Category Archives: Religion

Seeds of Deeds

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. (KJV) ( Proverbs 11:30 )

Has someone done something thoughtful for you lately? Have they gone out of their way for you? It’s easy to keep moving on or get busy and forget about recognizing them. However, it’s important to express to them your grateful heart. Put a little thought into how you want to express your gratitude through friendship.

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Work

And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. (KJV) ( Genesis 2:15 )

Do you dread Monday mornings? Work was God’s first task to humans in the Garden of Eden. God didn’t give us work to make us trudge along in our days. He did it so we could receive joy from our accomplishments, seek Him, and bring glory to His name. If you don’t find what you are doing to be a labor of love, try changing your attitude. Or try changing your circumstances.

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Broken Walls

He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls. (KJV) ( Proverbs 25:28 )

God has given us a unique ability through the Holy Spirit…self-control. Unfortunately, we do a not-so-good job of letting our emotions, finances, and appetite for food get the best of us. Food is my major weakness. Merely shrugging our shoulders and accepting ourselves the way we are is not honoring to God. We should not allow ourselves to be at the mercies of our uncontrolled appetites. It is entirely possible to change. After all, we can do all things through Christ. Our body is a temple, and we should treat it as such.


Happy Easter

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples went back to their homes.

     But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”-and that he had said these things to her.

John 20:1-18

Easter, which celebrates Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead, is Christianity’s most important holiday. It has been called a moveable feast because it doesn’t fall on a set date every year, as most holidays do. Instead, Christian churches in the West celebrate Easter on the first Sunday following the full moon after the vernal equinox on March 21. Therefore, Easter is observed anywhere between March 22 and April 25 every year. Orthodox Christians use the Julian calendar to calculate when Easter will occur and typically celebrate the holiday a week or two after the Western churches, which follow the Gregorian calendar.

For Jesus’ mother, his disciples and his followers, Jesus’ death was a tragedy. You can imagine that all hope was naturally gone. We today can face the same feeling. Many times in life, with homophobic politicians, the increasing rise of anti-gay homophobic groups, and everything that is going on in the world — war, famine, disease, natural disasters, discrimination, and hate — there can be a loss of hope and faith. Yet the resurrection gives us hope that no matter what has happened in our lives, no matter how much faith and hope we have lost, we can experience hope, we can overcome and regain whatever we have lost in our lives.

Our hope includes the knowledge that evil does not win. – Sometimes today, it seems that the bad guy often wins. Sometimes it seems that the one who cheats, the one who lies, the one who steps on others to get ahead, is the one who prospers. Far too often, I read of this person cheating or that one (or catching a student cheating) or another kid, gay or otherwise, who has been bullied, lost hope, and committed suicide. How often do we read of politicians cheating, or working to make sure their businesses get the good contract? It seems that there is no hope for the little guy, the one who lives right, to ever get ahead.

With a positive attitude that through God we can accomplish anything, we truly can make the world a better place. With hope that springs eternal, just as the flowers in spring show the rebirth of the earth, we can be assured that God’s promises will deliver a better day, a rebirth our faith. The promise that Jesus would rise from the grave on the third day is remembered every Easter Sunday, it is the greatest sacrifice God could give for our sins. When we are baptized, it is done in symbolic reverence as our old body dies in its watery grave to be reborn and rise from the dead as Christ did for our sins.


Good Friday

Today is Good Friday. Nearly 2000 years ago, Jesus was crucified. It was the darkest day for his followers. They did not understand that on the third day he would rise again and bring hope to the world. I wish people could actually see and understand the loving nature of Christ. He wanted us to live in a world without prejudices or greed, a world with hope and inspiration. I honestly think that Christ weeps at the site of the world today. I believe that Jesus is saddened by the state of what many call Christianity today. Today, it is a religion of prejudice, hatred, and greed, when it should be a religion of hope, faith, inspiration, and charity.

