“Giveaways” are becoming quite popular these days, so I thought I’d get in on the fun and see how it goes.
This giveaway is just a really quick one to test out how it works and see how it goes. The prize is for a Service Dog patch for your Service Dog’s Vest, which is a simple but indispensable item. Besides, to some people, patches are like Pokemon – you gotta get ‘em ALL! 😀
I plan to have other and possibly more interesting prizes soon, if people show interest by participating in this giveaway. This first one is to sort of “test the water.”
What is your style when it comes to patches? Do you prefer just one or two which are “to the point” or does your Partner wear as many patches from your collection as you can artfully display on his Vest? 🙂
Please comment below on this post and tell me what kinds of prizes you would like to see me offer if I keep doing giveaways. (It doesn’t have to be Service Dog related, though it certainly can be.)
Also, if you wouldn’t mind, please click one or more of those “social” buttons at the top of this post and share the fun!
Remember, you can Tweet every day for lots of extra entries! Let’s share the fun! 🙂
Be sure to check back here for information about our next giveaway. 🙂
I’m back! I’ve decided that it’s time to begin writing and publishing to this blog again, since it seems that there are a lot of people who want to read it, (and who HAVE been reading it, but how was I to know? Nobody said much about it until I stopped!)
I’ve been getting a large amount of email for some time from those of you asking when I will be publishing to my blog again. Thank you for letting me know that you care.
I thought I’d precede my comeback with a post explaining where I’ve been and why I stopped writing here, for those who wondered, but who did not ask.
To begin with, those of you who know me are aware that I have been dabbling in writing most of my life, and as a young adult used to supplement my income by writing magazine articles, usually health related material and such. This was before the PC became an item in most everybody’s home, and I did my writing on an old Underwood typewriter.
Some of you also know that I began many years ago collecting information from various members of my extended family regarding certain incidents from before my birth, and trying to integrate everyone’s perspective of what happened into a cohesive narrative.
One of the main reasons that I stopped publishing here is because I was very busy putting together and editing my first book, called Ode To Mothers, which depicts the lives of my mothers and their families. (Yes, plural, that is not a typo, there were 2 of them)
At one point I searched prematurely for an agent, thinking that it might take more time to find an agent than to finish the book, but right away one of the agents that I queried became interested in representing my book, but I wasn’t satisfied with my revisions and editing and was not ready to release it to be published, and so lost that agent. Live and learn, right?
I’ve spent much of my time revising, editing, and polishing the aforementioned book, and finally released it; I wrote a companion book, “The World’s Oldest Diet Plan” and am now working on the sequel, “Ode to Sisters”.
In spite of my busy life, I’ve decided not to neglect blogging to peace-for-earth.org in the future as long as people indicate (as they have) that my words here are being read and appreciated. (Otherwise there would be no point, right?) One way to show your appreciation is to take a moment to comment on what you find here that interests you. I’ve set it up so that you don’t have to register or anything, just click and give your opinion! 🙂
Everywhere in the Christian community we see bumper stickers and such with the question, “What Would Jesus Do?”
Indeed, think of the suffering that might be prevented if everyone considered that question before acting! Yesterday I received a story in an email that I’d like to share with you:
One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school. His name was Kyle. It looked like he was carrying all of his books.
I thought to myself, ‘Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd.’
I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.
As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him…
He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes . My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye.
As I handed him his glasses, I said, ‘Those guys are jerks. They really should get lives.’
‘ He looked at me and said, ‘Hey thanks!’
There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude.
I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before. He said he had gone to private school before now.
I would have never hung out with a private school kid before. We talked all the way home, and I carried some of his books.
He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play a little football with my friends . He said yes.
We hung out all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my friends thought the same of him.
Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. I stopped him and said, ‘Boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday!
‘ He just laughed and handed me half the books.’
The next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we were seniors we began to think about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown and I was going to Duke. I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never
Be a problem. He was going to be a doctor and I was going for business on a football scholarship. Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about being a nerd.
