Tag Archives: United States of America

Are you doing Thanksgiving

Today in several countries believers have a special honouring day for God, being thankful for everything He did and still does.

In the United States of America it is a national holiday at which they think of the Pilgrims and the Native Americans, gathering with the family and friends over a meal.

In the Bible, Thanksgiving meant Thanksgiving. There were no turkeys, football, Squanto, or Pilgrims. {You Are Probably Doing Thanksgiving All Wrong}

We should think about the spiritual and physical bread God provides for mankind. He gave them manna and still provides that we have plenty of food from the fields and fruit-trees. Today we make time to thank God for all that we can find on our plate.

This day is the opposite of tomorrow, when in the materialist countries it shall be “Black Friday”, showing how greedy our society has become and how more interest there is in this world for things we can see and hold in our hands. The Unseen shall not find a place in many hearts which love more the money and material goods.

In Jesus’ day, people were thankful without all of the extra baggage we’ve attached to the idea of being thankful. Their idea of gratitude derived from an appreciation of being alive. We find it hard to appreciate being alive without first confronting the emotional depths of a cat meme or having a relative with a serious illness. Jesus’ followers were able to find gratitude for their daily bread despite their brother having leprosy or their sister’s calling to be a prostitute by the local well. Gratitude isn’t something picked up from comparing yourself to the misery of others; it is our response to God’s presence in the universe. {You Are Probably Doing Thanksgiving All Wrong}

Lots of people have forgotten why and for what they have to be grateful for. Believers should tell them why today we remind ourself of our blessings. For lots of people it is only this “One day a year we officially give thanks as a nation”. {You Are Probably Doing Thanksgiving All Wrong} In their country they have a holiday with puritanical religious overtones where no one goes to church. In other countries it shall be this coming Sunday that many, like us, shall take time to remember all the blessings coming over us thanks to the Most High.

In most parts of the commercial world it’s a secular (holi)day where societal convention dictates to overeat, watch football, and nap, people doing Thanksgiving once a year because the calendar says so.

In short, it’s a moral and ethical mess of our own design.

The reason Thanksgiving feels forced, blasé, and awkward is that it is forced, commercialized, manufactured, and has nothing to do with real honest to God gratitude or thankfulness. {You Are Probably Doing Thanksgiving All Wrong}

For those who call themselves Christian it should be a day to remember all that god has given to the world. The Unseen God always was with His people and gave the world His only begotten son so that Gentiles also could become partakers in a heavenly calling and of the Body of Christ made able to enter the Kingdom of God. Let us today show our thanks for what God has given to the world.

No matter where you live, no matter where life finds you, there is always something to be thankful for. {Happy Thanksgiving!}

happy_thanksgiving

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Preceding

Time to be strengthened, thankful and to be prepared

Many opportunities given by God

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Additional reading

  1. Thanksgiving wisdom: Why gratitude is good for your health
  2. By counting our blessings we not only feel good, but we multiply our good
  3. Life in gratitude opens glory of God
  4. Thanking God by thinking of people
  5. Give thanks to the One Who gave much
  6. Being thankful
  7. Give Thanks To God
  8. Praise Jehovah, ​You people

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Related

  1. Happy thanksgiving In 1621, long before the birth of the United States of America, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared a bountiful harvest feast.
  2. Happy Thanksgiving 11/22/18
  3. It’s Officially Dead Turkey Day
  4. Thanksgiving Blessings from Ireland
  5. gathering
  6. what is enough?
  7. Thankful
  8. Happy Thanksgiving
  9. Happy Thanksgiving!! Pumpkin pie, turkey, stuffing, the stuff your mother makes but you don’t know what it is!! Today is the day to feast like you never have and enjoy time with family and friends.

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Filed under Fashion - Trends, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, Social affairs, Welfare matters

The American democracy wasn’t built in a day, but it could be destroyed swiftly and imperceptibly

An American lady who felt compelled to write a novel of hope and who want us to keep our hearts open and act within love instead of reacting out of fear looks at her own country where some one pulls the strings in a dangerous manner.

She writes

Believe me when I tell you that living in the U.S. right now is like being on a nonstop roller coaster ride, minus the thrill. I don’t understand the mindset of those who think our current POTUS is America’s savior. Perhaps they’re not dependent on healthcare for their lives. Perhaps they don’t live paycheck-to-paycheck. Perhaps they’ve never experienced having the rug pulled out from under them. Or perhaps they’ve experienced all of these and are so desperate for change that they cannot see through all the lies.

One has only to read how Hitler came to power in 1930’s Germany to see the analogous framework already established here in the U.S. Denying this or accepting it as a benign trade-off is extremely dangerous. Our democracy wasn’t built in a day, but it could be destroyed swiftly and imperceptibly. However, I remain hopeful.

Photo by Ningren

I know the old patriarchal world order is dying; and as with anything facing imminent death, it’s digging in its heels for a last stand. Conditions might even get worse before the beast takes its final breath. Yet I will not be daunted. I won’t allow the power elite to rob me of hope; or worse yet, scare me into questioning what I know to be true.

Humankind is skating on the edge of heightened consciousness. But in order to fully know and appreciate expansion, one must experience constriction. We are germinating in the rich soil of explosive growth. The challenge is keeping our wits about us while embroiled in chaos. Which brings me back to my reason for writing this.

Continue reading:  Chronic Illness Update

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Crimes & Atrocities, Health affairs, Lifestyle, Political affairs

Institutional Racism

Not only the United States of America has its problems with racism. It is a growing problem in Europe as well where populism and nationalism are gaining terrain.

Several right-wing politicians are helping it to grow and use the immigration as their flagship to make people afraid for Mohammedanism. At the same time the other politicians are too much afraid to loose votes, by giving a clear voice against the exclusion of certain people and religions.

From the church, synagogues and mosques are not enough voices coming up and letting people see their true face.

We can not longer stand at the side and be silent. We do have to play our role to have people their eyes opened and to overcome to see the differences which are not and should not frighten us. We should take care to be in time to disarm those who take every effort to blacken others and to have those who have a gloomy side of things to see the world more positive and to see the others not as a threat.

We need the right people to show others are not the menace to fear, and that we can live together in peace with a multicultural society, which shall enrich us more than deteriorating us.

It is high time to see those to stand up who can and will be the ones who reform policing and empower all to build up one united society.

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To remember

  • Much of the resistance to government intervention and assistance comes down to a belief that “They” are getting the benefits – the mysterious “other” that is easily blamed for everything. It prevents us from having a useful discussion about “Us”, a free and united people ready to tackle the changes of our world bravely and directly.
  • White Privilege is generally little more than the benefit of the doubt. But when the volume is turned up and the noise is deafening, only baser senses remain. The simple benefit of the doubt often adrenalizes into violent, destructive action. {White Privilege}
  • A simple assumption accelerates into a terrible collision. {White Privilege}
  • society as a whole is still incapable of comprehending how simple yet terrible it is. {White Privilege}
  • We won’t end racism overnight, but we can continue to make progress.
  • There is a horrible lack of leadership everywhere in the developed world right now > requires strategic thinking, + strategy = horribly under-appreciated. {Strategy as Leadership}
  • separation between Strategy and Tactics is what usually trips people up. {Strategy as Leadership}
  • lack of leadership we see at the top = merely a reflection of the lack of understanding of leadership throughout our society, which is to say how to think strategically.{Strategy as Leadership}
  • institutional racism, =/= issue defeated head-on > Once lines are set => frozen. Everyone hunkered down in a defensive position, ready for the attacks. => quickly dissolves into trench warfare, = nasty game of inches rather than yards.
  • It will take understanding, love, patience, + humor to get at the heart of racism.
  • key = to engage it in a way that disarms majority of people who have racist thoughts but are empathetic enough to realize it is wrong. They need tools to cope and an invitation to stand proud rather than hunker down defensively.

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Preceding articles

If you’re going to be a hater, make sure you’ve done your homework.

Refusing to Be Silent

Tact? Knowing when it is better to remain silent!

My Multi-Cultural Childhood Could be the Answer to Racism & Xenophobia

Anti-Semitic pressure driving Jews out of Europe

It’s Time real lovers of God to Stand and Speak Out!

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Additional reading

  1. Martin Luther King’s Dream Today
  2. Immigration consternation
  3. Forms of slavery, human trafficking and disrespectful attitude to creation to be changed
  4. Migrants to the West #3
  5. Migrants to the West #8 Welbeing
  6. Speciesism and racism
  7. Rome mobilisation to say no to fascism and racism

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Related

  1. More about the Legacy of Race in Seventh-day Adventist Culture
  2. Anti-racism – definition of anti-racism by The Free Dictionary
  3. Jon Jones blasts Colby Covington for racism, throws shade after Fabricio Werdum altercation
  4. Social Issues: #2 Racial Prejudice and Racism
  5. Everyday racism
  6. AmeriKKKan Racism ~VS~ World Racism
  7. Institutional Racism Finally Addressed at Inquest into Toronto Police Killing of Andrew Loku

Barataria - The work of Erik Hare

For Dr. King’s Day, we have to acknowledge there is a war on between races.  It is a war which can only tear this nation apart, as it has done for centuries.  This,from 2016, is on how we have to engage it.

My thesis is this: there is nothing more important to the future of our nation than ending racism, particularly institutional racism. This has become a desperate matter of survival for far too many people when it comes to the issue of police killings. These tragedies happen disproportionately to minorities largely because of racism.

