Category Archives: Christians/Christianity

Hacksaw Ridge: A movie for Memorial Day 2017

Statue of Liberty in tears

Today is Memorial Day — a day when America remembers and mourns the too-many soldiers who had died in this country’s wars.

eagle in cemetery

Instead of glorifying wars, I decided that a way to mark Memorial Day 2017 is to honor and remember a Christian pacifist and one of the most courageous soldiers in our nation’s history — Desmond Doss, a combat medic in the U.S. Army in WWII, whose convictions and heroism are dramatized in the 2016 brutal and profoundly moving movie, Hacksaw Ridge.

A Seventh-day Adventist firmly committed to the Sixth Commandment “Thou shall not kill,” Private Doss refused to carry or use a firearm or weapons of any kind. He became the first conscientious objector to be awarded the Medal of Honor for service above and beyond the call of duty by single-handedly rescuing 75 wounded soldiers during the terrible Battle of Okinawa in 1945.

Hacksaw Ridge was directed by Mel Gibson and marks his triumphal return to Hollywood ten years after his effective ostracism due to his alcohol-fueled anti-Semitic slurs and abusive rants of rage at his then-girl friend. First screened at the Venice Film Festival where the movie received a 10-minute standing ovation, Hacksaw Ridge was nominated and won many film awards, including well-deserved awards for Gibson and actor Andrew Garfield, who portrayed Doss.

Desmond Doss demonstrated that pacifism does not equal cowardice, and that one can be a patriot and a pacifist. Most importantly, he is a much-needed, timely reminder of the power of being a Christian. After Doss’ 77th Infantry Division had bivouacked for the night from the Maeda Escarpment (“Hacksaw Ridge”) battlefield, he alone returned to drag or carry on his back wounded soldiers, one by one, to the cliff’s edge and rappelled them down by rope.

After rescuing each soldier, Doss would pray: “Please Lord, help me get one more”.

For me, 7th Day Adventist Desmond Doss is also a reminder that all Christians, no matter the denomination, are all — and should treat each other as — brothers and sisters in Christ. Doss stayed married to his only wife, Dorothy, until her death in 1991. He died on March 23, 2006, at the age of 87.

The movie is now available in DVD and BlueRay format.

~Éowyn

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Sunday Devotional: ‘I will be with you always’

In the 40 days after He resurrected from the dead, our Lord Jesus Christ appeared several times to His apostles and disciples — in their homes, on the road, by the shores of the lake . . . .

Every time, strangely, they at first did not recognize Him because He is transfigured — a mystery that will remain a mystery until, should we be so blessed, we ourselves are transfigured in our “glorified bodies” when we are resurrected from the dead at the end of this world.

How precious those times must have been which the apostles shared with their risen Lord.

And then, 40 days after His resurrection, His mission on Earth completed, Jesus bade His apostles a last farewell.

John 16:4-5, 28; 17:1, 4-5, 13

“I did not tell you this from the beginning,
because I was with you.
But now I am going to the one who sent me….
I came from the Father and have come into the world.
Now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father….”
When Jesus had said this, he raised his eyes to heaven and said,
“Father, the hour has come….
I glorified you on earth
by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do.
Now glorify me, Father, with you,
with the glory that I had with you before the world began….
But now I am coming to you….”

Acts of the Apostles 1:8-9

“When he had said this,
as they were looking on,
he was lifted up,
and a cloud took him from their sight.”

Every time I read those passages from John, I weep — as I imagine how wrenching it must be for the Apostles to say goodbye to their lord, master and friend forever.

But of course, Jesus would not just abandon His apostles, nor us.

John 14:19, 18, 16-17

“the world will not see me anymore . . .
I will not leave you as orphans;
I will come to you.
And I will ask the Father,
and He will give you another advocate
to help you and be with you forever — the Spirit of truth.
The world cannot accept Him,
because it neither sees Him nor knows Him.
But you know Him,
for He lives with you
and will be in you.”

Not only did the Father send us the Holy Spirit, who lives with us and will be in us, Jesus also left us His Body and Blood:

1 Corinthians 11:23-26

Brothers and sisters:
I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you,
that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over,
took bread, and, after he had given thanks,
broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying,
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup,
you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

I will be with you always

How very much He must love us . . . .

