Category Archives: Christians/Christianity

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:

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‘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

Sunday Devotional: The Chosen People

1 Peter 2:9

You are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood,
a holy nation, a people of his own,
so that you may announce the praises” of him
who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

So many Christians give their uncritical, absolute support to Jews, no matter their acts and character, in the peculiar and mistaken belief that Jews are still God’s chosen people. In so doing, these Christians not only ignore Jesus’ own words at the Last Supper, they render moot and purposeless our Lord’s sacrifice of Himself for humanity:

Luke 22:14-15, 19-20

When the hour came,
he took his place at the table,
and the apostles with him.
He said to them, “I have eagerly desired
to eat this Passover with you before I suffer….”
Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks,
he broke it and gave it to them, saying,
“This is my body, which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”
And he did the same with the cup after supper saying,
“This cup that is poured out for you
is the new covenant in my Blood.”

As St. Paul, in his letter to the Hebrews 9:15, makes clear about Jesus’ mission:

He is mediator of a new covenant.

And:

Hebrews 8:13

In speaking of a new covenant,
He makes the first one obsolete.
And what is becoming obsolete and growing old
is ready to vanish away.

Indeed, 1 Peter 2:4-5 is explicit on who “the chosen race” are with whom Jesus has made a new covenant — they are those who believe in and follow Him:

Come to him, a living stone, rejected by human beings
but chosen and precious in the sight of God,
and, like living stones,
let yourselves be built into a spiritual house
to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices
acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Finally and definitively, Christ Himself is unambiguous about the identity of those with whom He has made a new covenant:

John 14:5-6, 9

Thomas said to him,
“Master, we do not know where you are going;
how can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him,
I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me….
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.”

The new chosen people with whom God has made a new covenant is different from the old chosen people whose covenant is obsolete — dated, bygone, dead and gone.

The new chosen people are not a race or a particular ethnicity, but comprise people from all races who are not so much chosen as choose. Nor are the new chosen people special or superior; the “chosen people” is not a narcissistic, self-glorifying label. In Christ’s own words, they are “whoever believes in me,” “do the works that I do,” who love Him by keeping His commandments (John 14:12, 15), and who “deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23).

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

~Eowyn

Eye of the Eagle: Watch Darshan the eagle spot his trainer from more than half a mile away

On March 14, 2015, a white-tailed eagle named Darshan set a new world record for the highest-recorded bird flight.

Darshan flew from the tallest man-made structure in the world — the Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai, which is 2,722 feet or 0.52 mile high.

But that isn’t the only thing that’s amazing about Darshan.

The eagle’s eyes are so sharp that, from more than half a mile above, Darshan was able to spot his trainer on the ground below.

Thanks to a tiny Sony Action camera attached to Darshan’s back, we have literally a bird’s eye view of what happened.

Watch as Darshan is released from atop the Burj Khalifa. (I recommend you watch on full screen.)

For more than a minute, the eagle hovers in the air scanning the ground below….

Then, at the 1:40 mark in the video below, Darshan spots his trainer — falconer Jacques-Olivier Travers — and swoops down to land on Travers’ gloved hand.

Here’s a longer video:

From NBC News:

The flight was organized by the Freedom Conservation group to raise awareness for endangered birds of prey and encourage conservation; in the past, the group has recorded eagles taking off from landmarks across Europe, including the Eiffel Tower in Paris and St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.

“We know that people love these types of videos. It’s a great way for us to attract the public’s attention to endangered animals and to the fact that humans need to learn how to share their space with these animals,” Freedom Conservation Director Ronald Menzel told NBC News.

Menzel’s adventures with birds caught the attention of the Crown Prince of Dubai, who invited the French conservationist to Dubai to bring attention to the need to protect wildlife in urban areas. Menzel told NBC News that over the course of four months, they worked with the prince’s technology team and Sony to get the camera and transmitter on Darshan’s back.

The white-tailed eagle was trained by falconer Jacques-Olivier Travers, who has pioneered techniques to reintroduce endangered eagles to the wild, including paragliding, skiing and kayaking with the birds to teach them survival skills. Travers, who runs a park with about 150 birds of prey in Haute Savoie, France, founded the Freedom Conservation group in 2006.

Darshan is a white-tailed eagle.

The white-tailed eagle, aka eagle of the rain or sea grey eagle, is a close cousin of the American bald eagle, found in Eurasia, near large bodies of open water with an abundant food supply and old-growth trees for nesting.

The white-tailed eagle is a very large bird of prey, measuring 26-37 in. in length, with a wingspan of 5.8-8 ft., the largest of any eagle. The average life-span is 21 years; some white-tailed eagles have been found to live over 25 years.

White-tailed eagles pair for life.

Nearly extinct, successful efforts have been made to reintroduce the white-tailed eagle to parts of Europe, including Scotland and Ireland.

H/t GiGi

~Eowyn