2“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness— on them light has shined. ~ Isaiah 9:2 (NRSVACE)
Human rulers have a tendency to do two things that drive God absolutely crazy. First, they view their subjects as pawns not much different than how the pieces are moved around on a chessboard. This view ignores the humanity within each person of whom God specifically created and gave life too. Secondly, they cling to power ignoring the needs of the many under their charge. How many famines have happened because of one bad decision of a King, or a war start because of a King’s ego, or the over taxation of the populous so one that one so-called King could grow richer rather than poorer? Indeed, under any of those circumstances, the people would be walking in darkness praying to see that light at the end of the tunnel. Indeed, our God, the God of Love, Mercy, and Kindness would have to send help to a land – a people who live in a land of deepening darkness.
3″You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing the plunder.” ~ Isaiah 9:3 (NRSVACE)
Who wouldn’t want to have great riches? Who wouldn’t welcome an increase of food, money, resources, and a bigger harvest? In that environment, people tend to feel exalted and important as they receive more than they could ever use or need. But this bounty would have to be coming from somewhere? Something massive would have to have changed to bring about such richness. In history, such a shift usually comes from a change in leadership – as in a new King. Now let’s think for a second if God the Father heard His people cry out from a deep depression like state where tyrants took rather than gave to their people – clearly an intervention would have to be looming. After all, God did literally respond twice before.
4 “For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian.” ~ Isaiah 9:4 (NRSVACE)
The promise, the absolute gift of mercy is when a people have been delivered from bondage. There is nothing like the hope of freedom to drive a people to the brink. The power of justice is on the lips of those who wish to be freed and the yoke lifted from their backs. To escape the rod of torcher and punishment is engraved upon every unjust scare the multitude now bears. Indeed, God of Love could deliver such justice, such relief, but how would He come this time? It is not so outlandish to think that the people Isaiah is addressing even prophesying to would think God would come down out of Heaven riding a White Horse wielding a fiery sword in order to smite these unjust Kings, or perhaps God would send another person who would start a revolution?
5 “For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire.” ~ Isaiah 9:5 (NRSVACE)
If the promise of God was freedom and the people under a revolutionary new king took up arms there would be great bloodshed. This historically speaking would give rise to zealots and freedom fighters not unlike we see today. The difference is an unjust king and over taxation and plundering of all the nations resources. Men would be slain in the most horrific of ways and in every instance it would up close and personal. This is the price of freedom, prosperity, and abundance. But think of the new kingship the washing away of darkness and the fulfillment of the light that shines on the blessed. Enticing isn’t it?
6 “For a child has been born for us, a son is given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” ~ Isaiah 9:6 (NRSVACE)
The light shines brightly for all to see. Under God’s true plan only one will shed his blood and only one needs to pay the price for man’s sins and indiscretions. Under God’s plan, there needs not be a war because after all God is not a tyrant, He has no ego, He does not cling to power rather He is power, He is love, and He is just in all things that he does. Under that logic, Jesus makes sense, to be born as the son of God, to be of a poor family, to be a man of peace and love never once raising a sword rather his words and wisdom. Again, man’s plan is in the short term, God’s plan is eternal and is implemented on an eternal time scale, in short God is not in a hurry but we are. Therefore, it is right and just to accept the fruits of God and show tolerance and patience for our fellow man. Rejoice in the knowledge that Jesus has the authority and that He is the Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.
Our action before the return of God is a very simple one, for it is to wait, prepare, and pray. Be faithful to God in every word and action, be specific in your kindness, and chose your friends carefully for they could stand beside you or lead you to ruin. God is with us in every breath we breathe, and every thump of our hearts. Be grateful and look for God’s many daily blessings and give thanks for His salvation which we – the faithful shall enjoy for all time. God does move in mysterious ways.
If I said to you my brothers and sisters that money was not important and that acquiring money was also not important would you believe me? Many of you would disagree, and many of you would not understand to what I am talking about after first reading Proverbs 21:26. I want to say now money is nothing more than a tool. Money is the necessary evil we have to content with if we want to live healthy, productive, comfortable lives. Money is not the end all to the end all. So, you might ask why start out this way if I was going to ask for support? Well my brothers and sisters because I have never used Listening Faithfully to raise money with, I have never asked anyone to give money in the name of God for my own personal gain. But, today I am going to ask something of everyone on behalf of the Inner City Children I teach and will be teaching this summer. But before I do I am going to ask a question that I need you to really think about.
Do you think of yourself as a righteous person?