He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad it wasn’t me having to get up there and speak .
Graduation day, I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school.
He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than I had and all the girls loved him.
Boy, sometimes I was jealous! Today was one of those days.
I could see that he was nervous about his speech. So, I smacked him on the back and said, ‘Hey, big guy, you’ll be great!’
He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled….’ Thanks,’ he said.
As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began …
‘Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years.
Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach…but mostly your friends….
I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them.
I am going to tell you a story.’
I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the first day we met.
He had planned to kill himself over the weekend.
He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn’t have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home. He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile.
‘Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable.’
I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment.
I saw his Mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile.
Not until that moment did I realize it’s depth.
Never underestimate the power of your actions.
With one small gesture you can change a person’s life. For better or for worse.
God puts us all in each others lives to impact one another in some way. Look for God in others.
Allow God to work through YOU…
The author of this is currently unknown; I attempted to find the author to acquire permission to post it. If you are the author and object to my putting it here please email me.
Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise, or so said Benjamin Franklin, although he wasn’t the originator of the concept. In fact, it seems he might have taken it from Aristotle, (384 BC – 322 BC) who said, “It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom.”
Ancient scripture also had a lot to say on the subject thousands of years before even Aristotle was credited with the idea:
How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man. (Pro 6:9-11)
As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed. (Pro 26:14)
It’s been a custom in my family for generations to rise with the sun every morning to pray. I learned as a child to get up early and for some years was blissfully unaware that anybody might feel anything other than cheerful about getting up in the mornings. A number of people have since questioned me as to why I don’t sleep in and just pray right after I get up, later, at a more “decent” hour of the morning…
Some of you may be familiar with the story of Daniel and his strict adherence to various practices such as prayer and diet customs which were from the same source (and family) as the ones that I observe…
David also wrote in Psalm 55:17: Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.
One of my grandmothers taught us early to meet with God at sunrise, noon and sunset every day, and to look forward to each prayer time at least as eagerly as one might do if they had an appointment with the most respected and important human individual imaginable. The identity of said imagined personage of course could vary widely! For some it might be the president or king of their country, others perhaps might be impressed by a celebrity of some sort, but regardless, if you had an invitation to meet with your esteemed hero, wouldn’t you make every effort to be ready and on time for the appointment, even if it was at an early hour of the morning? The excitement of the prospect would probably eliminate your sleepiness in short order and it’s unlikely that you’d even consider being late or not showing up without even calling to cancel!
How much more so when you’re meeting the Creator and Maintainer of the universe?
Of course, we also pray from moment to moment at any time or place during the day, in accordance with the advice given in 1Th 5:17: “pray without ceasing”, but there is a special blessing in showing up for a prearranged appointment with God. The feeling of His presence at such times is unmistakable. Try it and see; what do you have to lose, aside from perhaps a bit of sleep? As long as you’re up, you may get some other things accomplished as well! If you were to sleep just one hour less every day, (especially if you’re in the habit of staying in bed more than necessary) you would have the approximate equivalent of 2 months of 8 hour work days worth of extra time. Just think what you could accomplish if you put that time to constructive use…
My grandmother was a firm believer in the usefulness of developing good habits, and she usually assisted us in fun and interesting ways. To assist us in being able to wake easily, she would have us “practice” getting up in the mornings by setting up a game involving a simulated waking scenario. She usually did this at noon time prayer, which lent itself nicely to this practice session.
First we would lie in our beds while she told us a story. She always told the best stories, so it was no hardship to jump into bed and lie under our covers to listen! She’d have a washbowl and pitcher of appropriate temperature water set up and waiting nearby, just like it would be in the mornings; warm for cold weather and refreshingly cool for hot summer conditions. She was from a previous generation when running water was the exception and not the rule, and had an antique bowl and pitcher for this purpose that she was partial to. (for that matter, I’m no “spring chicken” myself these days, and my childhood lifestyle didn’t always include running water either)
After the story, we were to close our eyes and pretend to be asleep as if it were a new day dawning, and then she would call our names in the same manner as we were accustomed to in the mornings. When we heard our names, we’d take a deep breath, and stretch (she insisted this was very important) and then immediately sit up, and take several more full, deep breaths, then leave our beds and proceed joyfully (she encouraged us to clap our hands and skip and cavort) to the wash bowl and splash water on our faces and dry them on the towel just as was our usual morning routine. Then we proceeded to wherever it was determined that we would be having noontime prayer that day, which would be outside under a tree whenever possible.
