Category Archives: God

Sunday Devotional: Blessed are you when people hate you

Luke 6:17, 20, 22-23, 26-28

Jesus came down with the twelve….
And raising his eyes toward his disciples he said:
“…Blessed are you when people hate you,
and when they exclude and insult you,
and denounce your name as evil
on account of the Son of Man.
Rejoice and leap for joy on that day!
Behold, your reward will be great in heaven.
For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way….
Woe to you when all speak well of you,
for their ancestors treated the false prophets in this way.
But to you who hear I say,
love your enemies,
do good to those who hate you,
bless those who curse you,
pray for those who mistreat you.”

On June 28, 2006, then-Senator Barack Obama famously proclaimed, “Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation”.

Eight years of his presidency only worked to further de-Christianize America, seen most vividly among the young in the graph below (source: Washington Post).

In 2014, 82% of Americans 65 and older, but only 57% of Americans 18-29 identified themselves as Christians. Younger Americans increasingly identify themselves as religiously unaffiliated: 34% of those ages 18-29  vs. 11% of those 65 and older. As recently as the 1990s, less than 1 in 10 Americans claimed no religious affiliation. By 2014, the religiously unaffiliated increased to 22% of the U.S. population. According to Robert P. Jones, author of The End of White Christian America, by 2051, if current trends continue, religiously unaffiliated Americans could comprise as large a percentage of the population as all Protestants combined — a thought that would have been unimaginable just a few decades ago.

Nature abhors a vacuum.

What the graph and Jones fail to address is that, as Americans increasingly become religiously unaffiliated, witchcraft and satanism are surging:

As Christianity wanes, come the concomitant discriminaton against and persecution of Christians: bakers, teachers, Salvation Army bell-ringers. The homosexual director of Disney’s “Beauty and Beast” declared wanting to rip the Bible to pieces. Sen. Bernie Sanders actually said faithful Christians are racist bigots, unfit for public office. In fact, a 2017 report confirmed that the U.S. government’s hostility toward Christianity spiked under President Obama.

So we shouldn’t be surprised that we are hated and abused, for “If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated me before you.” (John 15:18)

For that hatred, we are told to “rejoice and leap for joy”. As Jeremiah 17:7-8 says:

Thus says the LORD:
Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD,
whose hope is the LORD.
He is like a tree planted beside the waters
that stretches out its roots to the stream:
it fears not the heat when it comes;
its leaves stay green;
in the year of drought it shows no distress,
but still bears fruit.

Be strong!

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

~Eowyn

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Dog uses own body to keep toddler alive in Siberian cold

Winters in Siberia are snowy, icy, and bitterly cold, with temperatures plunging to as low as -12°C  (10°F).

The Siberian Times reports that in January 2017, villagers in the Loktevsky district of Altai region in southern Siberia, Russia, found a dog, covered in snow, curled up on the unheated porch of a home.

Beneath the dog was a two-year-old toddler, barely alive, with acute hypothermia.

The boy had lived in the house with his mother, who left the child alone at home. If it were not for the dog who, for two days, shielded the toddler from the cold by wrapping his body around the child, the boy would have died from exposure.

Four days after she left, the mother returned. She “is being investigated in a criminal case, accused of deliberately abandoning her child,” and “faces a potential jail sentence and losing the rights to raise her child.”

I searched in Siberian Times‘ archives for a follow-up, but found none.

In a comment, a Siberian Times reader wrote that according to the dog’s owner, the dog is an 8-months-old Husky mix named Betes.

See also:

~Eowyn

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Homosexual actress Ellen Page slams Chris Pratt for attending “infamously anti-LGBTQ” church

Now do followers of Islam, Ellen. I triple-dog-dare you!

From Fox News: Ellen Page slammed Chris Pratt for attending a church she claimed is “infamously anti-LGBTQ” and doubled down on her comments on Saturday.

Page’s criticism came after Pratt appeared on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” and talked about being religious and completing a 21-day fast inspired by the Biblical Prophet Daniel.

“The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” actor frequently attends Zoe Church, which is modeled after Hillsong Church, a megachurch founded in Australia but which has locations in New York City and Los Angeles, the New York Times previously reported. Variety stated Pratt was also a Hillsong church attendee.

Following Pratt’s appearance on the late-night show, Page took to Twitter to criticize Pratt for attending the church, which she did not name. “Oh. K. Um. But his church is infamously anti lgbtq so maybe address that too?” She tweeted along with a Hollywood Reporter article about Pratt’s interview.

