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Archive for the ‘peace’ Category

And Israel said to Joseph, “I had not thought to see your face; but in fact, God has also shown me your offspring!”- Genesis 48:11 (NKJV)

The father who had shown Joseph favoritism was old and sick.  That was the report that had reached Joseph.  Joseph gathered up his two sons and took them to Grandpa Israel (Papa Jacob).  The words in verse 11 are Joseph’s father’s words to his son.

Keep in mind that Joseph had been presumed dead for years.  Al of his time in Potiphar’s house, prison and even the palace, Joseph was presumed dead by his father.  Upon coming to Egypt, Jacob reunited with his son. 

Joy must have captivated his heart.  He must have be overjoyed to some degree.  Not only was Joseph alive but he was doing quite well for himself as he worked under the king of Egypt.  Jacob must have been both happy and proud of his son.  However, Jacob blesses both of Joseph’s sons after Joseph gets the news of his father’s illness.

There are just somethings that we have to face in life, but when we can regain some other things it gives us our unique purpose. The are some defining moments that come about in our lives. They stick out in our memories.  We cling to them for one reason or another.  These are the very moments that serve as reminders to us all of how precious life is to each and every one of us.  How much did that moment of those two boys being blessed help Joseph recall how much he loved and missed his father?

Most probably, you have reflected on some moments that stood out for you in life and with your family and friends.  Live on and make more memories.  Live on and enjoy it.  Make memories as you go along.  Everyone will not be here forever, so make as many memories as you can now and be at peace among each other.  God bless.

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“First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.”
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer

What we discover when we read this quote from Bonhoeffer is horrific and even terrifying when we think of Anne Frank, Corrie Ten Boom and other accounts of the terrors of the Holocaust.  As a minister and pastor in WWII Germany, Bonhoeffer probably watched on as other demographic groups were isolated as threats to the regime within the Fatherland.  However, by his own admission, he ignored much until the day came when they came for him and his comrades.

Advocacy is about being a voice for those who have no voice of their own.  Think of how you may be able to address the needs of children and the disabled.  How about the elderly and immigrants? You may not agree with everyone’s values and ideals, but you do have to agree that there are some certain civil and human rights that we should ensure that people have as a matter of human decency.

Where is your voice? Who have you spoken up for?  for whom have you stood up and spoken out on principle?  Where is your voice?

“We often expect more from others than we are willing to do ourselves.”- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought;  Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.  And he taught daily in the temple. . . Luke 19:45-48 (KJV)

I am a royal mess.  I mean it.  I literally keep my desk, car and “area” of the house a real mess.  I’m just messy and unorganized.

I keep things in an uproar.  Chaos is essentially where I thrive.  I keep mounds of paperwork (who said automation is modern) and I am not thrown off when things are not altogether “in order.” Yet, I live and work with orderly people who care enough to share with me how bad I can be while exercising my lived-in practices.  I decided during this long weekend to do something about me and my mess.

(What does that have to do with Jesus and casting folks out of the temple?)

Just like Jesus, I had to go into where the mess existed.  Jesus had to go to where it was and do something about it right in the midst of it.  Jesus spoke out against all that He saw going on there. (In fact, the disciple whom He loved adds some details about Him making a whip for driving folks out of the temple.[John 2:15]) I won’t dare repeat the things that came to mind, but the closest I can get is mea culpa.  (Oh, Lord, help me and have mercy today.)

Jesus got up close and personally involved in cleansing the temple.  He spoke out against the “swap meet” for God’s people in God’s house, referencing two major prophets – Isaiah and Jeremiah. (Uh Oh, those are some powerful prophets!) Needless to say, as I got deeper into clean-up time, I wasn’t quoting the Scriptures as much as I could hear my grandmother’s voice in the back of my mind saying: “Cleanliness is next to godliness.” (Really? Is that so? I could argue against her theology but I respect the deceased and I think she probably would have a better perspective on it than I would.  You think?)

Okay. Where was I ? (You know I said I am unorganized.) Anyhow, it’s like Jesus when I get to moving and ordering things around.  I changed the entire environment.  I can’t say that I did everything that I need to do, but I definitely made some real, genuine progress. 

Jesus taught in the temple.  That goes along with His proclamation as a “house of prayer.”  Here’s the real deep part for you.  I didn’t teach as much as I learned.  You see, I learned that my mess was interfering with the “pursuit of happiness”  [Not the Will Smith flick with his son; that was the Pursuit of Happyness, I believe] for my family and people who I work with (when I “work”).  It also let me know that if my daughter didn’t have to ride in my car, she would gladly ride in something else.  I learned how being me and letting things go and get out hand can lead to me hurting others.  That is not good.  That is not a Christ-like existence.  I had to make a change to make my relationships better off.  I will definitely keep you posted. (Keep me in prayer.)

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…But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, Romans 5:20 NIV

Grace overcomes guilt.  We are truly guilty of being sinful.  As the seed of Adam, we are truly “as guilty as sin.” We are to confess our sin before the Lord and among one another.  That is true, too.  Yet, we tend to get weighed down by the guilt that comes along with sin.  People become bogged down by the burden of living with their own sins, grieved to the point of near exhaustion.  It can be merciless, the toll that sin takes on the lives of believers.

Grace does a mighty work.  We are saved by by grace.  It’s not our works that do it.  It is a gift from God.  Grace is called “unmerited favor.”  Spurgeon wrote of such grace.  Martin Luther said it was only by grace that we have been saved.  It is throughout Romans, Galatians, and Ephesians.  Even Genesis says that Noah found grace from the Lord.

Let us purge the pain.  Let us accept God’s grace and its bountiful blessings.  Let us rejoice and celebrate the freedom that we have through the Lord’s grace.  he’s opened the door.  Will be be loosed from our burdens and walk upright, free from the guilt and covered by His grace.  Be blessed today.  Live by His grace today.

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Some of us need to make peace with family. No matter how far that you have come, you still need to make peace. Someone just needs to bury the hatchet ASAP. There is no more time to waste. Friendships have lied in ruin because of the failure of one side to approach making peace and settling the matter. Presidents and foreign magistrates need to get together and have more “peace talks” and summits. We need to settle some old unresolved matters and start making peace both near and far.

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