Yet the problem goes far beyond that. There is not a single issue in this nation which does not ultimately become polarized and frozen by race. Much of the resistance to government intervention and assistance comes down to a belief that “They” are getting the benefits – the mysterious “other” that is easily blamed for…

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Americans their stars, pretension, God, Allah and end of times signs #2 War on God’s Plan, Name and title

There are Americans who think when God/Allah the Elohim Hashem Jehovah said He would provide a great nation an make its name grate that it is all about the United States of America. They often quote than Genesis 12:2-3 and at the saying

 And I Will Bless them that Bless thee

add

( Israel and USA ), {like e.g. Kristi Ann does in {Muslims bow and worship allah / satan Everyday!!}

The 45th president of the U.S.A. considers it his right to decide which city is going to be the capital of Israel. He thinks he can play for god and like several others can think he can hasten God’s Plan. Real lovers of God do know that Jerusalem shall become the capital not only of Israel but of the Kingdom of God here on earth. By his actions and the shouting of Neo-Nazis, Alt-Right people, Tea-party people against the use of “Allah” and against Muslims, several Muslims came to consider a country which is against them and started to hate it.

“We tend to see more negative sentiment among Muslims in the Middle East, such as those from Egypt and Jordan,” noted Bruce Stokes, director of global economic attitudes at Pew, as reported by the BBC. Read the rest of the article about what Muslims think about America.

Already in June 2015 Trump announced that he would be a candidate in the U.S. presidential election of 2016 and ban immigration by Muslims. Trump wrote about those and other issues in Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again (2015). Already on the campaign trail, the true nature of Donald Trump could be seen. Strangely enough his attitude towards women did not get him into jail. With his big mouth he managed to quickly established himself as a political outsider, a stance that proved popular with many voters — especially those in the Tea Party movement — and he frequently topped opinion polls, besting established Republican politicians. After his election people could see even more controversy than in the times of his campaign. He saying that others brought fake news seemed to be the champion on bringing nep news and many lies in speeches and via his preferred social medium  Twitter. Trump continuously made and makes inflammatory remarks, some of which were deemed offensive, especially to Mexicans, Muslims, and women.
Image result for PEOPLE FOR TRUMP CARTOONS Trumps also made it known he loves the poorly educated. and could count on them for their votes, them also believing everything he was promising. Several thought wrongly that he would loose the election by loving and accepting money from the Alt right and by himself not being afraid to show off his

mode of complete egomaniacal self-indulgence. { veteran GOP strategist Mike Murphy} {When so desperate to hold onto power}

He even was not afraid to have his family connection with the Russians to be used to attack Hilary Clinton and to have a strong weapon in his hand, which in the end made him win the election whilst he got not imprisoned for high treason.

In the daily Bible readings of January 22 we could read about the stars, the moon, the sun, and signs which should be something to get us think about a time coming. Though we are told not to turn one’s head from what is going on, but also that we should not rack our brains over when Jesus would return and the end-times start. Though let us be convinced that Jesus warned that we should be ready at every moment and that we can see signs of it coming our way.

Trump me make others afraid that he shall not hesitate to start a war, but that does not mean he shall be able to start a war which is going to destroy the world.

“4  And Jesus answered and said unto them,

“Take heed that no man deceive you; 5 for many shall come in My name, saying, ‘I am Christ,’ and shall deceive many. 6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that ye be not troubled, for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” (Mt 24:4-6 KJ21)

Jesus warned his disciples that everybody should be prepared for the return of the authorised one from God, who shall return to judge the living and the dead. The world has to know that it shall have to undergo the beginning of the misery when people shall start to hate each-other so much that they shall try to set up eachother against those who think differently and against those who have a different religion than they.

“7 For nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there shall be famines and pestilences and earthquakes in divers places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted and shall kill you, and ye shall be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.” (Mt 24:7-9 KJ21)

Jesus was also aware that many would not want to have something to do with him or would not believe that he is the sent one from God, the son of man and son of God, who is authorised by God to speak in His Name. The ones which would have made him into their god shall come to roar and bellow with anger. At the different Facebook Groups and in several blog postings we can see how so called “Christians” oppose those who accept Jesus his ransom offer but do not want to make him into their god but keep loving the God of Jesus and the God of Abraham, Who is an eternal Spirit no man can see.

We are also warned that many shall try to bring the true believers of the One God Who is One, to worship false and even plural gods.

“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” (Mt 24:12 KJ21)

Instead of showing the love for their neighbour they shall try to bring hate against those which they start considering a ‘taker of their place’ and ‘an intruder’ or an ‘unwanted refugee‘. Those who love Jesus Christ shall be able to see how many who call themselves Christian shall not keep to the teachings of Christ and shall not keep to the Golden rule or Royal commandment of Christ. Many of those false teachers shall try to have the others to believe they should not do anything any more and that Jesus saved them and as such all shall come into heaven. Many of those false teachers shall like to convince the others no ‘Works of faith‘ shall have to be done and that one can enjoy all the Works of the flesh.

The world shall come to see that lots of people who call themselves Christian make a mockery of god by telling He knows everything but having Jesus as their god who did not know a lot of things, even not the very important matter of his return. Their teachings shall bring a lot away form the one who is the way to God. Those false teachers also wanting to take away the title of God (like Allah in certain languages) and taking away the Name of God, replacing it with “Lord” are making it that it even becomes more difficult for others to come to recognise the Only One true God, Jehovah, and the sent one from God, Jesus Christ the Messiah.

Many english speaking ones are wanting that others use their word for the title ‘god’ and by pressing others to take away the word ‘Allah’ (The God) and to replace Jehovah the Name of God with Lord, they should know they make it even more difficult for non believers to come to see Who the Real and Only One God is. Today we already find lots of Christians who are confused between Jesus and God.

The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) recognised already the problem of certain translations in other languages than English and wrote:

“that there is significant potential for misunderstanding of the words for ‘father‘ and ‘son‘ when applied to God, and that in languages shaped by Islamic cultures, the potential is especially acute and the misunderstandings likely to prove especially harmful to the reader’s comprehension of the gospel.” {5 Reasons “Muslim Friendly” Bible Translations are Counterproductive}

Though several English speaking people seem to be very cross with the common title “Allah” for what we consider “The God” and therefore attack such bible translations like what they call the “Muslim friendly” bible translations or “Muslim Idiom Translations” (MITs), though in those regions those books are spread, already for many centuries “Allah” has been the common title to talk about The God, by non-believers, believers, be them Christians or Muslims or even Hindu.

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Preceding

Americans their stars, pretension, God, Allah and end of times signs #1 Abrahamic religions

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Additional reading

  1. Looking for answers on the question Is there a God #2 Pantheon of gods and celebrations
  2. Another way looking at a language #5 Aramic, Hebrew and Greek
  3. Another way looking at a language #6 Set apart
  4. The Bible and names in it
  5. The Almighty Lord God of gods King above all gods
  6. Hashem השם, Hebrew for “the Name”
  7. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #13 Prayer #11 Name to be set apart
  8. Written to recognise the Promissed One
  9. Lord or Yahuwah, Yeshua or Yahushua
  10. Lord in place of the divine name
  11. Lord and owner
  12. Names, Titles, and Characters of Jesus Christ
  13. Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #11 Muslim Idiom Translations
  14. Kingdom of God what will it be like
  15. When so desperate to hold onto power
  16. Gates to different belief systems in this world
  17. A Royal Rule given to followers of Christ
  18. Thought for those who think it is not necessary to do any works any more
  19. When having found faith through the study of the Bible we do need to do works of faith
  20. Faith, storms and actions to be taken
  21. We Are The Children Of God
  22. Worthy partakers of the body of Christ
  23. God loving people justified
  24. God’s wrath and sanctification
  25. Religious people and painful absence of spring of living water
  26. Christian clergyman defiling book which did not belong to him
  27. Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 2 Prayer and neighbour love

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Related

  1. Limited Atonement and the Divine Command to Believe Falsehood
  2. I was wrong – but I am right – Calvinists preach a false gospel.
  3. Ashamed to be muslim
  4. How Not to Be Muslim..
  5. Obama “Muslims must be cherished and nurtured…”
  6. The Racists Are Complaining About Muslim Indoctrination In Their Schools — Reblog
  7. Love, Hate and Other Filters – A Muslim girl faces Islamophobia, love and her Dreams
  8. Book Review: What would a Muslim say?
  9. Muslim writer wants his “Allahu akbar” back
  10. Muslim Tells Aussie Christians The Truth!
  11. Why do so many Muslims hate America?
  12. Muslim Vikings and Abuses of History
  13. Hidden History: When Muslims Ruled in Europe
  14. The ‘I’ and ‘We’ in Independent Sri Lanka
  15. #WATWB: Muslim Man Who Saved Christians from ISIS
  16. Mosul’s Muslims to its Christians: Come Back To Your Home
  17. Sign of Hypocrites
  18. Debate: Is the cross necessary for salvation? (Adnan Rashid vs. James White) (and interaction with a Roman Catholic Response)
  19. The Week So far – With Yvonne Ridley – Impressed with Turkey, perturbed by Trump, concerned with UK Mosques, Khans boycott Israel and the helpless SAS
  20. Jews join forces with Muslims to help Invaders in Europe
  21. Social Media and Democracy
  22. Are We Questioning The News?
  23. The (almost) complete history of ‘fake news’ – BBC News
  24. Submitted: Mercer County Mafia Uses “fake news” Outlets
  25. Did “fake news” drag down journalism? No, it just exploited a vulnerable industry: journalism’s collapse cannot be blamed on fake news.
  26. HuffPost’s Blogger Platform: A Brief History of Fake News
  27. Twitter will email 677,775 users who engaged with Russian election trolls
  28. Plato, Trump and the Wall
  29. What is The Trust Project?
  30. America’s Future at Risk
  31. The Rise and Fall of CNN: The Most Busted Name in News
  32. Fake News is Less Manipulative Than Thought
  33. To avoid fake news on Facebook, just avoid all news on Facebook?

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Crimes & Atrocities, Cultural affairs, Economical affairs, Headlines - News, History, Knowledge & Wisdom, Lifestyle, Political affairs, Religious affairs, Social affairs, World affairs

A New Reformation

Lots of American churches have been caught by the American individuals aiming for capitalism and having their own self enjoying it as much as they can in as much wealth they can get.

The American people have forgotten where their ancestors came from and that they too are people which only can live in that wealth because their ancestors where finding themselves a place where they were not considered as unwanted immigrants.

