Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

Joshua and Rachav!

Monday, April 16th, 2012





Did you ever wonder why G-d uses the lives of “fallen” and then “restored” women as testimonies of victory?

Friends, during my personal Bible study, reading the Bible accounts of Joshua, and consequently “Rahab the Harlot,” I came across yet another account of a woman of repentance. Yes! Rahab the Harlot!

Often, as a post-abortive woman, whose testimony is of sin and redemption, I compare myself to the “Woman at the Well,” and the “Woman caught in the Act.” Meaning by this, that due to my unwise and sinful choices of abortion, sexual promiscuity, dishonoring G-d and my parents, I sowed some really bad seeds! In many ways, I did reap what I did sow, in that I experienced things in my body from the harmful abortions and abortion and birth control drugs and procedures. I also experienced divorces, as I was confused about life and about God’s plan for my own life. Yet, once I repented, G-d in His infinite mercy forgave me, and restored me.

Friends, not all women can say that we lived a righteous life from the start. Sometimes, life’s circumstances lead us to some strange places. Queen Esther is my favorite example of a righteous woman who fell into a compromising situation, and yet, she remained faithful to G-d. By this I mean that the Queen lived in a harem and shared her husband with many beautiful women. Yet, she never forgot her purpose in life. As a result, her prayerful life led her to be a vessel used to redeem her people!

Also, after much study, it becomes clear that David was not alone in his sin of adultery. Bathsheba had her part in the matter. After all, why did she move her bathtub to the roof, and take off her clothes while King David was on his rooftop which overlooked hers? She was lonely, and her husband was away, and Bathsheba had to pay the consequences along with her second husband, David.

Women play a major role in G-d’s plan. We can either be like Mary, the Holy Mother of Jesus, or we can learn our lessons the hard way, on the road to repentance and redemption. Yet, even if we are of the latter group of women, please know that G-d forgives us and is so good and gracious to allow our testimonies to be helpful to others.

Here is a little known story of the romance and marriage between Joshua, Son of Nun and Rahab the Harlot. Yes, the Talmud seems to report that Joshua married her! Rahab is noted in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. Wow! Another “I didn’t know that” moment!

Joshua Bin Nun, the Successor to Moses

By Avi Lazerson

 

Joshua Bin Nun, the successor to Moses, never seemed to reach the fame-success ratings that Moses enjoyed. The book of Joshua, the sixth book of the Bible, which follows the five books of Moses, is not the best seller that the first five are. Never the less, there are scholars who believe that Joshua was a better leader of the Jewish people than Moses was.

Whereas most people recall Joshua with miraculously taking the Jewish people across the Jordan River into the land of Israel and also the miraculous crumbling of the walls of the fortified city of Jericho, few people realize that Joshua was a man of extraordinary personality.

Joshua was first mentioned in the Bible as the dedicated attendant of Moses. He completely nullified his personality to insure that his master, Moses, was well taken care of and able to perform his important public and spiritual functions. Moses in turn selected him while in the desert to lead a delegation of twelve representatives of the Jewish nation to ascertain the feasibility and true benefits of the divinely promised land of Israel. Of the twelve spies, only Joshua and Caleb returned with a positive report; the other ten told of the difficulties that the “new” land has for them – thereby turning the hearts of the people from G-d and incurring divine wrath and punishment.

Joshua was divinely chosen to lead the Jewish people into the Promised Land. He led in successfully fighting against the inhabitants who had to be destroyed or driven out, and he divided up the land of Israel for the various tribes. All of this without any rebellion and with only one incident of sinning (Achan) as opposed to Moses’ very difficult period of leadership. This led Rabbis’ to comment that although Moses was likened to the sun and Joshua to the moon, because of Joshua’s “closeness” to the people, as opposed to Moses’ closeness to G-d, Joshua enjoyed far greater popular appreciation from the masses. Joshua had a closer understanding of the people, hence developed a more dedicated and a more disciplined people who came into the land of Israel.

One of the most amazing stories of Joshua is not the famous battle in which the sun stood still in the heavens until the battle was won, but that of Rachav, the prostitute.

Rachav, a non-Jew, lived in Jericho. Prior to the Jews entering Israel, Joshua sent two spies to seek out the land. They came to Rachav’s house to seek shelter from the king of Jericho. Rachav risked her own life and hid the Jewish spies from the king’s soldiers. In return, they promised to spare her life and her family’s lives in return for her saving their lives.

