6 Toxic Things I Had To Unlearn

Growing up in a toxic environment(s) has made me develop quite a number of defense mechanism(s) that I have became unfortunately desensitised to. I did not even notice I had such things/ ideas that have been embedded so deeply within myself but I am so glad that I have managed to identify them and maybe you too could resonate as well. I believe we should always learn and yes learn from ourselves, even from the negative experiences that we have dealt with in the past. Only then can we can look forward into the future with hope and serenity. Here is me pouring my heart out. Take care of it. I will take care of yours as well.

This is the first thing that came to my mind when I was writing this post. I will never accept a compliment while growing up and it pains me to say this but I do love them , it is just that I felt so guilty receiving them. It is like I don’t seem to deserve them for some reason(s). Unfortunately, I had been given these untrue reason(s) prior to receiving these compliments, so these compliments seems very abstract and not personal to me. Yes, I have developed a coping mechanism to detached myself from compliments such that I view them as just everyday phrases that people threw around for the sake of moving through society. That is seriously how I had viewed compliments given to me for the past 25 years.

Additionally, it did not help that I was given a lot of backhanded compliments which made me develop a distaste of sarcasm to the point that I decided not to even understand it. Yes, I deliberately chose not to understand sarcasm and to take everything at its face value because honestly, I was too tired of deciphering people and their indirect ways. I am still working on this and learning to accept compliments graciously and fully. I did learn that I prefer it being told to me personally face to face rather than via text. I am still figuring out why I have this preference.

Let me give you an example:

Person A : What time is it ?

Me: Oh, it is 8pm! It is so late, isn’t it?

Person A : So what if it is late? I still can have dinner right? ( said angrily)

Me: * state of apocalyptical horror *

Herm, I know it sounds crazy but that was the kind of craziness I had to deal with as I grew up. I realised that I have done this crazy thing with others as well though not as common but I have definitely done it before. It is totally eradicated from my person. Who has time for this , honestly? THANK YOU, NEXT!

I grew up with so many indirect people surrounding me that what they say does not mean what they say and what they do always had some ulterior motive behind it. It was never straightforward, the way I always preferred. Hence, I always read into things to truly understand if someone truly means it and I ask many times ” what do they mean by it” because I genuinely want to know. Nowadays, I have learned to just take it as it is at the face value. I am truly exhausted and beyond disappointed to care if they weren’t genuine.

You have no idea how many times I would replay a conversation in my head just to see if I could have worded things better or if my reactions and demeanor was appropriate enough. This is because I was a very shy and soft-spoken little girl growing up (ps: I am still shy, and soft-spoken to most people). However, I was misunderstood to be arrogant and haughty because I refused to look people in the eyes and barely say a word when I was addressed to. Now, yes I know we have to answer if you are being addressed to but even when I was answering I was still called arrogant because I had a different mindset from most around me. I did not know it then but now I do know. I was open-minded and have progressive ideals even as a little girl. Thank my mother for that!

I have incorporated bowing which was adapted from my south Asian culture to show that I understand and to show gratitude but other than that there is no other ways I am going to show that I am “humble”. Just take me as it is.

I always dreaded the word ” no” while growing up because I always had it directed my way for even the most mundane of things. Hence, why I would avoid situations where I know that there was a high possibility of a “no”. However, as I grew up I became bolder and fought for the things I desired and believed in and didn’t care if I was accepted or not. Anyway, I have learned that it is okay to receive “no” sometimes and being vulnerable to the right people is in a way quite beautiful, hence, why receiving a “no” sometimes for the right reasons is alright with me. I know I always give my best to everything I do regardless, so I can always walk away with peace and serenity. If you get rejected no matter what the situation is , walk away with your head held high and your self-respect intact. No one or no situation is worth losing your dignity for. Trust me.

Oh this is such a SORE topic for me. I hate arguing or even confrontations for this very reason. This is because in the heat of the moment people don’t rationalise properly and throw painful words that can really wound you. I rarely throw words unless I feel a great injustice ( even so they were never profanities because it is not my cup of tea) but while growing up even for the most simplest of mistakes, I will get the most gut- wrenching , soul tearing words thrown at me. This is why I used to analyse words often and can even remember them for so many years until my mid- twenties.

I am so glad that I have forgotten much of them because I struggle to remember most of the scenarios that has transpired. I can’t even believe that I turn out to be quite gentle after all of that. Truly it is a miracle that I struggle to feel intense anger, and at the very most, I just get very upset. Now, I won’t even bother to entertain if someone were to throw harsh words my way. I will just walk away, block them and sleep in peace at night. They are not worth even a second of thought to me. Yes, I have reached my threshold and I can’t take anymore of that. Maybe, this seems harsh but I will prioritize myself and my mental health first and foremost. Forgive and let go. Toxicity be gone! Honestly, let’s be kind to each other and refrain from harsh words. Let it not be on the tip of our tongues even in anger or sadness.