I often think of my grandmother in the mornings when I wake up, and although I usually make my way to the wash bowl with somewhat more dignity than in those days, it’s still with joy in my heart and no desire to lie about in the bed.
To read more about my wise and wonderful grandmother, CLICK HERE to see my recent book, Ode to Mothers.
Reports from adult friends seem to indicate that a modified version of this process will also work to reprogram a person to lose the tendency to want to lie in bed, and instead find it easy to get up and begin the day. If you want to try this, you can set your alarm to go off in 5 minutes or so, (not so long that you’ll actually get sleepy and want a nap!) then get into bed and pretend it’s almost the morning waking time. When the alarm sounds, reach over immediately and turn it off, take a deep breath and stretch, sit up and take several deep, slow, focused and unhurried breaths, then get up and simulate whatever the first element of your morning routine is. (You might consider adding a few moments of prayer at this point in your routine if it isn’t already your custom)
One of the first things to do when you are ready to begin is to decide whether you will rise at an earlier hour or if you just want to make getting up at your usual waking time more comfortable. Naturally, for this to be of benefit, you need to be firmly committed to the plan. It’s important that you make an effort to follow the routine in the mornings when you’re really getting up, just as you practice it in the daytime.
It seems that it takes about a month to firmly establish most new habits, although most people who try this method say they notice positive results in a very short period of time.
The further into the future we go, the more complicated the simple things in our lives become!
There was a time when the basic activities of the day took care of all of the exercise anybody needed.
Hoeing a few rows of the garden plot got the heart rate up and worked the large muscles, and kneading the dough for the week’s supply of bread also helped to ensure that strength was maintained.
Obviously, I know that’s not everybody’s cup of tea, and most Americans have worked hard to leave that sort of thing behind, and prefer sitting on their behinds!
The problem is, without serious conscious effort and determination, most of us these days are not as healthy as we could be because most of our activities are performed sitting down.
Instead of walking over the hill to the berry patch and soaking up some sunshine while we pick a basket of berries, we drive to the grocery store and grab a bag of frozen berries and a bottle of vitamin D capsules.
Scientists who have studied the decline of the modern human have discovered that there are two kinds of exercise that are lacking in the urban world that previous lifestyles supplied naturally.
Most everyone has heard of aerobic or “cardio” exercise, and how it’s important in reducing the risk of modern lifestyle diseases, but what does that mean exactly?
In order to qualify as aerobic exercise, you must engage in an activity for a period of 15 to 20 minutes or longer while maintaining 60-80% of your maximum heart rate. Do you keep at it that long if/ when you exercise?
If your exercise session is shorter than that and leaves you panting and gasping for air, you cross the line into an anaerobic workout. Not that doing so is a bad thing, of course, because you need both. (And you would surely have both if you were taking care of your chores on the old homestead!) You can also tell the difference because anaerobic work will tire you out faster and is more likely to make you sore afterward.
Aerobic activity is, as you might imagine, the type of exercise that people usually notice the most obvious benefit from, and it’s also somewhat difficult to come by in modern society, due to the busy lifestyles we maintain. Aerobic exercise takes time to do properly; a relatively large chunk of time, relatively speaking, and ideally we need to get a good session of it every day. It’s long in duration but low in intensity. (Like a natural lifestyle) It makes you breathe deeply and your blood flows faster, but if you’re working (or “working out” as the case may be) with a companion, you should still be able to carry on a conversation. Aerobic exercise is fueled with the breath.
