To Be Holy: God’s Grace First, Then Our Choice

 

HOLY MAN/OR WOMAN BOTH CHOICE AND GRACE

Like it or not we all are what we are

We can choose our path, to the light or the dark

If we choose to walk in darkness, that is our choice

The light still shines even then, if we choose to see

We choose to walk in and stay in the light or darkness

Not by accident, it is a choice that each of us make

I am what I am because

I love the Son of God,

More than the toys of man

We all sin daily

For like you, I am just a man

If I forgive, and hold not against you

Will you in like kindness, give, as I give to you

Being a Man of God is an honor given

Not from our own righteousness, but grace

For such kindness is given, only from above

It is difficult to have the heart of a hawk

And the spirit of a dove

Being a Man of God, is something I long prayed for

To have a soul full of God’s love and Grace

Always willing to speak what you now know is the truth

The world will rage at the words that you speak

Being kind, decent, and loving is no life for the meek!

What Is Love Anyway

 

Love, what a little word, not very long at all

Yet with such broad outstretched arms

Wonderful how wide, inclusive those arms can be

Love, it’s different for Aunt’s, Uncles, Mom and Dad

Narrow are the love lines, can you love a person you can’t trust

Tender, deeper than for our spouse and our children, not possible

Is love really any different when considered by the caste you are in

O  the quiet in the Heavens after the Shout ordered by the Father Above

Now Brothers, this is the time that all of the Human Race will find out!

Ancient Palace Revealed Under Destroyed Mosul Shrine

(I FOUND THIS ARTICLE FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS (AP) THAT I THOUGHT SOME OF YOU WHO LIKE HISTORY  MIGHT LIKE)

Associated Press

Ancient palace revealed under destroyed Mosul shrine

MOSUL, Iraq (AP) — Iraqi archaeologists think that tunnels dug by Islamic State militants under a destroyed shrine in Mosul have revealed the palace of an ancient Assyrian king who ruled some 2,700 years ago.

IS fighters blew up the shrine of the biblical Jonah’s tomb in 2014 after taking control of the city. They started digging tunnels into the side of the hill under the shrine, leading to the discovery.

Ancient inscriptions and winged bulls and lions were found deep in the tunnels, thought to be part of the palace of King Esarhaddon, who ruled the Neo-Assyrian empire in the 7th century B.C.

The militants may have been looking for artifacts to loot. IS was pushed out of eastern Mosul by Iraqi forces in January. The battle continues for western Mosul.

Ancient artifacts are seen inside a tunnel, under the rubble of the destroyed Mosque of The Prophet Younis, or Jonah, in Mosul, Iraq, Saturday, March 11, 2017. Iraqi archeologists think that tunnels dug under a destroyed shrine in Mosul by Islamic State militants have revealed the palace of the ancient Assyrian king of Esarhaddon. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)
Ancient artifacts are seen inside a tunnel, under the rubble of the destroyed Mosque of The Prophet Younis, or Jonah, in Mosul, Iraq, Saturday, March 11, 2017. Iraqi archeologists think that tunnels dug under a destroyed shrine in Mosul by Islamic State militants have revealed the palace of the ancient Assyrian king of Esarhaddon. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)
Ancient artifacts are seen inside a tunnel, under the rubble of the destroyed Mosque of The Prophet Younis, or Jonah, in Mosul, Iraq, Saturday, March 11, 2017. Iraqi archeologists think that tunnels dug under a destroyed shrine in Mosul by Islamic State militants have revealed the palace of the ancient Assyrian king of Esarhaddon. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)
Ancient artifacts are seen inside a tunnel, under the rubble of the destroyed Mosque of The Prophet Younis, or Jonah, in Mosul, Iraq, Saturday, March 11, 2017. Iraqi archeologists think that tunnels dug under a destroyed shrine in Mosul by Islamic State militants have revealed the palace of the ancient Assyrian king of Esarhaddon. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)
Ancient artifacts are seen inside a tunnel, under the rubble of the destroyed Mosque of The Prophet Younis, or Jonah, in Mosul, Iraq, Saturday, March 11, 2017. Iraqi archeologists think that tunnels dug under a destroyed shrine in Mosul by Islamic State militants have revealed the palace of the ancient Assyrian king of Esarhaddon. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)
Ancient artifacts are seen inside a tunnel, under the rubble of the destroyed Mosque of The Prophet Younis, or Jonah, in Mosul, Iraq, Saturday, March 11, 2017. Iraqi archeologists think that tunnels dug under a destroyed shrine in Mosul by Islamic State militants have revealed the palace of the ancient Assyrian king of Esarhaddon. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)
Iraqi security forces guard the destroyed Mosque of The Prophet Younis, or Jonah, in Mosul, Iraq, Saturday, March 11, 2017. Iraqi archeologists think that tunnels dug under a destroyed shrine in Mosul by Islamic State militants have revealed the palace of the ancient Assyrian king of Esarhaddon. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)
Ancient artifacts are seen inside a tunnel, under the rubble of the destroyed Mosque of The Prophet Younis, or Jonah, in Mosul, Iraq, Saturday, March 11, 2017. Iraqi archeologists think that tunnels dug under a destroyed shrine in Mosul by Islamic State militants have revealed the palace of the ancient Assyrian king of Esarhaddon. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)
Ancient artifacts are seen inside a tunnel, under the rubble of the destroyed Mosque of The Prophet Younis, or Jonah, in Mosul, Iraq, Saturday, March 11, 2017. Iraqi archeologists think that tunnels dug under a destroyed shrine in Mosul by Islamic State militants have revealed the palace of the ancient Assyrian king of Esarhaddon. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