Lots of Americans still do not see that their family has taken the ground of the indigenous people, the ones who lived on the pastures. Lots of Americans also have forgotten the main message of sharing agape love.They may be members of mega-churches, but those churches have nothing in common with the first ecclesiae or meeting places of the first followers of Jesus Christ.

The majority of Christians in the United States of America still do not understand how the devote Jew Saul (better known as Paul today) used also harsh language in denouncing the way the face of Christ was distorted by both false teaching and behaviour inconsistent with the Gospel. Today it is not better than in his time. Most people having taken Jesus as their god and also having made graven images of their gods. The majority has come to live like Roman Catholics not reading the bible any more and just hearing some verses often taken out of context.

All over the world we can see that the majority of people with their lifestyle are far off the teachings of the Holy Scriptures. Already for that reason it is high time we shall get some awakening again.

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To remember

American (Eastern Orthodox) theologian David Bentley Hart raises some thought-provoking questions about the American church that if raised by others would immediately be brushed aside as symptomatic of “anti-Americanism”.

open + troubling question whether American religiosity has resources to help sustain a culture as a culture >to create a meaningful future, or can only prepare for the end times.

can it cultivate kind of moral intelligence necessary to live in eternity and in historical time simultaneously, without contradiction?

 

American Christian Fundamentalism (ACF) made deep inroads into churches all over the world since the Second World War => influence magnified with rise of satellite TV + Internet.

decline of old-style European theological liberalism, ACF poses far bigger threat to global church than Islamist fundamentalism.

(1) ACF promotes religious hypocrisy > baptising consumerist “American dream” + right-wing political agendas

(2) ACF promotes mindlessness > demonizes whatever it doesn’t understand = Secularism, Evolution, Feminism, Islam + ancient Asian religions.

(3) ACF promotes divisiveness > preaching a private, individualistic “Gospel”, blinding its followers to scandal of Christian fragmentation, rivalry + separation. +  encourages “personality cults” disguised as “doctrinal distinctives.”

(4) ACF promotes Zionist views re the Middle East, reinforcing the apartheid practices of the Israeli state.

=> need a new Reformation among evangelical Protestants.

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Find also to read: Followers, protestors and reformers

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Vinoth Ramachandra

The American (Eastern Orthodox) theologian David Bentley Hart raises some thought-provoking questions about the American church that if raised by others would immediately be brushed aside as symptomatic of “anti-Americanism”. In an article (“The Angels of Sacré-Coeur”) first published in 2011, Hart writes:

“It is very much an open and troubling question whether American religiosity has the resources to help sustain a culture as a culture- whether, that is, it can create a meaningful future, or whether it can only prepare for the end times. Is the American religious temperament so apocalyptic as to be incapable of culture in any but the most local and ephemeral sense? Does it know of any city other than Babylon the Great or the New Jerusalem? For all the moral will it engenders in persons and communities, can it cultivate the kind of moral intelligence necessary to live in eternity and in historical time…

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Are you having such days?

At last the sun is showing herself after a very long grey period.

As the Director of Missions at Centreville (Virginia) Presbyterian Church, Sharon Hoover probably encounters enough people who also feel that the days are pulling at their end. She too has to make her way on this planet, amidst the joys and struggles — and also sometimes at a glacial pace — toward maturity as a Christ-follower. Through God’s grace, she also has stumbled upon some wisdom in her five decades.

It’s my joy to share thoughts, raise questions, and explore doubts. {Life’s path meanders}

She managed to take beautiful photographs of the world which tries to give enough signs of the Hand of the Most High Divine Creator. There you can find a.o. God’s paintbrush dipped into all the colours when creating the Rainbow Hot Springs (Yellowstone National Park)
But you might also be confronted with the human beings making an impact on the planet. Some good, some not so good.

She is passionate about creating space where people can experience God. This drive motivates her to disciple new believers, speak, and encourage women in their faith journey.

In her region she has to face the same flight away from church like in our regions. She, like many pastors in West Europe, has struggled as people walk away from her home church.

Relocation for employment or family reasons have taken some members. Others have chosen to leave due to differences of opinion, theology, or purposes. Regardless of the reason, it hurts nonetheless. {Why Choose the Church?}

She is been on a church staff for more than 20 years and has heard many people’s stories.

Their faith journeys often include at least one unhealthy church encounter. In my discussions with leaders of other churches, I know this is not unique to my faith community. Church nomads travel into new places of worship every week. Discouraged from a previous church experience yet wanting to be part of the larger family of God, they consider the possibility of new church home. {Why Choose the Church?}

People may be restless. In some countries they may be lucky to find different denominations, having a choice of lots of churches. In the so called Catholic country Belgium every village had its own Roman Catholic church and in cities different Catholic denominations also could be found as well as different protestant churches. Today most Catholic churches are  most of the time empty. The protestant evangelical churches which attract youngsters with their shows and entertainment services still manage to get some few at the service, for which people are prepared to travel some kilometres.

In the United States, of which we so much think of the mega churches, according to Barna’s Trends 2017, church attendance is at an all-time low in that so called Christian State. A mere 35 percent of Americans surveyed reported attending church in the past week. Two-thirds of us chose activity other than being with a faith community. Barna researchers probed further asking why people no longer attend church. Millennials’ responses were especially telling. Their top three answers were:

  •   the church is not relevant to them
  •   they find God elsewhere
  •   they can teach themselves
Sharon Hoover at the Redbud Post writes

Somewhere along the way, we have developed the shortsighted view that church is about our personal experiences. What is in it for me? Choosing to follow Christ is indeed a personal decision, but never was the journey meant to be a solo or private one. After our initial encounter with the Living God, continued growth depends on commitment to a local body of Christ. The church. Internet resources, best-selling books, and a walk in the woods can nurture faith, but it is in community where we learn to love, be patient, show kindness, receive correction, and so much more. {A Love/Hate Relationship with the Church}

Roman Catholic Eucharist

Roman Catholic Eucharist (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, lots of people have a quaint feeling about religion. Many have a love-hate relationship with God and with the church. Though lots of people still claim to be Christian, we can not see much of a Christian attitude.  You would think that as Christ-followers they would belong to the family of God. Today there is not much to see of them loving such an association with the Body of Christ. Though

God created us to be in community (Genesis 2:18; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; 1 Corinthians 12:27). This universal Church, the one that includes all who call on the name of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, draws us into a most unique global space of connectedness. {A Love/Hate Relationship with the Church}

In this globalising world we are constantly confronted with world news and lots of languages. Lots of people can go to many places.

Friends and ministry partners allowed me to travel and experience new cultures. I heard languages I had never heard before, ate exotic foods, and found fellow believers in all corners of our planet.

My husband and I faced several life changing circumstances. We became empty-nesters when our daughter headed out for college. I broke my first bone (ouch, my ankle) and he graciously took care of me. Most profoundly, my precious father-in-law Bob passed on to glory. Bob was loved by all who knew him. We mourn our loss but know that Bob is dancing with the Lord and organizing car trips from the rising of the sun to the setting of the same. {Dipping into Memories}

She still can live with many memories, but for many life goes so fast and they are carried away by social-media and their workload, that they forget to live really and before they know the time is gone, and memories have faded by the overload of junk information.

We notice that there are lots of people who struggle but do not have it in them to write it off or to have positive contacts with others pulling them out of the gutter. When Mrs. Hoover struggles with something, she tend to write a lot.

Journaling brings HealingMy initial entry typically makes little sense. It’s an attempt to catalog the crisis. Anger or frustration or animosity emerge in my inability to string words into a legible sentence.

After a while — in some cases it’s the end of that day’s entry, but in other cases, it is weeks or months or years later — my thoughts flow more gracefully. I’m able to find the words. Although the hurt may still be present, I found the ability to grasp my emotions through my journaling. {Journaling: Healing through Private Words}

We may be lucky when we can surrendered emotions onto journal pages, however, the pain flows through the pen and somehow becomes validated.

Pain and confusion take on the form of words. Once we put words to the difficult undercurrents, we begin to move forward in the path of healthy grieving. Faith emerges. A sense of calm replaces the distant and empty feelings. {Journaling: Healing through Private Words}

We get some of those days we can miss like toothache and other days we wonder what we are doing here, whilst other days we would love to happen something here on this earth with us in the centre.

Another day to get dressed, go to work, make dinner, and do the dishes. Also another day to chat with neighbors, meet a friend for coffee, and curl up in my warm bed at night.

But it’s also another day with no burning bush moments like Moses, no Damascus Road experiences like Paul, and certainly no angels like Mary’s Gabriel declaring I had found great favor with the Lord. Again. {Finding Ordinary Perseverance}

English: Steam phase eruption of Castle Geyser...

Steam phase eruption of Castle Geyser in Yellowstone National Park. The steam from the geyser casting a shadow ot itself creating crepuscular rays. Français : Eruption de vapeur du Castle Geyser à Yellowstone. La vapeur créé un jeu d’ombres et de lumière rappelant des Rayons crépusculaires. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some may have their mantra of the day suggesting they ought to have tweetable thoughts throughout the day, sprinkled with Facebook-worthy posts of witty text message screenshots, along with at least one Instagram photo of their food (even if it’s a failed Pinterest attempt) or their outfit-while-standing-with-hand-on-hip-and-leg-slightly-bent. {Finding Ordinary Perseverance}

How many do not let their thoughts been carried away to dark alleys instead of letting them wander on sunny beaches. Either they find it is again a day they do not want to have any more, or they think it was again a day like any other one, wasted … just another day.

We make ourselves crazy when we feel like we have to “be brave and do something courageous” everyday, or face the pressure of “make today the first day of the rest of my life” everyday, or “be the change you want to see in the world” every moment. It’s exhausting. {Finding Ordinary Perseverance}

It is impossible to make of every day a marvellous day let stand an incredible day. It is also not possible to tackle every day on our own. Some days we need others around us to carry us through the day. Not every day can be totally new and different on all parts.

Sometimes, Friends, the bravest thing we can do is to repeat yesterday. The ordinary. One day at a time.

