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April 22nd, 2014

Earth Day Christian Thoughts

Earth Day Christian Thoughts

In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. – Job 12:10

Today is Earth Day. It is celebrated on April 22nd every year. On Earth Day, people in more than 192 countries demonstrate support for environmental protection. On the same day, many environmentalists might start the ever hot debate on how life originated on Earth, is it through Darwin’s Evolution Theory or created by a supreme creator. We are not planning to take part in that hot discussion but rather consider what message this Earth Day brings to all the Christians on this earth. Let us ponder on some Earth Day christian thoughts now.

Spirituality

Creation itself inspires us and calls us to care. Many people have had their most profound spiritual experience in nature. As we behold the power and love of God in a mountain range, a sunset, or in the timelessness of the ocean, we can’t help but be moved. But creation also includes humans – our families, communities, and created landscapes. God created all things of Heaven and Earth and God is our inspiration to care for both wild places and our own cities and backyards.

Stewardship

Psalm 24 states that “The Earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it.” Humans simply hold the Earth in trust for God. We are tenants here, called to care for the creation on behalf of future generations and all species. The Bible calls us to “till and keep the garden” and names human beings as the trustees of creation. Because God created all the Earth and all of us, creation is beautiful and good and sacred. We are called by our devotion to God and our love for God’s works to protect it.

Sustainability

At the heart of sustainability is the goal of meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In a world of finite resources, those among us who have more than enough must address patterns of consumption so that we can provide for all. Acquiring more “stuff” has a direct effect on the sustainability of the planet and on the quality of life for people around the globe. The good news is that more and more people are realizing that spiritual emptiness can’t be filled by consumption. What makes us happy is intimacy – intimacy with self, with others, and with God. In the end, sustainability means seeing ourselves and our neighbors as children of God, not as consumers or competitors for Earth’s resources.

Justice

Justice means that in addition to providing aid to our neighbors, we are called to change societal systems that cause poverty, injustice, and environmental damage in the first place. It goes beyond helping to meet physical needs to creating a society with laws and policies that allow the needs of all Earth’s inhabitants to be met. Care and responsibility for the “least of these among us” is a central tenant of Christianity and has a direct connection to environment issues. The impact of environmental degradation falls most heavily on the people around the world who are least able to mitigate these impacts — poor and vulnerable populations. It also disproportionately affects fragile plants, animals and ecosystems. Working for justice calls us to channel our faith into power, to call for social and environmental justice at the local, state and national level.

Thoughts for Christians on this Earth Day

If you have been accustomed to scoffing at Earth Day or merely passing it off as a humanist holiday, perhaps this year you could consider making it a time for asking if there might indeed be many ways in which followers of Christ could “integrate new insights and revise positions” about caring for the earth that we acknowledge “is the Lord’s” and not ours to do with as we please and regardless of the collective damage we may be doing to it. Could we indeed be “muddying water” and “trampling pastures” that others have as much right to as we? Its time to think and act!


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May 12th, 2013

Mothers Day Gift – Bible Verses About Mothers

Mothers Day Gift

Proverbs 31:26-27 —> She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Proverbs 31:25-30 —> Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.”

Matthew 12:48-50 —> But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

Proverbs 6:20 —> My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching.

Psalm 127:3 —> Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.

Leviticus 20:9 —> For anyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death; he has cursed his father or his mother; his blood is upon him.

Luke 14:26 —> If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.

Matthew 15:4-6 —> For God commanded, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ But you say, ‘If anyone tells his father or his mother, “What you would have gained from me is given to God,” he need not honor his father.’ So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God.

Isaiah 49:15 —> Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.

Proverbs 23:22-25 —> Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old. Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding. The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him. Let your father and mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice.

Psalm 139:13-16 —> For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

Ephesians 6:2 —> “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise)

Exodus 20:12 —> Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

Matthew 10:37 —> Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

Proverbs 29:15 —> The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.

Proverbs 22:15 —> Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.

Proverbs 20:20 —> If one curses his father or his mother, his lamp will be put out in utter darkness.

Proverbs 15:20 —> A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish man despises his mother.

Proverbs 22:6 —> Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 17:6 —> Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers.

Exodus 21:15 —> Whoever strikes his father or his mother shall be put to death.

Isaiah 66:13 —> As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.

Leviticus 19:3 —> Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and you shall keep my Sabbaths: I am the Lord your God.

Proverbs 28:24 —> Whoever robs his father or his mother and says, “That is no transgression,” is a companion to a man who destroys.

John 2:3-4 —> When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.”

Mark 7:10-12 —> For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban”’ (that is, given to God)— then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother,

Proverbs 1:8 —> Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching,

1 Timothy 2:11-15 —> Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.

Mark 3:35 —> For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”

Jeremiah 1:5 —> Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.