See the source image

I know these are very heavy sub-topics that I have briefly explained. However, I hope that maybe someone or some others who may not have realised that they have these conflicting things within themselves , start to realise that they do and begin the process of self-healing and resolve these entanglements within themselves. I believe that by dong so , one can be more at peace with themselves and with others as well as with the world at large.

The second noble truth states that we must discover why we are suffering. We must cultivate the courage to look deeply, with clarity and courage, into our own suffering. We often hold the tacit assumption that all of our suffering stems from events in the past. But, whatever the initial seed of trauma, the deeper truth is that our suffering is more closely a result of how we deal with the effect these past events have on us in the present.

– Peter A. Levine

6 Toxic Things I Had To Unlearn

AUDIO Is There A Dead Dog In Your Life?

By Rev Bill Woods

I want to remind you that without question, the biggest problem a Christian has by far is temptation.                                                   

If you can eliminate temptation, you can eliminate sin.

1 Corinthians 10:13: No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

James 1:14-16:  But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.  Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.  Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.  

1 Peter 5:8:  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

A pastor told his congregation, “I learned a great lesson from a dog.”

He said, “His master used to put a piece of meat, a biscuit or some kind of food on the ground, and say to the dog, ‘Don’t eat that,’ – The dog would run over and eat it, so he’d spank the dog.

He put another piece of meat on the ground and say, ‘Don’t eat that.’

The dog would go over and eat it, and he’d hit him again.

After awhile, the dog got the message: eat meat, get spanked.                                               – So the dog decided he wouldn’t eat the meat.”

The dog finally got to where he didn’t look at the meat.   – He felt if he looked at the meat, the temptation to disobey would be too great, so he constantly looked at his master’s face and never took his eyes off him.  – Then the temptation didn’t cause a problem.

Temptation works like that.

As long as we stare at it looking at the baubles or the bangles Satan dangles in front of us and entertain ourselves on that and feed on it, we’re susceptible.

Temptation’s a common problem for all of us — often victory over temptation isn’t so common.                                                                                                                                          .    –1Corinthians 10:13:  No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

We have the same problem the dog had. – If we entertain the temptation rather than keeping our eyes on Christ, we’re  going to fall.

The strength of a temptation is in how long you play with it and think about it.     – The longer you toy with temptation the stronger it becomes and the harder it   is to resist. – If you dismiss it immediately, you’ll not have a problem.

How do you do that?                                                                                                                    

– There are hundreds of radio towers all around the country, sending out different frequencies with different programming.

If you don’t like the program on one station you change to another station!          – When Satan bombards you with temptation you can change the station too.

By Praising Jesus, quoting scripture, testifying to Satan how God’s forgiven your sin, plea the Blood, sing a hymn, and remembering you aren’t having a private moment.  There’s a crowd of witnesses watching you!

 Hebrews 12:1:  Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

We’ve gotten used to surveillance cameras watching us everywhere, but that’s nothing to what Hebrews tells us — “There’s a great host of witnesses watching how you’ll respond!”  – Knowing this has always helped me resist temptations.

Remember when Satan offers you a temptation, he wants to destroy you.           

1 Peter 5:8: Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

– Bait on a fish hook.

Whatever Satan offers you might gratify for a moment — when it’s over you’re not satisfied. – You’ll deal with guilt, feel miserable and know you’re out-of-step with God.

Any deal Satan offers you is a bad deal!

I know many people think God is too restrictive — they don’t want to be tied down to a bunch of rules — they want more freedom to indulge in what the world offers:

A German shepherd lived with his master who loved him very much. Every day when the master went to work the German shepherd would be on a long chain in the garden, long enough to cover all the grounds and be able to go inside through the dog-door if need be.

One day when the German shepherd was keeping watch over his Master’s property, a Bulldog came bouncing up to him laughing and taunting.

The bulldog said, “Hey, Look at you, all chained up. Not free! I’m free; I can do what I want. If I’m hungry I go to the garbage cans and find food, I can chase all the lady dogs. You can’t be happy!”

“Actually”, said the German shepherd, “you have a point. I do wonder what it’d be like to have more freedom and go beyond the boundaries set by my master. But my master’s good! He takes care of me and loves me — I’m secure in his care.”

The Bulldog came every day with the same old tactics. Finally, the German shepherd started listening to the bulldog and said, “OK, if I want to be free how is it possible? I’m chained up!”

