Tag Archives: Religious worship

Spring playing hide and seek

Bold Jumping SpiderPhotographer Mike Powell knows that spring has truly arrived when he starts to walk around with a macro lens on his camera. You may find some nice shots of a Bold Jumping Spider (Phidippus audax) on the boardwalk the 4th of April at Huntley Meadows Park in his article Jumping spider in early April.

Northern ShovelerWith new vegetation springing up near the edges of the ponds at Huntley Meadows Park, some of the ducks are now hanging out within range of his camera rather than in the middle of the pond. This past weekend he was able to capture the unusual beauty of this male Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata). (See: Unusual beauty)

In Belgium the temperatures are still low for the time of year and the sun does not seem to be able to get through the clouds. Hyacinths may stand droopy, but the hortensia (or hydrangea) coloured green in just three days, as soon as we got, at last, some higher temperature. For some kids and adults again a time to play ducks and drakes (throwing flat stones so that they skim along the surface of water)

Belted Kingfisher

Female Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) at Mike Powell’s favourite marshland park.

At moments we can see the Great Blue Herons hover over the bare fields, him not having to fear that a Belted Kingfisher would catch our attention, him sitting on a throne of a piece of wood, overlooking everything as a king. (See: Old faithful & Look both ways)

After the terrorist attacks the people living in Belgium are not at all afraid to get some fresh air and to go places. They find lesser tourists on their track. Many of those who had planned their vacation cancelled the trip to France and Belgium, but those who were already underway enjoy the less busy squares and enjoy very much their stay in this small country.

Every season heralds the might and mystery of superior designs emergent on earth and it is up to people to see the beauty of it all or to adapt to them as needed, respecting their place in the botanical, animal and mineral kingdoms, and our place in theirs.

For lovers of God once more every season is a whirlwind of proofs of the Hand behind this wonderful world. By all the changes taking place around us we can see how wonderfully made this nature world is and how it is impossible for man to create himself such a marvellous world.

In certain countries ‘Spring Break’ and ‘Holy Week’ coincided. In Belgium people do have their Easter holiday. Being a so called Catholic country there was the time to reflect with ‘Holy Week’, but where most went to look for sun and warmthin an other country or went on to the traditional Belgian coast Easter holiday.

Having had the pagan Easter Sunday with kids looking for eggs, others went to have a walk in parks.

Sue, a Presbyterian who lives in Missouri, the California girl Lori, living in Kansas and Ruth, living in New Jersey, having no particular religious affiliation, also look at Spring and write

In this part of Missouri, spring is making an appearance.  The land is still a little grim looking, all grey and brown, but there are also signs of growth, signs of hope. {Easter: Making Time for God}

SueBE recognises that it is easier when she is alone and when she has some time to both wander and wonder. she writes

I know, I know. It means I missed time that could have been spent in group worship.  And we missed a dinner.  But I also got to connect with God and having done that I can say it was truly worth it. His message?

Breathe. Just take a moment, stand still, and breathe.

It isn’t a message I would have received in worship or with family but it was definitely a message that I needed to hear.

We can spend time in group worship, but than we also should wonder if we are worshipping the right God and not a human concoction of a three-headed god. Though we do know that also in such groups or churches people can connect with God. there they should come to listen to Him and should follow His Wishes. Often for many living in this materialistic world that is very difficult. Most people prefer to keep to the human traditions, like Easter and Easter bunnies, Christmas and Christmas trees, instead of keeping to the by god given holidays like 14 Nisan or Pesach.

Belgian traditions are full of pagan rituals. All our culture is interwoven with Celtic and Germanic traditions, people having those gods interposed on their Catholic gods and religious figures.

Those looking for God shall have the difficulty to step aside and to leave those human traditions for what they are and abandoning those human teachings which have made integral part of the West European culture for centuries. Not only the Roman Catholic Church made use of those old customs. For man it is not always easy to finish such habits or to come to see that those are not laudable customs but are abominations in the eyes of God.

As Spring is a time of refreshment it is also an ideal time to start a fresh. It is a time to begin a new life, like nature also brings new life in view.

A God called Love, full of Grace and Mercy, tenderly loving us, is looking at this world and hoping His children will come back to Him. He is calling the, every moment of the day and night.

