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Wonderful contributions from everyone keeping this most important thread alive. Qbee, as I already told ya home girl, that last post of yours from yesterday is spot on, awesome stuff. I do have one slight critique to make – can only man be close to God and a friend of His? Cause also woman can be the very same. Turn all them hes in2 she and you might be getting a fuller picture.

Btw of women, faith and life, look what a wonderful poem Blessed John Paul II wrote when he was only 18.

lolekpoem.jpg


Considering some of the rumors back in 2006 about Michael putting his poems to music (a most extraordinary event which would have brought together the work of my two favorite people in the world) i can't help but think what Michael would have done with this one. I can only imagine he would have captured the hope and light of the first stanza, only to get into the darkness and despair of the second one and the song would have probably faded out into the resignation and acceptance of that last line.


Now in a bit of a random moment, i would like to share with you a picture featuring a painting made by a child on occasion of a contest organized to celebrate May 9[SUP]th[/SUP] – Europe Day last year. It was part of an 'auction' the proceeds of which went to a school specialized in aiding kids with vision problems. I attended a most wonderful and touching event around Christmas last year and i got this painting. It is called 'Encourage life'. The quality of the photo isn't great, but i think the title fits perfectly. It is important to encourage life no matter the circumstances.

encouragelife.jpg



Returning to JPII and one of his greatest legacies – ecumenism and inter-faith dialogue. In October 1986 he gathered in Assissi (Saint Francisc's home) religious leaders from all over the world to pray for peace. This was neither an exercise in syncretism nor a shallow display of faith. Every participant and every denomination and faith present there kept its identity but all embraced the common values which unite them, the most important being the desire for peace among men.

assisi1986.jpg


A quarter of a century later Pope Benedict XVI continued in this tradition and organized a similar event where, for the first time also agnostics and atheists were invited.

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In his speech, the Pope didn't shy away from answering to much of the criticism addressed to religion in general and to the Christian faith and Catholic Church in particular. He beautifully acknowledged the importance and highlighted the role agnostics can play and the challenge they pose to Christians everywhere. Here are some excerpts from the Holy Father's speech

…As a Christian I want to say at this point: yes, it is true, in the course of history, force has also been used in the name of the Christian faith. We acknowledge it with great shame. But it is utterly clear that this was an abuse of the Christian faith, one that evidently contradicts its true nature. The God in whom we Christians believe is the Creator and Father of all, and from him all people are brothers and sisters and form one single family. For us the Cross of Christ is the sign of the God who put “suffering-with” (compassion) and “loving-with” in place of force. His name is “God of love and peace” (2 Cor 13:11). It is the task of all who bear responsibility for the Christian faith to purify the religion of Christians again and again from its very heart, so that it truly serves as an instrument of God’s peace in the world, despite the fallibility of humans.

If one basic type of violence today is religiously motivated and thus confronts religions with the question as to their true nature and obliges all of us to undergo purification, a second complex type of violence is motivated in precisely the opposite way: as a result of God’s absence, his denial and the loss of humanity which goes hand in hand with it. The enemies of religion – as we said earlier – see in religion one of the principal sources of violence in the history of humanity and thus they demand that it disappear. But the denial of God has led to much cruelty and to a degree of violence that knows no bounds, which only becomes possible when man no longer recognizes any criterion or any judge above himself, now having only himself to take as a criterion. The horrors of the concentration camps reveal with utter clarity the consequences of God’s absence.…

In addition to the two phenomena of religion and anti-religion, a further basic orientation is found in the growing world of agnosticism: people to whom the gift of faith has not been given, but who are nevertheless on the lookout for truth, searching for God. Such people do not simply assert: “There is no God”. They suffer from his absence and yet are inwardly making their way towards him, inasmuch as they seek truth and goodness.

They are “pilgrims of truth, pilgrims of peace”. They ask questions of both sides. They take away from militant atheists the false certainty by which these claim to know that there is no God and they invite them to leave polemics aside and to become seekers who do not give up hope in the existence of truth and in the possibility and necessity of living by it.

But they also challenge the followers of religions not to consider God as their own property, as if he belonged to them, in such a way that they feel vindicated in using force against others. These people are seeking the truth, they are seeking the true God, whose image is frequently concealed in the religions because of the ways in which they are often practised. Their inability to find God is partly the responsibility of believers with a limited or even falsified image of God. So all their struggling and questioning is in part an appeal to believers to purify their faith, so that God, the true God, becomes accessible.

Therefore I have consciously invited delegates of this third group to our meeting in Assisi, which does not simply bring together representatives of religious institutions. Rather it is a case of being together on a journey towards truth, a case of taking a decisive stand for human dignity and a case of common engagement for peace against every form of destructive force. Finally I would like to assure you that the Catholic Church will not let up in her fight against violence, in her commitment for peace in the world. We are animated by the common desire to be “pilgrims of truth, pilgrims of peace”.


The entire piece can be found here http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/b...uments/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20111027_assisi_en.html

I recently heard an interesting saying about a Muslim person whom is told to have said 'I wish I had met Christ before I met the Christian'. That is indeed a sad statement to be made about us. It means we are not fulfilling our duties and we are not true to Jesus' message and not worthy of His calling. No matter whom we encounter - a brother or a sister in Christ, believers of other faiths or non belivers we should be a beacon of His light and mercy so people can tell we are Christians by our love.

Unfortunately for many Christians, the words of the prophet Isaiah ring all too true "These people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me" (Is 29:13). It serves us no good to make the peace sign during mass while in church, if once we step outside we carry animosity towards our neighbours and strife within our family.

A true Christian can only be the one who will try and serve God to the best of his or hers ability in all areas of their life – be it at home, at work or in the community. Clergy can only do so much to bring us closer to Him, we must also do our part. The world needs Christian writers, Christian politicians, Christian families, Christian entertainers, Christian doctors, Christian teachers and the list goes on and on.....

