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Thread: Just sharing.

  1. #2301
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    Default Re: Just sharing.

    Envy, Lust and Honor-Seeking
    ==========================================
    The teaching of the Talmudic sage, Rabbi Elazar Hakapar:
    "Envy, lust and honor-seeking drive a person from the world."

    Rabbi Elazar Hakapar tells us that these three character traits
    are not only morally wrong, but also physically harmful, as they
    harm the person who engages in them. A person who has envy,
    lust and a desire for honor will be a very unhappy person.
    These traits drive people to jeopardize their health, which in
    turn, "drive a person from the world."

    On the other hand, our sages in the same chapter of Pirkei Avot
    tell us, "Who is rich? He who is happy with his lot!"
    They also tell us, "Who is honored? He who honors others!"

    When one is not envious of those who have more wealth, but
    instead are happy with their lot in life, then they are indeed
    wealthy. At the same time, one who does not seek recognition
    but is happy, content and gives honor, is indeed honored and
    will be healthier and live longer.

    The story is told of a miser who put all his money in a pot and
    buried it in the ground so that no one could take it away from
    him.

    One day he went to retrieve his money, but to his great shock,
    he found that someone stole his money and instead left him a pot
    full of rocks. The miser walked around crying, tearing the hair
    from his head and bemoaning his terrible situation.

    One of his friends, trying to console him said, "Why are you so
    upset? After all, you never had any benefit of your wealth.
    You never used your money, nor will you ever spend it for
    yourself or for anyone else. So why are you so upset?
    You wouldn't have had any use of your money anyway?"

    To this the miser replied, "True, for myself it doesn't really
    make a difference whether the pot is full of gold coins or
    rocks, I will have no benefit from either. What hurts me is
    that someone else out there is benefiting from my money.
    This hurts more than anything else!"

    To help remind us on a daily basis of our true wealth, our sages
    instituted a series of blessings, which we recite each morning.

    When we wake up in the morning, we bless and thank God for
    returning our soul refreshed for the new day. We thank God for
    giving us the power to see, to move our limbs, to stand, to walk
    etc. These blessings make us aware at the beginning of each day
    of how fortunate we really are and help us focus on the many
    blessings we receive each minute of the day.

    King David concludes the Psalms reminding us that we must thank
    God for every single breath which we take!

    We should continuously remember the wise guidance of Rabbi
    Elazar Hakapar:
    "Envy, lust and honor-seeking drive a person from the world."

    If only we wouldn't take for granted the wonderful gifts which
    God gives each of us each day; we would realize how much we have
    to be thankful for.


    HAVE A VERY GOOD, HAPPY, HEALTHY AND SUCCESSFUL DAY

  2. #2302
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    Default Re: Just sharing.

    My Plea To Christian Pastors



    As part of the Bridge Builder Team, I am honored to represent "My people". "My People" are people with disabilities, their parents, siblings, grandparents, and all those who are connected with them in some other way. They became "my people" the moment my brother was diagnosed with mental retardation

    In times of crisis, such as a new diagnosis or a birth defect, many anxious parents, Christian and non-Christian alike, flock to the public system which, in a sense, becomes their "church". This system welcomes all my people -offering support, encouragement, and community- A sanctuary from an unkind world. And when a church doesn’t welcome or dis-invites one of my people, the rest of my community are warned about it. It is marked an unsafe place.

    Why does the world do a better job with inclusion than the church? I think we Christians, somewhere along the way, have lost sight of God’s perspective towards all of us- we are crippled by sin, in need of a savior. We may have unknowingly given power to "man-made" labels by using them as guidelines to determine who can or cannot understand the things of God. In a sense, we have taken the role of the host to decide who will get an invitation to God's banquet. I confess -I bought into this lie.

    Then God exposed the lie and set me free from it through a mother’s words. This mother told me "My daughter's spirit is not retarded!" …..Her words broke the deception in my thinking. Sharing the gospel with a person who cannot make his response known because of his disability is in no way different than sharing the gospel with an able bodied person who offers no response. In both situations, we are to give God’s invitation and trust that the Holy Spirit will do His job.

    Helen Keller, who was born deaf and blind, was once asked which disability would be the worst disability to have. She answered "Having sight… but no vision". I come here today to challenge your vision for God’s people. Look at your congregation through God’s eyes. Does your church look like the people who eagerly sought out His Son Jesus? You know, the poor, the blind, the lame, the deaf? Are you welcoming people who may be mentally ill or severely disfigured? Evidently these people are so important to God that they are clearly documented in the Bible, both in the Old and the New Testament?