May the joy and peace of Jesus Christ, our risen Lord, be with you!

~Eowyn

Sunday Devotional: ‘unclean spirits came out of many possessed people’

Acts 8:5-8

Philip went down to the city of Samaria
and proclaimed the Christ to them.
With one accord, the crowds paid attention to what was said by Philip
when they heard it and saw the signs he was doing.
For unclean spirits, crying out in a loud voice,
came out of many possessed people,
and many paralyzed or crippled people were cured.
There was great joy in that city.

Exorcists often say real cases of demonic possession are rare, but the above passage from the Acts of the Apostles says otherwise.

As an example, Catholic News Service reports on Feb. 17, 2005 that:

“Two Italian exorcists preparing priests and seminarians to respond to reports of demonic possession have affirmed that the devil is real and can possess people, but it does not happen as often as many people think.”

The late Gabriele Amorth, Vatican’s chief exorcist who passed last September 16 at age 91, said again and again in his writings and interviews that while demonic possession is on the rise across the world because “Today Satan rules the world” and “The masses no longer believe in God,” real cases of possession nevertheless are rare.

But Fr. Amorth emphasized that demonic attacks come in forms other than demonic possession — the full possession by a demon or demons of a human’s body, not the soul. There are five other types of demonic attacks:

  1. External physical pain caused by Satan: Demonic activity that manifests as physical pain, such as the physical beatings and torment demons inflicted on some saints, e.g., St. John of the Cross and St. (Padre) Pio.
  2. Diabolical oppression: Severe to mild events that plague the individual where “There is no possession, loss of consciousness, or involuntary action and word.” Some examples are Job’s severe afflictions and St. Paul’s thorn in his flesh (II Cor 12:7).
  3. Diabolic obsession: “Symptoms include sudden attacks, at times ongoing, of obsessive thoughts, sometimes even rationally absurd, but of such nature that the victim is unable to free himself.” Moreover, “the obsessed person lives in a perpetual state of prostration, desperation, and attempts at suicide. Almost always obsession influences dreams.”
  4. Diabolic infestation: “Infestations affect houses, things, or animals.”
  5. Diabolical subjugation or dependence: This is the classic Faustian bargain or pact with the Devil. In Fr. Amorth’s words, “people fall into this form of evil when thy voluntarily submit to Satan. The two most common forms of dependence are the blood pact with the devil and the consecration to Satan.” Fr. Malachi Martin called this total or perfect possession. Since the human, with full consent and assent, voluntarily invites in the demon(s), we would not expect the totally possessed person to seek an exorcist. In other words, the cases of demonic possession that come to the attention of exorcists are only of the partial or incomplete variety, which is a frightening thought.

So what’s the antidote?

Jesus Christ.

Forever and always.

John 14:15-21

Jesus said to his disciples:
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
And I will ask the Father,
and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always,
the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept,
because it neither sees nor knows him.
But you know him, because he remains with you,
and will be in you.
I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
In a little while the world will no longer see me,
but you will see me, because I live and you will live.
On that day you will realize that I am in my Father
and you are in me and I in you.
Whoever has my commandments and observes them
is the one who loves me.
And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”

Love the Lord thy God fiercely — with your whole heart, your whole soul, your whole mind, and with all your strength.

And may the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,

~Eowyn

See also:

‘Humanity’ in animals

We humans like to think of ourselves as “like gods” who are superior to the real God’s other creations. We use the word “animal” as an insult, calling the most depraved among us “animals” when it is we “enlightened” humans who consciously and willfully lie, steal, insult, hurt, scheme, plot, plunder, and murder for profit or pleasure. Then to top it off, we use the intelligence that God gives us to justify our deeds with elaborate rationalization.

Saint Bonaventure called animals “creatures without sin” for, unlike humans, they are not born with “the mark” — fomes peccati, tinder for sin.

Saint Francis saw the “humanity” in non-human creatures. He talked to birds and animals, and even preached to them.

Take a look at these pictures. Do you not see their “humanity”? — of intelligence, loving “tolerance” of another species, parental love, unspoken friendship, and quiet companionship . . . .