In other words do you serve the morally good, do you follow religious or moral laws, ideas, oaths, or even listen to your conscience. If the answer to that is yes then I am speaking to you directly. This year I opened up the Summer Tech Team at my school for the first time to 2nd and 3rd grade students. I wanted them to join this year because of what I saw when teaching them during the academic year of 2015-16. These two groups have the hunger, the want to learn, and they are so excited to spend 3 weeks during their summer break learning more about computers, about blogging (which is what I am doing right now), and they want to know more about making movies with software, they want to become better typist, and authors… As a group they really moved my heart!
Now let’s talk about economics for a second… Money is hard to come by for most of the parents who go to my school. They work two jobs and have little time with their children, (my students), let alone to supply extra stuff like my summer program which the school does not support from their own budget. If there is to be a Tech Team 2016 I have to find the money, simply put! Do I have some parents who pay upfront? “Yes”, I do and I want to thank them for doing so. But the larger community of parents don’t because they can’t. If I allowed that simple fact to deter me from finding the money each year I would have never held not one Summer Tech Team! So, I ask for everyone to donate as much as they feel comfortable with, but to support my entire summer program cost’s $3,000 which is really not that much. So, what does this do for the students? Here is a list of topics I will be teaching this year to my 2nd and 3rd grade computer geniuses:
Philosophy: “Students who have access to the Internet learn can manage their own learning.”
2.) Computer Instruction – (They learn all about what makes a computer work putting their little fingers all over the parts! This supports Science & Engineering)
3.) Research computer parts and their costs to build a budget (I integrate Math with Google Sheets)
4.) Google Apps that will be used during the year in their Google Classroom. (This supports the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standard: 2 Communication and Collaboration / 6. Technology Operations and Concepts.)
5.) America’s Navy – STEM for the CLASSROOM (Discovery Education) Robotics and Future Technology – Science Topic “PHYSICS” (This of Course id STEM related – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.)
These are but a few of the target projects that students will engage in during the three short weeks they are in the class. The impact is huge as these little ones grow and begin to be immersed into the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
So, I ask you again… If you are a just person, moral person, a righteous person please help by sending a check or money order today.
Donations or gifts to Ascension for the Summer Tech Team 2016 are tax deductible as we are a 503c organization.
An individual may contribute up to $150 per students tuition or sponsor two for $300. By becoming an Ascension Catholic School Sponsor, you agree that STEM, NGSS, Common Core, and ISTE is and should be part of the curriculum in all classrooms within our school and by donating today you proudly support our efforts to bring this higher rigor of instruction to our community, families, students, and to our instructors through ongoing training. By providing your phone number, you are consenting to receive calls where we will reach out to you to thank you for all your support.
When contacting us by mail or phone please provide us with your name, mailing address, email address, and occupation.
Mail: To contribute by mail, please send a personal check made payable to “Ascension Catholic School” to:
Ascension Catholic School
500 W. 111th Pl.
Los Angeles, California 90044
Please include your full name, address, phone number, email address, and occupation in the envelope with a note – “Proud to Support the 2016 Summer Technology Team!”
My brothers and sisters, I humbly invite you to contact with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s open a dialog and share the good news with each other.
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2 “Because he is found by those who do not put him to the test, and manifests himself to those who do not distrust him.” ~ The Wisdom of Solomon 1:2 (NRSV)
Orlando has suffered a grave attack that is motivated by hate, therefore, hate seeped into the soul of the aggressor. We can blame the parents who raised him, the wife who loved enough to not get him help, the community which he attacked, and the list goes on. But God is not found in the manner we seek if it through hate. God is found when we come to him not to put him to the test when we open our hearts and beg for forgiveness for our trespasses. But Orlando has also suffered another attack that is quite different from other terrorist killings. One that is not talked that much about – that attack comes from the Christian Community because it was not just people killed but people of the LGBT Community specifically. So this is what I heard and saw and wanted to immediately disavow as dangerous Christian rhetoric that is on the same level of Radical Islam which both is founded within an evil doctrine of repression.
“Pastor Roger Jimenez from Verity Baptist Church in Sacramento told his congregation that Christians ‘shouldn’t be mourning the death of 50 sodomites.”
“People say, like: ‘Well, aren’t you sad that 50 sodomites died?’ ” Jimenez said, referencing the initial death toll in Orlando, which authorities later clarified included 49 victims plus the gunman. “Here’s the problem with that. It’s like the equivalent of asking me — what if you asked me: ’Hey, are you sad that 50 pedophiles were killed today?’
