O marturie extraordinara a unui fost politist, invinuit pentru crima in 1966, condamnat in 1999 la 10 de inchisoare, intors la credinta impreuna cu fratele sau, deasemenea politist, eliberat in 2006 si actualmente manager regional pe judetele Suceava si Botosani la firma de paza Grup IMP Force Security:
by Jack Kirkland, posted 1/28.2013 on his Facebook page
There is nothing more damaging to a person’s personal walk with the Lord than to have “preacher religion.” The following is a comment that I made on a friend’s post a few minutes ago and was asked to make a post from it. I was reluctant at first because I have many friends who are closely connected to the Jimmy Swaggart Ministries; however, I believe I would be doing a disservice if I let fear of retaliation keep me from posting what I feel. I was one of the biggest fans Jimmy ever had and attended many of his early crusades, but you will see from this post why possessing “preacher religion” can be very damaging to your soul. You that are followers of Jimmy, please don’t let anger overcome you, but think long and hard about what I have written.
“Anybody with a secret revelation that can only be explained by themselves is a false prophet of the highest order. I have not followed the teachings of Mr. Swaggart for many years now; forty years ago I would have defended him to the death. However, after his first fall from Grace he became a different person. It was not just his first or second fall two years later that caused his ultimate downfall…it was his arrogant, prideful self that brought him down and he needed something new to help maintain what was left of his failing “ministry.” There is nothing like a personal “revelation,” supposedly from God that will touch the hearts of gullible people who are looking for signs and wonders to direct their paths; they found that through Jimmy’s “close encounter with the Lord.” This “revelation” of his puts him in the same category as Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormons, and Todd Bentley.”
It is not how a person begins their walk with the Lord…it is how they finish that counts!!!
John McCain: LGBT Issues ‘Best Way To Derail’ Immigration Bill
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) came close on Wednesday to drawing a line in the sand over the inclusion of same-sex couples in comprehensive immigration reform.
“Which is more important: LGBT or border security?” he said at an event hosted by Politico. “I’ll tell you what my priorities are. If you’re going to load it up with social issues, that is the best way to derail it, in my view.”
McCain is part of an eight-member group — four Democrats and four Republicans — that released a framework for immigration reform on Monday. That plan does not include any mention of same-sex couples, who currently cannot petition for green cards for even their legally-married spouses under the Defense of Marriage Act.
Obama came out in support of changing immigration law to help same-sex binational couples, and the White House invited some of them to Las Vegas for the president’s Tuesday speech on reform. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus also included a fix on the issue in its principles for immigration reform.
McCain called it a “red herring,” comparing it to adding taxpayer-funded abortion to a final bill, an argument made Tuesday by his fellow group member Sen. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).
de Kevin Wade cu contributia, colaborarea si adaptarea lui Cornel Ilioi, Ianuarie 28, 2013
1 Corinteni 9:19-23
19. Caci, macar ca sunt slobod fata de toti, m-am facut robul tuturor, ca sa castig pe cei mai multi.
20. Cu iudeii m-am facut ca un iudeu, ca sa castig pe iudei; cu cei ce sunt sub Lege m-am facut ca si cand as fi fost sub Lege (macar ca nu sunt sub Lege), ca sa castig pe cei ce sunt sub Lege;
21. cu cei ce sunt fara Lege m-am facut ca si cum as fi fost fara Lege (macar ca nu sunt fara o Lege a lui Dumnezeu, ci sunt sub Legea lui Hristos), ca sa castig pe cei fara lege.
22. Am fost slab cu cei slabi, ca sa castig pe cei slabi. M-am facut tuturor totul, ca, oricum, sa mantuiesc pe unii din ei.
23. Fac totul pentru Evanghelie, ca sa am si eu parte de ea.
Este o greseala comuna a zilelor noastre si tot mai multi Pastori si multe biserici sunt prinse in aceasta “neintelegere” si de multe ori nici nu-si dau seama. Concret, biserica trebuie sa faca mai mult decat sa-si deschida usile duminica crezand ca necrestinii vor veni si se vor pocai. Sondajele de opinie in ultimul deceniu dovedesc aceasta. Oamenii stau departe de biserici in numar record. Este timpul sa ne întrebam de ce unele biserici nu au legaturi vitale cu cei inca neconvertiti si ce se poate face pentru a schimba aceasta optica si cum sa atingem cu Evanghelia cati mai multi dintre cei pierduti.
In unele cazuri, oamenii si-au pierdut increderea atat in mesajul cat si in mesagerii religiei organizate. Reputatia bisericii a fost dramatic erodata si increderea in conducerea bisericii a fost de multe ori zdruncinată de scandaluri. In 1974, aproape o jumatate din populatia adulta aveau incredere in liderii religiosi, dar acest numar a scazut la 11 la suta în 2012.
Biserica trebuie sa ia in considerare foarte serios problema flexibilitatii culturale in acelasi timp pastrand neclintit adevarul Scripturii. Platim un pret urias cand nu intelegem generatiile de langa noi si nu putem prezenta Evanghelia pe intelesul lor. Noi trebuie sa intelegem ca este posibil sa fim flexibili cu generatiile si culturile diferite de langa noi, si in acelasi timp adevarul biblic sa aiba autoritate. Pentru aceasta este nevoie de schimbare.
Se spune “ca singura persoana careia ii place schimbarea este copilul cu scutecul ud.” Asta suna putin exagerat poate, dar majoritatea oamenilor au mari ezitari fata de schimbare. Schimbarile ne scot din zona noastra de comfort, nu ne permite sa ne relaxam. Vorba unui diacon intr-o biserica mica din Midwest care a spus: “Schimbarea este pacat, iar noi pacatuim cat mai putin posibil aici.”
Totul in jurul nostru se schimba totusi.
Cei care au atins varsta de 100 de ani au vazut schimbari radicale in viata lor: au fost martorii inventarii penicilinei, un pas urias in medicina; au fost martori de la primul zbor cu avionul pana la primul pas pe luna; au experimentat de la primul telegraf transoceanic la epoca milioanelor de emailuri zilnice;
Acum 50 de ani cine ar fi crezut in legalizarea avorturilor, a legalizarii casatoriilor homosexuale in unele state, nuditate fara nici o rusine la televizor, legalizarea drogurilor sau adorarea unor vedete ca Madonna, Lady Gaga sau Howard Stern?
Cine ar fi banuit vreodata ca astfel de schimbari ar putea avea loc?
