A Time To Revere Wisdom

Wisdom – Knowledge is Greater Than Gold!


Edinburgh University Library Blogs – University of Edinburgh Collection: University of Edinburgh; Persons: N/A; Event: N/A; Place: McEwan Hall; Edinburgh; Scotland; UK; Category: University Buildings; Description: Details from the ceiling space of the McEwan Hall during the 2016 refurbishment of the building.

TWENTY-EIGHTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – WK IV

Ant. 2 (Evening Prayer) “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for holiness; they will be satisfied.”

Solomon’s Respect for Wisdom

Therefore I prayed, and understanding was given me; I called on God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me. I preferred her to scepters and thrones, and I accounted wealth as nothing in comparison with her. Neither did I liken to her any priceless gem, because all gold is but a little sand in her sight, and silver will be accounted as clay before her. 10 I loved her more than health and beauty, and I chose to have her rather than light because her radiance never ceases. 11 All good things came to me along with her and in her hands’ uncounted wealth. 12 I rejoiced in them all because wisdom leads them, but I did not know that she was their mother. 13 I learned without guile and I impart without grudging; I do not hide her wealth, 14 for it is an unfailing treasure for mortals; those who get it obtain friendship with God commended for the gifts that come from instruction. ~ Wisdom 7:7-14  New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Reflection One – Wisdom Lost on the World!

Two weeks ago the American people witnessed the spectacle of a contested Supreme Court Nomination in which all wisdom was forfeited for political self-interest. Two years ago the American people for the second time witnessed the spectacle of a Presidential election be won by someone who did not win the majority of the vote and which to this day their presidency is both contested and under investigation for a multitude of election tapering violations;  again for the political-self interest of a few. This past week we have been watching the spectacle of a leader who may have ordered the murder of a Saudi born journalist named Jamal Khashoggi who was an American Green cardholder at the time of his alleged killing in Turkey because he simply held views that were different from the young Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. Who for good measure has many business deals with the aforementioned  American President. We also prior to all these more recent events for decades have been embroiled in what has become a political debate where the powerful have engaged in beating down the scientific community on the topic of Global Warming’.  A topic which affects every human being on planet earth because to change how we produce energy would radically affect a minority who are heavily invested in how we create, sell, and thus turn a profit in the modern energy markets. Once again, we are witnessing the destruction of a world we all were born on and therefore will live and die on as well. We need nature – nature does not need us! The simple common sense that has been lost on our world of greedy… powerful… tyrants!

Reflection Two – Wisdom in Stark Contrast!

I bring these issues up because each one of them defies logic, they completely ignore wisdom, and are upheld by just a very small minority of the people who benefit while the supremely larger majority of human beings do not. That static by itself is outside the box of moral thought! Morally speaking in the eyes of God no one man or women is better than any other man or women.  The poor are just as valid as the rich. God sent His only son for the salvation of the entire human race, Jews and Gentiles alike. Once more as a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, etc. we all were given the responsibility to uphold justice, protect the innocent, stand up against immoral behaviors, and to love your fellow human being! All of which is the signpost of God’s wisdom, God’s morality, and God’s final covenant with the human race. Therefore, my brothers and sisters there is no room for people of any color or greed, religion or belief, and or status as mankind calculates it to be so blinded by the very idea of wealth, power and influence that they put into jeopardy the larger – remainder of peoples who simply do not benefit or share in any of the mega prosperity that so few enjoys. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against rich people in general, rather I truly believe that wealth for the sake of wealth, power for the sake of power, and greed for the sake of greed is a mortal sin; a plague thrust upon us humans. All too often our petty weakness does nothing more than to create more needless sin and unrest. Moreover, the resources of earth were given to mankind to protect not to destroy, or to use up, and or to profit from! There is no wisdom in any of those things. The son of King David could have been just like the Saudi Crown Prince – drunk on his wealth, ordering the murder of those he disagreed with. Solomon could have been just like Trump ignoring the laws which bind us together just for his own blinded greedy self-interest. But as the Bible tells us that here was a man who loved only one thing above all the wealth and power he wielded and that my friends was wisdom. For Solomon prayed to God for wisdom, he called out to God and was given the Holy Spirit which showed him truth and justice. In his own words, Solomon writes,

” 7:8 I preferred her to specters and thrones and I accounted wealth as nothing in comparison with her.” 

Wisdom 7:8 – New Revised Standard Version  (NRSV)

Because of this very idea, core belief, and righteous understanding, Solomon found the panicle of fair play and became a just ruler. I have always said if you want to rule, be the boss, then be fair and just and your leadership will stand the test of time. But that of the jealous malevolence of a tyrant; they will always be hated and loathed standing as an example of what not to do. In stark contrast, history reflects that King Solomon was the opposite of most of the powerful leaders we see today. In fact, Solomon further draws the distinction between the worth of wisdom over the monetary worth of gold and silver as he continues in the very next verse,

“7:9 Neither did I liken to her any priceless gem, because all gold is but a little sand in her sight, and silver will be accounted as clay before her.” 