On 3-3-17 I Reblogged An Article With Serious Misquotes Of Bishop Angaelos Of The Coptic Orthodox Church Of The U.K.

 

Earlier today I received an email letting me know that one of the articles that I reblogged from one of my readers was filled with mistakes.  I always try to only print articles that are totally the truth and in the four plus years that I have been managing this website this is the first time that I have been informed that something that I reblogged for someone was needed to be deleted because it was filled with errors. I appreciate it very much that a lady from the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom informed me of the errors. Per her request I have permanently deleted that article from this site and I ask that anyone who may have reblogged the article to go into your files and do the same. The correct quote from Bishop Angaelos from a speech of his from this past February 28th of 2017 I am copy pasting below. The young lady from the Bishop’s office was kind enough to email it to me. If you would, please take a moment to read the correct article below.

 

Comment by His Grace Bishop Angaelos,
General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom,
on the recent spate of attacks against Coptic Christians in Egypt,
including the recent attacks in Al-Arish, Sinai

28 February 2017

I have now drafted and redrafted this statement numerous times over the past weeks, wanting to say something about the deadly attacks experienced by Coptic Christians in Egypt on a daily basis, yet every time I do, there seems to be a new and often more horrifying attack that needs to be addressed. In the past three months alone forty Coptic Christians have been murdered in targeted attacks in Egypt. From the terrorist bombing on St Peter’s Coptic Church in Cairo that claimed the lives of twenty nine mainly women and children, to the murders of individuals across the country since, the one common denominator is that these innocent children, women and men have had their lives brutally and tragically ended for no other reason except that they are Christians.

Incitement by terrorist groups that calls for the killing of Christians in Egypt has spiralled over the past weeks to the extent that lists of churches and individuals have now been released as desirable targets.

While persecution is nothing new for the Coptic community, this escalation of attacks over the past months, culminating in the most recent murders of seven Christians in Al-Arish, has resulted in the displacement of hundreds forced to leave their generations-old homes in North Sinai.

These horrific attacks have gone largely unnoticed by the international community, but Copts continue to suffer tragic violations daily. The attacks against them are anti-Christian and religiously-motivated, demonstrated in many cases by the circulation of flyers within villages urging Christians to ‘leave or die’. Similar events have tragically occurred far too often over the past years, and there is unfortunately little deterrent to prevent them from reoccurring.

In our fast moving world that is filled with so much news of tragedy, war and death, it is all too easy for atrocities to become ‘incidents’, and for individuals suffering them to become mere statistics, very quickly pushed aside by the next item of news. In the eyes of the perpetrators they are a viable target, and in the eyes of the world they become a regrettable phenomenon; yet what is actually left behind is traumatised individuals, families and communities that have lost loved ones, living the reality of themselves being targeted.

While Coptic Christians have been particularly targeted they have always remained peaceful and opted for non-retaliation. Exceeding this already admirable stance, they have even proceeded to forgive their perpetrators. After the destruction of over 100 places of Christian ministry and worship in August of 2013, the bombing of various churches across the country in the last decade, and the targeted killing of clergy, families, women and children, purely for their Faith, the community and individuals within it remain non-violent and resilient. Despite their being condemnation of these attacks by national government and authorities, there is yet to be a consistent robust and fair implementation of these same sentiments more regionally and locally.

In communicating over the past weeks with various brothers and sisters in Egypt, what becomes immediately apparent is that this community that continues to witness its Faith with integrity and strength despite the hurdles it faces, desires to live with dignity in its indigenous homeland.