The Talmud describes at length the attractiveness and sexual powers that Rachav possessed. The Rabbis of the Talmud said that all the important ministers and rulers of the world would come to visit her in order to experience her charms. The Talmud goes so far to state that in Rachav’s time, if a man were to utter her name aloud he would come to have a seminal ejaculation – such was the beauty and sexual powers of Rachav.

But there is more:

The Talmud also relates that Joshua married her! Can you imagine today (with the exception of Bill Clinton) a distinguished head of state, or even more so, a major religious leader marrying the most famous prostitute in the history of the Bible?? Well Joshua married her! Plus it is related that many great men were descendent from her.

Our question is obvious: How could the number one Jewish leader, the successor to Moses, the representative of G-d on earth pick a gentile, the number one prostitute in the world to marry? Couldn’t he find a nice Jewish girl?? Plus, we do not see any mention of revulsion from the Rabbis!

In this perhaps signifies Joshua’s unique inherent strength and character.

Perhaps outward dress and actions may deceive us. We tend to give honor to those who dress and act in manners to elicit from us honor with out really knowing if this person is indeed worthy of the honor that we give him. We can’t real see who is really true on the inside, we can’t see behind every facade.

Many people can fool us into believing that they are truly G-d fearing, when perhaps they are lacking in this area. We can be deceived into thinking some one is a friend when in reality he has an ulterior motive for his friendship.

Joshua saw from Rachav’s actions that she was really deeply G-d fearing. Instead of turning these two Jews over to the king’s soldiers and garnished a reward, as any normal person would have done, she risked her life because of her belief in G-d, to save them. She believed with a deep conviction that G-d was leading the Jews back into the Promised Land. She believed deeply in the G-d of the Hebrews and that He would fulfil His promise to give the land of Canaan to the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. She entertained no doubts of this and she desired to be a part of it.

That she was a prostitute perhaps was not the most desirous trait one looks for in a wife, yet, circumstances can cause many to seek living in a manner that seems unforgivable. Yet she robbed no one, killed no one. When she had the opportunity to join G-d’s chosen people, even if it meant a possible life as a status-less individual, she was willing to accept the unknown. She asked for nothing, like Ruth, yet she merited the best.

All of this for being willing to sacrifice one’s life for the benefit of others!

Perhaps this is the message that this story brings to us: to be willing to give of ourselves to G-d’s master plan of the world.






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JESUS CHRIST IS RISEN! HAPPY RESURRECTION DAY!

Sunday, April 8th, 2012





“For God so loved the world, that He gave His Only Begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but shall have everlasting Life.” John 3:16






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HAPPY SAINT PATRICK’S DAY

Saturday, March 17th, 2012





Feastday: March 17
Patron of Ireland
387 – 461

St. Patrick of Ireland is one of the world’s most popular saints.

Apostle of Ireland, born at Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton, in Scotland, in the year 387; died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, 17 March, 461.

Along with St. Nicholas and St. Valentine, the secular world shares our love of these saints. This is also a day when everyone’s Irish.

There are many legends and stories of St. Patrick, but this is his story.

Patrick was born around 385 in Scotland, probably Kilpatrick. His parents were Calpurnius and Conchessa, who were Romans living in Britian in charge of the colonies.

As a boy of fourteen or so, he was captured during a raiding party and taken to Ireland as a slave to herd and tend sheep. Ireland at this time was a land of Druids and pagans. He learned the language and practices of the people who held him.

During his captivity, he turned to God in prayer. He wrote

“The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was rosed, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same.” “I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain.”

Patrick’s captivity lasted until he was twenty, when he escaped after having a dream from God in which he was told to leave Ireland by going to the coast. There he found some sailors who took him back to Britian, where he reunited with his family.

He had another dream in which the people of Ireland were calling out to him “We beg you, holy youth, to come and walk among us once more.”

He began his studies for the priesthood. He was ordained by St. Germanus, the Bishop of Auxerre, whom he had studied under for years.

Later, Patrick was ordained a bishop, and was sent to take the Gospel to Ireland. He arrived in Ireland March 25, 433, at Slane. One legend says that he met a chieftain of one of the tribes, who tried to kill Patrick. Patrick converted Dichu (the chieftain) after he was unable to move his arm until he became friendly to Patrick.

Patrick began preaching the Gospel throughout Ireland, converting many. He and his disciples preached and converted thousands and began building churches all over the country. Kings, their families, and entire kingdoms converted to Christianity when hearing Patrick’s message.

Patrick by now had many disciples, among them Beningnus, Auxilius, Iserninus, and Fiaac, (all later canonized as well).