Wisdom 7:9 – New Revised Standard Version  (NRSV)

For this reason, we have the words, “WISDOM IS THE PRINCIPAL THING”, written in all caps in the Edinburgh University Library. For once again my brothers and sisters, knowledge trumps greed and blind self-interest. That is also why people who live for power often times seek to subdue the scholarly and those who pursue wisdom. Men of the world will always be at war with themselves and the world at large, everything to them is a competition – always having to come in first place, for they shall never find peace of heart and the wisdom to be an effective force for good.

Modern Day Wisdom – Call to Action!

So I say to you my brothers and sisters, make no time for lies in your life. Make no room in your heart for part-time friends. Make no concessions for the deeds that you know are evil. Make truth your only reality. Make your words trusted among all you meet. Make your life’s journey full of love, laughter, and happiness and show mercy where needed! Show love in the face of hate and our creator shall love you back! Be the color of God – the color of everyone and be one with all creation. Make your stand with purity of heart and know you are always loved!

LET US PRAY!

The Happiness of the Just Man

Psalm 112 
Blessings of the Righteous

Praise the Lord! Happy are those who fear the Lord, who greatly delight in his commandments.

Ant. 2 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for holiness; they will be satisfied.

Their descendants will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.

Ant. 2 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for holiness; they will be satisfied.

Wealth and riches are in their houses, and their righteousness endures forever.

Ant. 2 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for holiness; they will be satisfied.

They rise in the darkness as a light for the upright; they are gracious, merciful, and righteous.

Ant. 2 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for holiness; they will be satisfied.

It is well with those who deal generously and lend, who conduct their affairs with justice.

Ant. 2 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for holiness; they will be satisfied.

For the righteous will never be moved; they will be remembered forever.

Ant. 2 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for holiness; they will be satisfied.

They are not afraid of evil tidings; their hearts are firm, secure in the Lord.

Ant. 2 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for holiness; they will be satisfied.

Their hearts are steady, they will not be afraid; in the end, they will look in triumph on their foes.

Ant. 2 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for holiness; they will be satisfied.

They have distributed freely, they have given to the poor; their righteousness endures forever; their horn is exalted in honor.

Ant. 2 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for holiness; they will be satisfied.

The wicked see it and are angry; they gnash their teeth and melt away; the desire of the wicked comes to nothing.

Ant. 2 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for holiness; they will be satisfied.

NEED HELP OR ENCOURAGEMENT?

If you would like to receive ongoing encouragement, to help you stay focused, and/or need some guidance in where to look for motivational scriptures in the bible then please leave a comment below. Remember you’re never alone.

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us. ~ Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

NOW GO SPREAD THE WORD!!

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FAITH & WORKS

WORDS VERSE ACTIONS

TWENTY-FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – WK IV

CANTICLE OF MARY – Antiphon “I say to you: there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.”

14-17 “Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?” ~ James 2:14-18 Message Bible (MSG)

Reflection Question:

“Have you ever confessed how much of a Christian you are and how much you love God but then treat someone close to you badly, ignoring their real needs because someone else told you to do so? Better yet… have you ever confessed your love and friendship for someone close to you but never truly defend them with both words and actions as Christ has done for you?” [Hint: God gave us all free will for a reason.]

Dear brothers and sisters, I say to you that God sees everything you do and hears everything you say. There are plenty of people in this world that have the gift of the tongue – they sound really really convincing and say all the right things when it counts, but their actions do not match their words. On the other hand, there are plenty of people who sorta sound OK but their actions are a great inspiration as they make sure they are in all the right places being seen by all the influential people but build detractors because of the harsh criticisms they say in private. Another example is those fake friends and lovers who will say they love you but are never around when times get tough. To all these sorts of people I ask, “What good is there in that?” “How are words without actions working for you?” “How are actions with harsh criticisms making a real difference?” To those fake friends – “How is being around only in the times of plenty emulating Christ?” 

Last week was centered on these words put into action, “Peace I leave with you…and “The Spirit of fear, God, therefore, did not give to humanity”. In that post, we discover how mankind is the catalyst for sewing the seeds of fear into each other for the purpose of convincing or controlling the situation or circumstances which arise from those actions and how God plays no part in the spreading of fear but yet is the light of peace in the world. The same applies here in this post… If our spirit is true and pure the words which come forth from our mouths will be from God as well as our actions emulate God. Words and actions together that glorify God and which overcomes this world of sinners is our mission plane and simple. So, I say to you my brothers and sisters, make sure every word you say is pure and filled with compassion and love. Likewise, make sure every action is in-line with God and His will, guiding your actions and emulating the love and peace which only comes from God above.

God-Talk with God-Actions Reflection

“Therefore I exhort first of all that you make supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings for everyone, for kings and for all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and honesty, for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” ~ 1 Timothy 2:1-4 Modern Egnlish Version (MEV).