It must also be mentioned that Coptic Christians are not alone in facing these attacks, as scores of Egyptian civilians, soldiers and police officers have lost their lives as a result of this wave of terrorist activity.

We pray for those suffering terrorism and violence, for God to grant them peace and reassurance that they are not forgotten by Him or by all those who not only witness their plight but strive to advocate for them. We also pray for those in positions of authority and influence that they may be advocates for all those entrusted into their care. Finally, and not of least importance we pray for those who perpetrate these crimes, that they once again become conscious of the true value of every life that appears to be dispensable in their eyes.

Ends

 

View this comment and other statements/releases via www.CopticMediaUK.com

 

Follow HG Bishop Angaelos on Twitter @BishopAngaelos

 

Governments If You Really Want To Stop Heroin And Opiate Deaths: Then Legalize Marijuana Now

 

I know that there are folks who have read this title and had all kinds of different emotions flow over them and this is understandable. Here in the U.S. big government and big media have a long history of distorting what the truth is concerning marijuana. I credit the mainstream media for simply being stupid and running with whatever the federal government tells them. Big government and by big government I do mean from city, county, state and federal organizations where some are just ignorant, some are corrupt, and some are both concerning the concept of making marijuana legal again for the people to consume like a lot of folks do wine, champagne or beer. Yet it has been in the interest of different governments, police agencies and some big lobbyist groups to keep marijuana illegal for their own financial profits they make from such an hypocritical system. Now I know that a lot of folks who read my articles are a bit confused about my stance on legalizing marijuana or even mad at me because the underlying theme on by blog is Christianity. This is true, yet what is the title of my blog site? It is Truth Troubles isn’t it? In my belief system Christianity is Truth so truth troubles is about speaking the truth even if it is something that goes against what we hear in Church, the media, or from the government. Throughout Scripture in the Old Testament and the New Testament we are told many times that wine and alcohol were given to us humans for our enjoyment, but we are also told not to be gluttonous when we are partaking of them. God also gave mankind plants like Mandrake for our enjoyment. Remember back to the founding Fathers of Israel, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, remember Isaac had two wives of which his favorite was Rebecka and how she gave his other wife some of her Mandrake so that she could get to sleep with Isaac that night even though it wasn’t her turn? Mandrake does the same type of things as marijuana does as far as giving a person a ‘buzz’, if it is okay for the founding Fathers of Israel and their wives, you get the picture? Even here in America our own Founding Fathers like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin grew pot in their own personal gardens. Think about this for a moment, the night that Rebecca got to sleep with Isaac when it wasn’t her turn is the night she was impregnated with Jacob, the man who’s 12 sons the 12 tribes of Israel are named after. Remember that the first reported miracle of Jesus was turning water into wine and no it was obviously not ‘grape juice’ or the ‘governor’ of the party would not have referred to it as the best. As Christians we all have to quit acting like hypocrites on these issues.

 

I was born in 1956 and the first time I ever tried ‘pot’ was when I was 17, it was just some cheap homegrown that was so weak that it didn’t do anything to me. I was probably about 22 or 23 before I smoked marijuana again yet I was around lots of folks who did smoke it literally every day  when they could afford to buy it. In fact just about everyone I knew smoked it at least every once in a while. Most all of these people that I have known throughout the years didn’t even drink alcohol and if they did it was just an occasional beer. None of these people used any of the ‘hard drugs’ like Crack, Heroin or were users of pills. A lot of the people that I have known throughout my life who were able to keep smoking a little ‘pot’ in the evenings and on weekends at their homes never ever did go onto other type of drugs, not even alcohol. The Government and the big Media like to call marijuana a “gateway” drug, saying that when most people start off smoking pot that they progress into the harder drugs, the way in which they frame their argument is a lie, period.

 

The people that I know who have gone onto harder drugs like Heroin and opioid pills is because those drugs tend to flush out of a person’s system in about 72 hours. People have always throughout human history have wanted to have something they can have for relaxation and for a gentle ‘buzz’. When the U.S. Government decided to act stupid and classify marijuana a level one drug like Heroin and encouraged all businesses to start doing pre-employment and random drug screens on their workers almost all of the people that I know quit smoking marijuana because it stays in a person’s system for at least 30 days and they could not afford to lose their jobs. Most all of the people that I know who did quit smoking pot started drinking alcohol in place of it. Unfortunately there are millions of people who instead of smoking marijuana did turn to the real hard drugs. So, in a since, yes marijuana did become a ‘gateway’ drug in that people quit using it because it stayed in their systems so long that millions of people who would have never gone onto drugs other than marijuana have done so and the result is thousands of people are dying every year because of these hard drugs. Marijuana has never ever even killed one person! Now let’s look at states like Colorado since they made marijuana legal for adults, checkout the amount of overdose deaths from before they made marijuana legal and then sense they made it legal. I am no computer whiz to say the least so I will leave your investigations up to you, but I do ask you to check out the stats. I remember reading a Colorado newspaper online about two or three months ago concerning this issue and the results were rather stark, the amount of overdose deaths are way down as they are in Washington State.

