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An Act of Kindness Saved My Life


Originally posted on Kindness Blog:

An Act of Kindness Saved My Life

by Tamerie Shriver

jogger-silhouette

The unselfish act of a stranger literally saved me from being raped, and maybe even killed.

Three years ago last September as I was doing my usual Saturday morning fitness walk, minding my own business, I was sexually assaulted.  My attacker ran up behind me, slammed me to the pavement face first, flipped me over and as he did he hooked his finger into the waistband of my skirt and ripped my clothing off.

Unfortunately, my panties went too, so I was naked from the waist down.  I fought and fought, to no avail.  Just as he was getting ready to punch me in the face to knock me out, I heard a voice yelling at him to stop, to get off of me.  Although he did not get off and run away, that distraction was enough to stopped him…

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Oh, for a humble attitude to church – especially the music!


Originally posted on sevennotesofgrace:

Worship_War_ThumbChurch music is a stand-out feature that quickly distinguishes one church from another. While it may be difficult to assess doctrinal differences or the measure of humility amongst the congregation, it is easy to measure them by their music. We label it as good, bad, mediocre, boring, outdated or shallow. Everyone is a critic when it comes to music because we have such diversity of tastes and experiences.
Yet we are to be one in Christ! To be one we need to prefer the needs of others, to consider others, to put others before ourselves (Philippians 2:3-4) and not insist on our own way (1Cor 13:4-5).

In The Screwtape Letters C.S. Lewis describes how damaging a critical spirit can be. In the book the uncle ‘devil’ guides his nephew to distract the new Christian from growing in his faith, by making him a critic of the…

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One to Many


We never quite know the far-reaching impact that one act of obedience may have. For Paul, when he had arrived on Malta via shipwreck and snakebite, he was invited into the home of a chief official on the island. Upon arrival, Paul learned that the father of Publius, the chief official, was sick in bed and suffering. Paul went to him and prayed for him and he was healed. When this had happened, the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured. – (Acts 28:9) Paul’s following of the Holy Spirit’s prompting to touch one who had fallen ill, resulted in the healing of many, and consequently, the further spreading of the good news of Jesus, throughout the island.

 

What potential impact do our acts of obedience have on others? Kindness to a stranger, a touch to the hurting, encouraging words to one who is discouraged? We need not know the outcome to act as Christ calls us to move. For each of us, have also been the recipient of another’s faithful obedience. May we go forth this day in obedience to all that the Lord asks.

 

A moment in time,One to Many

responding in faith;

to what God has asked,

most memorable wraith.

All who are open,

ready to go forth;

will be granted word,

sent out by the Lord.

He looks for the heart,

that’s ready to serve;

does tremendous things,

His strength to observe.

May we be ready,

with yes and amen;

to go where He asks,

and do as He says.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the many examples of the faithful who have gone before us. Thank You that You show us that You use hearts that are willing and faithful to follow what You ask, regardless of circumstances or appearances. Thank You that Your ultimate good will come, even out of the most ugly of circumstances. Forgive us for our lack of faith in the midst of trials, or for our lack of movement when You are asking us to move. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may move mightily in all things and at all times, as You ask us to move. Let us love and encourage and be Your hands and heart to those around us, as You so clearly make You love evident to each of us. May many come to know You as their Savior and King, as we seek to serve You in all that we say and do. Be exalted, O God, as we follow Your leading today. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. – 2 Corinthians 3:5

To Love As Jesus Loved: “Charity Vaunteth Not Itself”


SIH TOTT ICON“And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away…  

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.

(1 Corinthians 13:3-8, 13)

 

 

As we continue looking at events in the life of Christ that set a wonderful example for us of Scriptural love. In every example, we will be seeing Christ choosing to exalt His Father instead of Himself…

 

Christ’s Life:

The Characteristic of Scriptural Love: Vaunteth Not (No Self-Exaltation)

 One of Christ’s great missions while on earth was to refrain from self-exaltation while seeking to bring honor and glory to His Father. This desire in the heart of Christ was gendered by His great love for His Father. He spoke about this great pursuit in our study for this morning…

Let’s look and see what Christ taught to the Jews, as He explained His desire to bring glory to His Father as a chief goal of His ministry…

 

Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.

And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?

Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.

If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or [whether] I speak of myself.