“Um, no, I think that’s great. I think that helps society. You know, I think Orlando, Fla., is a little safer tonight.”
He added: “The tragedy is that more of them didn’t die. The tragedy is — I’m kind of upset that he didn’t finish the job!” ~ Bever, Lindsey, The Washington Post, June 15, 2016
God hates fags.
God sent the shooter.
God hates murderer Omar Mateen.
Omar Mateen & slain fags are in hell.
“Kill the Gays” Preacher Kevin Swanson: “God’s on His Side” ~ by DAWN ENNIS of the Advocate.
Pastor Jimenez, Pastor Steve Drain of the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas, Pastor Kevin Swanson of the Reformation Church of Elizabeth, Colorado, and so many others from the Baptist / Orthodox Churchs has publically called those who died, sodomites and pedophiles teaching their congregations that there was no tragedy by killing them and that they wished more had been killed. In no manner, in no place in the bible does it say this teaching is correct. What these supposed learned men are referring to is found in the Book of Leviticus which is one book of four believed to be written by Moses who received this knowledge directly from God.
22 “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” ~ Leviticus 18:22(NRSV)
This to an untrained eye this passage is a direct commandment that describes a behavior which God Himself has said to be wrong, as something that you shall not do. As a God fearing man without doing the research I am inclined to read this and think all who do this is evil. But those who wrote this, if it was Moses or Aaron, existed in a different reality than from us today. So we must always read the Bible with one eye to the source and one eye to the present, always asking how does this apply today. Back then Moses had a different agenda, the people were in the survival mode, and God saw their wickedness and sought to do something about it in a more direct way than from how he operates in our modern world. So, the setting was Mount Sinai where Moses was attempting to sanctify the people so that the Lord might appear unto them. To do this God specifically told Moses the following;
18 “The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2 ‘Speak to the people of Israel and say to them: I am the Lord your God.3 You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you. You shall not follow their statutes. 4 My ordinances you shall observe and my statutes you shall keep, following them: I am the Lord your God. 5 You shall keep my statutes and my ordinances; by doing so one shall live: I am the Lord.'” ~ Leviticus 18:1-5(NRSV)
The objective was to create a new nation with a new statute, a nation more holy than any that had come before, and a nation with a direct connection to God. Here in America, we like to think we have a direct connection to God. We like to think we are more holy than the rest of the world. We like to believe we are special and try to preserve Biblical Laws that at the time of their creation as they are today were cumbersome, laws which shackled the people. God did this because from the parents who were slaves and born in Egypt and who had grown fat and uncomplacent but also lazy and self-serving and who God loved and wanted to change them by reminding them of where they had come from, could only happen over time. So the promise land was more the children and grandchildren who had been forged by a Godly fire, subject to a higher standard would this new nation arise. For detailed information please click the following link: Journeys and Events in the Life of Moses by Edward J. Brandt of the Department of Seminaries and Institutes of Religion, The Church of Later-Day Saints.
What is the Relevant Argument?
So the argument becomes less about behavior and more about the time period of the laws that prohibited that behavior. Again looking in the Bible we find a more recent passage that holds the same message that speaks out against the aforementioned behavior.
24 “Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the degrading of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. 26 For this reason, God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error.” ~ Romans 1:23-27(NRSV)
Again, about two thousand years ago people for the sake of not spreading diseases held fast to the moral principle found in these scriptures. A morality clause that upholds the biblical ideas and beliefs of true marriage as it was between Adam and Eve and is celebrated to this very day. Two opposing arguments on how to live is the debate we face today. Nothing more nothing less. No matter which side you come down on our great nation needs to place only one truth before the population which is more superior to any of these scriptures and any scripture on this topic which I have not mentioned. These supreme truths will help solve this delima and help people from all faiths to join hands, this truth will heal all people of all hatred and will promote only Godly interaction with each other and with God Himself. So you might ask what is the Supreme Truth I speak of?
Examples of Jesus
Example 1: Forgiveness even unto death.
39 “One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, ‘Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!’ 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, ‘Do you not fear God since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.’ 42 Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ 43 He replied, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.’ ~ Luke 23:39-43 (NRSV)
Example 2: Not Judging Others
7 “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. 2 For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. 3 Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye” ~ Matthew 7:1-5(NRSV)
Example 3: Serving two Masters
24 “No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” ~ Matthew 6:24(NRSV)
Example 4: Supreme Blessedness (The Beatitudes)
5 “When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2 Then he began to speak and taught them, saying:
3 ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’
4 ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.’
5 ‘Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.’