When we look for momentous events daily in our friendships, parenting, job, marriage, and even faith, we set the stage for disappointment. Contentment remains unreachable when the search for adrenaline rush moments becomes our source of significance and fulfillment. {Finding Ordinary Perseverance}

Let’s just work together to take care of our 3rd rock from the sun.

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On Strike

A 40 something girl, a political junkie and obsessed, living the Southern California dream, but who knows that we are constantly giving up personal power over to some person or thing which ironically only shrinks our world further, Tricia Butler looks at today’s International Women’s Day.

Today she does not look at the blunt racism of a previous era which was portrayed not by sensationalist car bombings and riots, but through the daily humiliations suffered when doing the most common of things like finding a bathroom to use, checking out a library book or having a cup of coffee, like in “An American Tale”.

Today she also does not talk about repressed countries like Iran where a woman can be hung for adultery after being raped, or Colombia where they are imprisoned when something goes wrong with pregnancy, or in India where 300,000-600,000 female babies are aborted yearly due to their perceived poor value. (see Patricia Arquette’s Acceptance Speech Made Me Want to Hurl)

According to her she is a

woman living in America and I have the same rights as men do, as does Patricia Arquette, as does every woman in the country. {Patricia Arquette’s Acceptance Speech Made Me Want to Hurl}

But are those same rights delivering the same rights?

International Women's Day

In Belgium women also should have the same rights as men, but we can see  a lot of economical discrepancy. In the same job by certain companies there still may be a difference in pay for a man and a woman. For certain positions often men  are chosen above women.

In our country we also several women cutting back on hours after giving birth and men choosing higher paying career majors. In our area’s we also may find single childless women to single childless men still having less opportunities than men to go up on the ladder of being confronted by bosses who wonder if that woman wants to become pregnant in the near future.

Though Tricia Butler claims the equality in the States she also writes:

We were created to be seen, heard and understood as individuals, yet are constantly being shuffled off in to groups with predetermined character traits. {The Cannibalizing Nature of Group Identity Politics}

So could it well be that she found out that there is not real equality though they should legally have the same rights? She continues

Women you belong here with the victimized, white males stand over there under the racist/sexist flag and minorities you’re in with the permanently aggrieved, government is your savior crowd. And oh, hey you gays, get in line over there with the rest of the sexually promiscuous crew. {The Cannibalizing Nature of Group Identity Politics}

She continues

Identity politics have been around since at least the 1970s, but the explosion of social media and the prevalence of victimhood mentality syndrome has brought it back with a vengeance.  As it increases, the country becomes more tribal and divided and people become less inclined to take ownership of their problems as they subconsciously get filed away under “it’s someone else’s fault”. {The Cannibalizing Nature of Group Identity Politics}

We are sure that in many countries, like in Belgium, there can be found working women who are not getting paid as much as their male friend with the same job title. The guest-speaker of today writes

Why it’s our patriarch society and its inherent oppression of women of course. It has nothing to do with the fact that your friend works longer hours than you because you requested weekends off with the kids. You are a victim! {Real Victims Deserve More}

Luckily enough we may say that the last few years we can see that politicians want to take more time to think about women’s position. On television we may find serious political discussions on mental health, violence and homelessness, bu it seems in the United States there also may be an incessant blathering from politicians about a fictitious “war on women”. {Real Victims Deserve More}

Today 2017, March 8, women standing in solidarity for fair and equal treatment in several countries may go on strike from work, though from yesterday’s television debates in Belgium most women shall be present at work to deliver their services, some clothed in black as a sign of disillusion and betrayal of the system.

Here in Belgium we do not have to have the idea like some Americans may have.

They want us to believe we are being held back by some societal oppressor; an “ism” that forever prevents us from reaching our full potential.  With this view, everyone and everything becomes an oppressor, something to be offended by and fight against.”

Here it is not so much about an oppressor or males really wanting to be the higher person. In the debates it looked more that several men where also willing to take on household positions or spending more time with the children, though at the moment there is a ‘mentality gap’. Still a lot of work has to be made at the primary and secondary school to get rid of certain old in our society anchored expectations.

 

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Find also to read

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  5. Women’s Day (by Adeshittu)
  6. Womens Day
  7. When Women Don’t Own the Road
  8. Be Proud to Become a Woman!
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  10. The Women’s March 1/21/17
  11. Trump Takes a Step to Escalate Republican’s War on Women
  12. But Remember….There Is No Republican War On WOmen – ‘Kentucky GOP files new abortion ban: The only ‘choice’ women have is ‘to conceive or not conceive’
  13. Republicans Poised to Support the One-Percent, Destroy the Middle Class, and Weaken the Working Class
  14. Why the War on Women Will no Longer Be Tolerated
  15. The Liberal Women’s March
  16. The Forced-Birth March Is Today
  17. The “War on Women” Claims Another Casualty 
  18. Not so Polite Dinner Conversation – a day without a woman
  19. Women in the Workforce or Dress for Success in the Time of Trump
  20. John Cornyn Calls Elizabeth Warren “Little Lady”
  21. The Afternoon Quote
  22. News That Will Drive You To Drink
  23. Ohio Is A Great State For Rapists
  24. Women are Losing the War, while a Religious Cult Rejects Human Rights
  25. If You Remain a Republican, You Own It
  26. Beneath My Exteriors (To women around the world)
  27. I Like Being A Woman Because…
  28. For My Mom on Women’s Day
  29. #BeBoldForChange: A letter to my Girlfriend
  30. Women’s Psycho-Spiritual Gifts
  31. Happy Women’s Day! 1
  32. Happy women’s day 2
  33. Celebrating Women in Tech!
  34. Women Winners
  35. 5 Little Things Women In Jaipur Can Do To Emerge Stronger
  36. For the Woman she is
  37. Most Men Plan To Spend Women’s Day Sub-Consciously Envying The Ability To Grow People

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Freedom Through Empowerment

On March 8th, women from around the world will stand in solidarity for fair and equal treatment by going on strike from work.  At least I think that’s the gist, but it’s hard to tell because the goals are so generalized and different depending on who you talk to.

This Huffington Post article discusses the event and the platform from the International Women’s Strike USA website which calls for.

  • Reproductive justice for women
  • An end to gender violence, the wage gap and all forms of bigotry
  • Full social provisioning (i.e, vast expansion of the welfare state)
  • Environmental justice for all
  • Anti racist, anti imperialist feminism
  • A day of “love and liberation”

Cover for Far Left Agenda

Well that all sounds a bit squishy to me and I do wish more details were given on just what “unfair and unequal treatment” means for women living in America today. Equal pay has been…

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Headlines - News, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Social affairs

Seeds and weeds for being the greatest nation

Today the world seems to be struggling with seeds sown after a horrible experience which brought millions of people to end their life earlier than it should have been.

Nearly hundreds years ago everybody had said “never again”, but less than 30 years loomed the ghost ship already from the waves. soon the European battlefield was again full of blood and tears. this time one tiny man had shouted loud and had made many grand gestures getting the crowd to believe this time it would be different and he would made their nation, their own country, the greatest again and forever the greatest.

The Jews where blamed for all the poverty and misery in the country. They where considered also to be the murderers of Jesus Christ and if Europe was not going to be careful they would conquer Europe.

World War I era US poster by James Montgomery ...

World War I era US poster by James Montgomery Flagg, 1918, lithograph, color; 56 x 36 cm. Columbia (female allegorical personification of the United States of America) broadcasts seeds in a plowed field. Text:”Sow the Seeds of Victory! Plant and raise your own vegetables”…”Every garden a munition plant”. Urging civilians to raise their own food to free up resources for the war effort. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today there is an other Izegrim who is telling his compatriots they should be aware for a people that supposedly would have conquered Europe already and soon would be conquering the United States of America. The bully, neatly his head being covered with his blonder peruche, wants others to believe he is the clairvoyant who knows what is best for the nation and who is the only one who can make the nation great again. Lots of people have put their hope in him. Worse is that many who voted for him say they are Christians. Though clearly they show not a Christian attitude by liking the use of weapons, killing others and spreading the hate against Jews and Muslims. Those last ones seem to be the cause of all trouble today. They are consider a very dangerous breed of people, worshipping a strange and dangerous god. Those christians mostly worship a false three-headed god, though they claim to be worshipping the Only True God. And there is what the problem of today is…..

In the contemporary world the seed of the adversary of God is sown and germinating. Thought that seed starts seeing that the seed of God, the people who want to worship the Only One True God is starting to shine more. Jews, true Christians (non-trinitarian) and true Muslims are those who follow the teachings of the Holy Scriptures, the Words of Allah, the Most Almighty Elohim Hashem Jehovah. The false Muslims and false Christians see a danger or threat in those lovers of God and try to do everything to bring them in a bad light.

First there are the ones who take Jesus as their god but do not follow the teachings of peace of that master teacher. Rabbi Jeshua was always an ear and a good heart to those who where different than others or who had difficulties. He always was there to come to help them and to be there to defend them who had no voice or did not belong to the main community.

The photo depicts the Sowing the Seeds icon fr...

The photo depicts the Sowing the Seeds icon from the Greek Catholic Cathedral of Hajdúdorog, Hungary. It was painted on the end of the 18th century by unknown painter (most probably by Mihály Mankovics). The painting decorates the pulpit of the cathedral. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In our Holy Scriptures we are told that this master teacher told many parables and many of them concerned our faith and our behaviour towards people around us and towards God. We also consider him as the sent one from Allah was not going to keep his mouth shut, but would open it with illustrations so that people would be able to come to see.

“هذا كله كلم به يسوع الجموع بامثال.وبدون مثل لم يكن يكلمهم” (متى 13:34)
“All this Jesus spoke to the crowds in (sayings or stories) parables; and without a parable, he didn’t speak to them,” (Matthew 13:34)

In our Holy Scriptures we are told that this sent one from the Most High Allah, the son of man, is the sower of the fine seed.