He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. (John 7:14-18)

In this account, we can see the depth and authoritativeness of the teachings of Jesus caused the Jews to be amazed and to question the source of His knowledge.   Christ’s response was very revealing. He makes the statement…“My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.

In other words, Christ was simply revealing the teachings that originated from His Father, the One who had sent Him to minister them.   Then as proof of this statement, Jesus says…  “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or [whether] I speak of myself.

If they are servants of His Father they will recognize these teachings and know that Christ was speaking the things of the Father.

Then Christ makes a very important declaration of His humility and the motivation of His ministry… “He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.

 In a nutshell, Christ is teaching us is that His refusal to exalt Himself, along with only teachings the things of the Father was a clear indication of two things:

1. His dedication to the Father’s glory was “true” (genuine)

2. There was no unrighteousness in Him (Christ was sinless, proven by His desire to exalt only His Father and not Himself)

 

What great love is shown by Christ when He dedicated His earthly ministry to the glory and honor of the Father. Please notice this dedication to the Father was not limited to His teachings but His actions as well….

Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am [he], and [that] I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.As he spake these words, many believed on him.”   (John 8:28-30)

 

Another teaching of Christ also emphasized the principle that humility, along with a desire to exalt God alone in our lives is proof positive of a genuine love for God and possession a relationship with Him.

And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:

Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men [are], extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as [his] eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.I tell you, this man went down to his house justified [rather] than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.(Luke 18:9-14)

 

Our Lesson To Be Learned:

Folks, do we really love our Lord and those around us? If so, we will live our lives for God’s His honor and glory alone. We will do this by using the gifts He has given to us to minister to those in need. As the Apostle Peter reminds us…

As every man hath received the gift, [even so] minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.If any man speak, [let him speak] as the oracles of God; if any man minister, [let him do it] as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”   (1 Peter 4:10-11)

 

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

With Them I Stand


It is true that I have been told that I rail too much against homosexuality. And I do rail against the immorality and godless practice of not homosexuality alone but also against all things that are an offense to the Word of God. My cries will not soften as I see this nation emboldening a group of people that are less than two percent of the population and are setting the course to change the culture of morality in this nation. Consider, for instance, a fairly new law in Houston, Texas wherein the lesbian mayor seeks to employ tactics of “fairness” in discriminatory practices in favour of the local LGBT community. Among the fair things required are that those that feel they are a certain gender at any given time are allowed to use the bathroom of choice depending on feeling rather than actual gender (http://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/faith-and-morals/item/18398-houston-city-council-passes-pro-homosexual-law-opponents-vow-to-fight).

This resulted in the people of Houston putting forth a petition in order to overturn the law. And of course the fair authorities declared that there were not enough names on the petition even though the numbers far exceeded the required amount of signatures. This did not sit well with the citizenry of Houston so that there was another legal uprising which included at least five pastours in Houston. Needless to say the lesbian mayor (whom I choose not to mention) decided that she wanted no dissenting voices from the clergy. With that decision it was further decided that the people of God had to turn over their speeches to congregants particularly in respect to discussions on homosexuality (http://www.thepoliticalinsider.com/frighten-every-american-believes-freedom/). The clergy members continue to stand against the tyranny of a few that seek only to push an agenda that is largely unwanted.

I stand with these men of God. I, too, stand against the immorality of homosexuality. The law in place in Houston is an unjust law on many fronts. Among the ideas presented is the fallacious idea of illegal discrimination against homosexuals. Perhaps the, ah, good mayor of Houston should be reminded of the idiom coined by Augustine, “An unjust law is no law at all.” Wait a minute! This mayor is certainly not familiar with the teachings of Church fathers so perhaps she should be reminded of the constitutional amendments. Never mind, she apparently is not familiar with those either. Nonetheless the fact of the matter is that the few homosexuals not only in this country but also in Houston suffer no discrimination. They have jobs and are not denied housing. The Supreme Court, and other lower courts, have even chimed in and declared that States banning same sex marriages are acting anti-constitutionally. This seems strange to me as I have found no place in the Constitution that supports heterosexual marriage. How then can there be clauses for same sex marriages?

