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Bible study: Abraham our founding father in faith
Places That I Want To Explore AgainSea of clouds below the airplane. Photo by SuperD

God is always expressing self through works, and creation continues to live and exist in God. Worldwide conflicts may turn as black quickly from our dreams into a reality which is not very pretty. Creation was God’s way of expressing the Godself. God calls whom he wants and gives to one person what he does not give to another. God gives more so that we produce more and so that everyone may benefit from it, but God gives definitely what he wants.

In our own day, economic necessity forces so many immigrants to leave their country without knowing where to go or how their lives will be affected. God is testing us, he knocks on our hearts to see what the echo will be: will we be able to let go of our own wisdom and enter into his plans. On account of sin, every person is born and lives as if he or she were in a foreign land. Our own reality is hidden from us as long as we are not rooted in God and in communion with him. Our religions and ideologies, products of our culture, do not permit us to go beyond the limits of a world we make to suit ourselves. To become aware of our vocation we need God’s call and we need to be willing to get out of this vicious circle. Faith will never occur without separation which is why God foresaw it in each one’s life: leaving our parent’s house, beginning to work, getting married. Faith prepares us to face even more painful separations that will place us entirely at the service of God. As believers, we can never think that we have arrived. Until the end of our lives, we are pilgrims, drawn by an ideal never quite reached and always attentive to God’s signs to see where God is waiting for us. God is patient.

Those whom God calls are never isolated because they always meet other friends of God. God loves all women and men, and wants to save all even when they do not know him. If you remain conscious that God calls you to be a free person and one who free others, he will give you the opportunity to do it. When God makes us his friends he gives us responsibility for the world. Just as with friendship between people, friendship with God means sharing everything.

God saves his best gifts for those who remain faithful during times when he takes all hope away from them. We know without doubt that God approves our dedication to a particular task if on some occasion we have shown that we are willing to let go even of that task, if God wills it so. God guides those who seek to do his will, above all when they choose to marry; he will enable them to meet the person best suited to help them realize this desire. How many lost opportunities in our own life: stupid things in life have bewitched us and caused us to miss what alone is worth keeping.

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The Gods And Goddesses Of The Earth.
April 23, 2018

The Gods And Goddesses Of The Earth
Since 1970, the 22nd of April has globally been celebrated as Earth Day. As one of the most important environment events in the world, various national and international communities use this day to expand the consciousness and appreciation of the natural environment through various activities. In celebration of Earth Day, here are some mythological deities associated with the eart
Ala is a goddess in Igbo mythology from eastern Nigeria. She is the daughter of the elder god Chukwu and wife of Amadioha, the sky deity. She is the mother goddess of the earth, ruler of the underworld and goddess of fertility in all living things. Ala is believed to be responsible for child growth in the womb and stays close to guide the child into adulthood. It is also said that, when the person dies, she receives the individual into her womb as a resting place. Ala is also known to be a very moral god who upholds values like honesty and truth.
Not to be confused with Oduduwa, Odudua is the deity of Earth in Yoruba mythology from western Nigeria. She is the wife of Obatala and the sister of Olorun, who is the sky deity and ruler of all the deities. She is usually depicted as a woman sitting down and nursing a child. According to the myth, Odudua is a blind woman with glossy black skin and extraordinary beauty. She is also recognised as the patroness of love and many of her stories are about her adventures and escapades.
Geb is the god of earth from ancient Egyptian mythology. He is usually depicted as a man lying down below the arch of the sky goddess, Nut, who is both his sister and wife. He is also the father of Osiris, Isis, Nephthys and Seth, and is popularly known as the physical support of the world according to mythology. He was the third divine ruler of the Egyptian gods and the royal throne was called the “throne of Geb”.
Gaia is the goddess of earth from Greek mythology. She is the great mother of all creation and the source of all the other gods, titans and mortal men. In the stories, she has opposed the gods, titans and mortals at different times because they did not bend to her will. Of all the gods and goddess of earth in various mythologies, Gaia is the only one who is mostly portrayed as a villain. She is sometimes depicted as a woman rising from the earth or a woman reclining on the earth clothed in green.