Patrick preached and converted all of Ireland for 40 years. He worked many miracles and wrote of his love for God in Confessions. After years of living in poverty, traveling and enduring much suffering he died March 17, 461.

He died at Saul, where he had built the first church.

Why a shamrock?

Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Trinity, and has been associated with him and the Irish since that time.

In His Footsteps:

Patrick was a humble, pious, gentle man, whose love and total devotion to and trust in God should be a shining example to each of us. He feared nothing, not even death, so complete was his trust in God, and of the importance of his mission.






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“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012





Join me and other leaders on March 23rd at noon to let our government that we the people will not give up our religious liberties. The people are still in charge of this country. Politicians are our representatives and we, the people, will not let them take our first amendment rights away.

(US Constitution paraphrased:) Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof.

If you can’t make it to this rally visit www.standupforreligiousfreedom.com to find a rally in your city.

We must make our voices heard. The HHS Mandate is Unconstitutional.






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Priests for Life Announces Ongoing Novena re HHS Mandate

Friday, March 9th, 2012





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 9, 2012

Contact: Andre Kim
347-286-7277

New York, NY – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, is making available a prayer novena for the intention that the unjust HHS Mandate will be completely reversed.

“We already conducted a nationwide novena for this intention,” Fr. Frank explained, noting that Churches, schools, pro-life groups, families and individuals around the country were invited to participate. “But because the battle continues, so must the prayers. We therefore are announcing today that this is a continuous novena.”

The nine prayers can be found at http://www.priestsforlife.org/novenas/hhs-mandate.htm. The prayers are written in such a way that Christians of any denomination can use them. They focus on themes such as loyalty to God above any earthly authority, participation in the legislative process, repentance and conversion, conscience and religious freedom, enlightenment for civil leaders, courage for Church leaders, and unity. As one of the prayers says in part,

“Lord Jesus,
You continue to proclaim your Word
in your Church today.
Give us the same clarity, courage, and determination
That your apostles had,
That we may not allow any obstacle or earthly power
To intimidate us into silence or compromise.”

Fr. Pavone also pointed out that these prayers can be particularly appropriate as people across the nation prepare for the religious freedom rallies to be held on March 23, and as they conduct those rallies. Priests for Life has been instrumental in assisting the planning of these national events, and is responsible for organizing the New York City rally for that day.

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit .






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Happy Valentine’s Day! – The Legend of Saint Valentine

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012





“Now abide faith, hope, and love. The greatest of these is love… LOVE NEVER FAILS!” I Corinthians 13

Holidays are a blessing, Valentine’s Day included. So, dearly beloved, Happy Valentine’s Day. In the midst of all the commercialization of the flowers, candy, jewelry, lingerie, sexual innuendos, etc., remember that love, real love is the message. A young woman told me the other day, “I hate Valentine’s Day.” People assumed it was because she didn’t have anyone to give her candy or something. The contrary was true. She said it this way: “When I was little, they made us (school mates) hand our cards and candy. It was all so fake, because the next day, people started cussing each other out all over again.” So the question is, do we really LOVE when we pass out the cards and candy and all the other red embossed gifts? Again, HAPPY VALENTINES DAY. Do something good for someone today, including a stranger.

THE LEGEND OF SAINT VALENTINE

The story of Valentine’s Day begins in the third century with an oppressive Roman emperor and a humble Christian martyr. The emperor was Claudius II Gothicus. The Christian was Valentinus.

Claudius had ordered all Romans to worship state religion’s idols, and he had made it a crime punishable by death to associate with Christians. But Valentinus was dedicated to the ideals of Christ, and not even the threat of death could keep him from practicing his beliefs.

During the last weeks of Valentinus’s life a remarkable thing happened. One day a jailer for the Emperor of Rome knocked at Valentinus’s door clutching his blind daughter in his arms. He had learned of Valentinus’s medical and spiritual healing abilities, and appealed to Valentinus to treat his daughter’s blindness. She had been blind since birth. Valentinus knew that her condition would be difficult to treat but he gave the man his word he would do his best. The little girl was examined, given an ointment for her eyes and a series of re-visits were scheduled.

Seeing that he was a man of learning, the jailer asked whether his daughter, Julia, might also be brought to Valentinus for lessons. Julia was a pretty young girl with a quick mind. Valentinus read stories of Rome’s history to her. He described the world of nature to her. He taught her arithmetic and told her about GOD. She saw the world through his eyes, trusted in his wisdom, and found comfort in his quiet strength.

“Valentinus, does GOD really hear our prayers?” Julia said one day. “Yes, my child, He hears each one, “he replied.

