SOLVING THE PROBLEMS WE SEE
Date: 9/09/2014 08:02 - Subscribe



Scripture:

Romans 13:9-10 (NLT)

9 For the commandments say, “You must not commit
adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal.
You must not covet.”These—and other such
commandments—are summed up in this one
commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
10 Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the
requirements of God’s law.

Reflection:

Like every other high school senior, Courtney Barich
dreamt of her prom night. She would wear a magnificent
dress and dance the night away like Cinderella. However,
as Courtney searched for a gown, something in her changed.

Courtney had found the perfect dress with a $700 price tag
that was within her budget. The store asked Courtney to
return the next day for alterations. On the way home,
Courtney couldn’t help but feel wrong about spending so
much money on a dress that she would wear for one evening.
As she second-guessed her choice to her mom, Courtney’s
mom replied, “You’d look good in anything, even a potato sack.”

That off-the-cuff remark set off a light bulb in Courtney’s head.
In a few months, Courtney was headed to the Philippines on a
school mission to help out a poor orphanage in need. Courtney
pledged to wear a burlap potato sack to prom if she could raise
$10,000 for the orphanage. On prom night, she made good on
her promise and wore a burlap dress fashioned by a designer
who donated her time to help Courtney out. As her other friends
displayed glitzy and glamorous gowns, Courtney glowed with
the joy of knowing that she had made a positive difference in the
lives of those in need.

It’s true — none of us can fix everything, but all of us can do
something. Just as Courtney did, with a little creativity and
determination, we, too, can make a significant impact on the
lives of our brothers and sisters in need. Remember, if God shows
us a problem, we must ask how we can help. How might you
contribute to God’s purposes today?

(Reflection section by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein)

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THE SECRET
Date: 9/04/2014 08:32 - Subscribe


"You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God"
(Matthew 16:16).

So listen closely. There once was a very learned philosophy
professor who had earned not one, not two, but three post-
graduate degrees. And his head was crammed full of just
about everything philosophers of every Age had to say about
happiness. Still, he pondered the subject incessantly. He
was so obsessed with the question that he decided to set
out in search of the wisest and happiest person in the world,
wherever it took him, and at whatever cost. After years of
travel to distant places, and at great expense, he finally was
told of a woman who fit the description of the person he was
looking for. And so he set out on a rugged journey to the top
of a high mountain where this wisest and happiest of all
persons lived.

The woman greeted him with a warm smile and a sympathetic
ear. She listened patiently for hours as he described his
pursuit of happiness through years and years of study and
research. At the conclusion of his long discourse, he begged
the wise woman to let him in on the secret of happiness -- the
secret that has eluded him all his life. "Tell me now," he
demanded, but the wise woman would not be hurried. "I
suggest we have some tea," she said. Unhurriedly, she began
the tea ceremony and slowly poured the brew into the
professor's cup. She poured until the cup was overflowing. And
she continued to pour until, finally, the professor asked her to
stop. "Just tell me the secret," he shouted. "This I cannot do,
" said the wise woman. "Like this teacup that is full to
overflowing, your mind is so full of your own knowledge and
your own thoughts that you have no room for anything more.
If I tried to tell you the secret of happiness, it would only spill
out. You must first empty yourself!"

I'm now going to tell you my secret of happiness. This secret
was given to me by my mother. It took me a long time to
understand this secret and there still a wonderful mystery to
this secret. There's a lot of people who know this secret and
live by it. There's a lot of people who know the secret and
don't care. And finally there is a lot of people who don't know
the secret at all.

This secret has changed my life, it has given me love and
happiness. The Secret is This, "JESUS CHRIST IS THE
SON OF THE LOVING GOD!"

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WE ARE ALL ONE!
Date: 8/31/2014 09:12 - Subscribe


As a human being I speak out and pray because we are
all one. Regardless of our differences, whether they be
ethnically, religiously, or politically, we are all in this
together and the loss of life saddens me, especially that
of innocent women and children. Too often have we
sought to protect the abusers instead of standing up and
fighting for the victims.

As a Christian I speak out because of verses like
Isaiah 1:17, which instructs us to, "learn to do good;
seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan,
plead for the widow" and Proverbs 31:8-9, which states,
"Speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of
all the destitute. Speak out, judge righteously, defend the
rights of the poor and needy.". Martin Luther King Jr.
said "There comes a time when silence is betrayal." Let
your voice ring out for justice, for peace, and for righteousness!

WE MUST SPEAK OUT! WE MUST BE HEARD!

Prayer:

Oh Jesus give me Thy strength to speak out for those who
cannot speak, for the rights of the destitute, defend the rights
of the poor and needy. May I always speak out. In the
name of the One Who spoke out for me, Jesus Christ.
Amen

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WAR IS UGLY
Date: 8/23/2014 10:12 - Subscribe


War is always ugly. The loss of innocent lives is never
easy to swallow. And yet, as tanks open fire on the
humble homes of the Gazan poor and rockets rain
down on a terrified Israeli populace we are compelled
to ask, “How do we keep coming back to this profane
and violent place called war?” Why do we consistently
and continually fail to understand the simple principles
of our own faith and the faiths of those who profess a
belief in God?

These simple faith principles speak of a command to
love one another and to have a deep and abiding respect
for all life – especially innocent life. Then, why do we fail
to love justice, peace, and mercy as God commands and
seem so determined to visit such violence and destruction
on our world and on one another?

I think it is absolutely time to practice what we preach.
We call ourselves "People of Faith". If this is true then
whether Muslim, Jew, or Christian, we must love justice,
peace, and mercy as God commands and stop this
violence and destruction of war.

PEOPLE OF FAITH UNITE AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER!

Prayer:

Oh Lord my God, may I love justice, peace and mercy,
as you commanded, may I take an active role everyday
in stopping the violence and destruction of war. In the
name of my God, Jesus Christ. Amen

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THE NATURE OF JOY
Date: 8/19/2014 12:35 - Subscribe


Scripture:

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.
Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments,
you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my
Father's commandments and abide in his love.
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy
may be in you, and that your joy may be full. This
is my commandment, that you love one another
as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than
this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:9-12

Reflection:

Our joy is found in bringing the light of Christ into the
darkness – into the chaos and the whirlwind of suffering.

In the liberating gospel of John, Jesus goes to
considerable lengths to reveal how God is alive in him
and God is alive in us. In that discourse, Jesus invites
us into community with God and offers us a path and a
plan to bring that community to everyone we encounter
and ultimately to all humanity. The guiding principle of
that plan — and the source of our joy — is the command
to love one another as Christ has loved us and to be willing
to give your all for that purpose. The joy then is found in
the commitment to that principle.

When I understand best that the simple principle of love
including love of justice — allows the healing of my own
despair and anguish and replaces them with joy. It is then
that I am overwhelmed by a profound understanding of the
true nature of joy itself: to be standing in the midst of
struggle, surrounded by those yet yearning to see God for
real.

Prayer:

Oh Mighty God may I know the real joy of loving one
another as you first love me. In your Holy Name Jesus
Christ my Lord and Savior. Amen!

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