“Ah!,” said the Bulldog, “You’ve got to be smart like me. When your master is away you go into the living room, right to the center of the rug and do a big job”

“But my master will beat me!” gasped the German shepherd.

“He’ll beat you a few times, then he’ll let you loose!”  Said the Bulldog.

The German shepherd couldn’t sleep that night. – He tossed and turned deciding whether to listen to the Bulldog or not.  – The next morning his master hugged him and left with the usual loving   words, ‘Be a good dog, look after my house’.

But the German shepherd was under the spell of the Bulldog — he went to the center of the living room and did big business!

The next day the Bulldog saw the German shepherd still chained sitting silently in the garden.  His nose was bright red!

“What happened?” asked the Bulldog, “You did it didn’t you? What happened?”

“My master was so angry, he took me to the living room and rubbed my nose painfully in the mess!”  replied the German shepherd.

“Ah! That’s just the first step. You do it a few more times and you’ll be free”, said the Bulldog running circles around him.

“No”, said the German shepherd, “This experience taught me one thing”.

“What is that?” asked the Bulldog.

“Now I know why your face is like it is!”

Satan tries to tempt us away from the safe boundaries God has set for us (His Commandments, His Word and His Will for us).

He tempts us to make a mess instead of being watchful and caring for our Master’s house (body). The devil will come time after time to tempt us and tell us we’re not really free. – However, true freedom only comes in being a servant of the Lord!

We should recognize Satan’s tactics and resist him and he will flee. – Martin Luther did. One night he woke up and the devil was the end of his bed.  Martin Luther said, “Oh! It’s only you!”, and he went back to sleep.

Satan knows what bait you’ll go for and tries to entice you with that! – Beth George was part of a coven and was assigned to make me fall morally  while I was pastoring in Cheyenne.  She later became a Christian and told me about that assignment. Annette, with big brown eyes and long black hair, wanted to have personal counseling with me.  She said she wanted to “sit at my feet and learn about spiritual warfare!”   – SORRY SATAN, I SEE A TRAP!

LISTEN!  Temptation IS NOT SIN!Every Christian is tempted  – If the Devil’s leaving you alone check your relationship with Christ because                            .     evidently Satan’s not worried about you!

Satan works harder on Christians than on the patrons at the neighborhood bar or brothel because he already owns those people!

James 1:14-16:  But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.  Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.  

Temptation is when the Devil says, “Will you?” – Sin comes when we say, “I Will!”                                                                                                                      

Flip Wilson drew laughs by saying “The Devil made me do it!”

Satan can’t make you do anything: — James 4:7-8: Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

You choose to live for Jesus and do His Will or to disobey Christ and fall prey to Satan.

“Pastor, I try, but the battle’s too hard.  I find myself constantly giving in to temptation and I’m constantly defeated.  The Christian life isn’t working for me!”

Your problem is you’ve never totally committed your life to Jesus!

    – You need to be sanctified!

When you’re Saved you confess the sins you’ve committed in the past, you’re freed from the guilt of past committed sins and have become your own person, but you still have that carnal nature of rebellion (wanting your own way instead of God’s Way).

To be Sanctified means you dedicate your life and all it entails to God’s Will and let the Holy Spirit cleanse you of that bent toward sinning and rebellion (inbred sin).  The Sanctified Life is cleansed BY GOD, and set apart for God’s Holy use.

Romans 7:21-8:10:
21  I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good.
22  For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.
23  But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
24  O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
25  I thank God–through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
8:1  There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
2  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
3  For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,
4  that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
5  For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
6  For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.
8  So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9  But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
10  And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness
.

Romans 7:24: O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

Paul’s referring to the practice Rome had of chaining prisoners together.  If one died he remained chained to the living one who had to drag that dead body every place he went until that rotting carcass poisoned and killed him too.

Paul’s saying the sin you refuse to let go of is a horrible burden like a rotting corpse which will eventually bring your death too.

The reason you’re struggling with the Tithe, witnessing, prayer, devotions, turning your life over to Christ 100% is because you’re still fighting for what you think are “your rights” — “the body of death.”

This attitude will take you right to Hell!

    – You’ve no rights to fight for when you belong to Christ.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20: Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
20  For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

If you’re fighting for your “rights” and refusing to give God your obedience “that body of death” is decaying in your spirit and will eventually destroy you.

Sanctification is an experience you maintain by a daily commitment to Jesus Christ.  “NOT MY WILL, BUT THINE!” 

You still have the power of choice and Satan will continue to challenge and tempt you, but if you’re committed to Christ He will guide you and you will remain victorious!