On Saturday Page, who came out as gay during a 2014 speech in Las Vegas at a conference for the Human Rights Campaign, doubled down on her comment against Pratt and said the actor should “try and listen” to the LGBTQ community.

“If you are a famous actor and you belong to an organization that hates a certain group of people, don’t be surprised if someone simply wonders why it’s not addressed,” the 31-year-old actress tweeted Saturday. “Being anti LGBTQ is wrong, there aren’t two sides. The damage it causes is severe. Full stop. Sending love to all.

She said in another tweet, “If lgbtq+ people are expressing their pain, their trauma, their experiences … maybe just try and listen? Open your heart, stop being defensive and have compassion. It’s a beautiful and life changing feeling, empathy. Much love truly to all.

Pastor Chad Veach previously told the New York Times he modeled Zoe church after Hillsong, which is popular among celebrities, including Justin Bieber.

Senior pastor Brian Houston at Hillsong previously said in a 2015 statement that the church does “not affirm a gay lifestyle.”

“We do not affirm a gay lifestyle and because of this we do not knowingly have actively gay people in positions of leadership, either paid or unpaid,” he said in a post on the church’s website. “I recognize this one statement alone is upsetting to people on both sides of this discussion, which points to the complexity of the issue for churches all over the world.”

He said that he loves and accepts “people on a personal level.”

“Everyone is welcome at Hillsong church except for known predators, those who are disruptive, or those who have adversarial agendas,” he said, adding that gay people are welcomed at the church but cannot pursue a leadership role.

Page has been outspoken about LGBTQ issues and recently spoke out against the attack on “Empire” star Jussie Smollett. (Maybe you should wait for that investigation to pan out, Ellen. It has yet to be proven that an attack actually did occur.)

DCG

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Sunday Devotional: Seraphim were stationed above

If you, like I, sometimes get disheartened by the human evil and corrupt times in which we live, this account by the prophet Isaiah is a reminder of one of God’s wondrous creations, and that this world isn’t all there is to reality.

Even our physicists tell us there are multiple dimensions, as many as ten, way more than the three-dimensional world we access with our five senses.

Isaiah 6:1-2A, 3-8

In the year King Uzziah died,
I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne,
with the train of his garment filling the temple.
Seraphim were stationed above.

They cried one to the other,
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts!
All the earth is filled with his glory!”
At the sound of that cry, the frame of the door shook
and the house was filled with smoke.

Then I said, “Woe is me, I am doomed!
For I am a man of unclean lips,
living among a people of unclean lips;
yet my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me,
holding an ember that he had taken with tongs from the altar.

He touched my mouth with it, and said,
“See, now that this has touched your lips,
your wickedness is removed, your sin purged.”

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying,
“Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?”
“Here I am,” I said; “send me!”

Note: Uzziah, aka Azariah, was a king of the ancient Kingdom of Judah, who ruled for 52 years until about 750 BC, when he was struck with leprosy for disobeying God (2 Kings 15:5; 2 Chronicles 26:19-21) and his son Jotham took over as king. Uzziah died in 740/739 BC.

Major philosophers — such as St. Thomas Aquinas, René Descartes, John Locke, and most recently, the American philosopher Mortimer Adler (read about his conversion here) — had put forth compelling reasons for the existence of Angels, bodiless beings of pure spirit. All four philosophers maintained that, given what Aquinas called a “gradation of substances” in the Universe, we cannot exclude the existence of a gradation above humans — pure spirits, or minds without bodies. As Locke (1632-1704) explains in Essay Concerning Human Understanding, pp. 412-413:

In things which sense cannot discover, analogy is the great rule of probability. Thus, finding in all parts of the creation, that fall under human observation, that there is a gradual connexion of one with another, without any great or discernible gaps between . . . we have reason to be persuaded that, by such gentle steps, things ascend upwards in degrees of perfection . . . . Observing . . . such gradual and gentle descents downwards in those parts of the creation that are beneath man, the rule of analogy may make it probable that it is so also in things above us . . . and that there are several ranks of intelligent beings, excelling us in several degrees of perfection, ascending upwards towards the infinite perfection of the Creator.

Theologians maintain there is a hierarchy of Angels, their belief stemming from allusions in both the Old and New Testaments (Genesis 3:24; Isaiah 6:1-7; Ezekiel 1, 10; Romans 8:38; Ephesians 1:21, 3:10, 6:12; Colossians 1:16, 2:10, 2:15) to “seraphim,” “cherubim,” “thrones,” “dominions,” “mights,” “powers” and “principalities” in the “heavenly places.”