So… where did Paul choose to start with Timothy? In truth, I really like this epistle because it highlights so much of what every person is called to do not just Ministers and Priests, but also the laity – that being you and me. There is so much wisdom in Paul’s words, so much love in how he approaches the many duties of discipleship, and truly you can see the father/son relationship they shared. Beyond the greeting – “To Timothy, my true son in the faith…” (1 Timothy 1:2) to the warnings of false doctrine… (1 Timothy 1:3-20) Paul starts his instruction with the very topic Jesus had started with His very own disciples… that of  Prayer. That is the main reason I decided in my own life to begin a ritual of prayer using the Christian Prayer: The Liturgy of the Hours.  It was Paul’s deep desire that all people pray everywhere, clearing our minds of our earthly troubles and to open our hearts without contentiousness. (1 Timothy 2:8). The other thing which Paul does here is expresses Jesus’s deepest desires; being that all people be saved and come to the wisdom and knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:4). Therefore, sounding good, talking the talk, and or showing up with a deep self-serving motive does you and those who follow no good because an act disguised as faith is no faith at all and therefore dead in the eyes of God. (1 Timothy 1:5-7) For true teachers are most concerned with devoting their entire life to the truth, wisdom, and shares their faith with both God-talk and God-actions with fidelity. This is a lifelong pursuit as God allows diversity to teach and mold you into the most perfect version of yourself possible. But this can not happen without any effort or thought to one’s own sins and the most heartfelt supplications lifted up with sincerity confessing to yourself and to God as Paul did in writing to Timothy that; “I accept that Christ Jesus came to save sinners, of whom I am the worst.” (1 Timothy 1:15)  So my brothers and sisters, the power God gave us, (2 Timothy 1:7), is rooted in the knowledge of what Christ has done for us and because of His sacrifice we love Him;  1 ” I love the Lord, who listened to my voice in supplication, Who turned an ear to me on the day I called.”(Psalm 116:1-2). Paul expresses that through his supplications of being a sinner Jesus gave him mercy. (1 Timothy 1:15) Again, my brothers and sisters just as lip service doesn’t work with us humans it doesn’t work with God either. Thus, prayer with sincerity is what cleanses the soul and makes ready for those God-Actions. The fulfillment of being in harmony with God allows the obedient heart to show all patience, love, and mercy with each other which are some of the most wonderful fruits of the Holy Spirit. Beyond this pray earnestly for one another; even those people whom you do not like. For if you do not what good is there in that? Again, I say to you my brothers and sisters do not be as those who have plenty and are lost and thus act and sound pious. Rather lack nothing in your hearts… pick up your cross and follow Jesus exhibiting your faith with both your words and actions! (Mark 9:22).

Reflection Question: “Do you think that you will be strong enough to answer Jesus when He comes to you and asks, ‘Who do you say that I am?'”

LET US PRAY!

Thanksgiving to God Who Saves from Death

Psalm 116

Beseech the Lord


1  I love the Lord, who listened to my voice in supplication,

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

2 Who turned an ear to me on the day I called.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

3 I was caught by the cords of death; the snares of Sheol had seized me; I felt agony and dread.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

4 Then I called on the name of the Lord, “O Lord, save my life!”

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

5 Gracious is the Lord and righteous; yes, our God is merciful.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

6 The Lord protects the simple; I was helpless, but he saved me.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

7 Return, my soul, to your rest; the Lord has been very good to you.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

8 For my soul has been freed from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

9 I shall walk before the Lord in the land of the living.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

10 kept faith, even when I said, “I am greatly afflicted!”

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

11 I said in my alarm, “All men are liars!”

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

12 How can I repay the Lord for all the great good done for me?

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

13 I will raise the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

14 will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

15 Dear in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his devoted.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

16 Lord, I am your servant, your servant, the child of your maidservant; you have loosed my bonds.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

17 I will offer a sacrifice of praise and call on the name of the Lord.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

18 I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people,

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

19 In the courts of the house of the Lord, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Hallelujah!

Remember to also pray for all the victims of Sexual Misconduct within the Catholic Church, we all pray: (Month of September 2018) The Prays of Contrition & Reconciliation.

Special Prayer for Fr. Mike 
December 7, 1946 – September 9, 2018

The Ascension community thanks God for the time that Father Michael J. Mandala S.J gave as a beloved guest minister at Ascension Catholic Church… he will be sorely missed. We Celebrate his life of service to Our Lord and his ministry of giving on Saturday, September 22, 2018, at 10 a.m. at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church 6657 Sunset Blvd. Hollywood CA 90028.

Ant. I became all things to all men, that all might find salvation. Common of Pastors – Canticle of Mary – For a Priest.

5 “To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. ~ 1 Peter 5:1-4 (NIV)

REST IN PEACE AND LOVE – FR. MIKE

NEED HELP OR ENCOURAGEMENT?

If you would like to receive ongoing encouragement, to help you stay focused, and/or need some guidance in where to look for motivational scriptures in the bible then feel free to email me at listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com with your request. Remember you’re never alone.

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us. ~ Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

NOW GO SPREAD THE WORD!!

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Be a part of spreading the word of God by giving what you can today. 

