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“What brought you here now?” I asked rather dismayed.
“Just wanted to see if you have checked the news today.” He said.
I answered, “No, I do not follow the news any more, it is rather depressing”
He said, “does not mean you are going to live inside a cocoon. You live in a society, which means you are affected by everything that happens around you and.. you also affect everything that goes on around you.”
I said, “not if I keep low profile and mind my own business.”
He said, “ well, here is a piece of news for you … and tell me if you can keep low and mind your own business.. they just caught a drunken man .. his car hit another car carrying a family of five.. all of them died.. right across the street from where you work.”
I shrugged it off, “so what? It has nothing to do with me?”
He gazed at my face, and after a short silence he said, “it was the family of your employer… and they found a large cache of weapons in the drunken man’s car… “
I was shaken for a while, then I slowly regained my self control and said, “that is a bummer … shall they close the office?”
He got angry and snapped, “a whole family is dead.. a plan to commit serious terrorist actions was inadvertently discovered.. and all you care for is whether you shall be able to go back to work? What kind of a callous person are you.”
I stammered a little and managed to answer, “the kind who wants to live and let live.”
He said, “you may want to live and let live, but the criminal who purchased that arsenal had different ideas.. he wanted to live and let everybody else die… you can close your eyes as if you don’t see it, until someday, someone pulls a trigger and …”
“what do you want from me.. it is not my responsibility to go chasing criminals and terrorists,” I yelled nervously.
He was quick to respond, “But it is your responsibility and mine, to be vigilant about everything happening around us.. it is a basic law of self preservation.. being passive, is tantamount to becoming a victim.. … Do you have a gun – virtual or physical – to defend yourself and your loved ones? The criminals do.. we have to be vocal and active in defense of our rights and above all be able to discern what is true and what is false after all evil is very clever to shroud itself in a cloak of virtue.”
when you are in a war with a malicious cheating adversary, battle plans need to be adjusted … the end goal is to win the war not just a single battle.
There is nothing wrong with being a charity case…
Usually what may start as a charity case, gradually turns into a friend… it is a natural step up…
However, when a friend somehow turns into a charity case… it is tragic… degrading and sad… A revealing situation…
Apology is not the same as repentance, just like gold plated is nothing like “made of pure gold”
Even if you can fly, sometimes you shall need to walk..
And though you can run, you always run after hope, or away from pain and fear..
So, it is certainly prudent to stop, relax and contemplate for a while..
They killed John the Baptist, do you know why? how do YOU relate to this small fact? is it your head on the block? or is it your hand holding the knife?
KJ21 (Luke 15:4)
“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost until he find it?
KJV (Luke 15:4)
What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost until he find it?
Consider the word “until”
Replacing it with the word “IF” as in the arabic translation. The meaning completely changes!
In over 50 English translations the word ”until” is used. It clearly means that the shepherd will not give up and will most likely find the lost sheep and return it to the fold. But the word “if” implies the possibility of finding the lost sheep is at best uncertain. To me, when more than 50 translations agree on a certain word, I would consider it more likely to be accurate. The implications are enormous. Since the majority of people do not know the original Greek. This to me, means two things… first, I must read the scriptures in depth rather than a superficial passing glance and then jump to conclusions… and second when there is the slightest ambiguity about ANY term, realizing that all the copies available to me are translations, then I should refer to the original Greek if I can, or see how the various translations agree collectively to deliver the meaning to me. This is probably why our Lord Jesus had already told us, the road to heaven is tight, and “A FEW PEOPLE” will find it
Time has a painful way of changing everything and every one.. it changes grapes into raisins and changes coals into diamonds.. Time does the same thing to people, it can change a vibrant and happy heart into a cold and indifferent lump of sorrow, though in other cases it wipes away the tears of a lonely broken heart and teaches it to fly happily to the top of the world… well, nothing stays the same… so be mindful of time…
I sat down and cried when I thought about all my problems, then I remembered that there are thousands of others who dream to have my very same problems.. strange isn’t it? It turns out with all my troubles I am still much better off than all these people..
When I was young I was told never to compare myself to others.. now that I am much older, I thought about that famous parable of the stewards who received different talents..
You probably never thought about this parable in this way !!
One time God gave a certain person five talents and gave another two talents… yes you know that story ..
What would happen if the guy with the two talents got so jealous of the other guy because he got more? This happens every day .. more often than we like to believe ..
That person would get himself – and everyone else – in a lot of trouble, notwithstanding that he was given what he could handle safely without much ado.
If you are a wealthy man and suddenly you are introduced to a wealthier man, you might get into a tizzy of anger and envy and work yourself into striving to beat the same to the higher ranges of wealth and in the process, you end up breaking all moral and even legal boundaries..
on the other hand, if you are poor and constantly, bitterly, compare yourself to others who have a better living .. you shall inevitably land yourself into a world of pain, misery and maybe crime.. instead of motivating yourself to do better and focus on what you already have, which may be a lot better than what the rich person got.. you may be healthy while he is sick.. you may have a smart child while he may have a delinquent one.. you never know what burdens other people have..
the same argument can be made about any other talent.. beauty, intelligence, resourcefulness, etc.
the worst thing you can do in life is comparing yourself to others .. it is far better to work with the talents you are given to make it work for you to achieve the best possible results without envying those who have more, or looking down at others who might have lesser talents, for they may end up doing the right thing and reach higher success while you waste your time and squander your talents ending up much worse off than those you despised. By the way, this is one of the most important lessons you have to teach your children in order to put them on the right path to success, instead of comparing your child to his friend or his cousin, which usually ends up with resentment, and a hidden build-up of hatred and misery for all concerned.
