Archive for March, 2014

What about Love?

Posted: March 14, 2014 in World On The Edge

100_0321aThink about this. There is no one on the face of the earth that you, yourself, can change. Change comes from within, not without. Only the grace of God can move hearts.

As Christians, we allow God to use us, so in that way we may be instrumental in the change in another–but only in that way. We will never be the cause of it.

So how do we allow God to use us? There is only one way we can–through Love.

As Christians, we are to love–especially the unlovable, especially those we do not agree with, especially those who have not shown us love in return.

The video that follows is interesting. What do you think?

Acceptable Time?

Posted: March 13, 2014 in World On The Edge

file0002099842296There are times when I put things off–actually many times when I put things off–things I know I should do. But I talk my self out of doing it for some reason or another. One of the biggest things I put off is cleaning out drawers and closets. If I can squeeze one more item into a drawer, I see it as still ‘workable.’ Sometimes, I do that with my life, too.

But is ‘workable’ what I want? When is it time to turn ‘workable’ into ‘working like a charm?’ And who can do this, except me? And when is the time to do it, except now?

The Gospel Acclamation for Monday, March 10, is:
Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 2 Cor 6:2b

Maybe you’ve put things off, too. And maybe those things have to do with your  relationship with God.

Most of us want a loving relationship with God, yet we put a lot of “stuff” ahead of our personal attempt to have one.

But we can change that.

We can clean out the closets and drawers of our lives. Get rid of all that makes them ‘unworkable’ by tossing out our old and over-used excuses for keeping what is not genuinely beneficial to us. Even then, we may not have a perfect house (or self) but we will have a house that is ready.

When do we do this?

Well, since tomorrow is always ‘iffy’ for each one of us, Today must be the acceptable time.

Is today the right time for you?

file000117614456Who is the woman who means, or has meant, the most to you? Is it someone you trust? Someone you love? A woman you admire from the media?

What are the qualities this woman has that makes her so important to you?

Traits traditionally cited as feminine include gentleness, empathy, and sensitivity. I would submit another trait: extraordinary bravery. Does the woman you most admire have this trait?

There are many women today who stand up with courage–in quiet and often unappreciated ways such as:
Loyalty to a loved one.
Tending to sick children or parents.
Making a paycheck cover the month.
Giving up something she WANTs so her children can have what they NEED.
Standing by a friend despite the politics.
Loving an enemy who’s asked her for forgiveness.
Quieting the gossip of others when she knows it is hurtful.
Continuing, when continuing is hard.
Keeping faith in God and passing it to others by her example.

Here are some examples of bravery in women from the Bible.

Sarah – wife of Abraham. Sarah was also the step-sister of Abraham. When they went down to Egypt, Abraham told Sarah to say that she was his sister, which was true. She then caught the eye of the King of Egypt who took her as his wife, but later restored her to Abraham through divine admonition. Sara gave birth to their son Isaac when she was 90 years old and Abraham was 100 years old. She laughed when she was told by visitors to their home that she would have a son. Therefore, the son she bore was named Isaac which means “He will laugh.” Isaiah 51 calls Sarah the mother of the chosen people.

Rebecca – married Isaac when he was forty years old. Rebecca bore twins, Esau and Jacob when Isaac was sixty years old. Esau grew to be a skillful hunter and was preferred by Isaac. Esau was tricked into selling Jacob his birthright. Rebecca favored Jacob and when Esau was sent by his father to hunt some game, Rebecca prepared a dish for Jacob to give to his father, pretending he was Esau. She also covered Jacob’s hands with goatskin since Esau was hairy and Jacob was not. Isaac, thinking that Jacob was his favored son Esau, gave Jacob his blessing. Esau returned and learned that Jacob had received his father’s blessing and his father had no blessing left to give to Esau.

