Deep Thought: Different Faiths with one Spirit at Standing Rock

Before going to Standing Rock, it was cool to learn the many different backgrounds of faiths represented in this movement..

Clergy Standing with Standing Rock clergyclimateaction.org

500 Clergy Come to Standing Rock after a week of violence


“Published on Nov 16, 2016

“I look at my brothers and sisters of Standing Rock as the moral compass of this country.”

After a week of violence inflicted by law enforcement on unarmed peaceful water protectors, over 480 clergy and people of all faiths arrived in solidarity with Standing Rock. In solidarity, they repudiated the Doctrine of Discovery, denounced the Dakota Access Pipeline, and affirmed the position of the water protectors on the ground.

Video Produced by: Ayşe Gürsöz & Josué Rivas Fotographer”

Image Gallery: 500 interfaith clergy and laity answered the call to stand with Standing Rock By Lynette Wilson | November 3, 2016 episcopaldigitalnetwork.com
“…The Rev. John Floberg, supervising priest of the Episcopal churches on the North Dakota side of Standing Rock, gives instructions to more than 500 people from 20 faith backgrounds gathered in the Oceti Sakowin Camp just after dawn. Photo: Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News Service..”
Clergy Standing with Standing Rock themennonite.org
Clergy repudiate ‘doctrine of discovery’ as hundreds support indigenous rights at Standing Rock NewsNorman Jameson | November 4, 2016 baptistnews.com
“..From around the country 524 clergy responded to the call of North Dakota priest John Floberg to gather in support of the Sioux Nation’s attempts to stop construction of an encroaching oil pipeline near Standing Rock…”
Standing Rock: A Clergy Call to Action .ucc.org
“…If you are unable to join with other clergy on these dates but would like to come later in the fall or winter when support will still be needed, please coordinate with the Rev. Brooks Berndt, the Environmental Justice Minister for the United Church of Christ…”
500 Clergy Join Peaceful Witness at Standing Rock By Jill Goddard November 7, 2016 uua.org
“…On Thursday, November 3, over 500 clergy – including over 50 Unitarian Universalist clergy – answered the call to come to Standing Rock in solidarity, prayer, and action with the Standing Rock Sioux Nation and the water protectors. The goal of the peaceful interfaith witness was to increase awareness of the situation and to advocate for elected officials to take action to end construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).
..”

Clergy for Standing Rock: Rev. Kelli Clement, youtube.com
IFCO/Pastors for Peace | An interfaith organization to assist oppressed … ifconews.org
“..Ecumenical agency delivering humanitarian aid to Latin America and the Caribbean. Includes membership information, a list of projects, and a forum…”
CUBA
CARAVAN
2016
, cubacaravan2016.org

“…The Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO) is a multi-issue national ecumenical agency, which was founded in 1967 by progressive church leaders and activists. For more than four decades, the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO) has assisted hundreds of community organizations and public policy groups – by providing technical assistance, training organizers, making and administering grants, and using our global network of grassroots organizers, clergy, and other professionals to advance the struggles of oppressed people for justice and self-determination.

.

Read more
..”

</a

Thoughts, feedback, prayer requests, etc..?

Good News Ministry
https://www.facebook.com/groups/313230752154108/

Advertisements

Movie: Star Wars Series Reflections

As a tribute to the Star Wars (Disney made) new series in 2015, I made this music video…

Music: “Star Wars” movie theme (whistling) creativemusicartsy.wordpress.com

Series

ORIGINAL TRILOGY

Star Wars Movies | StarWars.com
There is a correct order to show your children the Star Wars movies October 24, 2014 theweek.com
“…Let’s say you grew up watching the Star Wars trilogy, then had children sometime after 1999, when George Lucas started releasing the prequels.

When your kids are old enough, what order should they watch the films in? The order they were released — Star Wars (A New Hope) (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and Return of the Jedi (1983), then The Phantom Menace (1999), Attack of the Clones (2002), and Revenge of the Sith (2005)? Or the order the events happened in the Star Wars universe: Phantom Menace (I), Attack of the Clones (II), Revenge of the Sith (III), New Hope (IV), Empire Strikes Back (V), and Return of the Jedi (VI)?

Rod Hilton, a computer programmer in Colorado, has given this a lot of thought, and he probably has the best solution. His (correct) instinct is to start with New Hope (IV), because if you start with Phantom Menace (I) you lose the essential shock of learning Luke’s parentage in Empire Strikes Back. But he also wants to end on a high note — so, none of the prequels. Here’s Hilton’s “Machete Order,” named after his blog, Absolutely No Machete Juggling:

Next time you want to introduce someone to Star Wars for the first time, watch the films with them in this order: IV, V, II, III, VI…”
Star Wars From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia en.wikipedia.org
“…is an American epic space opera franchise, centered on a film series created by George Lucas. It depicts the adventures of various characters “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away”.

The franchise began in 1977 with the release of the film Star Wars (subtitled Episode IV: A New Hope in 1981[2][3]),..”

Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) imdb.com
“Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a wookiee and two droids to save the galaxy from the Empire’s world-destroying battle-station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the evil Darth Vader. “

Star Wars – Episode IV – Trailer (original 1977)


Star Wars: Episode 4 A New Hope OFFICIAL Blu-Ray trailer from youtube.com

-Cast

=> Spotlight: Celebrity-Carrie Fisher’s “success”! goodnewseverybodycom.wordpress.com

“THE MIKE DOUGLAS SHOW” (1977) (PART 1) (WITH CARRIE FISHER, HARRISON FORD, & MARK HAMILL) from youtube.com
“Published on Aug 31, 2014

Part 1 of 2.

Two months prior to the airing of this episode of “The Mike Douglas Show”, the mega-blockbuster film “Star Wars” debuted in U.S. movie theaters. Host Mike Douglas and co-host Richard Thomas are joined by the three top “Star Wars” cast members — Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, and Mark Hamill.

This is a rare chance to see these three “Star Wars” actors in their younger days, prior to the time when “super stardom” enveloped the trio.

This show was taped at Mike Douglas’ Philadelphia studios on July 20, 1977.

©1977 Westinghouse Broadcasting Company, Inc.
©2000 Rhino Home Video

PART 2:

MORE ABOUT THIS SHOW:
http://Mike-Douglas-Show.blogspot.com

ALSO SEE:
http://Classic–Movies.blogspot.com/2…&#8221;

RARE 1977 interview with Harrison Ford on Star Wars , from youtube.com
“Uploaded on Oct 18, 2011

May the Force of Nostalgia Be With You NYTimes com Bobbie Wygant interviews Harrison Ford fir Star Wars in 1977.

https://www.facebook.com/ClassicStarWars&#8221;

Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980) imdb.com
“..After the rebels have been brutally overpowered by the Empire on their newly established base, Luke Skywalker takes advanced Jedi training with Master Yoda, while his friends are pursued by Darth Vader as part of his plan to capture Luke. ..”
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back – Trailer

Sal: We need to get “equipped” (see Good News Ministry) and “taught” by mentors (those who have walked the walked) before we personally/individually take on the “enemy”. Season to “train” and season for “active duty” for war…

Yoda training Luke pt1 from youtube.com
Star Wars: Biblical Wisdom from Yoda. | Theology within Film theologywithinfilm.wordpress.com
“..During Luke’s training with Yoda on Dagobah, Luke starts to lose hope when he is distracted by thoughts of his friends. Yoda consistently works Luke toward being able to pull the X-Wing out of the swamp using the Force, but Luke is distracted. ..”
*there is power in the mind to overcome distractions we face in our daily lives!

Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983) from imdb.com
“After rescuing Han Solo from the palace of Jabba the Hutt, the rebels attempt to destroy the second Death Star, while Luke struggles to make Vader return from the dark side of the Force. ..”

Star Wars- Return Of The Jedi Trailer (HD)

Sal: The famous fight seen (see Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi – Luke Skywalker vs Darth Vader – Edited , from youtube.com )reminds me of the “spiritual battle” between “good” and “evil” within.

Update: Just watched it again (January 2nd 2016) and got this “relevation”-I was watching the scene where the evil guy tries to make Vader and his son Luke kill each other. He keeps telling Luke to “hate” (“let the hate flow through you…haha!”) and be “angry”. Fortunately, Luke remembers his teaching (mentored by Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda) to fight with “love“!

Spoiler Alert: Luke wins his dad’s heart through love and forgiveness..

5 Christian Messages Found in Star Wars crosswalk.com
It’s Never Too Late for Redemption

“At the very end of The Return of the Jedi, just when it seems that all hope is lost, something incredible happens. Darth Vader, the longstanding antagonist of the series, sacrifices himself to save his son and defeat the emperor. Vader had believed he was too far gone to ever find redemption. He had done so many terrible things, betrayed so many people. How could he ever be forgiven?

Luke, on the other hand (no pun intended), never lost faith in Vader. In fact, he believed so strongly he was willing to pay the ultimate price for his forgiveness. There are many people like Vadar who look back on their mistakes and think it’s too late, but they are wrong. I doesn’t matter how far we’ve strayed or how mangled we’ve become, Jesus gave his life so that we could be forgiven (John 3:16). God doesn’t need to save you, He already has…”
*see Luke 17

-Behind the Scenes of Original Trilogy

Behind the Scenes of Star Wars: The Original Trilogy ILM Special Effects Makers. , from youtube.com
“Published on Jan 3, 2016

To YOUTUBE and All of its Viewers,

THIS VIDEO HAD NO INTENTION OF MAKING ANY PROFITS. All of the material belongs to their respective owners.

This was taken from the Star Wars: The Complete Saga as a special feature for the Original Trilogy of Star Wars.

You can purchase the Complete Saga on Amazon here in the link below:

goo.gl/B7j7Ho”

PREQUEL TRILOGY

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999) from imdb.com
“Two Jedi Knights escape a hostile blockade to find allies and come across a young boy who may bring balance to the Force, but the long dormant Sith resurface to reclaim their old glory. ..”