6 ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.’
7 ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.’
8 ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.’
9 ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.’
10 ‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’
11 ‘Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.'” ~ Matthew 5:1-11 (NRSV)
Example 5: Blind Faith in Jesus Alone
24 “This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true. 25 But there are also many other things that Jesus did; if every one of them was written down, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” ~ John 21:24-25 (NRSV)
21 “They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me, and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.” ~ John 14:21(NRSV)
God is not found in acts of violence, rather finding peace and forgiveness with the lord comes from self-reflection, self-attainment, self-understanding, and applying the most recent laws of morality Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savour left us with, which when listed in this order do they make perfect sense of how we are to treat our fellow man and how others should treat us.
1.) Forgive others even unto your last breath. Not for them but for yourself so that you may be forgiven in the eyes of God the All mighty.
2.) By forgiving others you cease to judge them, you stop judging others actions, their words, their plots, their beliefs, and how they live which is different from yourself.
3.) By forgiving and not judging others you are able to decide whom to serve. The question posed to us all from God at birth is simply this, “Will you serve me the Lord your God or will you serve mankind which is imperfect and will some day cease to exist?”
4.) By cleansing your soul and dedicating your life to God, you then receive the supreme blessings and begin to practice them with fidelity.
5.) Finally, by doing all these things God bestows his most precious of gifts upon you; that of His most perfect love. Your cup will overflow with love and your life transformed through love which enables you to replace hate with love, replace greed with love, replace lust with love, replace laziness with love, replace wrathfulness with love, replace envy with love, and replace pride with God’s most perfect love. In this, you will love others no matter who they are or where they come from or what they believe and how they live. In this way, love equals tolerance for your fellow man and peace is the product. For I say to you my brothers and sisters this is the message all ordained Priests, Deacons, Bishops, Preachers, Ministers,
For I say to you my brothers and sisters this is the message all ordained Priests, Deacons, Bishops, Preachers, Ministers, Pastor, and Church leaders from all faith groups should be preaching about when it comes to any mass killing, any natural disaster, and any act of God; but especially when people who hold a different perspective on life than they do are murdered with such hatred, it should always be meet with love, not condemnation! All religious organizations need to rethink the true message of God, which is love and forgiveness. When a gay is killed every preacher needs to preach how wrong murder is, not glorify it because the one who lost their life was gay! We are all human beings and therefore by default children of God! It is God’s domain to judge not ours! Rather our most supreme commandment is and has always been to, “love one another!” John 13:34-35 (NRSV)
For I leave you with this: 11 “Beware then of useless grumbling and keep your tongue from slander, because no secret word is without result, and a lying mouth destroys the soul.” ~ Wisdom 1:11 (NRSV)
My brothers and sisters, I humbly invite you to contact me directly at email@example.com. Let’s open a dialog and share the good news with each other.
Visit: Listening Faithfully Facebook Page: CLICK HERE Don’t forget to leave a “LIKE”.
6 “For wisdom is a kindly spirit, but will not free blasphemers from the guilt of their words; because God is witness of their inmost feelings, and a true observer of their hearts, and a hearer of their tongues.” ~ The Wisdom of Solomon 1:6 (NSRV)
Message to the LGBT Community
On Sunday, June 12, 2016, Omar Mateen walked into Pulse Night Club and shot and killed 49 people. He did this because they were different from him, they embraced a different lifestyle than him, they believed in something different than he. In many ways if we search hard enough all of us could find differences in each other that we completely disagree with, the management of those difference is found in one word, tolerance. The problem with Omar and anyone else who would kill another person because of differences in belief or lifestyle is found in the innermost place within their soul which has been taken over by hatred, perhaps even by Satan himself. Their actions can be in some instances a cry for help, but the in the end these actions show a lack of humanity. I write this though I disagree with the LGBT or GLBT community and the political movement they have been pursuing to change the idea and legal definition of marriage from its biblical roots, though I would never campaign against them, slander them, or take a gun and or harm any member of that community. We are all people, we all have the right to voice our disagreements and to disagree in a humane manner. So, instead of focusing on the evil act, let us turn this negative into a positive and allow God to be the supreme judge for everyone who harbor ill thoughts and beliefs within the innermost places of their soul, and let God judge us all based upon are words we speak to each other as well the messages those words relay to the community of mankind. For the reaction of this killing is as important and carries as much if not more meaning than the act itself. True wisdom begins with love and ends with love and on this point, I join hands with the LGBT community in prayer for those lost in such a brutal way… Let Us All Pray.
