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

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

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

By Randy DeSoto, The Western Journal

The Rev. Franklin Graham plans to lead a prayer march in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 26, saying the only hope for the United States is God.

Asked what prompted him to call for this event, Graham told The Western Journal, “I think the chaos we see in our country. The anarchy that we see in our streets.”

“The coronavirus has put fear in people’s hearts, anxiety,” he continued. “And we’ve seen the injustices that have taken place on some of our city streets. And all of this is just boiling over.

“And it seems like our country is out of control, and I feel that the only hope for our country is God,” Graham said.

Though the evangelical leader is a supporter of President Donald Trump, he doesn’t believe any one politician is going to turn the U.S. around.

“I think God can use a politician to turn this country around, but we have to have God,” Graham said.

The Christian argued the efforts of politicians and educators to keep God out of the nation’s affairs and mock people of faith have contributed to the current state of affairs.

“It’s not getting better; if anything it’s worse than it’s ever been. And the only hope I see for this country is God,” Graham said.

He explained that Prayer March 2020 will not be marked by glitz and worship bands but will be focused on prayer.

People will gather at the Lincoln Memorial, where the two-hour event will kick off at noon Eastern Time, with prayer focused on asking repentance “and asking God to forgive our sins and heal our land,” drawing from the famous words found in the Bible passage 2 Chronicles 7:14.

Courtesy of Billy Graham Evangelical Association

Five stops will follow during the 1.8-mile walk to the U.S. Capitol, including the World War II Memorial, the Washington Monument, the White House, the National Museum of African American History and the National Archives (where the Constitution and Declaration of Independence are housed).

Each location will have a different prayer focus.

For example, at the World War II Memorial, people will pray for those in the military, police and other law enforcement, as well as for the security and peace of the nation.

Some leading in those appeals will be Graham’s son, Col. Edward Graham, a West Point graduate who served 16 years in Special Operations in the U.S. Army.

Edward left active duty in 2018 to join Samaritan’s Purse, the Christian relief organization his father heads.

Retired Lt. Col. Oliver North, the former president of the National Rifle Association and a Vietnam War veteran, is also slated to pray at the World War II Memorial.

At the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the petitions to heaven will center on racial reconciliation and the healing of communities that have experienced violence and injustice.

Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Bishop Harry Jackson, senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Maryland, will be among those offering prayers.

Prayer at the Capitol will focus on Congress, the Supreme Court and those who serve in state and local governments.

“The Bible tells us to pray for those that are in authority. It commands us to do that,” Graham noted.

The preacher says the prayer marchers will be praying for Trump, whom he gives high marks in his handling of the office to date.

“I think he’s probably the best president we’ve had in my lifetime,” Graham said.

“He’s had incredible mountains that he’s had to climb, constantly attacked by his enemies, but yet he’s been able to accomplish a peace agreement, which is incredible.”

Graham also pointed to Trump’s handling of the economy and how he has navigated through the coronavirus pandemic as many voices argued over the best course to take.

Trump has also kept his word to evangelicals, according to Graham.

“He’s the most friendly president in the history of our country to people of faith,” Graham said. “And it’s all people. He respects people who have faith.”

“And he’s been very supportive of evangelicals,” the minister added. “He likes having evangelicals and people of faith around him in the White House. And he wants their input. And we’ve never had that before like that in my lifetime.”

“I’ve never known a president that has been this open with evangelicals.”

For those who cannot attend Prayer March 2020, the event will be livestreamed.

Learn more here.

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