradition and understood by very few. It’s something that was brought home to me recently by an exploration of the phenomenon of leadership.

A leader, particularly one in a spiritual position, must live a paradox. He is “above” the rest in certain ways: taking greater responsibility, providing guidance and help to others that they cannot as easily do for themselves, upholding the highest standards of thought and behavior. If he starts to think of himself as above the rest, though, he hampers his ability to fulfill his function as a leader. There’s a natural and lamentable temptation to see leadership status as a privilege, and to take from it affirmation of one’s own superiority. It’s very difficult to avoid doing this, but the very best of leaders do.

As Lao Tzu put it:

To lead people, walk beside…

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Willing to be little


“A great man is always willing to be little.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson


Dutch version / Nederlandse versie > Bereid om klein te zijn

" Waldo Emerson, head-and-shoulders portr...

” Waldo Emerson, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing right / engraved and published by S.A. Schoff … from an original drawing by Sam W. Rowse in the possession of Charles Eliot Norton, Esq. ; S.A. Schoff.” Engraving. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Stuck in Mitzrayim looking at an exodus out of slavery

Today’s guest-speaker looking at Psalm 37 knows that there are times in our lives when we are called to speak up and let our voices be heard, but also times to be silent.

The psalms of David may sound great in our ears and get us carried away in service showing our love for God with exuberance. There may be deep darkness in our world, but we lightening candles hear that music that has the power to awaken the light.

“I will praise Thee, O Lord, among the people; I will sing unto Thee among the nations.” (Psalms 57:9 KJ21)

Today’s rabbi writes

Music has the power to bring people together, singing in harmony, but the music of much of the Middle East these days is not an inviting melody.

Thomas Fuller

17th century British scholar, preacher Thomas Fuller

An old proverb of uncertain origin goes, it’s always darkest before the dawn. A version of this first appeared in print in 1640 in a travelogue by the English theologian and historian Thomas Fuller entitled, A Pisgah-Sight Of Palestine And The Confines Thereof.

How sad that he wrote this when traveling through Israel; and that more than 370 years later, the dark clouds still loom over much of the region. {Psalm 57}

Therefore in these darker days of the time coming closer to the end times, we should shed the light and show others which great event and which hope we are remembering the coming days.

Now we have come to a time to thank God and to sing for Him. A time to show our thankfulness that he liberated His chosen people and was willing to provide a marvellous future, a Kingdom to come, with a Holy Land where there shall be no slavery any more to whatsoever and where there shall be peace.

Today’s guest-speaker knows

A Seder table setting

A Seder table setting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

that there are Jews who do not have a Seder or celebrate Passover by putting away the bread and cereal and other leavened grain products for eight days in favor of matza. No matter what you do for Passover, I encourage you to take the holiday experience, especially the Seder, seriously. {Divre Harav/Words from the Rabbi – April, 2015}

It is a period we may not let pass unnoticed. The Divine Creator demanded it to be a special time until the eternity.

The critical element of the Passover Experience is not the elaborate food eaten for dinner at the Seder, but rather the thought that goes into preparing food without leavening and the symbolism behind it. One common take on hametz, leavening, is that it symbolizes the ego. The opposite of hametz, matza, symbolizes humility. Passover can be seen as an exercise in reducing the ego and developing a humble attitude towards caring for others.

The critical element of the Seder is not the brisket or the matza ball soup, but rather the retelling of the story of the Exodus, with the focus on how that story moves us to see and address oppression in the world around us. {Divre Harav/Words from the Rabbi – April, 2015}

Now has the time come to stand still by those old stories of men and women who had to work hard and did not see any way out of slavery. Time to wonder how are relation with God is and if there are no sins hindering or to impede a good relationship. Today there are still many forms of slavery going on. But we should know that the Elohim promised a Messiah and that always all promises of god become a reality.

We should trust the Most High and study the Torah, letting us inspire and build up our personality.

Perhaps at the proper candle-lighting time, before candle-lighting doing the 4 questions and 4 children and singing songs, you too may tell the story of Pesah in a very abbreviated way.

In keeping with the mishnah’s instructions to tell the story from degradation to redemption, we basically tell the story by reading the key passages of the Hagaddah from Deuteronomy 26:5-8, reciting the plagues, the teaching of Rabban Gamliel and the beginning of Hallel. {Divre Harav/Words from the Rabbi – April, 2015}

It is a moment to be humble and to share the many goods we have with others. Time to put ourselves aside, to think about God’s people and to give praise to the Most High.

When we do feel lonely and blocked in this material world, where we see so many slave to material goods and to money delivering jobs, we can think of the capital Mitzrayim.

