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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 10:41 pm 
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Just Keep Singin'
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Ah...I see what you mean...

I may still have something to say, though.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 11:04 pm 
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Lali Beag Bídeach
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And I would love to hear it. :)

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:44 pm 
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Daydream Believer.
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What a great thread. I am struggling now with a type of seeing the good in myself. I was told many years ago I forgot to see the good in others that had wronged me, so I have made an effort to learn to see the good. I have forgiven people who have wronged me and in some cases remember the good, but I don't let the wrong that was done to me be done again.

However, that all said, I have no bad memories of Dwain, none. I am not mad at him for dying so much as I am disappointed in his death. I watch his exwife like a hawk but have tried to see the good in her (which has helped with the process). But I feel like the good part of me went with him to the far green country.

So I am hanging on to Grace for all its worth at the moment, I literally do feel like the good parts of me have left, so I am struggling with seeing the good in me right now. I feel like I am failing in my faith, like I am scratching at walls trying to cling to nothing, yet I feel Grace trying to surround me. Yet I am not ready to reach out to Grace for myself, I am saying no to Grace part of the time. The other part of the time I am forcing myself to reach for grace. Its a double edged sword right now, I am fairly glad Grace doesn't change.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:24 pm 
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Feeling grateful
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Padme, :hug:

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:12 pm 
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Living in hope
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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:20 pm 
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A Bad Day

here's another devotional from the series called Holy Land Moments. It too is timely...

Quote:
A Bad Day
October 21, 2013
“Sarah lived to be a hundred and twenty-seven years old. She died at Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to weep over her.” — Genesis 23:1–2

The Torah portion for this week, Chayei Sarah, which means “the life of Sarah,” is from Genesis 23:1–25:18, and the Haftorah is from 1 Kings 1:1–31.

Have you ever had a really bad day? Abraham did.

The Sages teach that the binding of Isaac that was part of last week’s Torah readings and the death of Sarah that we read about in this week’s selection both occurred on the same day.

On that fateful morning, Abraham arose to complete a very important task, which was really an extremely challenging test from God. He was commanded to give up his long-awaited and much-beloved son, Isaac, as a sacrifice to God. Abraham prepared to do so obediently, but we can only imagine what he was feeling at the time.

Then, just as Abraham was about to make the ultimate sacrifice, he was told to stop. Isaac was spared, but Abraham’s joy at having his son saved was short-lived. According to tradition, just as Abraham arrived home, he was given the news that his cherished wife, Sarah, had passed away.

To compound the matter, the Sages teach that Abraham was told that Sarah passed away because she had heard that he was about to sacrifice her one and only son to God. It was too much to bear and so Sarah’s soul left her. Now, Abraham had to prepare for his beloved’s funeral, and who did he come across? The very difficult and irritating Ephron.

Abraham wanted to purchase a place to bury his wife. However, Ephron refused to sell Abraham the cave of Machpelah and insisted that Abraham bury his wife in a communal cemetery. Next he told Abraham that he would give him the space for free, but then quickly changed his tune and demanded an astronomical price for the unused cave. In the end, the deal was done and Sarah was buried in the cave of Machpelah, which today is one of the most visited and holiest sites in Israel.

Abraham had an incredibly hard day that culminated with Ephron taking advantage of him. Abraham had every reason to be aggravated and to lash out at Ephron. Yet Abraham, the expert in kindness, never lost his patience and treated Ephron with kindness and dignity. This, says one of the Sages, was truly Abraham’s greatest test – and he passed it with flying colors!

Can you relate to Abraham’s situation? Have you ever had a really bad day only to encounter a challenging personality in the grocery store, your office, or at home? It’s so difficult to keep our cool and find kindness in our hearts when we are dealing with difficulties in our lives. Yet, we have to learn from Abraham and dig down into the deepest depths of our hearts in order to find the patience and kindness that every human being truly deserves from us.

It’s not easy, and it may take practice, but like Abraham, when we do succeed, it may very well be our finest moment.

With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein


View original here: http://www.holylandmoments.org/devotionals/a-bad-day

Isn't it strange how we sometimes feel like we should be spared some present trouble because of some good we did elsewhere... as Mr. Wallace says, "That's pride [bleeping] with you. [Bleep] pride. Pride only hurts. It never helps." (This is me talking to myself.)