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace – Trailer

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace christiananswers.net
“…On the flip side, there is also a “dark side” which is easier to tap into because anger, fear, and aggression all lead to it. Only by staying calm, patient and passive can one avoid turning to the dark side. Obviously we need to teach our kids what the Bible has to say about all of this. We need to teach them that there is a real force and His name is Jesus Christ and in fact all things were created by Him (John 1:3; John 1:10) and through Him all things truly consist (Colossians 1:17)! Furthermore, they need to know that sin, which we have all committed, (Romans 3:23) leads to the “dark side” and we must accept Christ as Lord of ours lives to get us into heaven (Romans 6:23)…”

Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002) .imdb.com
“Ten years after initially meeting, Anakin Skywalker shares a forbidden romance with Padmé, while Obi-Wan investigates an assassination attempt on the Senator and discovers a secret clone army crafted for the Jedi. ..”

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones – Trailer



Star Wars: Episode II—Attack of the Clones
compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International 2002 1 Jan crosswalk.com
“.. In this chapter, young Anakin Skywalker starts giving in to his foolish impulses, rejects the counsel of his teachers, and responds to the temptations that lead him on the path of the Dark Side. His primary weakness is his infatuation with the beautiful Senator Padme Amidala…”

Sal: What temptations do you have?

-Comedy

Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002) Bloopers Gag Reel , from youtube.com

Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005) imdb.com
“..During the near end of the clone wars, Darth Sidious has revealed himself and is ready to execute the last part of his plan to rule the Galaxy. Sidious is ready for his new apprentice, Lord… See full summary » ..”

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith – Trailer

-Cool

Episode III Lightsaber Training , from youtube.com

Star Wars Ep 3 Revenge of the Sith Final Battle Clip , from youtube.com
“You turned her against me..”.-Anakin & “.. You’ve done that yourself…Your anger and lust for power have already done that..”-Obi Wan
Episode III The Final Battle – Darth Vader Vs Obi-Wan Kenobi – Part 1 , from youtube.com
*see satan (a.k.a. father of lies), deceiver, etc..

SEQUEL TRILOGY

Sal: I watched this movie again (via online) after watching Rogue 1 the other day (Friday, December 16th 2016). I was encouraged and had a revelation during the scenes (e.g. Star Wars VII The Force Awakens- Rey vs Kylo Ren Lightsaber Fight Scene from youtube.com , of “using the force” (see 1 Corinthians 12).

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) from imdb.com
“..Three decades after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, a new threat arises. The First Order attempts to rule the galaxy and only a ragtag group of heroes can stop them, along with the help of the Resistance. ..”
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer (Official)

Sal: Another revelation or thought was during the scene when Rey “commands” the Star Trooper to release her and drop his weapon..lol! I saw this as believers needing to practice using their authority as God’s children against the evil and dark forces…in Jesus’ name!

-Cast

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) Full Cast & Crew imdb.com
Carrie Fisher Interview with Gary on The Force Awakens , from youtube.com
“Published on Dec 4, 2015

Carrie Fisher played Princess Leia in the first “Star Wars” in 1977 and returns this month in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” | Carrie Fisher, who will forever be known for playing Princess Leia Organa in the original “Star Wars” trilogy, has died, family spokesman Simon Halls has confirmed to ABC News…”
Billie Lourd On How She Got A ‘Star Wars’ Role Without Help From Mom Carrie Fisher | TODAY , from youtube.com

-Comedy

Star Wars Undercover Boss: Starkiller Base – SNL, from youtube.com

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), from imdb.com
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story starwars.com
“From Lucasfilm comes the first of the Star Wars standalone films, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” an all-new epic adventure. In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves. In theaters December 2016.

Rated: PG-13

Released: December 16, 2016

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Trailer (Official)

Rogue One review: this is the first Star Wars movie to acknowledge the whole franchise is about war Updated by Todd VanDerWerff@tvoti Dec 16, 2016, 11:14am EST vox.com
It’s often incoherent and messy. But it’s also beautiful and has a strong central theme.
“..But if the film is politically relevant, it’s only accidentally so, not intentionally. I say that not just because Rogue One was completed long before Donald Trump’s election or even Brexit, but because Edwards uses a kind of scattershot approach to political content in his films — he’ll give you just enough of an idea of what he’s going for, but he’s uninterested in pushing any further than that.

An early shot in Rogue One features Stormtroopers patrolling the streets of a city rife with tension between various factions, rolling around in a tank. At various moments, it calls to mind the US occupation of Iraq and police militarization of American cities. But it’s not entirely clear whether Edwards has thought about what these similarities might mean in the larger tapestry of Rogue One beyond “Do you get this reference?” It’s political commentary as Family Guy joke…”
*see Neutral Perspective: Iraq War was justified or not?
An Epic Scene in Rogue One Will Change How You See Darth Vader Megan McCluskey Dec. 16, 2016 time.com
This post contains spoilers for Rogue One.

Others:

-Animated

Star Wars Animated Series | StarWars.com from starwars.com

-Bible

9 Ways Star Wars Parallels the Bible by Paul Kent onfaith.co
The Death Star and pride? Luke Skywalker and Moses? Star Wars mirrors Scripture more than you think.
“..His life goal is to spur interest in the Bible for readers of all ages and backgrounds. Paul has loved the Star Wars saga since he saw the original movie poster at age 11. He is the author of The Real Force: A 40-Day Devotional. We asked him to list 9 ways in which the Star Wars series parallels the Bible..”
Star Wars, Literary Parallels and the Bible April 11, 2013 logosmadeflesh.com
“..Have you noticed how the second Star Wars trilogy (episodes I-III) parallels the first (episodes IV-VI)? Here are a few examples..”