Now the darker days diminish we should come to see more of the beauties God has given this world and should take time to renew our sense of purpose by building the house of our life on the foundation of God’s Word.  {Life with a Purpose}

There are so many things that can affect the flow of God’s word and presence into our lives. Like deep sea divers, we must continually remind ourselves that nothing—nothing—is as important as that life-giving flow. {Pray as if Your Life Depends on It!}

writes Mitch Teemley in one of his ‘Stories with a Message.’

the Belted Kingfisher is a large, conspicuous ...

the Belted Kingfisher is a large, conspicuous and noisy kingfisher, the only member of that group commonly found in the northern United States and Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But to have God being able to work at you, you shall have to open up yourself and be willing to listen to His Words. We ourselves have to decide if we shall stay connected with this world, being of this world, or wanting to belong to God, being of His world.

Lots of name Christians who as a child had some religious activities have become ‘dried up’. Frustrated with the dryness in their spiritual life they do not know which way to turn. Instead of daring to take a step back and to explore again the magic of this world around them, seeing the Creator His acts in it. when they would go up a mountain or do some long walk and give their mind to nature, they will be surprised to hear something and to feel something special in them. That are the moments we can come close to God, and of which we should take use.

Such photographers like Mike Powell, Cindy Dydyer, Cindy Barton Knoke, and sites like Purple Rays are there on the net to bring beauty for beauty and show those things which are so much greater than a human being, and are the ‘given presence’ of the Greatest Designer of all universe.

If you are limited by the limitations or boundaries of your body, the chains in this life, such writers on the net make it possible to go all over the world and see the beauty of this world. When you are bounded to a wheelchair or not able to move far places, do enjoy their pictures and let you be taken away on a magic journey. Let the pain disappear by enjoying the beautiful pictures and please do take time to let your mind hover over thoughts which can bring you closer to That Maker of everything.

Taking His Book of books shall ad wisdom to it all and bring you to see who is who and what you shall have to believe and how you too can look forward to a much better life than this one you might have in this system of things, this time of this world.

Even if we can not be sure about the seasons, you should know that God is not hiding so that He can not be found. He is there … to be found by you.

Find also to read: All about love, not needing disasters

Preceding: Springtime is coming

 

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Additional reading

  1. Dealing with worries in our lives
  2. In a world which knows no peace sharing blessed hope
  3. Are you looking for answers and Are you looking for God
  4. Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #3 Days to be kept holy or set apart
  5. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #7 Prayer #5 Listening Ear
  6. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #8 Prayer #6 Communication and manifestation
  7. Cognizance at the doorstep or at the internet socket
  8. Best intimate relation to look for
  9. God’s never-ending stream of much-needed mercies
  10. Easter: Origins in a pagan Christ
  11. Eostre, Easter, White god, chocolate eggs, Easter bunnies and metaphorical resurrection
  12. Exodus 9: Liar Liar
  13. Geert Wilders wants mandatory blackface at Dutch festival
  14. Irminsul, dies natalis solis invicti, birthday of light, Christmas and Saturnalia
  15. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  16. Wishing lanterns and Christmas
  17. Christmas trees
  18. Days of nisan – Pesach or Pasach/Pascha
  19. Pesach and a lot of brokenness in the world

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Further related articles:

  1. Fantasia of Spring
  2. Time Out for This Bird
  3. Easter: Making Time for God
  4. Life with a Purpose
  5. Pray as if Your Life Depends on It!

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Being and Feeling, Crimes & Atrocities, Ecological affairs, Headlines - News, Lifestyle, Nature, Religious affairs, World affairs

The works we have to do according to James

 

“2  You must consider it the purest joy, my brothers, when you are involved in various trials, 3 for you surely know that what is genuine in your faith produces the patient mind that endures; 4 but you must let your endurance come to its perfect product, so that you may be fully developed and perfectly equipped, without any defects.
5 But if any one of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask God who generously gives to everyone and never reproaches one with its lack, and it will be given to him. 6 But he must ask in faith, without a doubt, for the man who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is whirled and swayed by the wind. 7 Such a man, indeed, 8 a person with two minds, unreliable in every step he takes, (1:7A) must not expect to get anything from the Lord.

9 Let the poor brother of lowly station rejoice in his exalted station as a Christian, 10 and the rich brother rejoice in his being on a level with the poor, because the rich will fade away like the flower of the grass.” (James 1:2-10 Williams)

“12 Blessed is the person who endures trial, for when he stands the test, he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him.