“Let’s grow together as children of God”

Listening Faithfully Blog written by Brian K. Stark © 2009-2018

Trustworthiness – A CASE FOR GOD!

“The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” ~ Exodus 15:2, NIV Bible

Trustworthiness – The Want

The word ‘trustworthiness’ is first a want; everyone wants their name to be associated with it. People want others to view them as being ‘trustworthy’ and in that if this word does not appear on the personal description of friends and family then people genuinely get their feelings hurt. Mostly it is indirect comments through general conversation that this word is implied in the good or negative and because of its meaning that we associate with it the word, ‘trustworthiness’ it has the power to build a person up in the eyes of others or assign them to a lowly level on mankind’s social latter. Here is a question I want one needs to think very carefully about; “How many times have you heard your teacher in primary school talk about the importance of being trustworthy?” If you are anything like me you will have heard comments made about this word at least a million times by numerous teachers throughout grade, middle, and upper level school. “Why… I ask?”  Because as kids we do not see this word in all it’s glory, but when becoming an adult it becomes everything. It is how we are judged as caring human beings whether anyone wants to say it or not. So here is another question we need to ponder, “From where did we get this idea about trustworthiness? How did it ever become so important?”

Trustworthiness – The Bible

16 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” ~ 2 Timothy 3:16 NIV Bible

When researching the word, ‘trustworthiness’ I found roughly 40 different bible verses which are talking about the meaning of the word whether the word itself was mentioned or not including those used in this post. Trustworthiness first and for most is a descriptor word; meaning that we as people unknowingly through the basic function of the need to survive place people we meet into two different categories. Therefore, because we see others as being trustworthy, (which equates to becoming an ally) or not being trustworthy, (which equates to being a foe), we first search for certain qualities in strangers we meet and or continue to probe for the same qualities in our family members and friends. In the days before religion man needed to know who to trust and who not to trust for the simple sake of survival; pick the wrong person and it could lead to disastrous consequences. In that trustworthiness is the first human assessment ever devised. Likewise, these characteristics bleeds into our numerous religious beliefs as time went on because again the more complex man becomes the more complex this word also becomes and the more descriptions of what it means grows as does it’s importance in our daily lives.

Quick Self Assessment Question: “How many times have you felt someone let you down?” 

If you are human then you will have felt others may have let you down almost ever single day you live. Before the bible this led people to disown family members that had made a single mistake in judgment and did something that was considered a taboo, to groups of people being outcast from society because they had a disease, to and including people being murdered for the act of cheating on a spouse. This led man to create societal rules that could be easily followed and maintained. The Bible when first being developed was in fact not a singular book of wisdom, but rather a host of singular writings from a plethora of different authors who wrote about trustworthiness and in most instances of the Bible you will find it is either a command from God to trust Him and His divine judgement or a tool to judge others by. From this humanity also found a way to test everything in nature including God Himself. Therefore, the teaching of the Bible follows the theme of the root word of trustworthiness which is trust, (which equates to trust in God.) It was easier to trust in something that was more powerful, something that could be viewed as responsible for the unexplainable which scared the hell out us. With each new description mankind either adopted the teachings or rejected them always keeping in mind; can one trust what is being taught and be viewed as being accurate? This fight still rages on today in our modern society. We need to trust in something that cannot be proven right or wrong because that is the very foundation of faith, and faith allows man to jump past the fear of the unknown element we face in nature and in ourselves. Thus the Holy Bible and other religious texts from the many different faiths around the world serve this most basic of human needs, the need to trust others, the need to believe in something more powerful, and the need to examine both our relationships and ourselves within those relationships.

Quick Self Assessment Question: “How many times have you felt that you let someone down?”

Again, if your human then you will feel this way almost ever single day of your life. In some way we let others we care about down, we make decisions that let events happen that affect negatively someone we care about, and in this process we generally put ourselves first which again satisfies the need to be either trustworthy to a group or to ourselves. In this way also does the Holy Bible help us feel better about our actions through the process of justifying our actions to both the larger group we associate with and in the singular – to ourselves. Our moral conscience or compass in the end only needs to be justified in our own mind before we can be satisfied with any outcomes of those action we took. The link to religion in this way is best illustrated when we pray for forgiveness because this act helps us to make the jump past our guilt of letting others down. Because God is primarily responsible for forgiving our sins and because we never see Him in the physical it is easier to say that we are forgiven because we felt God say so. But for the hardened sceptic religion also has the work around for the absence of God by endowing a person namely a Priest or Pastor that can also forgive our sins which reinforces the presence of God and in other religions idols sever as this reinforcement. How many times have you heard someone else say this? “I prayed so therefore I am forgiven.”

At this point I want to put in this disclaimer: In no way shape or form and I saying or advocating that God is not real or does not exist, rather I am saying we as human beings us the very idea of God as a tool within our own minds to push down negative emotions we are faced with. In this post the topic is ‘Trustworthiness’, but this same line of logic can be applied to almost ever other human emotion.