2 Kings 4:30 —> Then the mother of the child said, “As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So he arose and followed her.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 —> And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

Hebrews 12:5-11 —> And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? …

2 Timothy 1:5 —> I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.

John 19:25-30 —> But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. …

Exodus 21:17 —> Whoever curses his father or his mother shall be put to death.

Ephesians 6:4 —> Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Matthew 19:19 —> Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Proverbs 30:17 —> The eye that mocks a father and scorns to obey a mother will be picked out by the ravens of the valley and eaten by the vultures.

Proverbs 30:11 —> There are those who curse their fathers and do not bless their mothers.

Proverbs 19:26 —> He who does violence to his father and chases away his mother is a son who brings shame and reproach.

Proverbs 13:24 —> Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.

Psalm 127:3-5 —> Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

Exodus 21:22-25 —> When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

Colossians 2:1-23 —> For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ. …

Galatians 5:22 —> But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Luke 2:51 —> And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.

Mark 10:19 —> You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’”

Proverbs 10:1 —> The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.

Psalm 51:5 —> Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.

1 Kings 19:20 —> And he left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, “Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” And he said to him, “Go back again, for what have I done to you?”

Leviticus 18:7 —> You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father, which is the nakedness of your mother; she is your mother, you shall not uncover her nakedness.

John 3:1-36 —> Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. …

Isaiah 1:1-31 —> The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for the Lord has spoken: “Children have I reared and brought up, but they have rebelled against me. The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master’s crib, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.” Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, children who deal corruptly! They have forsaken the Lord, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are utterly estranged. Why will you still be struck down? Why will you continue to rebel? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. …

Galatians 4:26 —> But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother.

Ecclesiastes 12:7 —> And the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

Psalm 55:16 —> But I call to God, and the Lord will save me.

1 Chronicles 4:9-10 —> Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked.


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August 5th, 2012

5 Traits Of True Christian Friends

Traits Of True Christian Friends

Today is Friendship Day. We wish all of you a very blessed and happy Friendship Day. What does a true Christian friendship look like? Let’s break it down into five traits that are easy to identify.

1. Christian Friends Love Sacrificially

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)

Jesus is the finest example of a true Christian friend. His love for us is sacrificial, never selfish. He demonstrated it not only through his miracles of healing, but more fully through the humble service of washing the disciples’ feet, and then ultimately, when he laid down his life on the cross.

If we choose our friends based only on what they have to offer, we’ll rarely discover the blessings of a genuine friendship. Philippians 2:3 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” By valuing your friend’s needs above your own, you’ll be on your way to loving like Jesus. In the process, you’ll likely gain a true friend.

2. Christian Friends Accept Unconditionally

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. (Proverbs 17:17)

We discover the best of friendships with brothers and sisters who know and accept our weaknesses and imperfections.

If we’re easily offended or hold on to bitterness, we’ll have a hard time making friends. No one is perfect. We all make mistakes now and then. If we take a truthful look at ourselves, we’ll admit that we bear some of the blame when things go wrong in a friendship. A good friend is quick to ask forgiveness and ready to be forgiving.

3. Christian Friends Trust Completely

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)

This proverb reveals that a true Christian friend is trustworthy, indeed, but emphasizes a second important truth as well. We should only expect to share complete trust with a few loyal friends. Trusting too easily can lead to ruin, so be careful about putting your confidence in a mere companion. Over time our true Christian friends will prove their trustworthiness by sticking closer than a brother or sister.

4. Christian Friends Keep Healthy Boundaries

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy … (1 Corinthians 13:4)

If you feel smothered in a friendship, something is wrong. Likewise, if you feel used or abused, something is amiss. Recognizing what’s best for someone and giving that person space are signs of a healthy relationship. We should never let a friend come between us and our spouse. A true Christian friend will wisely avoid intruding and recognize your need to maintain other relationships.

5. Christian Friends Give Mutual Edification

Wounds from a friend can be trusted … (Proverbs 27:6)

True Christian friends will build each other up emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Friends like to be together simply because it feels good. We receive strength, encouragement, and love. We talk, we cry, we listen. But at times we also have to say the difficult things our dearest friend needs to hear. Yet, because of the shared trust and acceptance, we are the one person who can impact our friend’s heart, for we know how to deliver the hard message with truth and grace. I believe this is what Proverbs 27:17 means when it says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”

Friendship Day Cards

Happy Friendship Day

Friendship Prayers

Christian Friendship Messages

Why God gave us friends

These five traits will show you areas that may need a little work in your effort to build stronger friendships. But if you don’t have lots of close friends, don’t be too hard on yourself.

Remember, true Christian friendships are rare treasures. They take time to nurture, but in the process we grow more Christlike.


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