God’s Attributes

God has extraordinary attributes and with his saints there’s extreme joy.  It’s so because they are always striving for perfection.  Happiness from God is like a flame enlightening our lives.  This ideal is to be found in the working of the Holy Spirit.  This is a great gift symbolic of his transcendent glory.  God’s image is beyond all created wisdom as the Creator and Father of Lights.  He’s the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

God’s attributes were noted by Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790), a founding father of the United States, who wrote, “A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.”  It’s the Holy Spirit who provides this food and fire to believers.

Perfect Bliss

 With God there’s perfect bliss.  Christians expect eternal rest after leaving this earthly domain.  We’ll praise him without ceasing.  Hunger and thirst will be no more, for we’ll be recipients of his precious gifts.  Believers walking in the spirit are fearless.  We’ll eventually discover the full nature of our amazing lives.  Christians will demonstrate this willingness by what they do.

Believers are known for having a steadfast spirit.  Our experiences continue to deepen when we walk as spirit-filled evangelists.  A mythologist and lecturer in Comparative Religions, Joseph Campbell (1904–1987) wrote, “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were walls.”  Campbell captured the essence of our earthly journey where nothing is impossible with God.

Sight of Excellency

 God’s wisdom is indescribable and known for infinite grace.  Believers walking in his footsteps often demonstrate an apostolic spirit.  It’s one of harmony revealed with the fire at Pentecost when there was a religious awakening.  Christians create trails like those envisioned by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882), an essayist and poet who said, “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

God’s Goodness

Contemplating God is remarkable for people experience his goodness, and mercy.  This power is found in God’s boundless love.  He’s the fountain of goodness that tends the wounded before believers are able to recognize them.  As Christians it’s good to witness about God’s character, for this is a weapon used when believers fellowship with unbelievers.  God’s resurrected power was for all to see in the Risen Christ.

In our pastoral outreach let us show love for other souls.  Be industrious for that’s what God expects of us.  With the anointing of the Holy Spirit people are enlightened to walk in his ways.  Our approach to Christianity has to be Christ-o-centric.  His followers have to be obedient like true disciples.  Booker T. Washington (1856–1915), an African American educator wrote, “Character is power.”  Inevitably, faith-filled lives would best exemplify the character of Christians.  God’s goodness and mercy will shine through his believers in amazing ways.

Native Americans

The first Americans have the distinction of being a people of diversity.  They consisted of more than 500 tribes ranging from the Arctic Circle across the Great Plains to the Eastern Seaboard and known as the Lakota, Cherokee, Navajo, Haida, and other groups.  In the Northeast alone, there were dozens of tribes originating from three main mother groups – Algonquian, Iroquoian, or Siouan.  Around 12,000 to 20,000 years ago Indians came to the Western Hemisphere after having crossed the Bering Strait ice bridge that linked Asia to the Americas.  So, Native Americans are indigenous to the Americas.

The Indians displayed vibrant languages, cultural forms, and their political empowerment varied between tribes.  Some tribes boasted a sophisticated clan system with unique spiritual traditions, music, songs and chants.  Not all adopted to the horse as a primary tool of hunting, but they fished – catching salmon, trout, and sturgeon; farmed – raising indigenous plants, roots, berries, and nuts; hunted – catching deer, elk, bison, antelope, moose, and even caribou; inventing agricultural methods with flourishing crops of corn (maize), beans, and squash.

Tribal architecture flourished.  They made ceramics from clay tempered with sand, potted ceremonial objects, rugs, jewelry, bead works, and baskets of all sorts.  Their trading networks were spread across the whole American continent, and their sovereign authority was invested in cultural and linguistic patterns.

The American Dream

In their own way the Native Americans were living the American dream.  Marco Rubio (b. 1971), a senator from Florida said, “The American Dream is a term that is often used but also often misunderstood.  It isn’t really about becoming rich and famous.  It is about things much simpler and more fundamental than that.”  Early Indian tribes exemplified what the American dream was all about by having a diverse culture blessed with simplicity.  Billy Graham (1918–2018), an evangelical Christian evangelist wrote, “The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.”  Our first Americans exemplified this legacy and faith while living off the land.