God is… in every single way necessary and important to human survival. We need to believe in something greater than ourselves because mankind is flawed. We are not in any way perfect, but in every single way in the eyes of God we can find hope, mercy, love, and forgiveness; all the things we need to be healthy and whole. God fills our spirit with the strength to deal with life and all its happenings. Though we no longer need to prove trustworthiness as our ancestors had too, being trustworthy is no less important. God is the connector and we need His grace and wisdom to help navigate our complicated and complex world. God is the justification when we cannot explain events or cannot see the full plan, especially when we fall from the path we set ourselves on. Because we are taught that we first can trust in God, we can view the world with wonder and excitement because even though bad things will happen we have the confidence that we are not alone and more importantly when others let us down we have a place to run too and be consoled. When we let others down god is ready to take us in and forgive us our sins against our brothers as well because God is love.

Trustworthiness – The Moral Guide

5 “This is what the Lord says: ‘Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord.'” ~ Jeremiah 17:5 NIV Bible

To have your name associated with this word, ‘Trustworthy’ doesn’t mean that you have to be perfect in all things. Because that is completely missing the point of life in general. We are not perfect because we have free will, we make our own choices and suffer the consequences of those choices we have made. So therefore my brothers and sisters I say to you;  “Be true to your heart, listen to God who lives in your heart, and know your not perfect but that is also no excuse for seeking to be better, to be worthy, to be trusted by others namely your family and friends, and most importantly to be trusted by God.” I have found in this life the best way to become trustworthy is by saying what you mean – then doing what you say. There is no stronger example than by standing for your own beliefs and openly practicing those beliefs. But this takes character and a strong understanding of your inner person. So it would not be far for me to tell you to do something without giving you the tools to do it. So beyond simply having faith in God, which many people struggle daily with, I am going to give you a blessing I found while visiting a special friend in Thailand.

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Blessings

Not to associate with fools.

To associate with the wise.

To pay respects where they are due.

This is the highest blessing.

To reside in a suitable location.

To have previously done meritorious deeds.

To have set oneself on the right path (to emancipation).

This is the highest blessing.

To have much learning.

To be skilled and knowledgeable.

To be restrained by a moral code.

To have beautiful speech.

This is the highest blessing.

To support one’s parents.

To cherish wife and children.

To earn one’s livelihood without difficulty.

This is the highest blessing.

To be generous.

To live in accord with the Dhamma.

To assist one’s relatives.

To do blameless actions.

This is the highest blessing.

To cease and abstain from evil.

To refrain from intoxicants.

Not to be heedless of the Dhamma.

This is the highest blessing.

To be respectful. To be humble.

To be content. To have gratitude.

To hear the Dhamma at the right time.

This is the highest blessing.

To have patience.

To be easy to admonish.

Associating with monks.

To discuss the Dhamma at a suitable time.

This is the highest blessing.

To practice austerities.

To lead the Holy Life.

Seeing the Noble Truths.

The realization of Nibbanā.

This is the highest blessing.

A mind unshaken by contact with the world.

Sorrowlessness, stainlessness and secure.

This is the highest blessing.

Having accomplished this one is always unconquered,

one goes everywhere in peace.

These are the supreme blessings.

~Maṅgala Sutta, Sutta Nipāta 2.4

THAI DESIGN

Though these blessings are Theravāda Buddhism published in a book called Without and Within and can be downloaded @ www.bia.or.th ; which explains the basics of the faith, all of the ideas have something in common to the basic Christian tradition. Both are teachings of moral qualities a person should desire to have. I believe these teachings are a contributor to how soft-spoken and welcoming the Thai people are in general. These specific blessings will help build ‘trustworthiness’ and personal character and if you seek to make all these things come to fruition that are found within these blessings then in your life I will guarantee that people will see you as a trustworthy person. Side note to following moral code is that people will begin to notice your faith and practice of your faith grow and this will also exude trust naturally, people will want to follow you and learn from you, and if you take on that responsiblity and treat it with the respect it deserves then the true benefits are unspeakable and indescribable for in this you will have attained the blessings above.

I could have easily stated that trustworthiness is simply being trusted by others, but in doing that it would not have expressed the importance of being a person who is worthy of another person’s trust. In this it is hard for me to simply place my trust in a person without first seeing some evidence, but in God I need no explanation nor evidence. I trust in God above all others in my life because simply put people have let me down. How I deal with it and how you my brothers and sisters should deal with it is by first praying to God, asking Him for guidance, understanding, and grace.  Then fall back onto your moral teachings as described above in the first set of blessings which are also found in the Holy Bible, “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” ~ Proverbs 13:20, “Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” Proverbs 13:7, all of which is a shared belief by most people world-wide. I tell you the truth practice grace and understanding and seek commonalities then there will be peace given to you in all aspects of your life, for that my brothers and sisters is the true goal, peace and harmony in your daily life.

Amen

If you enjoyed “Trustworthiness – A CASE FOR GOD!”, I invite you to stay in contact with me through the following ways and please do not forget to rate this posting below.