Danu is the oldest of the ancient Celtic gods. She is the mother of all Irish gods and is a mother goddess that represents the earth and fruitfulness. Not many stories are available about her but some accounts say that Danu was a goddess with twin characteristics, the first being the loving benevolent mother and another as a strong malevolent warrior.

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Christian strength comes with power and courage and use it to uplift others
Dilemma of Stay At Home Momtaken by peachpurple

Turn to God for strength. He offers us all we need. Often, as obedient Christians, we make great efforts with our feeble spiritual muscles. But ultimately, our own strength always fails. When Christ’s spirit works through us, the Christian life flows smoothly; in his power we accomplish his purposes. Let Christ bear our burden. Only he has the might we need in our lives.

When we rely on God’s strength, we tap into his mystery. Not some small pool of power that fails at a critical moment. The Christian’s strength is mighty, because God is mighty. He who created the universe does not have a short arm that cannot reach down to our situation. Shining stars testify to his authority. Galaxies in space are ordered by his hand. He can order our life too. Ask him to use his strength in our life, and we will have all we need.

Being a Christian can take lots of courage. As the world around us becomes increasingly hostile to God and our personal lives become tense because of our beliefs, we feel the challenge. But we are not defenseless. Christians through the ages have faced these troubles and triumphed. The Lord who supported them gives us strength, too. Let us stand fast for Jesus, calling on his spirit to strengthen our lives. Then we will be strong indeed.

So God has made us strong in some area-perhaps by experience, as we have struggled to obey him. Now we must respond to him. Don’t criticize those who have different experiences or other strengths, or carp about the failings of new, weak Christians. Instead, use our power to uplift others. Come alongside and help. Then God’s strength will have helped us both.

Sometimes we are unable to take on life. Paul knows how we feel. He didn’t see himself as the perfect apostle we often imagine he was. Knowing his own flaws and failures, Paul recognized the work Jesus did in him every day. God made his servant sufficient to his tasks. He’ll do it for us, too, as we walk in faith and seek his strength.

God promise success to Joshua if he obeyed his word. That promise works for us, too. But sometimes we may not feel that obeying God has brought us great prosperity. Just wait. It may take time, the success may not take the form we expect, or we may not see the results until we reach heaven, but God will prosper those who do his will. He promised it, and his promises never fail.

Faithfulness to God or success in the world, we may have to choose between them. Seeking the world’s goals brings short-term benefits, but only God provides abundant and on going blessings for those who put serving him first in our lives. Though worldly blessings last for a day, a year, or a few years, they cannot remain for eternity. When you consider success, think of the kind that really lasts.

God’s definition of success might be a profitable land that provides for it’s people and peace that provides a blessed life. Money and other possessions are important but not really necessary. But the peace of living in God flows freely to those who abide in him. We can call this success and apply it to our spiritual life.

It is not wrong to pray for success. The Bible connects success to God’s salvation. Prosperity or any other achievement means little when it’s separated from God’s will and our obedience to him. When we ask to attain something; we need to also seek God’s saving grace in that part of our life. Then, we’ll have real success-spiritual and temporal blessings.

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Witnessing is sharing love, kind words, turning from wrong, being compassionate and living out forgiveness
cross-66700_1280 Faith-Stand Firm in the BattleThe protection from evil is the “Armor of God.” Image Credit: Pixabay.com

God means you to be a light set where the world can see it clearly-not a hidden flame behind closed doors, with curtains drawn. Being a light isn’t always easy-people see everything you do, and they don’t always like it. Don’t let the critics stop you. Your works were ordained to glorify God, not to make people comfortable. Be you and shine today.

Many of us have a hard time sharing our faith. So when we hear Paul’s encouragement to Philemon, our hearts lift, knowing we aren’t the only ones who struggle. The challenge of witnessing to others is worth it. The salvation of others and our own appreciation of our Lord is reason to share his love.

Your words are a vital part of your witness. Speak to an unbeliever ungraciously, and chances are good that she will never forget it. But study and grow in the word; then speak wisely and generously to others, and God can use your words to win them to his kingdom. People respond well to kindness and flavourful speech. Use your words as witness of God today.

