(Theology Type Of Poem) What We See, But Also, What We Don’t See

What We See, But Also, What We Don’t See

 

We are all in the Womb, so what did we know and when

So, what did we see with our first memory, of anything

What did we know when we first remember seeing the Sun

How many folks have we seen through our heart, for a while

When did we each say, here I am, and remember that memory

 

There is always a time when we look right through our life, like a grind

We all walked past the Daily Hurdles life so kindly keep twirling at us

Did we notice and remember the people who slid in and out of our daily life

Stages of how you and I look now look in the memories of others cared about

Grades at every step, in deed we’re prodded and Rated, but what were we taught

 

Those around us who we know, how many of those folks don’t even recognize us

Yet how many wonderful people have we walked by because we didn’t see them

One side is irate cause the memories they see were far from being great ones

With Gray Hair we understand better what our senses of youth were blind to

When we understand that only by the Grace of G-d, have you or I, ever been

 

(Theology Poem) Mandrake The Devil’s Flower???

 Mandrake The Devil’s Flower???

Mandrake, are you the Devil’s flower

In Islam you are so-called you see

The reason is plain and simple

But most of the world is blind to thee

How could you a God-given herb

In any way be such a controversy

 

Go back in time about four thousand years

Back before the first seed of Islam or Christianity

You’re beautiful seed like all of God’s green herbs

A gift given from God to man no doubt are thee

Given for enjoyment and relaxation to woman and man

But somehow now to partake of you it is called a sin

 

Back a long time ago before God’s Prophets were on the land

Abraham the father of many, this is where the story began

His son’s Ishmael then Isaac who begat Jacob he of 12 sons

Mandrake the history that is Israel began one night with thee

 

Isaac was married to two sisters, back then it was okay to be

He rotated from tent to tent each night in his attempt to please

Rebecca was his favorite wife but tonight was not her turn to be

But this night was her sister Leigh’s turn with Isaac to be with her

Rebecca the smart one had lots of Mandrake but Leigh had none of thee

This night Rebecca wanted Isaac and Leigh wanted a buzz from thee

 

Mandrake flower, Leigh pleased, this night Isaac impregnated Rebecca

Not with just any child, but with one who changed all of world history

Boy child born whom his parents called Jacob, twelve boys in his loins to be

The Lord God would soon change his name to Israel

Twelve boys the twelve names of the twelve tribes of God’s Nation Israel

Now do you see why Islam calls Mandrake the Devil’s Flower?

 

 

Netanyahu: Denying Israel’s right to exist is the ‘ultimate’ anti-Semitism

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

Netanyahu: Denying Israel’s right to exist is the ‘ultimate’ anti-Semitism

Reacting to poll on hatred of Jews in Europe, PM refrains from criticizing right-wing governments accused of employing anti-Semitic tropes

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the official state ceremony held at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem marking Holocaust Remembrance Day on April 11, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the official state ceremony held at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem marking Holocaust Remembrance Day on April 11, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that denial of Israel’s right to exist is the “ultimate” form of anti-Semitism.

Asked in an interview with the CNN to react to a poll from the network indicating over 20 percent of Europeans believe Jews have “too much influence” across the world, Netanyahu accused the extreme left and radical Islam of perpetuating the world’s oldest hatred, while refraining from criticizing right-wing leaders accused of using anti-Semitic tropes.

“I’m concerned because I think anti-Semitism is an ancient disease that rears its ugly head. It first attacks the Jews, but it never stops with them. It then sweeps entire societies,” he said.

Despite this concern, Netanyahu commended “most of the European countries’ governments” for working to combat anti-Semitism, specifically naming German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Theresa May, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.

Netanyahu focused much of his criticism of European anti-Semitism from what he dubbed “new anti-Semitism,” which he differentiated from the “old anti-Semitism in Europe that came from the extreme right.”

Protesters on the Place du Chatelet in Paris demonstrating against Israel, April 1, 2017. (Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images via JTA)

“There’s also new anti-Semitism that comes from the extreme left and also the radical Islamic pockets in Europe that spew forth these slanders and lies about Israel, the only democracy in this entire region, the only one that has the courts, human rights, rights for all religions, gays, everything, I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous,” he said.