May the Lord bless the Church with unity as it seeks to perfect Herself and make all of us worthy of His promises. May we all be pilgrims of truth and pilgrims of peace on this earth.


devinemercy.jpg


Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy (Mt5:7)

Jesus, i trust in You. Thy will be done.

AMEN
 

Wiserlemming

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Re: Any Believers in Jesus Christ Here? (Non-debate thread for believers only)

I just found this thread and I'm so glad I did! :)
 

Victory22

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addictMJJ

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Re: Any Believers in Jesus Christ Here? (Non-debate thread for believers only)

I have faith in Jesus Christ and just like Michael I try to follow his steps
Love is his message : Coeur:: Coeur:: Coeur:: Coeur:: Coeur:: Coeur:: Coeur:
 

qbee

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*Little Suzie*

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Re: Any Believers in Jesus Christ Here? (Non-debate thread for believers only)

I'm not Christian but I think Jesus is a exciting prophet, and I adore him very much. I wish we all could be just like him. A man who care about others..
 

Victory22

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qbee;3609302 said:
Im Praying for Kirk. Im sure hell be fine. He knew his view would not poplular


Isaiah 54:17

New King James Version (NKJV)

17 No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment
You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their righteousness is from Me,”
Says the Lord.
 

Agent M

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@Shhaaaby: Thanks for the rep. and friendship request. It was my pleasure to accept. I'm mentioning this here because you have all messaging disabled.

MsCassieMollie;3607754 said:
he's getting a lot of flack for his recent comments on homosexuality & gay marriage.

qbee;3609302 said:
He knew his view would not poplular

It seems that in wider and wider circles, Christian attitudes toward certain subjects appear are no longer deemed socially acceptable as this case demonstrates.

Atty Says School Threatened, Punished Boy Who Opposed Gay Adoption

A 15-year-old Wisconsin boy who wrote an op-ed opposing gay adoptions was censored, threatened with suspension and called ignorant by the superintendent of the Shawano School District, according to an attorney representing the child.

Mathew Staver, the founder of the Liberty Counsel, sent a letter to Superintendent Todd Carlson demanding an apology for “Its unconstitutional and irrational censorship and humiliation” of Brandon Wegner.

Wegner, a student at Shawano High School, was asked to write an op-ed for the school newspaper about whether gays should be allowed to adopt. Wegner, who is a Christian, wrote in opposition. Another student wrote in favor of allowing gays to adopt.

Wegner used Bible passages to defend his argument, including Scripture that called homosexuality a sin.

After the op-ed was published, a gay couple whose child attend s the high school, complained.

The school immediately issued an apology – stating Wegner’s opinion was a “form of bullying and disrespect.”

“Offensive articles cultivating a negative environment of disrespect are not appropriate or condoned by the Shawano School District,” the statement read. “We sincerely apologize to anyone we may have offended and are taking steps to prevent items of this nature from happening in the future.”

But Staver said what the school system did next was absolutely outrageous. He said the 15-year-old was ordered to the superintendent’s office where he was subjected to hours of meetings and was accused of violating the school’s bullying policy.

“The superintendent called him ignorant and said he had the power to suspend him,” Staver said. “He’s using his position to bully this student. This is absolutely the epitome of intolerance.”

Staver said the boy’s parents were never notified.

At one point, Staver said the superintendent gave him a chance to say he regretted writing the column.

“When Mr. Wegner stated that he did not regret writing it, and that he stood behind his beliefs, Superintendent Carlson told him that he ‘had got to be one of the most ignorant kids to try to argue with him about this topic,’” Staver said.

At that point, Staver said the superintendent told the boy that “we have the power to suspend you if we want to.”

The superintendent allegedly told Wegner that he was personally offended by Wegner’s column.

FOX News & Commentary offered Carlson a chance to address the allegations. He refused to submit to questions, but did say he would send a statement. That statement never arrived.

Staver said Wegner was not trying to cause problems or pick a fight.

“He was asked to write an article in the newspaper overseen by a faculty adviser,” he said, suspecting the superintendent was specifically outraged over the Bible verses Wegner had used.

“The superintendent wants everyone to accept homosexuality as normative and homosexual adoption as something that should be standard practices,” Staver said. “In doing so, he’s belittling the views and the biblical views of many people across this country. He is playing a zero-sum game. He’s not interested in dialogue. He wants to cram his view down the throat of everyone else and will not tolerate an opposing viewpoint.”

Staver said an apology from the superintendent may not suffice – and they may consider taking legal action.

“It was a very intimidating situation for this 15-year-old boy,” he said.”It was uncalled for. He crossed the line. It’s absolutely outrageous and he needs to apologize for his actions.”

Atty Says School Threatened, Punished Boy Who Opposed Gay Adoption
 

billyworld99

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Re: Any Believers in Jesus Christ Here? (Non-debate thread for believers only)

hey i hope everyone is going great in here!
 

qbee

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H a p p y * E a s t e r


[video=youtube_share;xXBAR5-EHVM]http://youtu.be/xXBAR5-EHVM[/video]



Do not abandon yourselves to despair.
We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.
~ Pope John Paul II


Easter says you can put truth in a grave,
but it won’t stay there.
~ Clarence W. Hall

JesusnotdeadAni.gif






The stars shall fade away, the sun himself Grow dim with age,
and Nature sink in years; But thou shalt flourish in immortal youth,
Unhurt amid the war of elements, The wreck of matter, and the crush of worlds.
~Joseph Addison
 

qbee

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Re: Any Believers in Jesus Christ Here? (Non-debate thread for believers only)

I was going to include this above but only one video is allowed per post now

HAPPY EASTER
God's Not Dead




 

Victory22

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Re: Any Believers in Jesus Christ Here? (Non-debate thread for believers only)

This is lovely! Happy Easter Qbee and to all my MJ Christian brothers and sisters have a glorious resurrection Sunday.
 

xthunderx2

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Happy Easter to all...HE HAS RISEN!!