No condemnation. What a wonderful thought for sinners. Forgiven, we know the comfort of having heaven as our ultimate destination. No argument okays sin. The joy of our freedom must lead us to turn from all wrong. Our Lord gives the strength to grow in him.

Tit-for-tat retribution for evil is not a principle of our compassionate God. We understand this if we’ve received his undeserved salvation. With such a gift, God has opened our hearts to treating our enemies as he has treated us. If we refuse to count up each wrong and repay it with harshness, lost souls may understand God’s compassionate salvation. By doing right, even when we receive wrong in return, we become powerful witnesses.

Because all christians are forgiven sinners, not perfect people, the need for forgiveness does not stop at the church door. So Paul calls us to live out compassion not only to the world but within our congregations, as well. As we set aside anger and other harsh attitudes, we live out the forgiveness all believers have received. This is a better way to share his love.

In the workplace, meekness isn’t often seen as a positive thing. “Looking out for number one” is the theory of many who tout assertiveness as the way to get the most out of life. But God doesn’t say that ultimately, those who follow him faithfully and show their belief to the world will not be the “nice guys” who “finish last,” but the inheritors of this earth. God has mapped out a plot of earth for you.

You do not really work for your boss. Yes, you report to the one whom your company hired in that position, but ultimately, you do everything for God, not a man or woman. So even if your boss isn’t great to work for, remind yourself that you are accountable to Jesus. No matter who has the position above yours, your Lord is always in charge of your future.

Whether we work at a computer or on a factory production line, those of us who work with our hands shouldn’t feel unimportant. Manual labour is serious business in God’s sight. Christians who quietly, faithfully go about their business day by day make an important contribution, bearing God’s message to a wide range of people. What a testimony our lives become when we live our best selves.

Let your work be effective. Don’t make sure the boss knows every good thing you do. Seek God’s favour, and he will see to it that your work really gets the job done, whether you’re caring for a child, arguing a legal case, or waiting on a customer. Our Lord makes his people productive for him as they serve others in his name.

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God is concerned with our hopes and joys which lead us straight to heaven

Facing trials can cause us joy, though its hard to imagine. But God calls us to joy when unbelievers persecute us because of our faith or when our situation is merely difficult. It is a joy to him that we have stood firm in faith, and he calls us to share his delight. That doesn’t mean we seek out trials but that we face the situation hand in hand with God. In trials, our spiritual strength increases.

The trouble you face here on earth will seem small in heaven. No pain from this life will impede you there. Blessing for faithful service to God will replace each heritage that discourages you today. When trials and troubles beset you, cook ahead to heaven. Jesus promises you an eternal reward if you keep your eyes on him.

Trials have a purpose in our lives. As a smith heats up Gold to purify it, God heats up our lives to make spiritual impurities rise to the surface. If we cooperate with him, sin is skimmed off our lives, purifying our faith. Cleansed lives bring glory to God and joy to us. If a trial lies before you today, envision the joy ahead.

Despite his deep troubles, as Jeremiah sorrowed over Judah’s exile, hope remained in his heart. Though he and his nation faced terrible trials, the prophet understood that God would still uphold them. God’s compassion never fails his hurting people. No matter how we struggle, we share the prophet’s hope. God alone comforts our hearts as we stumble along a rocky trail.

As God’s child, you have his ear 24/7, if only you will pray. Every need, trouble, or praise is his concern and not only will he hear about your trials, but he will deliver you from them. If you feel discouraged by your troubles, you need not stay that way. Just spend time with Jesus. His help is on the way.

You are wise. The Bible says so. You don’t need a lot of education or a certain IQ. Real wisdom is found in God. Simply obey your Lord’s commandments and make knowing him well your first priority. Seek after wisdom, and you will find it in him. As you daily search for truth in the word, your understanding grows.

To this world, God’s wisdom doesn’t look very wise. Anyone who denies Jesus is blind to the depth of insight God showed in sending his son to die for us and then raising him from the dead. But those who accept his sacrifice understand that God’s ways are greater than ours and his astuteness far outweighs our own. As his wisdom fills our once-foolish lives, we gains a new perspective on his perception.