Chiar daca sunt incomode sau ar trebui sa fie incomode aceste schimbari in viata si cultura noastra, noi trebuie sa intelegem ca aceasta este cultura in care am fost chemati sa slujim. Aceasta este lumea noastra si Dumnezeu ne-a pus aici pentru un timp ca acesta. Am fost chemati pentru a aduce Evanghelia lui Isus Hristos la oamenii din aceasta generatie.
Daca ne intelegem chemarea si vrem sa slujim eficient inaintea lui Dumnezeu atunci trebuie sa luam exemplul lui Pavel si sa prezentam adevarul neschimbat al Bibliei intr-un mod flexibil din punct de vedere cultural.
Inainte de a prezenta ce inseamna flexibilitate culturala sa prezint intii ce NU se schimba niciodata. Sunt constient de faptul ca subiectul in sine este foarte incomod pentru multi, de asemenea sunt constient de faptul ca este foarte usor sa fii inteles gresit atunci cand vorbesc despre flexibilitate sau relevanta culturala. Asa ca vreau sa va asigur ca nu vorbesc sa atac invatatura Scripturii ci dimpotriva sa arat ce nu se schimba niciodata din Biblie dar in acelasi timp sa las deschisa orice oportunitate unde Biblia nu ne condamna.
CE NU SE SCHIMBA NICIODATA?
“Isus Hristos este acelasi ieri si azi si in veci” (Evrei 13:8).
Intr-o lume a schimbarii constante este bine sa stiti ca Isus Hristos este intotdeauna acelasi, ca El este mereu aici pentru noi, ca El ne va iubi mereu, ca jertfa Sa de pe cruce si invierea Sa din morti va fi intotdeauna suficienta pentru mantuirea noastra. Isus a fost, este si va fi totdeauna o mangaiere pentru noi si ne ofera o fundatie solida indiferent de schimbarile din cultura noastra. Isus nu se va schimba niciodata.
“Iarba se usuca, floarea cade, dar Cuvantul Dumnezeului nostru ramane in veac.” (Isaia 40:8).
“Fiindca ati fost nascuti din nou nu dintr-o samanta care poate putrezi, ci dintr-una care nu poate putrezi, prin Cuvantul lui Dumnezeu, care este viu si care ramane in veac” (1 Petru 1:23).
Cuvantul lui Dumnezeu reprezinta o data pentru totdeauna revelatia din gura lui Dumnezeu pentru urechile noastre. Aceasta nu se va schimba si Biblia nu va fi pe locul al doilea niciodata in biserica. Cuvantul lui Dumnezeu este locul de unde primim directivele pentru inchinare, pentru stilul de viata pe care trebuie sa-l alegem, de unde primim instructiunile practice de zi cu zi cu care sa ne ducem mantuirea pana la capat. Cuvantul luiDumnezeu nu se va schimba niciodata.
3). Principiile divine!
Tit 1:9 prezinta o instructiune clara pentru cei care vor detine functii de conducere in biserica si se spune că cei care detin aceste pozitii trebuie “sa se tina de Cuvantul adevarat, care este potrivit cu invatatura, pentru ca sa fie instare sa sfatuiasca ininvatatura sanatoasa sis a infrunte pe potrivnici.”
Adevarul doctrinar invatat din Biblie nu se schimba si oricine incearca sa il schimbe sau il dilueze sau sa-l indeparteze de la amvon sau din biserica se va confrunta cu Cuvantul lui Dumnezeu si va trebui indepartat din orice functie de conducere in orice biserica. Adevarul lui Dumnezeu si principiile divine pe care El ni le-a dat nu se schimba si nu se vor schimba niciodata.
Daca aceste trei adevaruri nu se vor schimba niciodata, alte lucruri….
INTOTDEAUNA SE VOR SCHIMBA
1). Ne schimbam odata cu varsta
Inaintand in varsta ne schimbam sub aspect fizic, intelectual, devenim mai intelepti (cu durere spun ca numai unii), mai maturi, capatam sau ar trebui sa capatam mai mult discernamant in alegerile pe care le luam. Se schimba starea civila, se schimba motivatia educationala si vocatia, devenim parinti, bunici; nici nu putem enumera toate lucrurile care se schimba in jurul nostru odata cu varsta, dar este important sa stabilim ca se schimba.
2). Situatia etnica din jurul nostru
Pentru ca de 21 de ani locuiesc in USA am sa dezvolt situatia etnica de aici cu toate ca stiu ca aceasta situatie este la nivel international, inclusiv in Romania. Aici, in USA, populatia caucasiana sau alba are o crestere de 0 % pe cand hispanicii, negrii si asiaticii experimenteaza o crestere de peste 10%, fiecare grup in parte. Conform unor analize demografice in anul 2050 (daca vom ajunge pana atunci) albii vor fi sub jumatate din populatia Americii. Aceasta schimbare va aduce automat schimbari uriase in domeniul limbii vorbite, a dialectelor, a traditiilor, a datinelor, a obiceiurilor, a valorilor, a relatiilor. Din nefericire, biserica a ramas cel mai in urma la acest capitol. Daca Martin Luther King, mai mult de 30 de ani in urma, declara destul de plastic ca in America ora 11 duminica dimineata este ora cea mai “rasista” din saptamana, si astazi acest adevar preveleaza. Astazi, parca mai tare ca niciodata, fiecare are biserica lui, inchinarea lui, muzica lui, traditiile si obiceiurile lui….albii cu albii (si aici impartiti pe origini, pe culturi), negrii cu negrii, hispanicii cu hispanicii, si lista poate continua la nesfarsit.
In acest amalgam cum putem sa atingem si sa evanghelizam diferitele grupuri etnice din jurul nostru, locul in care Dumnezeu ne-a asezat sa locuim (daca credem ca Dumnezeu ne-a asezat pe fiecare unde suntem) si cultura care ne inconjoara?
3). Biserica intotdeauna si-a adaptat slujirea si metodele de evanghelizare dupa cultura in care a fost asezata si vremurile in care a trait
Daca Isus, Cuvantul lui Dumnezeu si Principiile divine intotdeauna vor ramane neschimbate, o multime de alte lucruri se vor schimba in flux continuu.
Stilurile de inchinare, tehnologia folosita, metodele de mobilizare pentru evanghelizare, stilul de invatatura (Atentie: nu invatatura in sine care va ramane neschimbata) intotdeauna vor fi adaptate sa atinga multimea de necredinciosi si in aceasi masura sa foloseasca si celor credinciosi.