 

Truth is that all this “war on marijuana” has done is to put a lot of money into drug cartels pockets and cost hundreds of thousands of people their lives. Our Nation’s policies are idiotic, un-Christian and un-Jewish as well as being immoral. If our government was really interested in cutting down on overdose deaths from these hard drugs thus cutting down on the amount of these drugs coming into our country and giving drug cartels billions of dollars each year then they would create a system where pot is treated like beer or wine. Marijuana should be made to be cheaper than Heroin, Morphine or Crack. States who have actually done what the people of their states have voted for (when they have been allowed to vote on the issue, places like here in Kentucky refuse to allow a vote on it) the States have benefited with hundreds of millions in new tax revenue along with creating thousands of new jobs to help spur their economies. When our Government decided to create this “war on drugs” they through their own ignorance and hypocrisy took a benign medically helpful God-given Erb away from the people and have been the driving force behind the reason that millions of people worldwide are now dead. If our Nation was actually serious about stopping thousands of people from dying each year to drug overdoses then they need to get a clue and make marijuana totally legal in Our Country just like beer and wine is.

Pope Francis: Read The Bible As Often As You Check Your Cellphone

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME AND THE VATICAN AND THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Pope Francis: Read the Bible as Often as You Check Your Cellphone

12:51 PM Eastern

(VATICAN CITY) — Pope Francis has called on the faithful to consult the Bible with the same frequency as they might consult their cellphones for messages.

Francis urged a packed St. Peter’s Square following his weekly Angelus blessing Sunday to give the Bible the same place in daily life as cellphones, asking: “What would happen if we turned back when we forget it, if we opened it more times a day, if we read the message of God contained in the Bible the way we read messages on our cellphones.”

The message was a twist on Francis’ frequent use of social media to reach the faithful, including regular messages on Twitter.

Disciple: We All Are One, But A Disciple Of What

 

A lot of people when they hear the word disciple tend to think of the Lord’s twelve Apostles. These men were indeed disciples of Jesus Christ but in their case they were a whole lot more that just disciples. These men were hearer’s and seekers of the Lord in the flesh and of His miracles. There are no Apostles of Christ left upon the Earth today as John, the writer of the last book of the Bible called Revelation was the last and he died in the late first century A.D..  I put this little ‘disclaimer’ in because I have heard of a few men in my lifetime who has tried to deceive people by saying they were one.  John was the only one of the Lord’s Apostles who wasn’t murdered for their testimony of Christ. If you come across a person who says that they are an Apostle of Christ you can know without any doubt that this person is not even a disciple of the Lord because this person starts his testimony with a lie. The definition of the word disciple is to be a ‘follower’ of.

 

There are sects of the Christian faith that teach in error the concept of ‘once saved always saved’ even though the Scriptures do not teach this. Think about a person who was actually an Apostle of Jesus, a man who witnessed Jesus and His miracles and listened to His words daily for three years yet his own actions condemned himself. This man of which I speak is of course Judas Iscariot, the Apostle who for 30 pieces of silver betrayed Jesus to be condemned. Judas chose to become a disciple of and a worker for Satan, much to his own horror. Jesus Himself said “it was better for the man who betrayed Him, if he had never been born. For it was for this purpose , this act that Judas was brought into this world.” In the Gospel of Luke 22:3 it is written,”Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot.” Folks, what a horrible thing for this man Judas for the next time he see’s the face of Jesus will be at his own judgement at the Judgement Seat of Christ. In the Webster Dictionary the definition of the word disciple reads as follows “follower, one who takes another as a teacher and model, training that produces orderliness, obedience and self-control.” All of these things that Mr. Webster says about being a disciple is exactly what I want to be, a faithful follower of Jesus Christ. This thing, this event, being a disciple of Jesus is exactly what I wish for everyone on Earth to have as their main daily goal in their lives.