The Hebrew word for Egypt is Mitzrayim, a word that connotes narrow places  (probably taking its name from the fact that the fertile part of Egypt is a narrow strip of land on either side of the Nile).  In a metaphorical sense, when we are stuck in Mitzrayim, we are living our lives in a constricted place. We are stuck inside a narrow box.  Pesah is the time to look at the narrow box in which we are living, look at those behaviors which keep us stuck in a rut, and free ourselves. {Stuck in a Rut? Pesah Tells You to Get Unstuck!}

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Preceding articles

Seven lights or basic emotions

How to Live Beyond the Ordinary

Psalm 37 Humble inheriting the earth

Thoughts on Passover

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Related articles

  1. Shabbat HaChodesh: Parshiyot Vayakhel & Pekudei 5777–Shabbat Torah Study–Happy New Year!
  2. Shabbat HaHodesh: Say His Name
  3. Gut Chodesh
  4. Seven Things to Do to Make Your First Passover Seder a Success via CoffeeShop Rabbi
  5. Maggid
  6. Heschel for Passover (or Any Time)
  7. Fill In The Blanks Haggadah
  8. Passover is a week away!
  9. Ladino Songs for the Seder 2016
  10. Who Are We? – Pesah 5776
  11. Your Passover Relevance is Killing My Seder
  12. The Pesach (Passover) Binder
  13. Are There Sins Separating Me From God?
  14. Our Life, a Journey to God
  15. Moses for President

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even so, it is well with my soul

Rush to hospital > Chronic Kidney Failure Stage 3 > transfer to the Jacaranda Hospital > a nephrologist = lifesaver.

daughter seventeen years old > downward spiral soon classify her as Stage 4 chronic kidney disease (CKD) => need dialysis or kidney transplant in near future + many adjustments + Lifestyle changes. Dietary changes. Physical and emotional changes

witnessed her spiritual growth, she made peace with her own reality + all her energy focussed on finding natural ways to increase quality of her life.

learnt about humility

It is well with my soul …’ =  song written by Horatio Spafford, who experienced great personal loss. > in midst of his tragedy > able to rejoice in God’s goodness.

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Preceding articles:

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

Though disabled in the eyes of society able to do great things

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heart prints

Trials teach us what we are; they dig up the soil, and let us see what we are made of.

Charles Spurgeon

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April 2006

She fell ill with a fever that I could not contain.  I rushed her to hospital late at night and before we could gather our bearings, she was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Failure Stage 3. I briefly remember admission into Little Company of Mary Hospital, the transfer to Pretoria Urology Hospital, the urologist telling me that the damage was so severe that they could not do a proper biopsy and another transfer to the Jacaranda Hospital where we met a nephrologist that would become a lifesaver. My daughter was seventeen years old.

I remember a downward spiral that would soon classify her as Stage 4.

A person with stage 4 chronic kidney disease (CKD) has advanced kidney damage with a severe decrease in the glomerular filtration rate

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Don’t Harden Your Heart

When taken by grief and facing many disappointments the danger is that our heart becomes hardened and that we do not want to see the source any more of living water.

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Today we listen to Baptist preacher Shawn Thomas who knows that there can be “great” sorrow, and “unceasing” grief also for a Christian.

He remarks

Perhaps, contrary to all we’ve heard and been taught all these years, the measure of a godly person is not how “happy” they are all the time, but how unceasingly sorrowful, as they bear in their souls the burdens of the lost and hurting individuals around them. Those who do so are in good company: they are like Paul, and most importantly, they are like Jesus Christ Himself. Those who do not feel deeply the spiritual burdens of others cannot claim to be like Him who was characterized as “a man of sorrows.” {Are Good Christians Always “Happy”?}

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We may suffer emotions and shed tears more than once in our life. Every day we face the world we also must face that we do have to tackle the problems of the day, enduring at the sight of them.

Often, being wronged we ourselves fall in the trap of doing wrong to others. Or we leave ourselves be carried away by all the problems, agony and heartache, that our own heart becomes hard like a stone. Very great sadness and emotional suffering can tear us down or become a cancer in our life.

Facing this life we also do have to face the difficulties of it. We must know we have been given a library of books to guide us through that life in a way that we shall be able to bare those pains and difficulties. We often forget that when certain things happen we perhaps also where the origin of or causing the problem to ourself. Sometimes we are put back in place, corrected as if you were. sometimes it are others who remind us of what we are doing wrong.

The tendency of our proud human nature is to reject criticism and stick to our stubborn path. But we do so to our own harm.

There is time to “stick to your guns” and do what you know God is leading you to do. But we should also have an openness to listen to someone who sees that we are making a bad mistake and need to correct it. Blessedly, David had the wisdom and humility to listen to Joab, and then act — and he saved his kingdom as a result. May God give each of us the humility and grace to listen to loving criticism, and respond in a way which will benefit ourselves and others. {Responding To Correction}

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To remember

  • Those who have hardened their hearts will believe and do just about anything except turn to the Lord.
  • they believe Any likely (or unlikely!) alternative => they’ll take any other course of action, to keep from humbling themselves + having to repent of the sin that they are clinging to instead.
  • need to beware of any hardness of heart creeping into our own life

In light of these warnings:

  • — Don’t let
    a sin remain unrepented in your life
    a bitterness against someone remain unforgiven
    pride refuse to be humbled
    an area of disobedience stand

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Preceding articles

Our existence..