Asked about Hungary and Poland, whose right-wing leaders have been accused of employing anti-Semitic imagery, Netanyahu said he did not believe the two countries’ governments were doing so and said the real problem is calls for Israel’s destruction.

“I don’t think they do and I think that ultimately the real issue is can we tolerate the idea that people say that Israel doesn’t have a right to exist, which I think is the ultimate anti-Semitic statement,” he said.

“Anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, anti-Israeli policies, the idea that the Jewish people don’t have the right to a state, that’s the ultimate anti-Semitism of today,” Netanyahu added.

Netanyahu’s focus on denial of Israel’s right to exist was notable in comparison to other reactions to the CNN survey, which focused on the historical persistence of anti-Semitism.

“Anti-Semitism is one of the oldest diseases – racism being another such disease – for which there is no vaccine,” Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog said in statement. “This disease must be fought before it spreads, and becomes a pandemic. History teaches that if anti-Semitism isn’t dealt with at an early stage, it will threaten people’s lives, as we saw in Pittsburgh.”

“The teaching of the most horrific mass murder in history — the Holocaust of the Jews in Europe during the Second World War — must be taught as part of any curriculum in schools throughout Europe. Especially its lessons and conclusions.”

Yad Vashem, the Holocaust remembrance center, said in statement it was “troubled by the lack of Holocaust awareness and the state of anti-Semitism in Europe” revealed in the CNN survey.

Thousands of protesters attend a rally against anti-Semitism near the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Sunday, September 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, Pool)

“The survey highlights the troubling fact that many entrenched hateful anti-Semitic tropes persist in European civilization, 75 years after the end of the Holocaust,” Yad Vashem said in a statement. “While anti-Semitism does not necessarily lead to genocide, anti-Semitism was central to the Nazis’ worldview and the basis for their ‘Final Solution’ to eradicate all Jews and their culture from the face of the earth.”

Yad Vashem said the survey shows the need to “intensify broad-based efforts in the area of Holocaust education and awareness, which is essential to any effort to contend with anti-Semitism.”

Poland’s Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich told CNN that “there will always be people who have anti-Semitic feelings and I don’t know if the number has grown, but this new situation today is they feel that it’s more acceptable socially that they can express these opinions out loud.

“The feeling beforehand was, ‘This is what I believe but don’t tell anyone,’” he added. “It was not perfect but at least there was a social taboo against anti-Semitism.”

Israel’s Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who is also minister for Diaspora Affairs, struck a similar note to Netanyahu.

“We have always known that for many, being anti-Israel is a natural extension of their anti-Semitic beliefs. This has an impact both on their attitudes to history and to the present,” he said.

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(Theology Poem) Trust And Rest

Trust And Rest

 

True rest is a trusted rest that is well-earned and deserved

Does not even the Lord choose to rest from His chosen labors

Yet rest not while the work is yet at your hands and your feet

A slothful man will starve both  himself and all of his family

Confidence in one rest is when all of their harvest has been sown

 

When ones mind seeks sin there is no true rest of their Soul

When a parent has a rebellious child they can never sleep well

Candles burnt at both ends brings death early to our own door

Anxiety is a persecution of the heart that allows the mind no rest

For can one truly rest when they cannot trust who is in our head

 

Trust and rest are like a full harvest as they are all fully earned

The bones grow weak when we party with the Devil and the Moon

Slothfulness disrupts the alpha rhythms of our rim sleep and our rest

The weary in the Lord shall enjoy their rest when their work is done

Trustworthy is the rest we will receive when our Soul returns to G-d

31 Bible Scriptures On Healing

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TUKO.CO.KE NEWS SITE)

 