 

Friends, everyone on Earth is a disciple of something or of someone, humans always have been, it is a reality of our nature. I know that there are some who are disagreeing with me right now on a personal level , that is okay, hopefully before you finish reading this article you will change your mind on that issue. Everyone of us humans are known by our works, what we do, or what we do not do. The people that are around us each day (at least the ones who even notice us at all) make judgements of us on the things we say and or do, or don’t do, fair or not this is reality. We humans are not saved by our works but we are known by them. This is so that we as humans should not boast of our accomplishments, raising ourselves above others because it is by the Grace of God that we are saved. This is why we must all walk our lives after the path of and the face of He whom we follow each day, if we are a disciple of Jesus Christ. If we are a disciple of Jesus we must all walk in the Light of The Lord everyday. The Lord gave us the examples on how we should live our lives, He doesn’t force us to do anything though, it is our choice what we do or don’t do. Question, if we walk after the face and the heart of Jesus in faith wouldn’t the things we do each day, our works, show to the world that we are a disciple of Christ? If you have people in your life who don’t believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Saviour of the human race, I pray that you by the example you lead each and everyday is an example of the Light, the Love of Jesus. If we are just a once a week Christian then we are neither hot or cold as we show Christ as a bad example to those around us and those people will turn away from the salvation that Jesus offers all of us, because of you, because of your works being evil they will be condemned.

 

Folks, this is concerning our ‘works’, our daily activities and why they matter so much. The Apostle Paul in his letters to the Churches in Asia Minor told the Christians there that just because it is legal for us to do something, let’s say like going to a bar/saloon/pub after work with a few of our buddies and have a couple of beers before we head home, it is not always a good idea to do so. The reason Paul gave was because if a weaker Christian sees us going into the bar they may think less of us as a Christian, thus think less of Christianity and fall away from The Faith. Paul was just telling us to be careful about our actions each day because our actions do matter, if we are a Christian we are supposed to be a ‘light unto the world’. It may sound a bit cold but if we are not walking our lives, our daily examples, after the Light of Lord then we are walking in the darkness of this world and at the very least, our own actions are condemning ourselves. This life for we humans is but the ‘blink of the eye’ in regards to eternity yet we seem to find it so difficult to stay faithful for just this little while. If we fall, if we fail, it is our own fault if we are after this life, thrown into Hell.

 

The Devil puts so much onto the daily path that we walk. He wants us all to trip and fall as often as possible hoping for the day that we give up and do not get up. He wants every one of us to stumble in and to live in His darkness. Remember friends, the Devil is a raging Lion constantly walking the Earth seeking whom He can devour.  Satan wants you, your parents, grandparents, your kids, brothers and sisters, your spouse and everyone you know and love to go to Hell, literally. You see, Satan and tens of thousands of Angels fought against God, His Son, the Holy Spirit and their faithful Angels for supremacy of Heaven itself, and they lost. They were kicked out of Heaven onto the Earth where they will be until the end of this system of things that we are all part of. Then once the Second Advent of Christ happens they will be cast straight into Hell as their final punishment for their treason against God. The Devil and His Angels know the Bible better than any human and they know that events are winding down. They also know that we humans whom they hate so badly are going to have a fair and honest chance to have what they once had, salvation, eternity with God. So you see friends, it really does matter what path we choose in this life, it matters a lot whom or what we decide to ‘follow’,  to be a disciple of. None of us knows when our last heartbeat will be yet once it has happened the path we followed can not be changed. With the Lord Jesus there is only one path, the one that leads us to Him. There are many other paths and they all lead us to the same place and that place is not to God, it is to the Devil and all of His raging Angels who are waiting for us in Hell, it is our choice. Whom or what are we a Disciple of?

Children Christian Bible Cartoon Movies

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘STOP AND PRAY’ WEBSITE)

 

Train up a child when he is young. These Children Christian Bible Cartoon Movies are a good introduction to the timeless stories and testimonies in the Bible. They are all meant to teach us and hel…

Source: Children Christian Bible Cartoon Movies

Caring And Charity From A Biblical Christian View Point

 

Caring, it should be a deep, loving, kind thing, a way of life. Just as a lack of caring shows a deeply troubled hurt filled way to live and these two are not compatible within one home, or within one Soul. A caring person is usually a kind and loving type of person. Yet a person who is self-centered and egotistical by their nature tends to be a person who is down on the world around them, they tend to be people who think very little or nothing at all about how they treat other people or animals, or even themselves. I am not a doctor but to me, this sounds a lot like the building blocks to depression issues. The Lord wants all people to be good, decent and kind to each other. The Lord wants us all to treat people of all tongues, races and beliefs like they are our brothers and sisters if these people will allow such to be. Do you remember the ‘Golden Rule’? Friend, it does not say ‘do unto others before they have a chance to do unto you.’