Isus a predicat din barci sa creeze un cadru natural de amphiteatru care sa-i amplifice vocea, noi folosim statii de amplificare si microfoane; apostolii si-au scris cartile pe papyrus, poate cu o pana de cerneala, eu folosesc chiar acum Microsoft Office Enterprise Corporate 2010 instalat pe ultima editie de Dell cu processor Intel Core i7 990X; Biserica timpurie a studiat pe suluri si pergamente, noi avem zeci de traduceri si le putem accesa in cateva secunde de pe calculatorul pe care-l folosim, personal folosesc Logos editia a patra Portofolio cu cateva mii de volume de studiu; Pavel purta sandale si roba (Toga), noi daca se poate costum la ultima moda.
O provocare: cine ma poate contrazice? Eu spun ca daca Isus ar fi trait in ziua de astazi ar fi umblat tuns, barbierit, in haine moderne, poate chiar in costum cu cravata, ar fi folosit masina pentru locomotie si mobilul pentru comunicare.
4). Dumnezeu insusi iubeste schimbarea chiar daca El nu se schimba
Chiar din primul verset al Bibliei se declara ca “La inceput, Dumnezeu a creat…” Dumnezeu este Creator si El nu este fericit cand biserica Lui incearca sa opreasca creativitatea Lui!
Imi permit sa scriu o “istorioara” putin hazlie dar cu invatatura adanca.
Se spune ca un Pastor a mers la spital sa-si viziteze un membru nou al Bisericii pe care o pastorea. Acest membru, acum pacient, era venit de curand din alta tara si nu vorbea inca limba engleza. Ajungand la spital, Pastorul s-a apropiat de pat, a luat mina bolnavului in mana sa si a inceput o rugaciune. Cand a terminat rugaciunea pacientul a inceput sa strige ceva in limba sa nativa. A continuat sa strige pentru cateva minute fara nici un ajutor din partea Pastorului care nu intelegea nimic. Nu dupa multa vreme a inchis ochii si si-a dat ultima suflare. Dupa cateva zile, Pastorul fiind invitat sa vorbeasca la inmormantare, la insistentele familiei dansul explica ultimele momente din viata omului si incercand sa-si aduca aminte ce spunea bolnavul roaga sa-i fie traduse cuvintele. Dupa ce a fost ascultat cu atentie, o ruda traduce ce a spus bolnavul inainte sa-si dea duhul: “Te rog da-te la o parte ca stai pe furtunul de oxigen si nu mai pot sufla.”
Cred ca o analogie poate fi facuta intre aceasta istorioara si biserica moderna. S-ar putea la fel ca si Pastorul din povestire, in loc sa ajutam ca “Viata” sa ajunga la inimile oamenilor noi sa ne opunem. Dumnezeu vrea sa insufle viata noua in Biserica Sa, El vrea sa slujeasca cu toata creativitatea si puterea Sa insa multi din biserici refuza sa schimbe lucrurile pentru ca slujesc si se inchina traditiilor.
Nu sunt impotriva traditiilor si obiceiurilor dar sunt impotriva traditionalismului. Traditiile sunt bune si chiar de dorit. Traditiile scot in evidenta trecutul si felul cum Dumnezeu a lucrat de-a lungul istorie dar si abilitatile lui Dumnezeu spre viitor. Cand eram in Romania aveam unele obiceiuri si traditii la nivel de familie, de concediu, de relatii, chiar de biserica. Venind in America am schimbat aproape toate obiceiurile de acolo pentru ca nu mai fac nici un sens in noile circumstante in care traiesc, in cultura in care traiesc. Bunaoara, in Romania cand murea cineva, toate inmormantarile se faceau de acasa…incercati in America sa tineti un mort in casa; in Romania faceam vacantele la mare, aici am bazin in curte, sunt satul de plaja si apa, ma duc la munte; in Romania nu ieseam din casa decat la patru ace, aici te imbraci asa numai la intalniri oficiale; toate acestea sunt traditii si obiceiuri bune care isi au actualitate numai sporadic in functie de timp, loc si circumstanta.
Ce am impotriva? Traditionalismul! Traditionalismul se refera numai la trecut si nu accepta nimic nou. La nivel de biserica, traditionalismul in pune pe Dumnezeu intr-o cutie si acolo I se spune ce este acceptat si ce nu este acceptat. Traditionalismul distruge creativitatea lui Dumnezeu!
Toata Biblia este plina de: un cantec nou, un cer si un pamant nou, vinul cel nou, viata cea noua, legamantul cel nou, faptura cea noua, omul cel nou, porunca cea noua…..nou….nou…..nou! Dumnezeul nostru neschimbator este un Dumnezeu al schimbarilor si El isi cheama Biserica sa accepte din toata inima, de buna voie, sa fie dispusa la orice “nou” atunci cand El vrea aceasta.
Am vazut ce nu se schimba niciodata, am vazut ce se schimba intotdeauna, incerc acum sa consider cateva…..
MODALITATI DE-A FACE FATA PROVOCARILOR DE ZI CU ZI
Care este cea mai mare provocare pe care o intalnim? Sa slujim in cultura si locul unde am fost asezati FARA A COMPROMITE MESAJUL BIBLIEI! Pentru a reusi aceasta:
1). Trebuie sa avem despre lume o viziune Biblica
Viziunea asupra lumii depinde de “lentilele” prin care privim la ce este in jurul nostru. Ori suntem constienti ori nu, cu totii avem o viziune despre lumea in care traim. Ceea ce este cel mai important este sa ne asiguram ca viziunea noastra este dupa Biblie. In Galateni 3:28 scrie: “Nu mai este nici iudeu, nici grec; nu mai este nici rob, nici slobod; nu mai este nici parte barbateasca , nici parte femeiasca, fiindca toti sunteti una in Hristos Isus.” Daca vom privi lumea prin ochii lui Isus, daca vom avea aceasi viziune despre lume ca Isus atunci sentimentele noastre si atitudinile noastre fata de lume nu vor mai cantari in functie de culoarea pielii, de nationalitate, de limba vorbita sau de statutul social. Atunci vom iubi pe fiecare ca si pe creatia lui Dumnezeu; nu numai ca ii vom iubi ca pe copii ai Domnului dar ii vom trata de la egal la egal cu noi.