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  1. Email: listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com
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Closing Reminder to Pray

Scott Spinks

Please do not stop praying for our brother Scott Spinks who is recovering from a stroke that paralyzed the left side of his body while he was visiting his step-daughter who lives in Bangkok, Thailand. He is feeling much better and is now awaiting to be discharged from the hospital. This is the first time I have been able to meet a person whose relative have asked me to publish a Prayer Request on Listening Faithfully Blog. To Art I just wanted to say it was and is my great pleasure to post on your step-fathers behalf. It is my sincere privilege to have been able to visit you and your family as well this opening week of April 2015 – till we meet again.  I urge everyone to remember the power of collective prayer and to remember to pray for our brother in Christ – Scott Spinks. May the Lord be with him and his family throughout his recovery.

  1. To visit the original Prayer Request Click Here
  2. To stay connected and updated with Scott’s Condition Click Here (My Personal Facebook Page)
  3. To send your prayers please Click Here (Listening Faithfully Community Facebook Page)
  4. To Join Listening Faithfully Community please Click Here _________________________________________________________________________________________________

THE PILGRIM SHEPARD

A very honored friend and Catholic Priest; Father Thomas Welbers is going on another Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Below is the general announcement that he published on his blog; The Pilgrim Shepard.

To sign up for this journey with Fr. Welbers please click on the link: SIGN ME UP! 

Meet Fr. Tom!

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Why We Reject God!

14 “For the Lord will not reject his people; he will never forsake his inheritance.” ~ Psalm 94:14 New International Version (NIV)

Rejection

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We reject God for many reasons, most if not all of those reasons are selfish and immature! Most of our reasons are shortsighted; the result of decisions made out of some sort of emotional response to something or someone else that has hurt or embarrassed us. It is our ego which stokes the fires of rebellion against God and this unwarranted knee jerk reaction always goes awry and never in our favor! But most notably we reject God out of fear, disappointment, and because sometimes we are too busy playing the blame game. As imperfect beings we do not see the Godly picture; rather we view events within a single solitary moment that is focused so tightly the connections with all other events is out of focus and lost to us. Therefore, there is always this lingering question that we ask that invariably starts with, “WHY”!

Blame

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We blame God when things in our life go wrong, we blame God when something bad happens. We say to ourselves inwardly, “How could this possibly be happening to me?” Within that statement we proclaim ourselves innocent so that we are justified when we finally come around to lay the final blame on God! After all we reason that it is God because He has all the power so why didn’t He prevent it from happening in the first place? We take our anger out on God because I think sometimes our own personal pain is too hard to bear. We humans come up with a thousand reasons to blame God for our own torment. We are an inventive lot in our blaming and in our rejection of others and in our rejection of God. But I tell you that God does not reject us, so this rejecting of God is strictly a one way street!

The Truth About Rejection

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The truth is we all have experienced rejection of some sort and that we all reject not just God but also our fellow man. Tragic as it is we stop using logic when Satan introduces a personal pain intermixed with the rejection. Rather than to see it for what it is we reject those who have rejected us many times out of hand! In doing so we fall to Satan’s master plan of destruction through division! As unforgivable as that is it becomes even more so when we turn that pain into anger only to focus it squarely on our Lord and Savior. Within that action we reject His divine words, His promises, His miracles, His love, and in doing so we are rejecting our own inheritance! We are bullied out of it because rejection is something that we all fear, because no one wants to be rejected.

What It Means To Be Rejected

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I think that when we are rejected it makes us feel hurt because of what it means to be rejected.

So what does it really mean when someone rejects you or when we reject God?

Definition of Reject:

1.) Dismiss as inadequate, inappropriate, or not to one’s taste.
2.) Fail to show due affection or concern for (someone):

Synonyms: rebuff, spurn, shun, snub, repudiate, cast off/aside, discard, abandon, desert, turn one’s back on, have nothing (more) to do with, wash one’s hands of;

So why did Jesus say he must be rejected by this generation?

Perhaps so that he could live again, so that he could be our savior, so that Jesus could take on fully our sins and so He alone could wash us all clean.

My mother used to say this to me when I was a little kid, ‘Nothing worth fighting for comes easy.’

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So if we apply this to God then; God being rejected really meant that He in His divine wisdom was fighting for our souls. In our rejection of Him do we really find his eternal acceptance of us?

So in reality God rebuffed our sins, He refused to snub us, cast us off as a failure, an experiment gone wrong. God refused to discard us, abandon, or desert us. God did not turn His back on us nor did He wash His mighty hands clean of us. Rather He washed us clean with His blood, with His sacrifice, and with His perfect Love!

None of this was easy and it was only God who could have conceivedthis plan and then pulled it off!