 

The Lord tells us all to be a person who is charitable, to gives alms to the poor, if you don’t know what alms means it is simple, it means food, clothing, a place to stay and even some money when we can. Charity is caring about the people in your Church, your family, town, state and Country and even toward people in other Countries. It is an old saying that charity begins at home for if you are a person who turns a blind eye toward helping your own family members and people close to your home, is any charity you give to other people in other Nations without sin? But in your charity do not be taken advantage of by people who could work, who are healthy enough to work, but refuse to do so for they are worse than a non believer in your own Church family, remember folks, if a man will not work, neither shall he eat. The Lord has never said that He wants His disciples to be lazy, to lay around on their backside while begging or stealing from those who do work. If a person’s nature is that of caring and are charitable they seem to have a love filled, light filled, quiet self-assured ora about themselves. Think about this for a moment, a Christian is a person that is indwelled by the Holy Spirit of God Himself so our lives should be one of His light and His love. Without love, is there really caring and charity in their lives?

 

I am not saying nor is it true that all of the kind, good, honest, caring, charity filled people on Earth are Christians for that is not at all so. There are people of all Faiths and religious beliefs and even some people of no Faith system at all who are good, honest, hard-working, caring, charitable people, but these traits, these ‘works’ does not save our Soul at our judgement time. Remember folks what the Apostle Paul told us, that faith without works is dead, just as works without faith our works are  dead. Every single person who is a Christian is supposed to be a light unto the world, a light that one does not try to hide from the world. Would this be saying that every Christian is supposed to be a role model whether they wish to be or not? The world is full of darkness as the Devil and His tens of thousands of Angels roam this world at will looking for anyone that they can destroy. If we walk outside in the darkness with a lit lantern, the world will see that light and many will gravitate toward that light and this Light is the Lord.

 

Any person, community, or Nation can not fully serve two different Masters, we can not serve God and serve the Devil at the same time, it is not possible. People can pretend to care about you or your family, they can even be charitable and may even do some charity work but this does not mean that they are a Christian, even if they smile a lot and confess themselves to be. The people who are around us each day know what the truth is about whom we serve. If a person is just a Sunday Christian, they are not a Christian. Think about it, the people we work with each day, our neighbors, friends and families, they see the ‘true’ us. We do not have to be one who pushes religion on other people, we don’t need to be yelling sermons from the street corners to try to prove that we are a Christian. The daily lives we lead show those around us that we are different from ‘the world’. If we don’t curse or tell dirty jokes or steal or lie, those around us notice that we are different and those tend to be the same people who gravitate toward the ‘Light’ that you are showing daily. But, if we are ones that confess to be a Christian yet we act no different from how the people of ‘the world’ act we turn ourselves into the “lukewarm water'” the Lord spoke of to the Apostle John in the book of Revelation. Now think about it, if those around us can see through our fake Christianity do you honestly believe that God can’t see straight through us?

 

Throughout the New Testament we are told over and over again that the harvest is ready and that we as Christians must produce. Any tree that produces no fruit shall be cut down and cast into the fire. Friends, we cannot hide our ‘talents’ in the sand until the Lord returns. Look at how caring and charity and love brings people closer to each other. If you woke up late at night and you noticed that your neighbor’s home next door was on fire and you knew that their whole family was asleep inside but you just went back to bed because it wasn’t your house, not your family, not your problem, and that family all died do you think that man’s laws would leave you at peace if they knew what you had done? When we do not try to keep our friends, neighbors, coworkers and family from the fires of Hell because we just didn’t want to put out the effort do you really think that God will hold us blameless when we are at the Judgement Seat of Christ?

 

As I said earlier there are a lot of really good people in the world today, people of every Nation, skin color and tongue who are not Christians yet they are daily looking for the meaning of life. There are people around us each day who are caring, loving, charity filled individuals who do not have the Light of Christ within them. If we do not live a Holy Spirit led lifestyle around them, if we do not show them the Light of Christ within us and they die without Christ, their blood will be required of us at our own Judgement. Let us all be truthful to our own selves for a moment please. When it comes to our own faith, are we just sitting on our hands, doing little to nothing? Do we really care about anyone? Honestly, do we really even care about our own families? Friends, if we don’t then we are condemning our own selves to Hell. It is not the Devil doing it, nor is it God doing it, it is us, our own selves that is doing it through our own lack of faith. The Lord knows all of us, He knows exactly why we do or do not do things, there is no way we are going to be able to fool God and quite honestly only a fool would try to.

 

In the book of Matthew 10:38-39 it says “He that does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. He that finds his own life shall lose it. And he that loses his life for my sake shall find it.”