Wisdom without humility isn’t wisdom at all. When we feel astute under our own power, we are actually in big trouble and are heading into foolishness. The truly wise person recognizes that all wisdom comes from God, not frail humans. As we tap into his mind and connect with his astuteness, we are wise indeed. No one is wiser than God.

The virtuous woman’s mouth speaks kindly wisdom. Hers is no sharp tongue that destroys relationships. As we seek to do God’s will, truthful yet caring speech must be ours. Wise words heal hurting hearts. If we have trouble knowing what words bring God’s healing, we need only to ask him to let his Spirit bring wisdom and kindness to our tongues. When we speak as his Spirit directs, we are wise indeed.

Listening to others who are wise brings us wisdom, too. Before we make serious choices, we need to seek the counsel of others. We recognize the wise ones as those who have experience and faith ad who have made decisions that blessed their lives can pass their wisdom on to us, too. There must be wise persons whom we can consult.

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Ask Jesus to protect you from temptation so you can lean on God’s greatness

No matter how powerful it seems, you need not give in to temptation. God always provides you with an escape hatch. When temptation pulls at you, turn your eyes to Jesus. Replace that tempting object with him, and you will not fall.

Jesus can help us when temptation strikes because he has walked a mile in our shoes. He knows how strongly sin attracts us but because he never fell prey to it. He can effectively show us how to resist even the strongest enticement. The biggest mistakes we make are not calling on him and not persistently seeking his powerful and when Satan repeatedly lures us into sin. Let us ask Jesus for help.

Sometimes we don’t feel freed from sin. Temptations draw us, even though we love Jesus. So his words here can be both comforting and challenging. The Jews wanted to trust in their spiritual history, not God. That plan didn’t work well for them, and it won’t work for us, either. We can’t reply on history or our past deeds to put sin behind us. What will work is leaning on Jesus everyday, trusting him to make us free indeed.

God does not draw us into temptation. He is holy, unable to tempt anyone into wrongdoing. The attraction to sin comes from within us, because our evil desires lead us toward sin. When we face situations that encourage our own wickedness, they are not designed by God to make us fall. Instead, they provide opportunities to turn to him and progressively turn away from iniquity. No evil within us is so great that God is not greater still.

If you are feeling surrounded by temptations know that God hasn’t forgotten you. He knows how to protect his children from harm and offers his wisdom to his children. Maybe you need to avoid places that could lead you into sin-that may mean taking an action such as finding a new job or new friends. When God is trying to protect you, don’t resist. Sin is never better than knowing him.

Psalm 136 reminds us to be thankful. It reminds us of the wonders of God’s power and his enduring love. The God who protected Israel watches over you, too. Even when there may be little in your life to rejoice about, you can always delight in him. Give thanks to God. He has not forgotten you-his love endures forever.

A believer thanks God for loving him and tearing him from the claws of original sin; a man of faith recognizes that God saves him everyday, whenever he is in trouble. God does this in your life, too. He is working on salvation in your life now and for that you need to offer him thanks.

Even in eternity, you will be thanking God. The appreciation of God’s mercy by his people never stops. Without his grace, we would be forever separated from him, lost in the cares of sin and a hellish existence. The bliss of heavenly eternity could not be our inheritance. Find the words to thank Jesus now and show him your love. Maybe it’s time to get started on your eternal appreciation of your Lord.

Strong christians are thankful christians. As we realize all Jesus has sacrificed for us and appreciate our ability to live the christian life on our own, we remember to praise our Saviour for his grace. Today, we can be rooted in Jesus, strong in our faith, and thankful to the one who has given us these blessings. Let’s overflow with appreciation.

We respond to thankfulness with our hearts. It is important to thank God. Because he will always be merciful to you whether you rejoice easily or hit the floor with a thud, if you have trusted in the Saviour, he still loves you. That is something wonderful to give thanks for.