Joe Baca (b. 1947), a U.S. representative in California said, “Native Americans are the original inhabitants of the land that now constitutes the United States.  They have helped developed the fundamental principles of freedom of speech and separation of powers that form the foundation of the United States government.”   These first Americans were instrumental in proposing fundamental ways of governing by how they were living.

A Legacy Impacted

European diseases – small pox, measles and influenza devastated many Native American communities.  These natives became victims of brutal massacres, murder, and rape that dampened the American spirit.  Native Indians though continued to have rights, and the American government had no authority on Indian land without an act of Congress.  The 19th century witnessed the impounding of Indians to reservations.  Philipp Meyer (b. 1974), an American fiction writer wrote, “When you start to look at the native American history, you realize that very far from being peaceful, morally superior people, Native Americans were not that different from the Europeans.”  Meyer must have been thinking about the atrocities and broken promises committed by America on the American Indians.  Alberto Gonzales (b. 1955), an attorney general of the United States wrote, “I will be the first to admit I am not perfect and I make mistakes.”  The Europeans who settled America were imperfect men and women, and although some critics felt their actions against the American Indians were motivated by power, greed, and religious zeal they surely committed big mistakes.  Despite these atrocities the American Indian culture still exists, and adds to the spiritual richness of the nation.

American Culture

What a joy it is to hold a culture in high esteem.  American popular culture though has some drawbacks.  Carl Bernstein (b. 1944), an investigative journalist of the Washington Post wrote, “The lowest form of popular culture – lack of information, misinformation, disinformation and a contempt for the truth or the reality of most people’s lives – has overrun real journalism.”  People find these shortcomings in the sensationalism, tabloids, pop music, and erroneous displays in some forms of art.

All however isn’t lost.  But it takes acceptance of a religious faith, for cultural peddlers to live according to what’s right in pursuing stories that uplift us.  Strange as it may seem people in the media’s audience buy into what is presented to them.  Even religious believers fall victims to ubiquitous displays of cultural distortions.  Some might say, “Everyone is watching salacious material, so why can’t I?  It gives me pleasure.”  People must realize they are falling victims to such presentations.

Cultural Appreciation

Cultural appreciation goes way back to the Egyptians, Greeks, Italian Renaissance, and Reformation.  In the West Europeans are loved for their classical tradition.  Masters like Beethoven, Handel, and Mozart are held in high esteem.  People feel empowered by fast automobiles, airplanes, nuclear power, and technological advancements.  In the pop music Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Billy Joel, the Beatles, and Supremes were icons in the society.  And music of different genres, e.g., rock ‘n’ roll, country & western, Christian, and jazz are alive and well.

Billy Joel (b. 1949), a pianist and singer-songwriter said, “I think music itself is healing.  It’s an explosive expression of humanity.  It’s something we are all touched by.  No matter what culture we are from, everyone loves music.”  Music appeals to people in unique ways.  Some might disagree with the quality of some genres.  What’s known is that with hymns God’s exalted.  Many have been converted by hymns like “Amazing Grace,” “Bread of Life, Hope of the World,” “Holy God, You Raise Up Prophets,” “Song of the Body of Christ,” and “We Shall Overcome.”

The American Dream

Most immigrants land on our shores with hopes of achieving the American dream.  When people reflect on this dream they think of worldly and material benefits.  This might mean acquiring their own home, finding a good job, having a loving family, a station wagon, or, sports car, and living in the suburbs.  This dream is somewhat different to every immigrant.

Some might see living a religious life as a top priority.  Walt Disney (1901–1966), an entrepreneur and film producer wrote, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”  Undoubtedly, since for the major religions loving, and serving their fellowmen are important it’s wise to embrace such values.  These attributes are essential in shaping the American dream.

 Moral Standards

To improve American popular culture people have to live up to higher moral standards.  H. L. Mencken (1880–1956), a journalist and satirist said, “I believe that it is better to tell the truth than a lie.  I believe it is better to be free than to be a slave.  And I believe it is better to know than to be ignorant.”  People ought to consider Mencken’s perspective as empowering.  It’s wise to know the reasons for doing what we do rather than being ignorant.  American immigrants and non-immigrants alike ought to pursue a good education for it’s a liberating force.  Knowledge is beneficial in building up the American culture.