2). Trebuie sa fim gata pentru a aplica metode noi
Se spune ca aplicand aceleasi metode se obtin automat aceleasi rezultate. Cand fariseii sau apropiat ingrijorati de Isus intreband de ce ucenicii nici nu postesc si nici nu respecta legea lui Moise, Isus le-a raspuns: (Marcu 2:21-22) “Nimeni nu coase un petic de postav nou la o haina veche; altfel, peticul de postav nou rupe o parte din cel vechi, si mai rea rupture se face. Si nimeni nu pune vin nou in burdufuri vechi; altfel, vinul cel nou sparge burdufurile, si vinul se varsa, iar burdufurile se prapadesc; ci vinul nou este pus in burdufuri noi.”
Aceste doua ilustratii sau parabole despre haina veche si burduful vechi arata incompatibilitatea sistemului vechi dupa Legea lui Moise si Evanghelia lui Hristos, reprezentata de postavul cel nou si vinul cel nou.
Isus a imbratisat tot timpul ce este nou si eficace pentru slujire chiar daca tot timpul a fost “interogat” cu privire la diferitele metode folosite. Isus a fost un adevarat Maestru care a prezentat adevarul in limba culturii Lui. El a folosit sau a vorbit despre obiecte, seminte, pamant, pilde, monede, camile, smochini si smochine, toate fiind identificate cu usurinta de publicul care asculta.
Daca si noua ni se cere sa aplicam metode noi, si garantez ca ni se cere, hai sa acceptam TOT CE POATE FI IDENTIFICAT DE GENERATIA SI CULTURA IN CARE TRAIM, fie ca e vorba de drama, video, arta, muzica diferita, povestiri, pentru ca toate se fac pentru a prezenta Evanghelia pe intelesul audientei.
3). Trebuie sa fim creativi si sa acceptam orice fel de lauda si inchinare
(Psalmul 149:1-2-3): “Laudati pe Domnul! Cantati Domnului o cantare noua…sa se inveseleasca fiii Sionului…..sa laude Numele Lui cu jocuri…”
(Psalmul 150: 1-4-6): “ Laudati pe Domnul…..Laudati-L cu timpane si jocuri…..TOT CE ARE SUFLARE SA LAUDE PE DOMNUL!…”
(Apocalipsa 5:9): “Si cantau o cantare noua si ziceau…..”
Dumnezeu doreste ca biserica Lui sa cante un cantec nou! El vrea ca noi sa ne inchinam Lui creativ in serviciile noastre. Acest lucru nu inseamna ca nu putem continua laudand pe Dumnezeu cu imnurile vechi, dar nici nu inseamna ca putem opri noile cantece prin care Dumnezeu Isi cheama poporul sa cante. Acest lucru nu inseamna ori un stil ori altul ci inseamna…..”TOT CE ARE SUFLARE SA LAUDE PE DOMNUL!”
Personal, si stiu ca voi fi criticat pentru acest gand, cat de mult mi-ar place cantarile vechi compuse in inchisorile comuniste, totusi acele cantari nu au lauda in ele (sau prea putin) ci ele exprima suferinte, plangeri, rugaciuni; ele nu canta Victoria lui Dumnezeu asupra lumii ci durerea interioara a omului. Nu vad in ele cantarea lui Pavel si Sila din butucii inchisorilor, cantarea de lauda!
Si atunci, de unde “logica” sa fortam copiii nostri nascuti in libertate sau in alte tari sa cante ceea ce pentru ei nu reprezinta nimic? Daca vor veni alte vremuri vor veni alte vremuri, dar pana atunci sa cantam de bucurie, sa laudam pe Domnul cu toata fiinta noastra (nu ca niste statui cu buze miscatoare).
Si daca totusi nu intelegem toti la fel, daca avem opinii diferite asupra acestui punct (ca mentionare, muzica este subiectul numarul unu in despartirea fratilor din biserici pe plan mondial, nu numai in Romania) CINE SUNTEM SA NE JUDECAM UNII PE ALTII?
(Romani 14: 11-12): “Fiindca este scris: ‘Pe viata mea ma jur, zice Domnul, ca orice genunchi se va pleca inaintea mea si orice limba va da slava lui Dumnezeu.’ Asa ca fiecare din noi are sa dea socoteala despre sine insusi lui Dumnezeu.”
Daca eu voi da socoteala despre mine insumi inaintea lui Dumnezeu, si cred ca si eu am Duhul Domnului (sa-l parafrazez pe Pavel) si sunt constient si responsabil de felul cum cant, cum sar (sau cum joc, sa folosesc expresia biblica), cum ma exprim sau cum ma rog, de ce sa fiu acuzat si batjocorit numai pentru faptul ca cineva nu ma intelege sau nu vrea sa ma inteleaga?
4). Trebuie sa practicam arta schimbarii nu numai sa vorbim despre ea
(1 Corinteni 9:19-23) “Caci, macar ca sunt slobod fata de toti, m-am facut robul tuturor, ca sa castig pe cei mai multi.
Cu iudeii m-am facut ca un iudeu, ca sa castig pe iudei; cu cei ce sunt sub Lege m-am facut ca si cand as fi fost sub Lege (macar ca nu sunt sub Lege), ca sa castig pe cei ce sunt sub Lege; cu cei ce sunt fara Lege m-am facut ca si cum as fi fost fara Lege (macar ca nu sunt fara o Lege a lui Dumnezeu, ci sunt sub Legea lui Hristos), ca sa castig pe cei fara lege.
Am fost slab cu cei slabi, ca sa castig pe cei slabi. M-am facut tuturor totul, ca, oricum, sa mantuiesc pe unii din ei.
Fac totul pentru Evanghelie, ca sa am si eu parte de ea.”
Pentru a urma exemplul lui Pavel nu este usor; de fapt el nu vine in mod natural ci el vine doar supranatural. Ne putem adapta la aceasta lucrare de a sluji cat mai flexibil culturii noastre numai atunci cand vom face un angajament absolut inaintea lui Dumnezeu dar si in fata oamenilor pentru acesta, si numai asa cum a facut Pavel.
Nu vorbesc despre compromiterea adevărul biblic neschimbabil, cat despre flexibilitatea în abordare, in evanghelizare si in slujire.
Pavel spune ca el a fost liber fata de toti oamenii, el nu a fost obligat sa se conformeze ideilor sau opiniilor nimanui. El a fost eliberat de Hristos si s-a obligat sa se conformeze numai lui Hristos. Dar Pavel a renuntat la libertatea castigata, si s-a facut slujitorul tuturor. De ce? Pentru ca a calculat ca numai astfel ar putea castiga cat mai multi oameni pentru Hristos.