Bible scriptures on healing Author: Julie Kwach UPDATED: A MONTH AGO VIEWS: 1796 Category: Facts and Life Hacks In times of despair, need, happiness, or confusion, Christian look to God’s word for encouragement, reassurance, and guidance. It is no different when people desire emotional or physical healing. One of the most popular Bible phrases that people reference to when sick or going through other struggles is “By His stripes we are healed” found in Isaiah 53:5. In keeping with the theme of healing, we have compiled a list of Bible scriptures on healing. We desire that you will find comfort in the word of God as you seek for physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. READ ALSO: Comforting Bible verses The Bible has various accounts where Jesus healed the sick, broken, and wounded. The teaching that is constant in all of the healing stories in the Bible is faith. So, as a Christian, you should live with the assurance that God can see you through any challenge including sicknesses. Below are some Bible scriptures on healing that may be beneficial even as you seek to draw nearer to God. 31 scriptures on healing Bible scriptures on healing can serve as a source of encouragement when you are going through physical, emotional, or spiritual pain. Scriptures on healing sicknesses 1. Exodus 15:26 English Standard Version Saying, “If you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God, and do that which is right in His eyes, and give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, your healer.” The Lord asked the Israelites to diligently listen to what He had commanded them and do what is right by Him. In return, the Lord would look after them and not expose them to diseases like those that Egyptians had suffered. Likewise, as a Christian, it is essential that you keep the Lord’s commandments and teachings at heart as God preserves both your body and soul. When you are sick or wounded the Lord heals you. This verse is found in the Old Testament. 2. James 5: 14-15 King James Version Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if they have committed sins, they shall be forgiven. In the New Testament, James encourages Christians to pray in faith at all times even when sick. In this verse, James affirms the power of believers praying together by asking the sick to go to the elders for prayers. Further, this verse shows that repentance through prayer is effective. 3. Jeremiah 33: 6 King James version Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth. God’s promise to His people in the Old Testament is that He would give them health, cure them, and give them peace and truth. This promise came to pass when God sent Jesus Christ who not only healed the sick, but also enabled believers to enjoy peace and grace through the sacrifice on the cross. 4. Jeremiah 30:17 KJV For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after. This Old Testament verse talks about God’s promise to Israel to restore health and heal wounds. Similarly, as God’s chosen people, He provides the grace and deliverance from physical and spiritual pain. So, no matter what others call you, the Lord can still restore your health and heal you. 5. Exodus 23:25 King James version And ye shall serve the Lord your God, and He shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee. As the Israelites were going through the wilderness, God promised to provide food and water and take away sicknesses. Today, God still walks with believers through the ups and downs of life and heals diseases. Remember that you will only reap kingdom benefits if you serve the Lord and follow His commandments. 6. Deuteronomy 32:39 See now that I, even I, am He, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand. God is the all-knowing for He gives and takes life and heals our wounds and diseases. Through Christ, the great physician, Christians can see the power of God. Apart from curing our disease, He makes our spirit alive through His grace. Without Him, we are dead in spirit, and our life is empty. 7. Matthew 10:1 And when He had called unto Him His twelve disciples, He gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. Matthew, the inaugural book in the New Testament teaches about our Messiah who has the power to heal all diseases and cast out spirits. Jesus conferred the same power to His disciples. 8. Luke 10:9 And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. Like Matthew, the third book of the New Testament gives an account of the teachings and works of Christ. In Luke chapter 10 Jesus tells the seventy-two disciples to go out and preach the gospel and cure the sick for the kingdom of God is near. Today, Christians can also go out find the broken and sick and heal them through prayers. 9. Psalms 103: 2-3 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; The book of Psalms is between the Books of Proverbs and Job. Chapter 103 of Psalms encourages believers to praise the Lord and not to forget all that He has done including forgiving sins and healing all diseases. 10. Mark 5: 34 And He said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace and be whole of thy plague. The 5th chapter of the second book of the New Testament teaches you how faith in the Lord can heal your sickness or wounds. 11. Proverbs 3: 5-8 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. These verses teach believers to depend on God and not human understanding or wisdom. While at it, Christians should fear the Lord and acknowledge Him as He is the provider of perfect health 12. Psalms 41:3 The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness. This verse shows that even when we are sick, weak, or wounded, God, through His grace and mercy, comforts us. As such, in the midst of challenges (illness), we shall survive for God strengthens us. 13. Matthew 4:23-24 And He went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. 24 So His fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought Him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, those having seizures, and paralytics, and He healed them. Matthew 4 verse 23 provides another account of when Jesus showed He is the great physician by healing those who were physically and spiritually sick. Bible scriptures on healing the heart, brokenness, and spiritual emptiness 14. Matthew 11: 28-29 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Matthew 11:28-29 reassures Jesus call to all those who are burdened to find rest in His arms. This scripture applies to all who have been weighed down emotionally by the things of this earth. 