Acts of Love

Acts of love bring us joy.  While performing such acts people are blessed by God’s grace.  These gifts become apparent when we love others.  God’s love that flows from heaven sustains souls, and causes the unification with the Holy Spirit. For the good news of the Gospel is that with faith people will find security.  Tullian Tchividjian (b. 1972), a professor of Theology and pastor said, “Believe it or not, Christianity is not about good people getting better.  If anything, it is good news for bad people coping with their failure to be good.”  What great news this is for those who have fallen short of God’s promises!

Sowing

People must love their neighbors as themselves by sharing warmth and tenderness in their relationships.  It’s Christ’s love that makes hope blossom, but such a revelation has to be nurtured. By doing good deeds people come to know divine beauty.  This wondrous love is beyond comparison because it’s found deep within our hearts.  It’s revealed through Christ’s promises.  An author and aviator Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1906–2001) wrote, “For happiness one needs security, but joy can spring like a flower even from the cliffs of despair.”  How wonderful God’s security is in believers’ lives!  Billy Graham (b. 1918), an evangelical preacher said, “God proved His love on the Cross.  When Christ hung, and bled, it was God saying to the world, ‘I love you.’”

People must always put love into practice while serving mankind.  This calls for having humble hearts and a positive outlook.  Such care must be meaningful and authentic.  This is often demonstrated in the Eucharistic celebration of the supper of the Lamb when Christ is adored.  And all are welcomed at his feast.  Through participation believers put into practice their faith.  Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929–1968), a Baptist minister and civil rights leader said, “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”  People’s failure to sow love, and making themselves heard are surely the sort of tragedy to which King was alluding.

 Service

Desmond Tutu (b. 1931), a South African retired Anglican bishop wrote, “You don’t choose your family.  They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.”  Such love is universal.  At the sublime level it’s one of connection.  People promote this truth when they come forward to do their part in the communities where they live.  This service is created, recreated, nurtured, and blossoms into amazing realities.  It’s holy and expresses the eternal blessings of our Creator.

Love is a true gift for all living souls.  Albert Camus (1913–1960), a French author and philosopher captured this best when he said, “Without culture, and the relative freedom it implies, society, even when perfect, is but a jungle.  This is why any authentic creation is a gift to the future.”  Cycles of creative forces keep moving us forward to tap into a newer and better world.  This is through the recognition of the Holy Spirit working in our midst.

 

 

Harvest of Blessings

Jesus told the Jews to believe in the works which he did and they will know who he is.  These gifts were from the Father, for he was the Son of God.  In Isaiah 35:5 God promised the eyes of the blind shall be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.   Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego were bound and thrown into a burning furnace, but they were seen walking in the midst of flames that didn’t harm them.  Hezekiah was sick, and about to die, when Isaiah the prophet was told by God to let him know he has heard his prayers.  God added some fifteen more years to his life.  Living abundantly in the Lord, leads to a harvest of blessings.

Joel Osteen (b. 1963), a televangelist and senior pastor of Lakewood Church, Houston, Texas, said: “When you focus on being a blessing, God makes sure that you are always blessed in abundance.”  By not being self-centered and reaching out to others Christians freely share these blessings.  The more they honor people the more they are blessed by God.

When offering blessings we mustn’t distinguish between the rich and poor.  We’re all God’s children.  President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945) said, “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much, it is whether we provide enough to those who have little.”  Roosevelt was cognizant that the poor has a special place in the eyes of God.

God’s Gifts

Abundance might not come only with material wealth.  Some might have these comforts and be miserable.  The founder of Simple Abundance Charitable Fund, Sarah Breathnach (b. 1947) wrote, “Whatever we are waiting for – peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance – it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart.”  No doubt, we have to be in the right frame of mind to accept such gifts.  Are your hearts open to God?

People might make distinctions concerning their prayers.  Often we pray when faced with setbacks and challenges.  Khalil Gibran (1883–1931), a Lebanese-born artist and writer captured this phenomenon by saying, “You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might also pray in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance.”   In being blessed with the gifts from God’s bounty we ought to thank him.  Christians doing so will surely receive more blessings.

Love What You Do

You must love what you do.  By so doing you’ll be happy when you spread your blessings with others.  A self-help author and motivational speaker Wayne Dyer (1940–2015) wrote, “Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life.”  You don’t have to wonder about those things about which you have no interest.  Do the tasks that bring you joy, happiness, and peace of mind.  All believers are blessed with at least one gift.