    If we are to be imitators of Jesus, then we must seek out the people who are still in the lanes and the margins of life. God uses these people as change agents. They change us. In fact, we may need them more than they need us. If we don’t have a child with severe disabilities, who is going to show us what true dependence on God looks like. If we don’t have mentally retarded people in our congregations, who will teach us what patience and simple joy looks like. If we don’t invite people different than us, who will teach us how to love unconditionally. Yes …Jesus attracts but …He also disturbs.

    So what holds us back in this new millennium? For the most part, The American Disabilities Act doesn’t require churches to legally welcome all. So if not for a legal reason, then what will it take for Christian churches to welcome the people that Jesus was not ashamed to be with? In this day and age, there are many excellent resources and tools are available to support this task. All it takes a willing heart, such as yours, to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to welcome all into His fold. "For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline." (2Tim:7)

    I leave you with this true story. One morning a friend of mine was praying to God and told Him that she would do anything that He wanted her to do. Her desire was to be obedient. She went to the supermarket where she bought a few groceries. The woman who bagged her groceries appeared to be mentally retarded. Lisa thanked her for bagging the groceries and said that she would be able to carry the bag herself. This woman said with great pride "Oh, no, this is my job." Lisa didn’t argue. As they were walking in the parking lot, the Lord said to Lisa "Ask her if she knows me?" Lisa remembering her promise ,obeyed and asked this woman cautiously "Do you know Jesus?. Without hesitation, this woman said" Oh, yes I do……Jesus holds me every time I am having a seizure!"

    Lisa left her house that morning thinking that she was going to bless another person for the Lord. God had other plans. God worked through this woman to show Lisa that disability does not stop His plans, His truth. Lisa left the parking lot fully blessed. Tears still come to her eyes as she shares God's revelation on that day.

    What excites me is the fact that someone took the time to share Jesus with this woman in spite of her disability. She bridged the disability gap with Jesus. Do you know this servant of Jesus, this bridge builder? Could they be from your congregation? Are you guilty… of sharing Jesus Christ with everyone ? If not, then who is going to remind you that Jesus will be with you when you may have a seizure?"

    Thank you for reading my plea for Christians to open their Christian communities to welcome all into God's Kingdom.

  3. #2303
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    Default Re: Just sharing.

    NASA vs. the Bible


    For all the scientists out there and for all the students who have a hard time convincing these people regarding the truth of the Bible...here's something that shows God's awesome creation and shows that He is still in control. Did you know that the space program is busy proving that what has been called "myth" in the Bible is true?

    Mr. Harold Hill, President of the Curtis Engine Company in Baltimore, Maryland and a consultant in the space Program relates the following development. "I think one of the most amazing things that God has for us today happened recently to our astronauts and space scientists at Greenbelt, Maryland.

    They were checking the position of the sun, moon, and planets out in space where they would be 100 years and 1000 years from now. We have to know this so we won't send a satellite, up and have it bump into something later on in its orbits. We have to lay out the orbits in terms of the life of the satellite, and where the planets will be so the whole thing will not bog down.

    They ran the computer measurement back and forth over the centuries and it came to a halt. The computer stopped and put up a red signal, which meant that there was something wrong either with the information fed into it or with the results as compared to the standards.

    They called in the service department to check it out and they said, "What's wrong?" Well, they found there is a day missing in space in elapsed time. They scratched their heads and tore their hair. There was no answer.

    Finally, a Christian man on the team said, "You know, one time I was in Sunday School and they talked about the sun standing still." While they didn't believe him, they didn't have an answer either, so they said, "Show us."

    He got a Bible and went back to the book of Joshua where they found a pretty ridiculous statement for any one with "common sense." There they found the Lord saying to Joshua, "Fear them not, have delivered them into thy hand; there shall not a man of them stand before thee."

    Joshua was concerned because he was surrounded by the enemy and if darkness fell they would overpower them. So Joshua asked the Lord to make the sun stand still!

    That's right- "The sun stood still and the moon stayed - and hasted not to go down about a whole day!" (Joshua 10:12-13) The astronauts and scientists said, "There is the missing day!"

    They checked the computers going back into the time it was written and found it was close but not close enough. The elapsed time that was missing back in Joshua's day was 23 hours and 20 minutes-not a whole day.