Regardless, oi! life is so often hard... the world with its wiles... is hard. But take heart! the world is overcome... we may yet be overcomers. (This is me speaking with all y'all.)


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:56 pm 
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Lali Beag Bídeach
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:hug: This is me, listening and appreciating the reminders.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:26 pm 
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Thanks Lali,

Here's one that came through today:

What Are We?
January 26, 2014

What is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?
You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honor.
— Psalm 8:4–5

In Psalm 8, King David asked: “What is mankind that you are mindful of them?”

What is humanity? On one hand, we are only a little more than animals. We eat, breathe, and seek out pleasures just like any other creature. We come from a tiny speck and our ultimate destiny is to become the dirt of the ground, just like every other being. Why should God Almighty pay us any mind?

On the other hand, David described the greatness of man: “You have made them a little lower than the angels …” Instead of just slightly above animals, David pronounced humans as just a step below angels. Created in the image of God with the capacity to think and speak, humanity has the ability to achieve so much – to literally transform ourselves and the world for the better.

These two very different aspects of humanity are expressed by Jewish writer and philosopher Ernest Becker, who said: “Man is literally split in two: he has an awareness of his own splendid uniqueness in that he sticks out of nature with a towering majesty, and yet he goes back into the ground a few feet in order blindly and dumbly to rot and disappear forever.”

So what is humanity? Are we just slightly more sophisticated than animals or are we nearly angels “crowned … with glory and honor”?

The Sages answer this question when they explain why Adam and Eve were created last, after everything else had already come into existence. They teach that if humans are worthy, we will say, “The whole world was created for you. You were brought to the world like a king and queen are brought to a banquet – with everything prepared and ready.” However, if humanity is not worthy, we say, “You are the last, least, and lowest of all creations. Even a tiny insect is greater than you.”

Whether we are majestic like kings and queens or lower than a slug depends entirely on us. We determine what we are worth by how we choose to live our lives.

If we deny our godly nature and live a life filled with physicality, solely focused on gaining pleasure and power, then we are no greater than animals. But if we live driven by service, godliness, and contribution, then we can become nearly as great as angels. Every day that we live, we are torn between our animalistic drives and the soul that God placed within us. We choose which drive will dominate our lives, and that choice defines our identity.

Today, let’s choose God and be crowned with His glory!

With prayers for shalom, peace,

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President

Please see the original here.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:14 pm 
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Very powerful stuff...

Surrender!
April 17, 2014

Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” — Exodus 14:13–14

One of the most encouraging messages of Passover is that when things seem most hopeless, there is always room for hope. The climax of the Passover story occurred when the children of Israel were sandwiched between the Egyptians and the Red Sea. The Sages teach that going right or left wasn’t an option, either. According to tradition, God had placed wild beasts emerging from the wilderness on either side of the Israelites. If ever there was a time to lose faith, it was at that moment.

Yet, from that moment of desperation comes one of the greatest moments of salvation – and a message of hope for all time.

Things only seem hopeless when we make the mistake of thinking that we are in control. If we can’t do it, then it simply can’t be done – there is no hope. The doctor can’t operate – so healing won’t come. I don’t earn enough money – so I’ll never get out of debt. When we are so sure that we alone hold the keys to our salvation, it’s no wonder that so many doors seem closed. It’s only when we give those keys to God that miracles can happen and hope can be found.

I love this story about a sparrow who loved to fly high in the sky, innocent and free. One day, the sparrow sensed imminent danger. She looked down to see a hunter pointing a rifle right in her direction. As the sparrow tried to flee from the danger, she noticed more trouble coming from above. An eagle was eyeing her like a piece of candy. The sparrow realized that she had no choices left and decided instead to surrender her life to God. In that precise moment, God sent a snake to bite the hunter, causing him to misfire his rifle, sending a bullet flying toward the eagle, killing it, and setting the sparrow free.

The message: Don’t surrender to life; surrender to God. Don’t give up hope; place your hope in God. Take comfort and encouragement from the words of Moses to the Israelites in their most desperate moment: “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today … The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

When all hope seems lost, God will fight for us. When there is nothing left that we can do, God can do anything. We need only to have hope, hang on, and give up our lives to God.

Surrender today!

With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein

Please see original here.


Aside: I thought of asking that the thread title be changed to "Highlights from Holy Land Moments". Upon further reflection the current thread title "Remembering the Good" seems more apt with each new post. Thank you for reading -- sird


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