And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.”
(Matthew 28:7 NLT)
 
N

No-Body

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Qbee – THANK YOU for the wonderful videos you posted and thanks to everyone who contributes to this mighty thread.

Agent M – the pleasure was all mine to send the invite. You are right, messaging (of any kind) ain't my thang these days. I can be loud or discreet and this is a time for me to try and be discreet, but before i do that, let me try and go out with a bang of sorts, even if of spiritual nature.

K folks, what follows is such a mamooth scroll that i had to divide it in mutiple posts both for ease of reading and also for strategic reasons of surpassing the one vid/post rule. I hope the board admins won't wack me for it. All of these might seem to many as one extremeeeely long ramble inappropriate for Easter time or any time because of the many directions it will take.

Some might accuse me of lacking focus, but i would kindly ask anybody who will have the imense patience to read this stuff (in different sessions if necessary lol) to refrain from judging me until after they have read all of it/them.

The idea that this most probably is my last appearance in this thread (and online) for quite possibly a really long time might prove an incentive for some to bear with me still. I'm not out to win any accolades, i ain't here to make any new friends and i certainly ain't in search of foes either; i'm just tryin' to have my say and if one or more people care enough to read and agree with what i say (without the need to express that in any way) then swell, if they don't, that's cool as well.

The reason why i am writing all of it in this particular thread is because i believe most, if not all of our life, should be viewed through the lense of faith. That should not be interpreted however as a waiver for some sort of theocracy. It's not my place to talk about the dangers of Sharia and the extreme forms it can take in certain countries. The separation of church and state as well as freedom of thought, of association and of practice are some of the pillars on which the rule of law as it is understood in many parts of the world is built on.

What i am 'militating' for is a world view based on moral values, which in my case are of Christian origin and some of which might be shared by many people, even believers of other faiths or non-believers – anything from the need to have a deeper connection to God in our daily lives to ecology, just to give a couple of examples.

During an introduction at a training session last year i described myself as 'an observer of life'. It is in that capacity that i dare say that two of the most overlooked values in our day and age seem to be, to me at least, CREDIBILITY and COHERENCE. Unless we have the two of these in our being and there is a consistency of life and message with no true and deep rifts between what we say, what we do and who we are, we fall short of God's calling and fall pray to the horrible sin of hypocrisy.

Far from me the idea that we should claim to be almost perfect. If Saint Paul called himself 'the first among sinners' i wonder what that would make me. I'm simply trying to say the gap between our motivation, our actions and our thoughts ought not to be very deep.

Credibility is mighty important in any area of life and activity. Take politicians for example – the election cycle allows voters (or at least in theory it should, if fraud doesn't take place or lobbies great or small are not involved) to hold politicians accountable to their campaign promises. When these pledges are not kept, people vote folks out of office, or so the democratic game and theory go.

What many people fail to realize is the great pressure most politicians are subject to during campaigns when they must accommodate the widest sets of opinions and interests possible – from the hardcore, grass roots movements of their parties (focused on this or that issue) to the centrists, undecided voters who can swing an election in either direction and who, most of the time, call for more nuanced, moderate stances a bit far from the extremes of any particular ideology.

That is why it is unrealistic to expect of anyone to keep all of their campaign promises. As in any other matter in life, it's all about the big, uncompromising pledges that ought to be kept; we can't and we shouldn't sweat over the insignificant ones.

I would think people would be better adviced if they voted for the people who have less populist messages and more realistic views and who are honest with themselves and their audience. Such politicians, out truly to serve the greater good are aware they can't promise quick, over-night solutions to deep, systemic crises and that usually means they need more than one mandate in order to implement the policies neccesary to have a lasting impact; conviniently so, might say the cynics, but i dare anyone say that four years are enough to get any country or the world outta the mess we've all been in.

Albeit in a different field, although close to that of politics (at times too close), the markets also rely heavily on credibility. Brand names, whether in goods or services, are built on the premise and the promise of truth and quality. When a scandal hits either about unfair competition practices, flawed security measures, products endagering consumers' health the stocks of said company take a nose dive. When technological, real-estate or financial wizerdy schemes and booms go bust they take the whole market and the global economy along with them in bearish turf and worse yet in recession all because investors no longer trust certain funds/ banks/ nations depending on circumstances.

Similarly, credibility is also demanded from artists – it is fairly accurate to ask oneself how can millionaires and billionaires relate to the trials and tribulations of the common-man who seeks to make end's meet and struggles to make it from month to month, but then that would make it virtually impossible for any rich person to have leftist stances if that is the only logic we could by. The truth is that

57983913922113918_e_SCFip_SM_f.jpg


Another legitimate question would be how can rappers and musicians in general have songs whose lyrics are all about some ethereal and immortal love dedicated to one girl, yet have two dozen semi-naked 'ladies' parading and prancing around in videos. Even more so, sing songs about true love when either they haven't really experienced it in their lives or the lovely lyrics and emotions once attached to certain people in their lives no longer hold true.

It does make a highly cynical audience always ready to bet on how little will last any new union (officialized or not) to ask itself – what about all that lovey, dovey stuff and that eternal ish y'all been singin' about if whenever we open up the papers there's another infidelity scandal or a new divorce in Hollywood?

But then again, to be perfectly fair to Hollywood folk, i would take a really wild guess and say that probably the divorce and split-up rate there would be smaller if the media stopped puttin' that magnifying glass on people's lives and make mountains outta molehills and if people in general would butt out of famous people's affairs.

