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1/20/2013

WORSHIP

Worship is the hurting heart turning to God's arms.
Worship is where the confused and alone go to find answers.
Worship is where the proud and over-confident are reminded of God's majesty.
Worship is where the poor and wanting find the richness of God.
Worship is where the weak and struggling find God's strength.
Worship is where the heart finds itself in knowing God.
Worship is where God pours out His love and grace.
Worship is where God smiles to see His children face to face.

1/16/2013

Casting Off Those Weights That Beset Us...

The words of the psalmist rang out about the sense of liberation felt by the bird held captive in the snare who was now released.  The door flew open and out the bird sailed into a clear sky. Such jubilation!  Such freedom!

Sometimes in life we find ourselves trapped in situations like that snare.  We are prisoners of circumstance. Our wings no longer work. Our song is silenced. The other birds strut past in their freedom and denounce us as less than bird.  They make fun of our cramped, withered wings.  We cannot fly!  We are nothing! We are not like them! Why do you not sing with joy to be in your cramped, painful, and dark little cage?

When the snare is opened...

Oh, the fear!  Wings so cramped and ill-formed from lack of use. Skills of flight nearly forgotten for being diminished in the cramped cage and laughed at and belittled by the other birds who roamed free.  The lack of sleek, healthy feathers from no food, no companionship, and no help.  The fear...waddle to the opening.  It is so big. It is so frightening.  The cramped cage is familiar.  The cramped cage is....a sort of home.  The opening, though, how it calls out.  The open sky, how it whispers to come fly!

That first feeble, awkward circle into the open spaces.... Fear keeps the bird close to the ground...what if I fall, it wonders?  The vast sky is so big...

Finally, the bird darts higher and higher into the sky. Such jubilation  Such freedom!  The snare is open and the bird is free at last.

Look around you - there are people trapped in snares all around you. They are cramped, marginalized  diminished, laughed at, and made to feel they are less than what they truly are.  Look around you and set the captive free.

1/06/2013

How do You Fight Evil?


The legend of the Phoenix is one of utter destruction but eventual renewal.  The great bird that rises from its own destruction to live a new life.  Unfortunately. the story is just a myth and a lot of things can be destroyed without any chance of renewal.  Some people are destroyed, trodden down under the heel of evil or burned in its flames.


Edmund Burke noted that all that is neeed for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing.  The problem is, can we identify evil (or negative and destructive) forces when seen?  We like to say there is no evil but reality begs to differ: corporate criminals, political dishonesty, mass shootings, child pornography, domestic abuse, bullying, intimidation, lying, dishonesty, war, murder, and greed.   These are little foxes nibbling at the healthy plants of which a productive and happy life are made.


There appear to be three common reactions to preceived evil, as defined by Burke,:

1) To do nothing and hope some divine force will intervene.  This path is a down hill coast into fatalism where inaction becomes a virtue and results never our fault.  It was - fate. So we watch the flames absorb the Phoenix.
2) To be repeatedly waiting, evaluating, judging, and giving the benefit of the doubt.  This path allows the evil to become more deeply entrenched and people to be come more used to it and allow it to continue unchallenged. There is no one around to stop the winds of misfortune that scatter the actions destroying the chance of renewal.
3) To act and take a stand. To speak out against the evil, the lies, the hypocrisy, and the negatives which eat away at the good and the productive. To work for peace, to correct negative situations, to decry injustice, and to fight for human dignity.   This path, however, is a hard climb on treacherous paths facing sudden danger at every turn.  It requires us being willing to burn with the Phoenix and become part of the rebirth.

Dietrich Bonhoffer was a pastor in WW2 who was faced with a compelling challenge.  To see his country destroyed or take action.  To follow pacifist Christian belief or to take up a sword.   To be acted upon or to act.

Perhaps the problem is waiting until those little evils, those "little foxes" which destroy the vineyards of  life, have grown and have become tolerated, entrenched and impossible to remove.

Perhaps it is time for people to speak out against injustices and those evils of life while they are nascent buds.  To present twice as many positives as any negatives in overcome evil with good forces of love and care.

When we see evil and do nothing to stop it, our silence is approval.

When we are silent, we allow the evil to grow...and grow...and grow.

Sometimes the greatest act of peace, is to raise a hand and say, 'stop.'   Sometimes the most courageous act of pacificism is to speak out.  Sometimes the strongest force of justice is to assert truth and demand action.

When do we start to fight evil?  When it is first discovered it should be resisted with courage, with dignity, and with grace. Most importantly, however, it should be resisted with determination.

Biography

Biography
Noel Brooks: A Life Shining and Burning, 1914-2006

Waiting...Renewing...Moving

Waiting...Renewing...Moving

Huldah's Gate Badge - Men and Women Before God

Huldah's Gate Badge - Men and Women Before God
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Contact Information

If you would like more information on implementing a Daughters of Huldah or a Sisters of Huldah group in your church or community, or in starting a RFA chapter please contact:

Marilyn A. Hudson
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