“Do you know what I pray for every morning and every night? I pray that I might see. I want so much to see everything you’ve told me about!”

“GOD does what is best for us if we will believe in HIM,” Valentinus said.

“Oh, Valentinus, I do believe,” Julia said intensely. “I do.” She knelt and grasped his hand. They sat quietly together, each praying.

Several weeks passed and the girl’s sight was not restored. Yet the man and his daughter never wavered in their faith and returned each week.

Then one day, Valentinus received a visit from Roman soldiers who arrested him, destroyed his medicines and admonished him for his religious beliefs. When the little girl’s father learned of his arrest and imprisonment, he wanted to intervene but there was nothing he could do.

On the eve of his death, Valentinus wrote a last note to Julia – knowing his execution was imminent. Valentinus asked the jailer for a paper, pen and ink. He quickly jotted a farewell note and handed it to the jailer to give to his blind daughter. He urged her to stay close to GOD, and he signed it “From Your Valentine.” His sentence was carried out the next day, February 14, 270 A.D., near a gate that was later named Porta Valentini in his memory.

Crocus Flower

When the jailer went home, he was greeted by his little girl. The little girl opened the note and discovered a yellow crocus inside. The message said, “From your Valentine.” As the little girl looked down upon the crocus that spilled into her palm she saw brilliant colors for the first time in her life! The girl’s eyesight was restored! A miracle!

He was buried at what is now the Church of Praxedes in Rome. It is said that Julia herself planted a pink-blossomed almond tree near his grave. Today, the almond tree remains a symbol of abiding love and friendship. In 496 Pope Gelasius I named February 14 as Saint Valentine’s Day. On each Valentine’s Day, messages of affection, love and devotion are still exchanged around the world






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The Obama Administration’s “accommodation.” Better or Worse?

Friday, February 10th, 2012





So the answer to all the outcry from the Catholics and other pro-life organizations is to make the insurance companies pay for the mandate.

Just who does Obama think is going to pay for this new increase in the insurance company’s expenditure? Not the insurance companies, that’s for sure. The cost will be passed on to the consumers. You and me! As Herman Cain likes to say, “The Obama administration thinks we’re stupid.” Instead of making employers pay for the new mandate, Obama thinks we won’t complain if we all pay for the mandate through increased insurance premiums.

One of the arguments to the original mandate is that certain groups think that the use of contraception and sterilization is a moral evil and they did not want to pay for their employees to provide that coverage. Now the Administration is passing the expense from the employers to everyone. Whether you have to pay for it through higher premiums for those with private insurance or through our tax dollars for those with government insurance, we are all still paying for the mandate.

President Obama, “We’re not stupid.”

And we’re not frogs. Throw a frog into a boiling pot of water and it will jump right back out. Put that same from in a cool pot of water and heat up the water slowly to a boil and that frog will be content to stay in the water and will eventually die.

The Obama administration must think we’re frogs. First they mandated that insurance companies cover certain “preventive women’s health services” at no cost to women. At first there was a hoopla over the decision but after a while things settled down. Then they try to force religious organizations to violate their conscience and provide these services for all of their employees. And they think that by shifting the expense from employers to everyone we will be content to let them pick our pockets to pay for other’s lifestyles. I say we’re not frogs and this tactic will not work.

When will Americans wake up to the bigger issue.

Contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion (and all related issues associated with abortion such as breast cancer, depression, suicide, drug and alcohol abuse etc.) are just the symptoms to the bigger problem of moral decay in America and around the world. Until this issue is addressed, we will always have the symptoms. The more the decay, the more symptoms we will have.

If we are to ever fix our society, we need to return back to God and the design of the natural family. Yes, it takes work. Yes, we have to control ourselves. Yes, we will have to become better parents. Yes, we will have to fight against anything and anyone that seeks to destroy the moral fiber of our nation. Yes, I mean Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry.

None of this will be easy but it must be done if we are going to preserve even a shred of morality for out grandchildren. The youth of America are getting it which is evident by the number of youths that attended the March of Life 2012 in Washington, DC just a few weeks ago.

I don’t know about you but I love my children and grandchildren enough to fight for the unborn and try to shift the culture of death back to a culture of LIFE. Join me won’t you?

Read Fr. Frank’s thoughts on the subject HERE.

Read Bryan Kemper’s thoughts on the subject HERE.