And then there is their sheer, breathtaking beauty, which no human can match:

Did you know that animals have empathy? — that attribute on which human morality is founded (“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” -Matthew 7:12), but which human narcissists and psychopaths lack. See:

H/t FOTM‘s MomOfIV

~Eowyn

Augusta School Department Punishes Employee for Telling Coworker, “I will pray for you”

serious

Unbelievable.

From Yahoo: (AUGUSTA, Maine/RNewswire-USNewswire) Toni Richardson, an educational technician employed by the Augusta School Department, filed charges of religious discrimination and retaliation yesterday with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) after being instructed to never use phrases like, “I will pray for you” and “you were in my prayers” in private conversations with coworkers.  A copy of the charge is available here.

“What Augusta Public Schools did by punishing Toni for discussing her faith in a private conversation with a coworker is unconscionable,” said Timothy Woodcock of the Maine law firm Eaton Peabody. “The law is clear: employers cannot discriminate against employees who privately discuss their faith while at work.”

Toni tried to privately encourage a coworker—with whom she attends church—by saying, “I will pray for you.”  Even though the coworker thanked Toni, the Augusta Schools Department interrogated her, asking whether she had ever identified herself to coworkers as a Christian or privately told a colleague she was praying for him. Later, she received an official “coaching memorandum,” explaining that she could not use “phrases that integrate public and private belief systems” while at schoolThe memo specifically explains that she will face discipline or dismissal in the future for using phrases like, “I will pray for you” and “you were in my prayers” in private conversations with colleagues at work.

“I was shocked that my employer punished me for privately telling a coworker, ‘I will pray for you,'” Toni Richardson says, “I am afraid that I will lose my job if someone hears me privately discussing my faith with a coworker.”

“No one should be threatened with losing their job for privately telling a coworker, ‘I will pray for you,'” Jeremy Dys, Senior Counsel for First Liberty Institute, says. “School employees are not required to hide their faith from each other while on campus.”

To read the charge of discrimination, go to FirstLiberty.org/Richardson.

DCG

SNL And That Sick Feeling


For many years I have felt sick any time I allowed myself to watch an episode of Saturday Night Live. As I recently began to re-read Psalms from the beginning, I noticed that the very first verse of the very first psalm addresses that sick feeling. SNL may sometimes be funny, but their humor is always scornful. So when I watch SNL I am sitting “in the company of mockers” and my spirit is sending me a clear warning.
“They that have ears to hear, let them hear.”

Psalm 1

“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.

Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.”

 

President Trump’s Liberty University commencement address: ‘In America we don’t worship government, we worship God’

Yesterday, May 13, 2017, President Trump delivered the Commencement address at Liberty University — a private, non-profit, fully-accredited Christian university in Lynchburg, Virginia, and the largest Christian evangelical university in the world, with a total enrollment in 2016 of more than 115,000 students (15,000 residential and over 100,000 online).

In his speech, President Trump spoke of God at least 15 times; of the Bible; of patriotism; of doing what is right and the courage to do what is right; of being “a warrior for the truth” fighting for what you believe in; of the importance of being true to yourself; of the “values of service, sacrifice and devotion”; of activism and of the pursuit of the American dream; of the power of faith; why we must never quit or give up; of doing what you love; and that “in America we don’t worship government, we worship God”.

In other words, Trump said everything that the Left object and shun as a vampire shrinks from the crucifix.

Trump made this promise:

“America is better when people put their [Christian] faith into action. As long as I am your President, no one is ever going to stop you from practicing your [Christian] faith or from preaching what is in your heart. We will always stand up for the right of all Americans to pray to God and to follow His teachings.”

He concludes with these words:

“We must always remember that we share one home and one glorious destiny. Whether we are brown, black or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots, we all salute the same great American flag, and we are all made by the same almighty God. As long as you remember what you have learned here at Liberty, as long as you have pride in your beliefs, courage in your convictions, and faith in your God, then you will not fail. And as long as America remains true to its values, loyal to its citizens, and devoted to its Creator, then our best days are yet to come . . . .

May God bless the Class of 2017. May God bless the United States of America. May God bless all of you here today. Thank you very much. Thank you.”

H/t Will Shanley

~Eowyn