-Behind the Scenes

‘Star Wars’ locations that actually exist
By Griffin Shea, for CNN Updated 11:00 AM ET, Wed December 21, 2016 cnn.com

-Theories

10 Star Wars Fan Theories That Will Blow Your Mind , from youtube.com
“Description:
Did Han Solo really survive on dumb luck, or was the Force with him? Why do the Ewoks think C-3PO is their god? Was Luke Skywalker standing next to a grave at the end of The Force Awakens? Star Wars fans have burning questions. Sometimes, they also have the answers. This video is a review of our favorite mind-blowing Star Wars fan theories, the ones that change the whole picture of what’s going on in the movies.”

-Weapons

Star Wars Featurette: The Birth of the Lightsaber , from youtube.com
“Published on Apr 9, 2014

Star Wars creator George Lucas, actor Mark Hamill, and sound designer Ben Burtt discuss the concept and creation of the lightsaber.”

What’s your favorite Star Wars movie/series?

Good News Movie
https://www.facebook.com/groups/162875853862124/

Deep Thought: Ever “taught” something that you wished you didn’t?

I’ve heard this a couple of times lately from pastors -“I would’ve not taught this if I knew what I know now”. Pastors are human too and we need to give them some slack. Can you relate?

-Others

Francis Chan from Doctrine Youth Study – Bluefish TV

This topic came about during a message at my local church after a guest speaker shared at women’s conference (see Reflection: Church Service-“Spirit Move~Freedom of Change”

What lies have you been taught? How do we discern what is taught in church is Biblical?

Good News Ministry
https://www.facebook.com/groups/313230752154108/

Deep Thought: What did Jesus do between the ages of 12 and 30 years old?

A friend and I had “another” deep philosophical conversation the other night. This time, he actually brought a good question, which I really never took the time to ponder about-“What did Jesus do between the ages of 12 and 30?”-which wasn’t recorded in any of the Gospels?

What Was Jesus Doing Before He Began His Ministry? whataboutjesus.com
“… Aside from the account of Jesus’ birth and infancy, there is only one account in the Bible about his boyhood. That’s the time when the 12 year old Jesus was in the temple courts of Jerusalem amazing his teachers with his knowledge of the Scriptures. You can read about it in Luke 2:41-52. The account ends in an interesting way. God tells us that the boy Jesus did not remain in Jerusalem in the temple. Instead he was obedient to his earthly parents and went back with them to his hometown of Nazareth. There in Nazareth, from age 12 to 30, “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”…”
Where was Jesus between the ages of 12 and 30? by Ryan Turner carm.org
“…The best thing that we can say for now is that it was not the first century Gospel writers purpose to talk about the childhood years of Jesus in much detail, so we really do not have much to say about them. I think that we should focus on what we can know about Jesus rather than what we do not know. For ancient historical records, we have a lot of information about Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. It is there that we should focus since the resurrection is the foundation upon which Christianity is built (1 Corinthians 15:17, cf. John 2:19-21, Matthew 12:39-40).”

Where was Jesus between ages 12 and 30? What was He doing?, from quora.com
“…I think we can surmise from the trajectory his life was taking at age 12 that he continued to be “about his Father’s business” Luke 2:49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”..
What Did Jesus Do Between Age 12 and 30?, hcna.us
“… But a lack of information in scripture has never stopped scholars from theorizing, especially when there is internal evidence, that is, evidence we can deduce from the literature itself, to support a pet theory. So, here are three theories I have encountered in my studies. ..

Then there is theory number three. This notion doesn’t get much support from orthodoxy, but it has a strong band of supporters. These claim that Jesus went to India or elsewhere in the Near East and studied Buddhism. …”
Amazing documentary – the missing history of Jesus from youtube.com
“Published on Sep 28, 2012

For more information please visit:
http://www.krishnapath.org/you-mean-t&#8230;
http://www.krishnapath.org/videos/&#8221;

Where was Jesus for 18 years? Missing in Bible Part 1/2 , from youtube.com
Acharya Shree Yogeesh

Jesus Christ
The Missing Years

by Bruce A. Ritter rcg.org
“…Some, relying on human reasoning and theory, have invented stories about these “lost” years. One tells of a young Jesus learning the mystic arts in Egypt. Another tale has Him journeying across the Atlantic Ocean to preach to the American Indians, who some believe to be the “lost ten tribes” of Israel. Yet none of these or other manmade tales are supported by the Bible…”

Mysteries of the Bible – The Lost Years of Jesus from youtube.com
“Published on Dec 31, 2012

“The Lost Years of Jesus” looks at the nearly 30-year gap in the Gospels regarding the life of Christ. Included is speculation on whether Jesus may have traveled outside of Palestine during those three decades.