Deborah – a unique character in the Bible. She was a prophetess as well as the only woman to be a Judge of Israel, making her the equivalent of a king. She was also a leader of the army of Israel. Israel had been under domination by the Canaanites for twenty years. Sisera was the captain of the Canaanite army which far outnumbered the army of Israel. Deborah was told by God to have her general, Barak, take his soldiers to Mount Tabor. They would be engaged in battle by the Canaanite soldiers but the Israelites would win the battle. Barak agreed to do it only if Deborah would accompany him. The Israelites did indeed defeat the Canaanites. Deborah gave all the glory to God for the victory and also thanked Him for what He had done for the nation of Israel.

Judith – The king of Ninevah sent his general Holofernes to subdue the Jews. The Jews who were suffering from a famine were about to give up when the widow Judith reprimanded them and told them she would deliver the city herself. She entered the camp of Holofernes and captivated him with her beauty. When he became drunk, she cut off his head. She returned to the city with his head as a trophy and the Jews gained the strength to defeat their enemy. Chapter 16 is Judith’s song of thanksgiving to God for the victory.

Ruth – In the time of the judges, a famine arose in the land of Israel. Therefore, Naomi and her family emigrated from Bethlehem of Judea to the land of Moab. After her husband and children died, Naomi left Moab to return to Bethlehem. She was accompanied by her daughter-in-law Ruth who insisted on going with her. Ruth intoned that famous quote “Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.” To help out, Ruth went to work in the fields of Boaz, a rich man. Boaz married Ruth who bore him a son Obed, the grandfather of David. The book of Ruth therefore gives insight into the origin of David, King of Israel and the royal ancestor of the Messiah.

Esther – Upon the death of her parents, Esther was adopted by her uncle Mordecai. Esther won the favor of King Ahasuerus who made her his queen. The king had meanwhile raised Haman to high rank and all the king’s servants bowed down to Haman. Mordecai would not bow down to Haman. Haman obtained the king’s consent to a massacre of all the Jews in the kingdom. (Mordecai, of course, was a Jew.) A gallows was erected to hang Mordecai. The king learned belatedly that Mordecai had never been rewarded for revealing a plot by the eunuchs to kill the king, and therefore planned to reward him accordingly. He asked Aman what would be a fitting reward for one to be honored by the king. Aman, thinking that he himself was to be honored, suggested the use of the king’s apparel and insignia. Esther informed the king of the plot of Aman to destroy her people. The king then ordered Aman to be hanged on the gibbet he prepared for Mordecai and bestowed on Mordecai all of Aman’s property. Mordecai then instituted the feast of Purim to celebrate the day when Aman would have destroyed the Jews but which Esther turned into a day of triumph.

All of these women of the Bible showed extraordinary bravery during a time when women were regarded as mere chattel with no rights and little respect. It is fitting that they should be recognized for their character and accomplishments in the book that is the Word of God.

Politics, or Morality?

Posted: March 11, 2014 in World On The Edge

SONY DSCMy husband and I were in Destin over Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. We went to Mass at the Catholic church closest to where we were staying and met a very interesting priest. Nearly twenty years ago, many of his congregation left his church for other churches in the area, saying that they were tired of listening to his preaching of politics. The priest told about the exodus of those parishioners in a Sunday homily. He said he’d never preached politics, never talked about a candidate or a political party–not even once during his time as pastor. But what he had preached was morality.
And wasn’t that a large part of his job as a priest?

Now, I ask you–what do you think? Politics or morality?

Preaching against abortion. Is that politics, or morality?

Preaching against sex outside of marriage. Is that politics, or morality?

Preaching that marriage is created by God as a sacrament between a man and a woman. Is that politics, or morality?

Preaching that drugs harm not only the physical body, but the human soul. Is that politics, or morality?

Preaching that lying–especially under oath–is a sin. Is that politics, or morality?

You may be able to bring up other similar examples that are referred to as political, but are actually moral questions.

Do you see an underlying–and current–problem here? Topics that have long been considered part of morality are, today, suddenly political questions where the answers are wishy-washy enough to  be voted on as morally correct behavior. And worse— it is politically correct to adhere to them, even when the opposite is true.

This is too thin a line because it fuzzies up Truth.

What is the next step? A complete elimination of Truth?

That bothers me. Does it bother you?