Some chores like chopping and stacking rounds of firewood (or intense repetitions of lifting heavy iron bar weights) is in the anaerobic category, meaning it is short-lasting, heavy, and or vigorous, activity. Anaerobic exercise uses energy that is stored in the muscles and is not dependent on oxygen from breathing. During anaerobic exercise your body’s demand for oxygen exceeds the oxygen supply, and there is a temporary shortage of oxygen being delivered to the working muscles.
Another thing that occurs when one is working anaerobically, is that lactic acid is produced and in the beginning fatigue occurs quickly, along with sore muscles, but with persistence endurance will build and you can work (out) longer before you get tired. This would have practical applications if you were working on the homestead because the increase of endurance might mean that you could work faster, as well as longer, if you were trying to finish an outdoor chore before it rained on you…
When lactic acid builds up to a certain level in the blood, it causes muscular fatigue, and so one cannot keep up that pace for very long. Back on the farm, this would mean that you’d vigorously work away at digging your garden plot until you have to stop, lean on your mattock or hoe for half a minute or so to catch your breath, and then go at it again. Now the scientific way to go about it is to lift iron weights for half a minute or so, give or take, then rest for ten or twenty seconds and have another go, until you’re fairly well worn out, and you’ll have had yourself an anaerobic workout!
As endurance increases, the body is able to handle the lactic acid more efficiently, and that’s a good thing on a number of levels.
Several metabolic changes take place when one increases the level of regular intense exercise (or hard work as the case may be). There is a decrease in the production of lactic acid, and increased efficiency of the removal of it from the bloodstream, which delays the occurrence of fatigue during anaerobic exercise.
Research indicates that this efficiency is increased by 12% to 50% with regular anaerobic activity.
Of course having said all of that, I’d better lay in the standard disclaimer: “Always check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program or adding any additional exercise to an existing routine.”
In any case, it’s only common sense that beginners should start with lower-intensity aerobic exercise if this will be a rare foray away from the computer desk and couch. A nice long walk is an ideal place to begin an exercise program, because it’s relatively easy to safely control how much you exert yourself, especially if you take a friend with you. Remember the conversation rule, and pace yourself so that you can still talk as you go, but not so slowly that your breathing does not deepen at all. Even if you can’t convince anybody to going along, then go with God; a “Prayer Walk” is great for the spiritual health as well as physical well being!
This might be a good place to begin…
The title of this post is of course a quote by William Shakespeare from his play Romeo and Juliet and means that the names of things do not matter, only what things are…
This certainly applies to sugar. Refined “sugar” in any of its forms is bad enough. Studies have shown that it is responsible for a plethora of ills, which I don’t have documentation for right at my fingertips, but if anybody is interested, let me know and I’d be happy to dig some up for you. 🙂
One source states that we have increased sugar consumption in the U.S. to 135 lbs. of sugar per person per year! During the 1800’s the average consumption was only 5 lbs. per person per year.
Cancer and some of the other ills of our modern society were also very rare a century ago.
It’s been fairly well established at this point that refined sugar contributes to the growth of cancer cells and compromises the immune system.
Some people may be shocked to hear this, but many folks are already well aware of the danger and continue to eat it anyway. The tongue is like an unruly child, demanding what it should not have, and like an overly indulgent parent, we all too often give in to its demands!
Research of late seems to indicate that “High Fructose Corn Syrup” is an even more destructive substance than regular refined sugar.
Food and drink manufacturers switched to High Fructose Corn Syrup in the early 70s because it is cheap and 20 times sweeter than the regular sugar of the past.
A single 12 oz can of cola has up to 13 tsp of sugar, most of it fructose from High Fructose Corn Syrup. And, as an aside, drinking only one soda a day adds up to 15 pounds a year!
High Fructose Corn Syrup is being hidden in our food and drinks in great quantities. Just read the labels. And by the way, ingredients are listed in the order of the greatest quantity. Often you will find Sugar AND High Fructose Corn Syrup listed as the first TWO ingredients! That doesn’t just mean that there is more sugar than any other single ingredient, that means that there is more sweetener than any other two ingredients put together.