Maybe IF the media stopped writing or gossipin' about the life of famous folk and actually took a good and serious look at the way it handles its business and their own lives and if people in their often salicious and sometimes morbid curiosity would care less about other people's lives and loves and would become more concerned with living their own, maybe then famous people would live a bit more peacefully and happily together and get this....even for ever and for real.

I know how hard it is to make a relationship work for us commoners; after all, me & my guy we just a bunch of nobodies, so i can only imagine the stress put on a relationship when sooo very many electric eyes are watching and waiting eagerly to see and detect any sign of failure. Me and me guy, we may not amount to much in terms of fame, which suits me just foine, but we definitely are a special bunch because there are more than one facets, sides and angles to our story and some of them are nicer than others; they could very well be more for other love tales as well, but we just took the whole thang a bit further.

I believe it is high time i addressed my own credibility issues before anyone else jumps in and asks about the high horse on top of which i might seem to be sitting in my not-so-mighty shabbyness talkin' bout so many trades of the world.

For example, one could legitimately ask me how dare i talk about the importance of family values and the special place the traditional family (as defined by the Christian faith) has in the world and in the history of salvation when i have no real, true and complete family of my own, in spite of my years long relationship with this guy of mine.

People have mentioned Kirk Cameron and his views on homosexual marriage. Indeed that is quite an unpopular opinion to be had these days when many people seem open to such options, but it does not make it any less pertinent in a society based on free speech and any less true from a Christian perspective.

I believe it is important not to be afraid to talk truth to power whatever its location - the corridors of Congress in D.C., Wall Street, the Hollywood hills, the Roman Curia or anywhere else on earth where the mighty gather and decide in the name of many. At the same time, it is important to have the (street) cred to engage in such force-defying actions and attitudes.

As Christiand tradition has defined it, marriage can only be the sacred, eternal union between a woman and a man and that is the only proper environment where children can and should be raised. No matter the accusations any single individual or organization might have about the percieved narrow-mindedness of such a definition, supposedly no longer in tune with social trends, if one is to stand firmly on the grounds of the Gospel and Christian tradition explained over the centuries by saints and doctors of the Church, there is no room left for any other interpretation.

That is why people like Kirk Cameron, a husband and a father of six can talk with authority about such things, while i, on the other hand, a girl who still writes in forms at number of members of family the figure 1, cannot do the same. Hopefully that will change in the not so distant future - both the number of members of my family and my right and credibility to address such issues.

It is important to stay true to one's values and definition of truth even with the risk of causing outrage or controversy. This last thing should not be courted by any stretch of imagination, but believers should not be scared away from expressing their moral stance as long as they do it in a spirit of civility and gentleness that should go along with the firmness of their attitude.

Any form of violence against doctors who perform abortions or against gay people, even extreme cases which lead to the death of individuals are abhorrent and completely un-Christian means of expressing disatisfaction with any lifestyle or choice. And again, this is where the questions of credibility and coherence come into play – one cannot claim to have Christian principles and motivations if their actions are in complete opposition to such tenants.

Returning now to my own experience of faith and life and the question of how coherent they may or may not be. We are living during what should be the most joyous time of year for any Christian – we are celebrating the Lord's resurrection, yet, if i am to be completely honest with God, myself and anybody else, i must say that i can't and don't feel as much joy as i should at this special time.

Thankfully, i have been blessed with a sense of relative peace which is very comforting in these times of sorrow, but still i would like to feel that joy so i can be a credible witness. I couldn't dare talk to anyone about it if i don't feel it myself.

Many times i think there is an unnecessary pressure and burden placed on Christian believers to act and seem happy all the time and during this season, all the more...but i think even more important than shallow displays of happiness or faith is honesty.

I believe it is vitally important that we stay true to ourselves and even though we should not be ruled by our emotions (either good or bad), which can be highly unstable and fleeting, we should also seek honesty, even at all costs. And if misery, heartache and sorrow is most of what we feel then we should not be ashamed to admit it.

And this leads me to another big flaw of our times – SHALLOWNESS. We might be living in financial times as the motto of a noted and well-respected publication goes, but i dare say we are living in shallow times. The superficiality aspect is not limited of course to the life of faith, but to all areas of life when people don't care and don't find the time to reach the essence of things and the true purpose of life.

Jesus was a man of sorrows and even though He might have danced at the wedding at Cana, He also wept for the loss of His friend Lazarus and starting with the agony in Gethsemane He never ceased hurting until that last sigh on the Cross.

One of my favorite episodes in the Bible is when at the start of the Holy week the Lord casts out of the Temple all merchants and money lenders in a complete act of fury which by most psychological standards of our day would have landed Him in anger management classes.

jesusdrivesoutmoneytrad.jpg


Not only is this particular episode a wonderful display of the Lord's humanity, but it also is a perfect depiction of righteous and holy indignation. There are times and circumstances when people of good will cannot and should not sit idly and stay silent and tolerate injustice, not matter the source.

Maybe i understood it wrong, but i think life and love both viewed from the Christian perspective are not smooth rides, free of doubt and hopelessness or any other obstacles. I believe the whole point is to go through all of the trials and tribulations that life and true love inherently have in them AND overcome them.

I recently discovered this beautiful saying which sums things up perfectly

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N

No-Body

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For some of us the sea of life is made of countless storms and in certain cases we might feel that most of our existance on earth is one prolonged Good Friday. For people like me entire years can seem like a continuous Holy Saturday, silently (more or less) waiting for the light and glory of the morning of Easter Sunday, but we know that no matter how many or how intense are the storms we face, our ship is not sinkable because we have the Lord on our side.

It is quite true though when decades-long prayers go unanswered one cannot help but ask if they weren't praying for the wrong thing all along. But when the core of the prayer is of such a general nature, as it is in my case - simply finding true love alongside a man beautiful in every way i could love and who would love me back – i cannot help but ask why is the Lord turning His face and ear away from me for so long? Are my sins really that terrible and that many He won't forgive me or am i paying for others' as well?