13  No one must say, when he is tempted to do evil, “I have a temptation from God to do evil,” for God cannot be tempted to do evil, and He never tempts anyone to do so. 14 But anyone is tempted to do evil when he is allured by his own evil desire and enticed by a bait. 15 Then evil desire conceives and gives birth to sin, and when sin is completed, it brings forth death.” (James 1:12-15 Williams)

“19  You must understand this, my dearly loved brothers. Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to get angry; 20 for a man’s anger does not produce the uprightness that God requires.
21 So strip yourselves of everything impure and all the evils prevailing around you, and in humble spirit welcome the message which when rooted in your hearts is able to save your souls.

22 Keep on obeying this message; do not merely listen to it, and so deceive yourselves. 23 Because if anyone merely listens to the message without obeying it, he is like a man who looks in a mirror at his own face, 24 for he looks and then goes off and at once forgets how he looked. 25 But the man who looks at the flawless law that makes men free, and keeps on looking, proving himself to be, not a forgetful hearer but an actual doer of what it requires, will be blessed in what he does.

26 If anyone thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue, but deceives himself, his religious worship is worthless. 27 A religious worship that is pure and stainless in the sight of God the Father is this: To look after orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep one’s own self unstained by the world.” (James 1:19-27 Williams)

“1  My brothers, stop trying to maintain your faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious presence of God on earth, along with acts of partiality to certain ones. 2 For if a man with a gold ring, dressed in fine clothes, comes to your meeting, and at the same time a poor man clad in dirty clothes, 3 and you pay special attention to the man who wears the fine clothes, and say to him, “Sit here in this fine place,” and say to the poor man, “Stand up, or sit there on the floor at my feet,” 4 do you not make improper distinctions among yourselves and prove to be critics with evil motives?” (James 2:1-4 Williams)

“8  But if you really observe the law of the King in accordance with the Scripture, “You must love your neighbor as you do yourself,” you are doing right; 9 but if you show partiality, you are committing sin, because you are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.
10 For whoever obeys the whole law, except to slip in a single instance, is guilty of breaking it all.

11 For He who said, “You must not commit adultery,” also said, “You must not commit murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery but you do commit murder, you are just the same as a lawbreaker.

12 You must continue talking and acting like people who are to be judged by the law that treats them as free. 13 For merciless judgment will be the portion of the merciless man; yet mercy will triumph over judgment.

14  My brothers, what good is there in a man’s saying that he has faith, if he has no good deeds to prove it? Such faith cannot save him, can it?

15 If some brother or sister is thinly clad and has no food for the day, 16 and one of you says to him, “Blessings on you, keep warm, eat until you have a plenty,” without giving him the things that are needed for the body, what good does it do?

17 So faith by itself, if it has no deeds to back it up, is dead. 18 But someone may say, “You have faith, and I have good deeds. Show me your faith without any good deeds, but I will show you mine by my good deeds.”

19 Do you believe in one God? Very well; the demons, too, believe that, and shudder. 20 But, O senseless man, are you willing to learn that faith without good deeds is worthless?

21 Was not our forefather Abraham shown to be upright by his good deeds, namely, by offering Isaac his son upon the altar?

22 You see that faith co-operated with his good deeds, and by his good deeds faith was made complete; 23 and so the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham put his faith in God, and it was credited to him for uprightness, and he was called God’s friend.”

24 You see that a man is shown to be upright by his good deeds, and not merely by his faith.

25 Was not even Rahab the prostitute shown to be upright by her good deeds, namely, by entertaining the scouts and sending them off by a different road? 26 Just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without good deeds is dead.” (James 2:8-26 Williams)

“13  Who among you is wise and intelligent? Let him show by his noble living that his good deeds are done in humility, which wisdom prompts. 14 But if you cherish bitter jealousy and rivalry in your hearts, stop being proud of it and stop being false to the standard of truth. 15 This is not the kind of wisdom that comes down from above; no, it is earthly, human, demoniacal. 16 For wherever jealousy and rivalry exist, there will be confusion and all sorts of evil practices. 17 The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of compassion and good deeds, free from doubts and insincerity. 18 The harvest of uprightness is grown from the seed of peace by those who are peacemakers.” (James 3:13-18 Williams)

“1  What causes wars and quarrels among you? Is it not your different desires which are ever at war within your bodies?
You desire things and cannot have them, and so you commit murder. 2 You covet things, but cannot acquire them, and so you quarrel and fight. You do not have them, because you do not ask for them. 3 You ask and fail to get them, because you ask with evil, selfish motives, to spend them on your pleasures.

