Tag Archives: Trials

Picking up suitcases of pride


“Every woman that finally figured out her worth,
has picked up her suitcases of pride
and boarded a flight to freedom,
which landed in the valley of change.”
― Shannon L. Alder


Dutch version / Nederlandse versie > Koffers van trots inpakken en wegwezen

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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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Why are you afraid?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He writes

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

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

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

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

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

On one of his articles Dawn Marie answers:

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

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

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

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

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Preceding articles:

Where were you when the world stopped turning?

Nailed to our chairs, never to forget

The Nine Eleven Scar

Taste of Dust

A Prayer for 9-11

When will it stop

Next: Life Goes On

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Additional articles:

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

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Unshakable Hope

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

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

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

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What would you do if…?

Lots of people encounter many struggles in life. Some get to learn how to cope with them, others get pulled down so much that they do not see any reason any more to live.

All have good and bad moments in life and whether we’re going through the worst of times or the best of times, history and our own experiences show us that life does go on and that we are just a very tiny atom in it

In this world there are people who, like Ray who grew up in London, moved away and travelled the world, ending up back where he started, are not able to raise their arm but found ways using other parts of their body to communicate or to move things, though at times it may feel for them like they might as well be trying to move the earth.

It is not the Most High Creator Who brings all that badness over us. But it is Him Who give us the opportunity to work around it and to become stronger, if we allow Him working in our midst.

We should not fear man nor fear worldly situations or diseases, but should fear God and come to trust and honour Him, putting our ‘tiny’ hand in His Big Hand, to be carried through life.

There are no rules to how life plays out. We have no control over it. The only thing we have control over is how we face those challenges. We are not so much a product of the challenges placed before us as we are a product of how each of us has faced those challenges. {To Live And Ride With ALS}

Please do find what Bill of Unshakable hope has to say and look how he manages to cope with the terminal disease called Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ALS or call it “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”.

He does not believe God causes trials and he doesn’t believe we will ever fully understand, at least not in this life.

But, whatever other reasons God has for allowing trials, I discovered two big things that He accomplishes through our trials; He helps us reset our priorities and forms our character. (Obviously He had a lot of work to do on me).

For sure he is not the only one to whom God has a lot of work to do. For the creator of this and some other lifestyle magazines had also to go through two near death experiences before he decided to work more for God. It does not mean, that took all the pain and frustrations away from him, but he gets encouraged by feeling the Hand of God at work in him … and that keeps him going….

One night, about a year before Bill was diagnosed with ALS, he and his wife Mary were up late watching “Nightline” on which Ted Koppel was doing three nights of interviews with retired college professor Morrie Schwartz who also had ALS and was sharing his life-lessons with Ted Koppel just as he had done previously with one of his former students named Mitch Albom who compiled these life-lessons and wrote a best-selling book titled “Tuesdays with Morrie.”

Bill has one vivid memory from watching those interviews

having to rely on his wife + caregivers for virtually all of his needs = helpless he was

Bill turned to Mary and told her

I would rather just go to heaven than live trapped in my own body like him.

a year after making that statement = diagnosed with same “trapped-in-your-own-body” disease

=> hastily-made statement began to haunt + taunt me

=> change view + began trying to do best to live one day at a time <= grace of God in me, urging me to keep going

Hastily-made statements carelessly uttered by healthy people = spoken out of pride = cannot comprehend grace of God <= self-reliant, self-righteous + just plain selfish

Trials cause us to reexamine hastily-made statements we’ve made before the trial, when we so carelessly said what we’d do if this thing or that thing happened to us.

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Preceding articles

The Greatest Fear

Fear in your own heart or outside of it

Fear, struggles, sadness, bad feelings and depression

Phantom Of Dreams

How to Find the Meaning of Life and Reach a State of Peace

Watch out

Walking in the Light of Life

See the conquest and believe that we can gain the victory

When the world rages, let it rage, but let us not fear it

Those steady drips, those small steps!