Amen,

If you liked, “Why We Reject God!”, then I invite you to stay in contact with me via the following ways;

Email: listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com

Facebook: Click Here

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Prayer of Strength

ImageEach day you get out of bed pray this simple prayer, I promise it will fill you with the holy spirit: “Dear Lord, in Jesus’s name I pray; I ask you to give me the strength I need to do your will, I ask you for the words from your loving heart to spread to those who would do me wrong, and to uplift those who need it the most. Lord, God in heaven I beg you to fill my heart with your wisdom so my actions reflect your divine purpose, and Lord I humbly require the courage to make all this a reality in this day and every day for the remainder of my life. Lord I surrender completely to you. Amen”

Special Posting: Irreplaceable

” 13 I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. 14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all people, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion. Which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed.” Daniel 7:13-14

People have fights, they argue, get upset, we say things we don’t mean. Sometimes we say hurtful things we don’t mean, we do things out of anger which is destructive to our relationships and without God we keep on hurting those we love. Without love we keep on hurting those who are the closest to us. In the heat of battle people can be so cruel and we sort of go into this evil zone of blocking the pain we inflict to others and to ourselves. When the armies collide all fear goes away as the instinct to survive takes over, but even in this intense moment God is ever present, and is willing to take us from this place of grief and into his arms, His irreplaceable forgiveness which is so protective that nothing can shatter it, break it, move it, or keep you from it. 

A very wise person told me once that, “We can have an argument and be mad or upset with one another. We can even hate each other for a time. But, I still love you and that means I am never willing to throw you to the wolves.”

My mother could make me feel like I was a king and she could also make me feel two feet tall. She can come up with such marvelous words both in her anger and in moments of sorrow and regret. I asked her in my anger,

“Why not throw me to the wolves, then you will have one less person to worry about?” 

We had had a fight about money, our life being poor, her worries, and not having enough. During that conversation I had said something I deeply regretted which started a round of comments at the end of which I got my feeling hurt. As a man now I look back and I see my error in ever starting that argument. I can see how much pain I caused my mother by saying what I had said. I also see now her regret in losing her temper with me. As a boy however, it was going to take a lot of time for me to get over it before I could apologize, but my mom dig in with her response.

“I could never throw you to the wolves Brian, because you are my child, and because I love you. That makes you irreplaceable to me.”

When my mother said that to me, I felt such peace in my heart, I could see God standing in front of me telling me that I was irreplaceable to Him as well. Call it what you will, but I had an epiphany within that moment, euphoria engulfed me, and in the following seconds I turned around and I screamed at the top of my lounges, “I love you too mom!” as tears rolled down my cheeks I murmured over and over as my tears soaked her shoulder, “I am so sorry.”

My mother in that moment had become irreplaceable to me. In fact my entire family had become irreplaceable to me within the blink of an eye, and our problems suddenly no longer where just my parents problem, but the entire families problems. In a blink of an eye I found God, my family, and myself. I learned that you don’t abandon  your family, you do not forsake them, and you never leave them behind. This was the lesson I learned as a boy, this was a feeling I have only had one other time in my life, and that was when my beautiful daughter was born. Let me also take this moment and just say, my daughter is and always has been irreplaceable to me, and as her father I have spent a lifetime trying to protect her and make her feel just as my mother had once made me feel long ago.

God is irreplaceable, his love is enough to stop wars, to heal all wounds, his words work miracles, and we do not have to be thrown to the wolves, because Jesus did that for us already through His undying love and sacrifice on the cross.

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

Jesus before time became the king of our world, He delivered us from bondage, He paid the terrible debt, and without Him we all would be lost. We would be like those people who fight and fight and have done so for so long they have forgotten why they fight, and their eyes and hearts are absent of Gods love. To some people faith is a joke, God is a joke, they refuse to believe and they disown Him and in doing so they throw Him to the wolves over and over. But soldiers in P.O.W. camps they have nothing but their faith, it their pocket bibles that are issued to each service member which becomes the life line and helps them to survive in situations which would have otherwise killed them. It is faith in God which people in Communistic countries cling too even at the point of their own death. It is faith in God which helped millions of people in the German death camps during WWII, and the list is endless. God is irreplaceable and He looks at each one of us as if we are also irreplaceable to Him. 

Amen

If you have been moved by this blog I urge you to continue to come back and become a subscriber. Please do not forget to also visit us at http://listeningfaithfully.org.
May God bless you and keep you all the days of your life. Amen

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Bureden of Proof

“For sin shall not have dominion over you; for you are not under the law, but under grace.” Romans 6:14

If there is one lesson that I have learned in this life it would have to be that we stack up proof of our character, of our nature, and of what we stand for and love most. With each action we testify to God, to ourselves, and to others who know us for the people that we truly are. We stack up our sin debt and we sometimes fool ourselves into thinking that everything will be ok after the next sin, after the next lie. Sometimes, its other people who convince us to sin against God, sometimes those people are the people we love the most. The burden of proof has already been calculated, examined, weighted, and forgiven if only we believe in the miracle of truth. For we do not need the trappings of our life, we do not need the glamour and fame. The truth is we will survive without a house, a car, money, and of all those things which make us collect more sin debt. For the only thing we truly need is the grace of God, his love, his protection, his truth, because it is only He who can forgive the sin and wipe clean the slate, and forget the burden of proof He has against all of us. Therefore, it is true when you hear it said, the truth can set you free and wipe away all your burdens if only you give it to God.