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International Catholic Organization to File Lawsuit against Obama Administration for Conscience Violation Regarding Forced Coverage of Abortion and Contraception

Thursday, February 9th, 2012





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: February 8, 2012

Contact: Jerry Horn
540-220-0095

Staten Island, NY – Priests for Life, a New York based international pro-life organization of Catholic clergy and laity, today announced that it will be filing a lawsuit against the Obama Administration in an effort to seek injunctive relief from impending regulations that would require the organization to pay for employee health insurance that covers abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, and sterilization.

The Obama Administration’s rules – recently brought forth by a decree from the Department of Health and Human Services – are part of the controversial “ObamaCare” health insurance law (the so-called “Affordable Care Act”) that was passed by Congress in 2010 amidst endless ambiguities, confusion, and false assurances by President Obama himself that it would never be used to violate any organization’s or individual’s conscience on moral issues.

Now that the new HHS rules have been formally issued, however, Americans of all faiths are stunned that the Obama Administration is going to require employers to provide health insurance coverage for certain acts that go directly against their consciences or religious beliefs.

The lawsuit will seek injunctive relief from the HHS rules – first on behalf of Priests for Life, and hopefully extending universally since all organizations and companies will be affected by the tyrannical HHS decree. Priests for Life is particularly well placed to pursue this litigation because its primary purposes are to promote and protect life whereas the primary purposes of the contraceptive mandate are to prevent and destroy life.

According to Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, “It’s unthinkable that President Obama would force Americans of any faith to violate their consciences. Yet here he is, arrogantly imposing these regulations that clearly discriminate against Catholics and all Christians, as well as people of any faith who believe in the sanctity of innocent human life. This has clearly become a human rights case – and is no longer just a partisan political football.”

Priests for Life has retained noted civil rights attorney Charles LiMandri of San Diego to represent them in their lawsuit against Obama. LiMandri achieved national distinction by saving the famous “Mt. Soledad Cross” – a historic war memorial that had been erected on public property many decades ago, which local atheists sought to have torn down. He has also fought for the rights of San Diego firefighters who were forced to participate in a vulgar “gay pride” parade against their will or else face termination. He was also the General Counsel for the National Organization for Marriage–California during the successful Proposition 8 Campaign to save traditional marriage.

LiMandri remarks, “This is the first time in history any administration has used brute force to compel someone to violate his conscience or moral convictions. It’s unheard of. It’s also antithetical to the core American principles of religious liberty and freedom from invasions of privacy. We intend to fight the ill-conceived HHS edict and challenge it on constitutional grounds. This case could go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. And we’ll be happy to take it there if need be.”

Priests for Life is the largest Catholic pro-life organization in the United States. It is a private association of the faithful and an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit educational corporation. Under the Obama Administration’s new HHS rules, it is treated like any other corporation and therefore must comply with these conscience-violating mandates, decrees, and punitive measures.

Priests for Life applauds the members of Congress who have introduced legislation to address the HHS policy, and will also support the efforts of the Church, and many other groups, to pass such legislation.

Further details of the lawsuit will be forthcoming.

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit Priests for Life.






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A Teachable and Preachable Moment

Monday, February 6th, 2012





Friends, please read the articles at the links below. Janet Morana and I share several things in common. She, along with Georgette Forney, is a co-founder of Silent No More Awareness. I am a spokeswoman for SNMA. Janet was a school teacher for many years before she began her ministry for life with Priests for Life. Yours truly was a college professor for 19 years. Janet’s blog, teachable moment is truly just that. Then, there are the gag orders from the Army and the Department of Health and Human Services. Now, I join Janet in urging you to take positive action regarding Komen. Friends, we need to teach, preach, pray and act now! Please take a moment to read and then act. Follow the steps outlined in the second link! God bless you!

http://www.thecatholicviewforwomen.com/blog/

http://www.priestsforlife.org/alert/index1.aspx?id=25

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/u-s-military-silences-catholic-chaplains-from-speaking-out-against-obama-admin-ruling/

http://www.creativeminorityreport.com/2012/02/military-issues-gag-order-on-catholics.html






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Is She Crazy?

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012





WINNER BEST US DOCUMENTARY SHORT – SAN DIEGO CHRISTIAN FILM FESTIVAL

Is She Crazy?! Mary James: The Preacher Lady of Riverdale – Short Film

If you ask anybody in the Riverdale, GA area about “The Preacher Lady” on Highway 85, nine out of ten people will know who you are talking about and you are guaranteed to spark some interesting conversation. Most have seen her but few have bothered to talk to her to find out their number one question…”Is She Crazy?” This 20 minute documentary leaves you to draw your own conclusion about Mary James also known as “The Preacher Lady of Riverdale.”

This film is a co-production of:






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