Faptul ca Pavel a respectat uneori obiceiurile si traditiile altor oameni nu inseamnă ca a fost fatarnic sau ca si-a compromis convingerile sau adevarul biblic. Aceasta inseamna ca el a stiut sa se apropie de oameni castigandu-le increderea si aceasta i-a facut sa acorde o mai mare atentie marturiei despre Hristos.
Cum a practicat Pavel schimbarea?
a). Pavel a devenit evreu pentru evrei, pentru cei care erau sub lege. Atunci cand Pavel a slujit la evrei, el a respectat traditiile si obiceiurile evreiesti atat cat sa nu incalce cu nimic jertfa lui Hristos pentru ca standardul sau a fost Hristos si nu Legea lui Moise. Dar el s-a pus singur sub aceasta lege cand slujea iudeilor numai sa se poata apropia de ei, sa le castige confidenta si apoi sa le poate prezenta mantuirea prin Hristos.
b). Pavel a devenit fara de lege pentru a se putea apropia de cei fara de lege. Dar retineti un fapt esential: el NU a devenit fara de lege si imoral. El a respectat legea lui Dumnezeu, fiind intotdeauna in legea lui Hristos. El a ascultat de legea lui Hristos, care include de fapt poruncile lui Dumnezeu. Pavel a trait ca un pagan atunci cand era intre ei in scopul de a obtine cat mai multi dintre ei pentru Hristos.
c). Pavel a devenit slab pentru cei slabi in credinta. El a mers dupa normele lor marunte si dupa regulile lor. S-a comformat ideilor si opiniilor lor doar pentru a avea o usa deschisa sa-i ajute sa creasca in Hristos. El a pus libertatea lui personala in Hristos si drepturile deoparte in scopul de a ajuta crestinii noi si crestini slabi. El nu a indraznit sa ajunga o piatra de poticnire pentru ei dar nici sa ii determine pe acestia sa-l excluda din vietile lor si prin urmare sa-i piarda in loc sa-i ajute. El a devenit ca unul dintre ei, numai in scopul de a-i castiga.
d). Pavel afirma in mod clar scopul lui pentru a se conforma cu obiceiurile si opiniile tuturor oamenilor: “…..m-am facut tuturor totul, ca, oricum, sa mantuiesc pe unii din ei “(v. 22). Pavel declara ca el sa dus la extreme atunci cand a fost necesar in scopul de a ajunge la oameni si ai converti pentru Hristos. Ceea ce a contat in viata sa nu a fost el si drepturile sale ci Evanghelia. Evanghelia a fost pasiunea mistuitoare a vietii sale. De ce? El a vrut sa faca tot ce a putut, tot ce a depins de el pentru a castiga pe oameni la Hristos.
In 1865, un editorial din Boston proclama : “…oamenii bine informati stiu ca este imposibil ca vocile lor sa fie transmise prin fir, si chiar daca ar fi posibil lucrul acesta nu ar avea nici o valoare practica.”
In 1897, Lordul Kelvin declara: “Radioul nu are nici un viitor.”
In 1943, Thomas Watson, presedintele firmei IBM spune: “ Cred ca pe intreaga piata de desfacere nu ar fi cerinte mai mari de 5 computere.”
Iar in 1977, Ken Olson, presedintele Digital Equipment Corporation declara: “Nu este nici un motiv ca cineva sa doreasca un computer acasa.”
Atunci cand caile ferate au fost inaugurate in USA, pentru unii oamenii acest lucru era egal cu distrugerea natiunii. Iata un fragment dintr-o scrisoare adresata Presedintelui Jackson si datata pe 31 Ianuarie 1829: “Dupa cum ati fost informat, vagoanele sunt trase pe calea ferata cu enorma viteza de 15 mile pe ora de un motor care pe langa faptul ca face o galagie enorma, pune in pericol viata si membrele pasagerilor, poate da foc la culturile de pe camp, alunga animalele si sperie de moarte femeile si copiii. Cu siguranta Cel Atotputernic nu a intentionat ca oamenii sa circule cu aceasta viteza ametitoare.”
Grady Nut a povestit: “Un om a cumparat un radio nou, l-a dus acasa, l-a conectat la statia favorita, a fixat volumul dupa cum a crezut de cuviinta si apoi a smuls toate butoanele pentru ca nimeni sa mai schimbe ceva.”
STIU SIGUR CA TOTI ACESTIA AU FOST OAMENI DE BINE DAR FARA VIZIUNE. NU AU INTELES SCHIMBARILE CARE URMAU SA VINA LA ORIZONT.
CA BISERICA, SA NU FACEM ACEASI GRESEALA PE CARE AU FACUT-O EI. SA NU NE FIXAM “RADIOUL SLUJIRII” NUMAI PE CE CREDEM NOI SAU VREM SA CREDEM SI APOI SA RUPEM BUTOANELE CA NIMENI SA NU MAI FACA NICI O SCHIMBARE. CULTURA IN JURUL NOSTRU SE SCHIMBA APROAPE ZILNIC SUB OCHII NOSTRI, TEHNOLOGIA LA FEL…..SUNTEM PREGATITI PENTRU SCHIMBARE IN VIZIUNEA NOASTRA, IN METODOLOGIA NOASTRA, IN INCHINAREA NOASTRA? PUTEM PRACTICA SCHIMBAREA CA SI PAVEL DE DRAGUL DOMNULUI? SUNTEM GATA SA EVANGHELIZAM IN CULTURA SI DEMOGRAFIA ACTUALA SAU PREFERAM SA NE ASCUNDEM?
INDEMNUL MEU FINAL ESTE SIMPLU: DESCHIDETI-VA PENTRU LUCRURI NOI SI PREGATITI-VA PENTRU SCHIMBARE!!!!! DUMNEZEU TOT TIMPUL A RASPLATIT PE CEI CU VIZIUNE SI CU CURAJ!!!!!
Posted on January 21, 2013 by Steven Gledhill
There is physical pain, psychological pain, and spiritual pain. Jesus said that we are to love God body, mind, heart, and soul. But when we wander off course, we do so physically, cognitively, behaviorally, and spiritually. Sometimes it becomes necessary for God to do what is needed to get us back on course to keep us from running away from home. And sometimes it hurts… sometimes it hurts a lot.
Since I originally wrote this article, I have been placed in a situation that will challenge my faith in the midst of intense pain and injury. It is difficult to understand and accept what God intends to reveal to me and how he intends to challenge me.