My tales will be beautiful

For those Christians who say they are the Victim

Christians remaining hidden not sharing the gospel

How To Get Started In Sharing Your Faith As a Christian

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Additional reading

  1. Struggles of life
  2. Pain and Suffering is inevitable but Misery is optional
  3. Good and bad things in this world
  4. Your struggles develop your strengths
  5. A way to prepare for the Kingdom
  6. Not holding back and getting out of darkness
  7. Science, scepticism, doubts and beliefs
  8. If there is bitterness in the heart
  9. Emotional pain and emotional deadness
  10. Evil in this world not bringing us down
  11. Dying or not
  12. Life Goes On
  13. Trouble is coming
  14. End of the Bottom Line
  15. A small trouble is like a pebble
  16. She who sows thistles will reap prickles
  17. Do not be so busy adding up your troubles
  18. Do the appropriate for a friend
  19. A Breath for tomorrow
  20. Shelter in the morning
  21. Luck
  22. Rejoice even though bound to grieve
  23. From pain to purpose
  24. Faith because of the questions
  25. Hope by faith and free gift
  26. 1 Corinthians 15 Hope in action
  27. May reading the Bible provoke us into action to set our feet on the narrow way
  28. You God hold the future
  29. Gaining Christ, trusting Jehovah
  30. God is my refuge and my fortress in Him I will trust
  31. Trust God to shelter, safety and security
  32. Songs in the night Worship God only

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Further reading

  1. ALS Awareness Month
  2. Pesticide Use Linked To Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s & ALS
  3. Why Me?
  4. To Live And Ride With ALS (Part ll)
  5. The Sacred In The Mundane
  6. The Bread Of Affliction
  7. I’m Sorry
  8. Cape and Tights – My Grandmother’s Struggle with ALS
  9. 2016/05/09/ Repost
  10. Mother With ALS Paints Again
  11. Kirkus Review of My Perfect Imperfections
  12. The Reason I Run, Chris Spriggs – a review
  13. The Walk
  14. Army vet starts ‘#22kill push up challenge’ to help other veterans
  15. One man’s poison is another man’s….
  16. The Story So Far…
  17. Can you see it?
  18. The Woman Behind The Blog
  19. The Privilege of Growing Old
  20. How Famous Researchers Work: Stephen Hawking
  21. Advocates for Rare Diseases

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Unshakable Hope

One night, about a year before I was diagnosed with ALS, Mary and I were up late watching “Nightline.” Ted Koppel was doing three nights of interviews with a retired college professor named Morrie Schwartz. Morrie had ALS and was sharing his life-lessons with Ted Koppel just as he had done previously with one of his former students named Mitch Albom. Mitch later compiled these life-lessons and wrote a best-selling book titled “Tuesdays with Morrie.”

I hate to admit this, but even after seeing the three nights of interviews and reading the book, I cannot remember most of the life-lessons that Morrie taught. But, I do have one vivid memory from watching those interviews; it occurred while listening to Morrie describe his daily routine – having to rely on his wife and caregivers for virtually all of his needs. After hearing how helpless he was…

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Educational affairs, Health affairs, Lifestyle, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs, Welfare matters

Fear in your own heart or outside of it

Sea of Fear

Sea of Fear (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When we grow up, looking at others somehow we are also caught by fear. Many times in our life we come into situations where we do not feel at ease, to say the least. More than once in a lifetime we shall become confronted with moments that fear comes over us. Be it a difficult moment in a travelling situation, an accident whilst working, or hearing something bad about our health.

We should not want to be unaware of our affliction and should know that not only we are facing difficulties or burdens. We also should know that they also can go beyond our strength, so that we can also become despaired of life.

In such circumstances let us think about the apostles who also had the sentence of death within themselves so that they would not trust in themselves, but in God who raises the dead (2 Corinthians 1:8-9).

Those apostles when they were with their master teacher also were caught by the fear. Though they should have known that this rabbi was a special sent one from God. But now he was sleeping and they were in such a big storm that their hearts were beating rapidly with fear.