Amen

As a special thanks to all my readers, supporters, and followers I offer this new free resource to become closer to God in your personal journey and at the behest of my daughter who I love with all my heart and soul who suggested I use Tumblr for this new resource I proudly present to you; I-AM-SENT-ME. This new blog will be updates throughout the month with new and different insides to the nature of God as they are exposed and inspired by God based completely upon the Holy Bible. I hope you enjoy these short readings and meditations I personally use in my own walk with God.

If you have been moved by this posting then I urge you to leave a comment letting us here at Listening Faithfully know:  YOUR THOUGHTS. May God be with you all the days of your life: Go now in peace and spread the Word of God to all you know and love.

Special Request: I ask that you also become a subscriber and that you continue to come back and read and follow the word of God and grow in Spirit and Faith as you walk hand in hand with Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Please do not forget to visit us at LISTENING FAITHFULLY * FACEBOOK PAGE * COMMUNITY FAN PAGE STORE PAGE. In addition don’t forget to LIKE US while your there.

God Bless,

Brian Keith, Founder of Listening Faithfully Blog

Supoort Listening Faithfully Today!

Please support this summers Inner City Technology Team 2013 by purchasing a Kindle Fire Today! 

EVERY KINDLE PURCHASED FROM LISTENING FAITHFULLY STORE GOES TO SUPPORT COMPUTER LITERACY!

Special Announcement

2 MONTHS TO GO! YOUR HELP IS NEEDED!

From Listening Faithfully Founder Brian Keith

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is the second largest public school system in the United States just behind New York City Unified School District and has an operating budget of about $1.7 million. In comparison the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Schools who operates independently from the Church maintain a fiscal budgets of about $840,000 per year, give or take the schools location and number of students. Short falls in the State Budget in 2011-12 have forced Public Elementary Schools to no longer offer badly needed programs like summer school and Pre-K classes.

This is where Listening Faithfully Blog steps up to help support a number of the private Christian schools in our inner city communities. We understand that these schools relay heavily on donations that are collected from outside entities like Listening Faithfully. We understand that advertising is not evil but there simply is no place for it on our website. I believe Listening Faithfully Blog is something special and provides free content for the sole purpose of bringing people closer to God while allowing everyone the opportunity to be active in their faith by helping to support God’s children.

When I founded Listening Faithfully Blog I had no idea to the volume of christians who was looking for a none intrusive way of connecting to God while learning more about the bible as well as Gods words and promises. Many of my monthly readers and followers find Listening Faithfully Blog very educational. Ironically, it is through technology Listening Faithfully Blog exists and is able to reach out to the world sharing God’s message, it is also through technology and computer literacy many of our displaced children are finding little to no access to technology and thus falling behind. Therefore, as an educator it is Listening Faithfully Blog’s secondary mission to helping our children achieve a quality education and to become technology literate. Though it takes little to run and upkeep Listening Faithfully Blog; the educational processes of evangelization a long with the many hours of research and lesson planning does cost money, especially while the LAUSD is closing schools and programs our inner city students so badly need, that the private schools are trying to make up for.

With this said, the work I personally do within the private schools allows me the unique understanding of how faith community’s operate as well as their importance and impact on our underprivileged communities. Each year I see the disparity between the rich and poor grow wider and wider and it is our children who are made to suffer for our short falls.

In short, if every one of my readers and followers donated $10.00 we would only have to fundraise for six months each year. But not everyone can or will donate, and that’s fine. Currently we have two causes we are collecting money for and badly need your support, the first being the funding of the Technology Team: (see the following link: http://ascensiontechnews.wordpress.com/ ), and the other goes to help fund Listening Faithfully.com and now Listening Faithfully.org sites to grow and expand as we strive to keep our sites free of charge, (see the link following link: http://listeningfaithfullyblog.com/donations/ ).

This year, please consider making a donation of $5, $20, $50 or whatever you can to protect, sustain, and provide for the education of all God’s Children.

Sincerely Yours,

Brian Keith

Listening Faithfully Blog Founder

Morality Goal # 3:

Who Am I…”not” to forgive others of their transgressions against me, when God himself has commanded it to be so? (Matthew 18:15-17). Even if those same people hold on to their perceived complaints about me. Who Am I…”NOT” TO FORGIVE? (Matthew 18:32-35) For as a christian I am commanded by God to love my enemies, to clothe them if they go naked, to feed them if they are wanting for food, to love them as I love God…for the same God loves them equally as He loves and forgives me. (John 13:34-35) In the light of this truth, Why should I “not” forgive? Who Am I to deny others what God Himself will not withhold?

Morality Goal 2

It should be woven into the fabric of your life, so as all your deeds reflect it, and that all your words proclaim it, that you should love and forgive everyone whom is your enemy as you do your friends. For grievances are earthly and have no place in your heart as all earthly things shall pass away, so too shall your grievance. But your love and forgiveness is forever as is God, from which your love comes.