Prayer of Love
Dear Lord, my supreme savior hear my voice and the voices of the families of the Pulse shooting of which so many you have called home. Dear Lord, I humble myself in the
Dear Lord, I humble myself in your presence as I call upon you to fill my heart with love, love which takes away the pain, love which takes away the heartache of those who have suffered because of this one selfish act.
Dear Lord, my creator I boldly stand against those who believe they have the right to murder for the sake of murder, to take away what you have given, but I do so with my words which you shall be the judge.
Dear Lord, let those who have lost, mourn within the comfort of your love, let them feel your love, let them know your love.
Dear Lord, it is in these things I pray through your son Jesus Christ our savior who died and was raised from the dead and who did these things out of a perfect love.
Please pray these words every night until the United States Government actually takes meaningful action on Gun Control.
My brothers and sisters, I humbly invite you to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s open a dialog and share the good news with each other.
Visit: Listening Faithfully Facebook Page: CLICK HERE Don’t forget to leave a “LIKE”.
12 “Apply your heart to instruction and your ear to words of knowledge.” ~ Proverbs 23:12
As most of you are aware I am a full time Technology Teacher in a private school down town Los Angeles. I teach in an area that is cited to be the highest crime rate in the past ten years. The students I teach I love with all my heart and soul. I write to all of you to let you know that education is the greatest en-devour of all time and is one people have sought sense time began. In our current world we have technology which affects every aspect of our lives, and in this there is nothing more important than to be computer literate. In the face of this challenge in teaching I can only affect the students in my school but technology allows me to reach out to the world. I say that to introduce all you my brothers and sisters that I have created a Teach Pay Teacher account in which for a small sum my Technology Lesson Plans can be bought and shared and so that millions of children can benefit of my many years of experience and research based instruction. Please click the following link to go directly to where you can receive the Common Core and ISTE aligned technology Lesson Plans. CLICK HERE
Soon I will be also making available Religious lessons Plans that continue my ministry here at Listening Faithfully Blog. When I get this complete I will post that also.
I am commented to delivering the highest level of education to all children and deeply appreciate all who support education in any manner.
20 “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” ~ Revelation 3:20
My message today on Divine Mercy Sunday is simple, it’s perhaps the shorts but most direct one. God is love, and because God is the love he wants peace throughout the world. But more to the point, Jesus is also love and He is knocking at your heart. So, say ‘YES’ to Jesus, say ‘YES’ to His divine love, say ‘YES’ to His mercy and spread the word of God throughout the world. Be humble and ask God for His divine mercy, then go out into the world and be compassionate to others, and finally trust completely in God, trust in His only son our Lord, Jesus Christ. In these things, I tell you so that you can be one with God, and let His son in to break bread with you and be blessed by His words and touch upon your heart forever.
What is the Divine Mercy?
The message and devotion to Jesus as The Divine Mercy is based on the writings of Saint Faustina Kowalska, an uneducated Polish nun who, in obedience to her spiritual director wrote a diary of about 600 pages recording the revelations she received about God’s mercy. Even before her death in 1938, the devotion to The Divine Mercy had begun to spread.
Divine Mercy Devotional
The message of mercy is that God loves us — all of us —
no matter how great our sins. He wants us to recognize that
His mercy is greater than our sins so that we will call upon
Him with trust, receive His mercy and let it flow through us to
others. Thus, all will come to share His joy. It is a message
we can call to mind simply by remembering ABC.
A — Ask for His Mercy. God wants us to approach
Him in prayer constantly, repenting of our sins and
asking Him to pour His mercy out upon us and upon
the whole world.
B — Be merciful. God wants us to receive His mercy
and let it flow through us to others. He wants us to
extend love and forgiveness to others just as He does
C — Completely trust in Jesus. God wants us to know
that the graces of His mercy are dependent upon our
trust. The more we trust in Jesus, the more we will
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” ~ Matthew 11:28
The sickness that we endure, the day-to-day hardships of life, even the stubborn illnesses that refuse to go away which we face yearly are but nothing to our Lord who heals everything, mends everyone, uplifts every person, and through these trials we are given the evidence that God is with us no matter what? Do not assume that God is not there my brothers and sister, do not make the mistake of thinking that God has ignored our suffering, and do not make the mistake of thinking you are alone, because you are not alone, we are never alone for God is always there molding us; making us better versions of ourselves that resemble our God in Heaven. Yes, there are moments in life where we wrestle with God, we wrestle with the bad things that happen to us, and often we blame God when really self-reflection is in order. When we suffer remember there is always a reason, one that we may not truly understand until God reveals the purpose to us. Many times the result is a person stronger in their faith, stronger in their will to survive, and more loving, kind, and forgiving towards others. Suffering changes us all, not just the one who is burdened with the extra hardship but also the family and so they too are strengthened, molded, made more loving, kind, forgiving, and filled with Gods grace. There is nothing better than strife to make us crave hope from our Lord. There is nothing better than hope to restore and redeem our souls within the agape love of God.