In a study at Princeton University separate groups of rats were given the same caloric intake of sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup. The rats fed High Fructose Corn Syrup gained much more weight than the ones consuming regular table sugar. In a second study , the rats fed a diet incorporating High Fructose Corn Syrup “showed characteristic signs of a dangerous condition known in humans as the metabolic syndrome, including abnormal weight gain, significant increases in circulating triglycerides and augmented fat deposition, especially visceral fat around the belly. Male rats in particular ballooned in size: Animals with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained 48 percent more weight than those eating a normal diet.”
The High Fructose Corn Syrup group male rats did not survive to adulthood, suffering from anemia and high cholesterol, their hearts enlarging until they actually exploded. Their testicles also did not develop normally which was the least of their problems. The females were not so physically affected but none could bear live young. The livers of the rats on the High Fructose Corn Syrup diet looked like the livers of alcoholics.
Personally I try to avoid all sources of refined sugar, and I had the good fortune to have been brought up in my early years without it.
Ancient advice passed down in my family cautions us to “use only a little honey to sweeten your food.” Whether that admonition meant a little honey or a little honey is no longer clear but either way it’s still good advice.
For the first years of my life the only sweets I knew were fruits, juices, and very limited amounts of honey.
When I was old enough to make my own choices in this matter, I happily interpreted the advice to mean any sweetener in moderation is acceptable. I rationalized that at the time the ancients admonished us to use only a little honey, there probably wasn’t much else in use as sweetener except honey.
However, my mother and grandmother have always reasoned that it was clearly implied that other substances were not to be substituted for the honey, (as well as limiting the amount used) and they adamantly refused to use anything else, and not even much of that.
The first few times that I sampled products with sugar, I not only became nauseous, I experienced many other side effects. But the taste was so compelling that I made excuses for the way I felt. I eventually built up a slight tolerance for it, although I could still eat only a little before feeling at least some effects from it.
I had my first viral cold in my life following a sugar binge when I was more than 20 years old. If you would dismiss this incident as simple coincidence (as I did at the time) consider the established effects of sugar on the immune system. The amount of sugar that is contained in a piece of pie is enough to generally inhibit the immune system for up to eight hours.
Each white blood cell should, in theory, have the ability to destroy 14 “germs” in its lifetime. Sugar greatly inhibits their ability to do so. Obviously, the more hindered your white blood cells are in their work, the more chance there is to contract sickness. Not only does refined sugar inhibit white blood cell effectiveness, its effects are cumulative, increasing its negative effects as the quantity consumed increases.
Thus, 6 teaspoons of sugar (eaten at one time, about half of a 12 ounce soda) decreases a white blood cell’s ability to destroy bacteria by 25%. This means that now, instead of destroying 14, it only has the ability to destroy 10.
12 teaspoons of sugar (drank the rest of that soda did you?) inhibit that poor wee white cell’s ability by 60%. Instead of destroying 14 germs, now our white blood cell can only kill 5.5 (the one that got away?)
18 teaspoons of sugar (a can of soda and a jelly donut!?) decreases the effectiveness of our struggling white blood cell by 85%. That means that our white blood cell can now kill only 2 bacteria instead of 14.
24 teaspoons of sugar (TWO jelly donuts!!?) will decrease its effectiveness by 92%. Now, your poor white blood cell can only destroy 1 germ if it’s lucky. Better not get exposed to anything…(wait a minute, is that new guy that I just shook hands with sneezing and sniffling? Have I been rubbing my eyes?)
In order to get the blood sugar levels swinging wildly for the day, many people like to eat prepared “cold” breakfast cereals with milk (part of a healthy breakfast, right?). Very few of these are made without added sugar. Even then, many people add more from the sugar bowl!