There has been a very recent 'incident' which did prompt me to think i may not be prayin' for the wrong things after all. Just a few days ago while being half-asleep i was getting visions of chocolate coated soft marshmellows, white dove on the box included lol. I had eaten them a few months before and i was craving them and thinking to myself where on earth am i gonna find these cause i've never seen them again.

A short few hours later i was in front of a box of them in a supermarket to which i was directed by the wonderful advice of my folks' godfather whom we had visited that morning. Needless to say i was overjoyed at the sight and especially at enjoying them yummy, yummy softies.

I couldn't help but ask the Lord – how come You can be so quick about these things, yet other prayers take decades without being listen to? I know part of His answer would sound something like – “well, getting the kinda things you want takes a bit more than making marshmellow, wrappin' it in chocolate and getting it in a store near you”. I could very well be making an undue extrapolation, but i would like to take this as a sign of sorts that the Lord is indeed with me and not only in the little, inconsequential prayers like these, but also in the big ones.

I'm hopin' this was His way of saying – “don't worry kiddo, i got your back, you on the right track. Don't worry about nothing, no matter what does or doesn't happen. Them big things you've been crying over and praying for so long? I haven't forgotten about them. I am the one who put them in your heart in the first place. Just hang on to Me a bit longer cause you will have them as well. And even though you may feel alone cause there's no one there to hold your hand, I will hold it and I will never let go, so don't you dare do that either.”

Throughout my life, both in the personal and professional arena, i have tried to stay clear of the world's ways and not bow to the priorities we are instructed to follow – hedonism in all its forms, anything from being ruled by lust to the vain deceit of fortune accumulation at all costs or the illusion of building a career based on stepping every ladder or hierarchy bossing people around and stopping at nothing to reach whatever seemingly high 'status'.

Part of it no doubts comes from the fact that most of my adult life has been eased by the financial support offered by my folks. Most probably i wouldn't have been as free not to compromise my principles (anything from working in certain industries to work schedule) if i wouldn't have had that kind of security to back me up. Yet, i are in a quandrum because in spite of my efforts and choices i find myself unhappy with most aspects of my life.

Not only that, but by the world's standards i am from many points of view a failure – a 31 y.o. woman who has not worked for most of what she owns, is still all alone and doesn't have any true fulfillment in her life other than her relationship with God and the occasional and sporadic moments of joy brought by family and friends. From that standpoint, the score right now is world 1 – Shabby 0.

What hurts is that from certain perspectives i am a failure also in eyes of my parents and not because they don't trust me, but simply because of the frustation i am causing them because i do not live out to my potential, which could very well be true, but not from the angle they view things. Not only that, but after decades of support, most of all emotional, they see how their efforts to see me happy have not amounted to much. And that is probably the worst feeling possible for a parent to have, second only to losing one's child.

What my folks or any other parents don't realize is that may not be, by God's design, the purpose and the role of parents. We are to be made complete and happy by our spouses; the best things parents can do for their children is to offer them a serene, loving environment and hope to provide them with a credible example of what a true, committed love, marriage and family are all about.

One can only hope kids with such an example in front of them will go out and make the possible choices in their own lives and i believe there is no more important choice we make in our life time, when it comes to human affairs, than whom we choose to share our lives with.

Jobs come and go and one can have more than one career in life (and my dad is a great example in that), houses we inhabit change, but they become homes only we when have someone to share them with. If we are to believe in Christian principles then the one we marry is the one with whom we will also spend eternity and forever is a might long time to be spent with anyone who will be any less than compatible with our complete being – body, mind and soul.

As some may know, each Good Friday in Rome the Via Crucis procession (the Way of the Cross) takes place at Collosseum in the presence of the Holy Father. Each year there are reflections for the stations of the Cross. This year the reflections were written by Danilo and Anna-Maria Zanzucchi, founders of the 'New Families' movement.

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This highly distinguished and inspirational couple who this year is celebrating their 60[SUP]th[/SUP] anniversary wrote about the importance of family, the many wounds it can sustain, how any family, same as every individual has its own Via Crucis to go through, but above all of that there is the love and hope of God which through Christ achieved their highest form.

Their example reminds me some truly beautiful words Beth, one of the main contributors to the Pray and fast thread which was active during Michael's trial, once said - a woman's heart should be so well hidden in Christ that a man would have to find Him first in order to find her.

Here is another marvelous testimony of true love and a lasting marriage and one from Hollywood, of all unlikely places. Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman for 50 years from 1958 - 2008 have created a beautiful family together.

simplybeautiful.jpg


God rest Paul Newman's soul, not only an amazing actor but also a wonderful husband and father. Unfortunately, not all couples and families are blessed with such long-lasting unions. C.S. Lewis and Joy Gresham found each other in the later years of their life and they only had four years before death separated them. That doesn't make their marriage, example or testimony any less relevant or powerful than that of the Zanzucchi family or the Newmans.

Perhaps the lesson from the lives of C.S. Lewis and Joy Gresham is that not only the wait is worthwhile, cause after all it took them a really long time to find each other and in the end they didn't have much time to be with one another here on earth, but perhaps the greater lesson is this – the fight for love is worth every battle and scar, even more so than the wait.That is why i believe the power of any testimony of true faith and true love ought to be built more than anything else on truth, authenticity and intensity.

shadowlands%20joy%20jack.jpg


I am all about depth, honesty and completion. The Lord promised us life to the fullest and He promised it to us not only in His eternal kingdom, but also here on earth like the Psalms say so many times. As long as you reach the destination and you find complete and true love, in all of its forms and for all three of the dimensions of the human being (body, mind and soul) that is all that matters. Anything else that happens in between can be dealt with, to paraphrase Michael now :)

One of the most important things a family can and must be do in order to be in communion and have the seal of approval and protection of the Lord is to pray together. The saying is quite true – a family that prays together, stays together.

prayerjustdoit.jpg


That however doesn't mean raising children in an environment of intolerance towards other faiths or non-believers. Parents ought not to impose their views on their children so when the kids grow up they end up not only resenting their parents, but also denouncing their faith, but rather try and raise them in a spirit of respect for all people and with a deep love for the Lord, no matter the expression of such love.