“فاجاب وقال لهم.الزارع الزرع الجيد هو ابن الانسان.” (متى 13:37)

“He answered them Hm.alazara, “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man,” (Matthew 13:37)

Fine seed is naturally very delicate and may (perhaps) be easily damaged. That is the problem with some seeds Jesus could sow on this earth. They might have found Jesus, though not knowing their master or sower very well, they thought they knew him enough to say that they are his. We see lots of people who say they are Christian, which should mean being a follower of Christ Jesus. But what we can see is that they have that son of man made into their god and where even not afraid to make graven images of him, though Allah is very clear that we never should make any graven image of a god nor of Him.

“لا تصنع لك تمثالا منحوتا ولا صورة ما مّما في السماء من فوق وما في الارض من تحت وما في الماء من تحت الارض.” (خروج 20:4)

“”You shall not make for yourselves a graven image or any likeness of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters under the earth:” (Exodus 20:4 )

The One having to be the Only One God should be Allah, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah Who is One and Who is not a man of flesh and blood but an eternal Spirit.

“اسمع يا اسرائيل.الرب الهنا رب واحد.” (تثنية 6:4)

“Hear, Asiraial (Israel): Jehovah is Allah our Lord God; Jehovah is just (the only) one:” (Deuteronomy 6:4)

“انا الرب هذا اسمي ومجدي لا اعطيه لآخر ولا تسبيحي للمنحوتات.” (اشعياء 42:8)

“”I am Magdi Jehovah, that is my name. I will not give him (the Magdi or glory) to time or to another, nor my praise Zbhristi (Haem or glorification) to sculptures or engraved images.” (Isaiah 42:8)

“لا تنطق باسم الرب الهك باطلا لان الرب لا يبرئ من نطق باسمه باطلا.” (خروج 20:7)

“Do not pronounce the name of Jehovah your Allah in vain; for Jehovah will not acquit of His name in vain (or will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain)” (Exodus 20:7)

that is what we can see what happened in this world. Many have taken the Holy Name of Allah and changed it from Jehovah into Jesus and made sculptures, paintings and several objects with drawings of him and his heavenly Father, though this is an abomination in the eyes of that Father of rabbi Jeshua, who is the only One God Spirit.

الله روح.والذين يسجدون له فبالروح والحق ينبغي ان يسجدوا.” (يوحنا 4:24)

“Allah is spirit, and you should worship Him in spirit and truth.”” (John 4:24)

Instead of worshipping Allah in truth many fake their devotion for god by worshipping not at all or having more interest in (or worship of) money and material possession. That love of possession brings also certain people to use the title of God to bring fear over man and to oppress those around them. Often they use Allah His Words in the wrong way, distorting or twisting them so that they can justify their wrong acts, like attacking other believers and non-believers, humiliating women, selling people, etc.

Brooklyn Museum - The Enemy Sowing Tares - Eli...

Brooklyn Museum – The Enemy Sowing Tares – Elihu Vedder – overall (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most Christians do not worship Jehovah, the Only One True God of gods, with spirit, but prefer to keep to human dogmas and therefore many became blind for the biblical truth, like we also can see in the Ummah, where several so called believers do not come to read the Holy Scriptures any more but follow just some verses, taken out of context by their teachers, which they follow without comparing their sayings with what is written in the Scriptures. Because so many Muslims and Christians not knowing their Holy Scriptures any more they can be mislead and be driven away from the truth and worse also from God.

Perhaps both Christians and Muslims should come to read Muslim scriptures where is written

And, likewise, their belief in beings or powers that are supposed to have a share in God’s divinity makes [even] the slaying of their children seem goodly to many of those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God, thus bringing them to ruin and confusing them in their faith. Yet, unless God had so willed, they would not be doing all this: stand, therefore, aloof from them and all their false imagery!(6:137)

There and then will every human being clearly apprehend what he has done in the past; and all will be brought back unto God, their true Lord Supreme, and all their false imagery will have forsaken them.(10:30)

It is they who have squandered their own selves-for [on the Day of Resurrection] all their false imagery will have forsaken them:(11:21)

Is Then, He who has every living being in His almighty care, [dealing with each] according to what it deserves -[is, then, He like anything else that exists]? And yet, they ascribe to other beings a share in God’s divinity! Say: “Give them any name [you please]: but do you [really think that you could] inform Him of anything on earth that He does not know-or [do you] but play with words?, Nay, goodly seems their false imagery to those who are bent on denying the truth, and so they are turned away from the [right] path: and he whom God lets go astray can never find any guide.(13:33)

And [this retribution will befall all evildoers because] they devise that false imagery of theirs – and all their false imagery is within God’s knowledge. [And never can the blasphemers prevail against the truth – not] even if their false imagery were so (well devised and so powerful] that mountains could be moved thereby.(14:46)

As it is, they ascribe – out of what We provide for them as sustenance – a share unto things of which they know nothing. By God, you shall most certainly be called to account for all your false imagery!(16:56)

And on that Day will they [who had thus been sinning, belatedly] proffer their surrender to God; and all their false imagery will have forsaken them.(16:87)

when he said unto his father and his people, “What are these images to which you are so intensely devoted?”(21:52)

But, then, did those [beings] whom they had chosen to worship as deities beside God, hoping that they would bring them nearer [to Him], help them [in the end]? Nay, they forsook them: for that [alleged divinity] was but an outcome of their self-delusion and all their false imagery.(46:28)

Instead of becoming liberated in Christ they have become slaves of a new religion not afraid to set them up against other religions. In this can be seen the reason why so many can not see what are real Christians or what are real Muslims. True Christians and true Muslims should be bringers of peace. Again they better look at Muslim writings which say

And when Abraham said: “O Lord, make this a city of peace, and give those of its citizens who believe in God and the Last Day fruits for food,” He answered: “To those will I also give a little who believe not, for a time, then drag them to Hell, a dreadful destination!”(2:126)

Except those who take refuge with a people allied to you, or those who, weary of fighting you or their people, come over to you. If God had so willed He would surely have given them power over you, and they would have fought you. If they keep aloof and do not fight, and offer peace, God has left you no reason to fight them.(4:90)

You will also find persons who, while wishing to live in peace with you as well as with their own people, turn to civil war the moment they are called to it. If they do not keep away from you, nor offer you peace nor restrain their hands, seize them and kill them wherever they are. We have given you a clear sanction against them.(4:91)

O believers, when you go out on a journey in the way of God, be discreet and do not say to anyone who greets you in peace: “You are not a believer.” You desire the gain of earthly life, but there are prizes in plenty with God. You were also like him (an unbeliever) in the past, but God has been gracious to you. So be careful and discreet, for God is aware of what you do.(4:94)

Their confidential counsels are seldom for the good, save of those who talk of charity or goodness or peace among men. Whosoever does so for the pleasure of God, We shall give him an ample reward.(4:114)

 

The seeds of Jesus do not have to worry. Because when they truly believe their master teacher they can be sure Allah will guide and protect them.

Through which God will lead those who follow His pleasure to the path of peace, and guide them out of darkness into light by His will, and to the path that is straight.(5:16)

But man has to give something in the place. They should believe. They should believe in God and today they also should believe in the the sent one from God, Ishi (Jeshua or Jesus Christ) and would not mix their faith with that of pagans, or taking part in to pagan feasts like Halloween, Yule, Christmas and Easter e.g. and may not deny the position of each character God placed on this earth.

They alone have peace who believe and do not intermix belief with denial, and are guided on the right path.”(6:82)

For them is an abode of peace with their Lord. He will be their defender as reward for what they did.(6:127)

“الحق الحق اقول لكم ان من يسمع كلامي ويؤمن بالذي ارسلني فله حياة ابدية ولا يأتي الى دينونة بل قد انتقل من الموت الى الحياة.” (يوحنا 5:24)

Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that hears my word and believes Him who sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgement, but has passed from death to life. (John 5:24)

Lots of Christians do not believe the One Who sent Jesus and said that man standing in the river Jordan was His only begotten son.

“21  ولما اعتمد جميع الشعب اعتمد يسوع ايضا.واذ كان يصلّي انفتحت السماء 22 ونزل عليه الروح القدس بهيئة جسمية مثل حمامة وكان صوت من السماء قائلا انت ابني الحبيب بك سررت 23 ولما ابتدأ يسوع كان له نحو ثلاثين سنة وهو على ما كان يظن ابن يوسف بن هالي” (لوقا 3:21-23)

“21  Now it happened, when all the people were baptized, Jesus also had been baptized, and was praying. The sky opened up, 22 and the Holy Spirit in a bodily form as a dove descended on him; and a voice came out from heaven, saying

“You are my beloved Son. In you I am well pleased.”

23 Jesus himself, when he began to teach, was about thirty years old, it was thought he being the son of Joseph, bin Hali,” (Luke 3:21-23)

Those Christians who made Jesus into their god also do not believe Allah’s Own Word, who tells mankind about the moment when it was begotten time to have that one promised in the Royal Garden to come to earth.

“ولكن لما جاء ملء الزمان ارسل الله ابنه مولودا من امرأة مولودا تحت الناموس” (غلاطية 4:4)

“But when the fulness of the time had come, Allah sent out his son, born to a woman, born under the law,” (Galatians 4:4)

He knew very well the Law and the Word of God, but the seed of the contemporary world has so much weed between it it nearly becomes suffocated in the field.

Some days after that preaching man told about the weeds, Allah once more declared who this rabbi was.

“وفيما هو يتكلم اذا سحابة نيرة ظللتهم وصوت من السحابة قائلا هذا هو ابني الحبيب الذي به سررت.له اسمعوا.” (متى 17:5)

While he was speaking, a bright cloud and voice from the cloud overshadowed them, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.  Hear him (or listen to him).” (Matthew 17: 5)

Today we have come into an age where we find again people of little faith and people of no faith and being a twisted generation, catching fear because they do not know the Word nor the people of God and how they should unite with all people of God, transferring from here to there (Matthew 17:20; 21:21; Mark 9:31; Luke 9:44).

the weed Atriplex patula

We today must be aware how the adversary is working hard to bring division between man. The adversaries of God sow seeds of weed to make sure many plants will die because the weeds not giving place for them. Please let us therefore listen to the wise words of the sent one from Allah, who explains his story about the seeds and weeds.