Watch more TV shows for free at http://tvtuner.co&#8221;

Update:

-Carpentry (2.12.16)

JESUS, THE CARPENTER

Tom Nelson: The Hidden Years of Jesus
From age 12 to 30, Jesus spent time in a carpenter shop. What does that mean for us?
christianitytoday.com
“From age 12 to 30, Jesus spent time in a carpenter’s shop. What does that mean for us? Tom Nelson highlights the importance of the fact that Jesus spent most of his time on earth working – creating, shaping and fixing with his hands. The magnitude of Jesus’ “hidden years” serves to remind us that work most certainly matters…”
If Jesus started ministry at age 30, what was he doing for 30 years? thisisyourbible.com
“…Mark tells us that Jesus, like Joseph, worked as a carpenter (Mark 6:3). This job was much as it is today, a skilled, but honest and hardworking trade. It would have given Jesus opportunity to meet all kinds of people and travel in Galilee. We know from historical records that when Jesus was in his teens, just starting his trade, the nearby town of Sepphoris underwent a major rebuilding which brought stonemasons and carpenters from all over the Roman empire. As it was less than an hour’s walk to Sepphoris it is almost certain that any young carpenter of Nazareth would also have spent some time working there. Sepphoris was a Greek-speaking town, and Jesus, who probably only spoke Aramaic (a form of Hebrew) at home, would have learned to speak Greek. The rebuilding of Sepphoris would also have provided extra income for his family.”

I’m still doing some research on this topic and this will probably will never end. I would love to welcome any other credible sources out there that might “help” answer this question. Got any personal suggestions, feedback, comments, etc..?

Good News Philosophy
https://www.facebook.com/groups/422574824500375/

Visiting those “sick” in the hospital

Last weekend during a conference “Storm the Planet Returns”) at my local church, a friend shared about a “friend of ours” that was just taken to the ER. She told it was pretty serious and thinks he might not make it. I didn’t bother to ask the medical condition as it didn’t matter to me. I then did a quick prayer for our friend and I non-verbally asked that God will just “heal” him and give some added time for me to see him.

The following day, I got an update via text that he was in the hospital and encouraged me to visit him. I was getting ready for church service (also 2nd session of the conference) and did a quick prayer for our friend, so I can visit him afterwards. I just had some faith and trusted God that He’ll give our friend some extra time for me to visit him later on.

During the service, one of the speakers (Jennifer) shared how we need to be the “pastor” (a.k.a. “church body ministry”) to the people around us. I thought of the people I work with (including my particular “friend”). Then after towards the end of the service, one of the leaders (Spencer) in our local congregation gave an invitation to come up for prayer (e.g. healing). I thought it was my cue to leave early and head to the hospital to visit our “friend”.

When I got to the hospital..

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

..and was praying as I was riding my bike there, I went over to his bed side and smiled. He looked very weak and frail. The nurse (from the group home) left, so I took that time time to pray for him and shared with him some worship music that I recorded from our church service…

“Storm the Planet Returns” Conference: Day #2 (Session 2)-Worship Pt 1of2

…I would repeat some of the songs that was sung at church..

“You are my joy…, the joy of the Lord is your strength…!”

..as I was declaring it with faith for my friend.!
After awhile, my “friend” would grab my hand hard and tight. I noticed some increase strength..praise the Lord!

I would get a call from another pastor friend about how he got a call from a lady in charge of the group home about “my” friend that lives there. I told him a friend and I already visited him. He ended up visiting “our” friend and told me that he looks good, which I replied thanks to the many prayers! I would visit him again that day (Monday the 21st) just to see how he’s doing and would hear “good news” that he’ll be coming “home” in hospice environment.

Just this past Saturday (26th), I went to visit him at “home” and would encourage him by praying for him again. I also turned on his room radio, which it was already set to the local Christian station (Praise FM 101.5 FM/103.9 FM). I then started to sing this song that came to my mind (“You Are Not Alone“) and would do a parody with faith-building encouraging words.

OTHERS

-Surgery


Prayer Before Surgery
, from openbible.info
Bible verses for surgery biblereasons.com

Got any personal stories/testimonies, feedback, comments, suggestions, etc.. regarding any of the content above? Would love to hear some to encourage others in similar situations as we are “not” alone!

Good News Medical
https://www.facebook.com/groups/339628506163473/

YOU offended me!

“YOU offended me! Have you ever been offended? We all have, but how can we counterattack that? We don’t, we give it to God. Yeah right, it isn’t that easy! Before I became a Christian my 1st year college, I was easily offended. This was due to my past from being “hurt” so many times in various ways (e.g. bullying). I can’t pin point exactly when I started getting offended, but I just remember when I was growing-up-I grew very insecure (see self-image) because of the people around me were very “critical” of my outward appearance. I look back now and I can’t blame them because of our “negative” media that keeps giving them the “wrong” message, which is another blog (see Good News Sociology).