Calling Everyone to Pray
So it is that I call everyone from everywhere to come together to pray for a man, a father, named Herbert Sutton. Beloved by his children, Herbert became ill and his illness grew into pneumonia which put him in Kaiser hospital this past Saturday, February 27, 2016. Our brother Herbert also suffers from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema which is a chronic lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. Many people who suffer from COPD become sick easier and often need extra oxygen. Some are anxious about traveling with oxygen tanks so they stay home instead of enjoying time away. But when our brother Herbert became sick and went to the hospital it was discovered that he also now has fluid on his lungs. So it is with some urgency I come to you my brothers and sisters to pray for Herbert Sutton as his suffering literally takes immense effort for him to breathe in each life-giving breath.
Prayer for Herbert Sutton
Say these words as you pray for Herbert;
Dear Lord, God in heaven I know your loving grace is with us, for you see and hear our prayers for our brother Herbert Sutton. Oh’ Lord, God in Heaven I call upon you and your healing touch to take the pain away, to make each breath easier, to give hope and love to this man who has so much to live for namely his many children and grandchildren who love him as much as you love them. Dear Lord, I humbly ask you the master of all things, master of the living and the dead, savior of all who love you to show your grace upon Herbert who lay in pain and who is long suffering, and I humbly ask you to heal him allowing him to stand, walk, and talk so it may bring glory to you alone. Oh’ my God of mercy I pray to you, the only one who can grant salvation and who sent your only son to die on the cross only to be raised on the third day, to hold Herbert in your ever loving hands, to carry him for he is weak, and to redeem him filling his soul with your love calming him, giving him reassurance, and the will to live. Oh’ Lord, God in Heaven let it be so that our brother Herbert hears your voice as you say unto him,
“I came that they might have life and have it to the full.” ~ (Jn. 10:10) As we all pray, “For
In response to the Lord – We all pray, “For the Lord is my shepherd; I shall want for nothing;
I fear no evil; for you are at my side.” ~ (Ps. 23)
Dear Brothers & Sisters, please pray this prayer to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ so that our God will send his love to Herbert in abundance and allow Herbert to breathe effortlessly once more full of life.
9 “Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” ~ Zachariah 9:9
When I think of Jesus Christ as King it sets a warm loving fire to my imagination for God’s mercy is endless and that is something of a wonder in my heart, mind, and soul. In that I wonder what life for Jesus was really like? I often ask myself the question, ‘Wouldn’t it be awesome to travel back into time to have seen Jesus, to have witnessed His birth, Baptismal, His anointment by Mary, His Ministry… especially when He picked the twelve disciples, His temptations by Satan.’ The moments that matter most in most Christian’s hearts is celebrated with as much religious ferber now as it was then, and that is Holy Week; the seven days preceding his crucifixion and resurrection. I feel closest to God in this time frame as do most Christians because it is here we begin to see Jesus rule over His people, sacrifice everything for His people, and ultimately demonstrate God’s perfect love for His people, all of His people which in this context is everyone alive then to now and that will ever live in sin; for His love saved all of us with His blood. We celebrate Jesus’s arrive into Jerusalem as a victory, a triumph, and His ride into the Holy City marks the beginning of the Kingdom of God.
Many scholars argue about the meaning of the colt, donkey, or foal. They try and find purpose behind the acts of Christ by the connections they can make to the gospel. But it is not what Jesus rode or whether or not it was really palm branches that was used to herald His arrival, but the fact our King came in the first place and that He loved us so much that He was willing to enter into the city that He knew was ultimately going to judge then put Him to death for crimes He did not commit. In this way we can begin to see life as Jesus saw it, experience His last week on earth as a mortal man, the Son of God.