If you drink soda, remember that you consume about nine to twelve teaspoons per 12 oz. can. You probably wouldn’t put that much in your coffee or tea, but it hides very effectively in your soft drink, where you probably never give it a second thought. Some people eat yogurt because they believe it’s a healthy thing to do. One 8 ounce serving of fruit flavored yogurt can contain almost as much sugar as a can of soda!
By the way, if you’re thinking that it might be a good idea to avoid some of that sugar by switching to artificial sweetener, you might want to research that first – it’s even worse than sugar! 🙂
Do you have something to sell? Have you considered trading it for something you would rather have?
Bartering is a good way to exchange goods, and it worked well for thousands of years. Unfortunately our modern day credit card society is causing this time honored tradition to be all but lost…
Sometimes trading isn’t practical of course, but you will be pleasantly surprised if you just give it a try!
Here are some suggestions to get you started…
Obviously you can trade goods in any way that seems acceptable to the parties involved. Worth, like beauty, is a subjective quality that is determined by the individuals making the barter.
You can also barter services in a number of creative ways. “Services” can be anything from tax services, auto repair, dog grooming, hair styling, attorney services, computer repair services, to meals at a restaurant that you own – take inventory what you have to offer, and negotiate!
Don’t be afraid to offer your skills, talents and services, and we encourage you to be innovative and be sure to communicate! For instance, if someone says they have an auto repair shop and are looking to trade services with a plumber, you could still offer them your computer technician skills. Perhaps they will take a rain check for when they DO have computer problems, or maybe you have some tangible item they’re interested in. You will both miss out on a valuable new relationship if you don’t introduce yourselves! Or, perhaps your brother-in-law is a plumber, and you can fix his computer and he can do the job that is exchanged for the work that is done on your car…
Either way, if you have an item you would like to dispose of, or a service to offer, (Trade, Sell, or Give Away) you can list it here in our FREE CLASSIFIED ADS…
Please forgive the inconsistent sizes of the categories boxes; I am rather a beginner at making web pages and stuff. I’ll figure out how to size the pictures before too long and make it more aesthetically pleasing as quickly as I can! Also coming soon are more categories and other improvements to the classifieds. Please comment and give me any suggestions or advice that you may have about how to make the classifieds more useful or functional…
CLICK HERE to check it out!
There’s also a FREE STUFF category for those times when you have stuff that you just don’t want. Sometimes you might not feel like trading it for anything, you just want to get rid of it for any number of reasons… Don’t throw it away, post it HERE where It can fill a need! “FREECYCLE!”
This is your mission, should you choose to accept it… (Hopefully this message will not self destruct!) 🙂
Make a habit of asking at least 3 people every day if there is anything that you can do to help them. (Perhaps you’re already doing this, and if so, I salute you!)
Family and close friends might be a good place to begin if this is new for you, but I challenge you to stretch your horizons and approach complete strangers (Who are not as far removed from being friends as you might imagine – see I’d Like You To Meet My Friend)
Here are some suggestions to get you started and I invite you to post more ideas in the comments section. Tell us how you serve your brothers and sisters and neighbors in your community.
Perhaps a homeless person needs a new change of clothing. Maybe he would even accept job. Chances are at the very least he would like someone to talk to and would share his (or her) story of how he became homeless in the first place. Maybe unfortunate circumstances brought him down and depression and despair kept him there. What would the messiah have you do? Shouldn’t you at least ask him (or her – many women are homeless too) if he knows God, and share with him your faith if he does not? Maybe he would like to go to your place of worship with you – a good use for that new change of clothing that you just gave him, right?
Just because a person doesn’t seem to have needs , doesn’t mean that they don’t. A person doesn’t have to be homeless on the streets in order to appreciate random acts of kindness.
It is important to minister to your spiritual brothers and sisters as well, encouraging and building each other up. After all, even though we are supposed to be spreading love and good will to the world at large, we still need some loving treatment ourselves, which you can’t always expect to get from the world. Lots of times people will take your acts of kindness for granted, or even treat you rudely. In order to persevere it helps to have the unconditional love and support of other true followers of the Prince of Peace, and they need you too, so do not forsake the gathering of yourselves together.