Getting back to when I was growing-up, a “close one” would always criticize me in almost everything I did. I seem to not be able to do anything “right” in her eyes. I tried to do well in school, but I just wasn’t “smart-enough”. I was very “slow” in things I did. I look back and have to attribute part of this with my family’s psychological history (another story in itself) and health nutrition as I realize I ate a lot of “junk-food” (somewhat due to my economic background and poor “eating” choices I was very ignorant at the time). This particular individual was just “negative” most of the time with me, so I was always “fearful” every time I encountered her. I grew to be always trying to “please” her by “trying” my hardest to do better (e.g. academically), which I never could achieve. Now, I know the only One I should try to “please” is my Heavenly Father, which is much easier through prayer.

Another “social issue” I was easily offended growing-up was racism. Yes, I grew-up in the “diverse” city of St. Paul, but it was a different type of racism compared to living up here in rural Morris, Minnesota. I somehow couldn’t “fit-in” with any particular group of friends. I already wrote about the specifics in another site. For the sake of jumping to another link, which you probably have already above. In short, I would get “teased” by every racial group I hung out with growing-up. A so-called “friend” (Caucasian-American) made a remarked that I “look like the enemy” during Dessert Storm (war in Iraq sometime in the early 90’s. Even though it was a joke, this put a scar in my mind growing-up (would be reminded of this on 9-11. It might seem “little”, but with the many other “racism” experiences (too many to mention here) I’ve gone through, it was just another added to many different scars (e.g. almost hit with a foot long wine bottle while playing tennis by a couple of “white guys-almost skinheads”, Neo-Nazi group visited my workplace-Taco Bell, called “gook” while delivering newspapers, etc..) added to me.

To be fair, it wasn’t just a “white on Chink/Gook/”Dessert Nigga”/Mexican/etc.., I was teased by my own “racial” group (Asian) in high school. I joined the Asian Club because I needed a place of “belonging”. Well, one of my peers teased me by saying I “don’t look Asian” because of my big eyes. Then I started to want to hangout within my own “ethnic-group” (Filipino over the years later, but somehow I couldn’t “fit-in” because I didn’t know the language (Tagalog). My parents didn’t teach my siblings and I their native language because they thought we would have trouble assimilating in the American culture. I personally think it’s important to learn the native language of the parents to have some sense of cultural identity and it’s good for brain development, which is why I currently love teaching English as a second language.

Well, I can keep sharing many “little” to “big” things I’ve been offended, but that would take a book! I just wanted to give some examples above so “you” readers can somehow relate. Now, let’s make a list of the things how I’ve offended others. This would probably take a second volume! We sometimes forget that we’ve also probably “offended” others too as we focus on ourselves (looking for people to feel sorry for ourselves). If you know me good and have been offended (more likely if you’ve known me longer) by me, please forgive me too :(. We sometimes don’t realize that we all have offended one another, which is why it’s important to dialogue and share with each other honestly and openly. For example, a good “friend” that I worked with at the local college (summer program) was offended by me when I jokingly told her she was “lazy” (after eating lunch together and she didn’t bring-up her tray to the dish room at Food Service in campus). I told her “sorry” after she openly-honestly told me her reason for this offense (she grew up being called “lazy” by her family, so she would work harder). PLEASE contact me (e.g. phone, email, in person is better!) if I offended you because sometimes I didn’t know! Let’s be real with one another and stop being “Minnesota Nice” and “sugar coat” the things we say to one another. We can’t expect to know all of each others’ past, but we can be “more sensitive” (this is where the Holy Spirit comes in) and “compassionate” (this will increase as one grows in their personal relationship with their Heavenly Father) to one another. We are (most of us) mature adults and we need to act like it! This is probably why married couples or couples/friends in general fight with each other because of a misunderstanding or miscommunication. Don’t give Satan a foothold!..

Take care of it right away (see Ephesians 4:26) or the walls (as mentioned in the teaching above and the sermon message at my local church this morning too) will be built too high to take down.

How can we overcome offense? I’ve learned (still learning) to do this more as I’ve grown in my personal relationship with God. For example, I got offended by certain individuals in various places (e.g. home, work, church, etc..), so the way I “combat” it is through prayer. The more I pray for certain individuals, my compassion for them increases. I know there are some other circumstances with people (e.g. enemies-people who have taken advantage on you) that requires more than prayer, which might require some “wisdom” (e.g. spiritual gifts) from other people (e.g. mentor, pastor, etc..).

We can’t “judge” or “stereotype” (e.g. NOT all Somolians are “evil” as the movie “Black Hawk Down” might stereotype these people group) any group because of the actions of a “few” of a group of people (e.g. race, nationality, political party, religion, institution, etc….). This would be another blog topic on how media can carelessly give or promote the “wrong” negative message about a particular group of people.

In the meantime, I want to leave you with this last video, which I was reminded while listening to the beginning part of the video above. If you haven’t seen this movie yet, I highly recommend you do. For those who haven’t seen this movie yet, the scene below is about a father trying to give some advice to his son as he plans to share how he’s been “offended” by his wife and wanting a divorce….

Fireproof -The Cross – Today’s Christian VideosGodTube

“Heavenly Father, I pray for each of us who have been offended by someone(s). We ask for your love and healing touch from the various offenses (e.g. physical, emotional, spiritual abuse, etc..) we’ve experienced in the past. We too have probably offended someone too and we ask You to forgive us. Give us wisdom and strength on how to ask these individual(s) for forgiveness. We ask You to continue “molding” us to be the “man”/”woman” you want us to be. In the meantime, show us how we can be your light to others that are hurting around us too. We ask all this in Your (Jesus’) name… …And all God’s people say?…Amen!”