A man wanted to buy a house in Haiti for $2000.

    – The property owner wasn’t sure he wanted to let the house go permanently,    but was willing to negotiate a sale on the condition he could buy the house  back if he ever wanted to.

      – One stipulation for the sale was he could put a nail above the front door   and would continue to own the nail.

The buyer thought, “What could one little nail hurt if I own the rest of the house?”

The buyer agreed to the condition of the sale and paid the $2000 asking price..

2 years later the original owner wanted his house back. 

    – By then the new owner wanted to renege on the agreement.

The previous owner said he owned the nail and could do what he wanted with it.

    – He found a dead dog and hung it on the nail.

The new owner protested, but was reminded the contract read the nail belonged to the previous owner — he could use it anyway he wanted to.

The dog carcass continued to hang — rotting and decaying and smelling horrible.

Finally, the new owner could take it no longer and moved his family out and sold the house back to the original owner.

When you hold something from God, you’ve a nail Satan will use to hang his poison on and defeat you. — Romans 7:24:  O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

Is there something dead hanging in your life today?

    – Are you being defeated by “that body of death?”

      – God can clean it out for you and restore your relationship with Him.


IS THERE A DEAD DOG HANGING IN YOUR LIFE?

https://www.buzzsprout.com/824359/5835325


VIDEO Debate: Does God Exist? Greg Bahnsen vs Edward Tabash

August 6, 2020 by SLIMJIM

ReformedWiki spent some time to improve the audios for this famous debate between Christian apologist Greg Bahnsen vs Edward Tabash.  The debate took place in UC Davis in California back in 1993.  Unfortunately Dr. Greg Bahnsen died a few years after that debate.  Some of you know he’s my favorite apologist.  Bahnsen was a student of Cornelius Van Til (father of Presuppositional apologetics) and he  was a prolific apologist and theologian while he was alive.

Below is the debate and also further information about Greg Bahnsen:

Lectures by Greg Bahnsen

  1. Van Tilian Apologetics
  2. Worldviews in Collision: At War With the World
  3. Free Greg Bahnsen Apologetics Course from Gospel Coalition
  4. Videos of the Bahnsen Conference 2015

Read books by Greg Bahnsen

https://veritasdomain.wordpress.com/2020/08/06/debate-does-god-exist-greg-bahnsen-vs-edward-tabash/

A Perfect Heart? Who Can Have A Perfect Heart?

July 27, 2020 Nehemiah Zion

The worldly claim that perfection is impossible. The word of God declares differently. We belong to God and only the godly understand correctly what perfection means. Is it possible for man to be perfect? To have a perfect heart?

God is perfect; A perfect heart belongs to God

  • God is perfect (2 Samuel 22:31)
  • Jesus revealed how to be perfect (1 Peter 2:22)
  • The Holy Spirit is given to us to be perfect (2 Corinthians 7:1)

God desires we be perfect like Him (Matthew 5:48) (2 Timothy 3:17)

We cannot be perfect on our own.

God makes us perfect (2 Samuel 22:33) (1 Peter 5:10)

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (James 1:17)

What is the criteria for perfection to be found in our lives?

  • Noah had a perfect heart because he followed God (Genesis 6:9)
  • Job was perfect because he walked in the fear of 2 and eschewed evil!. (Job 1:2)
  • Asa’s heart was perfect before the Lord because he followed God. (1 Kings 15:14)
  • David’s heart was perfect before the Lord.

When is the heart imperfect according to God?

  • Solomon entertained his wives and ended worshipping other gods, going against the word of God (1 Kings 11:4)
  • Amaziah bowed before other gods. (2 Chronicles 25:2,14)
  • Anointed cherub fell because he remained sinful. His heart was proud, he wanted to be god. (Ezekiel 28:15)

We are made perfect in and through Jesus who is perfect.
“And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;” (‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭5:9‬)

“Let your heart therefore be perfect with the Lord our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day.” (‭‭1 Kings‬ ‭8:61‬)

A Perfect Heart? Who Can Have A Perfect Heart?

VIDEO Do Not Be Afraid – Edison’s letter from school teacher to his mother


May 18, 2020 by Jack Flacco

You will hear, “Be afraid, for the end is near. We will suffer and no one will be there to rescue us.” Do not believe it, for if there were no God the evil one would destroy the very elect; but we have salvation through Jesus. He is our shield. He is our strength.

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us.”

(1 John 4:18-19)

Illness may threaten us and cast doubt on our lives. Our hope, though, is in Jesus. He will provide us the encouragement to look toward a future filled with joy and happiness. If we believe He is the Son of God, we will live and will not fear of what will happen to us.