    They read the Bible and there it was "about (approximately) a day." These little words in the Bible are important, but they were still in trouble because if you cannot account for 40 minutes you'll still be in trouble 1,000 years from now. Forty minutes had to be found because it can be multiplied many times over in orbits.

    As the Christian employee thought about it, he remembered somewhere in the Bible where it said the sun went BACKWARDS. The scientists told him he was out of his mind, but they got out the Book and read these words in 2 Kings that told of the following story: Hezekiah, on his death bed, was visited by the prophet Isaiah who told him that he was not going to die. Hezekiah asked for a sign as proof.

    Isaiah said "Do you want the sun to go ahead 10 degrees?" Hezekiah said "It is nothing for the sun to go ahead 10 degrees, but let the shadow return backward 10 degrees."

    Isaiah spoke to the Lord and the Lord brought the shadow ten degrees BACKWARD! Ten degrees is exactly 40 minutes! Twenty-three hours and 20 minutes in Joshua, plus 40 minutes in Second Kings make the missing day in the Universe!" Isn't it amazing?

    References: Joshua 10:8 and 12, 13 and 2 Kings 20:9-11. Forward this to as many people who you believe would think this is equally as cool. Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic

  4. #2304
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    Default Re: Just sharing.


    Never Drink and Drive



    He opens another one of the cans,
    Thinking his mind would withstand.
    In a drunken rage,
    His anger is released in one thoughtless stage.

    Fearing nothing at all,
    He answers his angers call.
    He opens his truck door,
    Then presses the gas pedal to the floor.

    As he turns the last curve,
    There was no time for either car to swurve.
    As their cars collide,
    Both pass over to the other side.

    Now as they both stand in the judgment line,
    Memories of loved ones race through their minds.
    She turns and gives him a forgiving smile,
    As Christ searches throughout her file.

    Then an ange decends from a cloud above,
    With wings as snow white as a doves.
    She hits her knees and Praises the Lord,
    Her earthly pain she will endure no more.

    As he steps forward to take his turn,
    He notices that his feet are starting to burn.
    As Christ opens his files,
    The devils laughter is heard screaching for miles

    As Christ stands up and leaves the room,
    It fills suddenly with darkness and gloom.
    As the steaming pits of hell open wide,
    The devils voice screams out, you should
    NEVER DRINK AND DRIVE!

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    Default Re: Just sharing.


  6. #2306
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    Default Re: Just sharing.

    No Time


    I knelt to pray but not for long,
    I had too much to do.
    I had to hurry and get to work
    For bills would soon be due.

    So I knelt and said a hurried prayer,
    And jumped up off my knees.
    My Christian duty was now done
    My soul could rest at ease.

    All day long I had no time
    To spread a word of cheer.
    No time to speak of Christ to friends,
    They'd laugh at me I'd fear.

    No time, no time, too much to do,
    That was my constant cry,
    No time to give to souls in need
    But at last the time the time to die.

    I went before the Lord,
    I came, I stood with downcast eyes.
    For in his hands God held a book;
    It was the book of life.

    God looked into his book and said
    "Your name I cannot find.
    I once was going to write it down...
    But never found the time

  7. #2307
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    Default Re: Just sharing.

    No Time II



    I got up this morning and I wanted to pray, but I had no time
    I had to go pay a bill and I wanted to go to bible study, but I had no time

    I had to go to the store and I wanted to go to church, but I had no time
    I had so much to do so many places to go that I just had no time for God

    I lived a good life it was now time to die
    I wanted to sat goodbye, but I had no time

    I stood before God on judgement day there he stood with a book in his hand
    It was the book of life
    He opened the book and looked in it

    He then looked at me and said
    There once was a time I wanted to write down your name, but I had no time

  8. #2308
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    Default Re: Just sharing.

    A bit lighthearted today......

    Kid's Voices
    ==================
    Ever notice how a 4-year-old's voice is louder than 200 adult
    voices?

    Several years ago, I returned home from a trip just when a storm
    hit, with crashing thunder and severe lightning.

    As I came into my bedroom about 2 a.m., I found my two children
    in bed with my wife, Karey, apparently scared by the loud storm.
    I resigned myself to sleep in the guest bedroom that night.

    The next day, I talked to the children and explained that it was
    O.K. to sleep with Mom when the storm was bad, but when I was
    expected home, please don't sleep with Mom that night.

    They said OK.

    After my next trip several weeks later, Karey and the children
    picked me up in the terminal at the appointed time.