Dionysius the Areopagite and Aquinas delineated three hierarchies of Angels, and three orders within each hierarchy, totaling nine orders in all:

  • 1st hierarchy: Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones.
  • 2nd hierarchy: Dominions, Virtues, Powers.
  • 3rd hierarchy: Principalities, Archangels, Angels.

Of the nine angelic orders, five are sent by God for external ministry among bodily creatures, as indicated by their names of Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Archangels, and Angels—all of which refer to some kind of administrative or executive office. Of these five orders, only the last three (Principalities, Archangels and Angels) minister to human beings. Our guardian angels belong to the last angelic order.

Concerning the highest hierarchy of angels—the Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones—Aquinas states that they are never sent for external ministry but instead “assist before the throne of God.”

Indeed, in Isaiah 6, God is seated between two seraphims, each with six wings. And in Ezekiel 1 and 10, the prophet saw four cherubs before the throne of God, each having a human form with four wings and four faces—those of a man, a lion, a bull, and an eagle. Quite unlike the baby cherubs so popular in contemporary angel art, the cherubim whom Ezekiel saw in his visions “sparkled with a gleam like burnished bronze” from which “came forth flashes of lightning”; the sound of their wings was like “the roaring of mighty waters,” and when they moved, the clamor was like “the din of an army.”

The word “seraph” comes from a root meaning “to burn.” Cherubim are first mentioned in the Bible in Genesis 3:24, where Adam and Eve are expelled from the Garden of Eden and two cherubim are sent to guard its gate so that no one may enter. In her visions, German mystic St. Hildegard von Bingen saw the seraphim as “burning . . . in the love of God . . . as if they were a fire” and the cherubim as having “the purest, clearest, and most profound knowledge” of God in which “they see the secrets of the heavenly mysteries.” (Hildegard von Bingen’s Mystical Visions, p. 72).

Other sources of angel lore maintain that not only do the higher angels see God “face to face” and devote themselves to contemplating, loving, and singing in endless praise of the deity, they are charged with nothing less than the maintenance of order and beauty in the universe. Aquinas suggests as much when he writes that “angels rule the bodily world. St. Gregory says that in this visible world nothing occurs without the agency of invisible creatures.” (A Tour of the Summa, p. 91)

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

~Eowyn

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Blind dog, Norman, rescues drowning girl

One Monday morning in July 1996, 14-year-old Lisa Nibley and her younger brother, Joe, were swimming in the Necanicum River in coastal northern Oregon when they were caught in the rising tide.

Joe was able to scramble onto shore, but Lisa was caught in the tide and carried further and further away from the shore. She struggled against the powerful current, but kept going under. Then she prayed to God for help.

On the beach, Annette McDonald was walking Norman, a blind, yellow Labrador retriever whom she and her husband, Steve, had rescued from a dog pound. Abandoned by his original owner, Norman was only two days from being euthanized.

Annette said it was unusual for her to walk Norman that morning, but something “came over her”.

While walking on the beach, Norman suddenly ran toward the sea, having heard Lisa’s cries for help.

Altogether, the dog bolted 150 yards straight into the water.

Then Norman hesitated because Lisa, weak from her struggles, had stopped screaming.

So Annette yelled to Lisa to call out to Norman.

Using his hearing, Norman, the blind dog, made his way to Lisa and towed her back to shore.

Lisa’s grateful parents, Jeff and Elaine Nibley, tried to raise money for surgery to help Norman’s blindness.

Sadly, Dr. Grant Maurer, a veterinary ophthalmologist at the Animal Eye Clinic in Tigard, OR, determined that Norman had a genetic disease that cannot be cured with surgery. (AP)

H/t Kelleigh

See also these other heroic “creatures-without-sin” (St. Bonaventure):

~Eowyn

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Like a Lion

“The Word of God
is like a lion.

 

You don’t have to
defend a lion.

 

All you have to do

is let the lion

loose,

 

and the lion

will defend

itself.”

 

– Charles Spurgeon

“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” – Isaiah 55:11

“The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” – John 6:63


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Baby bunnies sleeping & dreaming

Pure blessed innocence — reflections of their creator, and a reminder to us that God is good.

~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: What is love?

John 15:9-10, 12-14

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As the Father loves me,
so I also love you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments,
you will remain in my love….
This is my commandment:
love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.”

“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.”

So what exactly is love?

In our corrupt times, the word “love” is used to justify any or all deeds, even the most perverse and evil.

Carnal lust is called “love” and given the veneer of respectability by calling it marriage. Pedophilia is called “man-boy love”. Bestiality is re-named “zoophilia” — love of animals. Incest is given the gloss by faux science as “genetic sexual attraction”.