All joy is in God the Father and Christ the Son. Floodwaters may surround us, winds may toss us to and fro, but the love of our Lord and Savior will remain firm. He will never surrender us to evil. He will always protect us in the face of adversity.

Disease, be gone, for our Lord is greater. Illness, turn away, for our God is stronger. No power on earth can overcome us. No evil in this world can overtake us. We are Christ’s; we are His.

Brothers and sisters, do not be afraid.

Do Not Be Afraid


Thomas Edison’s letter from school teacher to his mother.


6 awesome and rather intriguing Israeli customs

by Helen Mitchell | Feb 12, 2019 | Israel

Micah Exhorting The Israelites, By Gustave Dore. Dore, 1832 – 1883, French. Engraving For The Bible. 1870, Art, Artist, Holy Book, Religion, Religious, Christianity, Christian, Romanticism, Colour, Color Engraving. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Every culture has its own little quirks and idiosyncrasies. What’s amazing about Israel is how a country that’s less than 75 years old and includes immigrants from all over the world has such a strong and unified cultural identity. Here are 6 fascinating facts about Israeli culture:

1) The Israeli population is one of the most educated in the world

According to a recent report, Israel is the third most educated country in the world. More than half of Israeli adults between the ages of 25 and 64 have completed a higher-education degree. This is more than nearly any other nation on the globe.

2) In Israel, there’s a committee for everything

Maybe it’s a result of Israel’s history of kibbutz living, but the fact is that Israelis know how to organize themselves into groups. If you’ve ever spent time in Israel, you’ll know that just about every social and administrative domain has a small committee of volunteers (called a vad) running it.

This goes for apartment blocks, where the vad collects payments from each resident and oversees maintenance and repairs. It even goes for children’s kindergartens, where the vad lets parents know how much money to contribute and buys collective gifts for the teachers.

3) Israeli people aren’t shy to ask questions

If you’re visiting Israel, don’t be surprised if the person sitting next to you on the bus starts asking you questions you don’t feel so comfortable answering! This could be anything from how much you earn to what strategies you’re using to lose weight!

It’s really not that anyone is trying to embarrass you. It’s just that Israeli people tend to say what they think and have a genuine interest in other people (as well as maybe a little well-intentioned nosiness!).

4) Once a year the whole country stops moving (apart from bikes and skateboards)

Even though many Israeli people describe themselves as secular, the truth is that the nation still has a deep respect for its Jewish customs. This is especially evident on Yom Kippur – the biblical Day of Atonement.

On this day, all shops and offices close. Many people fast. And no one drives anywhere.

Since there are no cars on the roads, all the children and teenagers who are off school for the day get out their bikes, skateboards and roller blades and take to the streets!

5) One of the first things Israeli people share with each other is where they served in the army

In other countries, people often introduce themselves by saying what job they do. In Israel, it’s just as common to start with what you did in the army. Since all Jewish young people serve in the army for 2 to 3 years after high school (some much more), it’s a huge part of Israeli identity and a topic that brings people together.

6) Israel remembers its fallen soldiers one day, and celebrates its independence the next

For outsiders, it sometimes seems strange how the whole country spends one day deeply mourning its victims of war, and then as the sun goes down, the people switch to a mode of celebration and set off fireworks to celebrate Independence Day.

This move from grief to joy, which might seem peculiar to some, is actually key to the Jewish psyche and to Jewish people’s survival through the millennia.

The Jewish people have always known tragedy and persecution. And they know how to grieve and remember their lost. But they also know how to keep moving forward and not despair. The Jewish culture is one of life, hope and joy – sometimes in the midst of unimaginable adversity. Without this spirit, the tiny nation of Israel would never have been able to achieve what it has in just over 70 years.

Israel really is an incredible country. There’s nowhere else in the world quite like it. Do you have any experiences of Israeli customs that have surprised or inspired you?

Lev Haolam is an organization that supports local Jewish business owners in Judea and Samaria who are suffering because of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Lev Haolam gives the opportunity to support these Jewish pioneers and their families through our Surprise Monthly Package Project. Our members receive monthly packages filled with goods produced by the families and small businesses of Judea and Samaria.

https://www.levhaolam.com/blog/company-news/6_awesome_and_rather_intriguing_israeli_customs

VIDEO Actor Jim Caviezel: ‘Cancel culture’ aims to cancel Christianity

Starring in new drama ‘Infidel’ spotlighting persecution of believers

Jim Caviezel in “Infidel.”

Actor Jim Caviezel, known for portraying Jesus in “The Passion of the Christ,” is starring in a Middle East thriller about Christian persecution that he believes is particularly relevant at this moment.