    Since the plane was late, everyone had come into the terminal to
    wait for my plane's arrival, along with hundreds of other folks
    waiting for their arriving passengers.

    As I entered the waiting area, my son saw me, and came running
    shouting,

    "Hi, Dad! I've got some good news!"

    As I waved back, I said loudly, "What's the good news?"

    Alex shouted,

    "Nobody slept with Mommy while you were away this time!"

    The airport became very quiet, as everyone in the waiting area
    looked at Alex, then turned to me, and then searched the rest of
    the area to see if they could figure out exactly who his Mom
    was.

  9. #2309
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    Default Re: Just sharing.

    Now I Sit Me Down


    By: 12 Year old girl in Boston


    Now I sit me down in school
    Where praying is against the rule.

    For this great nation under God
    Finds mention of Him very odd.

    If Scripture now the class recites
    It violates the Bill of Rights.


    Anytime my head I bow
    Becomes a federal matter now.

    The law is specific; the law is precise.
    Praying out loud is no longer nice.

    Praying aloud in a public hall
    Upsets those who believe in nothing at all.


    In silence alone we can meditate
    and if God should get the credit--great!
    They are bringing their guns,

    I don't dare bring my Bible,
    To do so might make me liable.

    So, now Oh Lord, this plea I make;
    Should I be shot in school, My soul please take.

  10. #2310
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    One of Us Abstained


    I was holding a notice from my 13-year-old son's school announcing a meeting to preview the new course in sexuality. Parents could examine the curriculum and take part in an actual lesson presented exactly as it would be given to the students.

    When I arrived at the school, I was surprised to discover only about a dozen parents there. As we waited for the presentation, I thumbed through page after page of instructions in the prevention of pregnancy or disease. I found abstinence mentioned only in passing.

    When the teacher arrived with the school nurse, she asked if there were any questions. I asked why abstinence did not play a noticeable part in the material.

    What happened next was shocking. There was a great deal of laughter, and someone suggested that if I thought abstinence had any merit, I should go back to burying my head in the sand.

    The teacher and the nurse said nothing as I drowned in a sea of embarrassment. My mind had gone blank, and I could think of nothing to say. The teacher explained to me that the job of the school was to "teach facts," and the home was responsible for moral training.

    I sat in silence for the next 20 minutes as the course was explained. The other parents seemed to give their unqualified support to the materials.

    "Donuts, at the back," announced the teacher during the break. "I'd like you to put on the name tags we have prepared - they're right by the donuts - and mingle with the other parents."

    Everyone moved to the back of the room.

    As I watched them affixing their nametags and shaking hands, I sat deep in thought. I was ashamed that I had not been able to convince them to include a serious discussion of abstinence in the materials. I uttered a silent prayer for guidance.

    My thoughts were interrupted by the nurse's hand on my shoulder. "Won't you join the others, Mr. Layton?" The nurse smiled sweetly at me. "The donuts are good." "Thank you, no," I replied.

    "Well, then, how about a name tag? I'm sure the others would like to meet you." "Somehow I doubt that," I replied. "Won't you please join them?" she coaxed.

    Then I heard a still, small voice whisper, "Don't go." The instruction was unmistakable. "Don't go!" "I'll just wait here," I said.

    When the class was called back to order, the teacher looked around the long table and thanked everyone for putting on nametags. She ignored me.

    Then she said, "Now we're going to give you the same lesson we'll be giving your children. Everyone please peel off your name tags." I watched in silence as the tags came off. "Now, then, on the back of one of the tags, I drew a tiny flower. Who has it, please?"

    The gentleman across from me held it up. "Here it is!" "All right, she said. "The flower represents disease. Do you recall with whom you shook hands?" He pointed to a couple of people.

    "Very good," she replied. "The handshake in this case represents intimacy. So the two people you had contact with now have the disease." There was laughter and joking among the parents.

    The teacher continued, "And whom did the two of you shake hands with?"

    The point was well taken, and she explained how this lesson would show students how quickly disease is spread. "Since we all shook hands, we all have the disease."

    It was then that I heard the still, small voice again. "Speak now, it said, "but be humble." I noted the latter admonition, then rose from my chair.

    I apologized for any upset I might have caused earlier, congratulated the teacher on an excellent lesson that would impress the youth, and concluded by saying I had only one small point I wished to make. "Not all of us were infected," I said.

    "One of us...abstained."

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