Whenever i see scenes like these in church i smile

pray113.gif


but i also have a deep sense of sadness because i still don't have my own family to do that and many other lovely things together with. I'm hoping the Lord, in His abounding Mercy will make sure i will have all those things before i go to my grave.

Like Bono sang, i really am not afraid of many things in this world, but there are two huge fears that i do have – one of them is facing eternal death if i am not reconciled to the Lord before i die and the other is of dying alone without a family of my own.

Death of the body in and by itself is not scary for me, it is the natural end to any human life. It doesn't matter when, but how we die and more than that, how we lived.

I hope by the time i am through with my earthly adventure i would have, for the most part, even with all my moments of failure, darkness and sin, pleased the Lord cause that is what matters most – not pleasing the ego, other people or the world, but fulfilling to the best of our abilities the Lord's will for our lives.

Having those fears i mentioned makes part a bit from the wonderful words of Saint Teresa de Avila who have been put to music by the gorgeous voice of the great Mina.

[video=youtube;djwIe4u4npk]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djwIe4u4npk[/video]

The original Spanish text is

Nada te turbe;
nada te espante;
todo se pasa;
Dios no se muda,
la paciencia
todo lo alcanza.
Quien a Dios tiene,
nada le falta.
Solo Dios basta.


The translation in English

May nothing disturb you.
May nothing frighten you.

Everything passes.
God does not go away.
Patience
can attain anything.
He who has God within,
does not lack anything.
God is enough!


I absolutely and totally agree with the passing character of all things human and God's unchanging divine, eternal and loving nature. I am afraid though that at times i get scared by the turbulences and disturbances people create in my life and i really am afraid i am drawing dangerously close to the limits of my human patience.

I hope i am not guilty of blasphemy, but for saint Teresa, a nun, God was and should have been enow, but for me that does not hold true, especially if i am right and He is the one who put the needs, desires and dreams in me which i think He has.

From quite different a register now, that of hip-hop i will have to paraphrase Tupac, Jay Z and Beyonce all at once and say – ALL I NEED in this life of sin is GOD and.....my man and my family. The Lord may not be the only presence i need in my life, but He is the one i try to love and to put above all.

141370875772469384lgkkd.jpg


Since i mentioned patience earlier i can't help but smile when i remember the wording 'santa pazienza' which the priest used Saturday night for the Easter vigil when he thanked all of us present there for the mass for withstanding the 'long' 2 hours service.

He might have forgotten that in other denominations such services are the norm and the Easter vigil can end up taking 4 or even 5 hours. I wonder how he would call the patience of those believers and in an episode of self-absorbency, i would have to ask what he would call my decades-long wait and patience to see my deepest and most important dreams and prayers fulfilled.

Riding in the car to go to church that night i passed by the hospital where exactly a decade before i was living in very different circumstances. If on April 7[SUP]th[/SUP] 2002 i was barely alive spending the first of a few nights in hospital, in 2012 i was going to church to attend the Easter vigil. That in and by itself is a victory of life and the Lord's gift for me. With the terrible risk of sounding an ingrate i must admit though with deep sadness that the fundamentals of my life have not changed considerably or in the ways i needed in those extremely long ten years.
 
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Lisha

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Shhaaaby;3622179 said:
.

Like Bono sang, i really am not afraid of many things in this world, but there are two huge fears that i do have – one of them is facing eternal death if i am not reconciled to the Lord before i die and the other is of dying alone without a family of my own.

Do you not know today with a certainty that you have been reconciled to the Lord? What do you believe is needed to be reconciled with God?

For it is by grace, and grace alone that one is saved. A free gift that one only needs to receive. It is not by works, on one can earn access to heaven. It is only by believing that Jesus made a way for us to be reconciled to God by being the spotless (sinless) sacrificial lamb.

Shhaaaby, I would recommend, if you woild like to make this time committment, reading the Bible from cover to cover. It would be a true blessing to you, for when one does that, God's plan for Jesus' role is seen throughout the books of the Bible, and why it is all so.

From Genesis we are shown right away that a blood sacrifice is necessary for the atonement of sins...Cain's sacrafice of the first fruits of his garden were not accepted for there was no shedding of blood. We know that the Jewish requirements were to bring a sacrifice that was free of blemish for the priests to use to atone for one's sin...a perfect one. The Bible says no one, as far as us humans. is righteous, not one, no one is without sin, no one, but Jesus. He was the only ever sinless human being who walked this earth. That is why He was accepted by God as a sacrifice for all of our sins.

Many religions, just like the Jews in Jesus' day, want people to think that there are requirements necessary before they can get into heaven...they have hops they must jump through. That is a burden God has not put on us. The law wa slike thta, in the Old Testament, but not since Jesus. And these requirements/laws take away the Grace...and turns into into works. But it is by grace (a free gift) we are saved and not by works.

Jesus said (John 6:290) "The work of God is this: to believe in the One He sent." That's it, Nothing else is required to be reconciled, but to believe Jesus died for your sins on the cross and to ask Him to give you new life in Him...You and Him from that day forward navigating your life together...with Him as loving Lord. It's that simple.

Many are offended that that could be it...a free gift of grace to receive, with nothing more required. Just like many didn't want to follow the directions God told Moses to give the people out in the desert who, because of sin, were dying rapidly from a plague moving fast among the people. They were told to "simply" look up at a snake that was lifted up on a stake of wood, and then they would not die. Those who looked and believed, they lived, those who were offended and would not, they died. It was so simple, and many would not do it. Looking to Jesus, who was lifted up on the cross for our salvation and simply believing, is the simple instruction as well, and nothing more. No works. It's by grace...a free gift.