ACTION: Let’s all help be peacemakers in the world out there with what we’ve learned!

Sharing God’s Love in Our City’s Streets?

Do you ever encounter “homeless” people begging you for money whenever you walk the streets of a city or even driving around a neighborhood? What do you do? Do we walk pass them to ignore them? What would Jesus do?

Story 1

I admit, I have many times ignored these individuals because I was in a hurry or just had bad “judgment” on them. Well, last weekend I decided to “do something” . I was walking from

Target Field Hosts All-Star Game 2014http://salphotobiz.smugmug.com/Sports/baseball/MLB-Fan-Fest-2014

…to the Minneapolis Convention Center on a Sunday morning (July 13th 2014). I was there for the All-Star festivities (e.g. Fan Fest). As I was walking towards Nicollet Avenue, a guy came by walking besides me asking for money. I then told him I rather not give him money, but instead of food. He declined and asked for money to buy some food instead. Well, he was very persistent, which I kept being persistent. I then “tried” to quote a Bible verse “Silver or gold I don’t have, but I have Jesus” (paraphrased this because I forgot the exact order..lol).

Nicollet Avenue decorated with the All-Star Game theme for week of festivities.http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/North_America/United_States_of_America/Minnesota/Minneapolis-813712/Things_To_Do-Minneapolis-Nicollet_Mall-BR-1.htmlhttp://www.downtownmpls.com/page/show/227787-shopjavascript:%20void(0);

Anyways, he just continued to walk with me to Nicollet Avenue as he shared his name (Isaac). I then smiled and replied, “that’s a name in the Bible”. He then said, “I know, I’m already born-again and saved” (I questioned myself in thought, “what is he doing here then?”). Anyways, I know we all go through some “wildernesses”, so I wanted to help this guy out to build his faith too. I asked him about his background, which he told me he already has a job. However, it’s only with a temp agency. I’ve had jobs with temp agencies before, so I somewhat can relate. I asked him what he’s good at , but he was persistent about the money thing again. Along the walk, I noticed a street preacher (lady) reading Bible verses, which is the same corner where I’ve seen others before. I thought to my self that this is so ironic! I then told him to come to Morris where there are many jobs available. He said, he might do this in the future. I then asked about his family, which he told me he has siblings in Indiana. I asked what made him move here from there. He replied, the “jobs opportunities”.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

We then sat down in a bench where there were other “homeless” people around the area getting ready for the “big day” to beg for money. I told him I would love to pray for him about his current circumstances, which he obliged. I was chatting too much as I was holding his hand about to pray that he told me, “I thought we were going to pray together”. I stopped talking and started praying for him with a smile. He then persistently ask for money again, so I told him “no” and took him to the Walgreens around the corner. I told him he can get whatever he “needs”, so he shopped around and picked a deli sandwich and a snack (?). I even told him to get a drink as it’s supposed to get warm later on. He picked a drink and kindly double checked if he can get one. We then went to the counter and I bought his items As we left the store, I gave him more encouraging words (forgot what I said) as he joined his peers by the bench we were sitting before to pray.

I then continued my way to the Minneapolis Convention Center for Fan Fest 2014!

T-Mobile All-Star FanFesthttp://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/all_star/y2014/index.jsp?content=asg_fanfestJoin MLB at 2014 T-Mobile All-Star FanFest http://youtu.be/YOcGbH5ktFo

Story 2

I had to share this story because this was another unique individual homeless guy. I was walking to church (St. Paul Cathedral) with my parents last evening for mass (church service). I noticed this “homeless” guy fixing his bicycle that was upside down-along with his personal stuff on the side of the sidewalk besides the church entrance. I was about to ask if he needed help, but I just continued to walk past him and up the stairs to the entrance. I was inclined to turn around, but decided to do so after we got to our pew after the “procession” (priest and team walking from the back to the front and do an intro) in the church building. During this time, I thought of that “forward email story” about the church people passing by this homeless guy and no one did anything. The “church people” didn’t realize that homeless guy was actually their “new pastor” , which he would later share..that’s it-that was the “sermon message” itself..

Church Mistreats Homeless Man Who is Pastor in Disguise

Churchgoers Ignored the Pleas of A ‘Homeless’ Man. An Hour Later They Cried from Shame. TeamGodVine last update 07/09/2017, 11:06 PM godvine.com
“…A Pastor transformed himself into a homeless person and went to the 10,000-member church that he was to be introduced as the head pastor at that morning. He walked around his soon to be church for 30 minutes while it was filling with people for service, only 3 people out of the 7-10,000 people said hello to him. He asked people for change to buy food – no one in the church gave him change…
He went into the sanctuary to sit down in the front of the church and was asked by the ushers if he would please sit in the back. He greeted people to be greeted back with stares, dirty looks, and people looking down on him. As he sat in the back of the church, he listened to the church announcements and such. When all that was done, the elders went up and were excited to introduce the new pastor of the church to the congregation. “We would like to introduce to you our new Pastor.” The congregation looked around clapping with joy and anticipation. The homeless man sitting in the back stood up and started walking down the aisle. The clapping stopped with all eyes on him. He walked up the altar and took the microphone from the elders (who were in on this) and paused for a moment then he recited,

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ ‘The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

After he recited this, he looked towards the congregation and told them all what he had experienced that morning. Many began to cry, and many heads were bowed in shame. He then said, “Today I see a gathering of people, not a church of Jesus Christ. The world has enough people, but not enough disciples. When will YOU decide to become disciples?” He then dismissed service until next week.