In our society there are some who are blessed with material gifts.  A Spanish priest and theologian Saint Ignatius (1491–1556) said, “If God has given you the world’s goods in abundance, it is to help you gain those of Heaven and be a good example of sound teaching to your sons, servants, and relatives.”  In short, it depends on how you use your treasure.  For Saint Ignatius these gifts have to be instruments for blessing people.  This is the way to live with wealth.

A Christian Allegiance

Dan Quayle (b. 1947), vice president of the United States declared, “I pledge allegiance to the Christian flag, and to the Savior, for whose Kingdom it stands, one Savior, crucified, risen, and coming again with life and liberty for all who believe.”  Quayle certainly made his pledge against sin, fallacies, idolatrous pride, and fear.  Like Christians he could now approach God and seek his friendship, for he knows that obeying his laws are of paramount importance.  He accepts God’s freedom and privileges.  Christians like Quayle are continuing to do good deeds.  They are spreading good seeds even after the storms of life.

Mankind is born with the proclivity to sin.  Our lives have marks of evil, pride, display of personal power, and we aren’t humble.  But it’s right to change our behavior to a childlike trust in the supreme being of Jesus Christ.  It’s beneficial to participate in communal prayer and listen to the tick-tack of our consciences.  In word and action we must be contemplatives.  Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929–1968), a Baptist minister and Civil Rights leader said, “We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive.  He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.  There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us.  When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”  By prayer and the working of the Holy Spirit, believers should pursue higher goals in their lives.

Transformation of Hearts

William Gaddis, Jr. (1922–1998), a novelist remarked, “Power doesn’t corrupt people, people corrupt power.”  That’s why leaders and followers alike ought to turn away from the corrupting nature of their hearts that are evil. It was sin which led to the first humans’ downfall when their actions betrayed their trust of God.  Let us reform our hearts by daily prayer and not be blind to the truth of the Word.  Further, accept Christ’s expiation of our sins and feed on his teachings.  On our journey toward heaven it’s inevitable we’ll face tests.  You should embrace setbacks boldly and let your faith grow.  Do away with the desire to live sensually and be steadfast in your Christian walk.

The Bible says our hearts are filled with lustful desires.  These conditions eat away at the good in us.  In reading Scripture we’re distracted by fallen angels, transgressions, and evil that doesn’t enthrone God.  To counter these defects let us be athletes of the living God.  Let us dedicate ourselves to the faith and persevere in the race.  Be Christian models in our churches.  It’s wise to remember that almost everything we’re bound to make errors in judgment.  Jacob Bronowski (1908–1974), a Polish-Jewish and British author wrote, “No science is immune to the infection of politics and the corruption of power.”  Bronowski held a different perspective of power than Gaddis.  But an important way of thinking about power is that, leaders who wield it, have to be wise about how it’s used.

Our goals in life must be what Quayle said earlier.  It’s about allegiance to Jesus Christ – not just any allegiance, but a holy one.  This hope for our life could only be found through the Cross of Calvary.  With such beliefs lie redemption from sin and salvation. It’s therefore right to rid ourselves of our sinful natures and put on righteousness.  For with God, we’ve to be pure, and free from sin, to enter his Heavenly Kingdom.

Religions in Africa

According to all the major surveys, Christianity and Islam each represent approximately 40 percent of the African population. Christianity is more dominant in the south, while Islam is more dominant in the north. Indigenous African practices tend to be strongest in the central states of Africa, but some form of their practices and beliefs can be found almost anywhere in Africa.

African diaspora — mostly due to the slave trade starting in the 15th century — indigenous African religions have spread and taken root all over the world, including in the United States and Europe. Some of these African diaspora religions include Cuban Regla de Ocha, Haitian Vodou, and Brazilian Candomble.

The pluralistic nature of African-tradition religion is one of the reasons for its success in the diaspora. African spirituality has always been able to adapt to change and allow itself to absorb the wisdom and views of other religions, much more than, for example, Christianity and Islam. While Islam and Christianity tend to be overtly resistant to adopting traditional African religious ideas or practices, indigenous African religions have always accommodated other beliefs.

One of the basic reasons is that indigenous African spiritual beliefs are not bound by a written text, like Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Indigenous African religion is primarily an oral tradition and has never been fully codified; thus, it allows itself to more easily be amended and influenced by other religious ideas, religious wisdom, and by modern development. Holding or maintaining to a uniform doctrine is not the essence of indigenous African religions.