Remember that Good Friday is a day to contemplate the suffering that Jesus endured for our salvation. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”


Dolly on God

I love Dolly Parton. She’s so talented, funny, and sweet. She’s all around a good person, never wanting to offend anyone. AL.com recently interviewed Dolly and asked her about her faith. She summed up my beliefs about Christianity in one brief paragraph. Here is what she said:

I just believe that there’s a God. I believe that God helps me, leads me. I talk to Him everyday. I’d prefer to believe in God if there wasn’t one, I’d still believe in God, because I believe we need to believe in something bigger and better than ourselves. It gives us hope. It gives us strength. I know it does me. My faith is very important. I do believe that through God all things are possible. I do believe that Jesus loves me. And I just use that. I’m never ashamed of my family. I’m never ashamed of my religion. I’m not trying to cram it down anyone else’s throat. I just think that everybody’s got to have something to believe in.

Speaking of country music, my all time favorite will always be Holly Dunn. Holly was born into a Church of Christ family and remained in the church her whole life. A few years ago, she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of ovarian cancer. During her fight with cancer, she said:

My faith is my rock. But I also draw tremendous strength from my family and my family of friends who have gathered around me in total support. Being a Christian, I know that no matter how this chapter ends, I will be OK. Either upright walking on this earth or safe in my Savior’s arms.

Sadly, she lost her battle with cancer and is in the arms of her Savior.

Both women dealt with LGBT issues very differently. Holly quietly kept her sexuality to herself. It was only confirmed after her death that she was survived by her wife. Holly could have done great things in country music if she’d come out, but country music wasn’t ready for t at the time, so she left country music and instead devoted herself to a different art form, painting. Dolly, on the other hand, has always been outspoken about the love she has for her gay fans. Dolly is nothing if not outspoken about all things. I don’t think it matters whether you are out and proud, if you proudly love the out and proud, or if you prefer your privacy, both women kept their faith, and that is a beautiful thing.


Pride Goes Before the Fall

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. – Proverbs 16:18

“Pride goeth before a fall” is a saying that is similar to the original Bible verse, found in Proverbs 16:18, but it does not accurately reflect the original text. In fact, the verse says, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” This shows that destruction is the end result of pride, according to the Bible.

Here is a little Indian Fable that I found called “Pride Goes Before the Fall.”

In a certain village there lived ten cloth merchants, who always went about together. Once upon a time they had travelled far afield, and were returning home with a great deal of money which they had obtained by selling their wares. Now there happened to be a dense forest near their village, and this they reached early one morning. In it there lived three notorious robbers, of whose existence the traders had never heard, and while they were still in the middle of it the robbers stood before them, with swords and cudgels in their hands, and ordered them to lay down all they had. The traders had no weapons with them, and so, though they were many more in number, they had to submit themselves to the robbers, who took away everything from them, even the very clothes they wore, and gave to each only a small loin-cloth a span in breadth and a cubit in length.

The idea that they had conquered ten men and plundered all their property, now took possession of the robbers’ minds. They seated themselves like three monarchs before the men they had plundered, and ordered them to dance to them before returning home. The merchants now mourned their fate. They had lost all they had, except their loin- cloth, and still the robbers were not satisfied, but ordered them to dance.

There was, among the ten merchants, one who was very clever. He pondered over the calamity that had come upon him and his friends, the dance they would have to perform, and the magnificent manner in which the three robbers had seated themselves on the grass. At the same time he observed that these last had placed their weapons on the ground, in the assurance of having thoroughly cowed the traders, who were now commencing to dance. So he took the lead in the dance, and, as a song is always sung by the leader on such occasions, to which the rest keep time with hands and feet, he thus began to sing:

“We are enty men, They are erith men: If each erith man, Surround eno men Eno man remains. Tâ, tai, tôm, tadingana.

The robbers were all uneducated, and thought that the leader was merely singing a song as usual. So it was in one sense; for the leader commenced from a distance, and had sung the song over twice before he and his companions commenced to approach the robbers. They had understood his meaning, because they had been trained in trade.

When two traders discuss the price of an article in the presence of a purchaser, they use a riddling sort of language.

“What is the price of this cloth?” one trader will ask another.

“Enty rupees,” another will reply, meaning “ten rupees.”

Thus, there is no possibility of the purchaser knowing what is meant unless he be acquainted with trade language. By the rules of this secret language erith means “three,” enty means “ten,” and eno means “one.” So the leader by his song meant to hint to his fellow-traders that they were ten men, the robbers only three, that if three pounced upon each of the robbers, nine of them could hold them down, while the remaining one bound the robbers’ hands and feet.