One thing I am learning these days is that the faith I feel can be different than the faith I know. I know intellectually and spiritually that God loves me and is faithful. I am coming to believe that when I feel doubt and anxiety that it is different from the doubt, divided loyalty, and double-mindedness the apostle James speaks of in his book. Even upon hearing from the Lord , and having experienced an assurance talking about it with my pastor, I experience feelings of intense anxiety and fear at various times throughout my day. But what I know to be true in what I heard and saw from God is the grace that allows me to sleep soundly when my emotional mind is unconscious and not driving thoughts.
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do. James 1:5-8 (NLT)
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. James 1:5-8 (NIV)
I believe that James is writing that God does not find fault with my emotionally-driven fear and anxiety when I come seeking from Him everything from wisdom to a miracle. Because should I doubt God’s ability to engage, work, and move in my circumstances due to an intellectual conclusion of disbelief that God is God, and I turn to alternative remedies to manage fear and anxiety, then I am wavering and in the mire of divided loyalty. It is then I am double-minded and unstable in pursuit of resolution. It is then that I am lost like sheep without a shepherd. While James writes then not to expect to receive anything from the Lord it doesn’t mean that I won’t receive from Him. James is speaking about my state of mind. If I have concluded that I probably will not receive from God why would I expect to receive anything from God? There really won’t be any relief from pain, fear, and worry should I altogether not believe in what God can do. It’s common sense at that point. I’m an emotional mess from the conclusions I have drawn intellectually about what God can do.
Thank God I believe intellectually and spiritually in what God can do. Too often, though, I question my faith because I doubt on an emotional level. I need to stop the practice of riding my feelings until I feel guilty that I doubt God. I feel guilty doubting God because of what I know and believe intellectually (in relationship with Christ) God can do; I struggle emotionally with what I believe God will do. Is He willing? Is there something wrong with me? I think that’s what it means to have faith in the midst of doubt because of the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen (Hebrews 11:1). What I feel isn’t necessarily a reflection of what I know. What I doubt emotionally isn’t necessarily a reflection of what I know intellectually and believe spiritually.
Things unseen… hmmm. You know what? God loves me so much that the other day to confront my fear and worry, He gave me something I could see. It was a visible practical manifestation that God is at work in the process. While in the midst of a “mini-crisis” that wasn’t really a crisis at all, my 90 plus-year-old mother-in-law told me she was praying that God is faithful. I responded sarcastically with my real crisis in mind, “We’ll see.” When the “mini-crisis” was averted inexplicably, as I shared it with my wife, she said, “My mom prayed.” Instantly I broke down and wept as the Holy Spirit of God reminded me to trust Him to be at work in the process. I shared my experience with a dear counselor friend who told me, “God gave you something tangible that you can hang your hat on.” So I know that the Lord does not find fault when I feel doubt and confusion driving my fear. And I did receive from Him because He loves me. My real crisis lives on painfully and while I may struggle from time to time emotionally, intellectually I am certain that God is able and willing. I am trusting in the process of His work in my life as I endure through the problem of pain.
As you read this and consider the injurious nature of your own pain and struggle, take caution not to trust your emotional reaction that may suggest to you that you lack faith because of emotionally-driven doubt. If you are dealing with pain and crisis while you read this, be careful not to get caught up emotionally that bad things are happening in your life because God has judged you and is punishing you. This is about the discipline of a LOVING FATHER for children He loves and nurtures and blesses generously from a place of compassionate grace and MERCY.
But just like discipline can be painful in the short term, the long term benefit and ultimate reward is immeasurable and unimaginable. God is in the process of working. He is working in the process. Trust in the process of God’s work. (I am writing this to myself as I am writing it to you.)
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)
Are you ready for it? Let’s go.
“Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces; now he will heal us. He has injured us; now he will bandage our wounds. In just a short time he will restore us, so that we may live in his presence. Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.” Hosea 6:1-3 (NLT)
“We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world… No doubt pain as God’s megaphone is a terrible instrument; it may lead to final and unrepented rebellion. But it gives the only opportunity the bad man can have for amendment. It removes the veil; it plants the flag of truth within the fortress of the rebel soul.” —C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
I have typically struggled with the notion that the loving compassionate God who paid a rich ransom to save me would turn around and deliberately punish me. I figured that there were natural consequences to my selfish sinful behavior and I have been accepting of such consequences; even though I might dread that real life consequences are on the way. I have lived by the precept that I ought humble myself or be humbled by the just and jealous God. While I may not like it, I ought discipline myself or be disciplined by the righteous and holy God.
I don’t like it… I don’t like it at all. Isn’t it enough that life on planet earth has its share of pain? Is it true that God would inflict pain against me? Does God do that?
“The world is a dance in which good, descending from God, is disturbed by evil arising from the creatures, and the resulting conflict is resolved by God’s own assumption of the suffering nature which evil produces.” —C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
The Good Shepherd
This is inspired by the sermon I heard in church this morning. Pastor Aaron Koehler talked about how sheep that would continually go its own way, venturing from the flock into dangerous territory despite the efforts of the shepherd to redirect the sheep, would have its legs broken by the shepherd.
The shepherd would then bind the legs together like a splint to begin the healing. While the sheep was healing and couldn’t support its own weight to walk, the shepherd would carry the sheep until it would walk on its own willingly following the lead of its shepherd. The difference is that during the time of healing the sheep would grow to fully depend on the lead of the good shepherd.
As I spoke with Pastor Aaron after the service it hit me. Oh, how I love it when it comes like that. Here it is… Jesus was slain from the foundation of the world. Jesus Christ was the lamb who’s legs may have literally been broken, not because he was wandering astray but because I was heading for hell—eternal pain. Jesus stepped in front of that roaring train of eternal death, his legs may have have broken on the cross. (I say Christ’s legs may have been broken because Scripture points out only that the criminals dying on crosses on either side of Jesus did have their legs broken, to disable the ability to breathe, hastening death by suffocation for burial before Passover.) I suppose it could be said that as Jesus carried his cross that he carried the sins of mankind upon his shoulders; our legs broken to arrest us from sin so that the debt of sin could be paid as Jesus took our pain and suffering so that we could be set free.
He had already been beaten and would go on to experience excruciating pain, even that of condemnation for three days and nights.
Torn apart, injured and disabled in the belly of the earth, the loving Father of the Son carried him from the depths of hell all the way to the throne of grace at His right hand. This Son had not experienced grace until He became grace for you and for me. Grace for Jesus required immeasurable pain. Sometimes grace for you and me requires measurable pain in this lifetime so that we can be absolutely free of pain throughout eternity.