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Spirituality helps the journey on the brick road
February 28, 2018
cross-1149878_1280from Pixabay

God’s work that saves persons, can never be separated from educating people: it demands the repression of the oppressors and ruling in the fear of the Lord. Jesus’ message includes a preferential love of God for the poor and for those who share with them in their poverty. Death and resurrection are at work among us and all over the world. Only God is good; and good is the authority of Christ. Miracles are another way in which Jesus teaches. The word apostle means sent and Christ is the one who chooses his apostles and sends them in his name. One begins to be an apostle or at least to cooperate with Christ. When one looks for something more than performing good works for the benefit of the people, when one feels responsible for people: fisher of people. Leprosy was seen as God’s punishment and healing meant that God had forgiven the sinner who was to express his gratitude with a sacrifice. Jesus did not withdraw only to be still, but because on each occasion prayer was necessity for him.

Jesus comes to reveal the mystery of God, the mystery of the love of God-Father, Son and Spirit. God does not expect works on the path of human beings but calls them to faith. Be rid of all that hampers you, of all that prevents you from seeing and believe. Believe that it is he, and he alone who is able to save you. Physical possession is not the usual way of the devil’s activity in humans. That is why the devil operates in the moral life of people. Not that the devil is the cause of every sin and evil that people do. There is also the selfishness of our flesh and the lure of the false promise of the world but the devil, as enemy of God’s Kingdom, is never at rest. The devil continues to notice those of us who are capable of weakening or destroying his empire. But Jesus shows us how to deflect and deter the devil by showing us how to care for each other. The care and love of our Christian brothers and sisters attracts God’s favors upon us. That is why the good news of the Gospels is not meant to be still but it effects a change.

Once corruption has taken over and the vision of God’s alliance has faded away, those who recognize their part in the evil affecting the whole of society must make positive gestures regarding money and the enjoyment of it, which will be for all a sign and a call to conversion. This is the time to be reconciled with family members and neighbors, to let go of resentments. Since we are sinners, our salvation is worked out through suffering and through the cross. Our desires and our prayers are powerful because we have come to the center from which God directs the forces saving humankind: because we work for eternity; our names are already written in heaven. To evangelize does not mean to try to sell the gospel but rather to prove its power to heal people from their demons. We must stop being envious of famous people, kings and prophets of the past. We must pray instead. To pray is to take the time to listen, to meditate in silence on the work of God, it is to slow our desires, so as to pay attention only to God, secretly present and slip into his will. The Spirit is available to help us believe and inspire our prayers so that it may be heard.

The Spirit enables us to understand and interpret Jesus’ words throughout all time. Moreover, we need to receive from the source of all love the ability to love selflessly. As believers we are destined to be hated by the world. When our hope does not come from God trials discourage us; but when our hope is rooted in God, we are strengthened and remain steadfast. God’s plan will not fail and the universe reveals the glory and the beauty of God. Little by little faith opens for us a global vision of human reality.

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Don’t be a judge we are told over and over
February 28, 2018
The Shepherd by Frederick Forsyth

Yahweh is a jealous God, different from the gods of other people who allow rival divinities to set up shops side by side with them and answer petitions which they themselves cannot oblige. The Bible teaches that the earth belongs to God and whoever occupies it is only its administrator. It is not for the church to resolve the complex problems of our times, but it can establish general principles of life that conforms to the will of God and adapt it to the present society. There is no authentic love without faith and hope and love reaches its perfection when we are in God.

We experience temptations and struggle, our decisions both small and great lead us in one of two directions, either the old self hopelessly ruined and a slave of selfishness, or a person transfigured by love. God created man in his image, but the one who is truly this image is the risen Christ, conqueror of sin and of death. The white garment that adults put on at Baptism denotes the change of life that they are beginning.

Our prayers will not be heard if love for the world takes the place of God in our hearts. God asks us to love all the things he created, viewing them as means of reaching him, and to reject what does not serve this purpose. Loving the world is wishing for and clinging to things, without working beyond them for God himself and the brothers and sisters that he gave us. We cannot divide our love between God and the world; neither can we ask God to help us satisfy egotistical ambitions. Criticizing others is the same as despising the law of love.