Matthew 8:24-26 (RNKJV)
24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. 25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, My master, save us: we perish. 26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.

Mark 4:39  (RNKJV)
And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

Luke 8:24  (RNKJV)
And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.

They did come up to Jesus and asked him for help, in the knowledge that he really could help them, because God was with him. When in those heavy waters, were they not of little faith, like on other occasions?

Matthew 16:8  (RNKJV)
Which when Yahushua perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?

Mark 4:40  (RNKJV)
And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

We should have faith in Christ Jesus and believe what he has told, that his heavenly Father is always with those who love Him. When we believe in God and believe in the sent one from God, we should have less reasons to fear than those who do not believe in the Most High. Because God is with those who believe in Him.

Isaiah 41:10-14  (RNKJV)
10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy Elohim: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
11 Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish. 12 Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. 13 For I יהוה thy Elohim will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.
14 Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith יהוה, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.

Though it is normal to have fear and to be aware that we should be attentive and fearful.

A doctor delivering news of a life-threatening diagnosis or when we loose a job, we might have lots of worries and wonder what to happen next. More than once, in our life, we shall become confronted with unpleasant situations and feel like we are tested. Trials force us off of the proverbial fence. We do have to take a stand, make decisions, which can alter so much. Every time we shall have to make the right choices or the right decisions. and those decisions shall be heard and seen by others, who will make their conclusions. Our “I” shall be seen clear by others, and we shall have to feel if we are it our self or if we just go with the majority because that seems us the best choice not to be different. but than we betray not only ourselves, but also our Creator. When we do not doubt God’s promise, we should not have to be afraid to carry out.

Romans 4:20  (RNKJV)
He staggered not at the promise of יהוה through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to יהוה;

When we are not afraid to undergo these earthly sufferings by not feeling any shame to be a believer of God, than this fear shall become so small it will not hurt us, but shall make us to react in the right godly way. For we know in whom we have put our faith, and we are convinced that He is able to guard what we have entrusted to Him until ‘that day’ we know shall come.

2 Timothy 1:12  (RNKJV)
For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

Having enough faith in God and His sent one the fear shall soon be outside us.

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Preceding articles

In your own heart or outside of it

How to Find the Meaning of Life and Reach a State of Peace

The Greatest Fear

Phantom Of Dreams

Home-stayers and their to do list

On the Edge of Believing

For those Christians who say they are the Victim

After darkness a moment of life renewal

There can only be hope when there is a will to be and say “I am”

You’ve got wings…

Christians remaining hidden not sharing the gospel

How To Get Started In Sharing Your Faith As a Christian

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Additional reading

  1. What is life?
  2. When discouraged facing opposition
  3. Fear knocked at the door
  4. 8 fears caused by the fear of Man
  5. Fear of failure, and fear of the unknown
  6. Facing disaster fatigue
  7. Does God stands behind all evil on earth
  8. Some one or something to fear #5 Not afraid
  9. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  10. Breathing and growing with no heir
  11. Not holding back and getting out of darkness
  12. Looking at three “I am” s
  13. Fear and protection
  14. People Seeking for God 7 The Lord and lords
  15. Look for your Refuge by God
  16. Back from gone #2 Aim of godly people
  17. Back from gone #4 Your inner feelings and actions
  18. Condemnation of the World and Illustration of Justification
  19. Standing within proximity of the glory of God
  20. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #8 Prayer #6 Communication and manifestation
  21. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #16 Benefits of praying
  22. The chosen ones to fear or not to fear
  23. Control and change
  24. Wondering
  25. Fearing the right person
  26. Lovers of God, seekers and lovers of truth
  27. Jehovah steep rock and fortress, source of insight
  28. Do not be afraid. Good news because a Saviour has been born
  29. Fear not tomorrow. God is already there
  30. Dealing with worries in our lives
  31. No fear in love
  32. Only the contrite self, sick of its pretensions, can find salvation
  33. A new year with hopes and challenges
  34. Christians remaining hidden not sharing the gospel
  35. To believe in the liberation of slavery and to repent
  36. Rejoice even though bound to grieve
  37. To know God by wonders
  38. No other god besides Jehovah who gives all explanation