“Love” has become a synonym of “Do as you will”.

This is what love really means.

1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13

Brothers and sisters:
Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts.
But I shall show you a still more excellent way.

If I speak in human and angelic tongues,
but do not have love,
I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.
And if I have the gift of prophecy,
and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge;
if I have all faith so as to move mountains,
but do not have love, I am nothing.
If I give away everything I own,
and if I hand my body over so that I may boast,
but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind.
It is not jealous, it is not pompous,
It is not inflated, it is not rude,
it does not seek its own interests,
it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury,
it does not rejoice over wrongdoing
but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails.
If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing;
if tongues, they will cease;
if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing.
For we know partially and we prophesy partially,
but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.
When I was a child, I used to talk as a child,
think as a child, reason as a child;
when I became a man, I put aside childish things.
At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror,
but then face to face.
At present I know partially;
then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.
So faith, hope, love remain, these three;
but the greatest of these is love.

John 15:16-17

“It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you: love one another.”

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

~Eowyn

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3-year-old boy kept alive by wild bear in freezing rain

On January 22, 2019, 3-year-old Casey Hathaway vanished from outside his grandmother’s house in North Carolina.

Casey Hathaway

 

FBI and U.S. Marines professional search teams joined up with volunteers to search for the boy, who weighs only 25 lbs., in the forest near grandma’s house.

Yahoo reports that after two days of heavy rain and freezing temperatures, a neighbor out walking her dog heard a loud cry coming  from the bushes about 40 yards from the road. There, little Casey was found crying and tangled in thorn bushes.

He was rushed to the hospital in surprisingly good condition, apart from a few scrapes and bruises, where he later told his family that it was a bear who had kept him safe for the past two days, according to a GoFundMe page set up by the toddler’s grandmother at “the public’s request.”

The page says: “He told us that his best friend the bear was with him to help keep him safe. Thanks to God’s mercy he came home to us alive and well.”

While the family admits they’re not sure how accurate Casey’s version of events are, it is not the first time that wild animals have kept missing children safe:

  • In 1888, the New York Times reported the disappearance of a 2-year-old girl who was found in a deep valley, where she claimed she had slept by a bear that kept her warm that night.
  • In 1955, 2-year-old Ida Mae Curtis went missing in Kootenai National Forest in Montana. She was located after enduring two days of pouring rain, and explained that she had been cuddled and comforted by a bear during her time away.
  • In December 2018, wild elks used their body heat to save a boy from hypothermia.
  • The video below chronicles other cases: Gorillas saved boys who fell into the gorilla compound in zoos; a lioness saved a zookeeper; and an elephant saved an elephant nature park staffer from drowning:

H/t Kelleigh

~Eowyn

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But I Repeat Myself

Some Repetition is NOT Vain

Psalm 136
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.His love endures forever.
2 Give thanks to the God of gods.His love endures forever.
3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords:His love endures forever.
4 to him who alone does great wonders,His love endures forever.
5 who by his understanding made the heavens,His love endures forever.
6 who spread out the earth upon the waters,His love endures forever.
7 who made the great lights—His love endures forever.
8 the sun to govern the day,His love endures forever.
9 the moon and stars to govern the night;His love endures forever.
10 to him who struck down the firstborn of EgyptHis love endures forever.
11 and brought Israel out from among themHis love endures forever.
12 with a mighty hand and outstretched arm;His love endures forever.
13 to him who divided the Red Sea a asunderHis love endures forever.
14 and brought Israel through the midst of it,His love endures forever.
15 but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea;His love endures forever.
16 to him who led his people through the wilderness;His love endures forever.
17 to him who struck down great kings,His love endures forever.
18 and killed mighty kings—His love endures forever.
19 Sihon king of the AmoritesHis love endures forever.
20 and Og king of Bashan—His love endures forever.
21 and gave their land as an inheritance,His love endures forever.
22 an inheritance to his servant Israel.His love endures forever.
23 He remembered us in our low estateHis love endures forever.
24 and freed us from our enemies.His love endures forever.
25 He gives food to every creature.His love endures forever.
26 Give thanks to the God of heaven.His love endures forever.

When I wake up in the morning, my mind gropes around for something to hold onto.

Some days I am facing problems, some days are days where enjoyable things are planned. Some days are days of battle. Some days are days of sorrow. Some days are days in sunshine, riding waves or skiing powder.

But every day, the most steadying thought is the confidence that “His love endures forever.” He will never leave me nor forsake me. In death or in life, “His love endures forever.”

“The maker of the stars would rather die for you
than live without you.” – Max Lucado

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