“It’s relevant because we have this thing called cancel culture, and if Christians don’t watch [out], it will be canceling Christianity as well,” he said in an interview Thursday night with Fox News’ Shannon Bream.

The movie, opening Friday night in theaters, is “Infidel.” It’s a Middle East thriller in which Caviezel plays an American Christian who is kidnapped while attending a conference in Cairo and ends up in Iran facing spying charges.

In the interview Thursday, Caveziel chastised Christian leaders who say nothing about rioters defacing churches and tearing down statues, and allow their meetings to be shut down by coronavirus edicts.

TRENDING: Franklin Graham to lead prayer march in D.C.: ‘Only hope for our country is God’

“This is where the persecution starts,” he said, when leaders don’t stand up.

The movie’s executive producer is Dinesh D’Souza, who is known for his political documentaries, and it’s directed and written by Cyrus Nowrasteh.

Nowrasteh, who is of Iranian discent, is best known for directing the controversial ABC miniseries “The Path to 9/11.” He teamed with Caviezel in the 2008 drama “The Stoning of Soraya M.,” based on the true story of a woman who was falsely convicted of adultery in Iran and stoned to death.

See the Fox News interview:

In an interview with “Huckabee’s Jukebox” on TBN, Mike Huckabee asked Caviezel if he’s concerned about the backlash that will come from being in a film that “depicts radical Islam for what it really is.”

“Do you worry that there’s going to be such a backlash by people like ‘the squad’ and others who will say that you’re just a bigot, you’re a racist, you’re some kind of horrible person because you’re in this film?” Huckabee asked.

“Well then I’ll just be in the big old pile of the rest of Americans, because, you know, we’re all racists, are we now?” Caviezel replied.

“Once you scream wolf too many times, people aren’t going to listen to you,” he added. “And that’s why our media has lost credibility.”

Caviezel said he doen’t “stick his finger in the wind like some politician.”

“I was led by God Almighty to be here,” he said of his acting career.

“I didn’t think I would be doing what I am doing now, being on some screen playing representing people who are suffering for their faith,” he said.

“But at some point God calls you. And he called me. And it was, ‘[You’re] done with the boy days. Jim, I need you as a man now. That’s your purpose.'”

See Caviezel’s interview with Mike Huckabee:

See the official trailer:

Actor Jim Caviezel: ‘Cancel culture’ aims to cancel Christianity

AUDIO We’re Here To Finish The Race

Rev Bill Woods

Everything changed last March when the Nation and the World hit the panic button because of the Covid 19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

  • Churches and businesses were shut down, many of which will never open again.
  • Our schools were closed.
  • We were in lock-down in our homes.
  • We have to wear masks and stand 6 feet apart.
  • We had to stand in long lines to go shopping for groceries and supplies.
  • Our fantastic economy plummeted until we now have a money crisis.
  • People are losing their homes.

 

Because of all this, people are lonely and horribly depressed.

  • Suicide rates have increased dramatically.
  • A good portion of our population have lost their incentive to live and just want to give up.

 

Unfortunately, many Christians are in that condition too.

  • Listen, God is not glorified if we just lay down and quit!
  • We are called to finish the race!

 

Hebrews 12:1-2:
1  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
2  We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.

52 years ago at the Olympics in Mexico City, the world saw one man’s amazing persistence. John Stephen Akhwari from Tanzania, Africa, came to compete with the nations of the world who had gathered for the Olympic Games.

Athletes came from all around the globe after having trained for years to compete in the games.                                                                                                              .    – Finally, the time had arrived.

The Marathon, while not always exciting to watch, is one of the most severe Olympic tests of human endurance. `

Many runners trained extensively for years to compete.

The race began, and eventually, the winner came running back into the Olympic Stadium, welcomed by cheers from the appreciative fans. Soon other runners arrived as well, and eventually, the race was over.                           .    — Over, that is, except for one runner.                                                                                                                                                       .    – A single, lone runner was still out on the course.

Other track events continued in the stadium, and an hour passed.  Finally, 1½ hours later, the final runner, an athlete from Tanzania, John Stephen Akhwari, entered the stadium.

His pace was slow. Akhwari had cramped up because of the city’s high altitude.

.   –  He hadn’t trained at such an altitude back in his country.

At the 19 kilometer point during the 42 kilometer race, the runners were jockeying for position and he was hit.

.   – He fell badly wounding and dislocating his knee.  His shoulder hit hard     against  the pavement.                                                                                                                  – By shear grit he kept on running, finishing last among the 57 competitors    who completed the race (75 had started).