Following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ should be more than just talk. It ought to be a lifestyle that others around you can love about you and share in.” Be a Christian all you want, but at least follow the teachings of Christ if you’re going to claim the title.

Matthew 25:35-45…”

Well, I felt the urge to to be used by God to reach out to this man in case no one else did by the “church building”. When I went down the stairs, I noticed this guy was ready to head out as his bicycle was in the upright position and all his belongings that was scattered was all packed up. I went over and asked if his bicycle was all fixed. He told me, yes and explained what was wrong (e.g. loose chain). He would not stop talking after that as he would end up sharing a lot about his situation after some “curiosity” question…

“Name is Patrick and originally from Des Moines-Iowa. I have been traveling all over the country. I plan to stay at a motel in Cottage Grove (Sal: “I told him that the bike trail from downtown to Cottage Grove is block due to construction”. I knew this before as I tried to ride my bike from where my parents live in the East Side to Downtown St. Paul). Would you be able to drive me? (Sal: “I told him that I would if I had a bigger vehicle and I explained to myself that I’m in the middle of “mass” with my parents). He then shared that he knows the people at the motel and then started sharing about his past-” I have to be careful of girls/ladies, I have to keep out of trouble (Sal: thinking that he was in trouble in the past and running away from it). I did drugs, like meth and other types of drugs… (Sal: He mention others, but can’t remember)…(Sal: He was non-stop in telling me some other stuff that I don’t remember what else he shared). He knew I just came from church, so he shared about Christians he has met (Sal: I noticed an African American guy just walking away after chatting with him and Patrick just put a Bible with his “stuff” packed in the back of his bicycle)…

..I started to grow in compassion for him with discernment (asking God what to do and say as I didn’t want to be lied too as I have been with past conversations with homeless people). I shared earlier how he has a cool name and I reminded him of “St. Patick”, which I wasn’t able to share more as he was “non-stop” in chatting /sharing with me. I noticed my time was long and my parents were probably wondering where I am. I didn’t want to leave without at least praying for him. I asked if I could pray for him, so I quickly did . I was closing my eyes, but opened to realize he started to kneel. I felt like I should’ve kneeled with him. I remembered one of the teaching at a church conference to pray with people in the “same level” as a sign of humility. I felt bad I didn’t as I wondered what people around me were thinking. After praying for him, I decided to give him some “change” (cash) to help him out . I then told him to stay away from those drugs with a smile :), which he told me he will and started to chat more. I showed him with my body movements that I had to leave, which I felt I could’ve stayed longer to hear more of his story. I had so many questions based on what he already shared. For example, what drew him to the streets? I felt like something bad he did and left/ran away from home because of shame. I forgot to pray about that, so let’s pray together…

“Heavenly Father, we lift Patrick up to you. We ask that You personally reveal your compassion to him and heal him of any past hurts. May you used another follower of Yours to share the “Good News” with him. We pray that the “seeds of faith” that others and I have shared will grow..in Jesus’ name..Amen”

Thanks for praying for me. I actually have been praying for him before writing this blog as there were other things I wished I could’ve done to “reach out” to him more. It seems like God has really touched my heart this past week about “reaching out to” homeless people with other related events (e.g. Prior to mass last night, I shared various videos of “reaching out” to homeless people after I won free tickets to this music event earlier last month that was given by this Christian non-profit organization called “Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities“..

I forgot to tell him about this homeless shelter with the few chance to share/talk as he was a “chatter box”. I was able to tell him about Minnesota Teen Challenge after he shared about his drug use and later “alcohol” use (shared that he’s been sober for 6 months). This was part of my prayer that God will protect him from temptation and the addiction.

Well, that was my personal story this unique encounter. When I returned back to mass, I came in the middle of the priest’s message (e.g. important to talk with God at least 10 minutes a day…) as I missed the 3 readings. My parents never asked where I went too as I was going to share until they asked me, but I probably should since I remembered my mom asking earlier today, “are you mad for some reason..?”. I didn’t correlate the two as I thought it was about something else.

The following day (today), I went to my local church in St. Paul. The pastor shared in his message about reaching to those homeless people with signs (see one of my related stories-> Folks with Signs Along the Highway Exit Ramps Part 1 ) along the highway exit ramps. I just feel this has been a theme that God is trying to show me and the “church body” to NOT forget about these people. What about you?

What do you think? Did I do the “right” thing? Is this what Jesus would’ve done? Did I share God’s love? What could’ve I done better?

Good News Sociology
https://www.facebook.com/groups/139706352858524/