“We are, not metaphorically but in very truth, a Divine work of art, something that God is making, and therefore something with which He will not be satisfied until it has a certain character.”
—C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
One of my least favorite scriptures is Hebrews Chapter 12 that speaks to God’s discipline like that of a loving father from a heart of love for his child.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Hebrews 12:1-2 (NLT)
While that is encouraging and inspiring, it doesn’t solve the problem. I am the sheep that keeps wandering off doing my own thing my own way. My sin won’t kill me. Jesus took care of that. I have been justified by faith in relationship with Him. But from time to time sin trips me up; sometimes much more easily than it should considering my sincere claim to love God and abhor evil. I am meant in Christ to be victorious as I run the race, enduring the aches and pains that come from running. But when I take my eyes off the Shepherd I drift into dangerous territory that I suppose could be quite painful in this lifetime in the flesh. I don’t know. Is it possible that I could drift so far off course that I might reject Christ? Is it possible? I sure hope not but God would know.
Maybe the Spirit of God is communicating to me what Jesus said to the man he had healed from paralysis when he encountered him drifting astray around the pagan temple. Either way, the Good Shepherd intervenes by whatever means necessary to put me back on course with the rest the flock running toward the ultimate reward. What did Jesus say to the man he had healed?
Afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.” John 5:14 (NLT)
I have always thought that Jesus meant that “something worse” is the death of eternal suffering. Thatis likely what he meant. But what if he meant that it wasn’t enough that the Good Shepherd broke the man’s legs to prevent him from certain destruction until Jesus would intervene?
What if Jesus meant that it might require even harsher discipline to save the man’s life once healed?
“The problem of reconciling human suffering with the existence of God who loves, is only insoluble so long as we attach a trivial meaning to the word ‘love’ and look on things as if man were the center of them.” —C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
So the Bible is clear that Jesus is my Shepherd, apparently willing to break my legs if that’s what it takes to keep me on course. Scripture tells me—warns me—to keep my eyes on Jesus lest something worse happen to me. While the “something worse” may not be eternal suffering and pain, it could very well be something that could really wreck my life in terms of the quality of this lifetime here on earth.
“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on. You knew these jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of—throwing out a new wing here, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage; but He is building a palace. He intends to come in and live in it Himself.” —C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
The Loving Father
And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said,
“My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and don’t give up when he corrects you.
For the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”
As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever? For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. Hebrews 12:5-11 (NLT)
So if my Heavenly Father is motivated by love, what am I so afraid of when it comes to a loving father disciplining his child? Perhaps it’s because my dad was motivated by love when he disciplined me growing up, and there is no doubt that there were times when I know he was angry as he tore me up. He was not abusive but definitely adhered to the proverb “spare the rod, spoil the child.” What I think tore me up more was that I disappointed by dad. Letting him down was the injurious effect on me from my dad’s discipline. As a child I didn’t understand that to not discipline his son would suggest that the father didn’t love his son; to the extent that he would have rejected and disowned me. My father’s discipline was indeed evident proof that my dad loved me and that I was indeed his.
Would God Do That?
As Pastor Aaron was making impassioned points about the relationship between God’s discipline and His love for us I could here my young friend offering quiet affirmations under her breath as she applied the meaning to her life. My friend is in her late twenties. A few years back she needed a ride home and was involved in a horrific car accident. Not wearing her seat belt, she was thrown from the driver’s side back seat to the passenger’s side back seat. It’s been reported that her head hit the closed door so hard it popped the door open and she was catapulted from the vehicle. She was kept in a coma for a couple of weeks while the swelling in her brain gradually subsided. Her brain stem was crushed. If she lived, it was likely she would be paralyzed and not walk again. There was so much prayer for her.
The reason she needed a ride home is that she was too drunk to drive. She was often too drunk and high. An extremely impulsive young lady, while in her early twenties she was heavy into drugs and alcohol; following in the footsteps of her alcoholic mother and stepfather. She hadn’t had much of a relationship with her biological father. She was definitely on course for destruction and doom.
When she was a young girl, my wife and I had opportunity to take her to church. It was something she wanted to do. By the time she was in high school, though, all that had changed. She had gone her own way. Whenever we saw her she was friendly and it was clear that she was fond of us. We were fond of her and prayerfully concerned for her. She would become increasingly distant as she sank deeper and deeper into her addiction.
Even her alcoholic mother was praying for her in earnest as she was laid up in a hospital bed following the accident. While in the hospital she woke up. She could not speak or walk. She needed help for everything. She would be in the hospital and then rehab for several months. Eventually she would talk and even walk. Her gait isn’t the most steady, she uses a cane for assistance, but her life is a walking, talking miracle. She is even driving and has been for a couple of years now.
So how do you think she responded to the scripture from Hosea that reads “He has torn us to pieces… He has injured us”? Honestly, as I sat next to her, I had not considered how this message applied specifically to her. But then the pastor read this passage as it was printed on the large screen behind him:
“When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.
But the more they were called, the more they went away from me.
They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images.
It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms;
but they did not realize it was I who healed them.
I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love.
To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them.”
Hosea 11:1-4 (NIV)
Pastor Aaron drove home the point that God does what He does as a Father to His children (tearing down the parts of us that our leading us to ruin) so that He can remake us into something so much better than we were. I heard her respond very quietly, “Yes”. When he stressed the need for our Father’s discipline, she said affirmatively, “In His own way.” Wow! She gets it. In the past year, she is back in church, she’s been baptized in water, and has grown into something beautiful and special as a woman who loves her Savior and everything that comes with that.
Did God really do that to her? Did God deliberately put this young lady in harm’s way to be literally torn apart, put through so much pain and struggle, still injured to the extent that she struggles continually each day of her life? I would hate to think so. I am very uncomfortable with that. Most people would be. Only a cruel judgmental punishing God could do something like that, right? But she seems to be resolutely comfortable with that. She believes that God either allowed or put her through all of it to save her life for eternity. To her, the Good Shepherd and loving Father broke her legs because she was so insistent on running directly into certain destruction apart from the goodness of His grace. She is comfortable with that! She recognizes that the loving Father put His Son through so much more so that all she would have to face is an earthly tragedy that brought her back into the fold.