10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” ~ Matthew 21:10-11
To have seen Jesus riding into Jerusalem first hand must have been something, or at least for those who where in the know of what was happening. The fact is most people during this period of time were clueless to the real event that was going on because they where blinded by what they thought was happening. To explain this further I have to add that in life we all see events one way when they are happening to us, then see them completely different many years later. But rarely do we ever see the underpinning facts of the event which caused it to happen in the first place in the moment, and if we could see the “WHY” that is driving the event we could have the chance, (the choice), to do something completely different. Again, few people in this period of time understood what was really happening as they could plainly see the “WHY” of Jesus, His mission and ministry, they saw first hand within the moment His ultimate goal and stood by Him until His arrest. Jesus on several occasions revealed this secret to His disciples, and all but one rebuked the idea and questioned the “Why” of His death. They say it was love they felt for Him that made them not want to see Him killed. But Jesus saw this in a completely different way. Judas Iscariot understood it and put the plan into action, as he was the only one strong enough to do so.
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. ~ Matthew 6:33
To write this in this fashion is controversial to say the least, but what drives me to this conclusion is found in the many different texts that had been buried, forgotten, that in their own time was outlawed and destroyed. For in the traditional Bible we have but a sliver of the true history of the events we celebrate. Therefore, we see with clouded eyes, we believe in traditions that come from completely different origins, and we collectively call it Christianity. In part I think that is what drives the truth seekers within the various faiths and sciences to conduct such magnificent research to find the truth in our Biblical history. This journey of seeking, documenting, and exploring is one that even the Catholic Church is involved in today. It is not wrong to try and peace together the truth of Christ, but it is wrong to celebrate and declare that we know things that in reality we truly do not know. In faith we believe that Jesus is the messiah, the King of Heaven and of Earth, but until we find factual evidence will truly know. In this we all are like Thomas who needed to put his finger in the side of Christ, touch his hands and see the wounds. Thomas is every man living today and it is this need to see before we believe that makes our faith stronger and more relevant. I say to you all never ask ‘Who is this?” but rather, ‘I know him who came and saved me.’ For truly God did send His son, and His blood needs no proof, His love needs not the “Thomas Factor” nor does His authority over all of His children need to be proven. It is good to know the facts, but it is better to celebrate the man, savior, son of God who came. Seek first the Kingdom of God that is rooted deep into your hearts, and reserve your questions until you meet Him face to face.
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7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”~ 2 Timothy 4:7
Though I am still writing, still fighting the good fight, still standing-up for those who cannot stand-up for themselves, here in this posting I celebrate with you the good fight fought this past year. Just as Apostle Paul was reflecting back on his life, his accomplishments, I will do the same here in. So this past year here is a list of the posts I have posted for your educational and spiritual growth.
In all there has been three major new series’s of blogs added to an extensive list spanning back to 2009. Starting with, “WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM LIFE SERIES” is by far the biggest individual series I personally have written. Where as the, “FAMILY SERIES” was short but packed with powerful tools for families to grow and to stay together and to warship God as a singular family unit. I truly hope these blog posting have enriched your life. Ending this year was the, “WHAT GOD IS… SERIES”, a truly inspired series of blogs that came straight out of the mouths of children, most specifically from my students who asked me this very question in class and though I only have three Reflections written know that my own spiritual growth has been stretched in ways I could have never personally imagined and I am still doing research to bring to you and my students the best Reflections yet within this Series… so there is defiantly more to come in 2014 as it relates to “WHAT GOD IS… SERIES”. In addition each year I do a host of Special Reflections, which are posts that deal with specific topics not related to any of the Series I was writing at the time. Starting with Prayer Requests, I have to say this year was the most Prayers I have been personally asked to make public to you, the Listening Faithfully Community. I want to report that in the majority of the prayers published good things have happened for those we have prayed for. Rounding out the year in all 33 posts published our reader base has grown to 20 devoted – repeat followers who have signed up to be notified when new posts become available, and countless others who have yet to sign up and make themselves known. I encourage everyone to sign-up and follow and interact through the various resources found here within our growing community of fans and supporters. With that said, to my two special groups of followers thank you for all your support because I write for you, I write because of you. Listening Faithfully is Officially 4 years old… and you can now buy the T’Shirts Celebrating our 5th Year 2014-15 by clicking [HERE]!
As you can imagine Facebook is a huge part of this ministry and I will say to you it is a very effective tool in getting out the message and bringing the words of God to those who need it all around the world. Listening Faithfully Blog has been on Facebook since 2011 and each year we have grown and received more likes doubling in volume each year, in 2013 alone we received a total of 46 new likes and 26 new friends. However, the Listening Faithfully Community is where you can get the most recent news and spiritual writing and this has grown as well. At this point I would like to invite you to our Listing Faithfully Community Page and please “LIKE and SHARE” all the content to as many people you know! Again, Listening Faithfully Community will serve as the hub for all straight forward communications to all members of Listening Faithfully moving forward. There is also a Listening Faithfully Book Store and I hope you all make use of it in the near future as this is where you can find Bibles for both Kindle, and or any e-reader you use and is also where the Listening Faithfully – The Sin Series can be purchase from Amazon for $7.99.