15. Psalms 34: 17-20 ESV When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken. The primary teaching from Psalms 34:17-20 is that God protects believers who diligently serve Him and follow His commands. God also saves those who have a contrite spirit and are brokenhearted. When you are righteous, no matter what comes your way, God will deliver you. 16. Isaiah 40:29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increases strength. Isaiah 40:29 reinforces the teaching that when you are weak, God shows His strength and gives us the power to keep going. 17. Isaiah 57:18-19 I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners. I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him. Even when the people of God wander away, He is merciful enough to forgive and heal their souls if they turn away from sinful ways. Also, He will comfort and heal all those who mourn for God’s peoples’ suffering and sins. 18. Psalms 107: 19-21 Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and He saveth them out of their distresses. He sent His word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction. Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! This verse teaches that when believers humble themselves, repent, and cry out to the Lord, He saves and delivers all from destruction and sicknesses. 19. Psalms 6:2 King James version Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak: O Lord, heal me; for my bones are vexed. We serve a merciful and just God. Like David, if we can humble ourselves, acknowledge our weaknesses and sin, and cry out to God, He will surely heal our wounds and brokenness. 20. Psalms 147: 1-3 ESV Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant,[a] and a song of praise is fitting. The Lord builds up Jerusalem; He gathers the outcasts of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. This Psalm reminds Christians of our duty to praise the Lord for all He has done. God takes care of His people as He did with Jerusalem. When we wander away from God, He finds a way to bring us closer to Him. Moreover, the Lord offers comfort for all the wounded and brokenhearted believers. 21. Psalms 30:10-11 Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me! O Lord, be my helper!” You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness. Like David, believers can fall or be overwhelmed by the things of this world. For this reason, we cry out to God to hold our hands and be merciful. The Psalm shows that God can restore joy and peace for His people even after mourning or a bad experience. 22. Jeremiah 17: 14 Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise. Jeremiah calls out to the Lord to heal him of his iniquities, wounds, or sickness. He was aware of the sins of the people against God at the time. Knowing that he could confidently call unto God to heal and save him, Jeremiah seeks God and also acknowledges God for His goodness. 23. Psalms 73: 25-26 Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength[a] of my heart and my portion forever. The Psalmist acknowledges that besides God, there is no other thing on earth (including earthly wealth) that can fulfill him or give the satisfaction he needs. Therefore, even though we may stumble or fall to our desires we should always turn to God for He alone can strengthen and comfort our hearts. 24. John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. Before Jesus ascended into heaven after resurrection, He gave believers peace as an inheritance. It is this peace that enables us to weather storms and the ups and downs of life. For we know that we can trust in Him to take care of whatever is troubling us. Further, what Lord gives is different from what this world provides as comfort for the heart and soul. 25. Proverbs 17: 22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones A cheerful heart has a similar effect to your health and body as good medicine. However, a crushed spirit makes your life sad. Therefore, the verse encourages us always to have a joyful heart as it is the secret to enjoying life and living in the fullness of His glory. 26. Revelations 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Christians live with the assurance that the Lord can take away all the pain, mourning, fear of death and tears. As such, no matter what happens in the past, believers know that they are a new creation. 27. Isaiah 53:5 King James Version But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. Even though most people use this verse to refer to physical healing, it mostly speaks about the sacrifice of Christ. Through Christ, we are free from our transgressions and guilt. In return, believers receive the gift of peace and reconciliation with our Lord. 28. 1 Peter 2:24 He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed. Like Isaiah 53:5, 1 Peter 2:24 talks about Jesus’ sacrifice so that we may live in righteousness. 29. 2 Chronicles 7:14-15 If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. God had made a covenant with the Israelites that if they would repent, pray, follow His commands and seek Him, He would bless them and heal their land. Today, most people interpret this verse to mean that if believers would repent, pray, and humble themselves, God would bless and heal their land. 30. Isaiah 33:2 O Lord, be gracious to us; we wait for you. Be our arm every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble. This verse shows that with faith you can call unto the Lord and wait for Him to comfort and heal you in times of trouble. 31. Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 speaks about the different seasons in life including periods of mourning and healing. So, whatever season you may be in trust the Lord for He can turn your mourning into dancing. READ ALSO: How to fast and pray The Bible scriptures on healing above can help believers battling with sicknesses, broken hearts, and wounds. So, be encouraged that the Lord is using whatever circumstance for good. Read more: https://www.tuko.co.ke/287546-bible-scriptures-healing.html#287546