4 You faithless wives! Do you not know that the friendship of the world means enmity with God? So whoever wants to be a friend to the world puts himself down as an enemy to God. 5 Or, do you think that the Scripture means nothing when it says, “He jealously yearns for the Spirit that He causes to dwell in your hearts”? 6 But He gives a greater spiritual blessing. He says, “God opposes haughty people but blesses humble people.”

7 So then, submit to God. Resist the devil and he will fly from you.

8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Get your hands clean, you sinners. Get your hearts purified, you double-minded. 9 Be miserable, mourn, and weep aloud. Let your laughter be turned to grief and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you high.

11  Stop talking against one another, brothers. Whoever is in the habit of talking against a brother or of criticizing his brother is criticizing and condemning the law. But if you are in the habit of criticizing the law, you are not a practicer but a critic of the law.
12 There is but one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who has the power to save and to destroy; then who are you that you presume to judge your brother?” (James 4:1-12 Williams)

“7 So be patient, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer keeps on waiting and waiting for the precious crop from his land; how he keeps up his patience over it until he gets the early and the late rains.
8 You must be patient, too; you must put iron into your hearts, because the coming of the Lord is close it hand. 9 Stop muttering against one another, brothers, so as to keep from being judged yourselves.
Look! The Judge is standing at the very door. 10 As an example of ill-treatment and patience, brothers, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord.” (James 5:7-10 Williams)

“12  Above all, my brothers, stop swearing, either by heaven or by the earth, or by anything else. Let your “Yes” mean Yes, and your “No,” No, so as to keep from falling under condemnation.

13 Is any one of you suffering ill-treatment? He should keep on praying. Is anyone in a happy mood? He should keep on singing praise to God.

14 Is anyone sick among you? He should call in the elders of the church, and they should pray over him, and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord, 15 and the prayer that is offered in faith will save the sick man; the Lord will raise him to health, and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

16 So practice confessing your sins to one another, and praying for one another, that you may be cured. An upright man’s prayer, when it keeps at work, is very powerful.” (James 5:12-16 Williams)

“19 My brothers, if any one of you has wandered away from the truth, and someone brings him back, 20 you may be sure that whoever brings a sinner back from his evil ways will save the man’s soul from death, and cover up a multitude of sins.” (James 5:19-20 Williams)

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Part of Dutch version / Gedeelte van de Nederlandstalige versie: De aanduiding door Paulus en Jacobus van de werken die wij horen te doen

Preceding articles

  1. Leading people astray!
  2. Restitution
  3. Comments to James remarks, about Faith and works
  4. Luther’s misunderstanding
  5. January 27, 417, Pope Innocent I condemning Pelagius about Faith and Works
  6. Our life depending on faith
  7. Romans 4 and the Sacraments
  8. Is Justification a process?
  9. Justification – salvation is by grace through faith – JI Packer
  10. Faith itself not the cause of justification – Louis Berkhof
  11. Letter to the Romans, chapter 3
  12. Letter to the Romans, chapter 4
  13. Additional comments to the 3rd Letter to the Romans
  14. Additional comments to the Letter to the Romans 4
  15. Which is worse–works without faith, or faith without works?
  16. James 2:14-23 — Justified Dynamic Faith & works
  17. James 2:24 – You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
  18. James 2:25. Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
  19. Paul giving notice of the works we have to do

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Read also other articles as:

  1. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  2. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  3. The way of salvation
  4. A “seed” for the blessing of all mankind would come through the family of Abraham
  5. God works faith
  6. Faith is the belief that god will do what is right
  7. Christ’s ethical teaching
  8.  Being Justified by faith
  9. Faith is knowing there is an ocean because you have seen a brook.
  10. Faith Requires a Basis
  11. Walking in love by faith, not by sight
  12. Faith Alone Does Not Save . . . No Matter How Many Times Protestants Say It Does
  13. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  14. A Living Faith #2 State of your faith
  15. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  16. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  17. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  18. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
  19. Faith and works
  20. Sharing your faith
  21. Bearing fruit
  22. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  23. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  24. Be holy
  25. 1 Corinthians 15 Hope in action
  26. Chief means by which men are built up
  27. Not to play at Christianity
  28. To be established in the present truth
  29. She who sows thistles will reap prickles
  30. Love for each other attracting others
  31. Share your faith
  32. Outflow of foundational relationship based on acceptance of Jesus
  33. Faith, storms and actions to be taken
  34. The longer you wait

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Lifestyle, Quotations from Holy Scriptures, Religious affairs