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Further reading:

  1. My Reality
  2. Wall of Emotion
  3. this may – Step in
  4. Fear
  5. Fear II
  6. The Fears I can’t Shake
  7. On Summed Fears
  8. despite the anger and fear in my heart
  9. a list of things that you should fear
  10. Nightmares
  11. Flammable
  12. Depression
  13. Do not run
  14. A Woman In Waiting
  15. Why Pick A Title When I Won’t Be Able To Commit To It
  16. “Fear is Easy, Love is Hard”
  17. Fearstorm
  18. Come To The Edge
  19. Fear of going back to sleep
  20. Moments of Uncertainty
  21. Fear of the Caw
  22. Under oath
  23. Why are you afraid?
  24. Motivation
  25. Facing fears
  26. Fearing fear itself and the simple solution
  27. This Is How You Can Overcome Your Fear Of Failure
  28. The Fear of Making Mistakes: There is not Such a Thing as Failure
  29. How I Face My Fear Of Failure
  30. Do We Really Want Rest?
  31. You have to take action!
  32. Your Critics Don’t Count
  33. Don’t avoid life
  34. Stepping out on Faith
  35. Faith Walk
  36. What is the one gift God gives to all of us?
  37. Proverbs: Seek the LORD
  38. We’ll Understand It Better By and By

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Knowledge & Wisdom, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, Welfare matters

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

What moves mountains? Trust!

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry near Montreal, Canada (May 1942)

Antoine de Saint Exupéry was a passionate searcher. He was passionate about life, about spirituality, the depth of mystery. But, for a long time, for him too the skies remained silent. Notwithstanding all his sustained trials, his prayers were not heard. Until one day he discovered that the biggest mercy of prayer consists in – not being heard.
 
Prayer itself  is mercy.
Every human being  sooner or later is confronted with sorrow, suffering, saying goodbye, and come across questions that are not answered or are confronted with problems that cannot be solved. We try everything, but nothing succeeds, nothing works, nothing moves – not through willpower, not through sustained prayer. Sooner or later we ask ourselves: why?

We want an answer.

Español: Interior del Museo Antoine de Saint-E...

Interior Museum of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in Tarfaya (Morocco) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A sign. In this way in spite of ourselves, we imagine what is good for us. We create an image  that we need to be helped and how and when this should happen. It is exactly at this point that de Saint Exupéry discovered that the answer to his prayer did not coincide with the images he had in mind. He realised that the answer to his prayer exceeds the image created by us. It does not allow to be steered, or the use of words and is only  to be understood by the heart. From a heart that exists through… trust.

Only belief that trusts completely can accept the holy ground of ‘not understanding’.
When we touch the bottom of  intense doubt with our problems – and yet trust – true belief surges. Something becomes visible and tangible which we would otherwise never see, feel or experience.

Then we may discover with surprise, with an inner certitude that does not need a rational explanation, that -in essence- we are inspired.

And stronger : right through the agony of doubt, paradoxally enough, we find inner peace.

BZN Movement Without a Name Proverb of the month

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Additional reading:

  1. A ruffled mind makes a restless pillow
  2. Rejoice even though bound to grieve
  3. The soul has no rainbow if the eyes have no tears
  4. Trouble is coming
  5. Do not be so busy adding up your troubles
  6. Life’s challenges may not paralyse you
  7. A small trouble is like a pebble
  8. Remembering from times of trouble
  9. Anxiety is the gap between the now and the later
  10. If your difficulties are longstanding, try kneeling
  11. A problem not worth praying about isn’t worth worrying about
  12. Give your tears to God
  13. Crying and trusting ones do not get disappointed
  14. Call unto God so that He can answer you
  15. Let God’s promises shine on your problems
  16. Don’t put a question mark where God put a period
  17. Don’t wait to catch a healthy attitude
  18. Fearing the right person
  19. Trust the future to God
  20. Stick to one God
  21. Trust God to shelter, safety and security
  22. God is my refuge and my fortress in Him I will trust
  23. Be convinced that we are loved
  24. Love been perfected with us
  25. Faithfulness when most necessary
  26. Have a little talk with the Potter
  27. Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement
  28. A person is limited only by the thoughts that he chooses
  29. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  30. What loneliness is more lonely than distrust?
  31. Confidence
  32. Hope begins in the dark
  33. It is not try but trust

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  • Secret ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (misssfaith.com)
    Throw away all the worries about being not perfect – you are perfect just the way you are and a big smile from a happy heart is much more worth than a fake laugh of a wrinkle-less face.
  • In Search of the Little Prince (kirkusreviews.com)
    A scene of Saint-Exupéry working on the manuscript for Le Petit Prince includes a peek at his imagined characters; the delightful back cover depicts the Little Prince and Tonio, shoes off, sitting in opposite chairs, apparently deep in speculative conversation.
  • Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: The Little Prince (headbutler.com)
    When Robin Williams died, my Facebook screen lit up with one quote after another from “The Little Prince.”I didn’t understand why so many people responded with lines from this book.
  • Why Did “The Little Prince” Quotes Suddenly Appear After Robin Williams’ Death? (goodmenproject.com)

    One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye.

    You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.

    All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.

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    those Facebook friends mourning a grown-up who never lost his connection to the child within? They knew just where to look.
  • 7 Best Book Covers Of All Time (whytoread.com)
    Few stories are as widely read and as universally cherished by children and adults alike as The Little Prince. Richard Howard’s translation of the beloved classic beautifully reflects Saint-Exupéry’s unique and gifted style. Howard, an acclaimed poet and one of the preeminent translators of our time, has excelled in bringing the English text as close as possible to the French, in language, style, and most important, spirit. The artwork in this edition has been restored to match in detail and in color Saint-Exupéry’s original artwork. Combining Richard Howard’s translation with restored original art, this definitive English-language edition of The Little Prince will capture the hearts of readers of all ages.
  • The Little Prince And The Better Parts Of Javascript (greenido.wordpress.com)
    The little price“It seems that perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to subtract.”
  • It’s a Little Lonely (bronwendeklerk.com)
    “Where are the people?…It’s a little lonely in the desert…”
    “It is lonely when you’re among people, too”
  • Inspired by His Love (enteringthepromisedland.wordpress.com)
    Indwelt by the light of God that continually produces good works springing from that love God has poured into our heart before (Rom 5:5), we can experience that there is nothing greater in this world and beyond than His Love offers. God’s Love is better than being right, better than being successful, better than being known, and better than possessing all material things one could wish for.
  • Storytelling, Culture, and Revolution (goodmenproject.com)
    A story might simply be a story if it stands by itself — in a vacuum. Yet, a story rooted in our life experiences is not just a story. It is much more. In it we find revealed the particular relationship that we, the storytellers, have with our environment. Individual stories are part of the fabric that is our worldview. Stories, whether fictitious or true, spring forth from our values, believes, perceptions, dreams, imaginations or wishes, all of which are bound to our life experiences, which in turn are fundamentally shaped by our particular environment. The stories, then, that we tell ourselves are bound up in a feedback system whereby our lives find expression in stories which are in turn enacted by us. If, as Ishmael tells us, we believe that the world was made for man (i.e. man as the climax of the whole cosmic drama of creation) and that we are at odds with nature’s distasteful, dehumanizing elements (i.e. moving beyond the wretchedness of the animal condition), then the stories that we will write and enact are stories of conquest, progress, and an alienation from nature.

5 Comments

Filed under Being and Feeling, Movement Without a Name, Spiritual affairs