Below is the links to the Fan Page and the Members sign up.
To view our Facebook page and our Listening Faithfully Community Fan Page please FOR FREE click here. [Celebrating 5 Years]
I ask you this question… “What is a ministry without a language?” The answer… a there is no ministry in the world that does not use the English Language to some extent. How can people communicate and spread the message of God without using Language? Simply put… you can’t. Each year as a teacher within the Los Angeles Archdiocesan schools I see two alarming trends that is nation wide. The first is that our inner city schools regardless of affiliation are suffering economically. Second I have found that schools where parents are wealthy and pay high tuition their children are the only ones being given the economic advantage. I was recently yelled at online from a person who had read my posting asking for help in supplying Language Arts books to my students as I had linked that with what Pope Francis has said about the economic differences between the wealthy and the poor and the disappearing middle class worldwide. All I was asking for in that post was for your financial support… Each book cost about $15.00. I want to buy 30 of these books. All money I receive from this fund raiser goes to support the English Language Curriculum at my school… Ascension Catholic School, Located in Los Angeles. So when I make the claim I support inner city students this is the truth… I teach and have taught in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for 10 years. Listening Faithfully is not affiliated with Ascension or the Catholic Church, rather I teach there and need these book for my students. Now… think about this carefully…. if through this blog and this fund raiser more money than what is needed then how many more children would be served by your kindness? I tell you hundreds as I am affiliated with many schools, with many children who need your help. Every dollar raised will go to help my inner city children by giving them the economic advantage of the English Language! This is something I do year round, but this is not the only thing I have done to help people in general. 2009-10 helped fund a house for a Philippine family who was living in a shack! 2005-2012 Taught and raised thousands for the Ascension Technology Team… the last three years students took home computers that had been donated and they restored. Help support Listening Faithfully Celebrate 5 years of service by buying a T’Shirt that cost $23.00 which equals 1 1/2 books per child in need. It’s a no brainier. As for that individual who yelled at me online for asking… “What is a ministry that never asks it’s community to pitch in and help form time to time?” Here is a sample of our good work done within the Technology Team from a former student Ruby:
Part of Listening Faithfully’s mission is to educate, as stated above, but the second half of our mission is to spread the word of God. Part of that mission is helping those who cannot help themselves. There is a specific illness in our world and it is very political and controversial. I have written about it many times because I have been personally affected by it in my own personal life. This illness is woven from greed and embraced by our Family Court System not just here in the United States but in many other countries around the world. Because this system seeks to drain parents of their resources, to separate, and to destroy their family by creating strife, while supporting those parents who lie and cheat and manipulate the system for their own selfish wants and desires. To this end the Court is now against God, our laws are now against God. “What God would condone of giving one parent all the power and influence and allow that parent to alienate the other biological parent?” This is a war on Families, on the very fabric which a biblical family is formed and which grows. What court should ever have the power to rip your child away from you without cause? According to the Bible there is no court that should ever have such power over the family! I say that, I write that because God gave to both Father and Mother the responsibilities of raising their own children! Different responsibilities – Yes – but Equal in the eyes of God! That is what the Family Courts are against and in doing so they have defiling God by defiling the Families! By robbing them of their right to be parents! Such is the case with my friend Joseph… The court for no reason gave Joseph’s wife the right to move away to a foreign country. How is Joseph ever going to see let alone raise his only child? Joseph is not a drug addict, he is not a drunk, he doesn’t cheat people of their money, he doesn’t peddle anything illegal, he has never served time, and he never cheated on his wife… which is more than we can say about her. And yet Joseph’s non-American wife got an American Judge to give her the right to legally steal Joseph’s only child from him. How is that even possible? Well this is not only possible but the norm in America and is what 90% of fathers are facing when going to court. We need to stop this… As Christians we need to stop this behavior and end Alienation forever by making it illegal! Please visit Joseph’s fundraiser and donate today…. Lets reunite him with his daughter today.
I have made a personal pledge to give Joseph $5.00 every paycheck I receive and that’s saying a lot because my ex-wife has taken 50% of my earning through child support on a child who was a year and a half away from becoming 18 at the time. Won’t you also help Joseph bring his daughter home?