Speaking of which, you don’t have to wait for a formal worship service in some officially designated building somewhere order to get together with your brothers and sisters. Send out invitations and have them over for a meal or gather in the yard and watch the children play while you break out your scripture and have an informal study. Gather at somebody’s house specifically for the study of scripture sometimes. Don’t forget prayer and visiting among yourselves too. Remember, God is our Father, Jesus (Yeshua) is our elder brother; we are a family… One of the great things about family is that you are supposed to be able to relax and be yourself. “Church” has its place, but you’ll be missing out on many blessings if you limit your associations to going to church. You and other children of God are the church!
Why would Jesus bother teaching his message of love and peace if he didn’t expect his followers to obey his instructions?
What would happen to the evil in this world if EVERYONE suddenly decided to LOVE everyone else?
Alright, maybe not everyone will jump on the band wagon all at once, because unfortunately, there IS much evil in the world, and lots of people are very caught up in it… BUT how about if just everyone who CLAIMS to love God were to follow God’s commandments and LOVE his and her neighbor?
Many sources mention 2.1 billion Christians in the world (about one third of the total population of the planet)
But here’s the rub – are all of them really Christians? Are YOU? What exactly IS a Christian?
One answer is that a Christian is a follower of the teachings of the Messiah… (aka Jesus Christ, and the reason for the term CHRIST-ian) So, what exactly did He teach?
Jesus is famously well known for wrapping it all up in two simple commandments: Love God with all of your heart, and your neighbor as yourself.
Of course, He also elaborated on these things with statements about loving our enemies, and he admonished that if we hold a grudge and do not forgive, then God can not forgive US… But, all the rest of that would be a mute point if the two commandments of Love were followed!
Our Messiah also asked that we share the gospel with others. The Good News includes the miracle of Peace that will occur as more and more people begin treating each other with kindness and respect. (At least among those who love God!)
Just imagine what a PERFECT place the world would be if EVERYONE did his and her best to follow the teachings of the messiah…
Think what a LOVELY place that the world would be if only all of the people who CLAIM to be Christians followed the instructions that Christ taught…
Think what a BETTER place it will be even if only YOU AND I were to do our best to have a close relationship with God and love everyone else on the earth…
*Results will vary according to how many people will COMMIT to following the simple formula given by the Prince Of Peace.
Disclaimer: According to prophecy, however, it appears that the entire world will not be united until the Prince Of Peace is the ONLY ruler of this world, and that’s in God’s hands. In the meantime, we have only two simple rules to follow:
Mat 22:34 When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they met together in the same place.
Mat 22:35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him by asking,
Mat 22:36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?”
Mat 22:37 Jesus said to him, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
Mat 22:38 This is the greatest and most important commandment.
Mat 22:39 The second is like it: ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’
Mat 22:40 All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments.”
Luk 6:27 “But I say to you who are listening: Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you.
Luk 6:28 Bless those who curse you, and pray for those who insult you.
Luk 6:29 If someone strikes you on the cheek, offer him the other one as well, and if someone takes your coat, don’t keep back your shirt, either.
Luk 6:30 Keep on giving to everyone who asks you for something, and if anyone takes what is yours, do not insist on getting it back.
Luk 6:31 Whatever you want people to do for you, do the same for them.
Luk 6:32 “If you love those who love you, what thanks do you deserve? Why, even sinners love those who love them.
Luk 6:33 If you do good to those who do good to you, what thanks do you deserve? Even sinners do that.
Luk 6:34 If you lend to those from whom you expect to get something back, what thanks do you deserve? Even sinners lend to sinners to get back what they lend.
Luk 6:35 Rather, love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, for he is kind to ungrateful and evil people.
Luk 6:36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
Luk 6:37 “Stop judging, and you will never be judged. Stop condemning, and you will never be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
Luk 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. A large quantity, pressed together, shaken down, and running over will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use, you will be measured.”