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Archive for July, 2011

The Brick

The shifting tableau of a mind
A living kaleidoscope of memories
And shadows of places time and people
Closing, now opening constantly, structured
Like tunnels underground collapsing and colliding
Built up, burdened with new truths, layers upon layers
Peel away now like fine onion skin. Careful, don’t destroy
These deep groves created by experiences some lived and some happened upon!

By Joszann St.John

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Jonah

The book of Jonah is the story of a Hebrew prophet named Jonah Ben Amittai who is sent by God to prophesy the destruction of Nineveh. Jonah refuses to obey the divine call on his life. Obeying Gods summons as we know is never an easy choice. Mankind always question God, or we buck in denial. We say why me God? God knows best, he always does. If he chose us before the foundation of the world, he knows our roles. Ephesians 2:10 “for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them”. You see every individual has something on the inside of them. This intuitive knowledge drives us to make certain choices. Our families and society may not understand but God does the choosing always.

Jonah’s name literally means dove. He fled from the presence of the Lord to Tar shish and then went down to Joppa (Jonah 1:2).You see Jonah didn’t realize you can’t run from God. Wherever you make your bed there is where he is also. You know the rest of the story; I’m doing a commentary here.

God sent a storm upon the boat Jonah was hiding out in. The man was asleep while the storm raged; oh, he figured he had it made. Down in the bottom of the ship, Jonah felt no pain. Rudely awakened he realized the trouble he was in. Caving under pressure, he asked to be thrown overboard. He was now ready to die; he couldn’t run any more there was no place left to hide. But God had said he was going to Nineveh. God still had plans for him because the bible lets me know. In Isaiah 55:11 “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it”. What so ever proceeds out of the mouth of God must come to pass. The sooner man realizes that he will stop fighting and bow to his maker.

Jonah thought being in the whale’s belly would be the end of him. Some scholars believed he died during that time. Three days later he was vomited up. God wasn’t after Jonah to punish him; he wanted the people of Nineveh to repent because he loved them so much. Do you know God? This story shows us the complexity of God. Ponder this one today!

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Quotes

“Know where to find the sunrise and sunset times and note how the sky looks at those times, at least once” by Marilyn vos Savant.

“Everything is connected…no one thing can change by itself” by Paul Hawken.

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On forgiveness

I remember a time, very recently when I was hurting and miserable. In my despair I groped for a lifeline, someone who would understand my pain. You know sometimes we go to individuals who have no business giving advice. I felt no one really cared, or understood what was happening to me. In my despair; I had to find and go back to God. Everything around me seemed dark and oppressive. It felt like I was actually carrying an extra load, burdened down, all hope seemed lost. I heard individuals talk about forgiveness, were they crazy I thought? How could I forgive someone who would hurt me like that, why would I want to anyway? I didn’t like where I was or where I was heading?

To forgive is:
“To give up resentment against or the desire to punish, stop being angry with; pardon.(2) Or to give up all claim to punish or exact a penalty for (an offense);overlook.(3) To cancel or remit (a debt)” (Webster’s New World College Dictionary).

Jesus himself taught us how to pray, in Matthew 6:9_13.The Lords Prayer is a complete prayer.

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.” Matthew 6: 9-13

I have highlighted two of the above sentences. Jesus is saying that if we want the father to forgive us we must also forgive others. Some of us come to God not releasing those who have done wrong to us, and we expect God to move in our lives. We have to do our part, heaven always require something from us. Salvation is free, but you must ask for it. In fact Matthew 7:7 states “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you”. We have to first forgive to be forgiven? It’s a difficult process certainly, especially by our fleshy selves, only through surrendering and obeying Gods will we can overcome.

Jesus is the greatest example of sacrifice; he gave his life to reconcile us to the father. People will do wrong things, sometimes we don’t understand why they do the things they do. The bible says we must love and forgive them anyways, John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son”. We should come to the understanding that if God sent his only son to die for us. God now requires some effort on our part. When we hold people in our hearts we become prisoners ourselves. Un-forgiveness starts a cycle where all negative emotions flourish, self condemnation, bitterness; anger, malice and regret are just a few.

What does the bible say about forgiveness?

Colossians 3:13
“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (NIV).

Matthew 18:21-22
“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times” (NIV).

Luke 6:37
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven” (NIV).

Matthew 6:14-16
“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins”. (NIV)

Mark 11:25
“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins” (NIV).

Quote:
“Forgiveness always seems so easy, when we need it, and so hard when we need to give it” By Fresh Start Devotionals.

I say to you if you don’t forgive you cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven. Someone said some of us won’t get into heaven based on a technicality, meaning we will have most of the requirements but fail in some other area.

To forgive is your choice!

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