(Poem) Barrels For Bullets

 Barrels For Bullets

 

In 632 it began with the deceiving of a man

Deceived by a snake wrapped in the sand as if a man

Hate rising, man against man, over and over again

God’s covenant was given to all of mankind

By being aloof with great ego’s mankind is blinded

 

 

To their brothers of the sand they hid the love of God’s Bride

For their love was not within being consumed in their pride

Through the centuries now for how many millions have died

For the love that was not given their brothers were driven away

To our brothers and sisters of the sand hate kills the Soul of a man

By your love not given you drove them into the arms of the deceiver

 

 

For the black gold of the sand now is covered in red

Of all the innocent women, children, and men

The leaders of this world have sold their own souls

How many bullets does one barrel of black gold hold

That is one that I’m sure the great deceiver knows

 

 

2 pastors just heckled Jeff Sessions at an event on religious liberty

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF VOX.COM)

 

2 pastors just heckled Jeff Sessions at an event on religious liberty

They told him “you are wounding the body of Christ” by failing to care for marginalized.

Jeff Sessions has come under fire from religious groups for his anti-immigrant stance
 Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

Attorney General Jeff Sessions was heckled by religious leaders for his approach to the migrant crisis at a religious freedom event Monday morning.

While Sessions spoke about religious freedom at the Boston Lawyers chapter of the conservative Federalist Society, two religious leaders interrupted his speech, according to video footage from ABC News. The first man, since identified as United Methodist Pastor Will Green of the Ballard Vale United Church in Andover, quoted lines attributed to Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew: “I was hungry and you did not feed me. I was a stranger and you did not welcome me. I was naked and you did not clothe me.” The verses are frequently read as Jesus’s exhortation to care for the poor, sick, and marginalized.

He then told Sessions, “Brother Jeff, as a fellow United Methodist, I call upon you to repent, to care for those in need, to remember that when you do not care for others you are wounding the body of Christ.”

While Green did not explicitly state what he was criticizing Sessions for, the attorney general has frequently come under fire from some religious groups for his hard-line stance on immigration, including his role in helping enact the Trump administration’s migrant family separation policy. Sessions is currently advocating for the narrowing of grounds for applying for asylum in the United States, even as a 4,000-strong caravan of migrants from Honduras is currently making its way to the United States-Mexico border.

ABC News Politics

@ABCPolitics

Religious leaders interrupt Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ speech: “Brother Jeff, as a fellow United Methodist I call upon you to repent, to care for those in need.”

Sessions: “Well, thank you for those remarks and attack but I would just tell you we do our best everyday”

His companion, Pastor Darrell Hamilton of the First Baptist Church in Boston, rose to give a second speech, but was drowned out by boos and cries of “go home” from the audience. As he was escorted out, Hamilton accused his audience of being “hypocrites” for advocating for religious liberty politically, only to deny him the opportunity to express his religious faith by quoting the gospel at the event.

Sessions appeared to laugh off the interruption, telling his audience, “I don’t believe there’s anything in the Scripture … [or my] theology that says a secular nation-state cannot have lawful laws to control immigration … not immoral, not indecent, and not unkind to state what your laws are and then set about to enforce them.” His listeners responded with raucous applause.

This is not the first time Jeff Sessions has come under fire from religious leaders for his role in the migrant crisis. In June during the migrant family separation crisis, 600 clergy and members of the United Methodist Church brought formal church charges against Sessions, who is himself a Methodist, over his role in the crisis.

Sessions was charged with racism, child abuse, immoral behavior, and the dissemination of heretical Biblical teaching — a reference to his use of the Bible verse Romans 13 to justify Christians’ submission to government policy on the issue of migration. The charges were dropped two months later, with the district superintendent in charge of Sessions’s church, Barbara Bishop, arguing in a statement that “a political action is not personal conduct when the political officer is carrying out official policy.”

The protests of the two clergymen at the event exemplify the increasingly visible role that the religious left, including both mainline Protestants and some evangelicals, are playing under the Trump administration.