The three thieves, glorying in their victory, and little understanding the meaning of the song and the intentions of the dancers, were proudly seated chewing betel and tobacco. Meanwhile the song was sung a third time. Tâ tai tôm had left the lips of the singer; and, beforetadingana was out of them, the traders separated into parties of three, and each party pounced upon a thief. The remaining one–the leader himself–tore up into long narrow strips a large piece of cloth, six cubits long, and tied the hands and feet of the robbers. These were entirely humbled now, and rolled on the ground like three bags of rice!

The ten traders now took back all their property, and armed themselves with the swords and cudgels of their enemies; and when they reached their village, they often amused their friends and relatives by relating their adventure.


God’s Will

Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O LORD, do not abandon those who search for you. (NLT) (Psalm 9:10 )

Do you search for the Lord’s will in your life? When you make yourself vulnerable and available for God to have control over your life, it’s scary. It does not mean difficult times won’t come, instead, you have given Him the opportunity to be able to provide for you in the difficult times. Are you looking to God to provide as you search for Him?

When you walk with God, He will provide at just the right moment. When you take things into your own hands and push God out of your plans you prevent Him from having the opportunity to provide for you. In what areas have you stopped looking to God for direction?

Do you have an important decision to make that impacts your future? God has a perfect plan for your future, one that is in your best interest. Invite God to be part of your decision through prayer. Then look to the Word of God for guidance and principles to follow. He will guide your thoughts and show you wise truths to aid you in the decision. Finally, seek the advice of wise, respectable counsel.

From Daily Devotionals App.


Jesus Loves Gays


What Is a Liberal?

Let’s just start by saying, read the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-7:27). Most of this applies to what it means to be a liberal.

Conservatives may call us libtards, a word I find incredibly offensive. What we do most often is follow the advice of Jesus Christ. We help our fellow man when he is down, we turn the other cheek, and we love all of God’s creation. Conservatives, no matter how Christian they claim to be, cannot say the same. We believe in the Beatitudes:

3 “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for Him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

4 God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

5 God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.

6 God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.

7 God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

8 God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.

9 God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.

10 God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.”

Matthew 5:3-10

Liberals come not to destroy the beliefs of our forefathers, but to fulfill their true meaning. We do not break our vows, but work to fulfill them. When we make a promise, we do our best to keep it unlike many conservatives who harp on family values, yet harass women, cheat on their wives, or flat out lie to your face. When we give to charities, we don’t flaunt it in public; we quietly give. We do not loudly profess our faith and denounce others for their differences, but see value in all of God’s people and all faiths. God said, “For He gives His sunlight to both the evil and the good, and He sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.” (Matthew 5:45) We often pray in private instead of loudly professing our prayers and making others follow along with our beliefs. We don’t hoard our treasures just to be called the rich, but give to charities and help others who are in need. God says if you store up your money, the moths will eat it, but if it is stored in heaven then the moths cannot eat it. The Lord God will provide for us, and we must help Him provide for the less fortunate.

We don’t judge others or profess empty lies. We know we are not perfect; we must first understand that before we can understand others. God has told us, “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 6:12) As liberals, we may not always do what is most popular, but wide is the gate that leads to hell and narrow is the gate that leads to heaven. We are always on the lookout for the false prophets who proclaim to follow the Words of Christ. But in the end, conservatives are like wolves to sheep. People who proclaim falsely will eventually eat away at us. The weak-minded will follow the wolf because he tells them what they want to hear. Yet the wolf always betrays his prey.

Liberals build their politics on a solid foundation of the Constitution and the teachings of the Founding Fathers. Conservatives are like those who build their houses on the sand. Eventually, it washes away as their lies catch up with them. We must continue to build onto the firm foundation of Christ. While not all liberals are believers in Christ, we all have these traits in common. We take the Golden Rule seriously and do unto others as we would have them do unto us. It is the foundation of all moral religions and philosophies. We must not allow conservatives who only wish to line their own pockets and loudly proclaim their righteousness to win out. We know from God that the moths will eat their money and not to be like those who proclaim loudly at the temple for He frowns upon them.

One last piece of advice from a liberal: “Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.” (Matthew 7:6) If you throw your weight to conservatives, they will merely turn and attack you. Their loyalty is misguided and they waste what is given to them.

P.S. Usually, I don’t discuss politics and religion, but I am tired of Republicans proclaiming the religious high ground when it is the liberals who hold the high ground.


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