The winner of the marathon, Mamo Wolde of Ethiopia, finished in 2:20:26.     – Akhwari finished in 3:25:27, when there were only a few thousand people left   in the stadium, and the sun had set.

A television crew came out from the medal ceremony when they heard there was one more runner about to finish.

His steps were wobbly. His knee was bloody and bandaged from that fall earlier in the race where he got bumped and knocked down.

He looked terrible as he entered the stadium.

– The fans realized who he was and what he was doing, and they began to        cheer as he made his way around the track and finally, painfully, crossed the  finish line.                                                                                                                        Cheers swelled as the fans saluted the man’s determination.

Later, he was asked why, when he saw he’d lost the race by 1½  hours, had he kept on running.

His answer was simple: “My country didn’t send me 5000 miles away to start the race. They sent me 5000 miles to finish it.”

The Apostle Paul said that a crown of life is waiting for each of us who finishes the race.

But finishing is much harder than starting.                                                                  Finishing means running day in and day out.

Finishing means training and self-denial and staying focused on the goal.

God hasn’t put you here to start.  God has put you here to finish.

Keep running the good race.

Some Christians get discouraged and want to drop out of the race because of turbulence in their lives.

Turbulence is no reason to quit.  It’s a reason to bear down and try harder until you finish the race!

Too many people are watching your life and depending on your faithfulness to endure to the end and receive the crown of Life!

Hebrews 12:1-2  
1  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
2  We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.

 

Turbulence can break us or make us stronger!

  • Remember, we are now in training to rule with Christ for Eternity.
  • He isn’t interested in recruiting and ruling with wimps.
  • We are to mount up with wings as eagles.

 

Isaiah 40:28-31
28  Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.
29  He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength.
30  Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall,
31  But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

TURBULENT WINDS CAUSE THE EAGLE TO FLY HIGHER.

Life’s troubles should cause the Christian to seek closer fellowship with the Lord. Troubles should cause us to fly higher.

TURBULENT WINDS GIVE THE EAGLE A LARGER VIEW.

When our lives are touched by troubles and we flee to God we begin to see the reason and result of lower living.

TURBULENT WINDS LIFT THE EAGLE ABOVE HARRASSMENT FROM OTHER BIRDS OF PREY.

As we walk with the Lord it’s difficult, if not impossible, for us to be harassed by the troubles or troubler of life.

TURBULENT WINDS ALLOW THE EAGLE TO USE LESS EFFORT.

We struggle the most when we live in lower spiritual altitudes. If we draw near to God, we will find how really simple life is meant to be.

TURBULENT WINDS ALLOW THE EAGLE TO STAY UP LONGER.

When we experience fellowship with God; His peace, comfort and love, there will be a desire to remain close to Him. When troubles come we learn immediately to stretch forth our wings and fly high into the presence of the Lord.

TURBULENT WINDS HELP THE EAGLE TO FLY FASTER.

The more we soar above the cares and troubles of life, the more effective we will be in accomplishing the work God has called every Christian to do – Glorifying Him and evangelizing the world in which we live.

We need courage to keep on keeping on.

Don’t succumb to a little turbulence.  Rise above it!

Yes, we are living through difficult times, but God is still there.

I have an idea that even more difficult times are coming as we approach the Rapture when Christ will call His Church home.

Like the Gaither chorus says, “It Will Be Worth It All When We Get Home!”

IT WILL BE WORTH IT ALL

JUST TO SEE HIS FACE

WHEN HE TAKES US FOR HIS OWN!

THEN TEN MILLION YEARS TO SIN “AMAZING GRACE!”

IT WILL BE WORTH IT ALL WHEN WE GET HOME!

 

REMEMBER, WE’RE HERE TO FINISH THE RACE!


WE’RE HERE TO FINISH THE RACE PODCAST

Listen here


 

Why Can’t We Learn To Do Nothing?


Shawn Quah

“Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”Luke 10:41–42

I’m probably one of the many people looking forward to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions—not so much because I want to go out, but because I’ve been too busy at home.

Too busy? Surprisingly, yes. Over the past two months during the Circuit Breaker, I’ve struggled with not knowing when to stop work, or being caught up by the many things I needed to do, such as house chores, taking stock of food and other supplies at home, and going to the supermarket to stock up. Some of my friends, too, have told me that they have been working over the weekends as a way of distracting themselves from the monotony of being at home for so long.

It made me wonder: Have we become busy for the sake of being busy? Have we turned home—a place that should be synonymous with rest—into a place where we should work?

A recent article on telecommuting noted that COVID-19 has changed the way companies view working from home. Many are now realising that allowing workers to telecommute does not necessarily result in them doing less work—in fact, it could be the reverse. This has prompted more firms, such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Mastercard, to consider a permanent shift to remote working even after COVID-19 is over.