Loving Each Other
Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. Hebrews 12:15 (NLT)
The Hebrews writer is on to something. He is saying that the root of bitterness is a poison that is so powerful that someone may even resist the grace of God overcome by resentment. I suppose one way to buffer the discipline of my loving Father is to become vulnerable and entrust my character flaws to the judgment of others that I trust to be honest and forthright with me. The strongest, most righteous God fearing, God loving person is most vulnerable to the forces of jealousy and resentment. The ego is most fragile for any human being and we often do not realize when we are most tempted to go to those places that can cripple a person. The concern and support of a brother or sister operating in the love of Jesus will save me from myself if I submit myself into accountability to a few people I know I can trust. In the recovery field we would call this person a sponsor; a mentor and friend in recovery. Part of self-discipline is a willingness to submit to the discerning wisdom one who knows me and has sincere concern for me.
He is God, I am Not
“The proper good of a creature is to surrender itself to its Creator—to enact intellectually, volitionally, and emotionally, that relationship which is given in the mere fact of its being a creature. When it does so, it is good and happy.” —C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
What I believe is that God is God and I am not. I need to live as though God is God, I am not, and from a heart of love my Heavenly Father will discipline me as a loving father would. But being that I have grown, it is time to put away once and for all childish things. That doesn’t mean I can’t have a good time. It means I don’t have to indulge in mischievous and deviant folly to have a good time. God created fun! He came up with joy and happiness! He is satisfaction! Why can’t I experience contentment in the joy and happiness that comes in bringing Him pleasure? When I was a boy it meant the world to bring joy to my father. It made me happy. Now I have two young grandsons. They are intent on pleasing their ‘grampy’. Then they laugh and they laugh and they laugh some more. I laugh with them. They are experiencing real untainted joy. And my joy? Immeasurable.
There are days coming in my relationships with these little boys when they will wander from the flock and drift into dangerous territory. Then, even more than they do now, they will need a shepherd to keep them on course. Just as they will need and continue to need discipline to direct and guide them and keep them in the fold, you and I need a shepherd to direct and guide and keep us in the fold. While we are healing from the wounds of the Shepherd’s discipline we are more likely to fully depend on the lead of the Good Shepherd. Understand, if we are so headstrong as to breach the sensibility of a righteous life into the very best of God’s plan and purpose for us (for our benefit), He will do whatever it takes to keep us close to Him… whatever it takes. We may appear to be lost from time to time; but then the Good Shepherd searches for us until we are found. That is amazing grace.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever. Psalm 23 (NKJV)
“If tribulation is a necessary element in redemption, we must anticipate that it will never cease till God sees the world to be either redeemed or no further redeemable.” —C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
“The Pro Life movement has been invigorated in recent years like never before. It is now moving in the direction of the Civil Rights movement, that is a Right to Life cause, despite the fact that abortion legality is here to stay.
The line has been drawn in the sand 40 years ago, but as the Bible tells us, in the last days we are seeing an increasing separation between good and evil. The contrast has never been greater on the issue of the unborn, primarily because many young people are beginning to see the evil of abortion that their parents ignored.” by Chris Pruneanu
“Leul din Iuda” de Sunny Tranca
Interpreteaza Corul Bisericii Poarta Cerului Timisoara Octombrie 2012
An official with Mr. Obama’s Presidential Inaugural Committee said the committee, which operates separately from the White House, vetted Mr. Giglio. People familiar with internal discussions between administration and committee officials said the White House viewed the selection as a problem for Mr. Obama, and told the panel to quickly fix it. By next morning, Mr. Giglio said he had withdrawn…..
…..but the singers from Church of God Lee University was invited and they accepted to perform at Inauguration…..
…TO BELIEVE THAT THE CHURCH OF GOD ENDORSE THIS ADMINISTRATION AND ITS PLATFORM?…TO BELIEVE THAT CHURCH OF GOD IS “NOT A PROBLEM” FOR MR. OBAMA?
“Arizona became the first state to enact AUL’s “Women’s Health Defense Act,” prohibiting abortions at or after 20-weeks gestation based on the well-documented dangers of late-term abortions to women’s health and the pain experienced by unborn children.”
“Most improved this year was Arizona, moving from No. 14 to No. 5 as a result of becoming the first to enact AUL’s groundbreaking “Women’s Health Protection Act,” prohibiting abortions at or after 20 weeks gestation based on growing medical evidence of the risks of late-term abortions on women’s health as well as the pain experienced by an unborn child.”
The 2013 Life List names the top 10 most pro-life states: 1. Louisiana, 2. Oklahoma, 3. Pennsylvania, 4. Arkansas, 5. Arizona, 6. Nebraska, 7. Indiana, 8. Missouri, 9. Georgia, 10. Virginia.
In her final days as Commander of the International Space Station, Sunita Williams of NASA recorded an extensive tour of the orbital laboratory and downlinked the video on Nov. 18, just hours before she, cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and Flight Engineer Aki Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency departed in their Soyuz TMA-05M spacecraft for a landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan. The tour includes scenes of each of the station’s modules and research facilities with a running narrative by Williams of the work that has taken place and which is ongoing aboard the orbital outpost.
Articol scris de Pastorul Florin Ianovici si postat pe pagina sa de Facebook pe 8 Ianuarie 2013.
Multora dintre noi viata le-a refuzat normalul unei iubiri parintesti, fratesti sau din partea prietenilor. Multi dintre cei pe care ii cunosc au inima ranita de tradarea, nepasarea sau chiar rautatea aproapelui.
Cand viata iti refuza normalitatea, cand asteptarea devine o boala a sufletului, atunci si reactiile sunt pe masura. Oameni tristi, apasati isi poarta povara in tacere inchisi intr-o carapace de frica de a nu fi raniti din nou.
Imi pare rau ca multi dintre noi abia atunci ne indreptam privirea spre Dumnezeu. Dar in marea Sa mila El ne asteapta si ne primeste ca un Tata rabdator care stie ca cele mai importante lectii in viata le dobandesti cu lacrimile pe obraz.
Asteptam ca Dumnezeu sa ne ia in brate. Si zilele acestea am invatat ca El face acest lucru. In fiecare zi Dumnezeu ne imbratiseaza: prin Duhul Sfant El cuprinde fiinta omului si o tine strans lipita de a Sa. Nu intristati pe Duhul Sfant cu lucruri slabe ca sa nu ramaneti fara caldura unei strangeri la piept a unui Tata care nu abandoneaza si a carui iubire nu e sezoniera.
PART 3 :
Orphans know how to offer, not just to get …. A beautiful flower I got for my wife from them.