1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the works of the Lord. For as much as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

2 Corinthians 5:10 “For we must all appear before the Judgement Seat of Christ,  that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”

Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, but he that does the will of My Father which is in Heaven.”

Now the last Scripture passage I will use tonight goes like this, it is from 1 Peter 4:7-8

“But the end of all things is at hand: Be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: For charity shall cover a multitude of sins.”

 

This article tonight is just an effort to try to get each of us to thinking outside our human box we tend to put ourselves in so that hopefully when we are put in a pine box we aren’t likely to get awakened by a hot pitchfork.

2,000 Jewish Teens On Spiritual Tour De Force In New York City

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CHABAD.ORG)

2,000 Jewish Teens on Spiritual Tour de Force in New York City

Students are coming in from all over the world, to then bring the spirit of the Shabbaton back home

Teens from around the world, accompanied by Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries, will pour into New York to participate in the ninth annual CTeen International Shabbaton. The official program starts Friday and lasts through Sunday. Pictured from last year is Samuel Tibi from Ra’anana, Israel; this year, his younger brother, Victor Tibi, is attending. (Photo: Bentzi Sasson)
Teens from around the world, accompanied by Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries, will pour into New York to participate in the ninth annual CTeen International Shabbaton. The official program starts Friday and lasts through Sunday. Pictured from last year is Samuel Tibi from Ra’anana, Israel; this year, his younger brother, Victor Tibi, is attending. (Photo: Bentzi Sasson)

“How many people can show up in Times Square and have a mad Jewish party there?” asks Koby Lerner, rhetorically.

The 16-year-old from San Diego will be one of more than 2,000 Jewish teenagers from countries around the world to share in a Havdalah ceremony and spend Saturday night in New York’s iconic neighborhood at Broadway and Seventh Avenue as part of the ninth annual CTeen International Shabbaton, to take place Feb. 24-26. And that’s only a part of a weekend of spirited (and spiritual) celebrations, learning, touring, socializing and more.

Koby recalls the first time he attended the Shabbaton two years ago and his first impression of Crown Heights in Brooklyn, N.Y. “At first, it seemed like we didn’t fit in there because we didn’t have black hats and white shirts,” he says. “But it didn’t matter at all to anybody there: They loved us unconditionally. You could feel the love from these random strangers.”

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These numbers, according to Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky, executive director of Merkos 302, “are a testament to the dedicated Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries who have worked tirelessly to bring Jewish teens closer to Yiddishkeit.”

In Germany, getting ready for going abroad. This year will see the largest international group to date, including chapters from Moscow, Monaco and Brazil. (CTeen Photo)
In Germany, getting ready for going abroad. This year will see the largest international group to date, including chapters from Moscow, Monaco and Brazil. (CTeen Photo)

Rabbi Mendy Mottal, Chabad emissary of CTeen Paris, is accompanying 207 participants from throughout France to New York. “Each year, the energy and effort that is poured into making this event is incredible,” he says. “Our teens always have an uplifting and inspiring experience, much of which I attribute to the incredible community feeling that Crown Heights offers us.”

This year, for the first time, CTeen will welcome chapters from Moscow, Monaco and Brazil, making this the largest international group ever. And as many as 75 young Israelis are flying to New York.

Rabbi Aizik Rosenfeld of the Marina Roscha Synagogue and Jewish Community Center in Moscow will be accompanied by 22 teens to the Shabbaton, none of whom have ever been to the United States before. “They’re really pumped up,” says Rosenfeld. “New York is like a dream come true; it’s what America means to them.”

The students will be hosted by local families and experience a traditional Shabbat, similar to what it was like for many of their great-grandparents and forefathers, adds the rabbi.

Rabbi Zalman Marcus, co-director of the Chabad Jewish Center of Mission Viejo, Calif., fields questions from participants and parents about what to expect at the three-day event. (CTeen Photo)
Rabbi Zalman Marcus, co-director of the Chabad Jewish Center of Mission Viejo, Calif., fields questions from participants and parents about what to expect at the three-day event. (CTeen Photo)

“It will be an interesting experience for them, keeping Shabbat from beginning to end,” says Rosenfeld, who moved to Moscow three years ago with his wife, Blumi. He remembers being amazed at “how much liberty there is now, how much openness there is as far as Yiddishkeit in general. Still, the density of Jewish life in Moscow, growing as it is, remains very different from Crown Heights.”

For these young people, he says, every small step—such as putting on tefillinonce a week or observing Shabbat to any extent—is a huge change.

Similar to the Russian students, Rabbi Chai Kohan, head of CTeen Español, adds that “the draw for many arriving from South and Central America is the chance to meet other Jewish teens from around the world. Most of them have never traveled to the United States.”