From presiding Episcopal bishop Michael Curry’s fiery liberation theology-tinged sermon last spring at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Royal Wedding to retired Episcopalian bishop Gene Robinson’s openly political advocacy for LGBTQ rights at last week’s interring of Matthew Shepard, more and more religious leaders are using their platform to spread a message of political resistance.

Or, in the case of these two men, simply sharing the gospel.

Update: this article has been updated to reflect the fact that the pastors have now been identified

Historic Jewish Enclave Rings Out With Gunshots

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES)

 

Used to Hearing ‘Shabbat Shalom,’ a Historic Jewish Enclave Rings Out With Gunshots

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Tammy Hepps, Kate Rothstein and her daughter, Simone Rothstein, 16, prayed not far from the Tree of Life Synagogue.CreditCreditJeff Swensen/Getty Images

PITTSBURGH — Saturday morning in Squirrel Hill has for more than 100 years meant certain familiar rituals. The handing out of prayer books as latecomers quietly arrive at temple, the genial shouts of ‘Shabbat shalom’ across neighborhood streets as friends spot old friends after services.

This is the heart of Jewish Pittsburgh, one of the most deeply rooted Jewish neighborhoods in America. And on this Saturday morning, it was the site of what one of the city’s chief federal law enforcement officers called “the most horrific crime scene I have seen.”

Tree of Life, an understated temple on a rising street of tidy brick houses and pumpkin-decorated front porches, was a revered and historic Jewish institution in a neighborhood full of them.

After Saturday’s massacre, this meant a grief deep and wide. Everyone knew someone, or someone who did. The Jewish Community Center, a few blocks away from Tree of Life, became a command post of sorts, with grief counselors, law enforcement officials, Red Cross volunteers, extended families, members of various synagogues and food, lots and lots of food.

Down the street from the temple, a woman who belonged to Tree of Life was sobbing, surrounded by other women. A SWAT truck pulled down the street.

“It definitely brought everybody together in the way that really awful things do,” said Jess Nock, 38, a lawyer who has worshiped at Tree of Life for eight years.

[A man shouting anti-Semitic slurs opened fire inside a Pittsburgh synagogue where three congregations worshiped.]

She spent the morning at the center, where information was difficult to follow. People arrived looking for others — sometimes successfully, sometimes not. One family learned of the shooting from their son, who was in Israel and saw it on the news. Some Orthodox Jews in the community, who do not use phones on the Sabbath, would surely not know about it for hours.

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Law enforcement officers secured the scene at the Pittsburgh temple.CreditAlexandra Wimley/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, via Associated Press

“Every time somebody would say “Do you know where…” Ms. Nock trailed off. She had heard the worst about at least one member. But she did not know what had happened to many others.

Squirrel Hill is an old neighborhood, beginning as the quiet and leafy retreat of the better-off, who chose to take the trolley home after work and leave the smog-choked streets of downtown Pittsburgh. Prosperous German Jews followed, moving their temples with them and creating a vibrant culture that, unlike in so many other American cities, never decamped for the suburbs.

“It’s one of the only Jewish communities in the country that has stayed within the city,” said Barbara S. Burstin, a history professor who has written several books on Jewish Pittsburgh.

There are kosher bakeries and delis along Murray Avenue, and three Jewish day schools of different denominations. On Saturday mornings, Orthodox men in black hats and overcoats walk the sidewalks. More than a dozen temples — Reform, Orthodox and Conservative — dot the neighborhood, “all bumping up within a few blocks of each other,” Professor Burstin said.

[Read more about the shooting suspect, who frequently reposted anti-Semitic content on social media.]

The population of the neighborhood might not be majority Jewish anymore — there are more Asian restaurants along the main drag now than Jewish ones — but it is home to more than a quarter of all Pittsburgh area Jewish households, according to a 2017 report.

The Tree of Life congregation, originally formed in 1864, moved to Squirrel Hill in 1952. It thrived in the heyday of American Conservative Judaism, but like many houses of worship in big cities, it has seen its membership dwindle.

In recent years, to make better use of the space, two other synagogues were invited to worship at the building. Now all three do, in different rooms on Saturdays, all getting together in the atrium afterward.

A former rabbi at Tree of Life, Chuck Diamond, suspected that perhaps 25 or 30 people would have been there at the start of services, when the shooting broke out. Others would have arrived later, entering easily.