“37 فاجاب وقال لهم.الزارع الزرع الجيد هو ابن الانسان. 38 والحقل هو العالم.والزرع الجيد هو بنو الملكوت.والزوان هو بنو الشرير. 39 والعدو الذي زرعه هو ابليس.والحصاد هو انقضاء العالم.والحصادون هم الملائكة. 40 فكما يجمع الزوان ويحرق بالنار هكذا يكون في انقضاء هذا العالم. 41 يرسل ابن الانسان ملائكته فيجمعون من ملكوته جميع المعاثر وفاعلي الاثم. 42 ويطرحونهم في اتون النار.هناك يكون البكاء وصرير الاسنان. 43 حينئذ يضيء الابرار كالشمس في ملكوت ابيهم.من له اذنان للسمع فليسمع 44 ¶ ايضا يشبه ملكوت السموات كنزا مخفى في حقل وجده انسان فاخفاه ومن فرحه مضى وباع كل ما كان له واشترى ذلك الحقل. 45 ايضا يشبه ملكوت السموات انسانا تاجرا يطلب لآلئ حسنة. 46 فلما وجد لؤلؤة واحدة كثيرة الثمن مضى وباع كل ما كان له واشتراها. 47 ايضا يشبه ملكوت السموات شبكة مطروحة في البحر وجامعة من كل نوع. 48 فلما امتلأت اصعدوها على الشاطئ وجلسوا وجمعوا الجياد الى اوعية.واما الاردياء فطرحوها خارجا. 49 هكذا يكون في انقضاء العالم.يخرج الملائكة ويفرزون الاشرار من بين الابرار. 50 ويطرحونهم في اتون النار.هناك يكون البكاء وصرير الاسنان 51 قال لهم يسوع أفهمتم هذا كله.فقالوا نعم يا سيد. 52 فقال لهم.من اجل ذلك كل كاتب متعلم في ملكوت السموات يشبه رجلا رب بيت يخرج من كنزه جددا وعتقاء.” (متى 13:37-52 Arabic)

the weed Urtica dioica, often called common nettle, stinging nettle many of which have many hollow stinging hairs called trichomes on the leaves and stems, which act like hypodermic needles, injecting histamine and other chemicals that produce a stinging sensation when contacted by humans and other animals

“37 He answered them, “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, 38 the field is the world; and the good seed, these are the children of the Kingdom; and the darnel weeds are the children of the evil one. 39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40 As therefore the darnel weeds are gathered up and burned with fire; so will it be at the end of this age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will gather out of his Kingdom all things that cause stumbling, and those who do iniquity, 42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be weeping and the gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine forth like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear. 44  “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found, and hid. In his joy, he goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field. 45 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who is a merchant seeking fine pearls, 46 who having found one pearl of great price, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it. 47 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet, that was cast into the sea, and gathered some fish of every kind, 48 which, when it was filled, they drew up on the beach. They sat down, and gathered the good into containers, but the bad they threw away. 49 So will it be in the end of the world. The angels will come forth, and separate the wicked from among the righteous, 50 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth.” 51 Jesus said to them, “Have you understood all these things?” They answered him, “Yes, Lord.” 52 He said to them, “Therefore, every scribe who has been made a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who is a householder, who brings out of his treasure new and old things.”” (Matthew 13:37-52 WEB)

Those who really love should do their utmost best to come to know that Divine Maker of all things and should try to please Him more than to please man around them. they should be very careful for those people who promise they alone are the one who is able to make their nation great again. they should look at the fruits of such people and check if they are living themselves according to what they are preaching.

We should make ourselves stronger in the faith by regularly reading the Whole Word of God and not to take just a few verses from scripture out of context.

As lovers of God we should also show that we are really willing to be His children, living under His Fatherhood, enjoying the diversity in His family, people from different cultures with different skin-colour, different tongue, with different attitudes, ways of dressing and talking, but all united under His Holy Name.

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Preceding

Seeds to be planted soon

Seeds of promiseSeeds, weeds and kingdoms

Unbelief, faith and mustard seed

Seeds from the world creating division and separation from God

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Additional reading

  1. Belonging to or being judged by
  2. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  3. Evangelisation, local preaching opposite overseas evangelism
  4. Looking for a biblically sound church
  5. Luther on Being a Theologian: Oratio, Meditatio and Tentatio
  6. Back from gone #3 Giving worries to God and believing in His promises
  7. 2014 Religion
  8. Silence, devotion, Salafists, quietists, weaponry, bombings, books, writers and terrorists
  9. Not liking your Christians
  10. Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ
  11. A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2
  12. Relying on the Love of God
  13. Unconditional love

+++

Further related articles

  1. Hitler and the Original Conspiracy Theory
  2. Know Your Enemy
  3. Nationalists’ approaches to Jews, Israel and Zionism: Complex relationships
  4. A former skinhead explains why it’s a mistake for the US to stop targeting right-wing extremists
  5. FBI Opens Hate Crime Investigation Into Dozens Of JCC Bomb Threats
  6. Netanyahu’s silence on Trump and anti-Semitism
  7. French scholar prosecuted for “incitement to racial hatred” for noting the culturally inherited anti-Semitism of French Muslims
  8. France’s Jihad against the truth | Yves Mamou
  9. Israeli Police Prepare for the Coming of the ‘Messiah’
  10. What’s Holding the Arab World Back?
  11. Use of the word Pharisee
  12. This Man
  13. A Christian’s Job Interview
  14. God Knew Me When
  15. The ungodly
  16. Is Trump the Antichrist?
  17. What is Dignity?
  18. Courage is Believing
  19. The Well-Balanced Christian
  20. Walls that Divide, Pt. 1
  21. Walls that Divide, Pt. 2
  22. Our Resolutions or God’s Promises?
  23. In the dust of the Rabbi- Day 66
  24. Mission Trips
  25. Saving Faith is Present Tense and Active – Part 5: He Who Stands Firm to the End Will Be Saved
  26. Got Weeds?
  27. Parable of the Weeds (sermon)
  28. The grass is always greener….
  29. June 21, 2016: 5th Tuesday after Pentecost

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8 Comments

Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Headlines - News, Knowledge & Wisdom, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, World affairs

From Guestwriters 2016 in review

English: The logo of the blogging software Wor...

Each day million articles are published, looking to find a reading eye. Every day thousands of new articles appear on WordPress. In 2016 one hundred seventeen billion nine hundred thirteen million one hundred forty-eight thousand three hundred fifty seven words got published on WordPress. {Automattic WordPress year-in-review-2016}

2016 in view

The year that David Bowie and Prince passed away, like several very well known figures of the arts world, it looked like some people who made it in their life did not want to stay here any longer. It was also the year of lots of terrorism and political correctness, where those who are different than the mainstream (disabled, transgender, refugees, extreme religious and non religious groups, jihad fighters,) got lots of attention.
In the United States of America Obama Care which at last had become a reality came back under threat. North America saw in Boston in November, the Disability Policy Consortium accepted proposals and held a Disability Intersectionality Summit. Presentations included topics on the intersections of being undocumented, being LGBTQ+, being a person of colour, having mental health disabilities, on #DisabilityTooWhite – the hashtag and movement around the the disability community’s failure to represent racially diverse voices – and more. Lots of things came on the American roller-coaster, having Michigan banned non-emergency restraint and seclusion for disabled students and Georgia’s governor speaking in favour of Employment First policies for disabled people in Georgia.

2016 Nice attack.png

Route of the attacker from west to east at the Promenade des Anglais, Nice

With the 15th anniversary of 9/11 the jihadi‘s made sure they would not be forgotten; ISIS/ISIL and BokoHaram being the new strongholders. In Europe the fear took so many people that politicians saw the opportunity to fuel the extreme right and come with absurd laws, like banning burkini‘s. All the fearmongering having fueled by the March 22 suicide bombings at Brussel’s Zaventem airport and Maelbeek metro station, leaving around 35 victims dead and 360 seriously injured, ISIS claiming responsibility.
America also got its portion of  ISIS-madness with a gunman claiming allegiance to the Islamic State opens fire at gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing 49, injuring 53 – one of the bigger mass shootings in the U.S.A.. September 17 a terror bomb in Chelsea, New York injured 29 people. Lots of Americans got so frightened of Muslim people, looking at them if they all would be terrorist, though they under their own white Christian population had more victims by weapon violence this year than by terrorism. Several times the world could see how racism is still a big problem in the States and how police can not keep themselves in control when arresting black people. (African American Alton Sterling shot by Louisiana police in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile shot by police in St Paul Black on July 6; American Keith Lamont Scott September 20)
The Islamic militants for sure where very active all over the world. Some events called for more attention worldwide, having foreigners also under the victims or by being considered the country’s worse terror attack for the year, like at a cafe in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where a fighter killed 20 hostages and 2 police on July 1. The next day (July 2) a large lorry bomb in Baghdad killing at least 125 people and wounding 150, Islamic State claiming once more responsibility.  On December 11 a bombing at a chapel in Cairo, Egypt, killed 25 and wounded 45. December 19 again a truck was used to kill many people, like in Nice on the 14th of July now the target was a Christmas market in Berlin killing 12, injuring 48.

Terroranschlag-Berlin-Breitscheidplatz-2016 (2) (31731061626) (square crop).jpg

Aftermath of the 2016 Berlin attack

In the States of America on January 17 the Fourth Democratic presidential candidates debate showed how Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders clashed over healthcare and gun control in Charleston, South Carolina, and gave us an idea that though perhaps the best candidate of all Bernie Sanders would not going to make it to president elect. Two days later Sarah Palin officially endorsed Donald Trump‘s presidential bid at a Trump rally in Ames, Iowa. What nobody thought possible occurred when this man made it to the preselections, then to the selection to finally become what nobody would ever dreamed possible, him becoming president elect. November 8 Republican Donald Trump became elected President of The United States of America, defeating democrat Hillary Clinton despite Clinton winning 2.9 million more votes. Europe fell on its back for the second time, the first one having been the vote for the Brexit (June 23), who nobody had thought would come through. These two unexpected events show clearly how careful we must be when we think it not necessary to spend time on such personalities and situations.