The worldwide growth of CTeen programs like the Shabbaton is thanks to the Meromim Foundation, spearheaded by Rabbi Bentzi Lipskier. To date, the foundation has sponsored more than 40 CTeen Chabad couples under the “New Shluchim Initiative.”

The Shabbaton comes just days after thousands of women filled Brooklyn as part of the annual International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Women Emissaries (Kinus Hashluchos).

CTeen Côte S. Luc preps in Montreal, Canada (CTeen Photo)
CTeen Côte S. Luc preps in Montreal, Canada (CTeen Photo)

‘Part of Your Journey’

In New York, teens will get to visit some of the city’s major attractions: the Statue of Liberty, the new One World Trade Center and 9/11 Memorial, Midtown, Uptown, Downtown and more—and will spend Shabbat learning, eating, praying and getting to know one another.

Participants will also get a tour of Lubavitch World Headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway, and the President Street home and the study of the Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory. And they will visit the Ohel, the Rebbe’s resting place at the Old Montefiore Cemetery in Queens, N.Y.

Teens get an update in Ashkelon, Israel, about the Shabbaton. As many as 75 young Israelis are flying to New York. (CTeen Photo)
Teens get an update in Ashkelon, Israel, about the Shabbaton. As many as 75 young Israelis are flying to New York. (CTeen Photo)

Victoria Lamport, 17, from Tampa, Fla., sees the recreational parts of the Shabbaton as intrinsically connected to its more religious aspects. “It’s fun to see all your friends, to reconnect and to meet new people,” she says, “but the spiritual side to it is also the fact that you’re around so many people who are as motivated as you are . . . people who want to help, people who want to be a part of your journey, people doing certain mitzvahs for the first time and seeing how it affects them.”

She has seen that transformative energy work in her own family. “What is really awesome,” says the high school senior, “is that as I started to learn more, my family also got more involved. My dad started having the rabbi over every other week to learn. It’s been amazing to see the impact that Chabad has had on our lives.”

She hopes to spend the summer focusing on Jewish studies before starting a pre-med curriculum at college. “When I’m learning is when I really feel; I can almost feel my neshamah [‘soul’]. I don’t really know how to explain it. I just feel it—like I have a purpose in this world.”

Koby relates how exposure to the strong camaraderie that Victoria describes has been “life-changing.” Last summer, the California native went on the “CTeen Xtreme” summer travel camp out West, staying on afterwards for a yeshivah program. “I liked it so much I decided I didn’t want to go home, so I convinced my parents to let me stay.” Now, Koby lives and learns full-time at Yeshiva Ohr Elchonon Chabad in Los Angeles.

Koby Lerner of California will join the Shabbaton for a second time. The 16-year-old was also part of “CTeen Xtreme” summer travel camp last year, shown here having a blast. (Photo: Bentzi Sasson)
Koby Lerner of California will join the Shabbaton for a second time. The 16-year-old was also part of “CTeen Xtreme” summer travel camp last year, shown here having a blast. (Photo: Bentzi Sasson)

Youths Into Leaders

For many teens, the inspiration continues long after the Shabbaton is over.

“My daughter, Sydney, was always deathly afraid of getting up to speak, even to our own family,” says Craig Winawer of Dix Hills, N.Y. “Recently, I watched her make a 10-minute speech in front of our of whole shul about CTeen and the Shabbaton. This is a kid who you can barely get to say three words at our Passover seder.”

Ever since Sydney became involved four years ago, her father has watched his shy daughter transform into a real leader. Today, she is member of the CTeen International Board.

A little anxiety, however, isn’t just relegated to teenagers. Brochie Levin of Chabad Lubavitch of Alberta in Calgary, Canada, acknowledges that “as a new shlucha to CTeen, I was nervous about bringing in a group for the Shabbaton. But the amount of advice, prep and work that was put into helping us was incredible. Our teens are so excited—and so are we.”

To learn more about CTeen International and the Shabbaton, click here.

The Havdalah ceremony and celebration in Times Square 2014 (Photo: Bentzi Sasson)
The Havdalah ceremony and celebration in Times Square 2014 (Photo: Bentzi Sasson)
Times Square 2015 (Photo: Bentzi Sasson)
Times Square 2015 (Photo: Bentzi Sasson)
Times Square 2016 (Photo: Bentzi Sasson)
Times Square 2016 (Photo: Bentzi Sasson)
A group on the way from Kiryat Bialik, Israel, for the 2017 Shabbaton (CTeen Photo)
A group on the way from Kiryat Bialik, Israel, for the 2017 Shabbaton (CTeen Photo)