The early church tried to put extra requirements or works for the Gentiles to do in order to be saved, and Paul was furious when he learned of it. He reminded all, "Know that a man is not justified [atoned for] by observing the law [church laws], but by faith in Jesus Christ. (Gal 2:16) And says also, "I do not set aside the grace of God [meaning His free gift of redemption/salvation], for if righteousness [what we need to be saved] could be gained by the law, Christ died for nothing.

Do you know that when we go to heaven, where only the righteous can face God, that our righteousness will be Jesus'. God will look at us through Jesus. as if Jesus is standing between us and God, and God sees us only as righteous just like His son. Are we sinners? Yes! Are we good enough to go to heaven by our own merit...no way....remember, there is no one righteous (of us humans) not one! But Jesus has made the way for God to see us as righteous enough to go to heaven through himslef, God's righteous Son.
Shhaaaby, if you believe Jesus died for your sins and have asked Him to live in you, knowing that He has died for you, then you have been redeemed and are reconciled to God. It was a free gift of grace you did not have to earn, because, none of us can. He has given it to you freely in Love, just because He loves you and you believe. You need to "do" nothing more. How good is God!

Thank you, Jesus, for what You did for us all. This is Love. A free gift of love and we only have to receive it.
 
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N

No-Body

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By the way of Easter services – this year, unlike the previous two, we are back at the usual week long distance between the celebration of Easter in Western and Eastern churches. Christians, both clergy and lay people, should do all possible ecumenical efforts in order to reconcile our calendars so we can celebrate together the Lord's Resurrection. Our global testimony could and should be more powerful.

Beyond all the other divisions we have among ourselves, isn't this at least one we could solve? It's not good for 'PR purposes' let's say. Can we really blame other people if they ask themselves – not only are there so many churches which call themselves Christian with so many opinions, but they also can't seem to decide for a single date when Jesus rose, so can how can we believe He actually did?

People outside the Church also ask themselves other questions to which we must offer our answers and one of the biggest dilemmas in life seems to be God's apparent absence and silence in the face of evil and extreme human suffering. There are many who ask how God can allow war, famine and disaster to take place, how innocent victims like children can suffer abuse and death.

Some of the victims of the Nazi concentration camps even though physically survived that ordeal, once they got out they lost all hope in humanity and in the existance of a loving God. If one is to think of all the attrocities they have endured and the absolute cruelty which they faced one cannot really blame them completely for such stances.

BUT Christ's sacrifice which we marked this past holy week and above all His resurrection are the answer to all human questions about suffering because Jesus IS the ultimate innocent victim in all of history.

krzy21251977493.jpg



For any innocent person who has been accused, tried and convicted in any court of whatever format, Jesus knows your pain

For any person who has been lied about, mocked, despised, laughed at, made the scorn of fools, Jesus knows your pain

For every man, woman and child who has been stripped away of every last piece of their dignity, Jesus knows your pain

For any person whose body has been defiled, desecrated or exposed in any shameful way, Jesus knows your pain

For any person who has silently endured humiliation, persecution and torture of any kind, Jesus knows your pain because He did not answer back to false testimony

For any person who has been unafraid to testify the truth no matter the consequences, Jesus knows you as well because He confirmed He was the Son of God

For any person who has been abused in body, mind or spirit, Jesus knows your pain

For any person who has lived in agony and desperately sought its end, Jesus knows your pain as well because He is the one who told the Father to “take away the cup” from Him

For any human being who knows that God's will is perfect and His ways higher than ours, Jesus knows you as well because He also told the Father “Your will be done”

For any person who has felt abandoned, lost and deprived of all comfort and support, Jesus knows your pain because He shouted out to His Father “Why have You forsaken Me?”

For any person who knows God's love is infinite and ever present, even in the midst of the deepest pain, Jesus also knows you because He has commended His spirit into the hands of the Father

For any person burderned by the weight of sin, scared by the decay of death and frightened by the depth of darkness, Jesus knows you and is taking you beyond all of those because......HE IS RISEN.


Like Prince brilliantly sang – He died for the tears in our eyes http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xdkf12_prince-4-the-tears-in-your-eyes_music

At first glance, Good Friday and Holy Saturday are the signs of victory of death, deceit and sin, but these are mere illusions and lies because the triumph of Easter Sunday turns them all around. While evil may seem to conquer batles and even though darkness can cover light for a really long time truth, good and love always have the very last word and win the war.

hir.jpg


This is a Michael board after all and some of the things above certainly fit many unfortunate events in Michael's life so for sure the Lord identified with many of Michael's sorrows. I know i already posted it in this thread already more than an year ago, but it begs repeating.

We've had enough http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R53Ubm4txus is one of Michael's most important songs, yet it is unknown for the public at large and i don't think it gets the due praise within the fan community itself.

It is even more relevant now in the context of the Treyvon Martin case. Justice of course needs to take its course and all facts should be revelead in a court of law, but this entire terrible situation is yet another stark and tragic warning about the dangers of unrestricted gun access and the excesses to which vigilantism can lead, even if not of other issues pertaining to discrimination and racism.

The world's indifference to Michael's warnings about pollution, war, disease or children in danger has always been one of the most hurtful things for me. The man had been singing those kind of songs for decades, but the truth is not many payed attention. He seemed to be, for many a time, a musical prophet shouting out in a desert, or like the song went, a madman with his eyes closed whom no one really cared to listen to.

maybenotsomad.jpg


In between the media busy speculating about his surgeries, spewing lies about accusations, the general public eager to disect such lies and the fans drooling over gold pants or speculating about his private life, there wasn't really that much time or space left to actually listen and follow the lessons in Earth song, HTW, MITM, Jam, WYWTOM, Shout, We've had enough and the like...I was hoping that at least after June 25[SUP]th[/SUP] 2009 people would pay more attention to that kind of things, but it hurts me to say most haven't understood a doggone thang yet.