Facing our existence every day

Facing daily events and exclaiming “Good grief!”

Fear, struggles, sadness, bad feelings and depression

Reminding myself!!

Are you right down in the dumps? Stop digging!

Ruth having reason to grief

A look at the Poet’s corner’s grief basket

Some Thoughts On Bitterness From Various Authors

Dealing with Disappointment

A Glory followed by Despair

Depression Is and When

Crying is good for inner self!!

I said God it hurts

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Additional reading

  1. Failing Man to make free choice
  2. A time for everything
  3. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #16 Benefits of praying
  4. If there is bitterness in the heart
  5. No time for immorality
  6. What Jesus did: First things first
  7. Be humble like Christ
  8. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 2
  9. Necessity of a revelation of creation 4 Getting understanding by Word of God 2

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Further reading

  1. non-failure is not equal to success.
  2. The Personal Priority of the Word
  3. The Revealing Nature of Mourning
  4. To the proud and worldly
  5. #4. What we reap
  6. Too Much Grace?
  7. Confident Humility
  8. Pride…
  9. They are Hard but Necessary

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shawnethomas

“Now while they were on their way, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all that had happened.” (Matthew 28:11 NASB)

You have to ask yourself: just how depraved were these chief priests? The guard reported to them “all that had happened” — i.e., that the angel had appeared, etc. — didn’t they fear that this might really be a work of God? If Jesus could do this, was there any way that they could stop Him? And yet they schemed together (:12) and spread a lie about His body being stolen (:13-15) instead of repenting and believing in the Lord themselves.

There is an important lesson here:

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


Abide in Me, and I in you.
As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.  (John 15:4-5)

Although these verses do not mention grace, they are a classic biblical explanation of grace bringing forth fruit in lives.
The language depicts an actual vineyard, where fruit grows on branches that are properly related to a vine. Then, this physical reality is applied figuratively to spiritual fruit developing in our lives, if we are relating correctly to Jesus.

In this teaching, our Lord reminds us that literal branches are not able to produce fruit themselves.
“The branch cannot bear fruit of itself.”
We are spiritual branches, so we will not be able to produce fruit either.
“Neither can you, unless you abide in Me.”
In fact, our potential for manufacturing genuine spiritual fruit is zero.
“Without Me you can do nothing.”
The best we could ever hope to produce would be religious, wax fruit. Such would come from our fleshly attempts to appear godly or effective. People may be fooled by this, but God never will be. Furthermore, people cannot be edified by partaking of such, and God cannot be glorified.

True fruit results from the ongoing development of life.
Life is only innate to vines, not branches.
For a grape to develop on any grape branch, the life of the vine must flow into, and work within, the branch. So it is with us. “I am the vine, you are the branches.” This distinction is vital. We must never forget the difference, if we desire to bear fruit.
The life we need for fruitfulness is in Him, not in us.

How do we avail ourselves of that life which is essential for fruit?
“Abide in Me, and I in you.”
We are to look to Jesus for life, counting on Him to live in and through us. Then, His life, working in us, brings forth Christlike fruit.
How do we know if we are abiding?
If we are willing to depend upon Jesus for spiritual fruit as a grape branch relies upon its vine for grapes, then we are truly abiding in Christ. Such dependency brings valid expectation for great measures of Christlikeness to be developing in and through our lives. “He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit.”

This is clearly grace at work, as seen in the relational realities of humility and faith.
Humility is operating as we acknowledge”without Me you can do nothing.”
Faith is exercised as we believe” that He who abides in Me . . . bears much fruit.”

Lord Jesus, my true vine, I humbly agree with You that I cannot produce spiritual fruit on my own. I admit that apart from You at work in me, I could never manifest any genuine godliness. So, with great expectation I look to You to provide the life I need for much fruitfulness, Amen. 

 

We pray to the great Spiritual Power in which
We pray, above all, for peace throughout the world.
prayer for … – name


  • Bob Hoekstra


Preceding

100-Day Identity Makeover: Day 56

Paul giving notice of the works we have to do

The works we have to do according to James the brother of Christ

Our life depending on faith

Which is worse–works without faith, or faith without works?

James 2:24 – You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only

Passion fruit still on the vine

Passion fruit still on the vine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Additional reading

  1. The way of salvation
  2. Faith Requires a Basis
  3. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  4. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  5. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  6. Faith and works
  7. Sharing your faith
  8. Bearing fruit
  9. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  10. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  11. Be holy
  12. 1 Corinthians 15 Hope in action
  13. Chief means by which men are built up
  14. Not to play at Christianity
  15. To be established in the present truth
  16. She who sows thistles will reap prickles
  17. Love for each other attracting others
  18. Share your faith
  19. Outflow of foundational relationship based on acceptance of Jesus
  20. Faith, storms and actions to be taken
  21. The longer you wait
  22. A call easy to understand

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