We must see, and at times say, what is wrong in an action, but we must not judge the responsibility of others, nor their intentions, which God alone knows. God is the only judge. We all make many plans: to earn more, to buy things, to have a good time. We may die without having done what mattered most.

Let our experience be that of the poor and the humble. God is near to those who have no other support but him. When there will be no assurance, God will be obliged to take charge of those whom he owes fidelity. May God grant us that we resist the seduction of the world around us but that also we listen to those who correct us.

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To everything there is a season
February 26, 2018

God made people to be free, holy, strong and in the image of Christ. Sacred history begins with Abraham and his faith and the promise God made to him. God created the world orderly, organizing it and giving meaning to all in existence. The creation of humanity completes God creation. By creating us in his image, God created us to respond to him.

Love has first place in God’s plan and the long evolution of sexuality has been its preparation. God is not subject to time. He lives in a permanent fullness which is known as eternity. This consist of no before or after, no duration and no fatigue nor boredom.

The covenant of God with humankind and with everything that came from the ark, means that God is interested in everything that people create, their culture, inventions, as well as their legitimate ambitions. God is not only the God of believers, he is the God of everyone. God does not want merely to save souls: through human creativity God enables people to grow in awareness and responsibility and he prepares them for divine union through the Holy Spirit.

God made himself known to human groups as he has done for Israel and later for Christians. The rainbow is a sign of reconciliation between him and us. Later came Jesus to reveal the mystery of God, the mystery of the love of God-Father, Son and Spirit.

God does not expect works on the part of human beings but calls them to faith. Be rid of all that hampers you, of all that prevents you from seeing and believe. Believe that it is he, and he alone who is able to save you. The devil does not usually operate in human lives through physical possession but more so in their moral lives.

Not that the devil is the cause of every sin and evil that people do. There is also the selfishness of our flesh and the lure of the false promises of the world but the devil, as enemy of God’s Kingdom, is never at rest. The devil notices at once those who are capable of weakening or destroying his empire.

But do not worry, Jesus has showed us how to resist the devil by his example in the wilderness and his ministry to the sick while he was alive.

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When we wait in joyful hope
February 26, 2018

Always, there are signs that the Lord is coming, but we see the signs so often and interpret them so differently that we miss them. God is always making moves to bring us closer to him. He does not just sit and wait for us to make a move. He is always making moves, hoping that we will grab on to one and come back to him. He offers us his gift of grace which enables us to respond to his offers and be overshadowed by his grace.

In the story of the centurion, we see an example of faith working in cooperation with God. God, through his son Jesus, offered the centurion the gift of faith and the centurion responded by getting himself out of the way so that God and his healing and miracles could move, direct and heal. If a pagan Roman centurion could do it, why not us?

God is the one who shows us compassion when we get hurt. He is the one who loves us when we think that we are unlovable. Throughout the gospel we see and read Jesus doing the unthinkable and reprehensible by touching lepers and healing the ill. We can imitate Jesus by finding and assisting an organization that shelters the homeless and finds work for the jobless, educates the uneducated, and counsels the depressed. By doing this we are demonstrating the gift of compassion. The solidity of love enables us to reach outward to the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, and the imprisoned. Let us then ask Jesus to enable us to hear his word of love and act on it throughout our lives.

We are compelled to tell of the healing, prodding, tugging that God works within us. Once we become aware of God’s work in us, the desire to share our good news overwhelms us, and we tell all. God continues to speak in our history our time, today. The word of God is heard through the voice of a person who calls us to compassion. When we show care and concern for relatives when someone has died, we have heard the word of God. A fresh idea that seems to come from nowhere can be the voice of God that has been heard. Reading the Bible and listening for a message of application to our lives is another way that God speaks today. Those who have taken care of the needy-the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, and the imprisoned-have, without even realizing it, cared for Jesus.

When we practice Jesus’ humility, we know that we are last, like a child, refraining from thinking that something is owed us. Jesus in the Hebrew scriptures, came to help and saves us.  We follow in Jesus’ footsteps when we offer a helping hand to an elderly neighbor, saving a child from hunger, or tutoring the illiterate. Doing these things and more, bestow upon us the name Jesus and represent God’s ongoing activity in time.

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