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Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

For that reason we should much more react on what is going on on ecological level. The Paris Agreement on climate change signed in New York (on April 22) binding 195 nations to an increase in the global average temperature to less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C is only the beginning of a long road to run. Global warming is not only blamed the cause of many people having to flee for the rising water-level. On August 1 there was an anthrax outbreak in the Russian district Yamalo-Nenets, Siberia killing one and infecting 8 others, also killing 2,300 reindeer. Indian government declared levels of air pollution in Delhi an emergency situation, closing schools and construction sites on November 6.

Though 2016 seemed to be the year that people where more concerned about the whereabouts and the look of their friends on Facebook and Twitter. Social media being the major interest gainer of the year. Most people more concerned about their outfit, fashion, style and strangely enough books and films again.

Astronaut Scott Kelly

Astronaut Scott Kelly

Lots of people running with their heads in the skies did not notice that US astronauts Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko returned to earth, on March the 2nd, after nearly a year (340 days), setting an ISS record. For the earthly matters it became time that the U.S.A. did something positive to restore the relations between them and Cuba. March 20 Barack Obama became the first US President to visit Cuba since 1928, arriving for a 2 day tour.

The ‘Big Joke of the year’ (in April) was to see how many politicians who said something had to be done against fraud and how people had to pay honestly their taxes, their names could be found on the 11.5 million confidential documents from offshore law firm Mossack Fonseca , the Panama Papers exposing widespread illegal activities including fraud, kleptocracy, tax evasion and the violation of international sanctions by the world’s elite in the world’s largest ever data leak.

On April 11 UN-backed ceasefire came into effect in Yemen conflict between Iranian-backed Houthis rebels and government forces.

June 7 with a car bomb attack on a police bus in central Istanbul killing 11 was just a beginning of a whole series of bombings in Turkey of which there is no clarity if they are orchestrated by some political forces to have Erdogan in an even stronger dictatorial position. June 28 presented again a suicide bombings and gun attacks, at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport killing 42 and wounding more than 200. We have no idea if the coup d’etat was something set up by Erdogan himself. It gave him way to hold a big clean up and to get rid of all those who stood in his way.

In Colombia more than 50 years of conflict came in its last stadium, the governement and Farc rebels signing a ceasefire agreement on June the  23rd, followed by many talks to have the rebels not being sued.

2016 for this platform

WordPress Administration

WordPress Administration (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Of the 595,795,035 posts written on WordPress we only presented a mere 358 articles, hoping our humble little site could catch some interest by the many people who are scanning the worldwide internet for something interesting to read. From our tiny country not having any funds, not having serious backing and not able to afford much money on writers, designers or even having our own publishing space, just using the private limited funds of the editor and responsible publisher Mr. Marcus Ampe, we sincerely try to find some interesting literature on the net and present it to our readers and visitors. Because not having much GBites we are limited in re-blogging because pictorial content eats our internet data space, but when a must read is found with lots of photos we still do hope to be able to discuss it or to present it in one of our articles.

English: Stats on Cross-ideological Blogging

Stats on Cross-ideological Blogging (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We must confess that we did not catch many readers for the many work-hours we invest searching for additional and further reading material. Luckily this was the first year we did not very angry letters of people being onerous that we included their article in the listing. In 2016 for the first time we even got a letter thanking us for having brought 1000 readers to someone’s site. Though we put a lot of work in creating all the links in the articles and in the accompanying list of interesting articles, to our sense or liking not enough people make use of those links and referential titles. For that reason from now on we shall perhaps start putting less url-backgroundlinks to words or tags, but still shall continue to try to offer you a list of noteworthy article by other bloggers.

It is a pity we only could find 7 782 views of only 4 827 visitors coming along.
Officially opened to the public on 2014/03/2 we got 1 847 visitors the first year and 2 764 visitors in 2015, so we may be satisfied it is a line going upwards. Though published from Belgium in the European Union, our ‘home-country’ only delivered 269 views. The United States being at the top with giving us 3745 views, followed by the United Kingdom delivering 852 views and our northern neighbours the Netherlands offering us 532 views may encourage us to continue.

The home page caught 2 118 views, followed by 349 for the About page. Of the articles “Religious celebrations in May 2016” got the most views (only 103) and got only 4 likes.

People naturally have to find us. 1 437 do so by using search machines, whilst 783 use the WordPress facilities. 155 come along by Facebook. But we too are happy to find other WordPress users referring to us and bringing readers to our site. Naturally our own authors or own sites like our ecclesia site (9 views), the Belgian Biblestudents and the Bijbelvorsers (each 8) and Stepping Toes (7), but non connected writers like ridzerdvandijk.wordpress.com with 8 views and sneakytwistedlittlewildheart.wordpress.com (good for 6), entering the promissedland (5), discoveronething (5), eternalhunt (5) and some others bringing us each 4 or less viewers.

U.S. advertisement for the 11th edition from t...

U.S. advertisement for the 11th edition from the May 1913 issue of National Geographic Magazine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The most used search terms were ‘hoopvolle slogans’ and ‘bezinningsteksten zelfkritiek’ with each 3 hits.
We ourselves brought 110 readers to our other site “Our World” and for for other sources Wikipedia got 56 readers from us, whilst the Collins dictionary got 21 and the very good Encyclopaedia Britannica only 18 views. Abortion and crime rates by wordlifeandlight managed to get 6 views from us and Lizaborstlap received also 6 visitors, as far as we can see from our statistics.

imageThis last person who has always been a person with a to-do list is also one of the people who wanted to share some writing on this platform. But there were many days when she became a slave to her lists and she had to face that things don’t always happen as planned and that she would feel like a failure if she wasn’t able to cross out all the tasks that she allocated to a specific day.{a goal should scare you a little and excite you a Lot!}

She may perhaps had to become, like us, more specific and to be realistic in what she can (and can’t) achieve in one day; but we did want to reach so much and sometimes got frustrated not seeing our accomplishment for the day.

We are still looking for authors who would not mind to write about lifestyle, interior design, fashion, cooking, family life, gardening, nature and ecological matters and some persons who would not mind tackling the history and people who would love to write about education and health. There are so many subjects not covered yet by people who can tell more about it than we can.

From the end of 2016 onwards we added two viewpoints, namely two comparators, on one site the Muslim world and on the other site the Judaic world and traditions.

English: Monkeys Blogging Español: Simios blog...

English: Monkeys Blogging Español: Simios bloggeando (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We do know that certain subjects are not tackled here. Marcus Ampe would love to find some one talking about family matters, family life being one of the cornerstones of our society. To his regret he must also establish that in 2016 not enough regard was given to ecological matters. Man having to live in surroundings which are too polluted and which are filled with buildings and cars, but not given the freedom to have enough green to bring enlightenment and fresh air to people. It is really getting time that more people warn others about us, man, to take care of mother earth, before it is too late.

Whilst on WordPress in general 112 million posts were liked, we did not have many likes. 8 billion e-mails were send on WordPress, but in those there are not counted the very many e-mails we got in our own e-mail box, instead of reacting on the blog articles themselves. This is a pity, because other readers can not read the reactions and oh so often we have to reply to very similar questions, which is more time consuming than having a reply which can be read by thousands on the internet.

For 2017 may we hope that if there are even more articles written on the internet than the 595,795,035 posted on WordPress in 2016 and the huge amount of comments, making it up to 457,596,906 comments on WordPress, you shall be able to  find some very interesting articles and comments here too.

Donald Trump enters the Oscar De LA Renta Fash...

Donald Trump enters the Oscar De LA Renta Fashion Show, New York. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 2016 we saw that it is possible that those with the biggest mouth and do not mind trampling over many can get their cause. 2016 may have been a disastrous year on several issues and lots of important issues where not even mentioned or got not the right attention. For this new year we love to repeat our call to get more people daring to come out for the poor and the maltreated. We also once more want to ask people to wake up the majority of the population who still keeps their eyes closed for what is really going on in this world. There is a need of more people who are willing to stand up to preserve and encourage the progress of humanity while resisting the forces that threaten to turn it backwards.

We have to be very cautious for what certain people try to do with their nation but also with the world. As citizen we should be aware that politicians are nothing without their people and that folks if they really want can be much stronger than those politicians, who dare to look away from the citizen who needs help and encouragement. Those who call themselves Christian should be there to give a hand to all that need help, not forgetting nature, plants and animals who do not have a voice. therefore we do hope to find more blogs tackling their problem, and would love to have an author on ecology writing for us from this year onwards.

Without you reader we are nothing and can do nothing. We thank you for being here with us and for the followers we are grateful and do hope we can please you with a varied menu.

Wishing everyone a great 2017.