In lieu of these traditional African ways of defining oneself, Christianity and Islam are gradually creating a social identity in Africa that cuts across these indigenous African religious and social identities. They do this by having Africans increasingly identify themselves as either Muslim or Christian, thus denying their unique African worldview that has always viewed — as evidenced in their creation myths — everything as unified and connected to the land, the place were one’s clan, lineage, and people were cosmically birthed. Foreign religions simply don’t have that same connection to the African continent.

Jacob Olupona, professor of indigenous African religions at Harvard Divinity School and professor of African and African-American studies in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, recently sat down for an interview with Anthony Chiorazzi about his lifelong research on indigenous African religions.

https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2015/10/the-spirituality-of-africa/

 

 

Images of Women

Historically women were depicted in the American society as individuals who were docile, bound solely for the purpose of taking care of the home, and raising children.  They washed dishes, clothes, clean house, raise the kids, and did chores as their responsibilities.  The mass media latched on to these roles and elaborated on them, portraying women as having happy family lives.  But Ed Koch (1924–2013), a lawyer and politician thought differently when he said, “Stereotypes lose their power when the world is found to be more complex than the stereotype would suggest and we learn that individuals do not fit the group stereotype, then it begins to fall apart.”  For years women saddled with domestic responsibilities showed they had diverse talents.

With stereotypes males grew up believing females were sexual objects.  Even today in popular media there continues to be much focus on feminine beauty, and sex appeal.  Presently, it’s more than being blonde and blue-eyed.  Beautiful women are in every ethnic group, and shades of complexion.  Kat Graham (b. 1989), Swiss-born American actress, model, singer and dancer wrote, “There was a time when men thought it was sexy to have a house wife waiting for him to come home from work in her slippers, but in modern society, I think an independent woman is even more sexy.”  Today’s women are more independent because for the most part they have broken through the glass ceiling of this world that held them back from progressing in society.  Presently American society still lacks meritorious promotions, and equal pay for equal work.

Faith-Filled Women

Faith-filled women are a special breed.  Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ, and Queen of the Universe is an ideal role model for Christian women.  She witnessed the crucifixion of her Son – Our Lord Jesus Christ.  Eleanor Roosevelt (1884–1962), a politician, diplomat, and the longest serving First Lady of the United States said, “A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.”  This was very much like Mary, Mother of God.  Christian women continue to emulate her devotion and purity.

Regardless of how intelligent and spirit-filled women are some men still view them as beings to manipulate.  Some films and TV programs depict women as flaky and unstable.  A few news clips portray female reporters as being emotional when reporting tragic stories, and some male journalists have criticized them for becoming too personally involved, rather than being detached, and objective.

Women’s Role

Why must women be stuck in a world that’s mainly shaped by men?  Anaїs Nin (1903–1977), an author born to Cuban parents in France, but living in the United States wrote, “How wrong it is for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than create it herself.”  For Nin, a woman must shoulder her responsibilities, and not just rely solely on men.  Women have done so in their religious lives with personalities like St. Joan of Arc, St. Teresa of Avila, and St. Thérèse of Lisieux, some faithful Christians to emulate.  In the secular world there are also prominent women in the military, sports, arts, politics, medicine, engineering, science, technology, and executives in the corporate world.  These outstanding women are visionaries, mothers, proven creators, and renowned image builders.

Witnessing

The Lord appointed seventy-two persons and sent them out two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.  He told them to ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers into his harvest field to win souls (Lk 10:1-2).  It is for us to lift up Jesus to draw men and women to him (Jn 12:32).   God will make our efforts grow fruits when we do the planting and watering (1 Cor 3:8-9), because the fields are ripe for harvest (Jn 4:35).  Jesus himself is praying for future believers (Jn 17:20).  The day will come when soul-winning will not be necessary (Jer 31:34).  The harvest will be passed, summer ended, after people will not be saved (Jer 8:20).  The Lord warns us that the righteous will pay a penalty for failing to witness to evil persons (Ezek 3:18-19).  On our foreheads of those who have repented there will be identification marks (Ezek 9:3-11).