Hit: there are some people – with twisted logic – who like to compare themselves to the ascetics and saints, and say to themselves that they can never attain that kind of perfection, therefore they languish in the swamps of licentious indulgences convinced that they might as well “enjoy” a carefree life as long as they shall end up in hell anyway !!
Are you one of those? Remember that St. Paul had already asserted that in heaven “various stars are different in the level of their glory”
Matthew 25:14-30 / 1 Corinthians 15:41
Jonah and the Whale (oil on board)
Aris, Fred (b.1934) (Contemporary Artist)
Jonah was inside the belly of the whale yet he had faith
Job was sitting in the dust covered with ashes, yet he kept the faith
And David was hounded by Saul, yet he never wavered in his faith
“whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.” Mark 11:23
Most people – if not all – struggle between the tangible and the abstract. Everyone is looking for things to touch, feel, or see, i.e. something tangible… when the need is for faith, which is completely foreign to the human senses.. even a measure of faith the size of a mustard seed is far more powerful than a great load of tangible power.
Kicking the can down the road only means that the day of reckoning shall be much harder.
Beside, dealing with a problem may be hard and painful, yet having to deal with the consequences of an unresolved problem is certainly much harder and far more complicated.
Notice how those who eat meat, never try to force anybody else to eat meat..
Meanwhile, vegans and vegetarians never stop trying to ‘force’ everybody else to stop eating meat!!
Seems like stopping to eat meat has some profound negative effect on the functionality of the human brain.. !!
Most of the second group – not all – are liberal. Pretty much like islamist extremists, they belong to the category we can call “terrorist” .. they break store windows, bang on cars and burn property .. some even destroy research facilities which produce medicines for all humanity, including themselves. ..
Question posted by a young man in his own words, “Why does God will allow horrible things to happen to innocent people, like a child getting cancer?”
“There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away; they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know. There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Romans 3:10-18).
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8)
“I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).
The question of pain and suffering for the children of God had been at the center of many vexing arguments by scholars and theologians for millennia. The facts are clear from the verses mentioned above. To capture the closest possible response in the shortest possible way let us consider the following:
- God created every thing good and beautiful. The sin of mankind is what opened the door for all kinds of plagues and afflictions to all the creation.
- Many times what humans perceive as a bad and evil event is nothing but a precursor to something wonderful e.g. what happened to Joseph the son of Jacob. Or what happened to Tobit the father of Tobias. Even the great calamity which befallen the righteous Job was never understood by Job himself nor by his friends at the time, until God revealed his wisdom to Job and to everyone at the end. Sometimes we see the reasons staring us in the face and we choose to ignore them and claim ignorance and choose to clamor and blame God as in the case of a drug addict mother who gives birth to a baby with aids or a couple deciding to get married even though the medical tests before marriage indicate that their children will have high risk of certain degenerative or fatal disease. Sometimes we have the reasons and we should be able to understand. In other times the wisdom of God is completely beyond our comprehension, but if we surrender our will to the Lord and accept his will in our lives, his wisdom will certainly be revealed to us in due time. This happens on individual basis and only for those who are wise enough to realize that the ways of God are far wiser and kinder that we can even imagine.
- Who is more innocent or pure than our Lord himself? Yet, he allowed himself to be humiliated, insulted and persecuted by evil doers. He left his throne of glory all the way down to a manger in a barn, suffered hunger and thirst only to end up being whipped and tortured like a slave and shamefully crucified and mocked unto death. To this day some people cannot understand this and their inability to comprehend the wisdom of God is even standing in the way of their ability to believe and enjoy that enormous salvation afforded to humanity freely by the Grace and love of God whose wisdom is certainly beyond human intellect. _________________________
After a long walk, I arrived at the party.. one stranger came to me saying, “Your shoes say everything about you.!” I answered, “I wonder then what would be the function of your brain?”
In the Book of Job
Could the righteous Job do ANYTHING to speed up his salvation?
Also…. During his long horrible tribulations, he did no know that he would be eventually rewarded the way he was … YET he persevered to whatever the end might be… and THAT, is why he was rewarded.. !!!
and don’t forget that Job was a very rich man.. and we know how it is ALMOST impossible for a rich man to enter Heaven… !!
Last night I had dinner in a restaurant …
They refused to give me a plastic straw with my drink…to save the environment…
Yet… they served the complete dinner in paper plates.. !!!
It seems they wanted to save the dolphins, but it was OK to kill the trees… ?!
And then the same people complain about CO2 level and green house gases…
Go figure …..
I was asked:
As the bible says, a man who lusts after a woman in his heart has already committed adultery with her. Does this mean that the woman has also sinned, just because the man had sinful thoughts?
Here is my response…
If the woman is unaware of the sinful looks of the man, she cannot be guilty of anything However; you must also understand that if the woman had deliberately provoked these lustful looks of this man and others, whether by her behavior, her words and /or her indecent clothing. Then she will be just as sinful as the man. It is important to understand the deep meaning of the commandment and not just the letter of it. Therefore we need to realize from this
- God will not be deceived by appearances. If a person looks and lusts in his heart, he is chargeable of the sin because the only reason he did not commit the sin, is the lack of opportunity or means to accomplish it.
- This commandment also works as a warning, to every one as it teaches us that most of our mistakes and sins start at the level of mere looking….then lusting ….and that opens the door to trying to device a mischievous method by which we can accomplish that sin. This applies to adultery as well as coveting or any other passion where we desire something which does not belong to us. Therefore, controlling our eyes, will be a great first step towards keeping ourselves from falling into much worse transgressions