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Preceding article

2014 in review

In 2015 finishing our first year: From Guestwriters 2015 in review

Pokémon craziness

2016 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Children of Men

Max Lucado: I Had a Dream That Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Reached a Truce

Leaders in disguise

Looking at man’s closest friend

Looking at an American nightmare

The twist of politics and expression

Tribes Redux

Darkest just before dawn

Bruxelles Ma Belle

Mountains of information, disinformation and breaking away

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

An American Embassy to the Eternal Capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem

Humanity Quote for Pax Populi

When will it stop

Not limiting others but sharing peace with all

Not missing your appointment in 2017

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Additional reading

  1. EU’s European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) asylum seekers and Eastern neighbours
  2. At the closing hours of 2016 #1 Looking down at terror
  3. At the closing hours of 2016 #2 Low but also highlights
  4. Suffering brothers and sisters in Malawi, Mozambique and surrounding areas
  5. Not much interest for English articles
  6. From Bibles and other religious writings and those who witness for Jehovah
  7. 2016 American Bible survey
  8. On April 21 brother Nelson, in the world better known as Prince was lost
  9. Social media, sympathy & shocks
  10. Foreign workers and immigrants
  11. A stain of shame for the European Union
  12. Voted against their system
  13. A sleeper cell of militants was said directing attackers sent back to France from Islamic State’s de-facto capital in Raqqa, Syria
  14. Daesh hits heart of Europe
  15. Islamism Rises from Europe’s Secularism
  16. March 22 2016, attacks in Brussels at airport and metro
  17. A Black day for Belgium – Brussels Airport ravage
  18. Knife-trust in democratic sore back
  19. For those who call the Brussels Airport attacks a fake or a conspiracy of the government
  20. Terrorist attacks in brussels
  21. Silence, devotion, Salafists, quietists, weaponry, bombings, books, writers and terrorists
  22. US President, Barack Obama Condemns The Outrageous Brussels Attacks
  23. What Associated Press released on Wednesday 23 March 2016
  24. Mediterranean bloodshed
  25. Nice attack, terror everywhere and coup attempt in Turkey
  26. Is Europe going to become a dictatorial bastion
  27. French showing to the whole world their fear and weakness
  28. On French beach French police forces woman to undress in public
  29. France and the Burkini
  30. Secularism in France becoming dangerous for freedom of religion
  31. Christians, secularism, morals and values
  32. Listening to the lessons of the Bible and looking for ways to please God
  33. Where’s the Outrage Over Nun Beachwear? – The Daily Beast
  34. You are what you wear
  35. Does Banning Face Veils Help Us Fight Terrorism?
  36. Jews the next scapegoat for Donald Trump
  37. The American clouds of Anti-Semitism
  38. Blinded crying blue murder having being made afraid by a bugaboo
  39. The clean sweeper of the whole caboodle
  40. Trump has been buffetted by accusations of miscunduct
  41. Fearmongering succeeded and got the bugaboo a victory
  42. Are United States of America citizens going to show their senses
  43. When so desperate to hold onto power
  44. Some quotes Americans should remember when going to the ballot office
  45. Brexit and British business
  46. Brexit No. 2 Blow-up
  47. Nigel Farage called Donald Trump’s victory ‘bigger than Brexit’
  48. A strong and wise fighter who keeps believing in America
  49. Bosphorus bloodshed
  50. Belgian aftershock from the Turkish coup d’état

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Other WordPress bloggers looking back at 2016

  1. 2016 Year In Review (by Hunter Bonner)
  2. 16 things i learned in 2016
  3. 2016 was lighting candles to mourn, but it was also carrying torches high
  4. 2016: Year in Review (by Angela Classen)
  5. Hasta La Vista 2016!
  6. Top 10 Moments of 2016
  7. 2016 in Review (by Pastor Zach)
  8. A year in review
  9. 2016 in Review: Your Favorites, My Favorites
  10. 2016 Review (by Pliable)
  11. Tater’s 2016 In Review
  12. Best and worst reads of 2016
  13. Reflections and Resolutions for 2017
  14. 2016 Year in review book tag
  15. V’s Reading Year in Review: 2016
  16. 2016 Recap and 2017 Goals
  17. A Look Back at 2016
  18. 2016 in Review (by amanda)
  19. 2016 in review (by Katrin Ilves)
  20. My 2016 Freelancing Report: 28 Pitches Disappeared into a Black Hole (but I’m okay with that)
  21. 2016 Year in Review (by Trip accomplice)
  22. Honorable Mentions 2016
  23. 16 in 2016: Results
  24. 2016 Year in Review (by Abby)
  25. Looking Back at 2016…
  26. 2016 in the books
  27. My 2016 in Books and Graphic Novels, Part 1 of 2
  28. 2016 in Review (by Sarah)
  29. Best and Worst of 2016
  30. Sara Reads No. 17
  31. Two Thousand and Sixteen
  32. So Long 2016!
  33. 2016: The Book Fight! Year in Review
  34. Year In Review: Variety Edition
  35. 216 of 2016
  36. 2016 Year in Review (by Becker)
  37. 2016 Year in Review: A Year in Outfits
  38. 2016 In Review (by Leigh)
  39. 2016; What a Year
  40. A Look Back at 2016 and a Peek Forward at 2017
  41. 2016: Year in Pictures
  42. 2016 Year in Review – The Five Most Thrilling Action Scenes
  43. Looking Back on 2016 (by sip of star)
  44. 2016: Year in Review (by James)
  45. 2016 Year In Review (by alex)
  46. My Top Ten Books from 2016
  47. Top Ten Blogs of 2016
  48. vCloud Air: 2016 Year in Review
  49. 2016: Running Year in Review
  50. 2016: My Year in Review (by lurking)
  51. Things that were not garbage even though 2016 was
  52. Adelaide Etc in 201
  53. Looking at 2016
  54. Blogging Lessons of 2016
  55. 2017 New Year’s Resolutions
  56. 2016 in Review (by dgobs)
  57. 2016 – A Year in Review (by comics)
  58. 2016 in Review (by the Cappucino traveler)
  59. Highlights from 2016
  60. Life of Lizzie: 2016 In Review
  61. Top 10 Tuesday: Best Books of 2016
  62. 2016 Year in Review (by Library cancuck)
  63. The 2017 Post
  64. The best 15 posts of 2016
  65. 2016 Year in Review – Book Stats
  66. 2016 by the Numbers (by Melissa)
  67. Five 2016 singles that I find myself enjoying in 2016
  68. Happy 2017 From Still Chasing Fireflies!
  69. The Best Albums of 2016
  70. My 2016 in Books and Graphic Novels, Part 2 of 2
  71. 2016: Year in Review (by Natalieinne)
  72. 2016 in Books (by Stories)
  73. Year In Review: Kpop Edition
  74. 16 Things I Learned In 2016
  75. My Year In Re(ar)view
  76. 2016: Year in Review (by Kai)
  77. Foursquare/Swarm Year in Review
  78. What i learnt in 2016
  79. My Top Five Blog Posts of 2016 (and other highlights)
  80. Dear 2017 (by Sophia van Gent)
  81. Top Posts of 2016
  82. 2016 Year in Review (by Styled by Summer)
  83. The End Of Year Survey For 2016
  84. 2016 Year in Review (by Angela Chau)
  85. 2016 Year in Review (by LJT Reads)
  86. 2016: A Year in Review (by Zaweebie)
  87. 2016: A Bookish Retrospective
  88. 2016: A Review (by Jazmin)
  89. Goodbye 2016
  90. The scariest post I’ve ever written: my favorite reads in 2016
  91. 2016 Year in Review
  92. The Ups and Downs of 2016 – The Year in Review
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United Congregational Church plans to sell its brick Georgian-Revival style church to the Bridgeport Islamic Cultural Center

In Europe we find that many Christian Churches which have not enough members any more to fill their churches and to cover their costs for keeping those churches open have to close them down and sell them. Many Christian churches in Holland are sold to private owners to give them different apartments or shops, or are finding a new use as community centre, library or theatre.

Perhaps in the States the churches are also facing a similar problem. One of the oldest and historic Christian Churches in Bridgeport, CT, The United Congregational Church said Monday it plans to sell its brick Georgian-Revival style church, built in the 1920s, to the Bridgeport Islamic Cultural Center for $1 million.

The two groups will also form a partnership to provide community programs including soup kitchen and a homeless shelter from the site of the current church.

In recent years, more Muslim communities across the U.S. have begun to engage in the types of fundraisers and social-service projects that Christian congregations and Jewish synagogues often host or organize, said David Grafton, professor of Islamic studies and Christian-Muslim relations at Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Conn.

“As the national landscape has become much more suspicious of Muslims, and as Islamophobia has become more common, Muslim communities have consciously engaged in the process to normalize—or become part of the religious landscape of organizing into voluntary associations that form the bedrock of American civil and religious life,”

he said.

The lineage of the United Congregational Church dates back to colonial days. It was first established in 1695 and called the Ecclesiastical Society of Stratfield. It later merged in 1916 with another congregation to form the United Congregational Church.
Rev. Sara Smith said the Bridgeport church had 3,000 members when the main structure was built, but the numbers have now dwindled to 300. She said it made financial sense for the congregation to look for a new home.

UnitedCongregationalChurchBridgeport.jpg

877 Park Avenue in Bridgeport, Connecticut – United Congregational Church: a historic large brick Georgian Revival structure designed by architects Allen & Collens and built in 1925-26 for a congregation with nearly 300 years of history

The United Congregational Church will be renting space in another part of Bridgeport till they find a new space to buy, Rev. Smith said.

“We are not dying, we are just moving,”

she said.

It has been a challenge for Muslim organizations to find real estate for mosques or other religious uses since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and that challenge has become more difficult in recent years, said Reza Mansoor, president of the Islamic Association of Greater Hartford.

“The Muslim community has had to reach out to places of worship to buy their properties in Connecticut towns and cities like East Hartford, Avon and New London,”

Dr. Mansoor said.

Ahmed Ebrahim, the leader of the Bridgeport Islamic Cultural Center, said his organization bought the church because it had the space needed for prayers and was zoned for religious use. About 1,000 families in the greater Bridgeport region are expected to use the mosque.

“It’s a perfect fit for our needs,”

Dr. Ebrahim said.

The main sanctuary will be used as a prayer space, Dr. Ebrahim said. The congregation from the United Congregational Church will help prepare the space by removing a cross from the altar and modifying the stained-glass windows in the church.

Ellen Carter from Fairfield, Conn., says her family has been a member of the church for 11 generations.

“It’s sad”

we are moving locations, Ms. Carter said.

“On the other hand, it’s necessary, and we are happy it’s again going to be used as a house of worship.”

The closing of the sale is scheduled for May 1. The church was designed by Allen & Collens, the architectural firm that also designed the Cloisters Museum in Manhattan and the Central Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. {Source: The Wall Street Journal}

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