The fact of the matter is that this mayor does not care about anything except her own agenda. Her agenda has nothing to do with what she was elected mayor to do. Now, I really don’t care how homosexuals choose to live. Yes, it is an offense to God and directly opposed to His Word. Still God has provided choices if we will walk in a holy manner or live according to the rudiments of the flesh. Well, I choose holiness and so do those faithful ones in Houston. I stand with them and will not bend to the winds of perversion which seek only to destroy a nation whose founding is predicated on the freedom Scripture provides. I will not give in to the feel good legislation that causes only a few to feel good for but a moment of time. I will not give in and I will not give up!

If it sounds like I am taking this matter personally you can bet that I am. I am more than weary of political hacks telling me what I can and cannot preach over the pulpit. I am sick and tired of my fellow clergy members being threatened because they stand on the Word of God. I have had more than I am willing to take and I am fully in support of the First Amendment which affords me not only the right to worship God but also the absolute write to say what I will in respect to same. Yes, dang blast it, I have had enough and will not sit idly by while my country is being run over not only by illegal immigrants but also my rights are being stripped away piece by piece. Well, enough already! It is time for Christians to stand and to stand uncompromisingly.

You men of God down in Houston, I stand with you. No, I do not hate homosexuals I just love the Word of God more. And, it may as well be stated that I won’t marry some heterosexual couples never mind homosexuals. I simply will not go against the teachings of the Word of God because I fear God way more than I will ever fear man. No, I will not succumb to the threats of imprisonment or to ruthless tactics of the IRS. Yes, there are some that stand on the principles of God and it is with them I stand!

To Love As Jesus Loved: “Charity Is Not Puffed Up”


SIH TOTT ICON

And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away…  

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.

(1 Corinthians 13:3-8, 13)

 

As we continue looking at events in the life of Christ that set a wonderful example for us of Scriptural love. In this devotional, we will see Christ’s willingness to unhesitatingly, humbly, submit to others as He stoops low to meet their needs…

 

 

Christ’s Life:

 

The Characteristic of Scriptural Love: Is Not Puffed Up (Is Not Proud)

From Christ’s entrance into the world until His exaltation following His ascension, we see Christ (God Himself) ministering to others in the midst of abuse and mistreatment.

 

Christ’s humility was shown to us in many, many ways as He ministered to fallen mankind…

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
In him was life; and the life was the light of men…
He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
He came unto his own, and his own received him not…
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
(John 1:1-4, 10-11, 14)

Christ, the eternal God and Creator of all things, was the source of all physical and spiritual life. It is this same Creator God who humbly came to the earth as a Man to give the world the light of the revelation of His Father. In spite of all He did for fallen mankind, they did not recognize, nor kindly receive Him.   Yet, He remained faithful to His people and finished His work on our behalf…

[Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.(Philippians 2:3-8)

This is true humility motivated by love… love for His Father and love for those to whom He came.

Christ summarized this aspect of His ministry as recounted by Matthew…

But Jesus called them [unto him], and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

(Matthew 20:25-28)

 

Our Lesson To Be Learned:

Christ set the example for us of ministering to others instead of living a life of  of pride, arrogance and rulership over others. During one of the most shocking displays of His humility, He taught all of His followers the need to, with no hesitation, place no limits on our service to others…

So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?

Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for [so] I am.If I then, [your] Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.
For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.(John 13:12-17)

 

Are we willing to serve in ANY WAY to which we are called? Are we willing to stoop low to meet the needs of those who do not merit our aid? This is a genuine mark of our Lord for our Lord and for those around us.

 

 

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org
SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/
SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/
SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

Longing for Eden


Once upon a time a garden grew
Where darkness had covered and Spirit flew
Planting the seed of something new:
The conception of Eden.

Beauty and order, life and light
Sprang from the earth and ended the night
God in His garden declared it all “right”:
The birth of Eden.

Not yet finished, good but not best
God stepped back and man failed the test.
Fruit prematurely plucked, cursing the rest:
The loss of Eden.

Again God came near and His Spirit hovered,
Planting the Seed in the womb of another
Angels sang with hope recovered:
The promise of Eden.

Withered vines healed, fruit restored
Mustard seed grew, moving toward
A garden more sweet and full than before:
The glory of Eden.

Still unfinished, the garden felt its lack
As thorns pierced His brow and He took its flack.
Sun hid its face as earth received Him back:
The Seed of Eden.

Garden grows on, new fruit arrives.
Pink cheeks fill our hearts, rosy dreams fill our eyes.
We celebrate the gift of life:
The joy of Eden.