If this really happens for more workers, perhaps it warrants a relook into how we ought to view our time at home. Do we need to keep busy all the time? Do we always need to get things done, or achieve something? What is truly important at home?

I am reminded of the story of Jesus visiting the home of Martha and Mary. While Martha was distracted by the tasks of preparation, her sister Mary did not help her, but instead sat down to listen to Jesus’ teaching (Luke 10:38-40). In our time-starved society, we might see her as being lazy—or even, forbid the thought, wasting time.

How could she do nothing while Martha was so busy?

Yet, when Martha complained to Jesus, He said: “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (vv. 41–42)

For Jesus, the most important thing was spending some uninterrupted time with Him.

I believe this is one way in which we can rest in the Lord. May we not forget that home is a place of rest, even though it has also become our workplace during this COVID-19 outbreak. Just as much as we work, we ought to rest the same too, and simply spend time in the presence of the people we love—like our Lord Jesus and our families.

Perhaps we need to realise that taking a break from our daily routines, sitting down for a leisurely cup of coffee, or simply chilling in the living room and chatting with loved ones isn’t a waste of time.

As we learn to rest at home, let us not forget to rest in the Lord. And may we hold on to His comforting words to Mary, that despite our trials in this world, we can hold on to the fact that when we choose to stop and listen at Jesus’ feet, our relationship with Him will never be taken away from us.

Why Can’t We Learn To Do Nothing?

Why Giving is Taking

by Anna Epshtein-Rudnitsky | Feb 28, 2020 | Israel

This week’s portion of the Torah deals with God’s detailed instructions to Mozes on how to build the Tabernacle – a portable sanctuary where the Almighty could dwell while the Israelites were travelling in the desert after they left Egypt. The chapter opens with His commandment to all of the Israelites to contribute materials needed for the building of the Tabernacle. The phrasing of the commandment, however, is weird: It is said “take for Me a contribution”, not “give Me a contribution”.

Why “take” instead of “give”?

It is known that wording in the Torah is never arbitrary; every letter, not just every word, is meaningful (Jewish mysticism teaches that God created the world while playing with the letters of the Torah. So why this choice of words? Is it some Freudian slip? Or does the phrasing imply that when we give to Him, we actually take, get something for ourselves?

Later in the Torah we hear God commanding to all of the Israelites give certain (really small) amount of silver to the building of the Tabernacle. There, He orders taxation – contribution to a common cause that should be paid by everyone. As opposed to it, in the opening phrase of the chapter He stresses that contribution of the materials should be voluntary and only from the people “whose heart wants it”.

Let us ask ourselves a question: Why at all donations are needed? The Almighty, who needs help of His creatures to build Himself a home, – is not the whole idea kind of weird?

The meaning of the Hebrew word “contribution”, used in this chapter, is “elevation”. The idea is clear: When we contribute to a holy cause, we elevate – both the part of the material world that we give and our own soul. Maybe that is what God really wants from us: Not wood, silver, or linen, but an elevating act. He wants us to be partners in creation. By asking us to help Him, He gives us a chance to leave the physical realm and join Him into the Holy.

However, you need “to want with your heart” to give this contribution. What distinguishes an elevating act of donation from a merely physical act of transfer of goods or money is the intention – the intention to become the Almighty’s partner.

But how exactly “giving” is “taking”?

One of the ancient Jewish sources (the Midrash Vayikra Rabbah 30:13) takes note of this strange phraseology and comments, “by donating towards the Tabernacle it’s as if you are taking Me!”

In the Proverbs (19:17) a similar idea is expressed in almost businesslike terms: “One who gives graciously to the poor becomes God’s lender”. We kind of strike a deal with God: by giving money to charity, we lend Him money, helping Him take care of the needed. So, one of the ways to explain how “giving” is “taking” is this: God will pay off His debt to you, and pay off generously.

Jewish sages also explain, that since everything in this world comes from God, you need to give Him His part in order to be able to use – to take – yours. Now, when the contribution is done, you can take the rest.

One of the forms of the Hebrew word “give” in the Torah – “ונתנו” – is a palindrome, it reads the same backwards and forwards. Giving is a sort of action that contains the opposite – receiving – in it.

Lev Haolam is an organization that supports local Jewish business owners in Judea and Samaria who are suffering because of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Lev Haolam gives the opportunity to support these Jewish pioneers and their families through our Surprise Monthly Package Project. Our members receive monthly packages filled with goods produced by the families and small businesses of Judea and Samaria.

https://www.levhaolam.com/blog/company-news/why_giving_is_taking