Uniqueness of God

Screenwriter Monica Johnson (1946–2010) wrote, “God is unique in giving His people ways to fellowship, witness, and remember what a mighty and merciful God He is.”  This is the reason why believers must witness to others.  It’s one way of empowering them in obtaining the blessings, and gifts of Almighty God.

Ezra Benson (1899–1994), a farmer, government official, and religious leader said, “I am a witness to nations and people deprived of their freedom.  I was there.  I watched that great Iron Curtain drop around nations which formerly had prized their freedom – good people.  I was aghast at these were written off by the stroke of a pen.”  Freedom came to these nations within the Iron Curtain by witnessing about God’s great works.

Human Rights

In our world there are battles that are fought for human rights.  A British artist Ralph Steadman (b. 1936) wrote, “It makes me so desperately sad to witness just how unforgivably wretched our world has become.”  It’s something to see a wretched world, but another thing to do nothing about it.  This calls for the commitment of believers to take action.  David Suzuki (b. 1936), a Canadian academic and environmental activist said, “Too often, governments are quick to use excessive force and even pervert the course of justice to keep oil and gas flowing, forests logged, wild rivers dammed and minerals extracted.  As the Global Witness study reveals, citizens are often killed, too – especially if they are poor and indigenous.”  However Christian believers are constantly doing their part to bring about positive change in the world.  They often confront governments that aren’t working in the interests of the people.

The eleventh general president of the Young Women’s Organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints, Margaret D. Nadauld (b. 1944) said, “Standing as a witness in all things means being kind in all things, being first to say hello, being the first to smile, being the first to make the stranger feel a part of things, being helpful, thinking of others’ feelings, being inclusive.”  Witnessing therefore could be done simply.  It’s about communicating God’s love in a broken world.

God’s Wisdom

Lao Tzu (571–531 BC), an ancient Chinese philosopher and poet wrote, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”  That’s how we should comprehend the wisdom of God that’s beyond our understanding.  With prayers people must come to God.  In him they will gain access to heavenly heights in the supernatural realm.  To do so they must testify about God’s goodness.  Let the whole world view believers as the embodiment of his grace as they proclaim his Word.

Beyond Miracles

Most of us will grow into the prime of our lives.  People ought not to forget the comatose state of their lives in the past.  They were clinically dead on life support, but surprised the specialists when they came alive again.  It was faith giving birth to new life.  The electrocardiograms picked up their heartbeats.  Their heartbeats became stronger, vital signs were normal again, and now they are off the ventilators.  Physicians were skeptical about their recovery, couldn’t believe their eyes because they have beaten the odds.  Their survival was beyond the miracles of modern medicine.  They have been resuscitated by Christ himself who conquered disease and death.  Jean de la Bruyere (1645–1696), a French philosopher and moralist said, “Out of difficulties grow miracles.”  Who could have imagined that while people were so critically ill, how they could come alive again?  It’s through the infinite wisdom of a loving God.

God’s Word

Every day people die and rise.  Daily after reading the Bible they rise with the fullness of joy, for they would have journeyed from the Jordan River to heavenly places.  This happens also by meditation on God’s Word.  God’s Word heals, soothes, and Christians aren’t afraid to die, for they know they will be in heavenly paradise.  That’s why they feel a strong call to proclaim the Gospel to the world.  Although Christian living might be filled with pain, trials, and tribulations, they accept these adversities as blessings.

Hubert Humphrey (1911–1978), a vice president of the United States wrote, “The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love.”  The Bible is filled with spiritual friends and after reading it, anyone – Christian and non-Christian alike, is sure to reach out to others.

Journey to Heaven

In God’s infinite wisdom he sees to it how, when, why, and where believers begin their journey toward heaven.  People attend memorial services meant for the living.  Worshipers express their beliefs about their loved ones.  It doesn’t matter if the deceased were critically ill before death, or if their dreams were shattered by some dreadful disease.  One thing is certain – they endured unspeakable heartaches and won the battle of life.  Their victory came through knowing God.

William Shakespeare (1564–1616), an English poet and playwright said, “Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven.”  Believers by knowing the promises of God persevered in the faith, and lived hopeful lives.  God’s messages was liberating to their souls.  But it’s also essential to know of Satan’s activities on earth.  For as Sun Tzu (544–496 BC) wrote, “Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster.”  Although Tzu was referring to battles with mortals the same is true in spiritual warfare.