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People attended an interfaith vigil in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood. Credit Jared Wickerham for The New York Times

“It’s not the type of place where you’re going to walk in and people are going to look at you and say ‘Wait, I don’t know you,’” Ms. Nock said. “And locked doors: no way. There’s nothing less welcoming than inviting people to a door that’s locked.”

That the killer chose Tree of Life has baffled many in the community. There are much bigger temples in the area, and others with more visible congregations.

“This is not an obvious target in the Jewish community,” said Richard Brean, a retired general counsel for the steelworkers’ union and a lifelong resident of Squirrel Hill.

[From a Texas church to a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, houses of worship have become sites of mass shootings.]

But the members of Tree of Life had prepared for the possibility of violence, if only in theory, in the way so many schools and workplaces have in recent years. A year and a half ago, the United Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh hired a former F.B.I. officer to serve as a security director; he had trained dozens of organizations on how to plan for active shooters. The members of Tree of Life had developed such a protocol last year.

Anti-Semitic incidents had happened in the neighborhood before, recalled Shlomo Perelman, 68, who was walking down a street not far from Tree of Life not long after the shooting. Mr. Perelman recalled a rabbinical student being shot some 25 years ago.

But this was not about Squirrel Hill. It was about the country that surrounded it. “It’s not about the neighborhood,” said Mr. Perelman. He added, “The times are really changing.”

On Saturday night, several hundred people gathered for a candlelight vigil in a light rain at the intersection of Murray and Forbes Avenue, where nearby restaurants — a Turkish kebab house, a ramen bar and a bohemian tea cafe — were a testament to the area’s diversity.

“I am a different Jew today than I was yesterday,” said Sophia Levin, 15, one of several teenagers who spoke. “Anti-Semitism was something that happened in history, that happened in other places,” she said, her voice breaking.

“Tree of Life used to be just a synagogue that my grandparents went to, that my Mom grew up in, that we would go to on high holidays,” she said. “And today I feel like it’s something different.”

Trip Gabriel contributed from Pittsburgh.

A version of this article appears in print on , on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Torrent of Gunshots Shifts Reality: ‘I Am a Different Jew Today’ . Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

(Honesty Poem) Life Is Filled With Breathless Moments

Breathless

(FROM MAY OF 17)

Breathless as the womb expands

Breathless till child’s bottom receives it’s very first hand

The cry all parents long for, music to all Elders hearts

The only time we ever wish to hear our child cry

The child grows from crawling then walking

As all the parents hold their breath

Watching and wondering and waiting

What choices will our little angel make

 

Breathless anticipation, the good we hope for

The bad we pray they will learn from

And never again let it darken their face

As age takes hold of our bodies

We look back upon the life that we lived

Traveling our nation’s highways

In the motor home that our child did give

The vistas of God’s beauty surrounds us

Breathless beauty, where man’s footprint seldom tread

 

Nearly breathless as we are but a step or two

From the calling of the earth, the destiny we all will face

Breathlessly we look back one last time for memories

At the beauty of our children and their children and theirs again

Death has only a minute sting as we lay breathlessly in God’s earth

Knowing at His trumpet we will fully see our good and the bad

Breathlessly, hoping to behold our loved ones faces once again

Breathlessly hoping for a smile, not anger, upon our Creators face

(Theology Poem) G-d’s Judgement Upon Our Nations

G-d’s Judgement Upon Our Nations

 

Children of the Earth lend me your ear, and listen to my words

The Lord of the Heavens has brought us up as His Holy children

The Earth listens yet why does His children still continue to rebel

A mule knows the voice of his master yet we people ignore our own

When children provoke their Father should we not expect His wrath

 

 

Children, why do we continue to choose to be stricken with grief

From the sole of our feet to our crown is there no wisdom in us

Our Country and our Cities are havens for murderers and thieves

Yet we questioned not those who had authority over our own children

If not for a small remnant of the Lord’s Saints would we all be dead

 

Why do we bother to enter the Lord’s House covered in innocent blood

Know ye not that the Lord turns His Face from the prayers of the wicked

We stretch forth our hands only for money and the homes of the fatherless

Our Princes are lovers of power and gifts and are bedfellows of like swine

The Elephants and Donkeys devour the Widows and Homeless as we smile

The World must soon repent or we will be destroyed by the fire of The Lord