Dark shadows steal over fresh rosy cheeks.
Mother heart pierced, father heart weeps.
Fruit prematurely plucked, hope and curse meet:
The death of Eden.

Sun still comes up but limp limbs hang down.
What comfort, what purpose in going on?
Empty arms, barren trees, sweet fruit now gone:
The loss of Eden.

But sure as the dawn we for look for the morn
When seed will again sprout, life be reborn
Empty tomb greet those who show up to mourn:
The resurrection of Eden.

Until then we tarry, inspired to nurture
The garden around us, our friends, family, culture.
Preparing the earth for its bright promised future:
The coming of Eden.

In Memory of
Eden Wang-Hua Clark
July 2, 2014–October 20, 2014

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Originally posted in messytheology by Tiffany Clark

Taking Courage in Trials


As I continue to make my way through the book of Acts, an underlying theme that continues to come forth from the pages, is the ongoing assurance that Christ is present with us, no matter what comes our way. As Paul faced angry crowds, accusations, assault and murderous plots, the Lord provided protection and His very presence. God did not take away the difficult road ahead of him, but He assured Paul that He would be with him, always. The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about Me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.” – (Acts 23:11) Though Paul seemed to have an insatiable faith, imagine how empowered he must have felt after the Lord actually came and stood near?

 

The very same God that stood beside Paul, resides in the hearts of all who believe. When we are in the midst of difficulty, or are called to go into the face of adversity, He will go before us, be with us, and grant us what is needed to make an impact for Him. As an educator, I cannot help but think of the monumental task that is before the community only ninety miles north of my home. Yet another school, shattered by the brokenness of one child’s permanent solution to a temporary problem. May His courage and grace be poured out upon all whom He sends to bring healing, where devastation has been dealt.

 

When facing giants,Taking Courage in Trials

mountains we must climb;

His nearness constant,

for now and all times.

Our courage is found,

in Christ, the true King;

He supplies power,

and all needed things.

In trial, in loss,

in wholeness, in grace;

circumstances don’t,

determine His place.

For God is on high,

He’s still on His throne;

no matter what comes,

Love will be made known.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are with us, no matter what comes. Thank You that You go before us, remain with us, and that You supply what we need to see us through, even in the darkest of situations. Forgive us for losing sight of Your Light within us, and help us to shine brightly before others, even on the darkest of days. May we offer Your hope to the hurting and Your love to the lost, just as You have so generously done unto us. Father, please be present in the Marysville-Pilchuck community. Help every person impacted by the tragedy to find comfort in You. Equip and empower those You are sending to be Your hands and heart to the hurting in that community. Let beauty come from these ashes, we pray. Be glorified, O God, as we seek to stand firm in the gift of Your presence. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. – Proverbs 11:25

Song for Victims– Tears! So many tears… (Romans 12:15)


My heart has been heavy for victims in this country as well as victims around the world. Many people around this country who have never been abused, victimized, or  impoverished do not understand. I ask everyone to have compassion for victims around the world for the abuses that they suffer. Compassion is defined as “sympathy and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others”   Therefore, compassion can  change the world… Now, I wish that I could sing and write music because this song plays in my head…

Tears! So many tears…
for the violence and the fears.
My heart aches…
My heart breaks…
for the victims over years.

Tears! So many tears…
for the heartbreak over years.
How I’ve cried…
How I’ve sighed…
for these victims and their fears.

Pain! So much pain…
But I don’t even know their name.
Many don’t know…
Many don’t show…
hiding the horror and the shame.

Fear! So much fear..
Only hidden by the tears.
the fear’s inside…
where it can hide…
Where others think it’s all clear.

Why? I don’t know why!
My heart aches and I cry.
Victims nameless…
victims faceless…
and violence on the rise.

Tears! So many tears…
And God calls you “My Dear”.
He knows all…
since man’s fall…
and asking you to “Come here.”

~~~

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15

Lord, I ask you to turn the hearts of Your children to You and fill them with Love and compassion for others…that we will each reach out to help others less fortunate than ourselves. That we will feel a tremendous empathy and compassion for all human beings that will fuel a drive to change the world as we share the Love of Christ in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

by Secret Angel of Secret Angel Ministry and The Abuse Expose’ with Secret Angel

http://www.secretangelministry.org and http://www.secretangelps911.wordpress.com

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