It is great that people have found a new sense of respect and appreciation for Michael and his art, but those, same as many other things on this earth and in this day and age, are quite superficial. As long as people are stuck on Billie Jean, Thriller and Beat it, Michael's legacy will be incomplete and dare i say, ineffective. Hopefully, things will change in the future.

Btw of Michael, his family and the Lord, did you guys know of this song called 'Jackson 5' from the group Calling up? The sound actually reminds me of Linkin Park and the lyrics are great http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avmgMMQf9ek

I betta go enjoy some of them marshmellows and in the meantime let the Lord do His thang to get me them big things to me so i can have a better score in that fight o' mine with the ways of the world so in the end i can truthfully feel and say there is a better, although harder, way for us to live and love than the ones we've been accustomed to in our time.

But before i do that let me share with you a couple of songs. The first is a brilliant chant which beautifully sings about the Lord's triumph – Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat

[video=youtube;wCq8zMd69us]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCq8zMd69us[/video]

Saint Peter said if Christ did not rise, then our faith is in vain, but since we know that the empty tomb is a reality we cannot help but feel triumphant, even still in the midst of our battle of sorrow, darkness and deceit.

jesussand.jpg



LOVE indeed can and will save us all – the awesome Prince once more with Still would stand all time. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwCbxdBfVrM


God bless you everyone and your loved ones. Congrats to anyone who had the incredible patience to read through all of this, as i see Lisha aka as queenie (please see rep point as a short answer to your question) and Cinderella have done :)


JESUS, i trust (in) You. THY will be done. AMEN
 
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Lisha

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Re: Any Believers in Jesus Christ Here? (Non-debate thread for believers only)

This was passed along to me via email.

I would love the last four words that were included below in gray to be true once again for the United States of America:

(Columbine student's father 12 years later)

Guess our national leaders didn't expect this. On Thursday, Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton , Colorado , was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee. What he said to our national leaders during this special session of Congress was painfully truthful.

They were ill-prepared for what he was about to say, nor was it received well. It needs to be heard by every parent, teacher, politician, sociologist, psychologist, and so-called expert! These courageous words spoken by Darrell Scott are powerful, penetrating, and deeply personal. There is no doubt that God sent this man as a voice crying in the wilderness. The following is a portion of the transcript:


"Since the dawn of creation, there has been both good and evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers.

The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain's heart.

In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA - because I don't believe that they are responsible for my daughter's death. Therefore, I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel's murder, I would be their strongest opponent.

I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy -- it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here, in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers, themselves. I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best.

Your laws ignore our deepest needs,
Your words are empty air;
You've stripped away our heritage,
You've outlawed simple prayer.
Now gunshots fill our classrooms,
And precious children die.
You seek for answers everywhere,
And ask the question "Why?"
You regulate restrictive laws,
Through legislative creed.
And yet you fail to understand,

That God is what we need!

"Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, mind, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc. Spiritual presences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation's history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact. What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine's tragedy occurs -- politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties. We do not need more restrictive laws. Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts.

As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, he did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge every young person in America and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School , prayer was brought back to our schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him. To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA -- I give to you a sincere challenge. Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone! My daughter's death will not be in vain! The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!"
- Darrell Scott.

Do what the media did not - - let the nation hear this man's speech. Please Pass it on.God Bless!
"Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil - it has no point"


--In God We Trust!
 

MysteriousPhoenix

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Just look over your shoulders, Honey!
Re: Any Believers in Jesus Christ Here? (Non-debate thread for believers only)

^ Reminds me of an e-mail I got that contained this poem:


Mary had a little lamb,
His fleece was white as snow.
And everywhere that Mary went,
The Lamb was sure to go.
He followed her to school each day,
Twasn't even in the rule.
He made the children laugh and play.
To have a Lamb at school.

And then the rules all changed one day,
Illegal it became;
To bring the Lamb of God to school,
Or even speak His Name.

Everyday got worse and worse,
And days turned into years.
Instead of hearing children laugh,
We heard gun shots and tears.

What must we do to stop the crime,
That's in our schools today?
Let's let the Lamb come back to school, And teach our kids to pray!



Speaking of Whitney, I have been listening to this particular song of hers (don't know if it has already been posted) ...










 

qbee

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Re: Any Believers in Jesus Christ Here? (Non-debate thread for believers only)

Michael Jackson's Great Love For The Earth For God and All Living Things
http://im4mj.blogspot.com/2012/04/michael-jacksons-great-love-for-earth.html


This is a beautiful video created by myrvette0308 to show how concerned Michael Jackson was about environmental issues and his great love for the people, nature and animals. It features a spoken word poem written by Michael , entitled "Planet Earth" which was first published in his "Dancing The Dream" book. In the poem you can here the soft, sweetness of his voice showing his love for our world.

The video also features in comparison Michael's "Earth Song" which shows his great concern and is a cry to save the world from impending disaster. It is imperative we listen and take action to take care of the planet to insure we can continue to coexist with our beautiful Earth. because with or without us she will still remain one of God's most beautiful creations.

The reality is the Earth doesn't need us to exist. We need her. I like Michael believe mankind was called by God to be stewards of the Earth and all living things so we can thrive together. All of God's creation is his glory. I hope we will all be inspired to action by his beautiful voice, music and message ~ Qbee


MICHAEL JACKSON -EARTH SONG AND PLANET EARTH POEM

 

eagle_eye

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Re: Any Believers in Jesus Christ Here? (Non-debate thread for believers only)

Yes! I believe in Jesus Christ! He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. :D
 
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